Author Topic: I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs  (Read 508 times)

Offline Glom

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I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs
« on: May 08, 2017, 02:37:28 PM »
An episode from 1953, 'The Indian Show', has Ricky putting on an Indian show, inspired by his reading of American history.

How racist is this on a scale of Andrew Jackson to Birth of a Nation?

The episodes opens with Ricky reading a book with a look of blood having been "cuddled". He then says to Fred, "All those Indians you used to have in this country..."

Fred offers his impression of a Native American in order to audition for Ricky's show.

Later, Lucy reads to Ethel a bit of the book mentioning "their fiendish faces". Then unexpectedly at the door are two men dressed as Native Americans there to audition for Ricky. Lucy, having just read about Indian raids, is terrified they've come to scalp her. Incidentally, they don't seem to be played by Native Americans. In fact they're regular bit part players on the show. After knocking the poor guys out with vases, the confusion is cleared up Lucy feels silly for prejudging them so.

Then we're treated Ricky, Ethel and Fred rehearsing for the show with the number "Pass that Peace Pipe". A singer named Juanita (Cherokee name isn't it) does a duet with Ricky "By the Waters of the Minnetonka".

To be fair, the last sets up a great gag when Lucy secretly replaces Juanita on the opening. Ricky's expression when Lucy delivers her first line.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 02:42:25 PM by Glom »

Offline bknight

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Re: I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2017, 08:03:40 PM »
A different era for sure.  The show was for laughs, not to be "politically correct".  I probably saw that episode, but don't remember it.  Those types of comedy's, Red Skelton, You Bet You Life, Gilligan's Island etc.  all have comedy as the main focal point.
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Offline Geordie

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Re: I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2017, 08:52:04 PM »
How racist is this on a scale of Andrew Jackson to Birth of a Nation?

  Without commenting on the intent etc. of the show's producers (and its enduring fame is not for racism,) were 'The Indian Show' to be aired now, in British Columbia, the BLEEP would hit the proverbial fan.

  Here's an example of where things are at in BC these days:

  British Columbia is a 'racist' name and needs to go, says artist

  (Off-topic, regardless of your politics, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, the guy at the center of that article, has created some seriously cool art, in my humble opinion:

  Google image search of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun )

  Oh my goodness. If you want proof that racism is alive and well here, check out http://www.renamebc.ca which is linked to from that news article. A good number of new-name-for-bc suggestions are racist and some are downright offensive.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 09:19:15 PM by Geordie »
.           She's on fire\  And she burns through the night at the speed of light\
             She's on fire\  With the heat of the beat right beneath her feet\
              She's on fire\  And the name of the game is to fuel her flame\
               She's on fire, fire, fire, fire, fire!

Offline smartcooky

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Re: I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2017, 01:32:19 AM »
The past is another country... they do things differently there!

I wonder how many episodes of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" would pass inspection by the PC Police... not many I'll wager!
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Offline Geordie

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Re: I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2017, 02:44:06 AM »
The past is another country... they do things differently there!

  You got that right. In 1975 when I was quite young, I wore an Indian costume to elementary school for Hallowe'en. The costume was well-made and respectful, but this was in a small town well off the beaten track where there was and still is a higher than average number of First Nations people.
  I "went" as an Indian when there genuine ones in my class. (I'm not quite sure what my parents were thinking.) An equivalent would be dressing up as an African American in a school where they were over-represented.

  I haven't seen any Monty Python's Flying Circus for ages. I like to think that I would still love it as much as I did back in the day. Now you've got the theme song stuck in my head.

  "Right then - Off You Go!!  Sergeant Major marching up and down the square!!"
.           She's on fire\  And she burns through the night at the speed of light\
             She's on fire\  With the heat of the beat right beneath her feet\
              She's on fire\  And the name of the game is to fuel her flame\
               She's on fire, fire, fire, fire, fire!

Offline Glom

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Re: I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2017, 06:11:58 AM »
The episode of Fawlty Towers, The Germans was recently edited because of a certain conversation Basil had with the Major in which the Major wad quite old school in his vocabulary.

Offline Al Johnston

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Re: I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2017, 09:28:26 AM »
The Goodies' South Africa was only ever shown once...
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So I did.
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Offline Glom

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Re: I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2017, 11:13:03 AM »
And then there's Disney's Song of the South. Though that lives on in the delightful Splash Mountain where they keep the cartoon characters but forget about kindly Uncle Remus.

Offline gillianren

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Re: I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2017, 11:59:34 AM »
In answer to the question, that's awfully racist.  And frankly kind of sexist, that a woman would be stupid enough to assume an Indian raid in modern-day Manhattan.
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Offline Glom

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Re: I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2017, 03:16:08 PM »
There's plenty of sexism. "I want you to stay home and be a good little girl."

