Ten Days Of Dougie – Day 6
Variety Shows, Stereotypes and Memories Of Dad
October 2, 2017
Waking up and see the news this morning. Fifty people dead I think it said over 400 injured in Las Vegas. Has this world gone totally insane and crazy? And there was some kind of incident in Canada yesterday as well. It seems like every single day, someone is going on a shooting spree and killing innocent people. Have people really become this jaded and cold and warped that human lives don’t even matter? The answer unfortunately is yes and it will probably get far worse before it gets any better. So what’s the solution to all of this craziness? That’s an answer that even I, the master of Q&A’s, don’t even have. The world is a dark, sad and dismal place at times and it just seems to get worse and worse. John Lennon once said, “Imagine all the people, living life in peace”. And yeah, he was a dreamer of the positive nature and that’s pretty damn cool. I just wish more people shared that dream and not the wild nightmare that we seem to be experiencing. Say a prayer for those injured and for those killed, their friends, family, etc. Say a prayer for humanity because it surely needs it. Praying may or may not help, depending on what your belief structure is, but it surely can’t hurt either and with stuff like this happening every single day, more and more often, we need all the help we can get. Lord help us all…
Let’s go do the “10 Days of Dougie” – Day 6 thing. And where is my “Magic Bag”? Today’s topic on this lovely Monday are: Variety Shows, Stereotypes and Memories Of Dad. Sounds like a plan. Let’s do this…
Variety Shows: There was a time, many moons ago, where along with the thirty minute sitcom, the “movie of the week” and the westerns, the biggest thing on television was the classic “Variety Show”. A show that was centered usually around one main personality and then a variety (hence of name) skits, songs, acts, etc and essentially something for everyone. The best example of this was the Ed Sullivan Show which ran for many, many years and would feature musical acts (The Beatles, Elvis, The Doors), comics (Joan Rivers, Don Rickles), novelty acts (Matilda the Dancing Bear) and just pretty much anything that they stumbled across that the producers of the show (and Mr. Sullivan) considered entertaining. And then, it evolved a bit when people like Dean Martin, Sonny & Cher, Tony Orlando and Dawn and best of all, Carol Burnett, ended up with shows that would have several comedy skits, a few musical numbers, an opening monologue and it was all wrapped up in a nice little sixty minute package each and every week. That’s when TV was funny and good and actually entertaining and where we got to know people like Burnett, Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, Vickie Lawrence and so many others. They were like part of the family and we enjoyed and appreciated their talents and they gave us everything they had with every performance. Good days to be sure.
I often wonder how a show like The Carol Burnett Show would do in today’s world and today’s market. The last time I can remember a skit-based show, apart from Saturday Night Live, being on TV and being successful was “Pink Lady and Jeff”. Okay, I’m kidding. That show sucked and lasted only about four or five episodes, if that. “In Living Color” was extremely successful, but look at the talent there with the Wayans, Jim Carey, Jamie Foxx, David Allen Grier and so many others. And if that show was to come on now, would it be successful? It wouldn’t stand a chance because it was edgy and mocked stereotypes and was not politically correct in any way, shape or form. If it was to come on today, people would be protesting, crying and hiding in their “safe places” waiting for the bad things to go away. Jay Leno also attempted to do a variety type show with NBC during the brief time that Conan O’Brien hosted the Tonight Show and it totally was terrible and sucked balls. That probably has a lot to do with why Jay went and backstabbed Conan so he could steal the Tonight Show back, because of the huge failure of his variety show attempt. I think a show like these, if they have the right talent involved and ignore the critics and just keep it funny and real and entertaining, could succeed. Everything in today’s jaded and dark world would be against it and it would be an uphill battle from Day 1, but it could work. I’d like to see someone try. Where is Carol Burnett when we need her?
Stereotypes: I mentioned the show “In Living Color” in the last paragraph and it’s a great example of stereotypes and how they can be used to mock, make fun of and have fun with different types of people. The definition of a stereotype is this: a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. For example, gays speak with a lisp, are very feminine and dress well. Blacks are loud, smoke pot and live in the ghetto. Rednecks are loud, uneducated, have no teeth and chew tobacco. Orientals are extremely educated, have small pee pee’s and like to take pictures. You get the point, right? And as a self-identified “homo-redneck”, I can assure you that at least two of the stereotypes I used are not true at all. I’m not loud or uneducated, I have all my teeth, I don’t chew tobacco, I’m not feminine, I don’t speak with a lisp and I can barely dress myself most of the time. Get the message. Stereotypes are dumb! While it is true that there are some people in every aspect of society that may fit the perceived notions and image that these stereotypes conjure up, these people are most often the minority. They’re just the extreme and usually the loudest and most noticed and people see them and figure that’s what every person of that nature is like. Did I mention that stereotypes are pretty dumb?
