The Brady Bunch: What Fresh Hell?

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What fresh hell is this? Now, on top of everything else, Florence Henderson, Mrs. Brady is gone?

2016 is wapping up damatically, a lot of which we could do without. Ms. Henderson was up there, but you never wanna see Mrs. Brady make the final exit. Who’s next, Greg? Cindy?!

Come on, now, though. How much more can we take? First it’s the harrowing political roller coaster ride–not over yet. One of my favorite blogs,  Idiot Joy Showland, says it all. Starting with a post entitled: “What To Do When You’ve Been Cucked,” an in-depth analysis of present-day politics ends with a moving last paragraph:

There’s always more, no end to the monstrous things crawling out the chasm between sex and politics. The cuck-sayers are all tremendous fans of Donald Trump, despite the fact that, as everyone knows, he’s only running as part of a secret deal with Hillary Clinton, in which the two old friends agreed that Trump would present himself as the most unpalatable candidate possible to make sure that Clinton would, finally, get everything she ever wanted. The two of them share the same dream. Clinton deploying her big prosthetic Donald, long and rubbery, charging to victory on the engorged Donald that she carries between her legs; and Trump, daring to imagine what could happen if he actually won, his eyes rolling as he fantasises about birthing a new, cruel, strange America, hot streams of life and death flowing endlessly from out his broad and fertile cunt.

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Just now, responding to the death of Fidel Castro, Mr. Kriss has this to say (cobbled together from a much larger thought) in “Melancholia after Fidel”:

The world is a poorer place; a sterile promontory. The earth is dried up, its surface drifts away in tiny whirlwinds, and there’s nothing underneath. Every year it shrinks, weaker and worse, stripped away by a thousand chattering stupidities; everywhere the desert is growing and the ice caps melting into the sea, two vast blanknesses gorging themselves on what remains. How could a famished world like this continue to sustain someone like Fidel Castro?….. Wherever there is injustice there will be resistance. But it doesn’t diminish what’s been lost: not one frail nonogenarian in a two-storey house, but the knowledge that we can not only fight but win, that we can not only defeat the reactionaries but build socialism, that we not only have to do something, but that we know how to do it…….. There is much that we’ve lost, but until then we will not let it go. Don’t mourn, melancholise. La lucha sigue.

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Lastly, seemingly insignificant compared to a looming fascist takeover or the end of the line of a beloved and much hated man of the people but enemy to America, we say good-bye to Mrs. Brady, Florence Henderson. Yes, I speak of The Brady Bunch in my novel Day for Night, asking, “Where are the episodes where the kids hang out with the ethnic friend?” Nowhere. Which isn’t 100% on target. Racism was addressed briefly after their neighbors, the Kellys, adopt some ethnically diverse children, and often diverse people would be at get-togethers and parties, but nothing that stood out, and definitely no ethnic friends that we got to see week after week, having adventures with the gang.

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Aside from that, though, Florence Henderson’s death is a sentimental, nostalgic death for some, like me, and if my brother was still alive, for him. Her death may also be highly symbolic of the death of naiveté and innocence, not only for the time it was made in, but for the actual innocence it spun out of thin air, spinning and spinning strands of nothingness into a visible hallucination borne of denial and inflexibility. Because although the world was a simpler place back then, the world of The Brady Bunch didn’t actually exist, except in the minds of those who remembered when it did exist and perhaps wish it still existed. The show was a charming fairy tale that we watched every week–some of us–but that world was actually long gone and what was in its place was flying, without brakes, toward the final conclusion which happened a few weeks ago on November 8th.

Regardless of all those factors, it’s still sad to see Florence, and the idea of Mrs. Brady, go. After reason fled U.S. voters and Castro finally shed the mortal coil. Somehow it all seems connected to me. People’s wants and desires and perceptions of reality and what they want from it and the machinations they’ll go to to get it and how hard it is to let go of old ideas and move on to the new……

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