We are the last ones

GaryCooperby Unknown (presented by Anniel)6/14/16
Children of the 30s & 40s: A Short Memoir  •  Born in the 1930s and early 40s, we exist as a very special age cohort. We are the “last ones.” We are the last, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the war itself with fathers and uncles going off. We are the last to remember ration books for everything from sugar to shoes to stoves. We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans. We saw cars up on blocks because tires weren’t available. My mother delivered milk in a horse drawn cart.

We are the last to hear Roosevelt’s radio assurances and to see gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbors. We can also remember the parades on August 15, 1945; VJ Day.

We saw the ‘boys’ home from the war build their Cape Cod style houses, pouring the cellar, tar papering it over and living there until they could afford the time and money to build it out.

We are the last who spent childhood without television; instead imagining what we heard on the radio. As we all like to brag, with no TV, we spent our childhood “playing outside until the street lights came on.” We did play outside and we did play on our own. There was no little league.

The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real understanding of what the world was like. Our Saturday afternoons, if at the movies, gave us newsreels of the war and the holocaust sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons. Newspapers and magazines were written for adults. We are the last who had to find out for ourselves.

As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth. The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an education and spurred colleges to grow. VA loans fanned a housing boom. Pent up demand coupled with new installment payment plans put factories to work. New highways would bring jobs and mobility. The veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics. In the late 40s and early 50’s the country seemed to lie in the embrace of brisk but quiet order as it gave birth to its new middle class. Our parents understandably became absorbed with their own new lives. They were free from the confines of the depression and the war. They threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined.

We weren’t neglected but we weren’t today’s all-consuming family focus. They were glad we played by ourselves ‘until the street lights came on.’ They were busy discovering the post war world.

Most of us had no life plan, but with the unexpected virtue of ignorance and an economic rising tide we simply stepped into the world and went to find out. We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where we were welcomed. Based on our naive belief that there was more where this came from, we shaped life as we went.

We enjoyed a luxury; we felt secure in our future. Of course, just as today, not all Americans shared in this experience. Depression poverty was deep rooted. Polio was still a crippler. The Korean War was a dark presage in the early 50s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks. China became Red China. Eisenhower sent the first ‘advisors’ to Vietnam. Castro set up camp in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power.

We are the last to experience an interlude when there were no existential threats to our homeland. We came of age in the late 40s and early 50s. The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, climate change, technological upheaval and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with insistent unease.

Only we can remember both a time of apocalyptic war and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty. We experienced both.

We grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better not worse.

We are the ‘last ones.’ • (1892 views)

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77 Responses to We are the last ones

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Elizabeth would be in that group, but I’m not sure how many of those memories she would share. Of course, her father was a missionary and a CO during the war, and after the war they went back to Japan, so one would expect some differences. On the other hand, most of the students at her high school (Itazuke) came from a nearby USAF base.

    I grew up in the TV generation, but also had plenty of outdoors time, and generally it was unsupervised by adults. I probably did have more of this in Greece, where we had no TV access. The situation changed after we came home, but not entirely.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    A black-and-white photo of Gary Cooper with a cigarette in his hand. That said “30’s” to me.

    This is a nice piece of nostalgia. I better one would have put it into context with what came later. Why did this generation allow its progeny to abandon America and Western ideals? Or is the real story that they were powerless to do much?

    Whatever the case may be, they birthed the generation who would become the spoiled-rotten red diaper doper babies. Maybe after fighting and defeating the Nazis, they just had nothing left.

    But at least they had Gary Cooper. All this generation has is:

    Just Testing

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Why did this generation allow its progeny to abandon America and Western ideals?

      I think there is little doubt that the incredible material abundance in the US after WWII has something to do with it. Those of those who had not lived through deprivation and struggle had no understanding of how the US had come to that point. They only saw that the US was the most wealthy country on earth and “it wasn’t fair.”

      Add to this the fact that due to the this wealth, large percentages, perhaps the majority, had a lot of free time at their disposal. They were able to live very prosperously without working their fingers to the bone. And you know the saying, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”

      Well those idle hands and those guilty consciences when combined with little reasoning power helped create the fairy-tale which has become America.

    • David Ray says:

      You’ll appreciate that Gary Cooper signed a photo of himself to the real Sgt. Alvin C. York who was advisor to the movie “Sergeant York”. Cooper was genuinely reverent toward the CMH recipient.
      Imagine a hollywood actor extending such courtesy today; Robert Duvall aside.

      BTW: Who’s the chick in the photo? (A legend in her own imagination, I’d suspect.)

      Also; I suspect that the leftist trash already had their infrasructure wormed into many of our learning institutions by then. Hence, the hysteria induced over the Rosenburgs & Sen. Joe McCarthy. (The WWII adults were left purposely uninformed of this ongoing conspiracy.)

  3. Anniel says:

    I’m a tad bit younger than these folks, but we lived in the sticks so this “speaks” to me. My late sister was eleven years younger than I and things had completely changed by the time she was marching in the very toxic 1960’s and early 70’s. I had very few “store bought” clothes and my mom saw no reason for me to have more than school and play clothes and shoes. After I had been in Alaska for several years I visited my family and my sister had two closets stuffed with clothes and something like 45 pairs of shoes and was whining about “needing” more fashionable boots. My father simply could not say “no” to anything she wanted.

    Is materialism what changed that generation? Maybe that is the same thing killing our culture today? Sometimes I think so. No serious spiritual values seem to be on the march around the whole world. And lying constantly has become the default position of so many leaders in every country on earth.

    Every time I remember the words of Christ telling us to be of “good cheer” something uncheerful rolls out of the blue.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I was talking to someone yesterday who has a parent who is 104 years old…or has a friend with a parent who is 104 years old. (I’m getting old and/or am a bad listener.)

      A person born in 1912 would have seen the kind of “fundamental change” that our America-hating Marxist leader could only dream about (with his Father or otherwise). The full development of commercial air travel, computers, Slinkies, refinement of the automobile and construction of a highway system, splitting of the atom, rockets, trips to the moon, Velcro, iPhones, Viagra, Mounds (1921)/Almond Joy (1946)…because sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t…freak parades down Main Street (often known as “gay pride”), the internet (thank goodness for Al Gore), genetics, penicillin, sex change operations, the Big Bang, and finally the holy grail of all inventions: television.

      Materialism, per se, might have been harmful. But as we see with Islam, too much “spirituality” (or the wrong kind) is no picnic either. Having things too easy was likely part of the fault. But I think the centrality of television cannot be overlooked. It’s not only turned us into passive observers and entertainment junkies but I think it’s had much to do with disconnecting us from reality. We’ve learned to think that everything is unreal and staged.

      And many things now are, of course. The network news is staged for all intents and purposes. The education process is less education and more indoctrination into a Progressive worldview. Look at politics. There are almost no serious statesmen out there. It’s all about crafting images and lies. The GOP has just nominated a game show host for all intents and purposes. The other side has a criminal and a communist kook.

      It’s nice to think that all that we need is less materialism and more spirituality, but look at all the goofball Christians out there who simply are contributing to the demise of a serious culture. Many Christians are as uncomfortable with the idea of morals and standards as this sissified man was of shooting an AR-15 rifle (funny story…read about it here). Here’s the take-away from the story, quoting this “man’s” reaction to shooting this rifle:

      The recoil bruised my shoulder. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions – loud like a bomb – gave me a temporary case of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.

