The Way We Watch Now

The Hollywood-based entertainment industry appears to have written off most of America in Flyoverlandia (according to this post) as hopelessly unwoke, racist and dumber than dirt, in their untiring efforts to embody the soul of Woke in their various offerings. Apparently, they believe in an audience just waiting uncritically out here; An audience intellectually gape-mouthed like baby birds just waiting to swallow whatever gets dropped into them. In pursuit of that goal, according to the same article, they have made their own professional hellscape, what with the growing fear that one wrong word, tweet or visual will make them the unemployable target of their peers, in the grand scramble for achieving ultimate wokery by scapegoating each other. Couldn’t happen to a nicer lot of vicious, vacuous, jerks, hypocrites, and pedophiles … even as the audience for movies released in theaters drops through the floor, and the most-watched continuing streaming video drama is one which has done so practically unnoticed by the mainstream news and entertainment media. Hollywood’s current travails are of their own making. Meanwhile, it appears that lot of us have been abandoning establishment mainstream TV and movies with all speed and finding other stuff to watch of an evening. Old and pre-woke movies, and classic TV series; so, OK, the sets and costumes are laughably low-rent when it came to production values. Many were filmed or taped in the same old locations, year after year. I do cherish the memories of spotting many off-set locations for such programs filmed in the Los Angeles area as places that I knew – as well as spotting utility poles and the backs of warehouses in the vicinity of Griffith Park in action shots for the original Wild, Wild West series, and a short stretch of the then-unfinished 210 freeway through the Shadow Hills for car chases on Chips. (We also spotted the same old industrial sites and abandoned quarries where so many episodes of the Blake’s 7 crew set down planet side.)

Anyway, what the current wokerati in Hollywood appear to have forgotten is – there is so much out there to watch. Even if you limit yourself to color movies shot after WWII, or TV series after 1970 or so – there is so much out there, and from every nation which has a movie- or TV series capability, and is available (for now, anyway) on DVD, or streaming on various subscription channels. There’s high-quality historical series like Mr. Sunshine, set in turn of the last century Korea, which I’ve been watching intermittently. My daughter likes interesting police procedurals and historical documentaries from everywhere – British mostly, although there was one from Turkey about their special forces, which she appreciated for the gritty, realistic feel to it. Even Tube of Ewe, for its’ many faults and their own political double-standards, has a glorious sufficiency of original and intriguing stuff: reality series by family units who have no problem putting their personal lives and challenges out there … hey, they’re volunteering and in control, as opposed to those poor attention-starved clots who have signed over their lives to some Big Media Producer to basically be a kind of performing monkey. Frankly, I’d rather watch those families in Flyoverlandia do their various home-building projects, mostly for their complete lack of artifice. Lately, I’ve started watching a restoration series, LADB Restoration where a couple of mostly faceless craftsmen restore rusty and decayed antique household and industrial appliances to functioning use. They do complete metal and wood fabrication of elements too far gone to repair (and some of them are very far-gone, as assemblages of rust and wood-rot held together by habit alone). They are supervised by their genii of place, a ginger cat named Avril. It’s strangely addictive, as is EpicUpcycling – another gentleman crafter with an enviable collection of wood and metal-working tools, who builds elaborate furniture pieces out of old wood pallets and scraps of this and that. I’m certain that the woodwork designs are so elaborate and ornate because the wood is basically scrap, and the designs have to hide that as much as possible. Still – I am overcome with envy at the collection of power tools on hand and wish more than ever that I had been able to take wood and metal shop classes in high school, and the temptation to try my own hand at renovating something rusty and ruined is almost overwhelming.

So what is out there – and not out of the Hollywood entertainment complex that you are watching these days and evenings?

 

82 thoughts on “The Way We Watch Now”

  1. I’m a late ‘Tube tater, but have found wonderful music and history offerings surfing around.

    I’m no longer capable of sustained interest in dramatic series, and haven’t been for many years. I have been tempted to revisit the BBC “I, Clavdivs” with Jacobi and so many other greats. Heck, I should reread the books.

  2. We’re watching “M Squad” with Lee Marvin, from 1958. We just finished up every episode of “Mannix”. We recently saw a really really bad movie called “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die”, from 1959. Just how bad is this movie? The European version is preferred by some because it has the “extended catfight sequence”. Just ordered “McCloud: The Complete Series”. My wife and I were discussing this the other day. People are buying these old movies and TV series by the carload. I recently bought “Gunsmoke: The Complete Series” and “Perry Mason: The Complete Series”, and I had to wait on both of them because backordered. I get a 70 page paper catalog from an outfit called Critic’s Choice once a month, and we’ll always order something. And we’re watching these shows and movies because they help our mental health by providing a means of escape, and the writing is (mostly) pretty good, and the acting is (mostly) pretty good as well. And they don’t preach to me or at me, and they don’t tell me I’m a bad person because I’m a straight white male Christian who’s 60 years old.

    Gotta tell you. The paper catalog from Critic’s Choice is genius-level marketing. It’s just fun to sit in the recliner and turn the pages and look at what’s new. There’s something about flipping the pages of a catalog that you’d don’t get shopping online. It sort of hearkens back to my youth spent looking through the Sears catalog before Christmas. Oh, they even include an order form that you can mail in with a check. We always order online, but the catalog is awesome.

    Finally, I want to mention an outfit called ClassicFlix. When it comes to film restoration they are doing God’s Work. Their latest project? A complete restoration of all of the sound era “Little Rascals” shorts. They just released the fourth set of 11 shorts, and the picture and sound quality is pristine, and everything looks new. They started the project using crowdfunding, and now it’s become self-sustaining; I buy every set they issue. I wouldn’t have thought they’d be allowed to finish what they’d started, because Buckwheat and Stymie, but apparently things are working out.

    All these people who buy “Gunsmoke” and “Perry Mason” and “Murder, She Wrote” have apparently not gotten the word that they’re supposed to be streaming, and not buying physical media. I think there are a great many people in this country, and count me among them, that don’t like having their viewing habits dictated by people who vape.

  3. The thought of watching hours of primetime fair that I didn’t much enjoy the first time is terrifying. There were gems among the dross, but . . . “Victory at Sea,” Cronkite on “Twentieth Century,” some Churchillian thing called “The Gallant Years,” and of course Olivier narrating “The World at War.” And of course all the war movies and TV shows, good, bad, and incredible.

    In my cohort (b. 1953) the War was everywhere.

    Just finished Catherine Merridale’s “Ivan’s War,” a superb investigation and reconstruction of the way that the government and populations of the USSR and its neighbors (Bloodlands as Snyder has it) dealt with the realities of Red oppression and incompetence, Nazi invasion and devastation, eventual triumph and ultimate disappointment.

    She’s not a military historian and it shows, but we have plenty of good ones and most of her errors aren’t that significant; she researched and interviewed during the period 1991 to early 2000s when a lot of archives were opened and there were still some survivors.

    It’s a very human and surprising story, and doesn’t sugar coat any of the nastiness on both sides and at all levels.

  4. What’s amazing to me is that after Mel Gibson made himself a billionaire off of The Passion, Hollywood made a few pieces of trash that were vaguely Biblically related (that Noah’s ark movie, etc.), then stopped because they have zero interest in anything like that, and Mel himself after his time in the wilderness went right back to just acting in studio pictures. (I’ve seen it said that The Passion was ironclad proof that God exists and Mel’s life falling apart after that was ironclad proof that the devil exists…)
    Why does no one on the “right” make serious entertainment for Americans? Not even for religious Americans explicitly. The obvious answer is that The System will destroy anyone who tries, and that’s a pretty good answer, I guess, but someone’s gotta step up.

  5. @Brian In support of your last paragraph, one might find it interesting to compare/contrast reviews of and/or Wikipedia essays on movies such as “Lorenzo’s Oil”, “My Left Foot” or “October Sky” with other movies such as “Joni” or “October Baby”.

  6. Brian, the root problem is that serious people don’t do entertainment. The field attracts the ephemeral, the trivial–You only get the profound every great once in awhile. The rest of the time, it’s all fluff and perversions, put on by the Harvey Weinstein types. They occasionally reach moments of profundity and weight, but that’s mostly by accident and sheer misadventure. They don’t mean to–They’re feeding their own egos, their own perverse desires, and making money by feeding that same drive for titillation in the general public.

