My husband turned to the Me-TV (Memory TV) channel tonight, and we watched an episode of the Dick Van Dyke show. It was lovely, the innocence (the twin beds), the atmosphere of love created by the wife (Mary Tyler Moore) the care she took in preparing meals and keeping house and looking after her husband and their little boy Richie. And getting made up and dressed to face the day, even if she wasn't going to be leaving home. And when she was ready for bed: kitten-heels on her house slippers. Loveliness and innocence: the
What's making me saturnine is the contrast between the Dick Van Dyke Show idyll and the sleazy vulgarity that we've all gotten used to, even on network TV. The rumors and accusations of sexual harassment and even sexual coercion are pulling the curtain back on the entertainment industry, and we see the behind-the-scenes filthiness that drove the visible scum on the screen. Somewhere along the way -- in the sixties maybe, with the "sexual revolution" -- the sacredness of the sexual union and the institution of marriage was trodden underfoot. The protective feeling men felt for women and their honor was replaced by a predatory drive to score, with more and more of them, and at the same time, women came to view a life devoted to hearth and home as beneath them as well.