Lion of the Blogosphere

Addams Family and Boy Scouts

In the second episode, Gomez and Morticia are aghast that their son has taken a sudden interest in the Boy Scouts.

Back in 1964, it must have seemed absurd for parents to be upset about a thing like that, but once again the Addams Family is way ahead of its time. Today, there are many anti-Boy-Scouts voices.

Mae Suramek, who runs a rape crisis center in Kentucky, writes:

Thanks, but no thanks, Boy Scouts of America. My kid will have enough challenges navigating this world without being indoctrinated with structured, community-organized hate.

Blogger Frank Moraes writes:

I always associate the Boy Scouts with the Hitler Youth. I understand that the Hitler Youth basically took over what had been the Boy Scouts in Germany. But the uniforms, the paramilitary style, the right wing politics? It strikes me as downright un-American. But that’s just because there are two currents in America: the fierce individual and the belligerent conformist. I respect the first. But the Scouts reflect too much of the second, even if it is not intentionally bad. Its exclusionary policies alone reinforce the worst aspects of in-group/out-group politics.

This episode, using satire, provides commentary on how difficult it is for parents to raise their children in their own unique way when that way goes against what the rest of society deems to be normal.

The only downside of the episode is that I didn’t find it very funny.

* * *

steve writes:

While The Addams Family has a more sophisticated concept behind it, the fact is that The Munsters is a hell of a lot funnier and enjoyable to watch. The Addams Family is often pretty boring. Herman and Grandpa are comedy gold.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 22, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Television

37 Responses

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  1. Whatever else it may be, being in Boy Scouts these days is not “normal”. You definitely need some degree of individuality relative to your peers to see it all the way through to Eagle.

    Somewhat ironically, back one summer when I was a teenager at a Boy Scout camp, there was a kid being a little shit in a merit badge class who wound up going on a long tirade about why he hated being a Boy Scout, one of the reasons being the the uniform was “gay”.

    I understand how some of these writers can have such hate for the Boy Scouts in the aggregate but really it’s just a group of teenage boys and their fathers going on camping trips with a little leadership/civics thrown in. There’s no “structured, community organized hate” sessions or anything like that and the activities/policies of the national organizational structure rarely come into play at all. I suppose it’s a modern moral imperative, though, that every identity group be allowed to participate in every activity.

    Jokah Macpherson

    August 22, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    • It’s white and it’s male. That’s more than enough reason to destroy it.


      August 23, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    • I was in the Boy Scouts. One of my memories is of the very poor kid whose family could afford very little but the Boy Scouts had ways of accommodating such situations. He and his father would participate and it was obvious these camping excursions were a major highlight for them. Vacations to Hawaii were not in the cards for them. In retrospect I think it was a good thing for the mainly middle class kids in scouts to get to know a kid from this social class and vice versa. Scouts made it happen in a way that school never would have.


      August 23, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    • ‘Whatever else it may be, being in Boy Scouts these days is not “normal”. You definitely need some degree of individuality relative to your peers to see it all the way through to Eagle.’

      That’s always been true. Boy Scouts stop being cool at about age 14, and this has been the case at least since the ’60s, and you’re not allowed to achieve Eagle Scout until age 16 at the earliest, if I remember right. By that time, most teenage boys are looking to score, and telling a girl that you’re a Boy Scout has been clinically proven to induce acute vaginal dehydration.


      August 24, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      • “and you’re not allowed to achieve Eagle Scout until age 16 at the earliest, if I remember right.”

        That’s not correct, there’s no minimum age once you join the scouts, it’s just that it takes so long to rack up the merit badges that most boys don’t get it until later on if at all. But I’ve met 13-14-yr-old Eagle Scouts.


        August 28, 2015 at 7:27 pm

  2. When I was a kid 30 years ago, my mom hated the Boy Scouts, and frequently compared them to the Hitler Youth. (There is, you see, a Freudian element to my ressentiment toward the cultural left).

    Greg Pandatshang

    August 22, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    • I wanted to join the Girl Scouts but my mother called me a “joiner.” That was Bad. We were also too moderne for church, too, so I didn’t have much social life outside of school.

      The joiners made out a lot better than we did.

      Mrs Stitch

      August 23, 2015 at 5:56 pm

  3. While The Addams Family has a more sophisticated concept behind it, the fact is that The Munsters is a hell of a lot funnier and enjoyable to watch. The Addams Family is often pretty boring. Herman and Grandpa are comedy gold.

    August 22, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    • I agree. The actors on the Munsters were naturally funnier and more amusing.

      The Addams family was also not intended to be just funny. It was contrarian and weird. So it seemed moodier.

      I think the Munsters themselves were good natured proles.

      The Addams family were TOOS elites or at least upper class.

      Even the theme songs – Munsters song (both of them) were pop-prole and fun.

      The Addams family song was catchy but in a hipster off beat way.


