Why We Need to Bring Back Archie Bunker

Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 5 months, 4 weeks ago to Culture
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"For it to succeed as the original All in the Family did, however, there can’t be boundaries or speech codes or other politically correct limits placed on the show’s writers. The writers, actors and producers would all have to prepare for a big backlash upon launch. The question is whether or not they can withstand that storm of anger to bluntly deal with such important issues without glossing it over or turning characters into cheap stereotypes that are uninteresting and two-dimensional. That’s the test. Informed viewers who want good writing, characters, and stories, be it drama or comedy, will be able to absorb any controversial subjects and dialogue."

Once over the initial shock, it might restart much needed conversations if done right. It could provide a much needed mirror inwhich we might view ourselves.
Wait!...isn't that called: Consciousness???

Would you watch it?
SOURCE URL: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/why-we-need-bring-back-archie-bunker


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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 4 weeks ago
    Well, yes, but All in the Family would not be well-received by conservatives today. In its time, it was misperceived by those traditionalists. Norman Lear and the cast were all liberals; and Archie Bunker was intended as a subject of ridicule.

    The character did become something of a symbol for the "silent majority." One bumper sticker that I still remember was something like: "I support Bunker's bunk." But in that same note, during one family social event, my mother's second husband said that it was about time that someone said on TV the things that Archie Bunker was saying. He was surprised when my brother and I insisted that the show demonstrated exactly the opposite, that Archie Bunker was contemptible.

    Moreover, consider the discussions here about the intellectual hollowness of the postmoderns who dominate progressivism. In AITF, I recall one show that really resonated with me, again, for all the wrong reasons. Mike invites a bunch of his college pals over for an afternoon of beer. He expects to discuss Plato; they want to watch a football game; he is crestfallen. His wife, Gloria, explains why he was wrong to impose his values on them.

    Actually, it would be a challenge to find a show today that is not politically slanted - philosophically slanted, with implicit, even explicit subjectivism and intrinsicism. Some are better than others. Before it went down a wormhole of its down devising, Battlestar Galactica was pretty good at raising questions relevant to us here and now. Right now, we are re-watching Season 7 of Star Trek: Next Generation. "Measure of a Man" (Season 2 Episode 9) was all about the questions we argue here in the Gulch around what it means to be a human being with rights.

    Regarding BSG, I will cite one theme: hereditary employment. As the humans are stressed for resources, the people on the refinery ship are teaching their jobs to their children. Chief Tyrol warns the President that if this continues, the basis of society will soon be changed. When I first viewed that, I had just seen a classmate pass from her BS degree to post-graduate school for her doctorate. Her father was one of my professors.
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    • Posted by  $  blarman 5 months, 3 weeks ago
      Being a Sci-Fi junkie, one thing I would point out is that each series was built to address specific questions. Each would intersperse humorous episodes with ones that would seriously challenge moral values. Just my take on a few:

      Battlestar Galactica (original series) - main theme was the stupidity and arrogance of the ruling class when confronted with an existential threat. They simply refused to acknowledge that their entire culture could get wiped out because they failed to understand the motives and/or ideology of their opposition. I liken the Quorum of Twelve to modern Europe and the Cylons to Islam. (I only saw a couple of episodes of the new series and didn't care for it because the entire theme changed from escape to paranoia about who was a Cylon. Plus, I'm sorry, but Starbuck is not a woman. They could have given Athena (Apollo's sister) a bigger role to try to add more female punch, but you just can't overhaul a main character like that. I will say that I thought they did a good job portraying Adama.)

      Firefly - was crushed this only went one season (movie should have been an entire season). And they killed Wash - one of the best characters. One of the things I appreciate was the dystopian view of an expansion of civilization to the stars under a feudalistic-style government. It reminded me much of the 17- and 1800's and the flight of many people to seek new lives away from a repressive regime. I thought it particularly of note that the series starts by reviewing a failed war for independence. What I also found interesting was how the cast had to learn to swear in Mandarin (my dad just cringes).

