Over the years we've as a country and a society have seem to have loss our innocence. Some ways this is a very healthy aspect, other ways its been extremely destructive. Looking back at the 1960s and 1970s America was laughing and singing to what they didn't seem to know or grasp. Let's take a peak.
In 1971 the music group the Kinks released what would become their smash hit Lola. Lola was about a horny young man desperate for his first sex finds seemingly what appears to be a prostitute. Turns out that Lola the prostitute is actually a trans sexual. Despite not having quite the proper "equipment" the young man falls in love with him/her anyway. No you could only imagine the stir such a song would cause today. But yet in 1971 America just sang along and never asked "isn't this a song about some young dude having sex with another dude appearing to be a woman."
One of the funniest shows of all times was Green Acres. The show centers around a rich big city lawyer named Oliver Wendell Douglas and his diva wife Lisa who move from Manhattan to a small farming town, Hootersville, in order to fulfill Oliver's dream of being a farmer. Oliver and Lisa come across as two urban rich elites clueless to the more simple world around them. They get taken by the local con man Mr. Haney into buying a run down farm and broken down tractor. Oliver despite his suppose love of farming hasn't the first iota of how to farm. He farms in a three piece suit, all his crops fail, and his tractor keeps falling apart (making you wonder if he's so rich why doesn't he simply buy a new one). He can never catch onto the country life despite trying to fit in. The local phone company won't even move his phone from the telephone pole into his house.
In essence it's a show about how the rich elite just can't seem to navigate the life styles of people much less educated and of lower social scale. Oliver is the butt of all the local jokes for his unwillingness to dress and act more like people on a lower economic scale. Oliver doesn't get the local culture and the local culture doesn't know quite what to make of these two rich city interlopers into their small rural farming community. But the show also seems to put paint the farm community as a bunch out of touch imbeciles.
The show also takes a page out of the "Lola" playbook. Two local characters, a brother and sister, the Monroe "brothers" are two hapless and totally inept home builders. They've been working on the Douglas home for years but nothing ever gets completed or properly done. Ralph Monroe is the sister but comes across as either a Lesbian or trans sexual women stuck in a man's body. Strangely, the actress Mary Grace Cranfield was a beautiful woman in real life. Alph Monroe is the brother but comes across as possibly a gay man.
Hank Kimball is the moronic local county agent, representing government in small farming towns. He can't seem to remember what he was talking about 30 seconds ago. He portrays government as massively unable to handle the even most basis issues, like a local bug infestation eating away at the crops.
Despite the double entendres galore Americans don't seem to pick up on any of them. No one screaming that Green Acres is about class warfare, income inequality, eliteness, closeted gays, trans sexuals, inadequate government despite the show showcasing all of it every week.
Later in the 1970s the band the Village People have smash hits that center around gay life for a young man living in NYC. Despite the very blatant lyrics no one seems to notice or mind. People singing YMCA or In the Navy apparently having no understanding of what the words are about. More to the point, no one in media telling Americans "do you realize what these songs are about?"
All of this today would have create hours and hours of pundits from each side yelling at each other in both MSM and alternative media. Why won't the directors allow the character of Ralph to get re-assignment surgery? Why doesn't the town rise up and demand the county replace the bumbling Hank Kimball? Doesn't Oliver understand that when he wears a suit around Hootersville its insulting to the poor Hootersville farmers? Why is his wife Lisa the token blond bimbo that is subservient to her controlling husband?
We'd hear aren't the Village People forcing the "homosexual agenda" down everyone's throat? Shouldn't the tranny in Lola be allowed the use the bathroom of his/her choice?
Unfortunately sometimes "knowledge" causes problems. We as living organisms don't do well with handling the truth. We seem much better off when we can't understand the real meaning and just stay with what's on the surface.
When the vast majority of Americans believed in GI Joe, the US as the good guys in the Cold War, the US as a defenders of freedom and democracy, our Presidents being noble, etc. society hummed along a bit better. As much as we think we're so super advanced from 50 years ago I'm not so sure. Its so much easier believing fairy tales and not looking beyond words.
If we are going to accept that the world as a far more complex and difficult place than we've been accustomed to believing, we need to put on our big boy pants. Understanding the "gray" is much harder than seeing a sharp black and white. Or we can just go back to calling a woman "Ralph" and laugh about it.