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The Easygoing Lies of Andy Taylor Print E-mail
By Austin Ruse   
Friday, 25 January 2013

The only thing we seem to let our young daughters watch regularly these days are cooking shows on the Food Network, the most wholesome network on television. Thank God they like them. Recently, we thought to introduce them to wholesome television from our own youth so we bought them the first season of “The Andy Griffith Show.”  

You will recall this show tells the story of a sheriff, a widower, in a small North Carolina town raising his son, Opie, with the help of his Aunt Bee and in the company of a wonderful cast of characters including Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife, Floyd the Barber, Otis the Town Drunk, Ernest T. Bass the Mountain Man, Gomer Pyle the Gas Station guy, Miss Ellie the druggist (and Andy’s love interest), and many others.

Each episode presents a pickle: that is the best word for the vexing, but not terribly vexing, issues Andy has to work out. And each episode ends with Andy delivering a lesson to Opie or others who look up to him as something of a small-town Abe Lincoln.

The story lines are simple. The very first episode is about how Rose, who helps Andy raise Opie, is going off to get married. Aunt Bee, who raised Andy, is coming to take her place. Opie does not like this one bit and shows Aunt Bee the kind of disdain only a five year old can. She can’t do anything Rose can do.

Aunt Bee concludes Opie will never take to her and she decides to leave. But then Opie rushes out, throws himself into her arms. and pleads with her to say: “You need me. You need me to teach you all the things you don’t know like fishing and baseball.” Nice ending.

In another episode, Andy and Barney Fife are high-hatted by the state police captain who has come to Mayberry to capture an escaped prisoner. Andy and Barney are shunted aside which makes Opie mad as all get out. Turns out, though, Sheriff Andy knows a thing or two about catching bad guys, particularly that bad guys on the run are mighty attracted to freshly baked pies. And by episode’s end, the captain wants to give Andy an award.

We have loved these shows. The girls love them, too. We sit on the couch grinning, and cackling like chickens, even guffawing a bit. Not only are they funny, but they show people treating each other with real respect and manners.  We like that everyone says “yes ma’am” and that Andy opens doors for ladies. All that is wonderful.  But along with these old fashioned courtesies it began to dawn on us that each episode is packed full of lies, all delivered with the same kind of grace and courtesy.


             Miss Ellie and Sheriff Taylor

In the opening episode, Andy and Opie take a clearly befuddled Aunt Bee fishing. Andy lies to Opie that Aunt Bee is not used to lake fishing since she is a sportsman more used to fishing on the ocean. When Aunt Bee loses Opie’s caged bird, Andy gets him a new one and lies to him that it’s the same one who just got tired of being in the wild and flew home. These are not damnable lies, as we say in Catholic moral theology, but he is lying to his boy. And it struck us as kind of odd. 

Cathy and I decided long ago not to lie to our children. Who doesn’t remember their Mom lying to a caller when Dad didn’t want to come to the phone? We decided never to do that. We even told them the truth about that old geezer Santa Claus, preferring to tell them about St. Nicholas instead.

And then came an episode where Andy’s lies really got rolling and they were told for his own benefit.

Pretty Miss Ellie comes to town to help her uncle run the drug store. The Mayberry Picnic is coming up and Andy invites her to come with him. She agrees. Later Andy works himself into a real lather that, preposterously, Miss Ellie had really lured him into asking her out, that she’s a man hunter and he’s her newest victim.

To get her off the scent, Andy goes around town lying to other fellers that Ellie thinks they’re kind of cute. One guy has nice eyelashes, another has a nice nose, yet another has an attractive physique. With the help of blabbermouth Opie, Miss Ellie figures it out and gives Andy heck.

Ellie goes and accepts Barney’s invitation to the picnic, which gives Andy second thoughts. So Andy outright lies to Barney that lots of pickpockets are headed to the picnic. He will miss out on major police work. But that’s alright. Andy will just deputize someone else – who would get all the glory. Naturally, Barney falls for it and Andy ends up taking Miss Ellie to the picnic.