      August 22, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    • I submit that “The Munsters” is the more sophisticated show. Whereas “The Addams Family” is predicated on the one-note joke that Gomez, Morticia, et al. are morbidly eccentric, the central joke of “The Munsters” is that that the family BELIEVES it is a normal, middle-class family, and honestly can’t comprehend why people (such as pizza delivery boys, school administrators, etc) would be freaked out by their lifestyle/appearance. This is crucial to the show’s comedic success, and helps elevate the slapstick to something like farce, and even satire. (Another key joke is that Marilyn, their adopted niece, by all appearances a traditionally “normal” and beautiful teenage girl, is looked upon by the family as hideously ugly and strange.)

      But if you want a show that was REALLY ahead of its time, check out “Three’s Company.”


      August 22, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      • Explain more how Three’s Company was ahead of its time. I don’t think it was. Jack Tripper wasn’t actually gay. And no one in the show ever had any sex.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 22, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      • I will defend my thesis.

        In “Three’s Company,” Jack Tripper is permitted to live in an apartment with two single women only under the pretense that he is gay. (Their landlord, Mr. Roper, is morally averse to what he believes to be a polyamorous arrangement.) Thus, every time Mr. Roper comes around (and later Ralph Furley, played by a disturbingly cartoonish Don Knotts) Jack is forced to adopt a stereotypically “gay” persona — speaking with a lisp, gesticulating wildly, etc.

        Today, this premise would be considered hugely offensive — and yet it never comes off as mean-spirited or blatantly “homophobic” — in fact it is the old-fashioned Mr. Roper, and not the clownish Jack, who is the butt of all the jokes (no pun intended).

        The show does not even bother to introduce a “respectable” gay character as a counterweight to this politically incorrect premise — Jack’s best friend Larry is a swinging hetero playboy. More laughs are mined (if I’m remembering correctly) by having Jack and Larry pretend to be lovers, on more than a few occasions!

        That there is no overt sex on the show (which takes place at the tail end of the rampantly hedonistic 70s) makes it all the more interesting as a pop-culture artifact, in my opinion.

        Also, John Ritter’s work on the show was truly marvelous. A gifted physical actor. Slapstick is generally assumed to be the most difficult form of theatric comedy to pull off — both in writing and performance — and the show, for at least a few seasons, navigated that territory deftly.

        Theme song wasn’t bad either.


        August 22, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      • I suppose that the fact that the show acknowledged that there were stereotypical gay traits, this implied that there were actually gay people somewhere in the world who possessed those traits, which was a first on TV, although as far as I recall there was never an actual gay character on the show. The implication was that there were a few hundred gay men in San Francisco but that 99.9% of men are straight. And that they didn’t have any premarital sex, because although sex was always talked about, there was never an episode where anyone ever had sex, just episodes where someone is thought to have sex, which made Janet and Chrissy outraged, until the misunderstanding was cleared up.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 22, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      • Was “Man About The House” even more ahead of its time?


        August 23, 2015 at 9:00 am

    • I totally disagree. I thought the Munsters was boring and unfunny. The AF was more interesting and more funny.


      August 23, 2015 at 8:34 pm

  4. The AF episode sounds interesting, but how about a warning for those links – there’s a limit on how much sanctimony a body can absorb.

    The Nazis were not right-wing.


    August 22, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    • You seriously want trigger warnings?

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 22, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      • It’s everywhere Lion. Everywhere.


        August 22, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    • Yeah, those bloggers are both real pieces of work. But we all know their type – shouldn’t be unexpected.

      Jokah Macpherson

      August 22, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    • Depends on how you define right-wing. Is it defined as pro-christian, pro-capitalism, pro-corporatism, or pro-white?


      August 23, 2015 at 4:15 pm

  5. Al(Grandpa) Lewis was the uncle of a friend of mine. Back in the 80’s he had a pizza restaurant in the Village called Grandpas. Was taller than I thought he’d be.


    August 22, 2015 at 6:23 pm

  6. My son is in cub scouts. It’s mainly about camping and teaching self-sufficiency to boys. It probably varies a lot from troop to troop. No one ever talks about god, or religion, in our troop. The “faith” segment of every rank, that was an at-home assignment. But I’m pretty sure the Mormon-sponsored troops are different.

    Anyway, if you know a dad who likes to camp a lot, and he has boys, that’s who seems to join scouts.

    Sheila Tone

    August 22, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    • Also, think of all the dads who were on scouts, and grew up, and had kids. If they liked it, they put their sons in it.

      Sheila Tone

      August 22, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    • Seriously, that’s exactly what my experience is too.

      The Scoutmasters, mainly dads of Scouts, almost seem to enjoy it more than the boys because they get regular weekends away from nagging wives out in the wilderness (the wives appreciate this too). And of course, it’s quality time with the son of a different sort than you get sitting on the sidelines at soccer games.

      Jokah Macpherson

      August 22, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    • Well, the Boy Scouts are basically a franchise system. I’m sure some troops are more religiously oriented.


