Thursday, April 09, 2015

Weird '80s TV Moment

Television was a game changer for elite control. One could reach a wide audience not just with the printed word or the spoken word but with visual effects. A picture is worth a thousand words the old saying goes, and television could convey whatever message the holder of the medium wished. Deion Sanders recently chastised his son on Twitter for talking hood and called him "Huxtable", which is a funny joke on his black but wealthy upbringing. Before the Obamas, the only black family white America knew and saw on a regular basis were the fictional Huxtables on The Cosby Show. Besides the soft progressive messaging, they sometimes packed insanely blunt messaging in the program. Think you can watch old television to escape progged fiction? Sorry, it's always been the case.

An important thing to remember is that Bill Cosby wanted to use the Cosby Show for positive portrayals of black American family life. He staffed the behind the scenes employees with blacks and also changed the set up to switch the Huxtable parents from working-middle class jobs to doctor and lawyer. Mrs. Huxtable maybe was in the court room for one or two episodes, so this was a self-esteem thing, but Cliff Huxtable was always delivering babies. This allowed for plenty of new parent and pregnant women jokes, which were universal and hilarious. It also was important for the first season episode, "Physician of the Year".

The premise is that Cliff Huxtable has been awarded physician of the year, and the family must go to the award ceremony. The transcript reveals the weird to the episode. There would be comedy and the anxiety of getting the family ready. The weird reference point to the award ceremony is that Cliff is the first obstetrician. Big deal. It's a first. There is a conversation between Cliff and his son Theo about how many people are coming in for this big deal, and how proud Theo is. This is an annual award by holy schnikeys, this is a big deal. What "first" would be such a big deal to Cliff? What "first" would pull in guests from near and far? It isn't the first obstetrician to be awarded Physician of the Year, but first black physician makes more sense. There is fish out of water comedy for the kids at the award ceremony. There becomes an issue where Dr. Huxtable has to deliver a baby (baby of a married NY Knicks power forward, I'm not lying) and he cannot give the acceptance speech. Cliff tells Theo to give it in his place.

Here is the weird moment. It is 1985. The Crack Wars are ramping up in big cities. Your nightly news in big city regions has Theo Huxtable looking victims and criminals non-stop. The cities have crime issues perpetuated by gangs filled with teenagers who resemble Theo Huxtable. Here is the ending to the speech Theo Huxtable gives in this Must See TV comedy show.
And I am proud to say I work alongside these great americans. He wants all of us to stand up and join hands. I am an american, and this is my american family. Thank you.
If you watch the episode, everyone clasps hands and lifts them up. The beginning of the speech is thanking Mrs. Huxtable for support and telling his kids to overcome obstacles to reach their dreams. The ending is so weird. But for the folks at home, it served as some counter programming. Forget Cliff, Theo, the teenage black male, is telling you he is an America and you all out there are his American family that he is thanking. He is not rejecting your culture and civilization; he's assimilating to it and proclaiming it as his own. Woohoo, the '60s worked!

Folks back home, do not notice patterns on those night news casts. Do not worry about those gangs you have heard of with weird names and "z" in place of "s" at the end of words. This smiling, tuxedo wearing young black boy just wants to be accepted, and he accepts you. Hell, let's all join hands and praise being one big American family. Maybe I am reading too much into this, but I do not think so. After a brief period where gay characters were always a dying AIDS patient who was in love and had a devoted lover by their bedside, gays become the go to for funny, witty, pulled together best friend. That turn in portrayal occurred in 1997/1998 (My Best Friend's Wedding, Object of My Affection, Will and Grace). If that could be the case in 1998, then 1985 could use the new hit comedy to program some calm in the minds of the white American public that might see crime reports every night, or even better, live far away from those areas, so have no clue about reality.

25 comments:

R. Wilbur said...

And by the time the 90s roll around, you're able to push "Captain Planet & the Planeteers" with a straight face.

peterike said...

Television! The gift that keeps on giving.

I just saw that Netflix has a new "comedy" where two old dudes confess their gay love for one another and leave their wives. Hilarity ensues!

Based on the trailer, a huge amount of dull, wooden acting also ensues from washed up hacks Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. A prog hit parade right there. Though really, we just don't have enough gay characters out there and we needed two more.

Oh, it's created by Marta Kaufman and Howard Morris. As if you had to ask.

Toddy Cat said...

Holy crap, Lily Tomlin is still alive? Who knew?!?

PA said...

In retrospect the 80s look like a workable compromise or equilibrium between Black integration demands and White national and human rights.

The nineties tipped America toward being a vehicle for White genocide. Black fellow-citizens' access to the white communities and cultural goods they can afford on an open labor and real estate market can be accepted as a compromise. But black supremacy and hostity, government aid to move blacks into white areas they coouldnt otherwise afford, mudsharking, mass immigration, offshoring, institutionalized feminism, and anti-white Kulturkampf -- things that took off in the nineties -- are now properly understood as acts of war.

