I’ve never been able to last more than a couple of minutes watching Family Guy. It is, quite simply, way too crude for my tastes. It takes vulgar, and puts it into hyperdrive. I’m also out of sync with its liberal sensibilities, but that goes for 99% of what’s on TV nowadays, so that fact really doesn’t distinguish Family Guy for me.
Given the grotesqueness that so frequently pops up on the show, I wasn’t surprised to hear that it’s now decided to offend Vietnam War vets. After all, at a certain point, the same old targets get boring. Still, I was curious as to how the show was going to serve up this latest offense, so I hopped on over to the video, here. And yes, it is true that the segment is remarkably nasty when it comes to Vietnam Vets. Remarkably. But still….
Okay, I’m going to hate myself for saying this, but the attack on Vets lives within the context of a larger attack that actually has some merit. This attack is against an America that, by elevating Obama to a pedestal of alarming proportions, has debased itself in the process. And in that context, the nastiness of the attack on the Vets is a reminder that America’s slide downward to its current economic, cultural and security abyss started with the anti-War movement.
Just think about it: the video starts with the statement that Washington, D.C., is the “seat of government for the world’s former most powerful nation.” It then moves immediately to a visual of the Washington monument, a symbol of America’s freedoms and unique status, dwarfed by an “Obama monument.” (And we won’t even get into the phallic symbolism of that large, black obelisk.) It doesn’t take a dodo to figure out that, whether or not the writers intended it, the characters are saying that the mighty Obama presides over a shrunken nation. Travel from there to a nasty Vietnamese man taunting American soldiers about the war dead, and ending with “Vietnam! Undefeated!” and you have a pretty scathing indictment of a downfall that began with America’s own Fifth Column, and ended with an artificially inflated president lording it over a shrunken nation — and, worse, one that he continues to diminish.
Honestly, I don’t know what the Family Guy writers were thinking when they wrote this stuff but sometimes the truth leaks out, no matter the writer’s goals. Whether these writers were planning on ridiculing conservative fears, lauding Obama, or attacking Veterans on the eve of Memorial Day, they managed to create a short vignette that contains within it some very ugly truths about our past, present and future.