Bonanza

Bonanza: (n) a sudden increase in wealth or good fortune

My parents would not allow me to watch the Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, but I was allowed to view episodes of Bonanza.Dictionary B

Now, many of you reading this article may not know what Bonanza was. It was a show about a father and three adult sons, the Cartwrights, who owned a huge ranch, the Ponderosa, in Nevada and their struggles in trying to maintain their opulence.

I loved the show when I was a kid, but when I started watching it as an adult, it was a little bit terrifying. Why? Because a lot of people got killed so all of the family who lived on the Ponderosa could be proven right.

It was just the mindset of the time.

In our country, once we had established that something was “an American thing,” it had to be justified. So we condoned:

  • A Cold War
  • Racial inequality
  • Killing Vietnamese
  • And even brutalizing in the press scrawny rock-and-roll singers from Britain

As I watched the reruns of Bonanza, I realized that I was required to root for Dad and the boys in every episode, no matter how faulted their motives might be.

Bonanza?

Yes, I guess so–if your name was Pa, Little Joe, Adam or Hoss.

 

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