The Honeymooners: Nostalgia is sometimes not so nice

When television was in its infancy in the 1950’s, a show never to be missed was The Honeymooners. I was a young child and recall the show to this day. However, in comparison to today’s sophistication and political correctness, I wonder how it achieved such popularity. Don’t say nostalgia, as if THAT can erase all past evil and chalk it up to, “It was an acceptable form of treatment between couples back then.” When we apply what we know about domestic violence and intimate partner violence today, we should be horrified, shocked and dismayed at the treatment of women in the 1950’s and the wife as slave and one to be abused,  as portrayed in this classic comedy which all family members laughed at and looked forward to each week!

Yes, I can take a joke about things that are truly funny. A review of many YouTube episodes of The Honeymooners revealed some funny stuff between Jackie Gleason and his sidekick, Art Carney. However, the married couple’s relationship can be viewed as questionable, and in some circles, abusive. My opinion is such shows give evil people evil ideas.

The character of Ralph Kramden is a know-it-all bus driver, who gets involved in one get rich quick scheme after another and who loves to dominate and bully his wife. In fact, it appears that his friendship with best friend Norton is far more intimate regarding personal closeness and compatibility than with his wife, Alice, the begrudging housewife who serves “the master.”

Alice Kramden is your typical ‘50’s housewife, BUT, she is no pushover. She frequently stands up to her husband’s verbal, physical and psychological abuse. Writers for Wikipedia attempt to explain away his bad behavior by saying, “Ralph is very short-tempered, frequently resorting to bellowing insults and hollow threats.” Hidden beneath the many layers of bluster, however, is “a soft-hearted man who loves his wife and is devoted to his best pal, Ed Norton.” How can we be so sure of this?  We have a very insecure male who is barely scraping by to provide a living for his wife who is not at all ambitious, with the exception of lifting a fork. His world revolves around bowling and he doesn’t appear to care about bettering his situation in real meaningful ways. And so, he finds fault with everyone else.

How often has the character of Alice been frustrated, angry, in tears or wanted to run away from her apartment prison? Although we may not have seen blatant physical abuse, there was plenty of physical gesturing/threats, pounding on or throwing inanimate objects, screaming and verbal threats.

Ralph’s mother in law constantly reminds him of his weight and that he is a bad provider to her daughter. The character of Alice apparently studied to be a secretary prior to marrying Ralph, and according to the storyline, she was one of 12 children with a father who never worked. Talk about lost dreams for these two characters caught up in the life within a Brooklyn tenement. This series was supposed to mirror the working class of the 1950’s, but, were the innocent 1950’s really so bad? Was the working class so angry?

It appears to me, that current life is a lot more complicated, with far more sources of anger upon which abusers can blame their unacceptable behavior.

 The Evolution: 

Historically, the start of The Honeymooners began as a six-minute sketch on the DuMont Television Network and then as one of the featured sketches beginning in 1953 on the Jackie Gleason Show (a variety/comedy hour) moving to the CBS Network. The Gleason show was a rival for the ever popular, I Love Lucy show.

Several actresses were considered for The Honeymooners co-starring wife role. However, some of the actresses were blacklisted during the time of the McCarthy hearings. What an opportunity for Audrey Meadows. She sent Gleason her “wake up in the morning look” in a ripped house coat when she was considered too pretty for the role. As it turned out, Jackie Gleason was paid a whopping $65,000 per episode increased to $70,000 during the second season. Audrey Meadows received $2,000 per week.

Other Characters: 

The other two characters of The Honeymooners included Ed Norton, skillfully portrayed by Art Carney, and his wife, Trixie, a rather nebulous person, portrayed by Joyce Randolph, a relatively minor role who was Alice’s best friend. Ed Norton was your average Joe working in the New York City sewer system. He was goofy, yet affable and loyal to a fault to his friend, Ralph. Although his character supposedly went to typing school, he didn’t like contained spaces. Norton was proud to describe his job as, “A sub-supervisor in the subdivision of the department of subterranean sanitation. I just keep things moving.

Back to Intimate Partner Violence… Is Ralph Kramden an Abuser?

I reviewed about a dozen episodes of the Honeymooners on YouTube. Although the viewer can make the case that Alice was very capable of giving it back to Ralph with biting sarcasm, what would be the consequence if she had not stood up for herself? Would Ralph eventually follow through with his gesture “to the Moon, Alice!” and make contact?

On the other hand, being submissive and following an intimate partner’s demands to the letter in no way shape or form guarantees safety. So what’s a woman to do? Anger and jealousy over perceived infractions will often continue to fuel the partner’s behavior. Alice does not have to do anything wrong in the eyes of the world. What Ralph perceives and does is what matters in the end with such toxic relationships.

