Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hollywood as Subversives or What's All the Fuss

I followed the Federal District Court ruling striking down Proposition 8 last week with interest but was not suprised.

Judge Vaughn Walker in Perry v. Schwarzenegger held that California's denial of same-sex marriages was irrational and that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry. Justice has this thing where they have to consider constitutionally based principals like equality and protection for all rather than devisive fear mongering.

Politics aside, why was everyone aghast at this ruling? We have been getting alternative relationship role models for a while. Hollywood TV has many examples over the years of plot lines that showcase equal opportunity relationships.

I was watching Perry Mason (1958) a few days ago. Perry was on a cruise with his able personal secretary Della Street and asked myself, where is Perry's wife? Apparently Perry didn't have one or she left, died or he is just "comfortable being a bachelor". Paul Drake of the Drake Detective Agency was also on the cruise, as he often accompanies Perry on out of town assignments.

What about Andy Griffith (widowed - hangs out with Barney, Floyd, Goober and the guys), I Dream of Jeannie (married to NASA and his goofy friend), My Three Sons (a bunch of guys in the house with an ex-Navy cook?), Beverly Hillbillies (granny, Jed and cousins Jethro and Elly Mae), Mary Tyler Moore (single girl with close neighbor Rhoda), McHale's Navy (again guys in the Navy), Hogan's Hero's (and guys in the Army)? Not a hetrosexual couple in sight. They tried to cover it up with girlfriends but ultimately the characters went back to their "friends".

Even a show like Bewitched seems normal on the surface but they changed Darins in the middle without an explanation. And what about Batman - two rich guys out at night in costumes? Tell me that would pass Proposition 8 scrutiny.

Hollywood was way ahead of its time.

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