Norman Lear’s work was an integral part of American life in the second half of the 20th Century. Television programs like Maude, Sanford and Son, and The Jeffersons dragged television out of the 1950s and into the real world. As Variety states: “Lear’s shows were the first to address the serious political, cultural and social flashpoints of the day – racism, abortion, feminism, homosexuality, the Vietnam war – by working pointed new wrinkles into the standard domestic comedy formula. No subject was taboo: Two 1977 episodes of All in the Family revolved around the attempted rape of lead character Archie Bunker’s wife Edith.”
All in the Family, which ran on CBS from 1971 to 1979, typified the clash of generations. Middle-aged bigot Archie Bunker – played by Carrol O’Connor – was a right-wing King Lear in Queens, raging at the radical changes in society. Archie didn’t let ignorance get in the way of his opinions; once he argued that people who lived in communes were communists. The thing is, the old dog was actually capable of learning new tricks. Archie never evolved into any kind of saint. But over the nine seasons "Family" aired, experience taught Archie the benefits of listening to (and respecting) viewpoints far different from his own.
All in the Family was the jewel in Lear’s crown, but don’t forget the highly popular shows One Day at a Time (which featured Bonnie Franklin as a divorcee raising two daughters in the Midwest) and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (with Louise Lasser as the titular figure in a parody of soap opera conventions). Good or bad, Lear’s work was never indifferent.
More recently, you may have heard about Lear’s lively activism. His TV shows were themselves arguments for free and unfettered speech, and Lear supported a slate of liberal causes. In 1981 he founded People for the American Way. The organization’s website describes the ways that PFAW has “engaged cultural and community leaders and individual activists in campaigns promoting freedom of expression, civic engagement, fair courts, and legal and lived equality for LGBTQ people.”
Lear’s life was a long and fulfilling one. In 1978 he was given the first of two Peabody Awards, the most prestigious award in television. “To Norman Lear,” it reads, “...for giving us comedy with a social conscience. He uses humor to give us a better understanding of social issues. He lets us laugh at our own shortcomings and prejudices, and while doing this, maintains the highest entertainment standards.”
A pioneer, a gadfly of the state, a mensch. To paraphrase a lyric from All in the Family’s theme song, “Mister, we could use a guy like Norman Lear again.”
Basic Homeowners Insurance Surprisingly Doesn't Cover These Things
Raising a family in my own home has been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember...even before I met my wife. Once I took the plunge and bought a house, got a mortgage, and we purchased homeowner's insurance because it was a requirement. Unfortunately, I signed a policy without looking too deeply at the fine print. It turns out, a lot of people think homeowner's insurance covers all their needs, but that's a myth.
So, when my wife's parents got a home warranty plan from TotalHome Warranty by HomeServe, she wanted to get one too. At first, I thought my wife was being overly dramatic, and we had everything we needed taken care of by our homeowner's insurance. Boy was I wrong! I started looking into it and discovered that problems which usually happen to due wear and tear around the home aren't even covered by basic homeowners' insurance.
In doing my research, I realized that TotalHome Warranty offers a home warranty plan for the covered repair or replacement on appliances and home systems - such as refrigerators, washer/dryers, and electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems. A plan is relatively inexpensive and having one in place can help avoid home repair headaches down the line. Plus, the best thing is that TotalHome Warranty finds a technician for you, and they have a 24-hour hotline you can call any time of the day or night.
Here are four common issues that most basic homeowner's insurance won't help you with:
1. Appliance Breakdowns
Laundry isn't optional. When your washer or dryer isn't working, your entire household comes to a standstill. Same can be said for major appliances. For example, can you imagine life with 3 kids without a working refrigerator, oven, or dishwasher? With an appliance plan from TotalHome Warranty, you'll feel good knowing that a breakdown may be covered, and my family can still get a hot meal, and have clean clothes.
2. Heating/Cooling System Failure
When my central AC went down in the middle of last summer, things got pretty uncomfortable pretty fast. I was stuck waiting while my family got overheated in more ways than one (let's just say there were a lot of arguments that summer). I ended up having to dig into our savings to get it fixed. I was kicking myself knowing that I should have been prepared before my AC went on the fritz. Now that I have a plan from TotalHome Warranty, I have peace of mind knowing covered repairs will be taken care of.
3. Burst Water Pipes
In my opinion, there's nothing worse than water damage in a home. And having to deal with burst water pipes can cause some serious homeowner stress. And the biggest stress of all for me is that I hate dealing with plumbers because I never know if I can trust their estimates. Having a plan from TotalHome Warranty in place before something happens makes me feel at ease as I know that they have trusted, local, licensed technicians that I can call 24/7, 365 days a year and they can help me with a covered repair.
4. Electrical Problems
I live in a beautiful old house, with much of the same architecture as when it was built in the 1900s. But the circuits in older homes just aren't made to handle the many electric gadgets we use in modern life. We're starting to notice that the circuit breaker flips far more often than usual, and sometimes we get dips or sags in power. It's a huge bother, but back then, I didn't want to call an electrician because I was afraid it would cost thousands to fix properly. Now that we have a home warranty plan in place, I feel more at ease and less homeowner stress when I think about future electrical problems with my antique home.
All said and done, I can't believe how many common household problems caused by normal wear and tear were not covered by most basic homeowners' insurance. Now that I have a plan from TotalHome Warranty by HomeServe, I don't hesitate to call when I have a covered problem with my appliances, interior plumbing, electric, heating or cooling systems.
Update: HomeServe is extending a new offer to celebrate the launch of TotalHome Warranty. Follow this link or call 1-866-765-4208 to receive $100 off your first year.