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Adventure Contemporary Western

These are the times of the inspirationally un-inspirational.

I am going to write a few words on the artistic value of the American sitcom.

I am here watching an episode of a certain show, in a certain anonymous motel, somewhere in the U.S.A., and I am thinking about the obvious beauty of the American sitcom. Its truth.

It is a dead art. None of the sitcoms today, not one, can match the essential beauty of the classic American sitcom. Not the Goldbergs, none of them.


Maybe it is the fact I am a down and out American.

Maybe it is the fact I am unemployed.

Maybe it is the fact I am a Millennial.

Maybe it is the fact I, as an artist, get the most empirical, emotional, derivative, unspeakable, nostalgic feeling when I watch the old sitcoms from the 80s and 90s. Turn on The Golden Girls or Married With Children and I am transported immediately into a wonderful world of reality and sardonic bliss. Please, more.

Maybe it is the fact I have lived on the road for years at a time, staying in small hotels and roadside motels, watching the sitcoms, remembering the dinners my mother made, remembering the inanities my father displayed, and cherishing these said memories all over a nice, fresh, steaming microwaved plate of baked potatoe.


(The American sitcom..... it is sitting in a bar somewhere, half-alive. Lord Almighty, I did not say half-dead because it is, at the moment, very, very, very sensitive to the subject of death, as it is dead. Anyway, there it lies, the true American sitcom, in all its beauty, existing merely as reruns nowadays, available to any person who happens to take a night in a shitty hotel somewhere and flip on a channel and skip over the lowlier exhibitions and channels.....)


Maybe it is the fact I live on the road, most of the time.

But, the American sitcom, those television shows which were played and screened and shot during the 70s and 80s and early 90s, is the perfected artform of the West, and their continued televisionary resurrection midnight after midnight (bringing it all together, like the stars) ("To whom it concerns....." poem read by Roseanne's daughter, like all sitcoms using TRUTH, the playing of a Mozart concerto by the junior high band, so off and messy, its historical value though being amplified by the shabbiness, tying together the undeniable fact: this is the genius of the American sitcom, of course, among other things) only proves this is so.

And the intro to another Roseanne begins, and I think back on other times in other motels and hotels when the art of the timeless sitcom Americano has showed its truth-essence to me, innocently, truly.

What love!

The stale smells, the dirty nights in these hotels..... what love!

The countless American sitcoms watched on these comforters!

Oh, I woo these memories, I woo these American realities, these fat woman lonelinesses with chipbags and iced teas, these fat alcoholic deadman blues going black into the highway of death back in some unknown backroad motel watching Al Bundy tell off his wife..... this is America the beautiful. Love!

Dear, we must look deeper into this beauty. I have my favorites, but Al Bundy's is my best.

Dear him, bless him, yes.

The Americano sitcom, I was afraid to watch it again!

I was scared to set my eyes on its beauty and truth again, its quaint way of saying, always, in that great, simple, old-timey Americano way, "Everything is gonna be alright."

Now, sitting here in a motel on the outskirts of somewhere or another, I have something to say:

I am a lover of the American sitcom.


Ya see, we build up all these lives. Now, I've traveled all over the world, and seen the sitcoms all over the world. It is a kind of folklore, ya know. It really is.


So, being here, nearing midnight, out somewhere in the great night of America, I think of American sitcoms. They are pure shit. Purest shite. But the truth in them amounts to more than the Kierkegaards and the Nietzsches of all past eras. This is simply because of their truth. They resound with brilliant truth. And we love them.


I should not like to be a sitcom writer these days. I am sure the sitcoms of these days will hold some power over the masses which they are rising out of, with that same said folklorish power abovementioned, but I do not think it will be the same. I think we are all, and have been for the past 60 years (there about), in a wonderful, soft spot of Human Art, in a wonderful, soft spot of Human Art in which the venue and genre and folklorish truth of the old timey American sitcom has made itself King and made itself at home. Rightly. It holds the meaning, the power, and the poetic gesture of the age we are a part of. Joycean Comedy. We love it for that reason. Yes.


In fact, as the people of our day become more and more educated and stray away from their constant and inculcated ways of mass-media and mass-information and mass-totalitarian-distraction, they will come further into contact with the truth, that being, life really is just SIMPLE, that being, like a mid 80s sitcom. And no, no Goldbergs, I am not talking about a mid-80s sitcom reshot in the twentyfirst century. No.


No, we miss Roseanne!

We miss her; we do. Rompus rumpus.


We poets, those few of us, who still exist out there, saying what we want.

We sing the American sitcom.

We sing the American sitcom, we sing it.


We sing it because it will die if we don't.

If we don't, once these hole-in-the-wall bars and motels and hotels across the landscape are turned over to the future corporations, the future landlines, they, the real sitcoms of LIFE, will be forgotten under all the multitudinous shite of the modern Media output.


But, at least, for now, maybe saving quoted quips here and there, for anthologies and antiquity, we have poets saving bits and pieces: something like that.


'Cause down the line, Youtube and the like ain't givin' nobody no nostalgia worth a halfpenny. Mark my words. Not shite.

May 13, 2021 05:55

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7 comments

Virginia Rand
11:17 May 15, 2021

I don't know how much of this is your own perspective or if it's coming from a character, but I feel like there's a lot of deep sounding writing here that's not saying as much as it could be. You circle back to the idea of sitcoms telling the truth, to the image of the American motel, but you don't seem to add much with each iteration. I'm not saying stop. I'm saying go deeper.

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Reese Blaise
14:10 May 15, 2021

I agree with this comment. You (or the character) had a strong point of view and really pulled me in. I wanted to know more about the beauty of these classic sitcoms (having never much watched them myself) and what truth they held over current media output. But I don't feel like I got a solid answer except maybe they're a throwback to a simpler form of life. I also like the parallels between old sitcoms and seedy motels (also seems to be dying with more modern hotels and airbnbs).

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J. Storbakken
00:34 May 20, 2021

Happyness to read all of these! This was so helpful, so informative, directive, and lovely. Thank you for your gifts and thoughts, I will try to stay in time with the Orwellian maxim for metaphors, that being, not too many, and no open-ended ones, and generally aim for a clarity that moves with the story. Sincerely, thank you! Happy writing!

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Gerald Daniels
16:30 May 20, 2021

Loved your story. Old US sitcoms are all over our UK channels, and I love them for what they are. I used to pretend I worked behind the bar in Cheers, (but don't tell anyone).

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Maddy Writes
01:44 May 16, 2021

This is such a lovely story, there were a few things I think you should correct, but other than that, IT WAS AMAZING!!! 💖🙂✨✨👍 Sending my best, 🌙The Green Witch🍄

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J. Storbakken
00:31 May 20, 2021

Thank you, I appreciate this so very much. I'd love to share art, and am gratefully open to all suggestions. Happy writing!

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Maddy Writes
01:29 May 20, 2021

You too friend!!! Best of luck!☺️🙏💖

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