Monday, July 21, 2008

Pop Culture and Freemasonry: NewsRadio

Our next installment in the Freemasonry and Pop Culture series is NewsRadio. The basic premise behind the show, "NewsRadio" is the story of the crazy personalities at a small radio station in New York. The cast is led by Dave Foley of "Kids in the Hall" fame who plays a Level-Headed Midwesterner who starts as the station manager and discovers the incredibly bizarre behaviors of the employees at the station as well as the owner, Jimmy James.
The episode that presents a Masonic reference is entitled, "Rose Bowl" and involves station owner Jimmy James purchasing what he believes to be authentic movie memorabilia. He takes the kid to Court and asks Joe, the station tech, to represent him in the case. To win the case, Joe tells Jimmy that all Judges are Freemasons and that all that he needs to do to win is to say a magic word and the Judge will rule in his favor. Joe brings up some "Masonic" references and finally tells Jimmy James to say the secret word at which time, the Judge overturns his own ruling.

I have to say that I have always found the show humorous and off-beat. I did like this episode and laughed at the joke of the secret word for its absurdity. The concept of a Judge ruling in Jimmy James favor for uttering it is humorous. The major section of the video to watch is at 5:40, 9:00 and 18:36 minutes.

Masons have often held high positions in society, from US Presidents, Canadian Prime Ministers, and for the purposes of this article, Judges. From Justices Black, to Blair to famed legal scholar Roscoe Pound, Freemasons have been in the legal sphere. Roscoe Pound published a book on Masonic Jurisprudence to explain the nuances of the law within Freemasonry. It is important to note, however, that Mason are forbidden from showing favoritism to a brother under the color of law. If a brother should commit a wrong, he must pay for the crime he has committed. Freemasonry is built upon the idea of charity and helping to carry your needy brother when he has difficulty standing. Freemasonry is not a Cabal of men attempt to subvert laws but are given the task of constructing goodness in the structure of Society.

Seriousness aside, I really found the episode humorous. The Judge seems completely fed up with Mr. James until the secret word is spoken, then it is a complete change in personality. Also, I have to admit that the part with Goober (George Lindsey) is really funny as I used to watch reruns of the Andy Griffith show as a kid.

In all, I really think Freemasonry benefits more than it hurts from humorous representations like this. I get a kick out of watching the Media and its portrayals of the Craft. So, next time you are standing in front of a Judge, remember the secret word.

(In addition to posting the episode here, I have also linked to the Hulu site if you would like to see the episode in an expanded mode. Again, I apologize to my Canadian and international friends who can't see the Hulu videos. I am trying to find a way to rectify the problem.)

1 comment:

The Plumbline said...

Amusing. Thanks for sharing.