Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Boomer Bust



I have often thought that ten years of war would get us past the baby boomer mindset and forge a new generation of leaders: Non-ideological, with the ability to face problems head on and to do what works. That is what troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan had to do. Military experience in a war zone (even for support guys like me) involves seeing the situation as it really is, and then doing whatever needs to be done to overcome. Nobody in Washington knows how to do that.

Here's a voice from America's next Greatest Generation:
"I have fully lost faith in the leadership of my parents’ generation."
They have had their time to lead. Time’s up. I’m tired of waiting for them to live up to obligations. (War vet Thomas Day, Quoted by WRM - Listen Up Boomers)
The baby boomers burst onto the leadership scene in 1992 with the election of Bill Clinton. George W. Bush did his part to further besmirch that generation, and Obama is it's narcissistic, useless apotheosis.

Not every baby boomer is blameworthy. In fact, most of them never protested a war, smoked pot or indulged in any of the other tie-dyed, patchouli-tinged hippy-dippy hoopla that generation is infamous for. Like their parents before them, they went to work, raised families and contributed to their communities, so all of our problems cannot be laid at the feet of the boomers.

Some of our ills stem from the WW II-era's unquestioning respect for authority and hero-worship. "The Greatest Generation" can also be blamed for pampering and swaddling it's boomer progeny, shielding them from every hardship, ill and trial that shaped the rock-hard depression-era and WW II generation into such an impressive cohort of Americans.

Unfortunately for the majority, a small minority has defined the Baby Boomer Generation

The movie The Big Chill foisted the boomers upon our consciousness, with it's whiney navel-gazing, self-indulgent introspection and narcissistic cultural chauvinism, and the cultural boomers have been wearing out their welcome ever since.

This is the generation that brought us Viagra commercials on TV during family hours, introducing our youngsters to new and interesting phrases for physiological phenomena that last for more that four hours. This is the generation that mainstreamed porn, marketed slutwear to our daughters and encouraged our boys to be pimps. They taught us to feel, not think, and to put self-esteem above actual achievement.

I know, boomers are not the authors of our current social dysfunctions, but they were the libertines who stormed Bastille, unleashing the corrosive social forces that made these dysfunctions possible. Then as grownups they agnostically market this trash to the masses in worship of the almighty dollar.

We are now suffering the ill effects of the "anything goes, if it feels good do it" culture this adolescent, incontinent generation has foisted upon us. Our political, social and religious institutions are crumbling. The level of vulgarity in everyday life is unprecedented and our inflated sense of egotistical self-entitlement knows no bounds. Instead of building upon the foundation of the Greatest Generation, boomers took a bulldozer to it and left a giant Woodstock-like mud pit in its place.

Baby Boomer Richard Berry blames them for the economic crash as well...
The current market turmoil is a product of every bad trait the Boomer Elite has long exhibited in other social and political contexts: unbridled greed and hubris, exorbitant self-regard, breathtaking recklessness, insatiable appetite for immediate gratification, and a rollicking sense of entitlement.Our efforts to be responsible citizens in this crisis are ridiculed and shouted down: exclude from the bail-out the pork and the payoffs to interest groups? How dare we! Include measures that might actually spur badly needed growth in the tough times now surely coming, like cuts in capital gains and corporate taxes? Leave the room!
This is all merely typical of the smug, cocksure Boomer Elite. This is a group that breaks things. It has set the wrecking ball to institutions that are the essential glue of our society (marriage and the family), the basis of our political system (federalism and the separation of powers), the engine of our prosperity (the free market), the guarantor of our freedom (the military), and the glory of our history (the Constitution, participatory democracy). (The Great Boomer Comeuppance)
We haven't heard the last of the Boomers, even as they shuffle off to hippie Valhalla retirements planned by their parents and funded by the greatest transfer of wealth from young to old in the history of the world.

My hope is that subsequent generations give them their due for the good they have done while learning from their mistakes.

72 comments:

jez said...

"My hope is that subsequent generations give them their due for the good they have done while learning from their mistakes."

Damn right, and don't forget it applies to *every* generation. You can bet that the boomers were doing exactly the same, responding to the mistakes of their parent's generation which (it must have seemed and maybe really did) lead to WWII, which was IMO an even more egregious assault on life and liberty than Obamacare.

Have you heard Loudon Wainwright's "father and son"? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDJu9uITwhU
I feel this is the personal version to the politics in this article.

Rob said...

As much as I loathe some of the Boomer leadership, the notion of looming Gen Y leadership - and I use that term only loosely - scares the beejeezus outta me!

The stereotype may not apply universally, but from my observations, it holds true: Gen Y people are typically self-absorbed, responsibility-dodging slackers who off-gas an air of entitlement that's almost stifling. Boomers might be dripping unbridled greed, but Gen Yers lack any notion of self-accountability. They can't stomach the tough choices. They're don't do "the long haul." They're all about immediate gratification. They rarely think beyond next week.

