Compare the average man in any 1963 TV show”€”whether clad in rawhide or a tight black suit”€”with the geeks on The Big Bang Theory, and you’ll realize the men of this nation have largely lost their balls.

A couple shows, neither of them ratings monsters, betokened the dawn of the “social justice” mythology that now infests the public consciousness like a clogged drainpipe. Courtroom drama The Defenders touched on themes such as “abortion, capital punishment, ‘no-knock’ searches, custody rights of adoptive parents, the insanity defense, the ‘poisoned fruit doctrine’, immigration quotas, the Hollywood blacklist, jury nullification, and Cold War visa restrictions.” East Side/West Side was banned from many stations in the South for tackling such issues as prostitution, statutory rape, and “the inner city.”

The one constant I’ve found between 1963 and 2013 is Ron Howard. Little Opie is still involved in TV production.

The biggest difference by far is the family unit. Donna Reed and even the Flintstone family were simply too white, heterosexual, and functional to find a slot on the modern TV schedule.

Synopses from Wikipedia about shows in the 2013-2014 network lineup:

The family of 11-year-old Henry (Eli Baker) grows closer after his parents divorce and his blind father gets a guide dog named Elvis.

The series follows Terry, a former All-Star softball player whose promising career came crashing down after she had a son, lost her college scholarship, and dumped her loser husband….

The series follows Christy (Anna Faris), a single mother who”€”after dealing with her battle with alcoholism and drug addiction”€”decides to restart her life….Christy also has a younger son, Roscoe, whose father, Baxter (her ex-husband, as Violet has a different father), is a deadbeat, and drug dealer.

Successful songwriter and bachelor Will Freeman lives a carefree life as the “ultimate man-child”. His perfect world is turned upside down when single mom Fiona and her 11-year-old son Marcus move in next door.

Sean is a divorced gay father with a successful, yet demanding, career. When his 14-year-old daughter moves in with him full-time, he is forced to juggle his work life, his pushy mom, and trying to be the best father ever.

Judging solely from television lineups, the biggest cultural shift since 50 years ago has been the obliteration of the nuclear American family. In 1963, the only anomalous TV families seemed to be those helmed by straight-as-an-arrow single dads (My Three Sons, Andy Griffith), and I always assumed the mom had died in a tragic accident. I don’t know if either program ever explained what happened to the mommy, and it seemed silently understood that it would have been impolite to ask.

There are certainly no heroic cowboys anymore, only bumbling white dads who are purposely made the butt of every joke.

At least symbolically, JFK’s assassination marked the beginning of what would commonly come to be understood as “€œthe sixties.”€ What followed is known in many quarters as “€œprogress,”€ although to me it seems like an ongoing process of deconstruction and outright destruction. I doubt that today’s culture-busters have any idea what they intend to build, but they”€™re finely attuned to what they”€™re trying to destroy. And that’s probably the main reason I don”€™t have a TV anymore.

 

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