      One reason Islam is winning, at least in Europe, is that we’ve all become weak pansies. The remedy isn’t killing a nightclub full of homosexuals (although that works well for Islam). But surely the remedy is sticking up for something. And too often “spirituality” just means basting in kumbaya feel-good emotions. We need the “spirituality” of “Now go and sin no more.”

      But the sheer success of our way of life has produced such material abundance, it has devalued the very need to worry about right and wrong. This really is the heart of libertarianism. Things are so good (if you’re not being blown up by Jihadists or killed by the “black lives matter” thugs) then who needs morals? Morals are for those with no rampant sex life, no tattoos, no iPhone, no highs (natural or otherwise). Morals are considered an anachronism. And any “spirituality” that is not in touch with traditional morals and wisdom is very likely to range into weak Kumbaya feel-goodism.

      So with nature conquered through the wonders of science and technology, all we need do is conquer the human evils, the greatest of which is (of course, in this world of material abundance) poverty. That this prescription tends to produce less material abundance is yet another sign of a culture that is not serious and cannot parse the difference between reality and baloney…and really doesn’t want to for doing so involves the need to judge between right and wrong, truth and fiction, and that would be to engage in moral judgments. And we’ve already decided that that is the domain of kooks, nuts, and people who have far too much time on their hands.

      These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

      The world is one big wad of effed-up. We can either rise above it or stoop to its level. I believe in looking squarely into the eyes of the effed-up parts and still trying to manage at least some good cheer, for if you can’t laugh at this nonsense you go crazy. It’s true there has been a century of enormous change. But perhaps most importantly we’ve forgotten what hasn’t changed, that in some respects there is nothing new under the sun.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        But I think the centrality of television cannot be overlooked.

        I agree 100%. As you know, I have often stated that technology has contributed to the degradation of our culture.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          More and more people are dumping cable. This is likely because cable has gotten expensive and because many people now stream movies and other content from the internet via various providers (including Netflix and Amazon). Still, any erosion of time spent in front of television should be a good thing.

          But I think it’s likely that passive entertainment has moved from the TV to the phone/tablets/desktop computers. It could be a case of same shit, different day.

          And yet the early days of TV were filled with very wholesome programming. Even into the early 60’s we had innocent, if frivolous, programs such as “Mr. Ed.” There was Jack Benny and so many others. There’s a local AM station that plays old content like this. You can pretend you’re living in the 30’s, 40’s, or 50’s again. I love it.

          Back then it was mostly harmless fun. Sure, a case could be made that there are better things to do with your time. But at least with the radio, in particular, you could do both, you could multitask. Radio is a wonderful thing to listen to while still being productive (washing the dishes, working on the car, or whatever).

          Television, even harmless television, demands your attention, and there isn’t much use of your imagination. Certainly radio used the same thing at times, but television fed blatant unreality to our faces with the laugh track and we either didn’t notice or didn’t care. If ever you wanted to invent a medium that primed people to dispense with reality and common sense, television is great tool for that.

          And then something happened to Americans, either caused by or illustrated by television. We went from the innocent laughter of a talking horse to “Married with Children” where vulgarism, coarseness, and rudeness were celebrated as normal while innocence and decency were cast off as a mere fantasy. We began to believe that what was real and good was what was not so good. We learned not to trust the innocent talking horse and instead spent hours watching talking miscreants such as “Roseanne.”

          America said, “Don’t show us what we ought to be. Glorify our depravity.” And that’s what they were given.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I can multitask even when watching TV, depending on what’s on. But it’s easier with radio. For example, I’m listening to Rush right now, and blogging — and, at intervals, working on puzzles. After I finish those I read (currently, the second volume of William Patterson’s biography of Robert Heinlein, which I highly recommend to any Heinlein fan and may review).

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              To the extent that you one gauge the gist of a TV program from just the audio, I think multitasking is similar to radio. But I think it’s also easy because for much of the programming on TV, there isn’t much to miss.

          • Bell Phillips says:

            I haven’t watched any current TV programming in several years (with the exception of Bing Bang Theory – and then not for months), unless I was held hostage by a social situation with someone else driving the remote. My TV never leaves MeTV or one of a couple of others that show old reruns from the early 80’s and before. I’m often struck by themes and topics, even entire series premises that would never be seen today.
            The most astounding one was an episode of The Rifleman where there sheriff went out of town and left the village blacksmith in charge. The blacksmith was a well intentioned man, but didn’t want to deal with any trouble. His solution was to have everyone who came into town leave their guns in the sheriff’s office. The results were utterly predictable to non-libtards. Our Hero had to save the town with his rifle. Can you even imagine seeing something like that now? I doubt it raised an eyebrow back then.
            The 80’s had several shows with a common theme of essentially vigilantes fighting for the underdog against a clear evil. The A-Team, Airwolf, the Equalizer, Knight Rider. The A-Team was a sign of things to come, since no one EVER got hit by any of those flying bullets. Sure, violence solved every problem, but you never had to actually hurt, or god forbid kill, the bad guys. Airwolf was much more satisfying since the bad guys took a direct missle hit at the end of every show. Contrast that to something like Flashpoint, about the Canadian SWAT team. Every antagonist on that show was just troubled and misunderstood, never really a bad guy. Good Guy versus Bad Guy is just a quaint anachronism.
            Even Married With Children had some awareness of good and bad. We weren’t supposed to idolize the Bundys, just feel good that our families weren’t so screwed up. A lowering of the bar to be sure, but at least we were still trying to go over it. Now the Kardashians have turned the hurdle into a limbo bar.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Love your analysis of The Rifleman. Right on. As to why you’ve watched Big Bang Theory, I’m going to give you a gimme because of your Rifleman reference. But, good god, what a dumb show the Big Bang Theory is. 🙂

      • Timothy Lane says:

        What you demonstrate is why the Fabian Society sought to bring about socialism by infiltrating, and eventually controlling, the communications media and education. Philip Crane discussed this over 50 years ago.

        While we’re discussing new types of candy, don’t forget that the Baby Ruth, though officially named after Grover Cleveland’s daughter, came out right after a certain baseball player became very famous.

        There is some skepticism whether that “reporter” actually even fired an AR-15 (which wasn’t used in Orlando, but never mind). It has very little recoil, and modern cartridges don’t use gunpowder so I doubt they would smell of sulfur (as he claimed).

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          What you demonstrate is why the Fabian Society sought to bring about socialism by infiltrating, and eventually controlling, the communications media and education. Philip Crane discussed this over 50 years ago.

          I had come to the belief that man is part social animal, part individual. Yes, man tended to adopt the attributes of his tribe, but particularly in the West, he would strive to be something authentically himself.

          Boy, do I have egg on my face. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Left recognized the inherent programmability of people and went for it. Their propaganda has been so effective that the very idea of countering their ideas in similar fashion is considered an attack on freedom of speech, attack on free thought, fascism, etc. I noticed this aspect when I mentioned to some friends that we ought to oust the Marxist professors from college and put in some good ones. “But that would be an attack on academic freedom.”

