The More They Stay the Same

I watched TVLand’s tribute to Johnny Carson tonight. Following that was an old episode of All in the Family. Archie wanted to watch football highlights, but Meathead wanted to watch a special with Jack Lemon about polution. Then Little Girl came home from the grocery store with organic food–depriving Archie of his crunchy cereal with the animal cutouts on the box. The conversation moved to argument about a) the environment, b) race relations, c) drinking water, d) the war in Vietnam.

Remarkable. The program that was dated only a few years ago has become as timely as tomorrow’s Dan Rather broadcast–with the obvious exception that All in the Family is based on truth.

When people march and cry, wring their hands over war, pollution, and other pending disasters of the day, they would do well to pop in an episode of a sitcom from 1971. They’ll realize that people of their ilk have expected the world to end for a long time.

On the other hand, they’ll eventually be right.