senator jesse helms was in many peoples minds a racist, a homophobe, and one of the biggest public embarrassments of the united states.
it’s hard not to understand those criticism when you read that he once said things like this about minorities, “I’ve been portrayed as a caveman by some. That’s not true. I’m a conservative progressive, and that means I think all men are equal, be they slants, beaners or niggers”; and this about AIDS, “There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy.”
at times it almost seemed like he was proud to be so backwards, a trait that some old men still seem quite comfortable in being.
larry harmon, best known in his long-running role as Bozo, couldn’t have been a more different man. most of his life was dedicated to making children happy, entertained, and loved. i grew up in chicagoland at a time when the waiting list for kids to view the hour-long Bozo program was so long that parents often put in their requests when they first became aware of their pregnancy and hoped that WGN would grant them tickets before their child was too old to enjoy the show.
the Bozo show on wgn was an hour long, live program, that ran Monday thru Friday for decades. it was center to the childhoods of millions in the midwest, and, in my opinion, one reason why the Cubs are so popular today. for decades the staple lineup of WGN programming was Garfield Goose at 7am, Ray Rayner at 8am, Bozo at noon, and the Cubs at 1:20pm. it was a genius way to get kids hooked on WGN, and thus the Cubs, in a time before cable or remote controls. you tuned in for the kids programming, you stayed for Bozo, which led beautifully to the hapless cubbies.
people have two paths they can choose in life: provide hope, love, and possibilities in a life that is in constant change; or be a backwards fuck whose grave invites endless urination and ridicule.
im not saying one needs to be a clown in life, but one should certainly think twice if theyre universally considered a bozo without the benefit of a tv show.