Sadly, we Gen Xers are largely to blame. (I'm sorta in the cusp between Boomers & Gen X, but more belonging to the latter.) We perverted the notion that a parent's job is to ensure their children have a better life into "It's my job to make sure my children have an EASIER life." But "easy" is the devil.

At least Boomer parents still had enough Depression-era and post-war hardness in their DNA to instill some work ethic in their kids.

Thersites said...

The problem is that no one is allowed to make "mistakes" anymore and suffer the consequences for them. Don Quixote needs to be put into a Mental Institution and "cured". The pursuit of "happiness" is no longer to be allowed, for their are too many poor people to feed and take care of. We can't have rich people spending money on their own frivoulous pursuits. Everyone in out society needs to be "broken to the yoke" of the liberal progressive elite welfare state.

Rational Nation USA said...

"Not every baby boomer is blameworthy. In fact, most of them never protested a war, smoked pot or indulged in any of the other tie-dyed, patchouli-tinged hippy-dippy hoopla that generation is infamous for. Like their parents before them, they went to work, raised families and contributed to their communities, so all of our problems cannot be laid at the feet of the boomers."

Thanks from this boomer as well as from Mrs. Rational Nation for acknowledging this fine point.\

In fact, there is a great deal that can be learned from the "rational boomers" if anyone really wanted to listen.

But hey, after all, that "Hopey Changey" altruistic feel good crap just sells better, And it makes the sheeple feel all warm and fuzzy inside to boot.

Always On Watch said...

Thersites,
The problem is that no one is allowed to make "mistakes" anymore and suffer the consequences for them.

Spot on! I have to deal with that all the time as a teacher. Parents DEMAND higher grades: "my child's future," "he needs good grades to get a scholarship," "she tried her best so don't punish her," "my child has a learning disability," blah, blah, blah.

Born in 1952, I am a Boomer. However, I was the child of older parents (Mom born in 1916 and Dad born in 1911), both of whom had cardiac issues from the time I was 8 years old. My upbringing wasn't that of the typical Boomer. I went to a version of the one room schoolhouse (small private school, but not elite at all). Then I went on to a public university, only to be astounded at the attitudes and lack of basic knowledge of most students. Compared to those students, I was a pauper. I never got "all that stuff": my own horse, my own car, trips to Europe, etc. Frankly, I've never given a damn about material things.

If not for my upbringing, I could not now deal with the situation we have here at our house. Over and over again, Generation X and Generation Y people keep telling me, "Divorce him and put him in a nursing home. Get on with your life." What kind of thinking is THAT?

Ducky's here said...

I can't say I read Berry's piece. It just sounds like to much whining bullshit. The Boomers destroyed participatory democracy?

If you whinging fringe right wing loons had any freaking sense you'd realize that the civil rights, women liberation and gay rights movements were classic examples of effective participatory democracy.

Budgie Boy states in the blurb that the boomers destroyed the "guarantor of our freedom (the military)". If you believe that nonsense (that the military guarantees our freedom) than you certainly do feel rather than think (like most founding oligarch worshipers) and you don't have the boomers to blame for it.

I get a charge out of that "feel rather than think" meme from you fringe right loons who take high school American history, eat everything on the plate and never grow.

Always looking fr simple solutions and someone to blame.

Anonymous said...

AHA! "The Great Boomer Conspiracy!"

So THAT's what we have to blame for our current state of affairs?

And what, pray tell, is the root cause of that?

I did see a nod to the understandable desire of the Depression-Era-World-War-Two Generation to make sure their babies would never have to suffer the horrifying challenges they had had to endure, which resulted in raising a generation of spoiled brats who thought everything should be handed to them on a silver platter. I think, however, that it goes deeper -- and back much farther -- than that.

To my way of thinking it all depends on whether you believe our Popular Culture has developed naturally from the grass roots up, or whether it has been imposed on us by master manipulators from the top down?

Ardent socialists, many of whom DO recognize the evils in pop culture, are eager to blame it on the rapaciousness inherent in unrestrained Capitalism. True conservatives, like me, who were born into that mentality, and have never thought any other way tend to see our problems as the result of deliberate manipulation and imposition achieved through techniques developed and perfected in the advertising industry, the entertainment industry and of course the information industry all three of which are closely related under the heading of Mass Communication -- a phenomenon that emerged in the twentieth century.

Because of the enormous power of the merchants and minions of Pop Culture have amassed it has been possible to seduce (or brainwash, if you prefer) most of an entire nation to accept, embrace and practice things formerly thought unspeakable.

The success of this campaign, if that's what it has been, has been so great that its victims have no idea of what has been done to them. They think it's "natural."