      Babylon 5 - I really enjoyed this series because of the evolving nature of the conflicts and even more because of the superior cinematography which actually featured true 3D space battles and tactics. B5 got into the whole pull between good and evil (Vorlons vs Shadow) and mythology, but also touched upon societal misunderstandings, mercy, comeback from near annihilation (humans, Narns) and an investigation first brought up in comic books - the development of an advanced species of telepathic humans and the discussion of how rights break down in such situations. It also touched heavily into government corruption and manipulation by third parties. This is probably still one of my favorite series overall.

      Stargate SG1/Stargate Atlantis - I really liked the alternative twist on history and mythology presented in this series. They also did a pretty good job of trying to bring in absolutely alien cultures and ideas. One of the core struggles is that of freedom itself, with Earth taking the role of liberator of the Galaxy - first from the Goa'uld and then from the Ori. It also stressed the importance of technology (sometimes too much) being key to any battle. The other primary recurring theme was that of self-destruction - of trying to play God and having one's creation come back with a vengeance, as in the case of the Replicators and the Wraith.

      Star Trek - Now whether you like the original series or Next Generation, even though they both take place within the same universe, they show the changing values of civilization as times change - and not just in uniform colors and styles (I don't know about you, but I'll take Nurse Chapel's uniform over any of those worn by Diana Troi!). The one flaw in Star Trek was in Roddenberry's idealization of a Federation as a workable governmental system. We had a "federation" in this nation under the original Articles of Confederation and it was a miserable failure. With the way the Federation is composed in the Star Trek universe, it would have to be an evil overlord type of government. The sheer number of idyllic planets (including earth) and the eradication of disease, etc. just is a farce. That being said, with those types of underpinnings, it did allow for other interesting forays into cultures built on wholly different value systems (matriarchal society, punitive justice society, logical society (Vulcan), greed-based society (Ferengi), military-domination society (Romulan), tradition/honor-based society (Klingon), hidden society (Dominion), apersonal society (Borg), and many more. Of all the science fiction genres I've watched, Star Trek was pioneering and rich - not to mention profitable with 5+ multi-year series and more motion pictures than any other franchise.

      Star Wars - Of all the sci-fi series I'm aware of, this one is by far the battle between good and evil (don't get into the original eradication of the Sith). What I love in this one is that it really does reflect the nature of power and corruption by power. It directly hints at mostly hidden or unseen "forces" both for good and for evil and how an individual's attraction to either can have huge consequences not only for themselves but for countless others. There is no other series that so embodies the classic battle of light vs darkness than Star Wars. Out of all the sci-fi genres Star Wars probably has the most sheer diversity and depth of alien life, however, nearly all of the races are built on human values. This is a double-edged sword because it does allow for laser-edged focus (pun intended) on this good vs evil battle, but it also severely limits the exploration into the development of alternative economic or governmental structures. (And for the record, only "Wrath of Khan" scores as well with me as any of the Star Wars movies...)

      Dr. Who - I gave up on the 12th Doctor, to be honest. While I loved the extended-length episodes and the "how's he going to get out of this one", there were few real existential quandaries. One can surely bring up the Daleks or the Cybermen and I'm going to admit that there were a few really cool ideas, the constant shifting of the main characters (especially the sidekicks) was a jolt to the overall harmony. I do have to admit, however, that probably the scariest and most jarring aliens appear in Dr. Who, with my personal nightmare being the Angels.

      Lost in Space - While this is so antiquated as to be fairly ridiculous in comparison with more modern sci-fi, this one had two main themes: family and resourcefulness. It is no wonder that the movie (which significantly departed from the family theme) was such a flop because cultural mores have changed.
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      • Posted by  $  5 months, 3 weeks ago
        Ok Blairman...here it is:

        I assume you watched the latest star wars movie.
        At the end of the movie, Luke is found at the site of the Original Temple of the Jedi...he has a serious look, he is sad, changed and devastated.
        Did you notice the planet as they arrived...a bit like earth?, the island, the stairs in stone, etc, maybe a bit like the British Isles, maybe islands off Scotland?

