I don’t watch much TV since most of it is garbage. I do enjoy a few shows on the Cartoon Network which, sadly, have more humor and better writing than actual TV shows on other channels. Most of the time if I am watching TV its something cool like the old sci-fi shows and movies that come on Comet TV, or the great action and western films from the 60s, 70s and 80s that play on Charge TV, even the older more wholesome shows like Andy Griffith that play on MyTV. If not for those I likely wouldn’t have cable at all, but over the air delivery of these channels is horrible, so I pay for the most basic of basic.
One of those shows I have enjoyed in the past has been Tim Allen’s ‘Last Man Standing’. At face value its not very much like anything on TV, and even has a little bit of controversy behind it, having been mysteriously removed from its previous distributor, ABC, and eventually picked back up by FOX.
Recently, however, I’ve found that I can’t even watch this show, nor should anyone else, in my opinion.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some Tim Allen. A fan of his since his original show, Home Improvement, which is, to me, a fantastic family show, I’ve absolutely loved him as Buzz Lightyear and ‘The Santa Clause’ movies are a staple in my household for the Christmas season (with the second one being my favorite). If I had my choice of ten people to meet before I die, Tim Allen would be one of them. He seems an interesting kind of guy and I know he has some great stories to tell.
That being said, however, Last Man Standing, for all its ‘conservative values’ is indicative of a huge problem with conservatives in current society: Conservatives, aren’t.
Allen may not be aware of this problem but modern day conservatives are pointless, and gutless, conserving nothing and doing nothing for the cause of conservatism.
Modern conservatives act in this manner:
- Conservatives rant and rave about the current state of the country and society while praising the religious nationalism of fifty or sixty years ago, all the while condemning liberalism and claiming there is a need to ‘hold the line’.
- Liberals run over them and move said line deeper into debauchery and paganism.
- Conservatives move up to the new line and repeat step 1.
Modern day conservatives are spineless and weak, having no anchor.
This is showcased in Last Man Standing, where Allen plays conservative patriot, Mike Baxter. Baxter lives well, working as the marketing director of a large outdoor gear store called Outdoor Man (go figure). He has a pretty wife, three pretty daughters, a nice house, multiple cars, a motorcycle and, apparently, a lot of guns. He rails on about Obama, liberals, Antifa, slackers, welfare queens and taxes, which is what a lot of conservatives rail on about, on radio, on TV and out in real life.
This is the basis of conservatism today. If you do these things, you are considered a conservative.
The show starts to fall of the rails when you realize what it is you are actually watching:
- Mike Baxter, for all his conservative value, has no control in his house. In one episode his oldest daughter, who already has one child out of wedlock with a man who is no longer around, gets caught with another guy in her room. Though she knows she has done wrong, as evidenced by her panic in waking to find him in her bed, she throws a fit when her father tells her he wants no ‘shenanigans’ in his home. But she’s 20 years old! She’s an adult! Though Mike holds the line he eventually gives in to his wife’s previous warning that issuing rules and ultimatums will explode in his face, and he apologizes to his daughter after she moves out.
- In the same episode Mike’s wife warns him against trying to establish rules in his own house because it will eventually ‘blow up in his face’. When he finally calls a family meeting and tries to lay down a few rules about his computer, bras hanging in the bathroom and the middle daughters dropping grades, to which he tightens her curfew, he is argued with and derided and made to look like an incompetent fool. Par for the course for conservatives in 2019. Fathers are still cavemen who have yet to come into the modern, enlightened era where women are liberated, even at 13, 14, 15, 20 years old, and should have no strings tying them down.
- The Baxter’s youngest daughter, Eve, is a tomboy who Mike and others encourage to act like a boy, even up to her joining the military. Though her tomboyish quips and attitude are funny and not abnormal for girls in reality the conservative push to elevate women into men’s spaces, especially the military, is alive and well. Rather than encourage her to learn how to be a good wife, who can still enjoy being a tomboy without going into a space where women are shown to either fail or bring down standards as a whole, they lift her up because she is a strong, independent girl who can do whatever she wants! She has her mind made up, and this is America, and she has FREEDOM!
- The middle child is a vapid and whorish girl who wants to become a fashion designer. Fair enough, but Mike is often told to ignore her sexualization of herself because, well, because its current year and he just doesn’t understand. In one episode she tries to get back at a cheating boyfriend by making a music video with her sisters entitled ‘Pie Rack’. It comes off as funny, yes, but again, young teenage girls sexualizing themselves and their 13 year old sisters is HILARIOUS and not at all part of the problems with society.
- Mike’s wife is a career woman. A geologist who loves wine and, in one episode, dreams about the benefits of being a lesbian after inviting the new neighbors over for dinner only to find that they are, indeed, a lesbian couple. The show makes it clear that SHE is the real last word behind the Baxter household and, as is normal, without her wisdom, Mike would be lost. At least she stays in good shape, dresses feminine and remains faithful to her husband, but often times she alone has the answer to the problem Mike faces, especially when it comes to matters regarding his daughters.
The show is not absolutely horrible, and it does make an awful lot of fun of wacky stereotypical liberal types like vegans, gun-grabbers, crybaby snowflake types and others. It also delivers some pretty good truths in some regards like when Mikes boss warns him that hanging out with his “butch” lesbian neighbor will end in trouble because, in the end, even butch lesbians are women. Sure enough, while joking around after a motorcycle ride, Mike jokes about the ladies butt and she gets offended.
And Mike’s rants about liberals in general are right on the money and funny to boot. As marketing manager he sometimes makes Outdoor Man video blog posts that are not only humorous, but full of salient, common sense points that, no, you don’t often hear on TV and will likely get you fired if you said them at work. His grandsons father does eventually come back into the picture and he’s a left wing whack job who believes his son shouldn’t be participating in competitive sports, Christmas, firearms or offending anyone for anything, and both he and Mike get some good shots in at each other, but Mike’s rips into him are good and funny and often times things you’d like to say to your own family members or coworkers.
Ultimately, however, the show fails because it showcases the lack of spine in modern day conservatives. Mike Baxter, for all his worth, talks big but falls short in action. Like modern conservatives he is content to rail against the system and takes steps to ‘hold the line’, but fails to take steps to pull that line back through the field of garbage its been drug through and back to the place BEFORE the insanity. A place where women were encouraged to be homemakers and support their husbands decisions. Where boys became men in the military and women were resigned to office positions, never to see the battlefield if it could be avoided. Where a man was lord of his home and his wife, his children and everyone else around him knew it, and respected it.
In the end all we get is a reminder that modern conservative man is still neutered, and is perfectly fine with that, so long as he can own a gun and rant about the system he helped to bring about.
It’s good for laughs, but still painful to watch.