Our office assistant Laura has a dog named Dave, who has gone through a number of medical procedures lately (including canine chemotherapy) that has left him occasionally spaced out, and yes, it’s hard to blame him. Today, as he gazed up at me with a particularly mournful look, I instinctively put on a deep Southern drawl and said, “Aww, Davey, it’s okay. God is everywhere!”
My wife, who missed out on all kinds of seminal American experience whilst at her poncy grade school in Scotland, not only orders Big Macs at Wendy’s, but has also never seen “Davey and Goliath”.
I should admit that I’ve probably seen every “D&G” ever made, because they were shown randomly on the Dr. Max Show, a cartoon show hosted by grumpy old Max Hahn after school on the old WMT-TV station in Eastern Iowa. I know what you’re all thinking: yes, WMT actually was one of the only broadcasters west of the Mississippi with call letters starting with “W”!
Anyway, Dr. Max showed all the Bugs Bunny classics with a few terrible “Popeye” episodes mixed in, but once or twice a week we’d get a “Davey and Goliath”. I think they subconsciously reminded me of the claymation Rankin-Bass Christmas specials, so I soldiered through them, even though they were hopelessly boring. Plus, Davey was always in some fuckin’ trouble or another, either getting lost in a cave, keeping money that didn’t belong to him, or plunging into saturnine despair when he grandmother died.
The shows were unapologetically Christian, with frequent references to gospel. Back in the ’70s, when we were latchkey kids frequently alone in the house at the age of 8, folks figured “D&G” worked well enough as morality plays in lieu of actual parenting, and didn’t sweat the religious angle. I never gave it a second thought.
Until today, that is, when I did an impression of Goliath for Laura’s dog, and realized: in this day and age, there is no WAY that show would EVER be shown to kids outside of a special church presentation. The uproar from lefty agnostics accusing the TV networks of brainwashing their precious brood would be deafening, and I WOULD BE ONE OF THEM.
It comes to this. The culture wars have been so scorched-earth and ruinous that neither side has any interest in enduring the other. I will be happy to admit my knee-jerk response to the domination of Christianity in our government (and vast swaths of our culture), and I will cop to overcorrecting, and painting with a grotesquely large brush.
But I will say this: the sickening cant of the Bachmans, Palins, Ashcrofts, Brownbacks, and Santorums of the world has solidified the progressives’ lifelong duty to keep church and state separate. Put another way, if evangelicals and religious, right-wing Republicans weren’t such dicks, I would have no problem with the occasional episode of “Davey and Goliath”. Even the one where Davey accidentally locks himself inside a freight train.