A Few Examples of Ralph’s Verbal Abuse from Episodes of “The Honeymooners” 

“Alice, you’re a riot…. I’d like to… (Waving fist); Boys and Girls Together episode;

“Just be careful Alice, Be careful… The life you save may be your own”; A Women’s Work is Never Done episode;

“Oh Boy, are you ‘gonna get yours… Just once… Pow” Peacemaker episode;

(Talking about not washing his bowling shirt or darning his socks) “… I’m gonna put in a new system right now. When I come home, if it isn’t done the way I say, you get one demerit. Do you know what happens to you when you get ten demerits…? A Woman’s Work is Never Done episode

Take my advice and do not let your kids watch The Honeymooners.
Parting Comments:
Alice/Audrey Meadows: Audrey Meadows was a lot more savvy than Alice. She was the only actor on the series who requested financial compensation and residuals be written into her contract for the viewing of shows over time. In real life, she served as Director of the First National Bank of Denver for 11 years, the first woman to hold such a position. She also was instrumental in the design of flight attendant uniforms and customer service policies at Continental Airlines (her late husband’s company).

Smart woman!!! She protected her financial interests and was a pioneer career woman too! Ralph would have been so jealous!

Please go to http://www.documenttheabuse.com/. It may help you… It will certainly help someone you know!


DonnaGore-2

 

To schedule a presentation with me at your future event or  conference please contact:

ImaginePublicity,  Telephone: 843.808.0859  Email:  contact@imaginepublicity.com

 

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  You Can’t Stop Christmas from Coming: What the Grinch Can Teach Us

                  

Fairy Tales and Evil Characters

We are all very familiar with the dark character of the Grinch, a Dr. Seuss classic tale first introduced to the world in 1957. The whole idea of stealing Christmas away from the masses certainly struck fear in my child size heart, much like the Wicked Witch of the West did in the Wizard of Oz.  The witch realizes that Dorothy’s ruby slippers can be removed only if Dorothy dies, so she makes her plan, but, ultimately, it is the witch’s death when water is splashed on her and she melts. Sweet, accidental revenge.

Another greedy, wicked character that frightened me to death was the volatile Cruella de Vil, of 101 Dalmatians. She is a wealthy heiress married to a furrier. She treated all people and  animals abusively and seeks to acquire them for her own malicious pleasure. She  kidnaps nearly all of these rambunctious pets, for she falsely believes she can convert them to valuable coats.

How did baby boomers ever make it to 2017 with such vile models in our childhood experience? I can only believe that there is a back story and multiple messages in every tale from which we can learn. Psychologically, perhaps these meanies are our conscience, designed to warn us that if we act as they do, harm will come to us with negative consequences, and to others as well. 

But wait! These are fairy tales after all, with happy endings. Isn’t it true that Christmas came to Whoville in spite of the Grinch – even with his change of heart? Dorothy can return to Kansas by clicking the heels of her ruby slippers and repeating, “there’s no place like home.”

After wild chase scenes by Cruella and her crooked accomplices, the trio end up crashing their vehicles and land in a deep ravine, utterly defeated with the Dalmatians returning to their loving humans!

A Closer Look at the Grinch

The narcissistic character named Grinch sees what he can’t have in the very modest village of Whoville, (i.e.ultimately a happycommunity that operates with joy without material goods.) He has a wonderful awful idea trying to stop Christmas from coming after 53 years of witnessing joy.  He sets out to impersonate Santa and his reindeer. How gullible we were, along with Cindy- Lou Who, to think that this skinny, ugly, green character and his scrawny dog Max would EVER be the real Santa. But, I guess if you’re half asleep and interrupt a thief in costume, and expecting only one visitor in the middle of the night it must be the real Santa! 

Arriving with empty sacks he begins to rid all households of every sign of Christmas festivity; packages, wrappings, bicycles, trees, lights, and all food in the refrigerator, and even a crumb that was too small for a mouse!

He was so wrong that being stripped of earthly goods would crush their Christmas spirit. He wanted to hear crying, despair and feel like King of the World, but it didn’t happen. Why? Because, Christmas and its spirit, whether you have religious or spiritual leanings, is really internal, in one’s heart and has very little to do with commercialism or material goods!

The Turning Point

He was puzzled…. It came without ribbons! It came without tags!”
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.”
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
And what happened then? Well…in Whoville they say,
That the Grinch’s small heart Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his heart didn’t feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light,
And he brought back the toys! And the food for the feast!

And he, HE HIMSELF! The Grinch carved the roast beast!

Unconditional hope, remorse, joy and the sense of coming together as a family!  The Grinch and his selfish ways were resurrected to be a part of a community that stood tall even when Christmas was stolen!  

For Survivors of Crime During the Holidays

It surely is no fairy tale when you join the ranks of crime victims!