There are big lies and small lies in almost every episode of “The Andy Griffith Show.” They make me wonder if the generational disillusionment of the 1960s started at least a few years before Dealey Plaza. The show started in 1960 when the front edge – the most troublesome cohort – of that generation turned fourteen. No way that they missed Andy Taylor’s whoppers. I draw a line from Mayberry to Haight-Ashbury to Altamont and beyond.

OK, maybe the line’s not so straight. While the easy fibbing of Andy Taylor really jarred us, we’re not such ninnies to stop watching altogether. Andy and his crew are still exponentially better than current network television. Do they use lies as plot devices on network sitcoms today? Who knows? We don’t watch. At least with Andy – lies and all – there are no lesbians.


Austin Ruse
is the President of the New York and Washington, D.C.-based Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), a research institute that focuses exclusively on international social policy. The opinions expressed here are Mr. Ruse’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of C-FAM.
 
 
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Comments (32)Add Comment
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written by Stanley Anderson, January 25, 2013
Just a comment on the whole Santa thing. When I was a small child on a farm with a gigantic (so it seemed to me) lawn around the house, an uncle took the lawn mower and mowed a "maze" of pathways on the grass for me to walk on and "explore". They were fantastic tunnels into incredible places and adventures and it is a memory I cherish even to this day (at 57). I knew perfectly well at that time that I was pretending and that those pathways of shorter grass bordered and surrounded by the longer grass were not "really" tunnels or passageways into wherever I imagined them to lead. But they were as good (or actually far far better) than any "actual" place I can think of then or now -- at least for that six-year-old.

Children can have loads of fun pretending -- I daresay far more fun pretending with "nothing" than they can with fancy (and breakable and likely expensive) realistic toys or video games with life-like graphics, at least if they (and their parents) only knew or were given a chance.

And I say the same about the Santa story. It doesn't have to be either a "believe it fully" or "don't go there at all" thing. It can be enjoyed while at the same time "knowing" that we are pretending. It's what kids are especially good at when they play -- and know perfectly well that they are playing and pretending.

I would probably agree with the author about St. Nicholas as a better model for Christmas fun with the kids, but not because "Santa" is, or has to be, a lie (if parents don't make it so). They can have as much fun pretending with Santa and his sleigh and reindeer all the while recognizing that he is not on the same existential plane as, say, Jesus -- as much fun as they can have with mowed “tunnels" in the lawn.

And I think that is the problem Mr. Ruse identifies with the Andy lies. Their purpose is to make the recipients believe the fabrications are really are true and to make them act upon them as if they are, however fun and innocent they may seem. But there comes a day of reckoning when it is "discovered" that whatever -- pickpockets or Santa -- are not "real" after all and weary cynicism (or crafty wiles) begin to set in.
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written by Deacon Jimmy, January 25, 2013
I enjoyed your article and even when I was young watching Andy Griffith, I wondered at those 'little white lies'.

I agree it is hard to find decent things to watch on TV. You mentioned the Food Network as the most wholesome network on TV. I thought so too, but lately have been having my doubts and was assaulted by the Rachel vs Guy Celebrity Cook Off promoting and cajoling with the openly gay figure skater who's 'charity' he would be competing for was the LGBTQXYZ equal rights thingie and that he loved cooking for his 'husband' and his son. Not going to watch that now. I also remember several other shows that featured gay and lesbian contestants and how they were applauded at their courage and fortitude.

I could go on a lot about other things I see promoted in small ways on other shows, but is it really that hard, or that much of a threat to bring good morals to mainstream television? Does every warped sense of sexual appetite have to creep into every show including crime who-done-its?

Thank God for Mother Angelica and EWTN. Thank God for those brave movie producers trying to bring us movies like For Greater Glory and Restless Heart.

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written by Sue, January 25, 2013
You can take that line that goes through Altamont and extrapolate it right up to the real Andy Griffith shilling for Obamacare in recent past.

