I look back on the shows of my childhood with cynical amusement. I have this clear memory of loving The Beverly Hillbillies. They were forbidden. I recall Miss Shaw - my ancient, Irish Catholic nanny - declaring loudly that she "would not allow us to watch White Trash on television." I didn't know what that meant, but, as far as I could tell it meant they were exciting and funny - like the "dirty, immigrant gypsies" I was not allowed to play with either.
I recall Lassie, Bonanza and The Andy Griffith Show. Miss Shaw, loved these programs. In the instance of Bonanza, I came to understand through Hop Sing that not all immigrants are dirty. I suppose these television programs exemplified the "real America" which Palin still celebrates today.
This morning, I awke to discover that Ron Howard is "desperate"to get the vote out for Barack Obama. So in the video below, Ron Howard dresses up as Opie to talk with Sheriff Andy (Andy Griffith) to talk about Obama. Then he dresses up as "Richie Cunningham" from Happy Days to talk to Fonzie (Henry Winkler) about Obama.
This intriguing ploy re-invents and re-contextualizes that peculiar and bizarre White American nostalgia. These characters symbolize everything McCain and Palin have attempted to cater to. These characters represent the "real America." In many ways, Happy Days was a bizarre show. Post-integration, it celebrated and revered the same racist "real American middle class" which was happy to lynch Black men, bomb churches and terrify children in the process of trying to obtain their court-given right to an education. And that is what makes this video so effective. Because it states clearly that "the good people of America" want change. Perhaps, my friend Tami says it better here: Middle Class Americans Are Not Just White, Christian, Working Class Folks.