How I wish there was a storybook in which homicide, missing persons, intimate partner-family violence, human trafficking, sexual assault/rape, suicide and other tragedies were told from the perspective of the victim and their family, with barely a mention the perpetrator. The story would relate how despite incredible courage and effort, they persevere without their loved one and personal losses. How they rebuild their lives minute by minute with the support of others who know from personal experience. Should no resolution to their story be in sight, at least, they can begin to re-write the next chapter with the knowledge that they have already travelled the worst path imaginable! They can, with help come to the crossroads and chose the path they will walk in the future!  

Continuing Coping and Fostering Hope-

Homicide prepares you for the best in life, for you’ve already lived through the worst ever!  

Read about  how to cope and chose the path of hope and preparing for victim impact statements with these two books! (Proceeds donated to the Cue Center for Missing Persons)

Grief Diaries: Surviving Loss by Homicide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To order my books, please refer to this link: https://donnagore.com/grief-diaries/

References-

http://web.mit.edu/tere/www/text/grinch.txt

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruella_de_Vil

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_slippers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Hundred_and_One_Dalmatians

http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Cruella_De_Vil


Donna R. Gore, M.A.

Donna R. Gore, M.A.

 

To schedule a presentation with me at your future event or  conference please contact:

ImaginePublicity,  Telephone: 843.808.0859  Email:  contact@imaginepublicity.com

 

Blueberry Muffins and Such

Blueberry Muffins and Such

Blueberry Muffins and Such

The 1950’s, the decade in which I was born, seemingly was a lot simpler than 2017.

Crime, for the most part, was kept locked behind closed doors. Yes, there was Dragnet, Highway Patrol, and my favorite, Perry Mason on television. However, the real life drama portrayed daily was how to get rid of the waxy yellow buildup on the kitchen floor or finding the right recipe for tonight’s dinner.

This brings me to the topic of Home Economics, that all-important subject in school.  In 8th grade, we had “Gertrude Someone” as our teacher.  I recall having to make these ugly green drawstring gym bags with our initials emblazoned on the front.  I struggled with sewing then as I do now. I believe I was better at baking for some reason.  It seemed somewhat magical to watch our teacher prepare the best smelling creations with precision, session after session, guiding us in the proper techniques of measuring, mixing, testing, table etiquette and more.

During the 50’s and 60’s the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest was in its heyday, as was Julia Child.   There was no more fierce a competition than this one! Today, we have many competitions to watch –  the Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, the Voice, Design Competition etc., but they can’t compare if you’re a foodie.   Pillsbury’s Contest is still going strong if you have the proper cable station.

Since 1949, the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest has inspired tens of thousands of people to submit original recipes and Pillsbury has awarded millions of dollars in prizes. We are currently assessing how this 67-year-old contest comes to life in a relevant way for a new generation of home chefs.” Ahhh, yes we must stay relevant! (Postscript- The biannual Bake-Off now awards a whopping $1 million to the first place winner!)

Their history began in 1949 when Pillsbury’s extravaganza was initially known as the Grand National Recipe and Baking Contest. Contestants flocked to New York’s Waldorf -Astoria Hotel to compete for the chance to win $50,000.To put this monetary amount in perspective, in 1949 an average home cost only  $14,500.and a loaf of bread cost 14 cents! Whoa!

Each baker’s creation had to be original and utilize Pillsbury flour, of course. In 2013, the big money came into being as well as the public deciding on the top 100 recipes, casting votes online followed by a panel of judges. In addition, categories were streamlined to just three and accepted in stages.  Examples of such categories were: “Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts,”Amazing Doable Dinners,” and “Simple Sweets and Starters.” Other rules applied such as limiting oneself to seven ingredients (excluding salt, pepper, and water). However, today ingredients include a wide array of General  Mills products. Other perks include the publication of your original recipe in Pillsbury Cookbooks and winning GE appliances.  

Indeed, variety is the spice of life. Some of the Grand Prize winners in the 1960’s – It was all about casseroles such as Dilly Casserole Bread topped with cottage cheese, and a beef-laden Hungry Boy’s Casserole made with dough pinwheels.   Enter an attempt at healthy in the late 70’s with the winner being a Whole Wheat Raisin Loaf.  As we make our way into the more recent past, pizzazz and sophistication appears with the 2012 entry- a  pumpkin ravioli with salted caramel whipped cream!

Other Fascinating Facts

  • There were only four male category winners in 1978, 1990, 1992, 2002
  • There was only one male champion, Kurt Wait of Redwood City California winning in 1996; Kurt was a divorced Dad who began baking to pass the time. He won after making a macadamia fudge Torte, 460 calories per serving (But who’s really counting?)
  • Hosts of the Contest were many and varied – Arthur Godfrey, Art Linkletter, Bob Barker, Willard Scott; Alex Trebek (I’ll bet he gleaned some good Jeopardy questions!); Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart and more!