        That sadness might be more than what the movie leads you to think...maybe it's something else, something so reveling of the Universe...it might just hit home.

        Suppose that it was planet earth, and the first temple of the Jedi, dates back before the flood, when planet earth lost it's first war with evil, the Sith...perhaps where it all began.

        Let us also suppose that there is a connection to our planet, our solar system with the systems and planets of Luke's world...suppose that one system thrives while the other is in strife and visa versa...a macro quantum entanglement.

        Luke not only found the original temple, but our planet and beings much like them...their ancient ancestors, at a time when they have won their war while earth, our possible future, has lost.

        Is he too late?...are there any of us left?...did we, as a people ever posses the ability to use the force...their may have been one man in our history and he taught 12 others...?
        Watch and find out.

        Even if I proposed this story for an ongoing sequel...they'd never do it.

        Your thoughts.
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        • Posted by  $  blarman 5 months, 3 weeks ago
          Your story idea reminds me of Battlestar Galactica - the search for the mythical 13th tribe planet of their ancestors. It also reminds me a little of the Stargate SG-1 race of Asgaard and/or the Ancients. Daniel (the archeologist) actually became an Ancient for a short period, but got reduced back to humanity for interfering too much in humanity's problems.

          One of the ideas that permeates through much of history is the notion of a lost civilization of superior ancestors. It shows up in the mythical Atlantis (not the Gulch) as well as in the pyramids of Giza and the Pyramids of the Mayans. Many religious sects also have similar traditions. You also see it in history in the Jewish Exodus, Diaspora, and Return. The Muslims have their version in the Hajj pilgrimage. Buddhists seek it in their monasteries high in the mountains but in a more spiritual manner.

          To me, the fundamental question comes down to one of human progression and purpose: are there really those who lived in the past who somehow achieved the ultimate end of humanity? And what does that ultimate end look like? It is fundamentally a religious question of possibilities and faith, but I think it intrigues the human mind because no one goes through life without purpose and the hope of improvement. I think this is one of the burning questions all of us must answer because it literally defines happiness. Are we simply here as a temporary blip in time and space or is there a greater future? This is the real question of religion/philosophy.
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          • Posted by  $  5 months, 3 weeks ago
            I think we do play a part by engaging in entanglements, ascending, little by little and adhering to the basic physical laws, (Resistance set at slightly right of center-[entropy]) that allows existence to exist.

            When you watched the movie...did you get an inkling that there might be a connection between us and them?
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 5 months, 3 weeks ago
              I don't think George Lucas made any bones that Star Wars was a parallel of our situation. The one caveat appears at the beginning of every Star Wars movie's scrolling credits:

              A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

              ;)
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        • Posted by  $  blarman 5 months, 3 weeks ago
          Oh, and PS - there are rumors on the Internet about Rey's heritage. Most fall into the trap of believing she is Luke's daughter, but another idea I've seen floated (and which makes some sense) is that she is Palpatine's granddaughter. Since Disney has said that they are going to completely alter canon, she can't be a daughter of Han/Leia (in the old canon, they had three Force-adept children: two boys and a girl). And also in the old canon Luke converted Mara Jade (an assassin of Jedi) over to the Light and then married her, but she got infected with an alien disease before they had any children so...

          Lots of fun ahead! I also heard that JJ Abrams really regretted vowing he was a once-and-done with the Star Wars Franchise as a director.
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    • Posted by freedomforall 5 months, 4 weeks ago
      BSG was boring, liberal politically correct feminist rubbish.
      STNG was entertaining if you could ignore the statist PC propaganda, but couldn't hold a candle to STOS.
      B5 was superior to both in every way.
      TV today? Putrid.
      (Yes, I have a headache and am completely without patience today, Mike;^)
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  • Posted by lonerinfl 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    I would love to see another show based on Archie Bunker, and in the current political environment it would be a very controversial. But Norman Lear and Carol O'Conner both wanted Archie to be portrayed as seriously meaning what he said was truth. But even the Liberal ideas in the show were often shown to be unworkable as well. There is a need for society to grow and be accepting of other points of veiw, but there must be a solid place that the line does not cross. IE: Muslims have a right to their religious beliefs as do other religious groups, but they must not cross the line of human rights, which are "believed to" be their right to violate by their religion. WE need to be able to have a discussion about what is being done, both good and bad. Be it Global events, President Trump, immigrants or John Doe next door.