    What we make for entertainment, what we reward, is a reflection of us. I’m afraid that what there is to be said about ourselves, looking in the fun-house mirror of our entertainment industry, ain’t at all complimentary.

    It’s a lot like ancient Rome; the gladiatorial games, with all their depravity and killing on display? That was their ideal; that was the highest expression of their culture. They built arenas everywhere they went, stripping the landscape of animals so that they could bring them there for the Romans to enjoy watching them being killed brutally. That was Rome.

    Turn on the TV. Go to the movies. This is us. We vote with our money, making these charlatans and liars wealthy, holding all of them up as exemplars to society at large. Is it any wonder that the culture is as debased as it is, and is only getting worse?

    Personally, the SMOD can’t come quickly enough, for my tastes.

  7. Kirk:
    “Turn on the TV. Go to the movies. This is us”
    No. It is not Us. A TV show today that gets 10M viewers is a massive hit. That’s about 3% of the population. A movie that earns $100M in box office is a huge hit. At $10/ticket, that’s 10M people. Again, 3% of the people. Not the majority of people at all.
    “We vote with our money”
    Yes, true, and we are voting to withhold it from these perverted freaks. (The biggest scam about Harvey Weinstein wasn’t that he was being covered up, but that he was at all atypical. Hollywood is a demonic sex-abuse cartel.)
    “making these charlatans and liars wealthy”
    The problem is that America is so rich that it is possible to become insanely wealthy by catering to only a tiny sliver of the population.
    “holding all of them up as exemplars to society at large”
    Well, only in the Hollywood/media circle jerk. The only thing more depraved than those in the club are those who desperately want to join the club. Most of us have tuned them out. First the studios were taken over by the freaks, then bought out by the CCP. The problem is they actively try to marginalize and destroy anyone decent who might even think of offering an alternative, and their grip on things, that they spent decades solidifying, is now complete.

  8. No, Brian, I’m afraid you’re quite wrong.

    If you were right, then more people would be out there condemning the endemic violations of standards these creatures produce. Instead, the biggest sellers on the racks are celebrity-worship magazines, and all the biggest websites cater to titillating the general public with the latest news of their perversions and infidelities. If these things weren’t reflective of the general scum that is our population, these bastards would all be paupers.

    Look at all the various scandals in things like the science-fiction genre; Isaac Asimov was a well-known serial groper, and his son was busted (and, then released…) by none other than Robert Mueller for what was then “the largest collection of child porn ever found”. We’re talking terabytes of data. Then, there were the scandals surrounding Marion Zimmer Bradley’s enablement of her husband, plus her own perversions.

    Entertainment is a reflection of society. That only a small percentage of the host society enables that entertainment really doesn’t say much–It’s what the rest of the society tolerates. Time was, actors and actresses were considered slightly more respectable than prostitutes and gigolos, rather than today’s attitude of outright worshipfulness and grant of automatic credibility.

    It’s unfortunate that it is like this, but this is what the majority tolerates, allowing these creatures unfettered access to the cultural commons. There’s no effective push-back, because anyone seeking to censure these perverts and deviants is automatically labeled as some sort of mouth-breathing fundamentalist nutter, whose opinions are not to be valued or even allowed out in public.

    If you want your voice silenced in the commons, merely speak the slightest censure of any of these lunatics like Roman Polanski. You’ll be mocked, made an example of, and driven from the industry. Look what they did to anyone speaking out about Harvey Weinstein, back in the day–And, still do to anyone bringing this stuff forward. The whole thing is ludicrous, theater for the masses–Nobody discusses the fact that Bill Crosby was sought out by most of those “victims” of his for the things he “could do for their careers”, just like nobody pointed out that a lot of the women victimized by Weinstein went into it open-eyed and willingly.

    The whole culture is debased, probably beyond effective recovery. The people who feed into it are blind to it all–The little girls wanting Hollywood fame are just as culpable and just as sick as their exploiters, when you get down to it. There are few “innocent victims” of it all–Parents sell their kids to the highest bidders for fame, and nobody decries what they are doing. If the situation wasn’t truly reflective of our society, then those parents would be censured by decent people everywhere, and the products of their efforts would be boycotted into bankruptcy.

    But, they are not. This is a telling thing. If you speak out with disgust about what the entertainment world produces, you’ll be shouted down as some sort of reactionary fuddy-duddy, someone more concerned with morality than with base gratification. You want to deny that we’re all collectively responsible for this stuff, but the reality is, you get the lowest common denominator of what you’ll tolerate–And, the same deviants and perverts will keep trying to push the line further and further, demanding that you participate in their debasement, wallow in their filth with them. Note the sudden pressure to “normalize” pedophilia as “minor-attracted persons”. Those of us who predicted this as an inevitable outcome of normalizing other deviant behavior like homosexuality were laughed at, but who’s laughing now?

    I give it a few years, but I don’t doubt that we’ll see pedophilia normalized within my lifetime. With any dissenters being shouted down as “intolerant” and “racist”–No doubt, there will be prosecutions for anyone having the temerity to deny access to their children to the deviant.

    Do note how much of this is enabled by our “entertainment”. If you ask anyone what the ratio of actual practicing homosexuals is, they’ll tell you that it is 15-30% of the population, based on what they see in the movies and on TV. The reality that there’s less than 3% of the population who are homosexual is something hidden by the influence of the entertainment industry, which has played a key role in normalizing all this crap over the time I’ve been observing it. The thing that concerns me is that it’s all entirely artificial; the rubber band of social tolerance could well snap back, with unpredictable results.

    In any event, the prevalence and dominance of the entertainment we pay for has vast influence, even if you don’t go out to the movies. Humans are monkey-see, monkey-do creatures; they mimic what they see modeled, and what they see modeled in our popular culture…?

    Ain’t a thing there I’d consider truly uplifting or positive, to be blunt.

  9. I think one of the loosely based films, the noah one was written by a gnostic, arranovsky, another one was done by another party, but it was very derogatory to moses, which even insults the Moslems. there was another remake of the 10 commandments was not terrible done by a Russian or Kazakh

  10. I posted in December about how conservatives were already pulling away from what was offered by the establishment – https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/66971.html
    and speculated that we were already split into two cultures. I do see as Kirk pointed out, that the vendors of mainstream pop culture are out there and making money at it … but are they, really? I suspect their audience is shrinking, not growing. When so many of us are walking away from current movies and television, and choosing to read indy writers and listening to small self-produced musical artists – it’s gotta leave a mark. AVI remarked upthread that the Hallmark channel does very well. For all that their movies are so formulaic that there are memes about how to plot one, they have an audience. Romance novels, especially the ones where the most graphically described erotic moment is a simple kiss, remain very popular, even though they might be just as formulaic. They are just as generic … but writers you’ve never heard of apparently make a tidy living from churning them out.

  11. I’m sure there were wholesome, upright, and virtuous Romans who did their duties as they saw them. Unfortunately, they were not present in enough numbers to have any real effect on the course of things, and they did not leave much of a mark on history, either.

    That’s the thing, I’m afraid: Pop culture lives forever. The upright and steadfast is soooooo square, sooooo boring, so out of touch with all the libertine impulses.

    There’s a lot of good, thoughtful stuff over at this interview with Moira Greyland about the allure of all this, and why we’ve granted such bizarre moral authority to the vacuous celebrity nonentities in our society. She’s a victim of it, and one that came through her decades-long encounter with it with at least a semblance of balance and sanity.

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/interview-daughter-of-famed-sci-fi-author-explains-mothers-gay-pedophile-wo/

    The thing you have to remember is that every dime you spent buying a book like The Mists of Avalon went into the pockets of the Bradleys and the Breens; every penny you spent on a ticket to the movies churned out by Harvey Weinstein and his ilk goes to further their lifestyles and perversities. And, because of those monies being spent that way, you’re going to be remembered for what was popular during our era by posterity. And, it’s not just the cultural legacy of art and expression you’ve bestowed your wealth upon, it’s the underlying cultural expression. How much of that “free love” and “sexual expression” acting out that has destroyed the fabric of our family structure was first laid out and theorized way, way upstream in our culture, by the people we idolize as savants and “thought-leaders”? I’ll acknowledge that a lot of my own infatuation with Robert Heinlein led me to accept certain of his beliefs that he expressed as being both positive and right, but I’ve had to reevaluate that take on things in light of later life-experience. It’s interesting that some of these writers and “thought-leaders” we hold up as exemplars were really sort of questionable in their private lives. Heinlein was active in the fan community when the Bradley/Breen abuses were going on, but there’s nary a whisper of anything you can find in his work or elsewhere that he’s at all condemnatory of what he almost certainly had to have had some inkling of, if only via rumor.