So, if you’re hungry, how about some magic marshmallow crescent puffs, open sesame pie, onion lover’s twist, some fudgy bonbons or loaded potato pinwheels? They’re all for the making and tasting by champions at Pillsbury!

Sorry, no “Killer Chocolate” has taken the Grand Prize…..yet!  

 

References- https://www.pillsbury.com/our-makers/bake-off-contest

http://www.tvhistory.tv/1949%20QF.htm

https://food52.com/blog/18064-how-national-cooking-competitions-changed-the-way-we-talk-about-recipes

https://www.pressreader.com/usa/texarkana-gazette/20130130/282132108820707

http://articles.latimes.com/1996-02-28/news/mn-40902_1_cake-mix


DonnaGore-2

 

To schedule Donna R. Gore for your next conference, seminar or event, please contact ImaginePublicity.Phone: 843-808-0859 or Email: contact@imaginepublicity.com

 

 

 

 

 

“The Passers” of Social Media

Sharing on social media

Those of us who ride the wave of “minor celebrity” on social media have ups and downs in terms of who is paying attention to what, or whom, at any given time. If I took all the data on Twitter or Facebook to heart, I’d never get out of bed. I try  every day to be true to my missions, to be true to myself and ignore the fickle finger of others whims.

Similar to the fluctuations of the stock market, I can have great data in one category and plunge in another simultaneously.  Regardless of what all the numbers say, and those audience members who want to think of me as a one trick pony, (never venturing out of the homicide and missing persons box to spread my wings), I know in my heart and soul I do great things for others every day. They may be small things or big things, but good things just the same!

ImaginePublicity logoThat said, just as in a Broadway play, there are many people behind the scenes assisting in my success. One example is ImaginePublicity  my social media management agency. ImaginePublicity is behind the scenes and professional, performing the role of managing and training me on all aspects of social media, helping to make it all happen and never seeking the spotlight. The services are invaluable to me.

However, one overlooked element is the group of ever-present people I call “passers.” They are a very dedicated group who shares other’s information throughout social media networks. Perhaps that is their special talent. This role appears to be a combination observer, cheerleader, traffic director, traffic creator as opposed to a direct influencer. These people are unsung heroes who I’m sure are good neighbors too.

Let’s be clear, I didn’t know any of my passers previously. I never solicited their assistance. I never knew their value. They just added me to their list. I am so grateful!  Below are three people, good examples whom I would like to thank for this role in my on-line life.  It is high time they are given credit for their diligence and loyalty.

Paiger Swift –

She was the first person I really noticed who gravitated to my topics and selflessly passed on my posts.  She lives in Fort Lauderdale, is a “cool sistah” and is enamored with all things Peanuts cartoons. But, more importantly, she is a staunch advocate and huge fan/supporter for the mission and activities of the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute (CCIRI) in Atlanta. Sheryl McCollum and Holly Hughes are important mentors for Pager. Sheryl ‘Mac” McCollum made the following comment regarding Paiger’s important role, “She lives her heart! She supports the good fight and never fails to repost stories”!

Check out Cold Case Investigative Research Institute, an innovative organization which I have been fortunate to feature several times on Shattered Lives Radio!

Glenn Adams -aka “Wolfscratch” 

“Wolfscratch” was a Captain in the Atlanta Fire Department, worked as a hazardous materials smoke diver with expertise in fire technology and has worked with Monica Caison and the Cue Center for Missing Persons since 2008.

Currently, he spends his time researching missing persons’ investigations with a goal of identifying common denominators of the cases that are solved as opposed to those that grow cold.  As Glenn said, “The most important common denominator identified for those cases that are solved. Awareness is the key.” Analogous to a security camera across the landscape of America, citizens are the most valuable investigative resource for Law Enforcement when utilized.  Wolfscratch also researches cases where serial predators/killers are indicated. “I truly believe that there is a spiritual connection involved when these predators are apprehended.”

DeDe Keene –

From Southeast Texas and committed to spreading the word about missing persons on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and elsewhere, her job appears to be a full-time job by the volume of material that is re-posted daily on behalf of others. She is affiliated with A.M.A.L.P. Ministry. They are a Christian Ministry dedicated to assisting all FAMILIES of Missing Loved ones, and All LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES in the U.S.

Sharing on social media

Conclusion –

The moral of this story is, if you have any degree of celebrity, respect it, never take it for granted, don’t let your ego get carried away for that fame is fleeting and could come crashing down around you in a New York minute. In that equation, people like Paiger, Glenn and DeDe figure prominently.  Look them up. But, don’t expect them to have a lot of time to answer as they are too busy helping others! Yeah, my kind of people!  THANK YOU!