Offline Geordie

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Re: I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2017, 05:33:28 PM »
I wonder how many episodes of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" would pass inspection by the PC Police... not many I'll wager!
  How about Bert Fegg's Nasty Book for Boys and Girls?  It's been more than thirty years since I've seen it, but I'd wager it's no longer "for Boys and Girls."
.           She's on fire\  And she burns through the night at the speed of light\
             She's on fire\  With the heat of the beat right beneath her feet\
              She's on fire\  And the name of the game is to fuel her flame\
               She's on fire, fire, fire, fire, fire!

Offline Jason Thompson

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Re: I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2017, 07:55:26 AM »
The past is another country... they do things differently there!

I wonder how many episodes of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" would pass inspection by the PC Police... not many I'll wager!

Having seen them all quite recently, the surreal and absurd humour tends to avoid the prejudices that offend the censors these days. Exceptions certainly exist (the Aussie Bruces with their repeated rule of 'no poofters' springs immediately to mind!) but I think most of their material is just plain weird and hysterical. What may be considered far more offensive these days is some of the humour of even the well-loved family classics like Morecambe and Wise and The Two Ronnies, both of which included 'blacking up' and some outrageous foreign stereotypes, in sketches that tend not to get repeated these days. Even Porridge gets repeatedly cut during re-runs these days because of references to McLaren's race or the 'poofs and fairies' in B wing. (As an aside it is interesting to note that despite these occasional references, the one recurring character that is explicitly homosexual (Lukewarm) is shown as a nice guy that every other character accepts and likes, and not one homophobic jibe is ever made towards him or about him in his absence).
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Offline gillianren

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Re: I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2017, 11:46:34 AM »
There's plenty of sexism. "I want you to stay home and be a good little girl."

It's a horribly sexist show, despite Lucille Ball's strength behind the camera.  It's part of why I've never really liked it.
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Offline Glom

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Re: I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2017, 05:10:12 AM »
As I go through my redux, I'm starting to get the Desperate Housewives reaction. Our protagonists are terrible people.

There's the time Lucy tries to cheat a game show which helps unfortunate people so she can get a trip to Hawaii in 'Lucy's Hawaiian Vacation'. To be fair, she does get humiliated on the game show and then fails to win the prize as Ricky subtlely sabotages her. It could be interpretted as the episode is aware of the problem and is giving Lucy her comuppance but it is never explicitly acknowledged.

She tries a similar thing later on in 'Ricky's European Booking' when she creates a fake charity to stage a raffle to fund her trip to Europe. The episode this time does call out that she committed a crime.

Lucy tortures Ricky in 'Ricky Loses His Temper' in order to get him to lose his temper so she could win a bet before Ricky finds out she already lost. The bet was that Lucy could go without buying a hat before Ricky lost his temper. Also deserving a mention is the millener who exploits Lucy's vulnerability to get her to buy a hat despite being aware of the personal trouble it will cause.

Lucy extorts Ricky into giving her a part in a television show by threatening to send defamatory interview answers on her marriage to a magazine in 'Bull Fight Dance'.

Lucy's narcissism is on display in 'Lucy Gets in Pictures' when being told she has to be the second girl in the scene, she tries to upstage the lead. To be fair, the director is a jerk who is only making life more difficult for himself out of spite when, after conceding that Lucy can be the lead girl who dies, tries to frustrate Lucy's desire to be seen on camera. Just let her be seen and you can get the scene over with. Also, if he had given Lucy a third take to begin with, she could probably have nailed the leading role anyway.

It transpires Lucy commits embezzlement of club funds in 'The Operetta' though the episode does acknowledge is it technically criminal what she's done.

Twice in the first season, Lucy acts like a serial killer by abducting two dancers so she can replace them in Ricky's show. In 'The Diet' she binds and gags the girl and locks her in a broom closet. In 'Cuban Pals' Lucy arranges for Fred to take Renita on a long detour under the guise of being a taxi driver. It must be pretty scary being a vulnerable young woman in a strange country, having only just arrived from Cuba, when you realise the old man driving your taxi isn't taking you where you want to go.

More psychopathic behaviour in 'The Star Upstairs' when Lucy acts like a stalker by trying to sneak in Cornell Wild's room without him knowing she's there. That's creepy. Even worse is the way she bullies Bobby the bell boy into helping her.

Offline Geordie

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Re: I Love Lucy and Indian Affairs
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2017, 09:03:28 AM »
As I go through my redux, I'm starting to get the Desperate Housewives reaction. Our protagonists are terrible people.
  Just take a break from I Love Lucy and watch a few episodes of South Park. When you go back to I Love Lucy, your problems with the characters will seem quaint and harmless.
.           She's on fire\  And she burns through the night at the speed of light\
             She's on fire\  With the heat of the beat right beneath her feet\
              She's on fire\  And the name of the game is to fuel her flame\
               She's on fire, fire, fire, fire, fire!