          See how that works? I had always assumed that at least some people could be reasoned with. Well, some can, but very damn few. Once programmed, all they see is their programming. For conservatives and Christians, the ideal is that we don’t want drones. We want productive, creative individuals, but ones, of course, with a certain subset of basic beliefs and values. That somewhat puts us at a disadvantage because we don’t really want to treat people like drones.

          Christians in particular show the weakness that has been inculcated by Marxist programming. To actually oppose much of the rot infecting our culture is now considered not nice, if not also racist. What would Jesus do? Apparently cave at every opportunity.

          So you have to hand it to those, such as the Muslims and Leftists, who are willing to fight for a cause they believe in. We have a better cause and yet we act as if we don’t believe in it. And, I would say, most don’t. The GOP has been a pro forma party for decades now. And I would say the emergence of Trump has outed conservatives as being less grounded in ideas and more grounded in merely yet another identity. To swing so easily on a dime to someone who hasn’t got a conservative bone in his body is surely evidence for this.

          I haven’t had a Baby Ruth in years. What a great piece of American that still survives. How long until we get the Marx bar?

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            As a kid it was Three Musketeers, Baby Ruth and Almond Joy for me.

            We would go out and collect soda bottles along the road, take them to the store for the deposit and take that money to buy hot dogs and marshmallows to roast. Of course, we also bought sodas. Sometimes we had enough money to by candy. A large Three Musketeer cost a nickle.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I was just talking to someone of my generation the other day about what we used to do as kids to occupy our time and/or make a little money. Collecting the deposits on pop (not “soda”…what, are you east of the Rockies?) bottles was one way. They got rid of that for some reason, ostensibly because it was a hassle for the grocery stores to handle all those dirty bottles.

              Thank god we now “recycle” which means the libtards throw their crap out the window with the assurance that somebody else will pick it up.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Collecting the deposits on pop (not “soda”…what, are you east of the Rockies?) bottles was one way. They got rid of that for some reason, ostensibly because it was a hassle for the grocery stores to handle all those dirty bottles.

                When I was a kid, adults called it soda pop. For some reason, I never liked the terms pop or soda pop, so I used “coke” as a generic term, something like “kleenex” for all tissue.

                I think cheap plastic and aluminum basically killed the glass soft drink container.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Aluminum cans can be recycled for money, and we used to do that. But the only place we knew of to sell them was near where Elizabeth used to work. So now we just include them with the regular recycling, for which we aren’t reimbursed.

                One reason glass disappeared was to get rid of the harm done by broken bottles.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I’m not sure where the dividing line is between “pop” and “soda.” I don’t know whether it’s regional or whether “pop” is the vulgate and “soda” is considered classier.

                Do you sit on a couch or a sofa? I sit on a couch. Do you say “offen” or “of-ten.” I say the former. Many say the latter. Hell, many native Washingtonians pronounce it “Warshington.” Bugs the heck out of me. And if you don’t know how to pronounce Pysht, Spokane, or Sammamish, you are forgiven.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                There are all sorts of word pairs like that which can in theory indicate your origin. Do you say “teeter-totter” or “seesaw”? “Filbert” or “hazelnut”? (Incidentally, I would match your 2 choices.) Not to mention imported words — “wigwam” or “teepee”, “lariat” or “lasso”. Louisville can be pronounced as with the French king’s name (appropriate, since it was named in honor of Louis XVI), but the “ville” can also be pronounced “v/l” (as Elizabeth does), and some pronounce the Louis as “Lou-uh”.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                1) Teeter totter
                2) Havelnut (although I think old-timers around here often say “Filbert”)
                3) Teepee. Wigwam sounds like something Elizabeth Warren would say.
                4) Lasso.
                5) LEW-uh-vil
                6) Merry-Go-Round (not Carousel)
                7) Coke, not Pepsi, fries not chips.
                8) Care-uh-BEE-un not Kuh-RIB-ian (although I find myself doing both)
                9) Libtard not liberal (ditto on using both)
                10) Ronald RAY-gun not REE-gun (I detest the latter pronunciation…get it right)

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I would probably agree with most of those that I haven’t already covered (though whether I get Coke or Pepsi most likely depends on what’s available; at home we mostly use Big K, the Kroger house brand). I do use “filbert” because that’s what I learned as a child (I was well into adulthood before learning that filberts were hazelnuts). I definitely would say “fries” rather than “chips” (it helps that I still eat a lot of potato chips, though we now have to get relatively low-sodium ones).

              • Bell Phillips says:

                I’m sure Timothy knows the answer to the old joke: How do you pronounce the capital of Kentucky, Lou-ee-ville or Lou-uh-ville?

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Actually, I heard it as “Lou-is-ville” or “Lou-ee-ville” (which is how I pronounce the city). Of course, the joke is that the capital of Kentucky is Frankfort.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Timothy, my older brother bought a piece of country property about 25 years ago. He still lives on it. It was very overgrown. But under the Logan’s Run-like overgrowth there was a very old orchard of filberts that still were producing a little bit. I don’t know if a few trees are still there. I’ll have to ask him.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        this sissified man was of shooting an AR-15 rifle (funny story…read about it here).

        Gersh Kuntzman must be a real pussy or liar.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          As people have noted (including Timothy), there is reason to believe he (and I use “he” liberally) never shot the rifle. There are some hilarious comments to that article at AT, including several people who have pointed out his quite appropriate last name.

  4. Steve Lancaster says:

    I was born in the late 40s. My father a career Marine returned home after Guadalcanal, and other festive spots in the Pacific. Thanks to Truman’s decision to use the bomb he did not have to invade Japan. In 1950 my father’s reserve unit was one of the first called up for Korea. I still remember the ships returning to SF in 53 and the ticker-tape flying in the air. I recall him telling me in the 60s to stay out of Vietnam if possible. He said it was not a stand up fight. Throughout high school I was taught by veterans of both wars and the depression, there was little ambiguity; they knew right from wrong, been there and done that.

    In 70 I enlisted in the Corps after spending 18 + years in basic, My father was very insistent on my learning the ropes. Nine months later I was an intelligence officer at Da Nang and for the next 20 years I fought the cold war. Half angels chasing half devils. We, my family and I, have fought every war since Thermopile, hot, cold and frozen and I am tired of war but recognize that war is the father of us all. In a few months my grand-daughter, 19, will be loading aircraft on one of our newest carriers.

    We still go in harm’s way. I continue to wonder why?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I take it that in your family, Steve, firing an AR-15 rifle would not cause a temporary case of PTSD, nor would you be disoriented by brass shell casing flying past your face.

      I’m less sanguine about your granddaughter doing a man’s work. But welcome to The New Frontier, I guess.

      • Steve Lancaster says:

        I am not gay, nor are my Marine friends. If by some stretch of fate or kismet we were transported to Pulse nightclub last Saturday we would have killed this piece of humanlike garbage without a second thought.

        What bothers me is that for us, 40+ years after leaving actual war, is that war seems to be coming to find us.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          There is no war coming…at least nothing that banning private gun ownership can’t cure.

          Part of me admires Muslims for not being such wimps. Yes, they’re also barbaric and brutal. But we could learn a lesson from them. Americans didn’t used to be wimps. We didn’t apologize when the enemy struck us and then say, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?” We can be strong and good.

          But who is showing anyone how or what that means? Allen Friggin’ West for president and trash the rest of these clowns as far as I’m concerned. We need to man-up.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    The below link is to an article which explains how things truly are different today as regards technology and concentration of wealth. The claim that all this technology helps the economy is not completely true and in fact hurts millions. The “Masters of the Universe” who run these firms do not particularly care about those beneath them and are trying to fashion a brave new word in which they are the final court of appeal. They have the worst traits of greed and arrogance imaginable.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/08/11/today-s-tech-oligarchs-are-worse-than-the-robber-barons.html

    The piece is longish and I do not agree with everything in it, but much of what is written is true. People should understand what we are up against.

    It seems the Daily Beast can publish something worthwhile every now and again.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      So, a new — and worse — Guilded Age?

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I am not sure what we should call it.

        You have a growing concentration of wealth as well as expanding cooperation between government and a relatively few super-rich types. And unlike the that of the “Guilded Age”, today’s government extends into all aspects of our lives. In this sense, it is something like pre-revolution France, but much more efficient.

        Worse, the people pulling the strings have or soon will have the power and technology to marginalize or genetically alter much of humanity as they desire. In the end they may not be successful, but they will cause plenty of pain in their quest.

        Kurzweil is a horrible character who is a total materialist. I suspect that a version of “Brave New World” is his vision.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          From the article:

          What kind of world do these disrupters see for us? One vision, from Singularity University, co-founded by Google’s genius technologist Ray Kurzweil, envisions robots running everything; humans, outside the programmers, would become somewhat irrelevant. I saw this mentality for myself at a Wall Street Journal conference on the environment when a prominent venture capitalist did not see any problem with diminishing birthrates among middle-class Americans since the Valley planned to make the hoi polloi redundant.

          I envision robots running a whole lot of stuff, but not everything. Kurzweil may be a horrible guy, but automation has always been the key to productivity, starting with the plow, if not earlier. Increased productivity is the key to our material abundance. (Our spiritual and moral poverty is another subject, and one I’m not sure if this author took on…I doubt that he did since that is not a dimension the Left is comfortable talking about unless it’s “hate whitey”.)

          If this guy was half as smart as we are here, he would note that there are several separate issues involved. One is economic (I have no problem with increased development of robots), one is political (the influence of business on government and vice versa), and one is social (shall we be self-reliant men or tattooed beasts chasing Pokemon monsters on our phone while our stupor and passivity allows the economic, social, and political Morlocks to rule over us…whether these Morlocks are in business, in politics, or some combination of the two?)

          We will not find a clue about this from anyone on the Left, including Joel Kotkin who can’t seem to think himself out of a wet paper bag.

          A passive, stupid, Utopian-minded electorate (or, shall we call them, the expectorate as in expecting entitlements) can’t help but be ruled over. We can just hope our rulers are wise, not insane. But our American republic is in shambles. It is being replaced by something else. If it is being replaced by business oligarchs then, well, I have much more trust in them than the Leftist Utopian political oligarchs. At least the business oligarchs actually produce something.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            If it is being replaced by business oligarchs then, well, I have much more trust in them than the Leftist Utopian political oligarchs. At least the business oligarchs actually produce something.

            The problem is that the business oligarchs in question are of the Leftist bent. And I fear efficient Leftists more that inefficient one.

            As to the rest, I agree that the article only addresses part of the problem. To address many more facets of our present state of degeneracy, would take too many pages and most people can’t get past one or two.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              The problem is that the business oligarchs in question are of the Leftist bent. And I fear efficient Leftists more that inefficient one.

              I believe we can officially (in the era of Trump) dispense with the idea that there are a backlog of conservative oligarchs out there. If there are, please someone list them. I know the guy from Chick fil A qualifies. But offhand, I can’t think of any big business leaders who aren’t libtards or who don’t bend to libtard politicies.

              I don’t believe I or anyone else ever said that the “Progressive” mindset would only apply to government. Of course it sucks when business leaders are infected by the same idiocy. Whether in government or in business, these ideas can be destructive. But let’s narrow it down, please, to the ideas. And that idiot at The Daily Beast couldn’t do it, at least from what I read.

              But we can do that here. What I expect is that we will more and more be split between the Pokemon chasers and those who have the skill to create these games. StubbornThings always had as its raison d’etre to break out of this game, to neither be the smug elitist or the stupid peon. But as a society, I can’t see it going any other way now, especially with so many people on the dole. As long as big business can sell enough products, and Big Government can borrow money and keep people dependent, I would expect our republic to turn into some kind of Morlock/Eloi creation.

              As you know, the only question I’ve ever had is how benevolent our Progressive masters (in government or in business) will be. Sadism and violence have always followed in the steps of a one-party, one-ideology state. But is America big enough to perhaps ameliorate the sadism? That’s the article I want to read.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                One interesting irony is that the Eloi in fact were the descendants of the elites and the Morlocks were the descendants of the workers. What counts isn’t elite status, but avoiding mindless dependency. Pajama Boy and Julia are the ancestors of the Eloi.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            But the fact that this power is concentrated in the hands of a bunch of “tools” who too often have stunted interpersonal skills, and generally see the world through numbers instead of people, concerns me.

            To borrow a phrase from Timothy, “to be fair,”…well, to be fair it’s not just the business oligarchs with stunted interpersonal skills who are (or might) screwing thing up. We fly-over country people (who have voted in Hillary and Trump as our presidential contenders) have shown enormous ability at stunted social — and political — skills.

            Big Business did much to build this country. Rockefeller. Carnegie. Morgan. Ford. Vanderbilt. Edison. Hearst. Chrysler. Hughes. Alfred Sloan. Slightly later incarnations included IBM, Boeing, Disney, Ray Kroc, Ted Turner, General Motors.

            They’re now being replaced by Gates, Jobs (and his legacy), Disney (his legacy), Sam Walton (Walmart), Zuckerburg, the queer from Pay-Pal, Michael Dell, Bezos, and Google.

            Although there are dangers inherent in big business, they have arguable done more than any other faction in shaping America for the better (if one considers a highly prosperous society better). I found that article by Kotkin to be little more than Chicken Little nonsense.

            It’s not big business that is rotting out the soul of Americans. It is the entitlements provided by government as well as the dumbed-down education system. And if big business shares some blame it is in regards to the deficient media and stupid entertainment industry.

            That big business wants to get around the American worker is not exactly news to you or me. The American worker is lazy, pampered, and would rather sit in his parents house in his underwear and play video games. I’m not excusing illegal immigration. But we need some context for what might be propelling big business to expand H-1B visa. Maybe the only factor here isn’t that they can get cheaper labor.

            As far as Amazon becoming monopolistic, only in the minds and habits of people. It is possible today to do what was impracticable before. Anyone can publish an eBook and distribute it widely, including on Amazon. The same thing might be possible to circumvent “Big Music” by self-publishing. As I understand it now, the money to be made for most musicians is via touring, not selling albums…and that includes even the big stars.

