Friday, December 23, 2011
I just figured out why, despite his outrageously politically incorrect opinions, I'm so fond of Archie Bunker. He had a kind heart, and he was absolutely genuine.
Other than his own, no nationality, ethnic group (including hippies), race, religion, sexual orientation or social class was spared. Sometimes he would lambaste several at once, as when he called England a "fag country" because of the upper class accents. Coming from anyone else, the bigoted things he said would be offensive in the extreme. Coming from him, somehow they weren't.
You don't scold an infant for grabbing and breaking your necklace. It's what they do, with no thought of causing harm. Tell Archie Bunker he's a bigot and he won't have a clue what you're talking about.
Some years ago, I went to a restaurant with a charming elderly gentleman and his grown up daughters. I knew that the lady serving us was in fact the new owner-manager and told him so. He looked up at her with a big smile and said, after thinking How could a mere woman own a restaurant?, "Good for you!" When we hung our heads in embarrassment, some with our hands to our foreheads, like Archie, he said, "What? What?"
Over the Christmas season, I found myself quick to criticize (in my head) kindly people at dinner parties, talking about peace and goodwill while gnawing on body parts of murdered animals. Sorry - I'm starting to rant...
I think another reason I like Archie's well-meaning cluelessness is that I know I'm looking in the mirror. It feels like I'm, for the most part, genuine and kind-hearted. But an oblivious person by definition doesn't realize s/he is oblivious. Since I'm not aware of everything, I must be oblivious too.
Something to work on.
Oh dear - I feel a joke coming on.
A blind man walks into a bar, and says loudly, "Hey do you guys wanna hear a blonde joke?" The bartender says, "Sir, I realize you are blind, so I am making an allowance here, but I am female, and a blonde. Also, the two ladies beside you are professional wrestlers, and they are blondes. And the two ladies behind you are Hell's Angels, and they are blondes. Are you sure you still want to tell that blonde joke?" The blind man said, "Nah, I don't want to have to explain it five times."