Maybe so, but I seriously doubt it. Power corrupts, and much of the true power in modern society lies in the Entertainment and Communications industries.

Capitalism per se is morally neutral -- like fire. Please think about what that might imply.

~ FreeThinke

conservativesonfire said...

The enemy within is always more dangerous than the enemy from the outside. A small group of very dedicated and well organized socialist were long at work in the US before the Depression and WWII.

Anonymous said...

"You can bet that the boomers were doing exactly the same, responding to the mistakes of their parent's generation which (it must have seemed and maybe really did) lead to WWII"

The mistakes came from leadership. The Greatest Generation -- God bless their stalwart devotion to Duty -- were victims of "Master Manipulators" too.

Unless we learn to examine the influences being brought to bear on us with a critical, discerning eye (a capacity given to few, apparently), we are doomed to follow mindlessly every "Pied Piper" who slouches his way into Hamelin.

Once we abandoned the ideal of classical education, and were persuaded to teach "relevant" ideas in an agenda-driven, "life-adjustment" curriculum, we effectively jumped into a bottomless pit, and have been in freefall ever since.

While the majority are shrieking "WHEEEEEE!" with uncontrolled delight at the thrill of plummeting unsupported through space, others -- like myself -- are gasping in horror at the inevitable outcome of such a rash, headlong abandonment of all that once provided a firm foundation for useful, productive lives.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

"The enemy within is always more dangerous than the enemy from the outside. A small group of very dedicated and well organized socialist were long at work in the US before the Depression and WWII."

Exactly so, COF.

Now, what are we going to to DO about it?

~ FreeThinke

jez said...

No democracy can be absolved entirely of responsibility for its own leaders. I don't buy the conspiracy theories.

Rob said...

Thersites: The problem is that no one is allowed to make "mistakes" anymore and suffer the consequences for them.

Yes sir! That's one of the key issues! There seems to be no accountability anymore! We live in a world where big men wearing big suits sit behind big desks and run their big companies into the ground yet still skip away with staggering golden parachutes. And We the People bail their asses out!

So should it be any surprise when this trickles down to the local level where (true example) a daycare owner can be negligent about the upkeep on the buses that pick up little children yet pass off a fatal crash due to brake failure on the driver's mental state?

We've got to start holding peoples' feet to the fire before we slide headlong into the abyss. We've gotta stop dicking around and deliver real, finite justice or our society is going to devolve into chaos.

Leticia said...

Great post, Silver. Glad I can chime in.

Everyone wants a free pass and not have to work for a darn thing. They want it all and they want it now and they don't want to pay for it.

What happened to hard work and you earn your own way? I am teaching my boys that nothing is free. If they want allowance, they have to do their chores, or they will not get a penny. There is nothing wrong with working hard. There is a marvelous sense of accomplishment when you do something on your own.

We cannot allow this to continue. The generation I see here want to live with mom and dad forever, not have to worry about bills, healthcare, car payments and cell phone payments. Where do they think all that stuff comes from?

We could learn a lot from our founders and forefathers. Hard work pays off. It's even in the bible about working and if you don't work you don't eat. It's as simple as that.

I want my children to be self-sufficient and independent.

Ducky's here said...

I want my children to be self-sufficient and independent.

---
Better leave them a trust fund, then.

Anonymous said...

I said:

'Because of the enormous power of the merchants and minions of Pop Culture have amassed, it has been possible to seduce (or 'brainwash,' if you prefer) most of an entire nation to accept, embrace and practice things formerly thought unspeakable.

The success of this campaign, if that's what it has been, has been so great that its victims have no idea of what has been done to them. They think it's "natural."'


Then we heard an ideological opponents say:

"I don't buy the conspiracy theories," as if that were all my observations amounted to.

So, do you see what I mean about victims being unaware they are victims?

Apparently this individual -- an intelligent, educated, thoughtful guy -- honestly believes each individual is so strong-minded, so capable of sorting wheat from chaff on his own, and so filled with integrity and wisdom as to be impervious to the blandishments of anything produced by the Mass Communication industries that everything we see today has come about spontaneously, because it is what the great mass of people need and long for.

Possibly, but I doubt it. Does his argument (if I read it right!) seem plausible to you?

Nothing happens in a vacuum. All of history is a long chain of Cause and Effect -- or isn't it?

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

By the way, if you have any hope whatsoever of leaving your children a "trust fund," as our Sniper -in-Residence sarcastically says, we must secure and maintain the kind of society in which it is possible for an intelligent, ambitious, hard-working, thrifty, disciplined person can earn, save and invest enough to make that happen.

In a Confiscatory Socialist Workers' Paradise -- as a opposed to a Participatory Representative Republic -- it is a virtual impossibility for a person, even one with exceptional talents -- to get ahead.

