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  • mistermuse 1:00 am on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: actors, Archie Bunker, , book rview, , , , , , ,   

    THE FIX IS OFF (for now) 

    Something has come up to postpone my out-of-town daughter’s Father’s Day visit until the following weekend ….so my browser problem will remain on hold, and without resolution, until the (offspring’s) fix is in. Meanwhile, back at the rant, I’ve finished reading the outspoken CARROLL O’CONNOR’s autobiography wherein he vents about many things. So, to fill in, let’s take up where my last post left off. After all, it’s All In The Family.

    O’Connor had a very varied pre-Archie Bunker life. Like many in their early adult years, he couldn’t find his niche. “I could not shake off a feeling of foolishnessa man of 26 plodding through the days and months with no plan, no answer for anyone who might ask “What are you going to do with yourself?” The eventual answer, after many dead-end turns, turned out to be acting….and, finally, stardom (which came with an Archie Bunker mentality).

    I — no doubt like most who read autobiographies — do so primarily to learn more about the author, his/her life and times. But I’ll also admit to the guilty pleasure of learning what the author thought of well-known contemporaries — in fact, such opinions may offer insights into other personalities and professions, which broaden (for better or worse) what I thought I knew about them. So, what were O’Connor’s impressions of….

    JOHN WAYNE: “He perceived America as the preeminent hero-nation, virtually a land of heroes in which he himself felt heroic (and actually was, as I knew him) and infused that perception into all his roles as naturally as if it were one of the primary  emotions.”

    JEAN STAPLETON: “Jean’s idea of Edith Bunker was not only original and perfectly suited to the American audience, but very comical and emotionally moving. If ever anything on television changed the country, not radically, not even obviously, it was the performance of Jean and the example of Edith. Did our series effectively attack bigotry and racism? We thought so at the time –”

    HARRY TRUMAN: “Nobody expected Truman to take part in a Korean civil war, if one should begin. His military chiefs had no battle plan; on the contrary, they had a plan for getting out of the way — withdrawing to Japan. I thought Truman was totally wrong — his political vision faulty, his practical leadership unintelligent, his moral justification false. For me, the issue of morality in war– whether or not it is a “just war” — turns on the question of choice. When you wage war because you have no choice you are acting justly. But when you have a reasonable choice and choose to wage war, you can’t call your war just.”

    MOVIE WRITERS, “though marvelously reliable in inventing space creatures — shriveled humanoids and hugely swollen insects — are unreliable in depicting intelligent life on earth.”

    AGENTS “are generally shrewd, knowing, clever people; good company, good friends. They have made my career; they make all careers; they are the most important people in the business.”

    ACTORS: “I shall never forget my first professional play rehearsal at The Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, in the spring of 1951 — the immediate cordiality of my new friends the actors: they greeted me like an intimate. Now after all these years I am still unfailingly comforted, encouraged and elated in the company of actors. There is something about the work these dear neurotics do, investigating every kind of human character, that  develops in them an extraordinary tolerance, forgiveness and good humor. I commend their company even to normal folk.”

    ….and I commend this book of Carroll’s to you.

    • waywardsparkles 1:50 am on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Those were the days watching All in the Family, The Jeffersons, and Maude! Ya know, I can’t remember a single episode of any of them; but I loved how Archie continued to open up as the show went on. Wait a minute, do you remember the episode when Archie had to get a transfusion? I do remember that episode. That was genius! Thanks for sharing about Carroll O’Connor’s autobiography, MM. Mona

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:42 am on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I vaguely remember that episode, Mona, but like you, I mainly remember the series in general, as a whole, not for individual programs. The same, I think, applies to MASH, although re-runs appear regularly on local TV and refresh memories of specific episodes much more readily.

        Liked by 1 person

    • blindzanygirl 2:42 am on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Aww. Sad your fix is off. But this is a very interesting post

      Liked by 1 person

    • calmkate 2:56 am on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      sorry your daughter is delayed, but she will get there!

