Yes, Lucille Ball was a gifted female show-biz entrepreneur, although she was preceded by Gertrude Berg, who receives only one-one-millionth of the credit for doing the same sort of thing years earlier.
However, I hate I Love Lucy. “Shut that screaming off!” my mother would yell when she was within earshot of the show and it accidentally came on the TV after something we’d actually been watching. “Lucy” was a bawling scheming incompetent mess, and in real life of course that husband of hers was a total creep, so watching her hang all over him is just… ugh.
Even the title: I Love Lucy — a coy, cynical pre-emptive strike against those of us who hated her, and it.
Now we can surely trace many of America’s problems to this:
The show was putting a voodoo curse on the country.
Is I Love Lucy the real Treasury of the True Dharma Eye, the Vault of the Adepti, the Island Beneath the Sea? Robert Anton Wilson used to talk about “the sect of Fred Mertz, Bodhisattva,” and its adherents’ simple creed:
They believe that if you look at enough I Love Lucy re-runs when you’re really wasted, eventually you’ll hear Fred reveal the most esoteric Zen teachings. . . .
If that sounds far-fetched, consider this: Ricky Ricardo’s signature song was addressed to a fearsome deity in the Yoruba pantheon. For practitioners of Santería, Babalú-Ayé is the orisha who controls health and prosperity. You want to be very cool around Babalú-Ayé because he can cover you with boils or give you the Ebola. The next time a conga drum tempts you to do your impression of Ricky Ricardo singing “Babalú,” remember that you might be mocking the god who decides whether you catch leprosy. Ixnay on the abalúbay!
Below, in his hit version of Margarita Lecuona’s song, Desi Arnaz lights 17 candles and offers aguardiente, tobacco and money to the orisha in exchange for a woman’s love.