As the cliché says:

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have."

However, our problem is neither Corporatism per se or Socialism per se but rather the WEDDING of the two that has taken place because Big Business -- in order to survive the ravages of Big Government -- HAD to get itself directly involved in government.

RESULT?

"We the People" are getting the screwing without the loving.

Human being naturally gravitate towards tyranny. Why" because it's easier to let Someone Else make your decisions FOR you than it is to make them for yourself. Freedom is a frightening thing. That's why it's so fragile and so easily taken away on some pretext or other.

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

Freethinker, you ever charged Medicare?

Ducky's here said...

because Big Business -- in order to survive the ravages of Big Government -- HAD to get itself directly involved in government.

-------
Just as the Marxists predicted.

Mark Adams said...

"Better leave them a trust fund, then"
That’s the plan. The trust fund that was passed down to us by our fathers and their fathers and grandfathers, etc.
A free market society of liberty.
Problem is, we got a bunch of throw backs from the 60's who partied their way in to adulthood, loosing numerous amounts of brain cells along the way, that are currently running the show in Washington.

Time to send them back to Yasgur's Farm.

Thersites said...

Social Justice = crush the individual.

Thersites said...

Character is not encouraged, AoW.

Z said...

"Thersites,
The problem is that no one is allowed to make "mistakes" anymore and suffer the consequences for them." Amen to that.

SF..Man, you're tough on us Baby Boomers! I'm one of the younger ones and I want you to know I never did protest the war, never wore tie-dye, and always hated the stink of patchouli.......I'll skip over the other qualifier (SHOCK!).. Nobody's perfect :-)

I have to admit I have a fond recollection of 'unquestioning respect for authority and hero-worship". I think the way we've brought every past hero down to mediocrity is a dangerous thing for young people...having heroes was an excellent way to want to do better, strive for something. Today, that doesn't seem to be allowed. Even Christopher Columbus is now known more as a raper and pillager than a anything else... and I refuse not to teach that Geo. Washington cut down the tree and said he wouldn't lie. I tell my 4 year old class that it probably didn't happen but they like the lesson of telling the truth, anyway.

Well, I'll limp off with that knife hanging out of my back, SF! And hope you still love some of us BBs in spite of your post?!!

Ducky's here said...

z smoked weed? Come on.

Silverfiddle said...

Ducky: You enjoy referring to Z and her friends as ladies who lunch.

That gives a whole new meaning to afternoon tea, doesn't it?

;) No offense Z! I made sure to make it clear in my post that I was in no way slamming all boomers.

Ducky's here said...

Farmer, shouldn't you be at the NRA convention kissing Ted Nugent's ass?

Ducky's here said...

My guess is that z's guilty pleasure was tuning into the Share a little tea with Goldie sketches on the old Smothers Brothers show.

Ducky's here said...

z unmasked

Ducky's here said...

Boomers brought us Ronald Reagan, Silver,I'm sure neither of us believes in collective guilt but it's a hell of a heavy load to carry.

Silverfiddle said...

OK. So that's a point in their favor

Z said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kid said...

I'm just responding to the picture here as your commentary is Ok as it applies to the hippies.

To wit:
SS is not an entitlement program. I paid into it all my life. It would be find if LBJ didn't steal the money to start welfare and in his words "keep those N word people voting for democrats for the next 200 years."

I'll agree SS was never meant to be a 15-20 year vacation program, but there's a line here.

Bottom line is the politicians have pissed all the money way and now they (on both sides!) are convincing people that the productive of us who paid into and supported SS and Medicare all this time (while the politicians robbed us and these programs blind) are the Problem?? F that.

Z said...

Ducky...I had to laugh because when I first saw that girl with the yellow flowers in her hair (I don't remember her from the Smothers Bros, by the way), I thought she looked a LOT like me then...My cousins used to call me Claudine Longet (Andy Williams' very young wife)...who looks a little like the girl in the video.
I was never ditzy..ever. And I never wore flowers in my hair...
.
even IN San Francisco.

Kid said...

As a general comment, I don't think there were all that many true hippies per capita. Speaking truly braindead destructive people. I think that most of the damage was done by Communist subversion and activism by infiltrating the media, politics, and the education systems.

If you haven't see it yet

Z said...

Kid, I got an email today calling peoples' attention (who get SS checks, which I don't) to the fact that the checks apparently don't say SOCIAL SECURITY anymore, but "Federal Benefit Payment"...
interesting...

Boy, if this isn't true and the irony of our times: Well said, Kid "
Bottom line is the politicians have pissed all the money way and now they (on both sides!) are convincing people that the productive of us who paid into and supported SS and Medicare all this time (while the politicians robbed us and these programs blind) are the Problem??

Z said...