    There is a lot of allure in that world, and I’ll be the first to acknowledge it. But, the question is this: Does it serve anyone well? Who benefits from the libertine lifestyle? The libertine, who eventually winds up like a live-action Dorian Grey, or that libertine’s willing and unwilling partners in sexual license? Are the women who bought into the whole “Sex and the City” lifestyle happier, more fulfilled? Or, are they now looking back at a life of sexual license and going “WTF was I thinking?”.

    The interesting thing to me, in all of this, is how dismissive the “smart people” are of tradition, never once considering that “tradition” is merely enshrined experience, distilled through observation of what works and doesn’t work for a functional society. Sure, the basic conditions for a lot of what lies behind our much-derided old-fashioned sexual values and mores have at least by appearance been overtaken by technological innovation and change, but… Have we overcome the very real biological adaptations we have made to conditions? We are still a sexually-dimorphic species, with limited lifespans that cannot truly “take it all in”, in terms of what we want to do with our lives. Our entertainments make it out that such things are so, but are they? Really? Can a 90-lb waif actually take on and win a fight against trained, fully-grown men twice her size? Can a woman live a life emulating the feckless bachelor male with no attachments, and still manage to form a family somewhere before her fertility wanes away to nothing? Can we encourage single motherhood and absent fathers, without suffering ill effect across society?

    Monkey-see, monkey-do: That’s the base of all too much human behavior. If you spend a lifetime watching entertainment that degrades and derides healthy human behavior, is it any wonder that the society you have to participate in is equally degraded and destructive?

  12. “If these things weren’t reflective of the general scum that is our population, these bastards would all be paupers.”
    No, like I said above, only a few percent of people buy their crap, but in America that’s enough for them all to be filthy rich. The idea that you have to cater to the median American, and/or that if you are making tons of money it means that you are–that’s a total myth.
    Now your lamenting the lack of an American Savonarola is a separate issue. “We” haven’t done that in a long time, and currently Wokism is the American religion seeing the strong evangelical strength, but we are about to enter into very interesting times, and who knows what sort of voices might be heard in the fires to come…

  13. You want to know why I consider most of my fellow countrymen scum, when you get right down to it? Spend a few years in the military, and at least one tour in Korea. Or, the Philippines… Basically, anywhere the troops get let loose.

    It’s kinda like the vision into people’s ids that you get when you see them in extremis: It’s telling, and it is indicative of their true natures. You only have to watch your “fellow man” taking advantage of women he knows damn good and well are the next best things to slaves before you start to really question their real “moral base”. Or, observe how many “happily married” types take advantage of their separation from their wives and families to “let it out”.

    If mass popular culture didn’t condone and support these things, then you wouldn’t have so many people doing them so shamelessly. It’s a self-reinforcing vicious circle; we accept portrayals of debased behavior and conduct because we, as a whole, want to be validated for our own transgressions. The hypocrisy offers a warm frisson of additional gratification, when some middle-aged father beds a girl from some third-world shithole that’s younger than his daughter.

    I am really not all that much of a puritan, but I do know what the wages of sin are, and I have to decry the utter lack of acknowledgment that there are any such wages for the libertine urges portrayed so alluringly in much of our entertainment. You never see the consequences, nor do you ever see the reality of things shown. It’s all “Pretty Woman” consequence-free, conscience-free wish fulfillment. Which feeds back into it all–Nobody ever considers the lives of those Filipina bar girls, once they go home to the Philippines. Or, for that matter, when an earlier generation’s Korean bar girls had to go back home to the family farm, having been sold to pay off debts to the local landlord.

    That whole milieu went on for decades, fed by the whole culture of the US that deprecated the value of lives not American; it was a rare GI who recognized what the hell was going on, and behaved with any real decency. Maybe one out of a hundred. Or, even less…

    That came out of the same culture that we live in, and which is informed by all the varied “entertainments” we take in on the daily. Doesn’t matter what part of American society you come from, or how little you actually partake; the entire public commons is suffused with this kind of debasement, and when you find yourself alone among the deviant, well… You almost have to fit in, in order to survive. So, the perversion spreads, and is perpetrated over and over again.

    Point I’m making is that there’s really no sector or demographic element that’s immune to this; the entertainment is a reflection of the whole, and while it has a certain circus-funhouse aspect to it, it is reflecting an unfortunate reality.

    If you doubt me, consider just how fast and how thoroughly we’ve modified our beliefs and attitudes towards the sexually deviant; in 1980, being “out” and gay was still a thing of shame and to be concealed by your family. Today? Hardly worthy of mention. That did not happen through some random evolution of society; that occurred because of what was portrayed as “normal” and acceptable in society in media, more than anything else.

    If you watch, pedophilia is in the chute, ready to make the same run. This is not accidental, nor is it “natural”; the consequences are not going to be pleasant, no matter what happens. I think there’s a chance that they’ll normalize pedophilia as an acceptable “thing”, but I would lay more of a bet on it being the “stone in the throat” that takes down the entire project, and we’re going to see a swing back towards draconian sexual constraints clamping down on every expression of libertinism.

    Take a look at smoking, for examples: Time was, it was an innocuous part of life, portrayed as utterly normal in the media. That was partially because “marketing” by the tobacco companies, but observe how thoroughly things have changed: Where do you see positive portrayals of smoking and smokers, in popular media today? What’s that done to the rate of smoking? Hell, we’re going back to digitally erase smoking and cigarettes from old media, even… How long do you suppose it is before they go back and start erasing gay characters in similar fashion? Or, alternatively, anyone expressing an “unacceptable” opinion, such as conservatism or Christianity?

    Whole thing just leaves me shaking my damn head. I’m not advocating for any particular viewpoint, or moral code, but I am a pragmatist: What works, works–And, if it doesn’t? Then you need to stop doing that, and the sexual license in our culture ain’t working out to anyone’s benefit. Maybe one day, it will, when we live long enough and we can modify our bodies to be whatever we like, but until then? It’s a fool’s game to make believe those days are already here. You have to live within the constraints of the possible, not the the imaginary.

  14. “Heinlein was active in the fan community when the Bradley/Breen abuses were going on, but there’s nary a whisper of anything you can find in his work or elsewhere that he’s at all condemnatory of what he almost certainly had to have had some inkling of, if only via rumor.”

    That’s something I have long wondered about.

  15. The Bradley-Breen thing: I didn’t know a whisper about that, since I wasn’t going to fan conventions until I returned to CONUS in the early 1990s and went to the Salt Lake City fan convention a couple of times, and to the Albuquerque Bubonicon once. They weren’t the kind of cons which drew big names of any sort … but when I did find out about Bradley and Breen two or three years ago, I was so revolted. I had been a Darkover fan, even had a story that I sent in for one of the Darkover fan collections before Bradley suddenly withdrew permission for other writers to, as she had said it, play in her playground. All the books that I had of hers went into a box, donated. Couldn’t even begin to re-read any of them without being sickened. Yeah, nice playground she had. For those among the Chicagoboyz who are unaware of this particular storm among science fiction fans – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Zimmer_Bradley
    Yeah, it was ugly. The conduct – over decades – and the cover up. Also over decades.

  16. “The Bradley-Breen thing: I didn’t know a whisper about that, since I wasn’t going to fan conventions until I returned to CONUS in the early 1990s”

    I was going to conventions in the late 70’s and 80’s, and did not hear anything about this. Not a word. Not a hint.

  17. It’s something that I’ve been unable to reconcile, and which makes me very uncomfortable to have to reconcile with my admiration for him and his work.

    If you read “Time Enough for Love” without knowing what was going on in the milieu surrounding him, you’re kinda squicked out by it all, but you’ll go along for the ride. If you juxtapose what you find from reading Moira Greyland and then do some careful digging into the rest of the early days in the sci-fi fandom community…? You’re left with some very uncomfortable conclusions and inferences you really won’t like having to make.

    Add in the child-porn crap with Asimov’s son, Asimov senior’s Bill Cosby-esque reported behavior with women around him…? You’re even more uncomfortable. Then, look at who founded Happyology, and the fact that he was a part of that early community, aaaand… Yeah.

