This week's entry concerns the Flintstones and the wonderful organization known as the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes Lodge. In the Flintstones, Fred and Barney (who were modeled after the television program, the Honeymooners) are members of two societies that seems to be fashioned after a mix of the Freemasons, the Shrine, the Elks and the Moose: the Water Buffaloes and the Order of Dinosaurs. The Loyal Order of Dinosaurs was the precursor to the later group known as the Water Buffaloes. (Ironically, the Elks may have been named the Buffalo had the votes been different.) Water Buffaloes are led by a man known as the Grand Poobah and meet in Lodges. The brothers have wild parties and is strictly restricted to men. Fred and Barney are members of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes Lodge No. 26.
Although there appears to be more in common with the Elks or the Moose, such as the fact that alcohol is freely consumed and that the brothers of the Water Buffaloes have stag parties, there are still some similarity to Freemasonry and the Shrine. There is a secret phrase to gain admission: Ack, Ack, A-dak. The Grand Poobah is also sometimes referred to as the Grand Imperial Poobah just as the leader of the Shrine is known as the Grand Imperial Potentate. As a side note, the name of Grand Poobah originally comes from the Gilbert and Sullivan musical, "The Mikado" where the Grand Pooh-bah is a man that holds many exalted titles that meant absolutely nothing. Even today, the title of Grand Pooh-bah is a lampoon on anyone who seeks great prestige with meaningless jobs.
However, in all, Freemasonry does not appear to feature as prominently a part as other fraternal organizations. It seems that the joke is directed, fairly or unfairly, to the Shrine, the Elks and the Moose who attended heavy drinking parties and saw as the episode I have posted, dancing girls and "cactus juice". Freemasonry does not, in and of itself, promote the idea of heavy drinking and raucous fun; the Shrine provides those opportunities for men to have "fun".
During the Fifties, Freemasonry experienced a boom time as well as many other fraternal organizations when former members of the military kept in contact with their friends in the military after both the Second World War and the Korean War. Almost five million men joined Freemasonry and the Lodges truly flourished. Although "the Flintstones" was created between 1960 and 1965, many of the ideas that were presented in the show were in fact from the 1950's. The turbulent era of the Sixties had not yet come to complete fruition as the United States did not come to grips with the Viet Nam War until much later on in the decade. "The Flintstones" are examples of the what the 1950's ideals meant in the United States.
The title of the Flintstones episode that I have posted here is "Pebbles' Birthday Party". Season 5 Episode 118. The story in a nutshell is that Fred is nominated to take care of the party planning for the Lodge's big gathering and needs to get dancing girls, cactus juice (Tequila?) and a swinging band. He also is asked by Wilma to plan Pebbles' Birthday Party. He goes to the only party planner in town where a mix up occurs and hilarity ensues. http://video.aol.com/video/tv-the-flintstones-pebbles-birthday-party/1797298
If you would like to see more from "the Flintstones", visit http://video.aol.com/video-category/the-flintstones/103140.