            We dare not adopt the Left’s outlook on business that looks out at someone who has produced something new, has most of the market (because they created the market), and then declares it “monopolistic.” As Sowell noted in one of his book, Alcoa may have (or might have had) a monopoly on aluminum but the did not have a monopoly on materials used in manufacturing. We ought to be careful before jumping on the idea of a monopoly (that is, “market dominance”) as a bad thing.

            But losing the single mom waitress at Denny’s to an iPad does not seem to be a major advance toward social justice or a civilized society—nor much of a boost for our society’s economic competitiveness.

            Anyone who uses the words “social justice” is a moron. And why not the care for the single guy who might be replaced? What I think we see from this guy is sort of a liberal Luddite with his own liberal brand of nostalgia.

            Like it or not, we are a society founded upon automation of one kind or another. Is this guy just too stupid or stubborn to acknowledge this? Automation, per se, is not the problem. Instead, it’s been a huge benefit. The alternative is freezing things just as they are today (odd for a “Progressive” to want to do) or go back to the days before the plow when we did back-breaking work all day. It was back then that “single mothers” very often didn’t survive childbirth.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Yes, I noticed that “social justice” reference, and I always take anything someone who talks that way says with a grain of salt.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                You should also take whatever I say with a grain of salt whenever I say, for instance, “abracadabra,” which is about as specific and meaningful as the words, “social justice.”

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              Anyone who uses the words “social justice” is a moron.

              The use of this term jumped out at me, but I do not discount everything else he says because of it. I just watch more closely.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      are disrupting old industries

      Code words for “union-controlled jobs” maybe?

      To a large extent, they have created what the sociologist Alvin Gouldner called “the new class” of highly educated professionals who would remake society.

      That’s precisely what the Left wants — rule by the elite. I thought The Daily Beast was way left-of-center. If so, I get tired of hearing how Utopia just never suits them when it comes to the details.

      Netflix is gradually undermining Hollywood

      I wasn’t aware of that. Given the crap Hollywood has been cranking out, maybe that’s a good thing. HBO, for instance, typically produces higher-quality stuff than television or Hollywood — their “Rome” series comes to mind, for example. Netflix’s “originals” aren’t quite as good, but a few of them aren’t bad.

      …just as iTunes essentially murdered the music industry.

      I was unaware that iTunes (downloadable music for pay) murdered the music industry. I thought piracy and (again) crap was their main problem.

      Google, Facebook, and the social media people are gradually supplanting newspapers.

      Times change. As a conservative, I want a whole bunch of liberal crap to be supplanted. As it is, liberal newspaper are being supplanted by liberal social media (at least the owners are still liberal).

      Amazon has already undermined the book industry

      Book reading is flourishing because of electronic books.

      Anyway, that’s as far as I’m going to read. I don’t see where this author has any point but expressing frustration that stems from god-knows-what.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        To a large extent, they have created what the sociologist Alvin Gouldner called “the new class” of highly educated professionals who would remake society.

        That’s precisely what the Left wants — rule by the elite.

        But it is not what the rest of us want and I don’t care where it is written, I am happy to point it out.

        Here is an article by Peggy Noonan on the subject. She may be late to the party, but she appears to get it.

        http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-global-elites-forsake-their-countrymen-1470959258

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Code words for “union-controlled jobs” maybe?

        Not necessarily. The book seller was generally not unionized. Neither was the paperboy. No doubt some union jobs were hurt, but unions have power to mitigate their pain while the little guy doesn’t.

        Much of the problem, notes MIT Technology Review editor David Rotman, is that most information investment no longer serves primarily the basic industries that still drive most of the economy, providing a wide array of jobs for middle- and working-class Americans. This slowdown in productivity, notes Chad Syverson, an economist at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has decreased gross domestic product by $2.7 trillion in 2015—about $8,400 for every American. “If you think Silicon Valley is going to fuel growing prosperity, you are likely to be disappointed,” suggests Rotman.

        One reason may be the nature of “social media,” which is largely a replacement for technology that already exists, or in many cases, is simply a diversion, even a source of time-wasting addiction for many. Having millions of millennials spend endless hours on Facebook is no more valuable than binging on television shows, except that TV actually employs people.

        You were lamenting this fact just a couple of days ago when you observed the recent obsession with Pokemon Go. Frankly, this is the equivalent of selling millions of dummies dope. I know you don’t think that is right.

        Past economic revolutions—from the steam engine to the jet engine and the internet—created in their wake a productivity revolution. To be sure, as brute force or slower technologies lost out, so did some companies and classes of people. But generally the economy got stronger and more productive. People got places sooner, information flows quickened, and new jobs were created, many of them paying middle- and working-class people a living wage.

        This is largely not the case today. As numerous scholars including Robert Gordon have pointed out, the new social-media based technologies have had little positive impact on economic productivity, now growing at far lower rates than during past industrial booms, including the 1990s internet revolution.

        I see no reason to disagree with this. Like Pokemon Go, much of what is being touted as new technology is just time wasting rubbish.

        Amazon has already undermined the book industry

        Book reading is flourishing because of electronic books.

        Reading may be flourishing, but the book producing industry is hurting. There have been numerous articles on this over the last few years. Amazon has become so powerful that it has, apparently, become monopolistic.

        I am personally happy that there are electronic books as I can download out-of-copyright tomes for free. And it is very convenient. But I don’t think it a good idea for one company to gather unto itself more and more power as regards what is published. I like a little more competition.

        At their best, the social media firms have supplanted the old advertising model, essentially undermining the old agencies and archaic forms like newspapers, books, and magazines. But overall information employment has barely increased. It’s up 70,000 jobs since 2010, but this is after losing 700,000 jobs in the first decade of the 21st century.

        Tech firms had once been prodigious employers of American workers. But now, many depend on either workers abroad of imported under H-1B visa program. These are essentially indentured servants whom they can hire for cheap and prevent from switching jobs. Tens of thousands of jobs in Silicon Valley, and many corporate IT departments elsewhere, rent these “technocoolies,” often replacing longstanding U.S. workers.

        Expanding H-1Bs, not surprisingly, has become a priority issue for oligarchs such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and a host of tech firms, including Yahoo, Cisco Systems, NetApp, Hewlett-Packard, and Intel, firms that in some cases have been laying off thousands of American workers. Most of the bought-and-paid-for GOP presidential contenders, as well as the money-grubbing Hillary Clinton, embrace the program, with some advocating expansion. The only opposition came from two candidates disdained by the oligarchs, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

        Now cab drivers, retail clerks, and even food service workers face technology-driven extinction. Some of this may be positive in the long run, certainly in the case of Uber and Lyft, to the benefit of consumers. But losing the single mom waitress at Denny’s to an iPad does not seem to be a major advance toward social justice or a civilized society—nor much of a boost for our society’s economic competitiveness. Wiping out cab drivers, many of them immigrants, for part-time workers driving Ubers provides opportunity for some, but it does threaten what has long been one of the traditional ladders to upward mobility.

        I think this is reason for frustration, particularly for Americans. Bringing in millions of foreign workers has caused a huge transfer of wealth from middle class Americans to the super rich. I laid the numbers out some time ago. For every $1 Zuckerberg saves by firing an American and hiring an Indian HB1 visa holder, he makes something like $60 due to the workings of the stock market. That is a very large incentive to get rid of those pesky, expensive Americans.

