Sunday, January 3, 2016

In Retrospect Maynard G. Krebs Was... Cool!

1/3/2016 - DG - MAYNARD - LINE OF WORK
Why did my friends and I LOVE Bob Denver's Maynard G. Krebs character so much? (WIKIPEDIA: Maynard G. Krebs is the "beatnik" sidekick of the title character in the U.S. television sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which aired on CBS from 1959 to 1963.)
In this snippet  we see Maynard interacting with his high school teacher, engaged in a short exchange about Maynard's "future" (the central concern of all of us at that age) - In my day (high school class of '66) American kids still believed that great things were possible for them, that is IF they studied hard, got into a good college, and then got a good job :) I know, I know, how naive we all were back then, but these ideas were implanted in our heads from an early age through the medium of oft-chanted mantras spoken with great authority by our parents, teachers, and any adult who cared to share some life wisdom with us... In this bit of a conversation Maynard explains to his sport coat and tie wearing, humorless teacher that he won't become a professional bongo player until June (presumably when he graduates).

Maynard wasn't even a minimally passing student (in another episode titled "I'm like doomed" he explains that he got a minus two as a grade on a test by incorrectly answering 2 questions that his teacher didn't even ask :) - He wasn't a jock. He didn't have a girl friend (he like preferred Jazz to chicks) and although he had no idea about what he wanted to do with his life, he was kind hearted and charming in his own gauche, confused way. Why did we love him so? For one thing, many of us, who for lack of the extraordinary insight and courage it would have taken to extricate ourselves from the track laid down by society for us to follow, had, at least,  a bit of a Maynard side to our lives. Some may have hidden it; but even while taking  SAT cram courses,  we knew - or at least suspected - that 'cracking the books' in order to become a successful  accountant or sport coat and tie wearing high school teacher was to do something other than to follow the call of our higher selves. Maynard was like cool and that mattered somehow. 

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