kw: memories, heroes
I watched the Lawrence Welk program on ABC, on and off during the decade and a half that it ran live. I haven't seen it much since, though it has been in continual reruns ever since. My wife has begun to watch the PBS reruns in the last few years, and now we watch together. The current run, produced out of OETA in Oklahoma, has lasted nearly ten years longer than the original program.
I usually avoid programs that tug at my heart strings, whether dramas or "specials". For example, while I really like the premise of Extreme Makeover Home Edition, I rarely watch. I am just too big a softie, and need to use up a few tissues. But in the case of the LW program I make an exception. It touches my heart without overpowering it. The pieces are often reverent without being maudlin, sometimes corny but always enjoyable.
I find it amazing that so many PBS stations (three in this area) carry the program. The continued and vocal support it gets from people of all ages gives me hope that there is a core of strength in this country. It is composed of equal measures of family values, unabashed patriotism, and a healthy fear and love of God. Just like the show.
The media culture, including most PBS stations, dominated by the overly "progressive" ideology found on East and West coasts, is a culture bent on self-destruction. But these poor folks can't overcome the influence of the "flyover country" that lies between. The Welk programming isn't found everywhere, but I've found that other programs continue to feed that righteous need, programs such as Prairie Home Companion, though it has lost something in the past ten years (Find out more about it here).
People like Lawrence Welk (and many of those who worked with him) and Garrison Keillor (and a number of his cohorts) are heroes of mine. They have the precious skill of entertaining without degrading, rather they ennoble their audience.
There is a verse in 2Thess that speaks of a "restraint", holding back the extreme lawlessness of the last days until one day it will "get out of the way". Lotsa people don't like any restraint, but a restraint is in place, and continues to rescue the human race from the worst of which it is capable. It will not always be so. For now, the popularity of the Lawrence Welk program and similar warm-hearted work is a clear indication that the restraint is safely in place. For now.