        Incredible power is being concentrated in a very few hands. And this power has technology behind it to influence things as never before. That is reason enough to be concerned. But the fact that this power is concentrated in the hands of a bunch of “tools” who too often have stunted interpersonal skills, and generally see the world through numbers instead of people, concerns me.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I was reading a day or two back that productivity has actually declined in the US in recent years. Of course, income tracks productivity, so this is a concern no matter what the cause.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Productivity of the general populace or of those actually working? I have no doubt that given how many people are on the dole in one for or another that America’s productivity has flattened or gone down. But as for those who are active in the work force, I don’t know and I wouldn’t expect that productivity has fallen unless, of course, you factor in how many damn people are probably wasting hours on Facebook or obsessing over text messages on their phone. I’d love to see some real stats on this. Who knows? Hey…my own productivity at the moment sucks. 😀

  6. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    The use of this term jumped out at me, but I do not discount everything else he says because of it. I just watch more closely.

    Here’s the bottom line for me, Mr. Kung. And I don’t mean to jump down your throat but the throat of this moron writer. My thesis is that those who have been corrupted by the Left are in a very poor position indeed to be able to understand the problems it creates. This guy can’t see the social justice trees for the politically correct forest. This guy is just barking at the moon.

    The Progressive vision of society (at least the one marketed to the masses) is that of Star Trek. Computers and machines will do all the drudgery while we humans are then free to write poetry.

    Well, I hear damn little poetry being written by these libtards. Instead, their lives are filled with the equivalent of “Ferengi Lives Matter” nonsense and non-stop complaints. I consider the blind unable inherently to lead the blind. So come to StubbornThings and find your way out of the quagmire.®

    Of course, like Jean Luc Picard’s elder brother, Robert Picard, you may decide to stay down on the planet and do something as quaint as grow grapes, to use your hands and not let some machine run your life. The Star Trek replicator and dogmatic materialism has certainly by then reduced the soul of every great Chardonnay to merely a chemical signature, easily reproducible in a machine. Oddly enough, his younger brother, Jean Luc — the true Progressive who left earth in order to devote himself to knowledge, art, and the finer things in life — was actually able to resist The Borg when otherwise resistance is typically futile. He somehow kept his humanity. What good is he as a Progressive if he can’t give in to group think? But I digress.

    If this writer wants to resist The Borg of Big Business, then start a small business and offer a small-town product that people want. Give them that Robert Picard human thing. Many people are doing just that thing with their “organic” fruits and vegetables, for example, or their other arts and crafts. And I think that’s terrific to a certain extent, although P.T. Barnum would need to update his quote (commonly attributed to him) to something like “There’s a tie-dye kumbaya nature-lover born every minute.”

    What we see in our own lives and culture is not people getting happier with increased wealth but merely more dissatisfied. As you and I both agree, the culture we live in is the marketing culture whereby it isn’t new “needs” that are created. Instead, new forms of perceived inadequacy are created. Most new products don’t create a new “need.” They are marketed as things you need *now* if you are to live The Good Life. The implicit message is that without these new products, you are inadequate.

    This is why this writer’s inherent nostalgia is misplaced. The problem we face isn’t a factor of what some fucktard at Google is doing. The problem is what we consumers (we should probably be “people” instead) choose to center our lives around. Trump, for example, is merely the end result of an uber-marketed candidate for the consumer culture.

    If this dill-weed doesn’t like what Google or Facebook are doing then he should have people vote with their dollars. Instead, he (like the good Progressive he is) sees only a big “system” that needs jiggering this way instead of that. I instead see, of course, an often ill mix of big business and politics (which will never go away). But I also see any of these businesses going broke tomorrow if people simply decide that something else, or even just some other product, is more important in their lives. This guy wants to jigger the system to match his emotional makeup. I’m a free market guy and I say let the queer at Pay Pal make as much as he wants and promote the stupidest ideas that he likes. I still get to decide whether or not I want to live that way or pay for a product. As it is, I make good use of Pay Pal although I’m not quite in the market for a cock ring.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      My thesis is that those who have been corrupted by the Left are in a very poor position indeed to be able to understand the problems it creates. This guy can’t see the social justice trees for the politically correct forest. This guy is just barking at the moon.

      I don’t disagree with you. I am pretty convinced the writer doesn’t get why the things which he complains about are happening. This is quite common among Leftists. They live in dreams and emotions, except those like Zuckerberg and the Google twins who wish for ever more money, influence and finally control.

      Understanding human nature, conservatives are on the lookout for such types. That’s one reason we are so adamant in our beliefs regarding Leviathan government.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        But the monopoly power they seek is also a reminder that a great deal of harm can be done by any Behemoth — business as well as government. This is something libertarians are unable to grasp.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          But the monopoly power they seek is also a reminder that a great deal of harm can be done by any Behemoth — business as well as government.

          And it is particularly dangerous when Behemoth Business and Leviathan Government work hand-in-hand against the rest of us. That is what is happening at an ever-increasing rate.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I’m in a different league than Zuckerberg and Google. Okay, stop laughing. I’m being serious.

        But I wouldn’t know what to do if I struck gold as they did. Generally speaking, if you deal in political ideas that catch fire you’re dealing with evil or at least deception. Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Kung (I can hear you or others thinking). I don’t wear the obscurity of this site like a badge of honor a la the kooks on the fringe Left (yes, there is a fringe Left, although I consider them all kooks to one degree or another). You know the type…they are “champions of social justice” because they did something weird (and rare) like getting an addadictomy sex-change operation and we’re all supposed to bow down to how special and courageous they are.

        Much like Limbaugh (although I have not sold out), I’d like everyone to think as I do, at least about the important stuff: The U.S. Constitution, Casablanca, and Frank Sinatra.

        But that’s not going to happen and I wouldn’t know what to do if this site suddenly gained two million converts. Guys such as Zuckerberg mine humanity much like big game hunters hunt big game in Africa. Sorry for mixing my metaphors, but should they strike gold (maybe more southern Africa near the Kimberley mines), great power comes from that. But it is man-made power and potentially fleeting. But given “a sucker is born every minute,” there as lot of humanity to mine.

        There are those who supposedly believe in a higher power. I am one of those, although I differ in the details. But there are absolutes, Prime Elements, First Movers, and all that. I’m much more interested in the first principles of Big Things or Big Ideas than how to get milions of dumb-assess to stare into their phones for hours on end.

        Get where I’m coming from? There is a power greater than all the Zuckerberg ass-wipes in the world. And just by holding onto human integrity, human decency, and human nobility you tap into a little bit of that greatness. But what are you if you follow every stupid-ass time-wasting trend these facile bazillionaires can think up for the rubes?

        So keep on writing your biographies of Churchill and I’ll keep on looking for the next Casablanca. And you can’t take that away from me.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          A minor detail, but Kimberley is associated with the diamond mines, the gold being more famously found in the Rand near Johannesburg. (Both are actually scattered all over southern Africa.)

          That ending reminds me of an Ambrose Bierce fable about the people complaining to a sympathetic angel about how miserable government corruption had made them. They noted that it had stolen everything but their hope for Heaven — something they couldn’t steal. “Then along came the Congress of 1889.”

