One of the classic television programs which first aired in 1974 and ran for eleven seasons was “Happy Days.” What a wonderful image of the America of the 1950’s and 1960’s. The show explored the day to day lives of the Cunninghams, a typical middle class Milwaukee family and was upbeat, entertaining and extremely popular.
The members of the family were mom, dad, older brother, Richie and younger sister Joanie. Some of the regulars were Richie’s two best friends and, of course, “the Fonz,” a high school dropout and greaser played by Henry Winkler who, in retirement, is now hawking reverse mortgages.
What a great show. It was fairly typical of the output of the time. This was truly family entertainment – no oversight group needed to rate this or many of the other television programs which were aired on our few channels. The entire family could watch this program without our parents’ being concerned that there might be violence, cursing, nudity or suggestive commercials.
My father could relate to the hard working Howard Cunningham who made his living as the proprietor of a hardware store. In those days specialty stores such as his were the norm – places where you not only could buy what was necessary to complete your project but, if you were a little uncertain how to proceed building a birdhouse you could look to the store staff to help you out and give you directions. We had not yet invented stores the size of football fields where the uninitiated can spend hours trying to find the aisle that has what they need or make the mistake of trying to track down an employee, all of whom seem to go on break together.
Mr. Cunningham did not have to deal with OSHA or any of the other alphabet agencies which had not yet been invented to tell him that the blades for his jigsaws were easily accessible to your average 16 year old and therefore he needed to build a glass, locked case for them so that the little tykes couldn’t accidentally slit their wrists. No, he had only his common sense and his desire to build his business as a guide for how he laid out the merchandise in his store.
We might have been uninformed in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s but we weren’t complete dunderheads. Even back then, those of us who were in elementary school were taught the facts about climate change. I remember distinctly hearing from Mrs. Bounds, my third grade teacher, that it gets cold in the winter and gets warm in the summer. At least it did in New York. We did not attribute this to man’s interference with Mother Nature’s work. She explained to us that the Earth followed an elliptical orbit and sometimes our planet was closer to the sun than at other times which accounted for the variance in temperatures. Little did I suspect it was all those Nash Ramblers running around which were responsible for mucking up the works.
This evening in the esteemed halls of the United States Senate, a number of those august and most bloviating Democrat members will hold an “all-nighter” to raise the public’s awareness of the gravity of the climate change “issue.” Personally, I believe that reruns of “Petticoat Junction” will probably command a broader and more informed audience than those busy speechifying.
But I wonder if those stalwarts of climate change are aware that just yesterday we once again resumed Daylight Saving Time – which, at least in theory is supposed to save energy. (According to a number of studies it also has the unintended side-effect of causing an increase in the number of accidents by altering people’s sleep patterns).
So to the floor of the Senate will come those champions to talk about their favorite subject. (Actually, almost anything but Obamacare, the IRS or Benghazi is currently on the list of favorite subjects). But don’t they realize that if their theory is correct, they, in the very act of holding this consortium of the witless, will themselves be contributors to the very problem they rail against? I mean after all, the lights in the Capitol which would normally be turned off will be on for this event.
Of course, there is a solution. Let the senators hold their marathon in the dark – which is a comfortable and familiar place from which a good portion of their ideas already come.