15 Mar 2022

David Mamet on Jews, Super Heroes, and White Picket Fences

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Andy Hardy had a nice house.

David Mamet, in National Review, explains that Super heroes like Superman and Batman were invented by Jews and are themselves Jewish, and notes that the old-time white-picket fence WASP Pre-Lapsarian America we all look back to with nostalgia was also a Jewish invention. The immigrant Jews who came here escaping the Tsar were hyper-American patriots. Alas! the bulk of their descendants have turned into Woke communists.

The Jewish creators of Hollywood fled antisemitism in Eastern Europe. Barred from traditional professions here, they invented new ones. The hucksters who made a living projecting the cinematograph on a sheet in 1905, in Rivington Street, went west and be­came known as Mayer, Goldwyn, Laemmle, Warner, and Fox.

In the beginning they were exhibiting short films, whose star was the technology itself: a depiction of a moving train, a kiss, and so on. When they began making their own product they turned first to (silent) renditions of stage plays and classics. Then they moved to Hollywood and confected the fiction of the White Picket Fence.

We remember Metro as the studio with “more stars than there are in heaven”; but the studio’s moneymaker was not Garbo but Mickey Rooney. His Andy Hardy series of 16 films ran from 1937 to 1946 and funded Metro’s excursions into Class. It was the bar brand to their call liquor, and it paid the rent.

These films are the avatar of the White Picket Fence. Here the Regular American Family, Mickey, Judy Garland, Lewis Stone, and two veg, encounter simple, charming incidents on the road of adolescent life: Andy Hardy Comes Home, Love Finds Andy Hardy, Andy Hardy Meets Debutante, Judge Hardy’s Children, and one gets the idea.

The phenomenon continued into the television era, with each network creating its own domestic-flavored mush, Father Knows Best, The Life of Riley, Bachelor Father, The Danny Thomas Show, December Bride, ad infinitum.

The genre is soporific, and it flourished, legitimately, as such, for we all could use a break. But, being human, and, so, not very smart, our continued exposure to a soothing fiction brought us to take it for reality. But we young viewers, looking around, found the vision we had imbibed nowhere around us; and for all our indictment of the sufficient nuclear family, it was against its absence in our homes that we middle-class children rebelled, outraged by our first interchanges with the actual world.


2 Feedbacks on "David Mamet on Jews, Super Heroes, and White Picket Fences"


I’m not sure the links he makes, like jews and white picket fences, really make any sense. I am old enough to have seen TV shows from when TV was new through the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, etc. and I can tell you that TV today is truly a vast wasteland (movies too). Someone observed that it is because of the “Me Too” movement and that many great producers and performers have simply been canceled. Could be true. But I think it is also because of the push to have diversity and equity. If you are hired because of your gender, skin color or sexual choices and NOT because of your ability it would seem obvious that whatever the product being made was would in the end be worse not better.

Also it appears that TV is moving it’s few good shows to streaming. Being cheap I don’t pay to do anything (well I guess I pay for cable and the TV and I have to endure the ads) but I don’t take out the credit card and pay watch shows on the internet. So I guess if that is the new trend my choice will be to watch news the occasional show on TV that I can stomach and otherwise don’t watch TV at all.

Steve (retired/recovering lawyer)

I think Mr. Mamet’s opinions about America must be taken as being spouted based upon his personal, subjective experience and his literary proclivities. I think they have some merit, but do not actually reflect objective reality, only his view of it through his very personal spectacles. Or, to use a different comparison, his opinions are like those expressed by the blind men who encountered an elephant; each one expressed a description that was, under the circumstances, correct, but which taken as a whole, were deficient and therefore erroneous.


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