Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-06-09
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  NIGHTSPOTS

The Bijou Chronicles Steven Toushin
Tribute to Edith Bunker, wisdom of the heart
by Steven Toushin and Madame Bubby
2013-06-26

This article shared 3169 times since Wed Jun 26, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Antenna TV (you know, the station for old-timers who still read newspapers and use landline phones) recently ran a memorial tribute to Jean Stapleton, the actress known for her iconic portrayal of the much-loved "dingbat" Edith Bunker. The station aired legendary, ground breaking episodes centering on Edith that addressed then-taboo subjects such as menopause, homosexuality, sexual assault, and euthanasia.

The gay episode, "Cousin Liz," is famous enough to warrant a Wikipedia entry, and it's pretty much a given that the left-leaning Norman Lear may have been influenced by the Briggs initiative in California that would have banned gays and lesbians from the teaching profession (fought by Harvey Milk), as well as the Anita Bryant "Save Our Children" campaign.

Edith's cousin Liz, a schoolteacher, dies, and Edith, as her closest living blood relative, stands to inherit a valuable tea service. Archie in his usual churlish way wants to sell the set and use the money for a vacation to California. Liz's roommate Veronica (really life-partner, as she and Liz because of their jobs were obliged to live in the closet) feels a sentimental attachment to the tea set and asks Edith if she can keep it. In doing so, she feels she has to tell Edith the true nature of her relationship, as a marriage.

Edith, obviously not the smartest cookie, takes a while to process it (her voicings of "oh" are priceless here), but as the viewer comes to realize throughout the series, Edith may not be the most booksmart, but she displays time and time again the deeper wisdom of the human heart. She doesn't reject Liz at all, not because she is familiar with or even would subscribe to gay or women's liberation ideologies or any of the counter-cultural movements of the seventies. She pierces with the arrow of true Christian love to the living heart of the matter. Veronica is Liz's next of kin. Love transcends blood and ideology. Of course she can have the tea set. And how sad to love someone and not be able to tell anyone about it.

But of course she is up against Archie who threatens to sue Veronica. How often many have decried Edith with her "Awchie! Here's your beer" attitude as representing the worst of an oppressive patriarchal marriage. But Edith doesn't confuse humility with humiliation, forbearance with cringing, in the deepest parts of relationships. For example, in one episode, she revealed that she was ready to leave Archie with the infant Gloria unless he got help with his gambling addiction. And, similarly, in this case of Cousin Liz, she responds to Archie's typical stereotypical judgment with courage and wisdom:

Archie: People like that teaching our kids, I'm sure God's sittin' up there in judgment!

Edith: Well, sure he is, but he's God; you ain't! Archie, listen, you wouldn't want to be the cause of somebody losin' their job!

Archie: Ohhhh.....

Edith: Archie, she's all alone in the world now and she's got no one to take care of her like I have. And she can't help how she feels. And she didn't hurt you, so why should you wanna hurt her? Archie, I can't believe you'd do anything that mean.

Archie, of course, defers with his unique "oh" response, but not before he admits that he doesn't understand how a beautiful woman like Veronica wouldn't want a man. Veronica graciously (having experienced the grace that came from Edith) accepts that typical foot-in-the-mouth remark as a compliment.

Edith the true Christian is so, so on target here. Yes, God is God, not man and what man thinks God should be loving or hating. And there's more going on here than just "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Edith has got to the root of the Golden Rule, of course, but even more than that, she understands, not because of any conscious analysis, that the holy haters who want to compartmentalize everyone by race, religion, gender, and orientation and set up unjust hierarchies who oppress the marginalized are the ones who try to make God in their own limited image.

Here, in this ground-breaking episode, the Jewish Norman Lear and his Christian character Edith Bunker embrace with love the heart of the Judeo-Christian ethic the current culture warriors against same-sex marriage use so wrongly as a weapon of ignorance and the scapegoat mechanism.


This article shared 3169 times since Wed Jun 26, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Taste of River North cancelled 2021-07-29
- On July 29, the River North Residents Association, along with theMART and Duff Entertainment, announced the cancellation of the 2021 edition of Taste of River North. The event was slated to take place Aug. 20-21 at ...


