Goodnight Moon, Goodnight June: Mulling over Beave and the American Dream

Pop Culture

This Saturday’s passing of Barbara Billingslea was the death of June Cleaver, America’s touted Matriarchal Eve; a picture tells a thousand words – and for Post-Pleasantville America’s fairy tale ending, well, I just leave that to Beave

The Face of American Values

#mytwocents In Generation Cleaver’s wake, we stand in the midst of super sweet sexting and teen moms, baby baby baby booms and backseat proms. Cleaver represented an ideal that was far from real, but an American lie made truth. The perfect family, the white picket fence, and white pearls. That sterility, that cult of domesticity, upheld a facade that played to the patriarchs of our “better nation.” As we look back on the iconography of patriotic perfection, we must also look at where we are now. What did The Fifties give us except a delusion of grandeur to throw in the gutter? A reflection of everything that wasn’t? The Cleavers were a semblance of American impossibility, not opportunity. For all of the pristine bedrooms within June’s humble abode, there were that many more walk-in closets with skeletons falling over themselves to stumble out. Beaver represents the child of that era – he’s the Hollywood Kid that grew up but never grew out of the pigeonhole. Looking at him, I can’t help but see the milieu of iCarlys, Zacks, Codys, Lindsays, Hilarys, JoBros, and Disney Heaux following his lead. I don’t really know what it means exactly, maybe it’s just a reminder of what happens to deferred dreams.

Watch this space: the more things change, the more they stay the same… you better Belieb it

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