More Long Format Retro Weekend.
I won’t pretend the Smothers Brothers was a formative experience because I was already 60ish when TV rolled around (still miss The Shadow– “The weed of Crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay. The Shadow knows.”), but I thought they were funny and rarely missed an episode.
They kind of fit in the “Music” category because they were a Folk Singing Comedy Act (yeah, that was a thing). Tom, who played the dumb one, was like Gracie Allen and really smart as a whip. Dick looked like Richard’s brother who had the grand perk as a Vice President of Chase Manhattan Bank of having a Carrel (a portion of a shared desk with dividers) with a view of the windows in the outer ring of the trading floor. Saw him there once, it was like being at a prison visitors table. Don’t get me wrong, he had a Doctorate in Economics and made tons of money. His daughter, my cousin, is a New York Times best selling author.
And I am not. No envy there. Best selling books are not the kind of thing I write. I spent years doing traditional journalism in the sense of aiding and abetting Newspapers and such, and decades writing poetry for machines (coding), then I graduated to pure propaganda to advance my political ambitions.
I’ve written articles and stories, and programs (quite large ones, 100s of thousands of lines of code), and manuals and flyers and speeches. Now I journal in ephemeral photons which my Therapist encourages but never reads, I can tell. She’d understand me much better if she did.
Anyway in the 60s The Establishment felt threatened by Boomers (Paying attention Millennials?) protesting the Vietnam War (don’t get me started) and being in favor of Social Justice for Black and Brown people, and Women and LGBT folks, and liking Free Love, Free Speech, and Psychoactive Drugs in a variety of flavors.
They thought talking about these things was bad, really bad, because it inspires people not to conform to societal norms.
And so they censored.
On to today’s selections. The first is a 2002 Documentary about the Smothers Brothers struggle against censorship by CBS, the second the episode they would not allow on the air.
The Lost Episode
Seems kind of silly right? That anyone would be offended by these things that would hardly cause a ripple now. We win the Culture War all the time and those who wish to hang on to their Bigotry and Racism lose.
And they resent it. It’s why they hate us.
So if Hillary Clinton turns out to be the Jesse Jackson of Women it is, in the grander scheme of things, the price you have to pay to advance. Don’t get me wrong, it sucks to be the best soldier in the world and the first one over the top, but the tide rolls on and there is little to stop it ultimately.
Perhaps William F. Buckley put it best when he said, “A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart History yelling ‘Stop!'”.
It doesn’t work.