A lot of the sitcoms were written by Frankfurt School types with devious cultural ends.
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written by Ed Dougherty, January 25, 2013
While I share Mr. Ruse's enthusiasm for The Andy Griffith Show (and espcialley the comic genius of Don Knotts) I wonder what the purpose is of the "at least there are no lesbians" line at the end of the column.

I don't know how old Mr. Ruse's daughters are but I hope they don't have same - sex attractions. I guess we've just seen the reception they would get from their father.

It's one thing to say that marriage should not be extended to same sex couples and to say that acting on such attractions is sinful. It is quite another to make references like this to such persons whom our Cathecism has said cannot control these attractions and are to be treated with the same dignity and respect as all other children of God.
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written by walter, January 25, 2013
Seems to me that Jed Clampett and The Beverly Hillbillies is a better choice: Jed was counter-cultural to a fault, never lied, always tried to be on time, welcomed strangers....

....oops. But then there is the character of Miss Jane.
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written by Richard A, January 25, 2013
Mr. Dougherty, the catechism of the Catholic Church does not say that "such persons ... cannot control these attractions." Indeed, it could not, for you and I both know that sexual attractions can be controlled. The catechism calls for self-mastery. The homosexuals we increasingly see portrayed on TV are pretty explicitly striving, not for self-mastery, but social approval.
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written by Grump, January 25, 2013
Sometimes lying is better than the truth. Austin, if your wife asked you if she looked fat in her new dress, would you give her an honest answer? William Blake put it this way: "A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent."

As for the Andy Griffith show, it never did much for me. Being a city boy, I couldn't identify with a bunch of yokels who did and said things I never experienced growing up.

Now, the Honeymooners with Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows as the constantly bickering Kramdens was much more realistic to me. Ralph's schemes would usual fail and after promising to send poor Alice "to the moon" he'd usually wind up getting his comeuppance in the end. "Baby, you're the greatest!"

For those of my "silent generation," who can forget Ed Sullivan, Sid Caesar, Milton Berle, Father Knows Best and Amos n' Andy or All in the Family. Now in this PC age, we have to endure the likes of "Modern Family," which have the obligatory "gay" references, themes and characters that are so repugnant to those of us who know right from wrong.

And, as you succinctly sum up, in the old black-and-white TV shows, there was never a mention or suggestion of homosexuality. O tempora o mores!
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written by william manley, January 25, 2013
Mr. Ruse, thanks for the pleasant trip down memory lane. Too bad the trip ended in the rut of insulting a whole group of people in a most uncharitable way. Your last sentence was unnecessary, and not the Catholic Thing to do. And we wonder why people are increasingly repelled by the self righteousness of certain Catholic leaders. Same sex attraction should be met with compassion and concern not snark. I keep trying and re-trying to give this web site a daily look, but commentaries such as yours make me want to flee permanently.
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written by diaperman, January 25, 2013
I agree with the other comments. I found the last line gratuitous and offensive--and I'm not a supporter of the gay rights agenda by any means. Effective cultural criticism is needed here and this isn't an example of it. Mr. Ruse do you suppose lesbians weren't around in the 50's or are you just happy that they weren't on TV and happily invisible. This is not a winning message I'm afraid.

It is a pity too because there was however a serious point to be made here (mostly unexplored) which is actually somewhat refreshing for this site. Namely that the obsessive nostalgia for the 50's and early 60's is misplaced. Every cultural and moral trend of the late 60's and early 70's and beyond was present in the 50's too if only submerged a little beneath the surface (though I must admit the Andy Griffith show is not the first place I would look to illustrate that.) Movies in the 50's were already increasingly implying extra-marital sex, divorce, what we would today call "hook-ups," and so forth--not graphically but there nonetheless.

I always tell social conservatives who fall into the nostalgia trap, "if the 50's were so great, we never would have had the 60's."
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written by anon, January 25, 2013
The last line is perfectly acceptable. It points out the modern obsession with all things "gay". It is not an insult to point out how clearly things have changed and how vigilant we must be these days.

I wish people would stop looking to be offended at every single turn.
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written by DS, January 25, 2013
I join ranks with Ed, William and Diaperman.

