It’s not about the actress. It’s about the characters she played. Mary Tyler Moore was best known for the characters of Laura Petrie on The Dick van Dyke Show, and Mary Richards on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.
What did these two characters have in common? Innocence without naiveté. Neither Laura Petrie nor Mary Richards were fools. These characters were soft, but not airheads. There was a charming innocence about both of them, a persona most of us will never forget. These characters were brought to life by Moore’s own unique mannerisms and persona, no doubt a blending of her own unique personality with the great writing, acting and humor that brought it all to life.
Innocence can be honest and smart. You can remain innocent while never becoming a fool. That’s what Moore captured so wonderfully in both of her memorable characters.
When The Mary Tyler Moore Show first aired in the 1970s, some people commented on the refreshing wholesomeness of the character in the midst of what was, in many ways, a dark and difficult era. Yet the same could be said about today. This leads me to think that such a combination of qualities is rare, and special, in any time or place. People will always appreciate and benefit from them, and they should.
The actress is not the character. But it must say something about the actress that she brought these two characters to life in a way that transcends the ages. Let’s also not forget Moore’s memorable performance in the movie Ordinary People. Many were shocked by the contrast between the innocent Petrie/Richards characters and the much harsher one she portrayed in the movie. It shows her range, and range marks the difference between a good and a great performer.
The blending of honesty and innocence gave credibility to the theme song of Moore’s show which ended with, “You’re gonna make it after all.” Did she make it after all? It’s only a fictional sitcom character, after all. But the hope was always that she did.
Fond farewells, Mary Tyler Moore. We don’t get a whole lot of performers like you. We’re very lucky we had you.
The latest self-conscious controversy orchestrated by preening, posing leftist “progressives” broke out after last week’s Oscar nominations — the second year in a row in which all 20 acting nominees are white.
Charlotte Rampling is the latest actress to weigh in on the race row that has erupted over this year’s Academy Awards.
Rampling, 69, who is nominated for the Best Actress Award for her role in “45 Years,” called the decision by some actors to boycott the Oscars “anti-white racism.”
“Maybe this time, no black actor or actress deserved to make it to the final selection,” she said during an interview on French radio station Europe 1. “Why should we always categorize people? I think nowadays we are living in easily offended societies. There will always be someone who’s too beautiful, too black or not white enough.”
Rampling gets to the heart of the matter. It’s perfectly fine to categorize people by race, gender, or any other objective classification – when it’s relevant.
Acting has nothing whatsoever to do with race. It has everything to do with acting. The same applies to script writing, special effects, music and the various other categories comprising the Oscars. The attempt to smear winners of this year’s nominations for Academy Awards with “racism” is actually racism itself. When you arbitrarily elevate the factor of race over and above other factors, you’re engaging in racism, by definition. To understand why, consider the polar opposite of racism: individualism. Individualism is where you make the attributes of character first and foremost, while racism is where you make the attribute of skin color or racial origin the central priority. Racist, socially conscious leftists started this fight; not anybody else. They are always the ones who start it.
Notice the methodology of those who smear those who wish to attend or view the Oscars with the charge of racism. Once upon a time, a charge of racism went like this: “I can prove that the people who did not get nominated were just as good, or in some cases better, than those who were white and nominated. It’s reasonable to assume that racism is a factor.” Valid or invalid, an argument intended as proof would follow.
Not so today. Today, all you need is name-calling intended as intimidation. It’s nothing more than schoolyard bullying, elevated to the level of sophisticated cultural analysis. Automatically, with no suggestion of evidence and none considered necessary, those who fail to immediately see the racism involved are condemned as – you guessed it, racist. It’s so sad. Those accused of racism feel impotent to defend themselves. “I can’t disagree with those claiming this year’s Oscars are racist. That would make me a racist.” So they bow their heads in compliance with the guilt-inducing name-callers who must know what they’re talking about, right? This is one more sad example of why America is failing and floundering. We’re doing it to ourselves, by letting these junkyard bullies passing as social commentators intimidate us into not thinking.
This also summarizes the whole problem with progressive leftism, the ruling orthodoxy of today’s government, academic and media culture. You’re guilty until proven innocent. In fact, if you fail to agree with the person making the claim, you’re guilty of the very thing (e.g. racism) for which the claim has not yet been proven. “You don’t agree with my charge of racism? That makes you a racist, then!” It’s circular reasoning. And it’s truly madness.
That’s why Charlotte Rampling’s daring pushback is encouraging. Racist-baiters used to count on white people, especially white leftists/progressives (everyone in Hollywood must at least pretend to be one), not challenging them. It was solely an argument from intimidation. The thing about the argument from intimidation? When your objects of intimidation refuse to take it any longer, and hold the one making the claim responsible for proving it, then it’s a whole new ball game.
Thank you, Charlotte Rampling.
Stacey Dash, another courageous actress, says, “We have to make up our minds. Either we want to have segregation or integration. And if we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET [Black Entertainment Television], and the BET Awards, and the Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black. If it were the other way around, we would be up in arms. It’s a double standard. Just like there shouldn’t be a black history month. We’re Americans. Period. That’s it.”
Absolutely. The alternative to racism is individualism. America represents individualism, or at least it once did. The racist-baiters who try to intimidate and shame us into phony agreement will never accomplish a thing, not for anyone. I am sick of them, and everyone else who is sick of them should start saying so, too. Put the bullies in their place.