Friday, December 23, 2011

What? What?

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."


  1. Oh dear! I do wish you'd stop holding up that mirror!

    Have a Jolly Holly Holy-day,David!

  2. Oh Lynette you are a card! Yeah that pesky mirror keeps spoiling all that otherwise perfectly good holier-than-thouness! Best wishes to you too, my good friend.

  3. Why did we love Archie so? Was it about bringing all that blindness out in the open? I think maybe it was the whole package. We all have Archie and Edith and meathead and Gloria in us. Archie by himself would have been to harsh, I think??

    And in my blindness, I'm not sure I saw Archie in me when I watched that show way back when, but somehow imagined that I was the kinder, more enlightened parts. And now with the passage of time I see my Archieness shining brightly at many turns.

    Wishing you a happy holiday, with perhaps a few Archie Bunker reruns on the ol' telly.

  4. Back in the day, I think I identified with Meathead. I had the hair anyway... All the best for the holidays to you too, Carole. We are Archie.

  5. pa-dum! Great blonde joke!

    Our whole family would gather to watch Archie, et al, weekly. That show was a great release of steam in a very ugly time. In that little Brooklyn bungalow, the world's woes were played out for all of us to see.

    I agree that Archie's 'innocence' is what saved him -- and made watching him funny instead of maddening. He really was clueless and he really did have a soft marshmallow interior.

    Great post, David.

  6. Thanks, Tara. I have a feeling there are a lot more marshmallow interiors out there than most people let on.

  7. Okay, I'm laughing here. And wondering if there are any blondes nearby....

  8. (whispering) Shhh...Carole might hear you... (in a normal voice) Oh hi, Barry, nice of you to drop by!

  9. no blondes nearby... waiting for the redhead jokes... a redhead walks into a bar....

  10. Could someone explain the blonde joke to me? ;-)


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