ARoss said...

Since I've learned what concern trolling is I've learned to love making the nabalt and nafalt uncomfortable without showing anger or without giving them the feeling like they're getting the better of me.

red said...

Progressive TV hits you over the head as far back as have gun, will travel in the 50s.

Growing up in the 80s one of my favorite shows was different stokes. Ultimately the show was pushing the message the blacks where just like whites and I belived it growing up in my small town with no black trash. And then the LA riots happened. Watching Reginal Denny get his face caved in for being too civilized to run over the amaimals in the streets was horifying. Everyone excusing his attacker's actions taught me that blacks were little better than wild animals who were not covered under conventional law or morality. Different stokes was a lie and being around blacks was the surest way to suffer criminal harm.

Anonymous said...

Television works as 'crowd control' for the Globalist Elite, anyone who is a perceveid threat to their rule is mocked and/or diabolized.

Suburban_elk said...

Looking back at the Cosby situational comedy now, 30 years later, three things stand out.

Bill Cosby the man himself - issues with women. How many he "raped"? who knows, but it would seem he is incapable of even halfway semi-normal sexual relations. And all along that was there in his face.

His son Ennis Cosby. Murdered on the side of the freeway by a fresh off the boat Ukrainian jew. Bizarre and seemingly random, but maybe it was a hit for something that the father was in over his head with. Those Ukrainian jews can be not weak nebs like in New York, but rather more like Slavic toughs.

And thirdly his television son Malcolm-Jamal Warner aka Theo. For teenagers in the 80s Theo was the golden god, tops of the only food chain in town - the celebrity one. He along with the older sister were the stars, the alter egos for teenage America. He was so cool that we could never be him. (At this point insert your own story about the black kids at your suburban high school.) And the basic disconnect was somehow taken in stride, that the biggest star for teenagers all across the land was black and we could never be him, but we could worship him.

But the sweet fallout from the imaginary stardust of Theo the Great was the real character of Malcolm-Jamal who turned out to be not much. Or at least that was how he seemed on Arsenio Hall when he appeared shortly after the murder of Ennis Cosby. He went on and on with Arsenio the Lame about being a celeb and not one word to say on the tragedy that had befallen his benefactor.

Mike said...

"...maybe it was a hit for something that the father was in over his head with."

Like trying to buy a network so he wouldn't have to deal with certain people who work in media?


http://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/29/business/the-media-business-bill-cosby-trying-to-buy-nbc-from-ge.html

nikcrit said...

(At this point insert your own story about the black kids at your suburban high school.) And the basic disconnect was somehow taken in stride, that the biggest star for teenagers all across the land was black and we could never be him, but we could worship him.

Do you really believe this particular status-hierarchy of adolescent iconhood was true to the point of default? Really?

I went to a suburban high-school in the '80s; middle-to-upper-middle-class, about 50% Jewish; in no way would i venture that The Cosby Show was that influential. The school was no more than 10-to-20 percent 'NAM at the time.
Not even close to being that influential.

Anonymous said...

I'm 44 and growing up my dad (Big east coast city policeman) did not allow any blacks on our tv screens (other than sporting events). If he walked by and saw George Jefferson or Bill Cosby, the TV was promptly turned off and we were not allowed to watch anything for a few days.

Son of Brock Landers said...

The '80s had a ton of cool teen characters:

Girls on Facts of Life
Alex and Mallory on Family Ties
Kirk Cameron and Tracey Gold on Growing Pains
Cosby Teens - Theo + Lisa Bonet especially

One thing to note is that while all these characters had normal teen behavior, they were not as in your face sexualized as teen characters of today.

Suburban_elk said...

The Cosby Show and Family Ties were the two biggest shows for my peer group in the 80s. The Cosby Show was the number one hit, and Family Ties was one of several tied for second place.

But looking back it seems like The Cosby Show was lame, and Family Ties was not. And it is all in the characters. The characters in Cosby were all empty but somehow we were sold on them. How does that riddle make sense? Because the characters were hollow, all of them and Theo most of all. Actually though Lisa Bonet is hot (would bang!) and she was the high school chick who was going to be giving it up and just you tune in next week to see! And then the older absent sister and her square boyfriend, and the cute kids, all empty. Cosby and his wife though, hmm. Maybe there was something to the wife. It would appear that i am more forgiving of black women, but that could just be a personal problem.

Theo had no character and no problems and he was always like, Hey isn't this great. It was great for him, of course. Somehow he was loved for being an above average athlete with a 105 iq and black and we all loved him for that. Like i said he went to my school.

