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.”
Elon Musk Settled with the SEC, But He's Still the Worst
Enough with the Elon Musk hero worship.
A World Economic Forum survey found that Millennials consider Elon Musk to be the third-most admirable public figure in the world, finally confirming, once and for all, that Millenials are the worst.
If you haven't read Rolling Stone's bleak profile of Musk yet, don't bother. The experience is kind of like watching a mashup of all the sad parts of Spike Jonze's her; entertaining, but you're left feeling like you need a shower. The piece presents readers with an emotionally stunted, socially bizarre man, who finds solace only in the possibilities of technology. I am not implying that I think Elon Musk would fuck a Tesla; but I'm not not.
The latest mess up in a string of blunders that the New York Times recently called Elon Musk's " No Good, Very Bad Year" is the result of one fateful tweet.
The Security and Exchange Commission sued Musk for making
"false and misleading" statements to investors. It turned out Musk had not actually secured the funding mentioned in the Tweet. The SEC elaborated, "In truth and in fact, Musk had not even discussed, much less confirmed, key deal terms, including price, with any potential funding source." People on Pinterest probably didn't realize when they re-pinned Musk's inspirational quote, "Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time," what Musk meant by that was: "Just lie."
While the flamethrower-making, weed-smoking entrepreneur is popular among a generation of people desperate for a role model as uncomfortable with human contact as they are, Musk's online bluff didn't go over well with investors. The SEC claims that the Tweet and subsequent tweets from Musk over the next several hours caused "significant confusion and disruption in the market for Tesla's stock." After Musk's tweet, Tesla's stock shot up nearly 9% but then dropped more than 11% in after-hours trading Thursday.
As a result of the complaint, the Iron Man-wanna-be agreed Saturday to step down as chairman of Tesla and pay a $20 million fine to settle the charges. According to CNN, once the settlement is approved in courts, "Musk will be allowed to stay as CEO but must leave his role as chairman of the board within 45 days. He cannot seek reelection for three years, according to court filings."
Whether the now infamous August 7th Tweet was a poorly executed PR move, Musk had a secret source of funding for privatizing the company, or the technicians at Tesla just forgot to update his software and caused him to glitch, Musk has denied any wrongdoing on his part. He responded to the complaint in a statement saying, "This unjustified action by the SEC leaves me deeply saddened and disappointed, I have always taken action in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors. Integrity is the most important value in my life and the facts will show I never compromised this in any way." We can only assume the transparency he refers to is that which he exhibited in a May 2018 conference call, when he called an analyst's inquiry about Tesla's finances a "boring bonehead question" and refused to answer.
Urban Dictionary Trolling Musk's August 7th Tweet
To add further interest to the disintegration of America's favorite Robot with feelings, rapper Azealia Banks is now claiming that Musk was on acid at the time of the Tweet. She stated, in the best series of quotes to ever grace the internet, "I waited around all weekend while grimes coddled her boyfriend for being too stupid to know not to go on twitter on acid," Banks wrote, concluding that, "it was probably some weird threesome sex shit to begin with."
This writer would be shirking her journalistic responsibility to the truth if she didn't include that Banks said of Musk, "He's not cute at all in person." Musk has denied that he was on drugs at the time of the Tweet and would probably want to add that he is actually very handsome - and he's definitely cool enough to take acid if he felt like it.
Perhaps Musk's recently self-diagnosed " severe emotional pain" is to blame for his string of strange behaviors. After reading any of Musk's recent interviews in which he seems to be actively spiraling - even once asking the interviewer, "Is there anybody you think I should date?"- it can be easy to feel bad for him. But, when the pity starts to creep in, just remember: he recently bought his fifth multi-million dollar home within a one mile radius of his four other multi-million dollar homes; he goes on Trump-style "fake news" Twitter rants anytime anything negative is written about him or his companies; his girlfriend creepily wore a collar shaped like the Tesla logo to the Met ball; and he unjustly called one of the divers that rescued the trapped Thai soccer team a pedophile. So save your sympathy for, well, literally anyone else.
- SEC settlement forces Tesla to give Elon Musk adult supervision ... ›
- Elon Musk and Tesla reach a Settlement with the SEC - The Atlantic ›
- SEC settles with Elon Musk: legal experts react - Business Insider ›
- Elon Musk Settled With the S.E.C., but Tesla's Troubles Aren't Over ... ›
- Elon Musk agrees to resign as Tesla chairman in settlement with SEC ›
- Elon Musk's SEC Settlement Could Have Gone So Much Worse ... ›