    The whole thing founders on the rocks and shoals of reality; look at the kids resulting from Breen and Bradley’s idealized experimentation with childhood sexuality. Adult results are not what I’d term “successful, happy people”, which sort of puts the lie to the thesis.

  18. I went through a brief but intense sci-fi phase around ’69-73, but am only familiar with the biggest names and their bestsellers, and not all of them. Bradley Zimmer is a name I know but I never read anything by her–the only (known) female I can recall was Le Guin, and a Cecelia Holland book (or two)?

    There was Arthur C. Clarke, of course, with his bumboys as I recall.

  19. Clarke is an interesting case. I don’t know what to think about him, but the very first I heard of his “preferences” came out of a really bizarre conversation I had with a Sri Lankan who was working in Kuwait as a mess hall attendant… Despite having a background as a lawyer. Seems like he made better money working in Kuwait than he ever could in Sri Lanka as a lawyer!

    In any event, got to know him somewhat through the fact that there wasn’t a lot else to do on that base camp but wander around making friends with strangers. After we got to know each other a little, he asked me a question about something he’d been very puzzled by: Why was there so little sexual activity among the soldiers he was seeing around him? The experience he’d had of Westerners in general before this time taught him that Western culture was a hotbed of homosexuality and general sexual license, and he wasn’t seeing anything like that going on around us, so what were we doing to control that in the Army? He was genuinely curious about it, basing his assumptions of what to expect from Westerners in general on what he saw in Sri Lanka when Westerners showed up, there.

    As you might imagine, I was a bit taken aback by this. He had a set of expectations about what was “normal” in the West that were so far out of range of what I considered to be the case that it baffled me. So, we started comparing notes and came to the conclusion that the average run of Westerner that he saw in Sri Lanka must have been entirely atypical, because they were sex tourists and expats-for-good-reason due to their unacceptable sexual drives and urges to gratify those. The things he described to me as “normal” for the Westerners he had dealt with were the sort of thing I tend to associate with San Francisco during the Gay Pride parades, to be blunt.

    One of the things he threw up as evidence of this was the conduct of a famous writer he knew of, personally, because the guy lived in and around the neighborhood he’d grown up in. He described how this writer would wander the beaches, making friends with all the local boys, especially the handsome ones, and invite them into his home, where they would trade sex for whatever of his the boys wanted. I was intrigued by this, wondering who this “famous author” could be, never guessing he was talking about Arthur C. Clarke. We had intermittent internet access, so I did some research and came back with a couple of pictures of Western authors who’d become expats in Sri Lanka. The one he picked out? Instantly, without the slightest hesitation? Clarke’s.

    This was the first I’d ever heard of Clarke even having an issue. I’d read the guy for years, never picking up on any of that, but when I went to research his background in his defense? What did I find, but reams of things supporting my Sri Lankan informant’s reports of what he’d seen.

    The reputation that Westerners have in a lot of third-world countries is not something I’d be proud of; the Thais are convinced that most Westerners are a bunch of sexual deviants, given what they see routinely. Same impression is had in a lot of other countries you see advertised in the “sex tourism industry”, and that goes back to the “good old days” of colonialism, as well–Lots and lots of Europeans flocked to the colonies because of the sexual license that prevailed in those, compared to the staid and constrained climate at home during the Victorian era.

    The whole thing is more than a little disturbing, when you think about it. That Sri Lankan fully expected that we ought to be raping the troops we had under us, and he was genuinely puzzled to find that the actual sexual values and mores in the lower ranks were more in keeping with the general run of things in his own culture. Western media and his own experiences and observations of Westerners “at play” in his own country had created that expectation.

    It was a disturbing insight to have to make, talking to him.

  20. If mass popular culture didn’t condone and support these things, then you wouldn’t have so many people doing them so shamelessly.

    Well, yes. The problem here is that the creators of that mass pop culture very often are hostile to America, Americans, American history, and often are communists, other weird perverts and/or the most despicable people on Earth.

    In other words, American culture has been under relentless attack for generations. I still recall, as a young child, getting assigned to write a short essay about the Oregon Trail- in a public school no less. I suspect that doesn’t happen now, ever. I note also that Michael Medved wrote a book in the 1980s- Hollywood vs. America- about how the leftists in the studios were so interested in making anti-American propaganda way back then that they were bankrupting their studios.

    Not only that, but our foreign enemies are involved also, beginning decades ago when the KGB was involved in stirring up anti-Americanism everywhere and funding it too. Today Tik-Tok is essentially a Chinese communist party asset, and even the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund sent money to leftists in the US.

    I’m not surprised pop culture is garbage. I’m surprised it isn’t worse. But I wouldn’t really know, I don’t watch any of it now. Brian is correct, I think.

    Nobody ever considers the lives of those Filipina bar girls, once they go home to the Philippines.

    You know what didn’t happen to those bar girls? They weren’t starved to death by a murderous communist regime later.

    That matters. Excuse me, but I find it extremely tiresome to be told- for about the billionth time- how awful Americans treat the blessed foreigners.

    If we were that Fing bad, they could stop taking our money and send us home. The Philippines did exactly that, when they forced the US out of the Subic Bay naval base. Or alternately, they could have avoided attacking us, which would have resulted in no American troops appearing in their countries- with the exception of Iraq.

    This isn’t new, either. Les Aspin infamously refused US troops armor support, resulting in the Blackhawk Down fiasco, because he was afraid American troops would just go kill-crazy. And I’m even old enough to remember the Beirut barracks bombing, where American troops weren’t allowed to have loaded weapons.

    My point here is that no country has been as concerned with the lives of foreigners- especially during combat- than the US, which has often been to our detriment. The fact that a former NCO is here lamenting how bad we treated them is a sign of that concern.

  21. @Xennady,

    You miss the point that I’m making with all that. The natural inclination of most Americans overseas is generally benign, but there is a lot of actual conduct and behavior that is the exact opposite, at the same time–And, that negative set of things comes right out of the degraded popular culture we’re sold, and which we keep right on buying.

    Some of it is just human nature, which is sadly pretty bad a lot of the time. There is, however, a very wide swath of what is going on that isn’t just “people being people”–There’s nothing natural about “gangsta rap”, but that BS sells. And, people wonder why so many turn to crime, when that behavior is modeled and glorified in everything they have to listen to.

    Final analysis? I can’t point to the music companies alone as being responsible for that crap being what it is: I have to be honest about it, and point out that if the majority of American blacks didn’t buy that genre of music, it wouldn’t be so damn profitable, and it wouldn’t be on sale everywhere in the culture.

    Secular culture is a product of the marketplace of ideas and what is sold for profit there. The effect of it is a result of what the public wants, and what is offered up by those without conscience or considerations for what they’re profiting from.

    It’s like in Korea, back in the day: Lots of guys rationalized that they were merely taking what was on offer, and that they were really enabling a better life for those girls and their families. Was that the case? Or, were they taking advantage of a momentary cross-cultural period where we had more to offer, economically, than those people had?

    There’s a similar thing going on here in the US, whenever you go to look at the seedy underside of things like strip clubs and bars catering to the sort of people who frequent those establishments. Sure, it can be “good, clean fun” for some girls to get their exhibitionism on, but… Man, just talk to some of them, sometime: Their lives are a mess, and all you’re doing by putting those dollar bills into their g-strings is enabling someone else’s degradation and self-destruction. For every woman that is a self-directing agent, proud of her body and ability to titillate, there are probably ninety-nine frightened little girls who’re only there because they have no other options in life, due to poor choices and really lousy circumstances. If you can get off taking advantage of that? There’s something wrong with you, is all I can say. Most of the men I see out there are blind to the reality behind the bare flesh they’re enjoying, and while they say they’ve got no moral agency on the issue, if they weren’t there as a market…? These things would not be happening.

    I have to acknowledge being highly conflicted on the entire range of issues surrounding this stuff–I have a libertarian “do as you would be done by” mentality, but at the same time, I’m also unable to ignore the fact that just because you can get laid with a bar of chocolate and some nylons doesn’t mean you ought to be taking advantage of that situation. Some things are just inherently “bad business”, and even if your transaction-partner is willing, you should not be taking advantage of their desperation. If only to avoid the “slaver’s trap” of falling into moral degeneracy and sloth due to being able to take advantage of that situation. You have to decry the institution of slavery as much for what it does to the slave as the pernicious effect that the institution has on the slaver himself.

