I originally wrote this blog way back when an election was happening. At this point it doesn’t matter which because politics have gotten ugly all the way around. The parties popping up are behaving like sideshow barkers trying to out-do their competition with promises that their brand of politics is the right brand and every other brand will get you a ticket and nicely decorated basket to hell.
It seems that anymore people don’t rest between battling bouts. They are always on stage. And the spoils are going to the best act, the most entertaining, and the best tent revival. Remember those? Tent revival circuits? In case you don’t it’s where “ministers” who couldn’t graduate from a divinity school or land a paying gig in any given town took to the road stopping in towns, throwing up their tents, suspiciously like a circus and yelling about Hell-fire and damnation for the weekend. Sufficiently weakened and depressed people paid them for this and they promptly left town. And people say gypsies are bad for towns…
Anyway Tent revivals have found a permanent home at Fox news and countless other cable outlets that will have them. Daily we are told that the brand of belief we believe in is better than anyone else’s. It makes people feel good to know they are on the side of good and will be there at the last day, because Jesus (or someone like him) is coming folks and can’t you see the signs? I mean the world doesn’t just shift on its own right?
Anyway if you can’t see the signs you can always sign up for courses intended to make you see the signs like those endorsed by Glen Beck at the National Center for Constitutional Studies (NCSS), which he has been heavily involved in, along with a lot of other fringe right wing religious extremists. It’s more than a little concerning their beliefs and goals being that the U.S. should turn back around to what it looked like in the 1700’s. Oh and also that slaves were mostly a happy bunch.
Anyway, this not an accurate picture of nostalgic America. It’s more like one of those photos you have done on vacation where you dress up as pioneers. Completely pieced together and inaccurate, but for some reason comforting to some people.
Back to my old blog. I think Andy Griffith had a closer picture to what we want and this is why:
Every time it’s an election year or there are disagreements in our Party system, both sides point fingers at each other and try to make the other one appear less than “American”. This year much has been said about Wall Street as opposed to Main Street. In past years we have been slammed with “Family Values”. All this leads us to the idea of Americana. What is this Americana exactly? When we belong to a country made up of so many different people and cultures? Some people would have you believe that we don’t need the influx of new… That there is certain already laid out way to believe we are culturally cohesive. These are the kind of folks that want us to have walls on our borders. They often point to old Saturday Evening Post covers as examples of how things should always be….Which got me thinking about Mayberry.
Mayberry, North Carolina. That fictional town where Andy Griffith Resides along with his son Opie, his maiden aunt Bee, his Trusty Side Kick Barney Fife. And all the other characters you remember from Floyd the Barber to Otis the town drunk. Doesn’t everyone want to live in a town like Mayberry? Sometimes I think this is the vision the “Family Values” Crew sees in their mind’s eye of how America should be.
I happen to agree. Although I think they miss the point of Mayberry entirely. Mayberry is not as simple a place as it at first seems. It is a socialist haven! The town sheriff finds ways to rehabilitate and help those who end up in the cells. Often finding them work or even a mate! There is a place and a job for everyone to do in Andy’s mind and he has only to find it. He guides others with wisdom fit for the situation like a Buddhist, not directing, just pointing out what they already know. Even those who are upwardly mobile in Mayberry, think Barney Fife, who wants always to stand out and get ahead,….even he gets it that there are limits and rules for how you should treat fellow human beings…..yes he forgets but always remembers in time. People want to be good here, new people are accepted and bad people not shunned, but re-educated. Even those with enduring problems like Otis have a place to lay their heads and are treated with dignity. There is much mixing between the haves and the have nots. Yes Mayberry is what we all should strive for…..
Plus there’s all kinds of good music.
“Just Jump in where you can and hang on!” and that’s what we all should say to one another: