DEYAN RANKO BRASHICH was born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, and is an Op-Ed columnist for Connecticut's Litchfield County Times.  He writes the monthly Letter From America column for Romania’s Scrisul Romanesc, a literary magazine and is the Editor-at-Large for  The Country and Abroad, another literary/art magazine where he authors the Dispatch from Abroad column. He is a frequent contributor to Pecat, the Belgrade, Serbia weekly news magazine, Britić, a magazine published in the United Kingdom, Ekurd Daily, a multinational Kurdish news portal and Passport, a lifestyle quarterly. He resides in New York City and Washington, Connecticut.





Modified version published Litchfield County Times March 22, 2012 

"Boy, the way Glen Miller played, Songs that made the Hit Parade. Guys like us we had it made, Those were the days.
And you knew who you were then, Girls were girls and men were men, Mister we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.
Didn't need no welfare state, Everybody pulled his weight. Gee, our old LaSalle ran great. Those were the days."

                                                                                              All in the Family      TV Sitcom 1971  

"It seems today, that all you see is violence in movies, and sex on T.V.
But where are those good old fashion values....On which we used to rely?
Lucky there’s a Family Guy! Lucky there’s a man who, positively can do, all the things that make us... laugh and cry! He's a Family Guy!"

                                                                                            Family Guy     TV Cartoon Sitcom 1999

Archie Bunker lived in Astoria, Queens, New York with his wife Edith, their daughter Gloria and the dumb Polack son-in-law Mike Stivic. Archie was the guy who espoused family values and derided the “welfare state”. He made fun of “Meathead”, his son in law who was struggling to finish college. “What a snob” is what Rick Santorum would have said, had he been around. Of course Mike’s “I just thank God I’m an atheist” ran afoul of Archie’s firmly held belief that “God don’t make no mistakes, that’s how He got to be God”. Archie had his take on the Obama health care of the day “Free treatment for VD. VD. Do you know what that means, Edith?” For him the Bill of Rights didn’t amount to a hill of beans, “Don’t bother the U.S. of A. Government with the Constitution” he said.  Minorities, that is everyone but him, were viewed with jaundiced eyes. “I’m gonna go into town and get me a good Jew lawyer. Because … I’m going to sue an ‘A-rab’...”                

Then along came Family Guy’s Peter and Lois Griffin living in Quahog, Rhode Island, a cartoon sitcom still enjoying re-runs, but, oh what a difference thirty years make. All that Archie believed was now fair game and in play. Nothing was sacred.

Family Guy lampoons fringe religions as well as mainstream Christianity. Jesus returns to earth but he can’t handle his celebrity status and just gives up in disgust. Stewie, the precocious infant of “ambiguous sexual orientation”, contemplates matricide. Breast feeding is featured including that all drink milk from Hilary Swank’s breasts. Peter sells his daughter Meg to satisfy a debt. The family pet Brian, a martini swilling dog, masturbates and engages in unprotected sex with both humans and dogs, resulting in unwanted pregnancy. We have Quagmire a sex starved neighbor cavorting nude with a plastic sex doll. Local, national and international governments are savaged. This is just a sampling from the many episodes.

Today’s political discourse proves that we have regressed at least forty years back to 1971, but without Archie’s crass but well-meaning humor. Now things are just plain mean. The debate over “family values” issues rages when it shouldn’t. These are matters best left to an individual’s conscience and have no place in politics.

With all that confronts us, Congress saw fit to convene a hearing on medical insurance coverage for contraception, an issue that is of signal importance to women, since they are, last I heard, the ones most likely to become pregnant. Addressing Congress on this issue was a Roman Catholic Bishop, the President of the Lutheran Church, a Union University Professor of Moral Philosophy, a Rabbi from Yeshiva University, a professor from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the President of Catholic University of America, all staunch family guys, but not a woman or uterus among them.

Sandra Fluke, called by minority members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, was not allowed to testify. Rush Limbaugh defended this preclusion of testimony. Rush a real family guy, four times married yet childless [birth control, contraceptives anyone?], the voice of non-reason called her a “slut” and a “prostitute” who wanted to be “paid to have sex”. He made a non-apology apology saying that the “two words were inappropriate”. The issue and controversy continues to fester, but them family guys are fine with insurance paying for Viagra. They rationalize that the little blue pill is for a medical condition while the little white pill is a life style choice, whatever.

On the state level Virginia’s predominantly male General Assembly was poised to pass a law requiring women seeking abortions to submit to ultrasound and trans-vaginal probes. It took a major hue and cry and 35,000 signatures to stop the measure. Again it was them family guys that were calling the shots trying to impose their biased views on society in general and women in particular.

“Live Free or Die” New Hampshire’s House of Representatives has just repealed the state mandate that employers provide insurance coverage for contraception. It seems that the family guys, in this case the Tea Party that controls the House, have opted to allow freedom of choice to die on the altar of fiscal probity. Yeah, right.            

In the presidential campaign Mitt, Rick and Newt are regular family guys, each in his own peculiar way. Newt tops the list with three families, mistresses on the side.  Rick Santorum has been married only once with seven children. He campaigns with the slogan “Faith Family & Freedom” and wrote It Takes a Family, so you betcha he is a family guy. Mitt is not far behind with five sons and Seamus, the Irish setter of al fresco travelling fame, surely another family guy.

None of these family guys really worry about the economy, jobs or foreign policy, except for knee jerk reactions. They are in the cat bird seat. Mitt “Only 2 Cadillacs” Romney is “not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there.” Rick “BA, MBA & JD” Santorum doesn’t want your kid to go to college but remain stuck in a blue collar job. And Newt, well Newt is just a guy with a $500,000 Tiffany charge account. 

What preoccupies these family guys is rebuilding the family and the Church, waging a spiritual war against the “Father of lies, Satan”. They are obsessed with abortion, birth control, right to life and same sex marriages, radical feminism, stem cell research and intelligent design. These family guys keep running on these divisive issues in earnest and not in jest like Archie Bunker and Peter Griffin.






Reader Comments (1)

Obama inherited two preemptive wars (started by Bush) and a multi-trillion dollar debt (increased by Bush) and has his old rival calling for yet more wars in Syria and Iran. We've extricated ourselves, mostly, from Iraq, but still need to face the other war. Meanwhile, Santorum, Gingrich and Mitt can't get their focus off whether or not people are using their genitalia in a manner they would proscribe.
Talk about throwbacks... It may be the gauzy memory of dotage, but I remember growing up in a different country. That country prided itself on not starting wars, but finishing them, was proud of its record of taking care of those who needed a hand, and left people to their own devices when it came to their individual body parts. (well, to be honest, that last was because it wasn't polite to talk about it)
You are absolutely right about the difference between Archie and Peter... it's the difference between a nudge in the ribs and a 2x4 over the head.

March 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Moore

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>