Gay News

OUTspoken storytelling to host six takes from LGBTQ+ perspective 2021-07-26
--From a press release - The month of August is hot - but OUTspoken at the Sidetrack will be even hotter on Aug. 3 when six storytellers will tell tales of fun and fortune from a LGBTQ+ perspective! The program will start at 7:00 pm at ...


Gay News

LGBTQIA+ tavern to open in Uptown this fall 2021-07-14
- 2Bears Tavern Group—which owns and operates Andersonville's The SoFo Tap and Meeting House Tavern as well as Rogers Park's Jackhammer—is opening 2Bears Tavern Uptown in the former Nick's on Wilson space at 1140 W. Wilson Ave. ...


Gay News

Pride Parade coordinator provides latest on the 'likely scenario' for event 2021-05-08
- Tim Frye, the coordinator of the 2021 Pride Parade, told Windy City Times that the assessment of this year's event has not changed over the last few weeks. The official statement/assessment at this point is: "We ...


Gay News

OUTspoken Storytelling to host tales from LGBTQ perspectives Nov. 10 2020-11-01
--From a press release - Another exciting OUTspoken Storytelling Night will offer the perspective of four Chicagoans telling life's stories from their LGBTQ+ viewpoint or that of their close friends and relatives, Tuesday, Nov. 10, starting at 7 p.m. on Zoom. ...


Gay News

Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade, this year a drive-through 2020-10-26
--From a Chicago Park District press release - CHICAGO: LUMA8, in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the Chicago Park District and Presenting Sponsor, the Blommer Chocolate Company, is pleased to announce Arts in the Dark - an UPSIDE ...


Gay News

Nightlines 1990-2001, Nightspots 2001-2015 2020-09-30
- Throughout the 1990s, Nightlines focused on the LGBTQ entertainment scene, from the bars to the stage and everything in between. With the new millennium came a significant format change as Nightspots focused in on the bar ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Former Northalsted bartender Eric Sangster dies at 37 2020-09-27
- Northalsted bartender Eric Sangster died Sept. 17 unexpectedly at the age of 37. At the time of this article's publication, Sangster's cause of death is unknown. Sangster was born June 4, 1983, on a Jacksonville, North ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Gay business owner/nightlife figure Bob Yeaworth dies 2020-09-20
- Gay business owner and promoter Robert "Bob" Yeaworth died Sept. 14 from complications due to his ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) diagnosis. He was 64. Yeaworth was born Sept. 17, 1955 in Cincinnati, Ohio, ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Medusa's owner Dave Shelton passes away 2020-08-19
- Dave Shelton, a.k.a. Dave "Medusa" Shelton—so named for his trademark frizzy locks— "just was different," recalled his good friend of 45 years, Richard Cooke. Shelton was the proprietor of the iconic nightspot Medusa's on Sheffield in ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart fall benefit Sept. 12-13 2020-08-08
- The Gerber/Hart Library and Archives fall benefit—"Saving LGBTQ History: Archives in a Time of Activism"—will take place Sept. 12-13 at the venue, 6500 N. Clark St. On those days, there will be a series of 90-minute ...


Gay News

Holocaust Museum's virtual soiree Sept. 2 2020-08-06
- On Wed., Sept. 2, Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center's Women's Leadership Committee will host its annual soirée virtually. The event will stream live from a studio with a star-studded line-up featuring a musical performance by ...


Gay News

Virtual OPALGA+ scholarship gala slated for Oct. 24 2020-08-06
- OPALGA+/Oak Park Area Lesbian & Gay Association will hold a virtual scholarship gala Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. The event will feature video clips from the organization's scholarship winners, the Founder's Award celebration and opportunities ...


Gay News

La Cage aux FUN, opening weekend at A-ville's The Bird Cage 2020-07-22
- Photos by Joseph Stevens Photography ...


Gay News

Survey open for potential Boystown name change 2020-07-21
- Northalsted Business Alliance is asking for the public to weigh in on the "Boystown" moniker. The Alliance has published a survey asking community members' opinions on the Lake View neighborhood, which was officially designated an "LGBTQ+ ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.