But contrast to Family Ties. Now who the fuck knows how that would hold up on a re-watch, probably not too well, most of those old shows seem so canned and predictable. But without rewatching, all the characters have meat, they are even touching and heartbreaking. Such a sad and believable family, with the generational conflict. The liberal parents versus the conservative kid who is the smartest in the family and the good looking (bombshell bang!) sister, and the younger sister who has lots of problems coming her way but she already has character and is emotionally precocious. That is a family we see ourselves in. All those five actors were perfect, and everyone was sad to see the health problems they ran into.

Michael Fox was something of a comic prodigy. He carried the show, and i had forgotten what a big deal he was. It seems now that he was ahead of his time, in his reaction against his liberal upbringing, though i doubt that any of the politics went beyond the standard "issues", some of which however are at the root of things. It is a safe bet where Alex stood on the question of welfare, or affirmative action. Though they never would have touched race - but they did not have to.

Even today, that is the crux of it - the pretense that the citizens can discuss much less make any real progress on problems of social welfare without factoring it in.

PA said...

I never saw even a minute of Cosby Show. Not on purpose, just never flipped channels in that direction. My parents wetent big on tv watching and we were fine with that. The subject of the Cosby Show never came up with my friends.

What the hell did I watch in the 80s as a teenager? All that comes to mind is Three's Company reruns. I probably saw every episode. Made for TV movies from time to time. Nothing really "current" though. There was a short-run show "Spencer" I remember liking.

Anonymous said...

"His son Ennis Cosby. Murdered on the side of the freeway by a fresh off the boat Ukrainian jew. Bizarre and seemingly random, but maybe it was a hit for something that the father was in over his head with. Those Ukrainian jews can be not weak nebs like in New York, but rather more like Slavic toughs."

Cosby tried to buy the NBC in the early '90s, TPTB didn't let this happen.

Ukranian jews are the responsible for The current confrontation with Putin and Russia, all the Billionaire Oligarchs are jews and they're united with the Neocon jews of the American Deep State for WWIII.

NYC jews aren't weaklings, they pretty much own all the media of the country. Giuliani was only elected Mayor because the jewish community was tired of Black behaviour in the Big Bagel.

eah said...

Your nightly news in big city regions has Theo Huxtable looking victims and criminals non-stop.

So not much has changed then.

nikcrit said...

Ukranian jews are the responsible for The current confrontation with Putin and Russia, all the Billionaire Oligarchs are jews and they're united with the Neocon jews of the American Deep State for WWIII.

NYC jews aren't weaklings, they pretty much own all the media of the country. Giuliani was only elected Mayor because the jewish community was tired of Black behaviour in the Big Bagel.


Ahhhh! Nuanced analysis and public promotion from the Alt-Right's PR dept...

Son of Brock Landers said...

Great comment nikcrit. I see why all the other guys like your presence.

Camlost said...

I attended a 50% black high school down South, and blacks only paid grudging attention to the Cosby Show. Those with cable at that time watched BET a whole lot more.

But all young blacks seemed to tune it to "A Different World" to a much higher degree than they ever watched The Cosby Show itself.

Camlost said...

80's TV shows that I watched - Night Court, Benson, Cheers, Sanford & Son, Jeffersons, Different Strokes, Family Ties, Good Times, What's Happening.

Looking back on it, whites watched blacks on TV a lot more then than now. Now, whites don't watch blacks on nightly TV as much, but blacks as action leads has become almost the normal for Hollywood.

nikcrit said...

Great comment nikcrit. I see why all the other guys like your presence.>


If you can't see the homeliness of that anti-heeb rant but can rip on my retort? Well, then I guess it's official: all objectivity is lost and I've officially been "Obsidianized."

Ok, you've made me a straw negro antagonist and your blog is now a full-time piss-n-vinegar echo chamber... Da Jews are coming! Go get 'em.

But all young blacks seemed to tune it to "A Different World" to a much higher degree than they ever watched The Cosby Show itself.

I went to grad school in a black neighborhood, though the university itself didn't have a very high black enrollment; still, 'Different World' was a more realistic portrayal of black outlier life than was the Cosby Show..... I thought Jasmine Guy was hot, FWIW. And btw, the hottest cast member on that show was not Lisa Bonet, but the rarely seen oldest sister, if i remember right.

PA said...

Who made you the fucking blog police?

huh said...

nikcrit why the hell do you comment here?

nikcrit said...

@PA,
No one; don't think i'm presuming authority; just posting opinion.

@huh,
because i like commenting at blogs where there's more than a echo chamber reason to do as much; e.g., thoughtful opposition and such..... until recently, i felt that was welcome. i was a bit testy in some exchanges about a month ago, as i had some personal stresses and such going on; none of it turned out to be a big deal, but i fear i may've alienated my ongoing sparring partners here, and now i'm on the outs sans the benefit of the doubt.
Oh well, it's a sign of something; just not sure exactly what at this point. Time shall tell.

hermit said...

i'd always read that cosby's intention for the show was to be about a working class black family where he would play a limo driver, and it was the idea of the network & his wife to change them to an upper class family of doctors and lawyers.