That’s what was so good about the show “In Living Color”. They took every stereotype and amped it up to the max and played with it, showing the craziness of the whole thing. “Men On Film” was so damn over the top with the flaming homo’s that even the most blatantly gay person in the world had to laugh. Same with Homie the Clown and his battles against “The Man”. And “East Hollywood Squares”. All of the show, actually. None of it was politically correct and I’m sure that some people, those with a stick up their ass and no sense of humor, were offended, but they need to get a life and get the hell over it. And I just realized something. I just stereotyped the critics as people with no sense of humor and having a stick up their ass. See how easy it is and how the whole concept works. Wild, isn’t it?
But we all know what stereotypes are. And we all know that we should look at people as people and not the preconceived notion of what we think they should be because the same glove doesn’t fit everyone. We all all individuals with different personalities, mannerisms, thoughts, ideas, ways of acting, tastes, etc. And the stereotype of what and who we should be, is generally lacking. ‘Nuff said!
Memories Of Dad…
My Dad, Kenneth F. Maynard, passed away way back in September of 1996 of cancer and as one can imagine, the memories I have of him are many. I think, for this topic, I’ll just list five of them, without too much extra commentary. Just the memories and the man.
1. While living in Hurricane, West Virginia, I was about nine or maybe ten and Dad wanted to take me fishing so we went to some lake he knew of and fished off the dam for a couple of hours. I didn’t know anything about fish or fishing then, not knowing that as I grew up, it would become one of my favorite things to do to relax. I caught a small fish and Dad took several pictures with his Polaroid camera before we tossed the fish back into the water. He was so proud of that little fish I caught. He didn’t catch anything that day.
2. I was 14 and at the local convenient store playing video games. This was during the summer and I was visiting Dad down in Hillsborough, NC. Dad and his lady-friend, Terri, stopped at the store and told me to get in the car. We went to the Magistrate’s office and Dad and Terri were married that day. I was the “Best Man” and witness, along with a woman in the Clerk of Court’s office, who acted as the other witness.
3. My dad and I, in Hillsborough again, were at the local truck stop that he liked to frequent and eat at. We were at the booth and ordering food and he was looking at the Jukebox thingy on the table. And he played a song he liked, “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye and then told me to pick out two songs that I liked. I played “Radio Gaga” by Queen and I forget the other song. But that he just let me play what I like, knowing that he wasn’t thrilled with my general taste in music at the time, was pretty cool.
4. When I was like five or six years old, after going to the Dentist office, I remember Dad and my brother Jeff and I going to Hardees. And Dad ordered us the hot dogs with ketchup and chili. Our mouths were still numb from having fillings and we couldn’t talk and couldn’t feel anything and were trying to eat those hot dogs. Chili was everywhere and it was pretty messy. Pretty funny too because Dad admitted to me many years later that he took us there intentionally to watch us try to eat when we couldn’t use or feel our mouth’s properly. He had a warped sense of humor. Must be where I got it from… lol.
5. The last time I saw Dad alive was in the hospital, Duke down in Durham, and he was the last stages of cancer. He was in the hospital bed and it was so bad. The cancer had spread through his body, including his mind and it was like talking to a three year old. He wasn’t sure who I was and was complaining about having to pee and that “it hurts”. They had a catheter in him and my sister immediately went to tell the nurse about his complaints. I was there alone with him for maybe five minutes and he was babbling and I was just trying to keep my composure and talk to him, console him like you would a small child. We left shortly afterwards and I never saw him alive again. Such a stong and proud man and that’s my last memory.
Dad was a good and proud man who always put us kids first and sacrificed again and again. We had our differences for sure and for the last few years of his life, we barely spoke, mostly due to my stubborness. But I loved him and am very thankful every single day that he was my father and was the man who raised me during my childhood. I lucked out big time. I also had a great step-dad with Raymond so I guess you can say I lucked out twice, but that’s a story for another day. For now, it’s all about my Dad, Ken and I hope he knows that even when I was an ass, I love him. Always will. Thank you Dad. You were the best.
And that’s it for now. See you tomorrow.