Ironic that Mr. Ruse worries about what his daughters see on TV. Ever since he used the phrase "bitch slap" in prior column, I take care to read his columns through before sharing them with my teenager.
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written by Maggie-Louise, January 25, 2013
"I always tell social conservatives who fall into the nostalgia trap, "if the 50's were so great, we never would have had the 60's." "

Wrong!! Those of us who were young adults or just entering adulthood in the '50s never heard of what is commonplace conversation such as seen here and what takes place in any school playground these days. I utterly reject that statement as an example of the '60's generation refusal to take responsibility for anything. It was their parents fault.

It was that vast generation spawned by returning veterans who wanted to give their children a different life than what they saw on the abandoned battlefields of Europe. That overly indulged generation created the '60s culture, having been later influenced by the leftist infiltrators in the colleges and universities. The people of that generation whom I know who did not go to college generally do no share those radical "if it feels good, do it" attitude. That generation disavowed all connections to the past. They created our culture and they are stuck with it.

The Silent Generation, of which Mr. Grump and I are members, was trampled over by that generation in their quest to "have it all" without consequences, knowing that their parents would pick up the pieces. They seized political and social power and never let it go. I still say that, if the students of Kent State had been in their seats in their classrooms, they would be alive today. So totally did they reject everything thing that went before them, when asked to suggest family-appropriate music, they are unable to suggest anything early than 1960.

An author whose college sociology textbook I was producing asked for "photos of a corny 1950s family on a picnic". When I sent him a selection of family picnic photos, I wrote, "We did not consider ourselves "corny". We were believed we were creating stable, loving families."

Mr. Grump and I and the others of the Silent Generation are the last to remember those times. (And no, they weren't perfect, we are smart enough to understand that.) Maybe we overlooked Griffith's white lies, but neither did we threaten to sue if a gentleman admired a new hair-do or a new dress.
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written by diaperman, January 25, 2013
An author whose college sociology textbook I was producing asked for "photos of a corny 1950s family on a picnic". When I sent him a selection of family picnic photos, I wrote, "We did not consider ourselves "corny". We were believed we were creating stable, loving families."

me: yep...you're about my Dad's age based on your comments. I saw his old family movies too in the DVD edition. To all appearances it is of a stable loving family having a picnic after Church. But unseen in the video is the fact that the father is a serial adulterer and two of the adult women are terrible alcoholics whose two children (happily playing in the video) grow up to be in turn 1) homosexual and 2)married five times.

Everything that erupted in the 70's seemingly out of nowhere was there in the 50's too just beneath the surface. The fifties in my mind as you present it is alot like Andy Taylor's Mayberry--Hollywood's fictive creation of a southern town where black people, Jews and Catholics were happily invisible--and homosexuality had never even been heard of. It's not reality.

The reason the 50's ethos collapsed so quickly in the 60's Louise was that so much of it was a unsustainable facade in the first place. Yes the 60's and the 70's swung way too far in the other direction but that doesn't mean the 50's could ever have been a permanent equilibrium.
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written by Augustine, January 25, 2013
The only wholesome tv station is ewtn. If you remember CS Lewis, I think it was in Mere Christitanity, though I don’t remember exactly, he was explaining sexual morals and how out of whack they have become by giving the then ridiculous analogy of imploring us to imagine if one were to bring a fine meal cooked and hidden under a tin and if someone brought it out and slowly and provocatively removed the cover and an audience were to hoot and howl, he pointed out that we would clearly see that we have a problem with our appetites. The food network illustrates that we would no longer see clearly that our appetites are disordered because this is exactly what they do now on the network. Also, it is a network pushing the homosexual agenda of tolerance. It too is bad television. We cut the cable 2 years ago and it has been blissful! The effect on the kids is huge.
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written by Augustine, January 25, 2013
Please Ed, our Catechesism said "we cannot control" these attractions? Utter nonsense! Public education has destroyed literacy, reason, logic and philosophy.
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written by Grump, January 25, 2013
To Diaperman, et al. Obviously, you were still a gleam in your pa's eye when I was growing up in the '50's. Yeah, we hid under our desks during air raid drills and there were supposedly commies everywhere, but it was an idyllic time to me. After JFK's death, this nation was never the same. You can have your flower kids/long-haired, draft-dodging, flag-burning hippies/drug-trenched/sexually liberated/cool Aquarius generation. I'll take Ike, Ozzie & Harriett and the good old days when the worst thing you could do in class was chew gun.
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written by diaperman, January 25, 2013
@ Augustine

