November 25, 2012, - 3:52 am
Last night, I learned of the death, Friday, of actor Larry Hagman of “Dallas” and “I Dream of Jeannie” fame. He was also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and served during the Korean War, performing for troops in Europe during the conflict. And I always liked him because the roles he played were stark examples of the politically incorrect and the patriotic, something that now seems of a bygone, better era. Of note, he was married to the same woman (Maj Axelsson who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008) for 58 years, until his death. But he was also a far-leftist, too (more on that, later).
Although I never got to watch Dallas when it was running on prime time–it was on Friday Nights, which is the Jewish Sabbath, and I never watched once it was in re-runs, I used to watch re-runs of “I Dream of Jeannie,” as a kid when I came home from school. I loved to watch the machinations of astronaut Major Tony Nelson who finds a genie (Barbara Eden) in a bottle, who serves him after he releases her. Today, a show like that would never be made because it would be seen by feminists all over the place as “sexist.” A woman in what was almost a bikini serving a bachelor and calling him, “Master”? Wouldn’t happen anymore on TV. Oh, and it was kind of a patriotic show, too. And we can’t have that–an astronaut and officer in the U.S. Armed Forces looking good. Today, we’d see a show about a dysfunctional one who beats the genie senseless, or something like that. Or we’d see a shirtless male genie serving a beast like Rosie O’Donnell or HOprah. It’s the only kind of sexism that gets the Sandra Fluke/Gloria Allred/Khawam-Kelley/Real Housewives/Beastesses of The View necessary seal of approval, these days. (And then there is always the Petraeus/Allen “I Dream of Paula/Jill” story.)
Even though I couldn’t watch Dallas, you couldn’t miss all of the magazine covers and talk all over America about “who shot J.R.” Ewing, the Texas oil titan played by Hagman. In those days before America was truly segmented into cable and the internet, a much larger chunk of America was glued to nighttime soaps, and the buzz about the identity of the shooter of J.R. Ewing was everywhere. You couldn’t miss it. And that’s because he was a larger than life villain. And Dallas was a larger than life show, the likes of which you rarely see anymore, where good (Patrick Duffy as J.R.’s brother, Bobby Ewing) and evil (Hagman’s J.R.) were black and white and not blurred the way it is today.
Today, the liberals who dominate pop culture and the media dismiss Dallas and everything else that was an ’80s hit, as some bad thing to be remembered as part of what they call, “the evil Reagan years.” Actually, those years were pretty good. Far better than what we have now. And, unfortunately, as I noted just as the Dallas reboot was about to air on TNT, the liberal-left that now dominates the entertainment biz entirely even took over Dallas, by turning it into a silly environmentalism show (in which J.R.’s evil son wants to engage in fracking–which is “BAD! VERY BAD!”).
The original Dallas was a great lesson in capitalism and achievement. Americans watched it and wanted to live like the Ewings. They wanted to do better for themselves and become American titans of industry to afford the trappings of that kind of life. Now, Americans aspire to the trappings of “Teen Mom,” “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” “Real Housewives of Your Neck of the Woods,” and other crap. To get there, you need not build a real business. Instead, get pregnant at 16, do a porno tape with a rap star and release it to the public, or sleep with and then divorce someone rich and/or famous. Not exactly the same as building an oil business and drilling for the stuff that makes our cars run and our economy sing. Or Americans aspire to ObamaPhonedom. Again, not producing, just taking. And that’s why we now have Obama, instead of those “big, bad, evil years of Reagan excess,” which were pretty good . . . and, actually, stellar compared to where we are now.
Larry Hagman had plenty of missteps, too. He admitted he’d abused alcohol (and because of it needed and got a liver transplant) and was a big-time smoker (he later abstained entirely from both), which might have contributed to the throat cancer from which he died. And, although the major characters he played would probably vote Republican, Hagman was, like many in Hollywood, extremely liberal. Hagman was a member of the Peace and Freedom Party–which, this year, had wackos Roseanne Barr and Cindy Sheehan as its Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates on the ballot–for five decades. Plus he was a campaign donor to Al Franken, the Democrats, and PAC for a Change. He also donated mucho bucks to Barbara Boxer, John Kerry for President, Hillary Clinton, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Hagman starred in nutjob Oliver Stone’s fairy tale, “Nixon.” He was also big into the global warming baloney and the “green” lifestyle (his solar-powered home was on Ed Begley, Jr.’s nutty green show). We also shouldn’t forget his anti-war pronouncements in 2004, denouncing George W. Bush as a proponent of “fascism” for going to war in Iraq. Although that war was, in fact, a huge mistake and a giant gift–with the price of thousands of American lives–to Iran, his anti-war statements weren’t made with that in mind.
On the other hand, I also remember his service to America in a time of war and his contributions to two major shows that America loved to watch . . . for the right reasons.
Larry Hagman, Rest In Peace.
Tags: astronaut, Barbara Eden, Dallas, genie, I Dream of Jeannie, Larry Hagman, left-wing, liberal, Major Anthony Nelson, Major Tony Nelson, Patrick Duffy, Peace and Freedom Party, Who Shot J.R.