(1955). This work is written in a muchnmore modern idiom than the Thomson.nIt is not inaccessible, but it’s complexitynmakes it quite difficult to approach. Accordingnto the composer’s notes, the firstnmovement is “a rather explosive shortnsonata-form movement,” the secondn(which, separately, in the form of Adagionfor Orchestra, received the Fromm FoundationnAward and a Leopold Stokowskinperformance) is “pervasively somber”nand, while “the most tonally oriented,”nPrime-Time Theologynby Philip F. LawlernQuiet! The Fonz is speaking.nYou know The Fonz, of course. Star ofnHappy Days, idol of preteen millions,nthe man who sparked the adolescentnurge to thrust both thumbs outward andnbray, “Aaaay!” But on this occasion ThenFonz is “the pipe”—the character whonspeaks the mind of the show’s producers.nRight now The Fonz is confronting anMoral Crisis and dispensing the folkntheology of TV ethics.nBackground: The Fonz (who, as younknow, is irresistible to women) has justnlearned that his latest flame is married.nShe assures him that the husband is nonproblem; they have an “understanding”narrangement between them. But ThenFonz will have none of it. “Look,” he saysnin no uncertain tones, “I’m not going tonjudge you. I’m not going to tell you hownto live your life. But personally, for me,nright now, adultery is uncool.” Thenwould-be Jezebel recoils, rebuked; ThenFonz marches off resolutely. The cameranfades. The audience applauds. Righteousnessnhas triumphed again.nNow understand this. Fonz is not justnMr. Lawler is managing editor o/PolicynReview.nis the “most complex,” and the last isn”generally fast and energetic, vacillatingnbetween 6/8 and 3/4, with the oftennbizarrely dancelike 3/4 winning out innthe end.” To which one can add only thatnthe ending is not quite so sprightly asnthat commentary suggests. Helps isndefinitely making music here, albeit of anthorny kind, and there is a serious intelligencenoperating, but beyond that itnis difficult to get hold of this work onnshort acquaintance. DnPOLKMICS & EXCIIANGIS 2na greasy mechanic from the Milwaukeen60’s. Like every other sitcom hero, Fonznis Everyman, learning a weekly moralnlesson at the hands of the scriptwriters.nWith each lesson comes a convenientnmoral nugget, an Aesopian ending.nRight after that annoying set of penultimatencommercials, the “pipe” weighsnin with a short homily, summing up thenethical harvest from the half-hour’snfrolics. Mork calls Orson to dispense antidbit of pop ethics. The moral of thenstory is . . .nNext time you sit through a sitcom,nlisten carefully to the moral pitch. Invariablynit fulfills certain requirements. Itnis heartwarming. It offends no one.nPhrases like “let’s talk about it” and “wencan work it out” dominate. The hero isnsadder but wiser, better attuned to thenIn the Mailnmoral complexities of his silly life. Andneveryone in the 2XidAe.rzt^everyone—ncan swallow the moral pill without angrimace. Unless, of course, the audiencenis looking for something stronger thannplatitudes. But of course a sitcom audiencenis not looking for stern moral lectores.nFonzie’s sermonettes are digestible,nbut real religion should never rear itsnugly head. Nor does it, really. Clergymennare sanitized; no denominationalnprejudices obtrude. The padre onnM’^A*S*H is cuddly and bungling.nWhen the space-headed daughter onnFight is Enough decides to study Judaism,nthe rabbi she consults (who, conveniendy,nis young and handsome) dishes out a sortnof inoffensive pabulum which no one,nfrom Billy Graham to Anwar Sadat,ncould dispute. On Three’s Company,nChrissy’sfatherisaminister, buthe, too,nrefrains from moral instruction.nInevitably, a more traditional religiousnfigure will, now and then, wandernonto the sitcom stage, where he promptlynbecomes the butt of the moral lesson.nA stern, button-down preacher, the imagenof Cotton Mather, is shown to be anhypocrite when his secret vices are revealed.nArchie Bunker, the paragon ofnblue-collar intemperance, is confoundednby the innocent wisdom around him.nRigid religious beliefs—the sort that cannotnbe subsumed into the pluralisticnmold—are shackles which the sitcomnhero must break down.nNor are religious prejudices the onlynvictims of this methodology. Show afternpious show, the TV moguls attack receivednwisdom and preach the new socialnorder. Erik Estrada laces CHzP5 with callsn”Christianity and Democracy” by Richard John Neuhaus; The Institute on Religion andnDemocracy; Wasliington, D.C. A position paper on the Christian Church and its relationshipnto various pohtical systems.n”Moral Implications of Energy” by William G. Pollard, Frederick S. Carney and Thomas J.nReese, S.J.; Ethics and Public Policy Center; Washington, D.C. An examination of the ethicalnconsiderations of nuclear power from the viewpoints of both scientists and the clergy.nnn^•^^^49nJuly/August 198Sn