      So JW was just being himself, explains why he was monotonously the same in everything he appeared in … Carroll’s shares some good insights, particularly about war! Thanks for the review 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:56 am on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Kate. I have several dozen biographies/autobiographies on my bookshelves, and O’Connor’s is one of the best.

        Liked by 1 person

    • obbverse 4:03 am on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Don’t panic! Help sounds like its on the way. Autobiographies seem to become more interesting the older we get. Something to do with the human condition, or trying to understand it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:08 am on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I agree, o.v. The ‘search’ for understanding is never-ending (until the end), but to paraphrase an old saying, “’tis better to have searched and come up short than never to have searched at all.”

        Liked by 1 person

    • Carmen 6:44 am on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      That book sound very interesting — what a character! Hope you get your fix soon, mister muse! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:57 am on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I hope so too, Carmen. The problems are getting worse (for example, my computer is increasingly ‘freezing’ on me — usually in the middle of writing a post or comment — requiring that I shut down and re-start). I wonder if it would help if I put my computer outside in the hot weather? 😉


    • Rivergirl 7:15 am on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      People always think of Archie when they think of O’Connor, but he really was so much more.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:19 am on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Absolutely, Rg. If he were still alive today, it’s not hard to imagine Archie supporting King Trump and O’Connor railing against him as the emperor who has no clothes.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Don Ostertag 10:44 pm on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I spent a week at Leonard Nimoy’s house which was across the street from O’Connor’s. That entire week, Carroll O’Connor cut his grass. He would finish with the lawn and start over again. I wanted to go and meet him, I heard he was a kind and intelligent person, but I never had the time. The Nimoys said he was a great neighbor.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:42 am on June 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Very interesting. The Nimoys must have had the fast growing grass in town. I mow my lawn once a year whether it needs it or not. 😉


        • Don Ostertag 1:17 am on June 20, 2020 Permalink

          Not the Nimoy’s lawn.., It was Carroll O’Connor cutting the O’Connor lawn.

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 7:47 am on June 20, 2020 Permalink

          Thanks for the clarification — I took “cut his grass” to mean that, because he was “a great neighbor,” O’Connor cut Nimoy’s lawn while Nimoy was away for a week. Out of even lesser misunderstandings, yards have been known to turn into battlefields!


    • annieasksyou 12:01 am on June 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting, mistermuse—especially O’Connor’s takes on Truman and John Wayne. Did he say why he felt Wayne was heroic?

      I don’t think computers like hot weather one whit, but I’m perhaps a tad more tech-adept than you, based on your description, so don’t byte a single bit of info I provide.
      Enjoy Father’s Day. Is this an actual —as opposed to virtual—visit?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:16 am on June 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        When he knew Wayne, O’Connor wasn’t as liberal as he later became, so I assume that was how he felt then, before he ‘matured.’

        My daughter’s visit will be “actual” in order to install a new browser, as I am virtually blogging “up a creek without a paddle” on my outdated browser (at least, I assume that’s the cause of the problems I’m having — if not, I’m thinking of drowning my sorrow, and I don’t mean in the creek).

        Liked by 1 person

    • annieasksyou 9:21 am on June 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I hope your daughter rescues you forthwith. If not, I assume you mean drowning your sorrow in a “spirited” manner, to which I say “bottoms up.”
      I switched from Safari to Firefox at WP’s suggestion, only to learn that Firefox, for reasons I can’t comprehend, will not let me grab images the way Safari does. So I do my image search with Safari and my writing with Firefox. I am way beyond creek depth now with no daughter available to paddle me to safe land. Best of luck!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:18 pm on June 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        It so happens that my daughter plans to switch me to Firefox. Before she does, I’ll bring your experience to her attention. She’s the head computer technician at the university where she works, but she doesn’t blog, so she may not be familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the various browsers when it comes to blogging. Thanks for the ‘heads-up.’

        Liked by 1 person

    • annieasksyou 2:35 pm on June 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      You’re welcome. It happened to me with Google Advanced Image Search, which I use a lot, and with YouTube. But maybe your daughter the pro will be able to show you how to overcome my problem. And then maybe you can tell me!

      Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 5:20 pm on June 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I hope you are having a nice Father’s Day!
      There was a Microsoft update this past week in which the new version of the Edge browser was installed. Much to my surprise it’s super-fast!
      I forgot to mention something regarding the “like” problem. If you have your Enhanced Tracker Setting for your browser set for “custom” or “strict”, that prevents “liking” on certain blogs. Just click on the shield icon in the address bar and you can uncheck the tracking. You will then be able to “like”. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:08 pm on June 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks. I AM having a nice Father’s Day — made all the nicer by my neighbor mowing my lawn this weekend (he is the father of the (no longer) little girl my wife and I took care of years ago while he and his wife worked). Now that’s what I call a good neighbor!

        P.S. I will pass your tip on to my daughter next weekend when she installs a new browser, as I will not be publishing any more posts until then.

        Liked by 1 person

    • josephurban 3:57 pm on June 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Nice article. If you like autobiographies I suggest the Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. I am currently reading it after watching a History Channel 3 part series on Grant. Fascinating.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 3:23 pm on July 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      This looks like a truly interesting, well-written book with lots of insight. I think I need to find a copy.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:42 pm on July 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, SS. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the book.


  • mistermuse 8:12 pm on June 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Archie Bunker, , bigotry, , , the Constitution, woman's intuition   


    Surprise, surprise. I’m back before Father’s Day — not because my browser problem has magically been resolved (or resolved itself), but because what I want to share in this post doesn’t require video clips unavailable to me until the “Father’s Day fix” previously delineated.

    Those of you old enough to remember the 1970’s TV sitcom ALL IN THE FAMILY will undoubtedly recall the name Carroll O’Connor, who played the role of bigoted Archie Bunker in that top-rated series:


    Ironically, as I began this post this afternoon, I didn’t realize that O’Connor died 19 years ago on June 21, which happens to be Father’s Day (the day I wrongly thought I’d resume blogging). Earlier today, again by happenstance, I’d started reading his autobiography (titled I THINK I’M OUTTA HERE, which I’ve owned for some time), and realized that this was an articulate man who had much to say and said it well. So, to make a wrong story short, some of what he had to say is what I want to share, because it’s even more relevant today :

    “Ruminating in later years on how nations have come under the control of haters and fools, I began to understand that it was only the brilliant foresight of the men who made the Constitution — that insistent clutch of intellectuals, not the ordinary mob of “good” people we praise so fulsomely — [who] prevented the most evil traditions of Europe from flourishing three centuries ago on these helpless shores, already defiled by slavery. And yet even so, the ordinary good people have retained their private benighted beliefs [which] have sickened the life of the country.”

    “I take women very seriously, far more seriously than most men take them, or than I take most men. If a woman disapproves of what I’m doing, I worry, regardless of whether or not her reason makes complete sense to me. Woman’s intuition may be an ancient cliché, but I believe in it, respect it, and sometimes panic in the face of it.”

    “My grandfather, being rich, shared the view of the rich that if private enterprise thrives, so will its dependents, the ordinary people and the poor, except a segment of the poor known as the chronic poor. “Ah, the chronic poor!” exclaimed my father in mock lament. “The rich man looks at the chronic poor and recalls the words of the Lord that they will always be with us, which the rich man understands to mean that he needn’t worry about them.”

    The above quotes come from the book’s first 33 pages, which is as far as I’ve gotten so far.  On that basis alone, I recommend I THINK I’M OUTTA HERE….which, as it happens, is what I am.


    • D. Wallace Peach 9:13 pm on June 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      So interesting. He was a smart guy and ahead of his time compared to many Americans who still struggle with basic brain-function. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • obbverse 9:15 pm on June 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Oh Jeez…
      Very odd how a very liberal man portrayed such a bigoted conservative so well.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 9:55 pm on June 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I confess I didn’t know much about Carroll O’Connor before, but I must have heard that he wasn’t anything like the guy he portrayed on TV, or I wouldn’t have bought the book a few years ago. Now that I’ve started reading it, I’m glad I did.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Totsymae 12:14 pm on June 14, 2020 Permalink

          Yes, I’d heard that he was a very nice guy and nothing like the Archie character. You have to think that during that time, there were so many informal ways to learn to be such a character as Archie since so many held those beliefs. If he were to play that same character today, he’d still have an accurate or similar portrayal, looking at the social climate now. He was such a natural, it didn’t seem rehearsed.