Actually the food/sex analogy was an unconvincing one by Lewis. We do in fact display food in ways designed to visually stimulate the appetite. Maybe not in Lewis' Britain never much known for great cuisine. But in France yes...or any other country which has absorbed the gourmet ethos. Watch any of the cooking shows Austin and his daughters do and you'll see food porn in action--mostly comprised of dishes that viewers will never make themselves but end up only fantasizing about, with none of the calories to burn off or the mess to clean up afterwards. Sort of bizarre in a way no? This is very different than real pornography of course--but both things are possible because we know intuitively that food and sex are both or should be immensely pleasurable and never simply functional.

@ Grump

I agree the JFK assassination changed the country for the worse. But we still can't go back to the 50's and I don't see why so much energy is expended imagining that we can or failing to see why some people (blacks, minorities, some women, gays) don't see this as appealing at all.

If were going to change our culture we need to start where we are, not based on the selective memories of how things used to be.
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written by Augustine, January 25, 2013
Will Manly, I find it incredible that several on here take offense to Mr. Ruse compact last line. Have you seen network television lately? If is offensive beyond toleration. The sexual perversion pedaled in it is deplorable. By comparison, Mr. Ruse’s last line is genteel. What does a lesbian call herself today anyway? The Catholic Church calls her “imago Dei”. She calls herself a lesbian. Are the homosexuals the first to call themselves by their addiction? I don’t know, but they are wrong about this. The Holy Father says of the marriage controversy “The central question in this dispute is whether the fundamental nature of gender, personhood and marriage is forever fixed or forever in flux.” If you have more empathy for the self named “lesbian” than you do indignation at the deplorable homosexual agenda propagated by our media and universities, you might well consider yourself on the wrong side of our Holy Father’s wise statement.

These are changing times, but the virtues never change, and the Truth, the Logos, is immutable. We would be wise to conform to it rather than contrive to have it conform to us.
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written by Maggie-Louise, January 25, 2013
"If were going to change our culture we need to start where we are"

But Mr. Grump, how can we "start where we are" to rebuild a culture if we don't have a model or picture of what is possible or a goal toward which to move? When the intact family is a thing of the past, or at best an anomaly, ridiculed at that (as I read recently), how can anyone aspire to recreate it? As Hilaire Belloc said in his book on the Reformation, two generations after the monasteries were destroyed, no one knew what those demolished buildings were for. No one knew that there was a Faith to return to.

" that so much of it was an unsustainable facade"

I don't agree. My husband and I have sustained our family life and it is no facade. It has held up for almost 58 years and in no danger of collapsing. Our children have told us that they appreciate the fact that they had a stable home and family, and structure to come home to. A facade? I don't think so. My parents sustained their family life, raising five children during the Depression-- often without work or heat in the home--and then sent three of them off to war. That was no facade.

Society, of course, wasn't perfect. It is always in need of reform. It is commonly thought that the civil rights era began in the 60s. It had its roots in the '40s and early '50s, right after the war, and even during the war. I was 12 at the end of the war and very much aware of that need of reform. A moral society can be achieved only by moral people, but when the very idea of a moral society is denied, what chance is there?

I have no hope for our country, but our country is not where we are supposed to place our hope. However, that doesn't mean that we should let it turn into a cesspool until the Second Coming.










