Driving into town yesterday one of the DJ’s on my favorite radio station made the comment Archie Bunker of All in the Family fame would be considered politically incorrect in the prevailing atmosphere today. Well the show was politically correct back when it first arrived on television, only I guess we were less tightly wound than we are now. First airing in 1971, the Norman Lear sit-com featured a working class family from Queens and their neighbors. Crusty Archie Bunker and all-suffering wife Edith, patriach and matriach respectively, led the cast which included daughter Gloria and her husband Michael (affectionately known as “meathead” by the patriach). From the first episode it took the nation by storm. Irreverent, in your face comedy touching on every previously untouchable story line stopping only at an episode featuring the Pope getting married to a pole dancer. The show took us down roads not traveled by television prior to its airing putting subjects up for view that up until then were simply not spoken about, at least in public. We lapped it up.
Today we have actually gone backwards. Literally everything is politically incorrect. Yesterday apparently on The View a young hispanic actress commented on how much “white people” shower. Continuing on to add she was married to a white man who showered several times a day where people of ethnicity are likely to shower perhaps only two or three times a week. Twitter blew up after the comments with people chiming in on the subject finding it insulting to one side or the other. Are you kidding me? Don’t we have enough on our plates with what is going on in the world to worry about a statement raised about bathing? Who cares? Shower every hour, shower once a week. Last I looked this is a “free country” and we can still air an opinion without being pinned to the wall.
According to my dermatologist bathing too frequently can result in dry, cracked skin. My grandchildren are obsessed with bathing. When they stay with us our water bill exceeds that of Buckingham Palace. One in particular seems to feel the need to step in the shower every time she breaks a sweat. Now, breaking a sweat is unlikely because when watching her only her fingers move while hovering over one keyboard or another, but still.
I can’t help but think that when ancient man first roamed the earth when coming upon a source of fresh water his first instinct would have been to throw himself to the ground and drink from it not hop in, pull out a loufa, and lather up. Granted men in medieval times perhaps took this lax approach a bit too far. The wealthy bathed more often than the common man, who might have only gotten hold of a bar of rough soap four or five times a year. Euuuw. I suppose if as a group you were fragrant, one might not have noticed the aroma emanating from the person next to them if their own equaled it.
During the Renaissance people bathed so infrequently lice was a problem. Hence the wigs the gentry wore to cover up what I would assume was bed head to the nth degree. Hygiene began to take on more import when information regarding disease prevention by washing your hands and keeping a clean person became public knowledge. It’s amazing babies continued to be produced with so many smelly humans running about, but I guess that urge trumps most others.
As to the beginning of his blog I feel we need to lighten up a bit as a society and quit taking ourselves so seriously. Everything does not require getting out the Sharpie and creating a sign. All issues are not hot issues, and the ones that really are need our full attention. Hunger, treatment of our wounded warriors (shabby stuff that), disease prevention, education, but really whether you chose to wash up or do not is a personal choice. I’m not going to take to the picket lines over the whole thing.
On another hot subject, this is the best soup. I published it before but as sometimes happens it has disappeared from view. It’s easy, light but satisfying, and pretty in the bowl.
Tortellini en Brodo (in broth)
4 slices Coppa ham, cooked and chopped
8 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 tsp. chicken boullion
3 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green)
6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 9 oz. pkg. fresh chicken and proscuitto tortellini
4 oz. Napoleon (or the like) tricolor tortellini with cheese filling
1/2 tsp. basil
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 carrots, sliced and cooked
1 6 oz. bag fresh baby spinach
Shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish
Brown and crisp ham in skillet over med. heat. Set aside.
In large pot bring broth and water to a boil. Add chopped ham, green onions, tomatoes, tortellini, basil and peas. Cook for 15 mins. at low rolling boil, or until pasta is cooked. Add carrots and gradually introduce spinach to pot.
Ladle into bowls and top with shredded parmesan cheese. Yum