Deconstructing the Brady Bunch

Deconstructing the Brady Bunch Jeffrey Breinholt reflects on a “Deconstructing Islamaphobia” conference at Berkeley, presumably aimed at deconstructing the myths of Islamophobia and wonders if they will actually deconstruct Islamaphobia and thus prove it does not exist.

Along the way, he provides this amusing example of textual deconstruction:

Remember the Brady Bunch? What did we know about them? It was a story about a man named Brady, who was busy with three boys of his own. They were four men, living altogether, yet they were all alone.

Let’s look at the text. How can one be living with three other people, yet be all alone? That makes the Brady Bunch theme song internally inconsistent. There are two possibilities: either the Brady Bunch does not exist, since its theme song yields a philiosophical inconsistency, or, in the Brady men’s narrative, they would never to considered whole unless there were females (woMen) in the house to clean up after them. If the latter, than the Brady Bunch creators believed that men must be entitled to enslave females (woMen). Thank Heavenly Mother we have moved well beyond the paternalistic, sexist construct in postmodern America.

Either possibility renders the Brady Bunch worthless as an art form. In fact, it might as well not exist as a phenomenon. Those reruns you still see? The television screen might as well be a test pattern.

This, incidentally, is not the view of the Department of Justice.

FILED UNDER: Education, Humor, Popular Culture
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    I suspect that their conclusions will rely on how they define their terms to start with. If, as I suspect, any reaction against any Muslims anywhere under any circumstances fall within the definition of Islamophobia, I think we can be pretty confident that nothing useful will come out of the conference.

    If, on the other hand, a more commonsensical definition is used, e.g., over-generalization or reaction against all Muslims because of the actions of some Muslims, I think we can be pretty confident that nothing useful will come out of the conference.

  2. rodney dill says:

    …but with Alice as the surrogate second wife, this obviously was a Mormon plot.

  3. Bithead says:

    well, on many levels, their viewers don’t really exist either.

  4. floyd says:

    “”Bunch creators believed that men must be entitled to enslave females (woMen).””
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    You mean Alice did not get Paid??

    The only unrealistic thing here is that she was doing a job no American would do?? [lol]

    The only Family member with a JOB was MR.Brady, so who is the “ENSLAVED” party in this story??

  5. Wayne says:

    It looks to me that Jeffrey is sexist since he considers the only reason to have women around is to clean up after the males. I took the statement “They were four men, living altogether, yet they were all alone” to mean this. They were living in the same house but lacking that family feeling and communication that kept them from interacting as a family thereby resulting in each being isolated. Only after the females came into the family did things get jarred loose and they became a family. The females were more of a catalyst in creating a family than some slaves for the males.

  6. Life is too short for this.