Colonial House . some observations

28 Mar

I brought home this DVD from the library that contained the complete season of this PBS production. (I expected Holly to ask what in the world I was doing bringing this home, but she got pretty interested relatively quickly.) To read about what the show is all about, click this link. But basically, it’s kind of an educational “Real World” where the participants live like thier building a settlement in New England in 1628.

Obviously, this proves difficult for all kinds of reasons. It’s cold, it’s hard work, but the most interesting thing, is that all of the people are given specific “roles” in the comunity. Some find out they’re to be indentured servants, while others are freemen and even offices like the Governor of the settlement and assistant Governor. Adjusting to the social position of one’s “character” to acurately live within the strict hierarchy of that society appears to be the biggest struggle for nearly everybody.

The 21st Century folk chosen to participate in the show come from diverse backgrounds. The Governor (G from here on) is a conservative Baptist minister from TX that has his whole family with him. The assistant Governor/Lay Minister (AG) of the group is actually a religious professor and ordained Lutheren Minister from California. In the first episode, this guy makes note of the fact that it would be difficult to imagine two “Christian” families with more wildly different belief systems.

This is the point that I’m trying to write about but am having the most difficult time trying to explain and describe.

It is so obvious by plenty of comments, that many in the group regard G and his conservative family with suspician and criticism to their assumed “lack of tolerance” and closed-mindedness. What strikes me the most, is how backwards this sentiment seems to be.

G and his family, although I don’t really appreciate everything they say and do, look to be a strong Christian family. They exhibit genuine care and love for each other and everybody else on the project. G takes his given role as Governor very seriously and struggles with the responsibility of his leadership. Even when various self-proclaimed “liberal” people defiantly challenge and take issue with G’s rules (which are actually the show’s rules which are trying to acurately portray the social/political/religious climate of 1628) G deals with them mercifully, to the point that it seems like he feels guilty for violating the spirit of the show.

On the other hand, a few of the other “liberal” people are the most arrogant, defiant, critical slaves to their own 21st century ideals which simply would not fit in 1628. Needless to say it’s irritating to watch.

I feel like I’ve done a poor job at describing this situation, but seriously: Who sounds the most closed-minded?

This strikes me as exceedingly interesting and sad and encouraging all at the same time.

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Posted by on March 28, 2005 in Uncategorized


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