Thursday, February 28, 2013

BreakingDOWN: Gidget and the Beave at Twilight

Ok, so let's not make a big deal about my obvious absence the last few months. No biggy. Just life.
And for my first bit of blogginess back in the ranks, I have nothing important to say. Yes, as usual.

In this post, I am going to come off as a total lazy bum, who does nothing worthwhile with her time but watch old TV shows, but I believe it is worth exposing all of my skeletons to make a point that no one cares about but me. Yes, as usual.

So, last week, I am lying in bed waiting for the Hunky Hubby to finish his rather lengthy nighttime routine so I can shut out the light, watching an old episode of Leave It To Beaver. Yes, I realize that is the only kind of episodes of Leave It To Beaver. The Beave had spent some birthday money on a model despite his parents' very sound advice to put the money away in the bank. He then lied about the source of the model etc etc. Mayhem ensues and June and Ward have this conversation.
"Don't you think the Beave is too old to lie to us?" June asks. Ward's response is pretty good I think. "No, but he's too old to think he'll get away with it!" Priceless right? Golly, I wish parenthood were that well scripted nowadays.

Don't worry, in the end young Master Cleaver realizes the errors of his ways, apologizes for all of his wayward behavior and concedes that his parents' advice was indeed sound and that he was foolish for not heeding it in the first place. All of this is done with words like golly, and gee thrown in for good measure, but in the end, mom and dad really did know best.

Fast forward a few days to me doing some mundane chores with the TV on the background listening to an episode of Gidget. There is a little contrast of note. Gidget was up to some scheme as usual, and when her father offers his advice, "Golly gee Dad, you're such a square." or something like that, is offered as rebuttal. In the end, her father was right after all, yet Gidget, unlike the impish Beave was unwilling to offer like apology or concession.

The point? Leave It To Beaver ran on television from 1957 to 1963. Gidget was on air a bit later. 1965-66. Things had started to change. In the era that Beaver was the standard, children not only looked up to their parents as role models, but even relied on them to help them solve problems, negotiate the big world and help them transition into adulthood. Less so with the perky pixie Gidget. She and her friends seem to want to figure things out on their own, without the intrusion of pesky parents. Parents were fuddy-duddy conformists, out to wreck any fun the young people might try to have. The kids knew what they were doing and certainly did not need the "grupps" interfering and making a mess of things they knew nothing about!

Flash forward to today. The worst thing that an adult in the 60's could be was "out of touch" and "square". Today? Sheesh! Pretty sure I cannot even write it. When was the last time that any of us saw a show geared toward teens where the parents were held in a place of respect and honor rather than ridiculed and belittled? Where they are looked to for guidance and the wisdom they possess? How about a show or movie where the young people are the heroes and heroines who solve their own problems with sheer grit, ingenuity and fortitude? Granted, not bad qualities, but usually it takes more that 13 years to develop such character. I am sure that both types of entertainment are out there, it just seems that there has been a slow degradation in our society of many things, including the honoring of the wisdom and knowledge that comes with life experience.

I have no answers. Just an observation and a long rant.