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written by Grump, January 25, 2013
Maggie, you misdirected your comment as I was not the one who suggested "we need to start where we are now." I am the most conservative of people and do not like change for change sake. When the government announced that women will now be allowed to fight wars just like men, the knee-jerk liberal reaction was to evoke "equality." Now women can die just like men. Wow, what an achievement in the name of "civil rights."

That men and women differ physically, biologically and in other ways makes no difference to the modern mind. We must strive for "equality" in everything; not just in opportunity but in outcomes. What folly!

Chivalry, if indeed it ever existed in pure form (even the 14th knights were selective) is totally dead. I'd still give up my seat in the subway to a woman half my age if I were still living in NYC. I'm the odd duck in the pond for sure.
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written by Louise, January 25, 2013
Grump, i always make a point of giving a big thanks and warm smile to any man brave enough to be chivalrous and give up his seat, open the door etc. for a woman, not knowing what reaction he will get! Keep up the good work.
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written by Maggie-Louise, January 25, 2013
My dear Mr. Grump,

I do apologize for the mistake. I promise to be more careful in the future, since this is the second time I have done this. I have a cataract in the center of the vision in my left eye and scar tissue on the retina of my right eye that leave black spots and that make straight lines wavy, but I'm so used to the distortions that I don't always notice that I am not tracking properly. I will make a greater effort in the future.

Thank you for reminding us of that wonderful word "chivalry". It's a beautiful word and still in force here and there--in our house and yours, for a start.

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written by Graham Combs, January 25, 2013
Anyone who has followed the late Andy Griffith's career knows that as an actor he has a mischievious side. A FACE IS THE CROWD remains a classic early study of the diabolical power of mass media and the frauds who exploit it. Sheriff Taylor also loves to tease Deputy Fife over his love life. There's a touch of devilishness to it. Even a bit cruel if you stretch it a bit. In fact Andy Griffith would have been quite believable in a remake of THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER as Mr. Scratch. I'm not arguing for situational ethics but you do have to put Andy Taylor's behavior in the context of the stories. And stories are everything in the South that I also claim as my personal and cultural heritage. And sometimes telling a story involves telling a whopper. As you may know the show is still used by evangelical Bible study groups. And please, if you can, watch the Mr. McBeevee episode. If a sitcom can be powerful, this is exhibit No. 1 for that case. How many parents will acknowledge that they have failed to have faith in their own child? I never fail to tear up when I see it. And keep in mind that most of what Hollywood produces today is based upon one lie after another about who we are as human beings, about God, about the Church, about the Sacrament of Marriage, and about the sanctity of human life. And as the South once again finds itself in the sites of the Left (see Rep. Charlie Rangel's recent comments) I'm going to defend one the best shows every made about it.
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written by Grump, January 26, 2013
My Dear Maggie-Louise: No apology needed. I can commiserate with your vision problems. I have been blind in my right eye since birth and have cataracts in both eyes. In fact, the one in my good eye is scheduled for surgery Feb. 20 and I am hoping for a good outcome. Thank YOU for being part of this forum. God be with you and yours.
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written by Maggie-Louise, January 26, 2013
Thank you, Mr. Grump. You are very kind, especially for your assurance that I am not in over my head among such erudite people.

May God be with you in your coming surgery. I will write the date on the calendar and my husband and I will offer Mass for you that day. It will be at 5:30 PM (EST), so you should be on your way to recovery. It is so good to read your comments. I hear a new voice lately. --M
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written by Sue, January 27, 2013
Another point in favor of trashing Santa Claus and reviving Saint Nicholas.

Santa looks disturbingly like Karl Marx (google a picture of Karl Marx's gravestone and you'll see what I mean). Santa's rise as a secular figure of profligate benificence also tracks the Marxian goal of replacing God with the State in some never-never Utopia. Yes, Virginia, there is no Uncle Santa.

Another recent appearance of Santa is his disturbing cameo, in flagrante delicto, in the movie Les Miserables. Which some Catholics too easily ignore, falling over themselves to laud the movie because it tips the hat to the Church in certain ways. All the same, the very last (not the penultimate) scene of the movie is a Marxian, not a Christian, apotheosis. If you read up on Hugo and history, Marx and Santa (who both got their first American jobs as propagandists for the North in the Civil War) the eighteenth century provides a fascinating backdrop to the century that followed.