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            All of have to say to that is . . . .

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              The best James Bond movie theme song.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                That could actually be either “Goldfinger” or “Diamonds Are Forever” from the context. They both rank among my favorite Bond theme songs (“You Only Live Twice” matches them), and both were sung by Shirley Bassey.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Perhaps I misunderstand. Your comment has nothing to do about Trump or politics. What the hell is wrong with you?

                I’d like to say I’m a traditionalist, but I’m not. If something new comes along that is not stupid and is useful, count me in. But I have a filter that takes into account “new for new’s sake,” something missing from many people these days.

                I think “Goldfinger” is one of the best Bond films. I particularly like it because it’s a nice balance of spy thriller/suave womanizer/technology-for-crime (or crime prevention) — before the Bond films became a ridiculous excess of unbelievable stunts. The aesthetic now is for god’s sake make sure something is jiggling on the screen at all times lest any brain cell goes inactive!

                Gert Fröbe is one of the better villains and has one of the more believable (for a movie) plans. He’s (spoiler alert in case anyone hasn’t seen this gem) not going to steal the gold in Fort Knox. He’s going to irradiate it so that his own gold supplies gain in value. He makes getting into Fort Knox seem plausible. However, I think the real problem would be in getting out again. Still, it’s a movie.

                And “Goldfinger” contains one of my favorite scenes. It expresses a sobriety and understatement (even if in the service of crime) that likely would fly over the heads of today’s sugar-rush generations who only understand non-stop bullets and non-stop cars bursting into non-stop flames. “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”

                Watch that scene. In it is the difference between art and the kind of stupid stuff that is so common today. Goldfinger isn’t snarling like the stereotypical villain. And Bond isn’t yelling “Khan!!!!!!!!!!” a la an over-acting William Shatner. No, the movie isn’t perfect. But it’s a cut above what is typical today.

                And a terrific theme song to start it all off. Needless to say, I’m not a fan of Daniel Craig as Bond. He doesn’t fit the part. But even if he did, the movies have become simply excessive action movies with boring plots. There’s very little style to them. Where once these movies used technology and bolts of action as a spice, they are now the main course. And so the meal is a bottle of A-1 sauce instead of the steak. Or it’s like eating only the frosting instead of the cake, or the Trump instead of the sane person, however you want to look at it.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                On someone’s “best of list” they had “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” To be honest (as we must be…except when it’s inconvenient), I don’t know that I’ve ever seen but bits and pieces of that Bond film. So it shall be an upcoming viewing, and soon. Gives me a reason to jettison the awful (to my ear) “The Children’s Hour” co-starring the kook, Shirley MacLaine. I don’t hold people’s politics against their acting ability. But her presence certainly gives me permission to bail on this film.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              Your comment has nothing to do about Trump or politics. What the hell is wrong with you?

              OK, Goldfinger was a forerunner of today’s elites in that his motivation was money and power. He was willing to work with the Red Chinese in order to fulfill his wants. The only reason he lost is because there was James Bond, the Sean Connery iteration, who saved the day. Our modern Goldfingers are winning as they don’t need to break into Fort Knox; the government has given them and the Red Chinese the keys. And James Bond, the Daniel Craig iteration, is a boorish lout who is about as smooth as 40 grit sandpaper. Thinking does not come under his brief, only violence.

              How was that?

              As to the movie. I agree that Goldfinger is one of the better Bond movies. If I had to pick one, I would say “From Russia With Love” was the best. I thought “The Man With The Golden Gun” a lot of fun.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                How was that?

                “Four

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Note that in the book, Goldfinger actually planned to steal the gold. Obviously there were those who thought he could never pull it off, hence the movie version. There are a lot of excellent scenes in the movie, and Brad’s is certainly one of them. Consider also Goldfinger’s use of Pussy Galore as a diversion in case the watchers weren’t touts (as proved to be the case). And of course I’m going to like a movie with scenes shot on Louisville’s Watterson Expressway.

                One excellent Bond movie I’d add to this list is For Your Eyes Only. which combines elements of two short stories (“For Your Eyes Only” and “Risico”) and represents a one-time movie away from juvenile humor to serious action (with a chase scene that parodies the typical chase scene).

                You Only Live Twice has its merits, but I reject the loss of so much of the book (especially the suicide garden of Dr. Shatterhand).

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Well, then the movie version improved on the book version, although Goldfinger’s love for gold was in direct opposition to spoiling a big batch of it. Still, breaking into Fort Knox is probably doable. Breaking out with megatons of gold and completing your getaway strains even a movie’s generally liberal acquaintance with plausibility.

                And you remind me of one of the perhaps second-best Bond-girl names…as well as one of Bond’s best understated lines (from, of course, “Diamonds Are Forever”). Still, what a great introduction and answer to PG.

                Also (and be forewarned at some micro-aggression), in this movie girl-power down’s trump all. See this clip.

                Yes, “For Your Eyes Only” is an excellent Bond film. Being a Sean Connery fan doesn’t mean such snobbery has to obliterate the many good moments of Roger Moore’s Bond who was second to no one in terms of healthy womanizing. And Carole Bouquet is amongst the most attractive Bond girls. She definitely had girl power.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Bond trivia

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHCygr1MDZw

                I like the bit about the transsexual who was a Bond girl.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Very interesting trivia, though naturally as a Bond fan I knew some of it already. (I’ve only read the Fleming books and missed the last few movies, but I’ve also read some reference works on Bond and Fleming.)

                Note that part of “Property of a Lady” was used in Octopussy and part of “The Hildebrandt Rarity” was used in License to Kill. The short story “Quantum of Solace” had nothing to do with secret agents; it’s a colonial official discussing the past of a dinner guest with Bond.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I watched about the first hour and five minutes of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” Now I know why I never watched this before…or, if I did, why I forgot all about it. So far this is just short of terrible. The pre-credits sequence stinks and is the worst of any Bond film by far. Lazenby is stiff and lacks charm, merely reading the lines rather than selling them. And doom was painted all over this movie from the pre-credits which ended by breaking the 4th wall with Bond lamenting “This never happened to the other fellow.” That set up the rest of the movie. This was never a serious attempt to create a Bond film. It feels amateurish, as if they took a fan script and filmed it.

                But at the 1:05 mark the action promises to start. “Bond” (scare quotes required) has just met Blofeld (Telly Savalas) in his mountain retreat accessible only by helicopter. Kind of cool. Diana Rigg is a Bond girl and always a favorite of mine but inconsequential so far. They’re going to create some kind of love affair with her and Bond and I’m guessing she’s killed off in the end.

                Anyway, it’s easy to see why Lazenby lasted only one film. Why he even got the one film is a good question. But I can’t blame Lazenby for this debacle (at least so far). With the right director and script, it might have worked. We’ll see if an insertion of pure action can save it.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Yes, you can say that they create a love interest with Rigg’s character, and she (and her father) will be important before the movie ends. Incidentally, one of the girls at Piz Gloria was played by Joanna Lumley (most noted for her later role as Purdey in The New Avengers), though I didn’t recognize her.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Joanna Lumley is probably most famous for the British comedy, “Absolutely Fabulous”.

