A Tale of Two Julias

It was the best of women.  It was the worst of women.

Let’s compare a couple of famous “Julias”, shall we?

Julia, a half-hour comedy premiering on NBC in September 1968, was an example of American network television’s attempt to address race issues during a period of heightened activism and turmoil over the position of African-Americans in U.S. society. The series was the first to star a black performer in the leading role since Beulah, Amos ‘n’ Andy, and The Nat “King” Cole Show all left the air in the early and mid-1950s. By the mid-1960s, a number of prime-time series began featuring blacks in supporting roles, but industry fears of mostly southern racial sensibilities discouraged any bold action by the networks to more fully represent African-Americans in entertainment television. Series creator, Hal Kanter, a Hollywood liberal and broadcasting veteran whose credits included writing for the Beulah radio show in the 1940s, initiated Julia’s challenge to what remained of television’s colour bar. Kanter had attended a luncheon organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and been inspired enough to propose the project to NBC. The network agreed to run the show, but programmers did not expect it to do well since it was scheduled opposite the hugely popular Red Skelton Show. The show proved to be a surprise hit, however, jumping into the top ten list of most watched programs during its first year, and continuing to be moderately successful during its remaining two seasons on the air.

The series revolved around the lives of Julia Baker, (Diahann Carroll) a widowed black nurse and her young son, Corey (Marc Copage). Julia’s husband had been killed in a helicopter crash in Vietnam, and the series began with the now fatherless Baker family moving into an integrated apartment building in Los Angeles while Julia secured employment at the medical offices of Astrospace Industries. She worked with a gruff but lovable elderly white physician, Dr. Chegley (Lloyd Nolan), and a homely but spirited white nurse, Hannah Yarby. Julia’s closest friends were her white neighbors, the Waggedorns–Marie, a scatter-brained housewife; Len, a police officer; and Earl J. Waggedorn, their son and Corey’s pal. While Julia lived in an almost exclusively white environment, she managed to find a series of impeccably refined African-American boyfriends. Paul Winfield played one of her more long-standing romantic partners. Performed with elegance and dignity by Carroll, Julia represented a completely assimilated–and thoroughly non-stereotyped–African-American image to prime-time viewers.

This week, desperate to show how wonderful a socialist society under “The Lightbringer” would be, the Obama Administration, last week, presented for our edification and illumination,the fictional, err, I mean compressed, life story of a young lady named Julia.

Rich Lowry, writing for nationalreview.com, summarizes it:

Julia begins her interaction with the welfare state as a little tot through the pre-kindergarten program Head Start. She then proceeds through all of life’s important phases, not Shakespeare’s progression from “mewling and puking” infant to “second childishness and mere oblivion,” but the Health and Human Services and Education Departments version: a Pell grant (age 18), surgery on insurance coverage guaranteed by Obamacare (22), a job where she can sue her employers for more pay thanks to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (23), free contraception (27), a Small Business Administration loan (42) and, finally, Medicare (65) and Social Security (67). (In a sci-fi touch, these entitlements are presumed to be blissfully unchanged sometime off in the 2070s.)

No doubt, the creators of Julia — imagine a dour and featureless version of Dora the Explorer who grows old through the years — weren’t seeking to make a major philosophical statement. But they inadvertently captured something important about the progressive vision.

Julia’s central relationship is to the state. It is her educator, banker, health-care provider, venture capitalist, and retirement fund. And she is, fundamentally, a taker. Every benefit she gets is cut-rate or free. She apparently doesn’t worry about paying taxes. It doesn’t enter her mind that the programs supporting her might add to the debt or might have unintended consequences. She has no moral qualms about forcing others to pay for her contraception, and her sense of patriotic duty is limited to getting as much government help as she can.

Back in October of 2009, 35,000 people were waiting in line outside of Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan when trouble ensued. These people were so desperate for help with mortgage and utility bills that threats were made, fights broke out, and people were nearly trampled.

Ken Rogulski was there, reporting on WJR in Michigan. He decided to interview two people there in line for Obama cash.

ROGULSKI: Why are you here?

WOMAN #1: To get some money.

ROGULSKI: What kind of money?

WOMAN #1: Obama money.

ROGULSKI: Where’s it coming from?

WOMAN #1: Obama.

ROGULSKI: And where did Obama get it?

WOMAN #1: I don’t know, his stash. I don’t know. (laughter) I don’t know where he got it from, but he givin’ it to us, to help us.

WOMAN #2: And we love him.

WOMAN #1: We love him. That’s why we voted for him!

WOMEN: (chanting) Obama! Obama! Obama! (laughing)

I wonder if they were “Julia’s” Aunts?

In the span of 24 years, we have gone from a Julia who was a successful, self-sufficient, hard-working, single, American mom, to a “Julia” who is a leech, living off the money of American taxpayers, and doesn’t know what the words “self-sufficient” mean.

We have to boot the present occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC out on his derriere on November 6th, 2012.

It will be a far, far better thing we do than we have ever done before.

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2 Responses to “A Tale of Two Julias”

  1. johnnyalamo Says:

    When I was a youngster, I soooo had the hots for Diahann Carroll.

  2. Gohawgs Says:

    There is NOTHING progressive about socialism…

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