Category Archive 'Pre-Lapsarian America'

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.


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