                Her role in “Ab Fab” as it is affectionately known, is miles away from her roles in the Bond film or “The New Avengers”.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Oh, THAT’s Joanna Lumley. I know her from the British Series “Lovejoy.” She’s an ADILF (art dealer…oh, forget about it).

                She played a classy chick (certainly above Ian McShane’s head, although they got on well), Victoria Cavero. If I have her to look forward to, I’ll definitely stay with it. Maybe I’ve already seen her and did not recognize her.

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    One interesting irony is that the Eloi in fact were the descendants of the elites and the Morlocks were the descendants of the workers. What counts isn’t elite status, but avoiding mindless dependency. Pajama Boy and Julia are the ancestors of the Eloi.

    That’s an interesting factoid, Timothy. Certainly one can see the Eloi-like nature of the people living above in the Star Trek episode, “The Cloud Minders.” The workers below were brutish and did all the manual labor while the “minders” lived above in luxury, never lifting a finger. The separation was almost total. That zenite gas caused the mental deficiency and aggression of the people below is neither here nor there. (Theodore Dalrymple quips that tattoos cause the same thing, for wherever you find crime and degenerate behavior in Great Britain, you will find tattoos.)

    The difference in the H.G. Wells story is that the low-brow brutes gained controlled. In the real world, I would suspect that our “Cloud Minders” would both gain control, live in luxury, and be brutish as well. Maybe we’d then have more of a situation like the Planet of the Apes where normal people are all running for their lives, doing what they can to keep from being ensnared by the motivated Ape religionists who see themselves as inherently the master race (much as the Left does).

    Or maybe you can think of a better literary analogy for where we seem headed.

  8. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I think we need our own James Bond page. But this will do for now.

    I didn’t even recognize Joanna Lumley as a Bond girl. But I did finish “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” last night and the action did pick up considerably past the one hour mark. Basically this Bond movie is the Winter Olympics of Bond movies. There’s skiing, tobogganing, ice skating, ice racing (ought to be an Olympic sport), and even a sort of Biathlon but with machine guns.

    And that was the scene that brought chuckles to me. Bond escapes from the mountain fortress and dons a pair of skis and jumps out into the night. Well, of course, there are guards on-guard looking for something just like that to occur. And this must happen often enough because instantly an entire squadron of guards are on skis and carrying machine guns which they are quite adept at firing even when skiing at high speed on rough terrain. They must practice this 24/7 to be that good and to be like Biathlon Minutemen should a James Bond decide to escape from the mountain fortress on skis.

    The skiing sequence was exciting. But the entire movie could have done without the stupid jump-cut editing (or whatever you call it) that sped up the fighting sequences. Really amateurish editing and directing all around. But I thought the one humorous Bondian moment was how they got mixed up in a car race on ice. They played that to nice effect.

    The ending was stupid and a cheat. Blofeld flies out of the toboggan at 50 mph or more and gets his neck caught in the fork of an overhanging branch. We’re to assume that this didn’t kill him because he shows up later with Hildabeast to machine gun down Bond’s Bond girl. So assuming Blofeld has a particularly strong neck, why then did James Bond just let him go? Upon the end of his own toboggan ride, wouldn’t you go make sure he was dead? And if he wasn’t, wouldn’t it have been easy enough to follow the footprints in the snow of an extremely injured man?

    So Bond has nobody to blame but his own stupidity. But Bond really wasn’t meant to be the marrying type.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Of course, that ending explains why the movie Diamonds are Forever starts (and ends) with Bond seeking revenge on Blofeld. (The book had nothing to do with him, since it came out before Thunderball; the villains were American gangsters.)

  9. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Mr. Kung, I think Victor Davis Hanson has an article that does a better job outlining what Joel Kotkin was trying to do in The Daily Beast: The Great Regression.

    I don’t think he makes the basic case of his article. But I think he makes a better case against the monopolistic libtards.

    At the turn of the last century, “trust busters” of the progressive movement made the argument that the free market was imperiled by crony capitalists, who had, with government collusion, vertically integrated enormous conglomerates and monopolies, strangling free commerce and competition in the steel, oil, and railroad industries. Central to the muckrakers’ advocacy was that the Morgans, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Stanfords, and Carnegies were illiberal obstacles to egalitarianism and fairness — in other words, to the aspirations of the “little guy.”

    Compare that to the scene today, with the record-setting monopolies of the founders of Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Internet grandees like Mark Zuckerberg are every bit as opulent in today’s dollars, and live as often in gated estates as did the now derided robber barons of the past — and are no less unethical. They certainly share the same disdain for the working middle classes, as they seek to import cheap foreign tech labor. Yet at least Rockefeller gave us oil, and Carnegie steel; it is hard to calibrate exactly how the country benefits from millions of 20-somethings glued to their Facebook pages.

    Google massages its daily news fare to reflect liberal biases. Facebook censures far more social media on the right than on the left. Twitter closes down those it arbitrarily deems incorrect. The only difference is that in the Gilded Age, plutocrats preached the doctrines of self-reliance and hard work, professing that others could follow their golden paths. Today’s versions mouth progressive bromides on the assurance that they easily have the money and influence to navigate around the bothersome concrete ramifications of their own ideological boilerplate. None of them want their families to live in the world that is the logical result of their abstract and guilt-ridden theories.

    As a result of liberal hyper-wealth, the new trusts are given veritable media and political passes on their embrace of practices once seen as illiberal and self-serving, like excessive electronic monitoring of our daily lives, offshoring and outsourcing wealth, monopolizing, and giving lavishly to candidates for public office to win exemption from regulations and tax law. Just because a master of the universe wears jeans, sneakers, and a T-shirt and tips his hat to Solyndra, sanctuary cities, or Black Lives Matter, that does not mean that his telos is any different from that of a Gilded Age monopolist. Hillary is Wall Street’s hedge-fund heroine; she resonates with Big Money in a way not seen since Warren G. Harding.

    Disruptions in the free market and absolute control of business activities of a sort that once galvanized Frank Norris and Upton Sinclair are now deemed fine if they further a liberal agenda. George Soros has proved a lifelong financial octopus, but he has invested in liberal toadies and so earned adulation instead of muckraking. Unfortunately for Ford and Rockefeller, their foundations were hijacked by liberals after their deaths, and so they are remembered as enemies of the people.

    I just don’t think that other libtard was in the position to state the obvious (and if he did, I apologize…I couldn’t make it through his whole article): “Disruptions in the free market and absolute control of business activities of a sort that once galvanized Frank Norris and Upton Sinclair are now deemed fine if they further a liberal agenda.”

    Because libtards have no perspective, they tend to be incoherent in regards to discussing this stuff…a lot like Donald Trump.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Not only do the plutocrats violate liberal pietes, they violate their own proclaimed ideals. But as long as they proclaim those ideals, it doesn’t matter if they actually follow them. Ted Turner can tear the top off a mountain as long as he supports the environment by giving words and (especially) money to environmentalist fanatics.

      Soros makes his money through currency manipulation, which generally means that he bets on a country’s currency to collapse — and when it does (to the great cost of its citizens), he gets richer. (He’s betting against America as well, even as he pushes liberal policies that are good for his bottom line and bad for the rest of us.)

      But I think Hanson was unfair to Harding. He wasn’t particularly a Wall Street captive.

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