The Thinking 

Ozzie and Harriet

February 19, 2011



ALAN writes:

Regarding the tolerant feminist who called you  an “ignorant housewife from the Ozzie and Harriet era,” your response was perfect.  But you should also feel honored (I certainly would) to be criticized in company with Ozzie and Harriet.   

Because of decades of radical-leftist propaganda, many of your readers might not know the truth about Ozzie and Harriet.  So permit me to share it. 

Ozzie and Harriet Nelson were talented entertainers who provided music and clean, wholesome entertainment to Americans for more than three decades.   Harriet was a talented singer and actress.  Ozzie was a talented musician, writer, actor, and director. Their radio and television programs were well-written, finely-crafted comedy entertainment suitable for the whole family.  Their programs honored and respected the American family, never belittled or derided it.  

Respect for parents and elders, courtesy, good manners, good grooming, proper dress, good sportsmanship, self-restraint, and gentle humor are some of the values that Ozzie chose to depict consistently in those programs over nearly a quarter-century.   The Nelson family did not shout or speak in jive talk or smart-aleck manner.  They spoke English clearly, in complete sentences, and in civil tones of conversation.   Their characters were disciplined and principled.  Each of them in turn became a target of gentle, self-effacing humor.  Never did Ozzie resort to cheap tricks, sarcasm or insults between characters, or off-color language or humor.  

The production standards were high and his use of the camera was restrained and disciplined.   

Like the 1950s television programs “Father Knows Best,” “The Donna Reed Show,” and “Leave it to Beaver,” Ozzie and Harriet’s program depicted American families (to invoke Aristotle) “as they might be and ought to be.”   American television in the 1950s had not yet been poisoned by the decadence called “realism.”  Their program won awards from groups of parents and teachers.  Having watched more than a hundred episodes of “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” recently, I must say that it stands in sharp contrast to the filth and adolescent-witted drivel that Americans now  accept as entertainment.   That program reflects a better culture and standards of morality that are now all but vanished. 

People who imagine they can insult anyone by comparing her with Ozzie and Harriet are witless fools.  They are incapable of creating anything worthwhile, let alone any kind of entertainment with the sparkle, polish, virtue and good cheer that radiated from “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.”  

 I encourage your readers to view DVDs of that program – to see the simple decency that Americans enjoyed on their “primitive” black-and-white televisions in the 1950s, in contrast to the slickly-packaged decadence they enjoy today on their wide-screen color TVs.  

 If more Americans adopted the values that Ozzie and Harriet Nelson exemplified – in their lives as well as their television program – our nation today would be in much better shape.   

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