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 8:53 pm on June 14, 2020 Permalink

          For some reason, Totsymae, I’m unable to “Like” your comment even though I like it (I’m sure that makes no sense to you, but take my word — regular readers of my blog know what I mean). In any case, I appreciate the comment.


    • calmkate 2:00 am on June 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      well that gives testemony to his acting ability!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Rivergirl 7:56 am on June 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      He will be forever associated with a bigot from Queens, but in reality was far from it.
      As for the quotes, all you men should panic in the face of our intuition.

      Liked by 2 people

    • annieasksyou 4:32 pm on June 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I like this a lot, mistermuse. I do recall Archie Bunker’s arguments with his son-in-law, the liberal Meathead, played by Rob Reiner. They were all brilliant, especially Norman Lear, their creator, and I recall being encouraged by the program’s directness in addressing the prejudices that weren’t talked about then.
      Ok: here’s one for you. A few hours before reading this post. I released mine, in which I quoted a COVID-19 sniffing dog in an airport telling a traveler: “You’re outta here!” What are the odds…?

      Liked by 5 people

      • mistermuse 6:24 pm on June 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Annie. Rob Reiner, as you no doubt know, is the son of Carl Reiner, who along with Sid Caesar was one of the stars of YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS and CAESAR’S HOUR, two of my favorite shows back in TV’s early years. I mention this because Sid (in his autobiography CAESAR’S HOURS) relates that “Carl would often bring his young son, Rob, to watch the show”….as if I needed a reminder that I am even older than Rob!

        I read your very interesting and informative post and left a Like but not a comment, which I hope you’ll forgive, as I didn’t feel as if I had anything interesting or informative to add (I haven’t owned a dog since boyhood, haven’t been in an airport since a trip to Ireland in 1984, and haven’t crossed a border since driving through western Canada to Alaska in 2001). In other words, I felt “outta the loop” relevant to your subject matter!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 8:48 pm on June 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I had no idea that he was this sort of a man. I am sorry that I so easily confused the actor with the character he portrayed. Thanks for setting me straight.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 10:28 pm on June 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Some actors (like John Wayne) basically played themselves no matter what character they portrayed. Other actors (like Fredric March) were so good that they were completely believable as the character they played, no matter how different (if you saw him in INHERIT THE WIND and THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, for example, you wouldn’t think it’s the same actor). Outside of ALL IN THE FAMILY, I haven’t seen enough of O’Connor to categorize him definitively, but obviously he didn’t play himself in that show….but, like you, I didn’t know that at the time.

        Liked by 2 people

    • masercot 9:32 am on June 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Only a very good actor could play Archie Bunker and still be likeable enough for people to watch. Same with Jean Stapleton. They made it look easy.

      Liked by 3 people

    • mistermuse 10:49 am on June 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I’m further along in O’Connor’s autobiography, but still haven’t gotten to the Archie Bunker part, which should be very interesting (including what he has to say about Jean).

      Liked by 3 people

    • annieasksyou 12:32 pm on June 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse: of course I forgive you for not leaving a comment, and I appreciated the “like.” But Doggone it, there was some bad punning going on, and I wished you had pawsed long enough to add your two scents!

      Liked by 4 people

    • mistermuse 3:03 pm on June 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I shouldn’t have said I haven’t owned a dog since boyhood, as I still own two….but in this hot weather, they stink so much when I take my shoes off that my wife has to put a clothespin on her nose and rub copious amounts of hand sanitizer on my feet. Now my love life has gone to the dogs and the rest of me is in the doghouse.

      Liked by 2 people

    • annieasksyou 3:51 pm on June 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply


      Liked by 3 people

    • annieasksyou 6:56 pm on June 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Seismically, I’m sure!

      Liked by 2 people

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