Kid "I think that most of the damage was done by Communist subversion and activism by infiltrating the media, politics, and the education systems."

1000% agreed.

Kid said...

Z, Thank you so much Claudine ;-)

Anonymous said...

Most of those hippies who survived the era of Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll wound up as college professors -- or New Age Gurus who infiltrated the Church and transformed into a Social Welfare Agency and Peace Advocacy organization.

Some of the cleverer wound up in Hollywood.

Many remained -- and died -- in the gutter.

~ FreeThinke

PS: Ducky, sometimes you really are funny -- cutting, sarcastic, caustic, -- but funny nonetheless. Not fair, of course, I am positive our Z never spoke like a Valley Girl -- at least I hope not -- but in your twisted way you can be amusing. Gotta give the Devil his due. };-)> - FT

Ducky's here said...

Some of them became documentary film editors, FT

viburnum said...

FT: "Most of those hippies who survived the era of Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll wound up as college professors -- or New Age Gurus who infiltrated the Church and transformed into a Social Welfare Agency and Peace Advocacy organization."

And a large number grew up, got bit on the ass by reality, and became conservative/libertarian. ;-)

Ducky's here said...

What happened to the hippies, a film lexicon (since the only one Silver mentions is a bit lame).

Alain Tanner - Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000

Eltore Scola - We All Loved Each Other So Much

Chantal Akerman - Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the 1960s in Brussels

Martha Coolidge - David: Off and On

Don Owen - Nobody Waved Goodbye

Roman Polanski - Knife in the Water

Robert Downey Sr. - Putney Swope

Michaelangelo Antonioni - Zabriskie Point , Blowup

Monte Hellman - Two Lane Blacktop

Tony Richardson - The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Jean-Luc 'Cinema' Godard - Masculin, feminin and everything else he did in the 60's.

Diane Kurys - Peppermint Frappe

It goes on but it's a hell of a lot more and more interesting than The Big Chill or Easy Rider. Gotta get away from Hollywood.

Z said...

FT and Ducky...this is a terrific exchange; thanks for the smile..(FT, I agree with you 100%, including the fact that I might have been raised in the Valley ..which I was...but I never spoke like a Valley Girl!)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of those hippies who survived the era of Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll wound up as college professors -- or New Age Gurus who infiltrated the Church and transformed into a Social Welfare Agency and Peace Advocacy organization.

Some of the cleverer wound up in Hollywood.

Many remained -- and died -- in the gutter.

~ FreeThinke

PS: Ducky, sometimes you really are funny -- cutting, sarcastic, caustic, -- but funny nonetheless. Not fair, of course, I am positive our Z never spoke like a Valley Girl -- at least I hope not -- but in your twisted way you can be amusing. Gotta give the Devil his due. };-)> - FT

4/17/12 7:33 PM
Blogger Ducky's here said...

Some of them became documentary film editors, FT

Jersey McJones said...

"The baby boomers burst onto the leadership scene in 1992 with the election of Bill Clinton."

Nonsense!!!

The Baby Boomers were well established by then! They were well into the prime of their lives.

Baby Boomers like those of every administration and congress and courts and military and private sector since the 60's have been historically exceedingly influential in the developments of today's world.

The effects are what they are.

We Americans are struggling with stagnant upward mobility and a political class wholly consumed with keeping it that way. It is those that have making sure those that don't have continue to do so.

When it comes to the governance of the United States the Baby Boomers will not be remembered fondly a hundred years from now.

JMJ

Anonymous said...

"And a large number grew up, got bit on the ass by reality, and became conservative/libertarian. ;-)"

Is that an observation -- or a confession, Viburnum? ;-]

__________

And Z, remember I've heard you talk on several occasions, and know that you not only speak very well, but have a beautifully modulated voice too.

Cheerio!

~ FT

Anonymous said...

"We Americans are struggling with stagnant upward mobility ..."

How could that be, Jersey, since it's mental, moral and physical impossibility? "Stagnant mobility" is a contradiction in terms.

If you meant by any chance that you think Conservative-Libertarians have been doing everything possible to prevent the lower classes from improving their lot in life, nothing could be farther from the truth.

It is WE who advocate an Economic Freedom that would permit any ambitious, intelligent, thrifty, hard-working individual to rise above humble origins, receive a real education, achieve success in business or one of the professions and become prosperous, independent and possibly even rich and powerful.

The Rags-to-Riches scenario is the quintessential element among components that comprise "The American Dream." Equality of OPPORTUNITY is what our country was all about, until the Marxists came along and mucked it all up.

Marxism is designed to destroy independence while turning former citizens into SUBJECTS to almighty, inescapable, totalitarian State Power.

The moral equivalent of exchanging one's birthright for a mess of pottage.

~ FreeThinke

Jersey McJones said...