    The whole thing is a mess. I used to be a fairly tolerant person, someone who didn’t condemn people for their foibles and transgressions, but… The longer I live, and the more I observe of things that go on when people decide to throw out those “outdated” old moral strictures? The more of a damn puritan I’m becoming. Most of us don’t think about the things we do, the entertainments we select, or what effect they have on our own minds and behavior. Once you start observing it all, paying attention? The issues are pretty damn hard to miss, and harder still to justify.

    I do have to say that twenty year-old me would be looking on my writing this with a sense of horror at what he became, but that’s life experience for you: Turns you into your grandparents, eventually.

  22. The Mists of Avalon went into the pockets of the Bradleys and the Breens;

    “Never turn your back on a breen.” — Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

    I went to a few dozen SF cons. Never heard a word about Bradley/Breen. Then again, I am a vocal anti-feminist and despised “The Mists of Avalon,” so I didn’t travel in that circle. My attendance at Dragon Con, however, caused me to raise an eyebrow when I saw Kramer trailed by children. (Is the multipart summary of his ongoing pedo life still up at PJ Media?)

  23. I am overcome with envy at the collection of power tools on hand and wish more than ever that I had been able to take wood and metal shop classes in high school,

    My high school closed its shop classes the year I entered the school. Despicable. At the time I thought it class warfare. The parents who wanted their children to be lawyers, professors, or doctors, didn’t want a shop class (or home ec) associated with their little darlings.

  24. Those of us who predicted this as an inevitable outcome of normalizing other deviant behavior like homosexuality were laughed at, but who’s laughing now?

    LGBTQPRs. “ In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances.”

  25. In the 1950s Morocco was that generation’s Sri Lanka. Avante-garde writers vacayed there. Before my era, so I can’t recall the names of the essayists and poets (which I thought were terrible).

    Wasn’t Dylan and 1960s rockers aware of Ginsberg’s reputation? Or did they just not care.

  26. Chicagoboyz who are unaware of this particular storm among science fiction fans

    Wikipedia.🙂

    Or find a copy of Greyland’s book in the library. Or reward those who speak out by buying the book “The Last Closet” even though the forward is by (and is published by?) Vox Day.

    I bought a copy. Prepare to be nauseated.

  27. My mom just got me addicted to Burke’s Law (the 90s version, but I’ll be taking a look at the 60s one, as well). I recognize nearly all the actors (who are all wonderful), and the scripts are witty.

  28. Clarke is an interesting case.
    Also interesting: When the charges were first published in the Western (UK) press, the science fiction “community” (professionals and fans) largely defended Clarke or remained silent. At least that is how I remember it. And before that? Not even rumors of anything. Clarke’s claim that he moved to Sri Lanka solely for the diving and coral reefs was taken as gospel.

    Isaac Asimov was a well-known serial groper
    I heard almost nothing about that when he was alive: Nearly everyone insisted that he was merely “charmingly flirtatious” with welcoming (groupie-like?) female fans. (And such claims were unfortunately lent some plausibility by scenes in which he was surrounded six to ten deep by squealing women.) Only later did I learn just how far over the line he could go with any woman who got within groping distance.

    All this led me to suspect that there was, at the time, a culture of silence in the science fiction world regarding all sorts of bad behavior.

  29. I’m younger than many here, I think, born in the 70s. I don’t remember when I “knew” what the fact that Clarke lived in Sri Lanka meant, but it was pretty darn young. Certainly in the 80s, I assumed everyone knew. Just like everyone “knew” why so many child actors become drug addicts and have all sorts of personal problems.

  30. My wife and I picked up several DVDs of British mysteries, right now, 10 seasons of Vera, though it tends to be emotionally draining. For a lighter bit of, well, splatterfest, Midsomer Murders, and we’ll also watch what’s being picked up on the local PBS (as long as they last–seems even the People’s Republic of Ashland, Oregon isn’t willing to spend much money on public TB). We’ll note the bodycount in the various episodes…

    $SPOUSE will watch old Perry Mason episodes on one of the satellite TV channels we get. She’s also a fan of DIY network shows. For me, I’ll watch Midsomer and NCIS.

    For later, we have the complete Inspector Lewis.

    On Arthur C. Clarke, his semi-autobiographical Glide Path has a brief mention of a sexual encounter with the protagonist as a youth and a local minister, but that seems to be the only thing I’ve ever noted. It’s been a long time since I’ve read his work (don’t have GP anymore), and I’m not eager to try that rabbit hole.

    I dumped MZB’s The Mists of Avalon(?) when Vox Day started to write about Bradley and Breen. (Stopped paying much attention to Vox when it became clear he’s fixated on boomers. Sigh.)

  31. If mass popular culture didn’t condone and support these things, then you wouldn’t have so many people doing them so shamelessly.

    I seem to have missed out on a lot. First, I’m old (84 next BD) and never really got into Science Fiction. I did read Clarke’s stuff but that was early when he was writing about rocket propulsion. As for misbehaving soldiers, that goes back to the Greeks. I have read accounts of the Peninsula War when drunken soldiers sacked the towns of allies. I doubt they got the idea from TV in 1809.

    My wife and I have seen very few modern movies. I have a collection of classic DVDs that I watch from time to time. Many are comedies from the 1930s. I did see Kenneth Branaugh’s “Dunkirk” and was bothered by a few technical glitches but enjoyed it Few others.

    I don’t watch TV but she does. My TV watching is mostly a membership in Fox Nation so I can see Tucker Carlson’s interviews. I watch them on my laptop. I do have a couple thousand books in my library and reread some. Lately it’s been mostly about World War I. Read Jellicoe’s grandson’s book on Jutland, for example.

  32. I did read Clarke’s stuff but that was early when he was writing about rocket propulsion.

    His essays in the British Interplanetary Society? Those were interesting times, when nearly everything was still at a theoretical stage and most of the engineering problems had not yet been solved…or even begun to be solved. His early short stories about first forays into space were fun and are still readable in spite of being somewhat dated.

  33. On Arthur C. Clarke, his semi-autobiographical Glide Path has a brief mention of a sexual encounter with the protagonist as a youth and a local minister…

    A bit awkward to read, in light of more recent revelations of abuse and coverups. But the protagonist is a young officer in the British Air Force, so I suppose he counts as a “youth” mostly from the point of view of us old people. But I would not want there to be any conflating of his gayness with his exploitation of teen boys in Sri Lanka–there are, after all, people who insist that all gay men are pedophiles.

  34. (Stopped paying much attention to Vox when it became clear he’s fixated on boomers. Sigh.)

    I missed that, having only paid passing attention to him in the early 2000’s when Insty and a few others were mentioning him. He went on my “fully ignore” list when he attempted to “prove” that Jordan Peterson was some sort of fraudulent huckster.

  35. My wife and I enjoy various police shows, especially the ones with some humor to them. Lately we’ve been hitting the British shows on Britbox. Currently we’re watching Midsome Murders. Before that we did Vera, Shetland, Father Brown, etc. It’s fun catching actors in these older episodes that we recognize from other shows. And the sets seem to get recycled a few times.

  36. His essays in the British Interplanetary Society? Those were interesting times, when nearly everything was still at a theoretical stage and most of the engineering problems had not yet been solved

    In high school, I wrote (My mother typed it) about a 30 page paper on rocket propulsion using his little book on it and some other scientific stuff I had read. My teachers were mystified. I read Goddard papers and his biography.

  37. Someone gave me a free ticket to a Regal Cinema and I still can’t see anything worth seeing there. Although I saw a small distribution movie starring Denzel Washington last week – The Tragedy of MacBeth . While the Elizabethan English sometimes left me the cinematography was superb.

    Stunning.

    I really like Yellowstone, although it is a bit melodramatic unless you believe all big ranchers can go around killing with impunity. But it represents honor, and values and those that are killed generally deserve it.

    And even better show is a spin off, 1883, which is a prequel to how the Duttons got to Montana.

    And the chief writer, Taylor Sheridan, has made it a point to ensure historical accuracy, which I have noticed. And greately appreciate. To me the Gold Standard of Western miniseries was Lonesome Dove, and I think 1883 may just be up there after just 4 episodes.