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written by Sue, January 27, 2013
Sorry, meant to say the 19th century.
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written by Tom, January 27, 2013
Mary Tyler Moore Show was the same - "The Lie" was the basic plot element in every episode. But she lied so cutely!
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written by Maggie-Louise, January 27, 2013
In the interests of understanding (I hope), let me say that this discussion falls under the category of trying to judge one era on the cultural circumstances of another. In the era of Griffith and Mary Tyler Moore, people were more relaxed, the mood of the country was optimistic, more trusting, less uptight than now. We knew that TV was not reality and didn't expect it to be.

Yes, a lie is a lie is a lie is a lie. However, in those days, everyone knew that Griffith's lie was a lie and we went along with the fun. What else is a magician's performance, after all, but a lie from beginning to end? But Lord help the real flesh-and-blood student, child, politician, or business man who was caught lying. In those days, real-life lying was not accepted and the consequences were real--in forming the character of one's child or when the stability of the body politic was in jeopardy. In the area of politics and families, teachers and students, a lie was roundly condemned and called by its name, and incurred real-life punishment.

These days, we demand that Andy Griffith tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth but we let politicians and presidents and Secretaries of State get away with the most vile, blatant, outrageous lies. However, to speak aloud the word "lie" is so politically incorrect that people turn verbal cartwheels to avoid using it. Today we say, "mis-spoke" or, if really blatant,"falsehood", all the while lying to ourselves that what we just heard was not REALLY a lie.

The whole discussion is but one more example of what I have been trying to say all along: The revolution of 1968 was so successful in throwing previous generations down the memory hole, that no one who reached adulthood after 1968 has even a mental picture of what life was like when people didn't lie to themselves and each other. (Of course there were exceptions, bad people, etc.etc. etc., but you get the picture.) People who had come through the Depression and the two world wars knew reality when they saw it or heard it. So, please, let's give Andy Grifiths and Mary Tyler Moore a break. As far as Griffiths' later political advocacy, well, we'll just pretend that we didn't remember him as the Sheriff.

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written by Sue, January 28, 2013
Maggie Louise, if you think Mary Tyler Moore was harmless, you should read "Prime Time Propaganda: the True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took over your TV". It has a chapter on the Dick Van Dyke Show, and another one on the Mary Tyler Moore. Of the former, it connected Kennedy-era glamor with nascent feminism of the time. Of the latter, it claimed (and proved imo), "there is a direct and purposeful line between Mary Tyler Moore and Friends and Sex and the City".

"Andy of Mayberry" is not in the book, but "Happy Days", "All in the Family", and many other socially transformative sitcoms are. The author explains the general mindset of Hollywood to go after the youth audience, and connects this to the Frankfurt School's purpose of entrenching cultural Marxism. In fact, many of Hollywood's corrupting personalities were Frankfurters imported via Paul Lazarsfield of Columbia University. The book is a fascinating read for those (like myself) who grew up on sitcoms.
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written by Maggie-Louise, January 28, 2013
Thank you, Sue. I used MTM as an example only because it had been mentioned by a commenter. Dick van Dyke had tremendous talent that we enjoyed, but I didn't recognize the incipient feminist propaganda, since she was a housewife and RoseMarie was a spinster secretary, either of which were not unfamiliar to me.

Fortunately for us, our TV broke shortly after we moved to Seattle in 1968, and we couldn't afford a new one. We bought one again just before moving back east in 1980. I did see an episode of "All in the Family" and disliked it immensely. I had had enough of hippies during the previous 12 years. Those hippies are still around, of course, and haven't changed an iota, but now they dress better. I haven't watched a sitcom since.


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written by Abigail Wilder, February 01, 2013
Given that our modern shows are 'Sixteen and pregnant' and 'Housewives of blah blah blah' I will take Andy Griffith and his courtly charms and easy going ways any day.

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