"The Rags-to-Riches scenario is the quintessential element among components that comprise "The American Dream."

My ass.

Mots people are quite happy to just do well enough by their family. Only you cons are consumed with acquisition of wealth. And truth be told, hardly anyone from rags ever makes it to riches - less in fact today in America than in Europe.

That was my point about the stagnancy of our upward mobility.

JMJ

Z said...

very nice of you, FT..thanks.

jez said...

Free Thinke, clearly when you said "the machinations of these self-appointed Oligarchs who have very successfully USED every available splinter faction and every naturally-occurring crisis to further the goal of eventual World Domination." you were expressing a theory of yours that there is a long-running conspiracy that is successfully controlling various global and domestic events. In other words, a conspiracy theory.

"[you] honestly [believe] each individual is ... impervious to the blandishments of anything produced by the Mass Communication industries that everything we see today has come about spontaneously, because it is what the great mass of people need and long for."

This is where a bit of intellectual discipline would do you good, freethinke (too free, not enough thinke) -- you have skipped over too many steps between my statement and your conclusions from it, and many of those missing steps are unjustified. If you showed some of your working, you might have spotted it yourself.

I said I don't think it's a conspiracy. That doesn't mean that I don't believe that the masses are manipulated. You don't need a conspiracy to explain advertising, just a profit motive. Also, please notice that at no time in history have events followed the wishes and needs of the great mass of people, regardless of whether they were subject to a conspiracy.

Was rock and roll, to take an artifact of which I know you disapprove, a spontaneous cultural event, or part of the conspiracy?

Sure, we are in decline in all sorts of ways in my opinion. (In some ways, perhaps some progress is perceptible, if we can tear ourselves away briefly from nostalgia for our adolescence?) My solution, as far as I can, is to opt out of the more aggressively dumb offerings (although I have a weakness for dumb comedies -- nothing's funnier than well-executed slapstick). You have yet to offer anything in the way of evidence of a conspiracy, and until you do Occam's razor favours theories which have equivalent explanatory power but do not need anything big, coordinated, competent and secret at its heart.

viburnum said...

JMJ: "And truth be told, hardly anyone from rags ever makes it to riches - less in fact today in America than in Europe.

Well more than half of the Fortune 400 list of American billionaires is categorized as "self-made"

http://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/list/#p_1_s_arank_All%20industries_All%20states_Self-Made_

The fallacy behind the left's view of economics is that they believe it to be a zero sum game, and in order for some to have more others must have less.

viburnum said...

FT: ""And a large number grew up, got bit on the ass by reality, and became conservative/libertarian. ;-)"

Is that an observation -- or a confession, Viburnum? ;-]

It's both. Been there, done that, got the Che Guevara tee shirt, and I ain't going back. ;-)

Always On Watch said...

FT said:

Because of the enormous power of the merchants and minions of Pop Culture have amassed it has been possible to seduce (or brainwash, if you prefer) most of an entire nation to accept, embrace and practice things formerly thought unspeakable.

Along those lines, I observe my neighbor's son, born in 1970 and raised in a conservative home, spouting off over and over again, "I am a child of the 60s."

Yes, the merchants and minions have accomplished this mindset -- along with the education system, which I hold responsible for the "philosophy" that my neighbor's son constantly spews. He refuses to "participate in capitalism," which means "I'll take my parents' money when they hand it out to me, not own anything, not hold a job, and hire myself out as a gigolo to older women of corporate America." The only initiative that I see on his part is to follow the Rolling Stones around when they're on tour here in the United States.

Don't get me wrong. This man I'm speaking of does come to our house when Mr. AOW needs to be picked up from the floor. And this man does help us by lifting Mr. AOW and his wheelchair into our neighbors' house when we go to our neighbors' house for dinner. But this same man decries Western civilization and capitalism as the villains of all the evils in the world.

Anonymous said...

PART ONE:

Some truths are, as our Founders said, "self-evident," Jez. I happen to agree with them, but many didn't then, and apparently even more do not now. We live in an age where the popular perception of "Science" has led too many to believe that everything that cannot be weighed, measured and quantified must be illusory.


That, of course, if true, would mean that such things as Love, Courage, Honesty, Principle, Curiosity, Sanity, Happiness, Hope, Ambition, Inspiration, Insight, Beauty, Passion, Power, Charm, Affection, Wit, Humor, Style, Morality, etc. must be unreal.


What a pity!


I am flattered that you have remembered my words from another post, and taken the trouble to quote them here. The "theory," as you call it, is certainly not mine, and it is not a theory, but an observable phenomenon -- an established way of life. Surely you don't believe things have gotten to where they are merely by accident, do you?

~ FreeThinke

(CONTINUED)

Anonymous said...