    Maybe we need to create a business that has rooms for watching TV shows or movies and be open to the public with an rule about discussions with respect or you will be told to leave. Our in home only lives do not expose us to others that have the same view or the opposite views, we need that discussion again.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    It is unfortunate that what most TV writers today think is groundbreaking originality is the use of an increasing amount of dirty words. Political Correctness will filter out any originality. I understand your reference to the big "C" but I for one have finally gotten bored with almost all TV which, in my opinion suffers from unoriginality. Contradicting myself: I did find a hilarious screwball comedy called "The Santa Clarita Diet" on Netflix which combines suburban life with comedy, real estate, and grisly horror, and actors cast against type. And, oh yes, zombies.
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  • Posted by minorwork 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    The CARMICHAEL SHOW sounds like the new All in the Family when I watch one after the other. Not watched THE CARMICHAEL SHOW? Then there is no comparison yet.
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  • Posted by jimjamesjames 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    Watch "Last Man Standing" by/with Tim Allen. Great interaction with his neighbor, a black man, they both give and take great. And a great, clean, honest, funny family show.
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  • Posted by  $  DrZarkov99 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    Enjoyed Archie Bunker and the Jeffersons for showing how laughable prejudice can be, regardless of race. No one wanted to BE Archie or George, but we enjoyed watching them make fools of themselves. On the flip side, "meathead" illustrated the often ludicrous, twisted logic of the politically correct.
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  • Posted by  $  allosaur 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    Me dino thinks that lib Hollywood would today bring back Archie Bunker as a demonic racist, misogynist, homophobic, Islamophobic internet troll, who thinks Hitler had the right idea. Archie would own a gun he keeps having accidents with.
    Meathead would never include the word "illegal," whenever he talks about "the Trumped upon undocumented." He would receive paychecks to show up at demonstrations from someone he'd elude to as Jabba the Hutt.
    Edith would be a Sarh Palin look-a-like and the actress (oops, you call a woman and actor these days) to portray Gloria would be "I'm a nasty woman" Ashley Judd.
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    • Posted by  $  5 months, 3 weeks ago
      My wife could play the part of Archie by your description...would fit the liberal brain set too! (replacing male actors with female/ male wanta bees
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      • Posted by  $  allosaur 5 months, 3 weeks ago
        LOL! Yes, make them all transgender in drag.
        Edith and Gloria could talk with deep voices, wear fake mustaches and walk around kinda bowlegged to simulate husky maleness.
        Archie and Meathead could use high-pitched voices while limp-wristed flopping their hands about.
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        • Posted by  $  5 months, 3 weeks ago
          Hahahahahahaaaafffffttttaaaa...now that would be "piss in your pants" funny!

          PS. the girls would have to Fart a lot to...you know, 2 min Flubbers..................................................
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          • Posted by  $  allosaur 5 months, 3 weeks ago
            There could be a scene based on my real life eleventh grade experience at a military school with four-man rooms.
            A cadet used a whoopee cushion to blow the mind of a sourpuss cadet we didn't like when we were in our bunks after taps..
            After several simulated farts the whoopee cushion exploded and a unsuccessful smell search was conducted cadet officers to find "whoever popped that firecracker."
            Edith could use a whoopee cushion to mess with Archie until it would also pop.
            Then she could jump about the bedroom yelling, "My ass broke! My ass broke!"
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  • Posted by HocusLocus 5 months, 4 weeks ago
    I loved Steven Colbert's character, before he murdered his own character in a desperate spasm of virtue signalling... and became a dull (but pure) comedian who (boringly) expresses his intolerant dislike directly. It was like the loss of a great painting.
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