      August 22, 2015 at 10:12 pm

  7. Every successful sitcom has multiple dud episodes. By the way, Gomer Pyle, F-Troop, Gilligan’s Island, and Hogan’s Heroes (not to mention the slightly later Are You Being Served, with five or more great character actors) have also held up well, each of them is still watchable for the humor and , when the humor flags, for the insights into vanished attributes of the world we live in.

    howitzer daniel

    August 22, 2015 at 7:36 pm

  8. I’m surprised no one here has mentioned the end of the ban on gays. That was the reason a lof of people gave for not wanting their kids involved — really the only good one. But Americans have just became a lot less joiner-oriented over the past several decades. And there are fewer nuclear families. Scouts is a lot of work for families. We don’t have any single parents in our troop. Back in the 80s, my dad, a widower, was the only single parent in my brother’s troop.

    Sheila Tone

    August 22, 2015 at 9:04 pm

  9. I wonder where that Frank dude lives, where car shows are a white thing. Here it’s an Hispanic thing. The only white guys without lots of tattoos are retiree types.

    Sheila Tone

    August 22, 2015 at 9:11 pm

  10. Does anyone remember Indian Guides? They seemed like the YMCAs version of the boy scouts. I was an Indian Guide for about 2 months when I was a kid. I remember getting all of these patches from it.

    There was a father son day with the Indian Guides. My dad didn’t want to go because he hated outdoorsy activities but my mom convinced him. I remember my dad was so quiet during that event. He couldn’t relate to any of the ceremony’s, activities, or the other dad’s. Yet I was so happy he was there.

    Anyway I did some research and was not surprised in the least that the name “Indian Guides” does not exist anymore. Today they are called “Adventure Guides”.

    Jay Fink

    August 23, 2015 at 1:38 am

    • I did Indian Guides, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, and had a great time in all three. Of note: we had one Assistant Scoutmaster who did campouts but not weekly meetings who was obviously gay. And that was in the 70s. I suspect there’s been a lot of DADT over the years; there certainly was in my troop.

      I’m sad for a kid whose parent thinks scouts are about being “indoctrinated with structured, community-organized hate”. She knows a thing or two about hate. Frank sounds like one of those guys who dressed goth or punk, like everybody else in his clique, and considered himself non-conformist.


      August 23, 2015 at 3:21 pm

  11. The Boy Scouts are masculine, White, and affiliate with Christian churches. It’s like they want to be hated by SWPLs.


    August 23, 2015 at 10:02 am

  12. Not to get all anti-Semitic, but Kevin MacDonald mentions the Addams Family Movie in such a context of an attack on white normalcy.


    August 23, 2015 at 3:19 pm

  13. I never did Scouting myself. It didn’t seem too popular in the Connecticut city where I grew up.
    When I was in high school many kids were in CYO, Catholic Youth Organization (the city was heavily Catholic, at least nominally so). I went to a few meetings here and there, they were okay but nothing special.
    Junior Achievement was my favorite activity.



    August 23, 2015 at 6:55 pm

  14. The Addams Family represented the mood of antidisestablishmentarianism that was trendy in the 1960s. Its actually hilarious that these ex-hippies are so conformist now when you see how fervently they claimed they weren’t. The Boy Scouts was used as a typical foil for the wild and eccentric attitudes the Addams Family had. The Boys Scouts were the typical Americana that the yippie movement hated. The Addams Family however is despised by the Left due to the fact of the strong nuclear family portrayed. Gomez is so in love with his wife, he won’t even look at other women except in one episode where its part of a funny plot of a schoolmarm. Even though they sleep on spikes and play in a torture chamber, just the fact that the Addams Family has a loving family at its base drives Liberals insane.
    The Munsters is more slapstick, and even though they’re Universal Studio Monsters from Transylvania, they act pretty normal. Except for the lab full of potions and strange cuisine its a lot like Father Knows Best or Leave it to Beaver. Eddie, BTW, is not a werewolf, he has a werewolf teddy bear called Fang.

    Joshua Sinistar

    August 23, 2015 at 8:29 pm

  15. It’s probably difficult for Scouting to compete with the plethora of youth sports leagues.



    August 24, 2015 at 6:53 am

  16. […] a lot of people and that results in normal and very pleasant links from more established blogs like Lion of the Blogosphere. This is all for the good and I really like it. My disappointment is that I don’t get enough […]

  17. I’ve supported my son in Scouting since he was age 6, and he’s working toward Eagle so he can take advantage of any benefits from that: scholarships or general recognition as being somewhat elite. There is almost nothing controversial about Scouting except for its staunch belief until recently that gays should be excluded as not “morally straight”. Scouting is fairly liberal in outlook. It teaches a weak love of country, and it gets kids outdoors and away from the internet. It’s a Good Thing which is why leftists often hate Scouting. Note that they never suggest something to replace it —


    September 21, 2015 at 12:14 am

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