PART TWO

Please note the words of David Rockefeller, who outed himself, his family, and many of his cohorts in 1991 and again in 1994:

On control of the media:

"We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries."

~ David Rockefeller Baden-Baden, Germany 1991

On the New World Order

“Some... believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others… to build a more integrated global political and economic structure -- one world, if you will.
If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.

"We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nation will accept the New World Order."


~ David Rockefeller speaking at a UN Business Conference, September 14, 1994

~ FT

(CONTINUED)

Anonymous said...

PART THREE:

You and I can sit at our machines and tell each other how wrong we are till Kingdom Come. That doesn't make either of us right or wrong.


If the truth could ever be known, I'm sure it's a bit of each.


You mentioned Rock 'n Roll. I wish you hadn't, but you did. I remember when it first appeared on the scene. If ever there was a phenomenon that developed because of the promotional efforts of the Mass Communication industries, R&R was it.


When will you understand that the moguls who head the Entertainment and Popular Music industries promote material that does not REFLECT Popular Taste? Instead they CREATE Popular Taste by exploiting people's basest instincts through techniques catalogued by pioneers of the advertising industry like Edward Bernays.


Conversations of this sort are a bit silly -- like adolescent debates in dorm rooms over the existence of God.


I believe in God. I have gotten the impression that you don't. That puts us at a stalemate.


"Arcturus" is his other name —
I'd rather call him "Star."
It's very mean of Science
To go and interfere!

I slew a worm the other day —
A "Savant" passing by
Murmured "Resurgam" — "Centipede!"
"Oh Lord — how frail are we"!

I pull a flower from the woods —
A monster with a glass
Computes the stamens in a breath —
And has her in a "class!"

Whereas I took the Butterfly
Aforetime in my hat —
He sits erect in "Cabinets" —
The Clover bells forgot.

What once was "Heaven"
Is "Zenith" now —
Where I proposed to go
When Time's brief masquerade was done
Is mapped and charted too.

What if the poles should frisk about
And stand upon their heads!
I hope I'm ready for "the worst" —
Whatever prank betides!

Perhaps the "Kingdom of Heaven's" changed —
I hope the "Children" there
Won't be "new fashioned" when I come —
And laugh at me — and stare —

I hope the Father in the skies
Will lift his little girl —
Old fashioned — naughty — everything —
Over the stile of "Pearl."


~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

FYI: In case you didn't know "Resurgam" means "I rise again."

If you can see how Miss Dickinson's words might relate to this conversation, please get back to me.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

AOW, thanks very much for your input. Obviously, your neighbor's son would not have developed as he did were it not for the omnipresent, nearly omnipotent influence of the Enemedia, the Pop Music Industry, TV and the agenda-driven classroom instruction he has undoubtedly received in the public schools from teachers who were "processed" in our Marxist-oriented Education Mills.

~ FT

jez said...

Some truths are, as our Founders said, "self-evident," Jez.

They were held to be self-evident, and there was some useful progress to be made in so doing. They are not, in fact, self-evident nor even for the most part true. Men are not created equal, though it is quite improper to do politics as if they were unequal.

[you] believe that everything that cannot be weighed, measured and quantified must be illusory

I took some trouble to argue the opposite (that complicated, emergent properties are NOT illusory) when a recent thread's topic wondered off into quantum mechanics.
Perhaps you didn't read / mean me.

Love, courage etc. are real but they suffer (or is it benefit?) from imprecise definition. If you're going to study any of these properties using the scientific method, job number one is pinning down a definition (and by the time that is done, you're no longer studying to what the layman would mean by eg. "beauty"). But I would never suggest that science is the *only* worthwhile tool for understanding.

Surely you don't believe things have gotten to where they are merely by accident...?

I find the Great Man theory of history severely lacking. Historical narrative bares more resemblance to accident than it does to well executed plan, although it is not all exactly accidental either.

Take rock and roll, for example. I pretty much agree with you that in general the record industry seeks to manipulate taste to its own advantage, and most of the time you can see the wheels turning. Simon Cowell is a particularly shoddy operator. But just occasionally it gets taken off guard; I believe this happened briefly in 1954. Just a brief interruption to the status quo: almost immediately the industry recovered and resumed pumping product and manipulating taste, but for a few brief months mass communications lived up to its terrifying promise as it delivered real, spontaneous and exciting culture directly in to the vein of a mass audience. In my opinion this is why rock and roll, mostly unremarkable as a musical form, commands such an important place in cultural history.

But you think otherwise. Whom do you think predicted / engineered rock and roll?

