Musings on changing values

I’ve been home sick the last few days and haven’t been able to do much writing.  When awake, I found myself watching the old Addams Family TV series from the sixties.

That is probably one of the most “functional” families in all of TV.

No, I am not joking.

When I was a kid watching it in syndication (I was a bit young to have much memory of its original run) I remember laughing at the “kookiness” of the Addams. Today, I find myself just as amused, if not more so, but now I laugh at the reaction of the “‘danes” to the Addams. After all, they like what they like and if what they like isn’t “acceptable” to contemporary society, well so much the worse for contemporary society.

That’s why I prefer the old TV show to the movies, particularly the way they made Wednesday actively evil, a far cry from the girl who got upset at the poor dragon being killed in the story who happened to like things like spiders, things that “conventional” people found gloomy, frightening, or disturbing.

Looking back, I wonder how much influence the Addams Family and the other show from the same period, the Munsters, laid the groundwork for my own tendency to accept what’s “different” both about myself and about others.  They may have been intended to hold the Addams and the Munsters up as objects of ridicule, and many people apparently saw them that way, but you had here a loving family that cared deeply about each other but that was just . . . different.

And that’s one of the powers of fiction, the ability to put a deeper message behind the obvious.  Not everyone will get it–certainly the folk who changed the kind-hearted if a bit creepy girl from the TV show to the murderous sociopath of the first movie didn’t–but those who have ears to hear, will hear.

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