    The only thing I have watched with regularity on Network TV has been Blue Bloods. I have liked Bull but lately it has gotten a bit silly.

    I saw the latest Bond movie and was disgusted by the ending. It will be the last Bond movie I’ll see.

    Most of America gives the love right back to woke Hollywood.

  38. You miss the point that I’m making with all that.

    Maybe I did, but my point is that the endless depravity of so much of today’s American pop culture isn’t just an accident of what sells. It’s an effort to fundamentally transform American culture that goes back decades if not generations.

    I still remember reading, 30-odd years ago, an article about Sumner Redstone- founder of MTV- who said that the programming was deliberately intended to breakdown the values parents were teaching their children.

    People- all people, not just Americans- respond to incentives. For ages we have been boiling in awful incentives that rewarded and still reward the worst behavior, at all levels of society.

    Again, I’m surprised things aren’t worse, but there’s always tomorrow.

    It’s like in Korea, back in the day: Lots of guys rationalized that they were merely taking what was on offer, and that they were really enabling a better life for those girls and their families.

    Uhm, a lot of Americans married Korean young ladies and brought them to America. And there are also a lot of Koreans here, too. I suspect that if the behavior of American soldiers was as awful as you imply, the Koreans would not be so inclined to remain as friendly as they are.

    The whole thing is a mess.

    Well, we can agree here.

  39. Just to throw a comment out there – it’s pretty certain that foreigners mostly know Americans through what they see in movies and exported TV programs. Pointed out decades ago, in an article in TV Guide, of all places – where the writer did point out this, as a warning.
    It’s also a partial explanation of how American women are treated when traveling alone in certain countries. The local national males (who, granted, don’t often have a high opinion of women generally) have picked up on the message sent in American movies and TV – that American women (and European women, too) are free with sexual favors, which basically translates to whores, and react accordingly. I don’t THINK this applies so much to Europe. At least when I was there, I felt perfectly safe. I traveled all over the place alone or with my then-small daughter; I also think I must have given off an aura of suffocating respectability, so even the Greek and Italian men kept the flirting at an acceptable level. Not so much the Middle East – my daughter has some amusing, and occasionally horrifying accounts of interactions with local men. The most startling was the local national worker at a base in Kuwait in 2003 who offered her a dowry of 80 camels for her hand and the rest of her in marriage.
    My point, getting back to it – is that most of the world only knows of Americans through TV and moves … and what a horrifyingly distorting picture that must give to them.

  40. @Xennady,

    Point I was making about the Korean situation, which is echoed anywhere you find American forces stationed, is that it ain’t all sweetness, light, and sponsored orphanages.

    It’s absolutely true that you have GIs who found the loves of their lives out with the drinky-girls. It’s equally true that some of those drinky-girls were themselves consummate predators who leveraged what they had into a green card, US citizenship, and a whole lot of other goodies. Proportions involved? Unknowable; you can get an idea visiting any Koreatown outside a US military base.

    The thing I’m trying to get across is that the whole thing rises up out of the moral swamp that is our popular cultural commons. Take your average midwestern country kid, a yokel at heart: Dump him off in any one of the various ‘villes you find outside the bases overseas, and watch what happens. Does he go out there and spend his spare time helping orphans and stray kittens? Or, does he fall into line with the pre-debauched types the services have running around in every unit? What influences his choices, his morality?

    Who gave him the idea that sex was a cheap commodity? Was it his parents, his pastor? Or, did he pick them up through osmosis, from his peers and the common cultural swamp we’ve allowed to grow up?

    I’m not expressing what I’m trying to get at, very well–I don’t hold with the smarmy Pollyanna BS they used to try to sell, but at the same time, there’s an utter lack of what I think I’d term “pragmatic functional morality”–You don’t do these things because your primary-grade teacher would disapprove, you don’t do these things because you’re taking advantage of another human being’s degradation.

    I get the whole thing where some “wild child” chick is letting herself loose, and expressing her inner hedonist–And, I’m as aroused as the next heterosexual male. The problem I’ve always had is that whenever I’ve gone out on these little expeditions to the various ‘villes, both stateside and overseas, the reality is that most of those women are not doing those things because they’re expressing their sexuality; they’re doing it because they have to, which whether you’re holding the whip or the dollar bill, doesn’t make much bloody difference, in my mind. Which removes the allure of it all, utterly.

    The problem I have with a lot of the modern “culture” is that it encourages thoughtless, heedless participation in all of these things. Nobody pauses to think “Is that former farmgirl really wrapping herself around me because she likes me, or is someone making her do it…?”. People just want the bare forms, because that’s what they’ve been taught to seek by popular culture. You don’t know how many idiots I’ve dealt with over the years who thought that prostitution was just like what they saw in “Pretty Woman”, and that they bore no moral penalties for indulging in their little vices.

    Swear to God, if someone had told me I’d be saying these things in my later life, when I was in my 20s? I’d have laughed. Hard.

  41. A guy who worked for me had deployed to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. He was Air Guard and patrolled the base with a female colleague. The Saudi military thought all the US female soldiers were whores, and often made cash offers to buy her from him.

    You couldn’t pay me enough to visit Islamia.

  42. Ugh.
    There was an incident in 1976, on Lackland AFB, when I was in basic. A small group of us had to stand at attention at one of the intersections on Lackland when a flight of Saudi technical students marched by. OMG … I can’t still find words to express the awfulness of that experience, as all those Saudi guys marched past. Just every experience of awful male behavior in ranks – wolf-whistles, vile suggestions … and we had to stand there, per custom … and put up with it. Our DI was furious, when we came back to the flight and told her about it.
    I made friends, later on, with a very gentlemanly Iraqi cadet-student – who told me that the Iraqi students uniformly regarded the Saudis as ignorant, uncouth hicks-from-the-sticks.

  43. the Iraqi students uniformly regarded the Saudis as ignorant, uncouth hicks-from-the-sticks.

    That matches the reputation the Saudi students had at the university I graduated from: Rich, barbaric scum. However, I am certain that if a student said that today they would be called into the Dean’s office Ministry of Love.

  44. In high school, I wrote…a 30 page paper on rocket propulsion using his little book on it and some other scientific stuff I had read…I read Goddard papers and his biography.

    Cool!

  45. One legacy of the great Islamic expansion out of Arabia is that a formerly despised and marginal people were suddenly masters of sophisticated ancient cultures. Alexander’s Macedonians were sophisticates in comparison.

    The Persians in particular saw Arabs as parvenus, and those attitudes have never completely disappeared.

    Tom Holland’s “In the Shadow of the Sword” is a good account of the development and rise of Islam.

  46. The one series I have enjoyed for. years is “Time Team”, Archeological digs taking place in the UK.
    Started watching back in the early 2000’s and have seen most twice and some three times.
    Recently I have found that after absence of several years, the entire catalog can be found on “You Tube”.. Seems to be in. excess of 200 episodes.
    I am in heaven

  47. Tom Holland’s “In the Shadow of the Sword” is a good account of the development and rise of Islam.

    I have it and agree. He has been in hiding since it was published. I’m not sure how hidden but he is definitely not appearing in public.

  48. Still – I am overcome with envy at the collection of power tools on hand and wish more than ever that I had been able to take wood and metal shop classes in high school
    I have made a good middle class life from a good work ethic,(thanks, Dad!) a early ability to read well (thanks, Mom!) and an application of the trades.
    Those classes were never going to make a journeyman, but they did light a spark.
    Without them, I might be living in a refrigerator box under the overpass.

    Most modern TV and Movies are the scrapings from the leakage underneath the offal barrel.
    Especially since about 10 years ago when the woke agenda went into high gear.
    Ever notice how Jimmy Stewart could convey more violence in a slap, than modern cinema can in a machine gun fight?

  49. After reading the entire thread, it seems my media content soulmate was roadgeek in the second comment. During the pandemic I watched quite a few episodes of Gunsmoke and Perry Mason and had just started on Mannix (what a great show! I completely missed this one in the ’70s.) when my satellite receiver went out. Decided not to renew and instead devote the $120 / month I had been spending on it to buying DVDs instead before that old content gets pulled from the market — or worse — edited.

    I’ve already picked up Victory at Sea, Star Trek TOS, From the Earth to the Moon, and Firefly / Serenity. Besides Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, and Mannix, my list includes Peter Gunn, Twilight Zone, Columbo, Hawaii Five-O, Night Gallery, WKRP in Cincinnati, and Babylon 5. I’m on the fence with Naked City, Route 66, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and The Prisoner.

    I remember enjoying a number of crime dramas from the ’70s (McCloud, Kojak, McMillan & Wife, The Rockford Files), but being born in 1969, I was a bit young to really take them all in. It seems this crowd might know. Do they hold up well? You can see from my list I don’t take “hold up well” to be “appear modern.” Instead, are they watchable today or are they too cringeworthy?

    It should be obvious that I agree with Sgt. Mom’s point. We are splitting into two different cultures. I only hope we can get enough young people interested in the traditional American culture to have a future.

  50. I remember enjoying a number of crime dramas from the ’70s (McCloud, Kojak, McMillan & Wife, The Rockford Files), but being born in 1969, I was a bit young to really take them all in. It seems this crowd might know. Do they hold up well? You can see from my list I don’t take “hold up well” to be “appear modern.” Instead, are they watchable today or are they too cringeworthy?

    To answer your immediate question they were all very well written and I think they will stand the test of time.

    The Rockford files was noteworthy because for the first time he portrayed a detective that was not a he man shoot him out type. In fact if you’re interested read his book the garner files where he talks about its origins and how Tom Selleck used that template to mold Magnum PI.

    I like the old 50s shows both for the writing – the twilight zone had some of the best writing and they usually had 20 minutes to bring an unexpected end that would knock your socks off. I like to watch Perry Mason to see the Los Angeles I knew growing up in the 50s. Route 66 is the favorite too.

    Maybe we are growing into two cultures. I was talking with a good friend the other day. He’s more of a liberal and I am of course a conservative but we get along fine.

    It’s a mystery to us both why others cannot do the same.

    But I mentioned to him that says it’s as if we are two societies separated by a wall that neither either understands the other nor has the desire to understand the other.

  51. The ironic thing about that Clarke story was that the pernicious effects of Western consumerism pretty much affected everyone involved, regardless of ideology.

    You’re rather reminded of what it must have been like, around the time agriculture and settled living were taking off. Hunter-gatherer or nomadic peoples were probably watching other people settle and remain tied to one locale, and thinking a lot of the same things about corruption and decay of social norms and values. I think we’re in a similar crossing-point in human history, at least in terms of social change. Clarke had the typical European socialist view that they were on the side of virtue, and that the hide-bound traditionalists like the US were not; reality has another opinion. Which has yet to be fully expressed, but I suspect that time and history are not on the side of the collectivists.

    Actually, I don’t think that “time and history” are on anyone’s side; it’s more a case of “man proposes; God disposes”, in that any system we throw up against the forces of chaos will be utterly inadequate. Mostly because we are limited and flawed inadequacies, in the grand scheme of things. I don’t care how many “great minds” come up with ideas, the raw fact is that those “great minds” really aren’t much more than a few grains of sand balanced against entire deserts full on the scale of things across this vast universe of ours.

    The essential problem with much of human enterprise is our vast arrogance and lack of humility in the face of chaos. We think we understand things, and can “engineer” our way through them, but the universe keeps throwing up chaotic elements to wreck everything. You think you’ve accounted for all the variables, but the moment you think you’ve got them all, an entirely new layer will appear. Seemingly out of nowhere…

  52. > (McCloud, Kojak, McMillan & Wife, The Rockford Files)

    The Rockford Files still holds up well. The others never kept my interest.

    What’s strange about Rockford is how normal things look, even though the early episodes were half a century ago. You’d think the lack of cellular phones and the internet would make a larger difference, but most of the episodes are solidly plotted.

    Note for newbies: Season 1’s Rockford was much more “bare knuckles” type than the gentler Rockford of the later shows. And don’t bother with the handful of movies that were made after the series ended; they’re poorly made and they retconned enough things from the series that watching them is mostly “WTF?”

    We watched all of “Perry Mason” a few years ago. Unlike Rockford, it’s clearly in the long past… a lot of basic social structure is different, and sometimes things are hard to follow. We still liked them, though.

    My wife is still a huge “Murder, She Wrote” fan, and has watched all 12 seasons more than once. Angela Lansbury gives me the creeps, so that’s an “oh hell no” for me.

  53. }}} We’re watching “M Squad” with Lee Marvin, from 1958. We just finished up every episode of “Mannix”. We recently saw a really really bad movie called “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die”, from 1959. Just how bad is this movie? The European version is preferred by some because it has the “extended catfight sequence”. Just ordered “McCloud: The Complete Series”. My wife and I were discussing this the other day. People are buying these old movies and TV series by the carload. I recently bought “Gunsmoke: The Complete Series” and “Perry Mason: The Complete Series”, and I had to wait on both of them because backordered.

    I dunno, I presonally find that older stuff to be unwatchable, simply because it’s too often predictable and horribly melodramatic. The quality of writing for TV improved substantially in the 80s to the 90s, and I would say that much of the mid-grade or better stuff from the 90s (i.e., Cleopatra 2525 is cheezy fun, but not particularly great) — ST:DS9 and Babylon 5, for example, are great. Even stuff going into the 00s is still pretty good, being before “woke” got too much power. And indie stuff (usually out of Canada) is often good even up to the “teens”. For more mainstream stuff, I think NYPD Blue (mid-90s) is pretty good, as is Boston Legal (mid-00s).

    In no sense does this mean you cannot enjoy what you enjoy… I’m just offering the assertion that the qualify of writing improved massively during the 80s and 90s, and those ought not to be written off just because much of today’s stuff is woke dreck.

  54. }}} Cronkite on “Twentieth Century,”

    I’ve become leery of Cronkite. I used to respect him, the same way I respected Dan Rather, but, as with Rathergate, it has since become clear that Cronkite was at the heart of the left-journo mis-selling of the Tet Offensive to the American public as a loss rather than the clear victory it was. I really don’t trust him any more. The Left has been front and center to an awful lot of inexcusably, execrably, bad reporting for more than 75 years now…

  55. }}} merely speak the slightest censure of any of these lunatics like Roman Polanski. You’ll be mocked, made an example of, and driven from the industry

    No, I don’t think so — this may have changed in the intervening years, but I did write a piece at the time about Hollywood’s seemingly mindless support for Polanski. I suspect it’s as usual — a large percentage of knee-jerk go along with the party line folks, and some that go along but don’t care — and a small percentage that are going, “DON’T LOOK AT ME!! GO LOOK AT HIM!”

    What the hell is wrong with you?
    https://nooilforpacifists.blogspot.com/2009/10/open-letter-to-pedophile-supporters.html

  56. }}} Why does no one on the “right” make serious entertainment for Americans? Not even for religious Americans explicitly.

    Well, one of the issues is that Americans don’t show up for such all that much. Hollywood was shocked… SHOCKED, I say!… when The Passion did so much business. They were equally shocked when Joan of Arcadia did well in its first season.

    And, while The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe did very well, the sequels fared much more poorly. And Joan’s second season also did not do well.

    Hollywood has shown that at least SOME of it is still money oriented… or was until the last 5 or 6 years, as the millennials have taken the reins of power.

    But the religious audiences have not really shown themselves to be reliable, either, when it comes to laying down the Buck$$.

  57. Interesting TV: Full Custom Garage on MT )Motor Trend, not mtV). Ian is an amazing fabricator, and creates some unique “vehicles”, by winging it.

    Kirk-
    Korea: I have direct experience (13 months when the only paved roads were in major cities and Hwy 1). Anecdote – In my first visit to a bar there, I met a young lady on her first visit. She had virtually no English,and I was attempting to learn some Korean. I had a K to E dictionary, and we spent about 3 hours conducting what would have been 5 minutes of normal conversation. Over the next year, we repeated this many times, she becoming much more adept in English than I was in Korean, but I learned a lot about her in the process. She was half Japanese, born in 1946, and was raised in an orphanage. Didn’t remember her mother, left the orphanage at 18 literate, but with no skills in a highly patriarchal society. She had one way to keep body and soul together (Marriage? It is to laugh. Half Japanese with obvious physiognomy in a country that absolutely HATED Japanese?) and so she wound in in a Korean whorehouse. It took her 2 years to save enough for a bus ticket to the village outside the gate. She did this because it was a huge step up.
    Economic aside – I was getting, IIRC, $83/mo as were the vast majority on that base. An E7 only got around $250. $5 was 10% of disposable income, so $5-$10 for “companionship” wasn’t cruel-hearted exploitation, it was the intersection of the supply-demand curve. Incidentally, a candy bar and nylons is a post WW2 German trope. These ladies wanted cash.
    Back to her story. By the time I left she was probably making $150-200/mo and saving most of it. Her goal was to move to Busan, go to accounting school and open b to b accounting business.
    Is this the story of every hooch girl in Korea? No, but neither is the story of the used and abused.