I confess, I do not know what Dickinson's poem has to do with what we're talking about (20th century new-world-order conspiracy theory, or something else?); but I know I disagree with her, because I agree with Richard Feynman: I find going into things deeply only makes nature more beautiful, and takes nothing away from it. A flower through a microscope is not ugly, and the true nature of stars, giant balls of nuclear fusion. impossibly large and impossibly far away, is far more captivating than angels pushing hard glowing bulbs around in a glass firmament. And if you want you can imagine the angels (after all, it's what you always did). Armstrong's moon did not replace Keats' moon or Milton's moon; it only added to them.
Maybe all that stuff is subjective. But I notice Dickinson is chastising science for investigating nature, which is petty; it would be just as petty for a scientist to chastise a poet for rhyming it -- which no-one does.

As for Rockefeller -- sure he's a powerful man and an enthusiastic internationalist, but I don't think it goes any further than that. The first of your quotes is contested.

J.

Anonymous said...

That is exactly the sort of response I expected from you, Jez. As I've said several times on different threads, we are world's part. It might be said that we run on different "operating systems." I hasten to add that i don't mean that literally, of course.

It's probably one those left brain versus right brain things.

Regrettably, I have not been trained in Science as you have, so it's not possible for me to follow discussions of Quantum Mechanics or Nuclear Physics -- or whatever.

I have respect for those who can, so please don't get me wrong, but arguments based on knowledge of advanced scientific theories are out of my bailiwick.

We're just not on the same wavelength, that's all.

If it pleases you to think that makes me inferior, please go right ahead. There's nothing I could say or do to persuade you think otherwise.

Frankly, I think each one of us is missing a lot, but then who among us is not? Our different capacities is what makes the world such a difficult -- but fascinating -- place.

You've worn me out -- for the time being. I have other fish to fry -- and miles to go before i sleep -- and miles to go before I sleep.

This conversation has grown stale, mate. ;-)

~ FreeThinke

Leticia said...

Ducky, that might be true for some people, but for a middle-class family, not a realistic goal, at this time.

I want them to be self-reliant and not hope or wait on a trust fund that they may never get.

Thersites said...

:P

Thersites said...

Romney's a pussy. Ted Nugent ROCKS!

Thersites said...

Social Justice would be gulags for Communists.

98ZJUSMC said...

Ducky's here said...
I can't say I read Berry's piece. It just sounds like to much whining bullshit. The Boomers destroyed participatory democracy?

If you whinging fringe right wing loons had any freaking sense you'd realize that the civil rights, women liberation and gay rights movements were classic examples of effective participatory democracy.

Budgie Boy states in the blurb that the boomers destroyed the "guarantor of our freedom (the military)". If you believe that nonsense (that the military guarantees our freedom) than you certainly do feel rather than think (like most founding oligarch worshipers) and you don't have the boomers to blame for it.

I get a charge out of that "feel rather than think" meme from you fringe right loons who take high school American history, eat everything on the plate and never grow.

4/17/12 6:39 AM


Quintessential, self flagellance. Much deserved, I might add.

Always looking fr simple solutions and someone to blame.


Yes, the complex is always the best. Far easier to BS the so-called rubes who, see leftists for the mendacious fools they are. As your lightbringers' pee in their mouths, they won't wonder about the chances of precipitation.

A coat of Imron on a turd, doesn't sparkle for very long and when other peoples' cash runs out, there's no more paint to spray.

By all means though, keep polishing that turd.


Thersites said...
Romney's a pussy. Ted Nugent ROCKS!


..and I am in complete agreement. I'll vote for him, though...

98ZJUSMC said...

Ducky's here said...
Boomers brought us Ronald Reagan, Silver,I'm sure neither of us believes in collective guilt but it's a hell of a heavy load to carry.


No. The boomers brought us Jimmy Carter. When the stone wore off, they came to their senses.

98ZJUSMC said...

You would be surprised how many of us CONS did, or still do, get stoned from time to time.

Unlike the boomer posuers, stoned isn't a way of life, it's a pleasant rest stop. After all,...

..you still have to get back in traffic, eventually.

Anonymous said...

PHEW~

jez said...

FreeThinke, funny how quickly you weary of discussing the conspiracy theory which, when it's not under scrutiny, you are so keen to bring up. Oh well. These woods are lovely, dark and deep, and in them we value things like evidence, concision, precision and clarity.

Unfamiliarity with science (not that the conversation under "Liberalism is Abnormal" requires any) would not make me consider you inferior; there's only one thing really which would cause that, and you already know what that is.

Thersites said...

I'll vote for him, though...

You must like the taste of piss...

Thersites said...

I'll join Ted, in prison or dead.

Anonymous said...

PHEW~

Thersites said...

Don't drink piss...

Vote Gary Jhnson for President!

Anonymous said...

PHEW~

Right Wing Theocrat said...

I think a lot of the previous generation were sold a lot of BS about socialism, I just hope that enough have learned from it so we can be rid of it, not holding my breath though.

Joe Conservative said...

The lessons of Europe are only now being "learned".