This past Friday was the season premiere of the sitcom ‘Last Man Standing’ starring Tim Allen on ABC. He plays Mike Baxter. His character reminds me of a tamer Archie Bunker where he believes and says some ignorant and/or bigoted things but by the end of the 30 minutes it shows his views were wrong and he changes his views or he comes to understand the “other side”. But in the episode ‘Back to School’, one character is told to break the law so her child can go to a ‘good’ school and another character agrees that only god can give one a purpose in life. Did I just watch a Kirk Cameron movie? I need a shower now.
If you aren’t familiar with the show here is a blurb:
Mike Baxter is the marketing director for an iconic outdoor sporting goods store. He loves to have adventures while he’s traveling for work and, of course, he drives a pick-up truck. While Mike is king of the hill at work, he’s the odd man out in a home that is dominated by women — namely his wife, Vanessa, and their three daughters, 22- year-old Kristin, 17-year-old Mandy and 14-year-old Eve. After being a stay-at-home mom for years, Vanessa recently returned to the workplace and was quickly promoted (much to the dismay of her primarily male co-workers). As a result of Vanessa’s increased work load, Mike is pulled into more hands-on parenting than ever before.
Friday night was the 3rd season premiere and I think I might have to stop watching or I will have a stroke.
Plot #1 His oldest daughter, Kristin, is living in sin with her baby’s daddy in what we are told is a rough part of town. They are sending their child, Boyd, to their neighborhood school that is overcrowded and lacking in some resources but it is focused on multiculturalism. The little boy is learning to speak Spanish which his Grandfather dislikes. He decides to ask his daughter to use their address so the kid can go to a “better” school near their house.
Kristin and Mike get into an argument because she doesn’t want to take Boyd out of his current school and she says she doesn’t want Mike so involved in her child’s life because his ideas are toxic (which they are). Later her boyfriend agrees they should send the boy to the “better” school and commit fraud doing it – after all it is for Boyd.
Later Kristin visits her father at home and agrees to have the child stay at the house a few days a week to complete the fraud. She then apologizes for saying he was toxic. *UGH*
Like I said, I think of the Mike Baxter character as a lame Archie Bunker type and his rant about Boyd’s school and asking his daughter to commit fraud just wasn’t funny or something I could laugh at. I was surprised they didn’t talk about vouchers.
In an earlier scene Mike complained about spending $25,000 to send one of his kids to college. In the real world someone who is as rich and conservative as Mike, would send their children to a private school so why didn’t he suggest that. I guess he seems to only like the public schools in his part of town.
It really pissed me off that he got away with bullying his daughter and sticking his nose in how she is raising her son.
But wait there was more to get pissed off about.
Plot #2 One of Mike’s employees, Kyle, is dating the middle daughter Mandy, who has started community college. She is taking a philosophy course and she tells Kyle all about it. He then gets distracted and depressed. Two guys from the Duck Dynasty reality show are special guests and they talk to the kid. Kyle tells them learning about philosophy has confused him about life and he is having trouble figuring out what his purpose in life should be. One of the Duck Dynasty guys tells him:
Stick with the big man upstairs, you’ll never have another day of your life you won’t have a purpose…
*What the f*ck?!?*
Instead of even trying to seem “balanced” and telling the young man that it was up to him if used anything to give him purpose, the Duck guy tells him to use the Bible.
If you think learning philosophy causes you to not have a purpose in life then you are doing it wrong. Philosophy is used to look at and study general and fundamental problems in life. It is a way to gain knowledge and a better understanding of your world and your place in it.
To tell someone to use the Bible to find a purpose, is like telling someone to get drunk to feel better. It’s stupid. Just as stupid as telling your child to break the law so your grandchild can go to what you think is a “better” school.
We Humanists know that it is up to us to give purpose to our own lives. Humanists affirm that humans have the freedom to give meaning, value, and purpose to their lives by their own independent thought, free inquiry, and responsible, creative activity.
I don’t mind TV characters being religious but this show was so wrong on every level. It was almost as bad as the standard TV trope where a character is an atheist and by the end of the episode the person “finds” god.
Mike sticking his nose into how his daughter was raising her son and complaining about Boyd’s “bad” school was like watching a Koch Brother’s commercial during the elections and seeing a young man questioning life being told to only believe in god was just as bizarre for a network television show.
I actually thought I made a mistake and watched a Kirk Cameron movie. I needed a shower afterward.
Here is the Bible scene from the offending show hosted on Hulu: