Mayberry used to be an imaginary town in North Carolina where the 1960s sitcom called The Andy Griffith Show took place. In this make-believe town and world, life was simple, traditional values were cherished, and people respected and cared for each other. There were two sitcoms during that decade that portrayed the same world view of small-town America: Petticoat Junction and Green Acres.
Mary Mekko from San Francisco, who has a very interesting name, posted the following comment: When I returned in 2006 for a 2-week visit, I was shocked at the number of foreigners, especially the Somalis, in Helsinki, along the Metro line towards Itä-Keskus.
And here is another one by Tiwaz: Just look at yourself! You are originating from one or multiple multicultural hellholes with excessive social inequality, division of society and various other problems. But still you try to champion the idea of changing Finland into same kind of multicultural hellhole.
I too remember Finland many decades ago as a huge Nordic Mayberry. Life appeared simple and certain values, such as the love and respect for the woods, had real meaning and importance. There was very little crime and the Finns appeared on the surface content with their lives even though suicide rates were one of the highest in the world.
Are some of our views on Finland anchored by images of life in Mayberry that never existed in the first place? One interesting matter about the sitcoms I mentioned is that there is not a single black person, Chinese restaurants, pizzerias, Mexican Americans, gays, feminists, Ku Klux Klan members, bigots living in the towns of Mayberry, Hooterville (Green Acres) or Pixley (Green Acres). They appear like bubbles immune to the ills of urban society.
Possibly living in these “idyllic” towns — if they existed — would have taught us they they were not as content as they appeared and were nothing more than places where values lived in straitjackets and never changed. Nobody could ever question the system because it was — like Finland? — a so-called perfect society.
Sometimes when I remember what Finland was like many decades ago and read some of the comments in this blog, I jump and exclaim: That’s another one that has been struck by the Mayberry syndrome!
Here is a funny clip from the Mayberry Sheriff’s Office: