Friday, October 07, 2005

The Campaign to Rid the World of Grandpa Walton

The Campaign to Rid the World of Grandpa Walton

The Campaign to Rid the World of Grandpa Walton (2002)

Now here's a jihad I could get behind. Think of how many minds could be saved from exposure to the sentimentalized mind-sludge put out by the The Walton's televisual patriarch.

Could there be a hopeful sign that the apocalypse is on hold? I tried to surf to thewaltons.com -- only to find that the tribute site was no longer online. In fact, many Walton webs of iniquity are mercifully defunct. But, although the show has fortunately been off prime time for many years, it seems Grandpa Walton won't go away. From flashnews.com:

Actor Will Geer sure must have liked his role as “Grandpa Walton” on The Waltons TV series -- because his spirit is still hanging around the set where the TV show was filmed.

That's according to Waltons creator Earl Hamner, who says he believes the TV set is haunted by the spirit of Geer -- who died in 1978.

Hamner says he occasionally drives by the Warner Brothers Ranch lot where the old house that was used in the series still stands, and he always feels Geer's presence.

He also says he sometimes hears the voices of the actors saying their lines -- such as the famous “Goodnight, John-boy” which ended every show.

Hamner has just finished writing his memoirs, titled The Avocado Drive Zoo (Cumberland House). The book will be published in April [of 1998].

Apparently, Grandpa Walton has indeed crossed over to a spectral plane. Only a few shirts and one pair of pants for his action figure comprise his scant listings available on eBay.

It's cold without my britches...

I'm your worst cultural nightmare.
[Image: Detail of the Frankfort Town Mural]

But even these traces are too much. All collective memories of Grandpa Walton must be forever eradicated. But why, you ask, while chomping on an organic grain stem.

Because [in a hushed tone] all of the blogosphere could be infected. Just as Grandpa Walton influenced John-Boy to become a diarist, then repeated viewings of The Waltons might have a similar effect on budding bloggers -- today's diarists. And, before you know it, like an insidious virus, unfiltered political blogs and cutting edge art blogs will be filled only with entries like this:

Goodnight, Atrios. Goodnight, Kos. Goodnight, Digby. Goodnight, Billmon.

or, worse, this:

I often remember George W. Bush saying to his father -- "It's OK, next time I'll make you listen." I wish that it were in the power of all children to say that to their parents, and to know that indeed they would be heard, as we were in those wonderful days.

0r, even worse, soon all photoblogs will contain only material like this:

Contents: milk, cookies, and apple pie.

Why do you hate American lunches?

Noooooo. I can't take the xtreme folksiness. Cut off the head and the body must die. Do it. Do it today.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pawpaw's not in heaven. He's in my lunch pail, underneath my Davy Crockett hat, to keep him warm. Ever since the kids picked up on my parents' nickname for me, I've been hounded by the guys calling out, "Hey, Beaver! How ya doin', Beeeeeeaver!" So I've sharpened my Scout's knife and have been practicing on neighborhood stray cats, and soon I'll have enough rug to cover the bald spots on my head. After so much chemo, my eyes get crossed, and I'd scalp any Barbie that came within range. Meanwhile, my parents are squirreling away the nuts, out of fear of another Great Depression, or another global conflict like WWII. They've even got a television in the bomb shelter that has no electrical wiring yet. I guess there'll be a laying-on of hands over the tube, to summon up the cultural gods of the bourgeoisie: Lucy and Ricky screwing up a production line at the local chemical plant; Uncle Miltie in a clown outfit, wrestling Soupy Sales to the ground and beating him senseless with that giant white paw; Agnes Morehead chasing aliens out of the Twilight zone with a broom stolen from Margaret Hamilton. We all know their names now much better than our own. Against the onslaught of the moving image, there is no defense. Reflection always takes place afterwards, during the mopping up phase of a disaster, and these days there's a bonfire for roasting any Monday-morning-quarterbackers.

cruelanimal said...

Oh, man. Love this rant of cultural dissection. It's like TV Land addicted to meth.

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