To the editor:
“… I have observed (that) every single time liberals try to mock conservatives, they beclown themselves.” — (Facebook user) Robert R. Murphy
Very true. This has been a truism at least since the Bunker/Meathead debates of the 1970s.
Nearly every time liberal writers purposely try to portray a “stodgy, Stone Age conservative” character as comic relief, as an idiotic, clownish buffoon never to be taken seriously, they end up creating a popular, iconic, resonant character.
Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Conner, “All in the Family”), Denny Crane (William Shatner, “Boston Legal”) Red Forman (Kurtwood Smith, “That 70s Show”/“That 90s Show”), Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman, “Parks and Recreation”) and Hank Hill (voiced by Mike Judge, “King of the Hill”) are just a few that leap to mind. Even Tim Allen’s Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor and Mike Baxter of “Last Man Standing.”
They try to write and create these characters as ridiculous caricatures, with the intent of making them subjects of constant ridicule, because of their (supposedly) outdated, traditionalist views.
However, they don’t change the values of the characters, nor the way the characters will present and defend their values, because they don’t think they have to. They think they’re funny and buffoonish enough as they are, so those remain “traditionally” conservative — God, family and country — and have a strong work ethic, self-motivation, self-reliance and individualism.
Thing is, there’s a whole big country out there, beyond the effete, cynical, elitist New York-Los Angeles bubble where these people exist and work, and where they only hear opinions and ideas they personally agree with. That gives them the illusory impression that their own views are the more popular and preeminent ones.
Those people out here in “flyover country,” however, we the “real people,” if you will, vastly agree with those silly, “outdated” traditionalist values, and end up liking, relating to and identifying with these “clownish” conservative characters.
Same idea, when a movie or TV show, dealing seriously with a patriotic and/or traditionalist subject becomes a huge hit — the Hollyweird suits are always enormously surprised.
Exact same concept.
“The Passion of the Christ” was supposed to be a massive flop, as was the pro-American World War II epic, “Flags of our Fathers.” Laughingly dismissed. Nobody wants to see that, right?
The Chris Kyle biography, “American Sniper.” Same. Huge hit, and “Passion” remains to this day, nearly 20 years later, the highest-grossing independently produced movie ever made. A sequel is reportedly filming in the next year.
Conversely, there was a movie made several years ago, the title not worth remembering, about the race for the moon, that somehow literally downplayed and worked around the contributions of the United States — which actually landed men on the moon — because the producers wanted to “avoid acknowledging American exceptionalism.”
The movie rightly crashed and burned everywhere, like a Gemini rocket.
Conservative, right-leaning characters and storylines usually end up being very popular, especially in this modern era, when the America-hating, so-called progressive left dominates the media narratives.
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