    Your worldview is more realistic than some Pollyanna’s I’ve known, but I don’t think you’ve internalized the situations that some women find themselves in. A girl raised in a 7th Day household, pulled from school in 6th grade at 14 because her expected role was housekeeper and baby factory, married to a wife beater at 17, bailed with 2 kids after father hit 2 year old with backhand. Hooked up with 3 different guys, all asses. Started stripping after left the last. Raised the kids and trained into a craft position over the next 12 years. Now happily married to a (finally) nice guy and working as a LV electrician. She could not have made it if she lived in Section 8 housing (which is probably a worse environment than most Strip Clubs) and depended on the welfare state.
    Sex work is not ideal, but, in a lot cases, it’s much better than the alternative.

  58. }}} Doesn’t matter what part of American society you come from, or how little you actually partake; the entire public commons is suffused with this kind of debasement, and when you find yourself alone among the deviant, well…

    I seriously doubt if any of this is uniquely American, and, if anything, Americans are generally better than is typical of others.

    We actually have situations where military types ARE massively pissed that they’re forced by rules of interaction with foreign officers that make them ignore the abuse and mistreatment of a young boy by said same. I suspect other peoples are often not thus displeased.

    Americans DO have strong and high ideals. We fail to live up to them far too often… but they are there, and we do TRY, which is more than can be said for so many others.

    I’m put in mind of UN troops in africa raping young virgins, because they know, as virgins, they don’t have AIDS. That gets out in the USA, and that troop is going to be in deep shit.

    I mean, FFS, look at Abu-Ghirab. Most of what they were doing was humiliating some terrorist prisoners, and they got massively cornholed by the media. If such things got out in the modern media — who utterly HATES the US Military on every level — then it would be out in public, too.

    So one has to wonder just how depraved those servicemen could possibly be…

    I cannot speak, I only know a small percentage myself, and not in-deployed situations, but it seems as though it can’t be all that widespread, or the merdia would be screaming to hell and gone.

  59. There’s only so much leisure time out there to be chased for dollars, and once you’ve turned your audience away from your product due to your mockery of them and the things they value…? Getting them back is not going to be easy.

    Then, there’s the whole issue of self-reinforcement. Half the reason why I studied history and things like Latin was that it drove me nuts not to know all the references and allusions I’d encounter in things. You stop including Greek and Latin quotes in your literature, and bang, there goes a lot of the reason why people studied those things in the first place–Which was to be a part of the greater society, witting participants.

    You dumb everything down, the way we have in popular culture, and that reduces a lot of opportunities to leverage people into deeper study of the more meaningful things out there. How many modern kids even recognize the classic plot lines they see endlessly recycled before them, usually dumbed down beyond recognition? Most of them don’t, and they also don’t grasp that there are timeless truths being laid out before them.

    The so-called “intellectual” class of the 20th Century has a hell of a lot to answer for, in terms of the things they wrecked on the way towards “relevancy”. The dumbing down has cut us off from our roots; many cannot even begin to pick up on all the connections there are laid out in the basic documents of our nation, like the Federalist Papers. You’d need a similar cultural background to the Founders, in order for that to even connect with an awful lot of what they wrote–Either that, or you’re going to spend half your time reading them buried in the footnotes and annotations that other, more literate people hopefully made for you.

    I think that there is going to be a horrendous price paid by the people who think they’re running the mass media; they’ve been coasting along for decades, burning the cultural fuel laid down by generations of our predecessors, and like any renewable resource, you actually have to go back and plant some new trees once you’ve clear-cut everything. They haven’t been re-planting much of anything, and I think that the repercussion of that may well be that they’ve driven much of the population down below the critical mass for cohesive cultural literacy.

    Back in the day, there was a market for things that we’d consider seriously high-brow, out in the lumber camps and the ranch bunkhouses. I remember wandering through an old ghost town, up in the Rockies, and looking at the well-worn books they’d left behind. Some of the titles were things about like you’d expect, contemporary Steven King-esque popular literature, but there was just as many well-worn copies of things like Blackstone’s Commentaries that had obviously been read, due to all the dog ears and notes on the pages.

    By contrast, I remember the shock I had running into a British senior Warrant Officer, about the equivalent of a US Master Sergeant, who was reading Shakespeare’s collected works in the original language. I don’t think I ever ran into anyone doing that in the US military, or anything equivalent. And, he was doing it for enjoyment, more than anything else. None of his seniors found anything the least remarkable about it, nor any of his subordinates. You do that sort of thing in the US military, and you’re likely to get noticed, and not in a generally good way, either.

    I’m not sure when the whole thing went to hell, but it used to be a lot different, out there. People used to respect things like that, and seek out the intellectual rewards of studying the basic works of our culture. Today? LOL… Not so much.

    They say that there’s a strong streak of anti-intellectualism in American culture, but I think that’s not entirely accurate; what there really is would be a strong streak of people being against the intellectuals themselves, not the least because of what a lousy job they’ve done as caretakers of our common cultural heritage. What you don’t teach in the schools isn’t going to be appreciated or remembered; when you start seeing a situation where there are precisely zero classes available to study Shakespeare, while there are endless classes discussing Game of Thrones, you might have a bit of a problem going on.

  60. }}} “Heinlein was active in the fan community when the Bradley/Breen abuses were going on, but there’s nary a whisper of anything you can find in his work or elsewhere that he’s at all condemnatory of what he almost certainly had to have had some inkling of, if only via rumor.”

    That’s something I have long wondered about.

    Well, there is little question that RAH believed in — thoroughly — the notion of “free love” even back when it was unheard of in the general public, the 30s and 40s. If you read some of his background in his biography it’s clear that he was very much into casual sexuality.

    If this wrong, is it perverted? Don’t know. Never seen anything that suggested he was particularly interested in DC vs. AC, but I would not be the least surprised if he experimented with it. None of his writing seems to suggest that he was offended by the notion, though it just wasn’t his game…

    And I believe he certainly believed in, if didn’t create, the meme about “The only unnatural sex act is the one you can’t do.”

    He did not appear to directly support pedo, though incest AFTER adulthood did not appear to be an issue for him, at least not if you lived long enough to become some of his protagonists.

    RAH was certainly an elitist, who believed that some of the moral code popular among the “common man” was appropriate for the “common man”, and not him. That wasn’t hypocritical in the sense that he felt that everyone had to make their own decisions upon adulthood… he wasn’t claiming any of the common men were bound by those rules, either, unless they chose to be. He was the supreme individualist, as far as that went.

    Part I:
    https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Heinlein-Dialogue-Learning-1907-1948/dp/0765319624
    Part II:
    https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Heinlein-Dialogue-Century-1948-1988/dp/0765319616

    I honestly have no idea what he thought about the Zimmer-Bradley crowd going after kids. I suppose peeps might have avoided talking to him about it, as he might have been pretty adamant about stopping it, too, if it did offend him… even if he heard rumors, those closer to it might have lied to keep him away from it.

  61. }}} There’s nothing natural about “gangsta rap”, but that BS sells. And, people wonder why so many turn to crime, when that behavior is modeled and glorified in everything they have to listen to.

    Final analysis? I can’t point to the music companies alone as being responsible for that crap being what it is: I have to be honest about it, and point out that if the majority of American blacks didn’t buy that genre of music, it wouldn’t be so damn profitable, and it wouldn’t be on sale everywhere in the culture.

    The problem here is that it’s very difficult for a white person to even broach this topic with someone black, because EVERYONE has it burned into their brain that “white people just can’t understand” AND that “white people are all racist, and thus, don’t actually care”.

    I always try and make it clear, right up front, that I believe the issue is not black skin but black culture, with much of the above as front and center.

    Key example:

    I had an FB friend who was black. It kept on because he demonstrated enough respect to not censor me when I said something he did not like — and yes, i was always very careful about making that culture-vs-skin distinction.

    Well, that FB acquaintanceship ended after a discussion that began with him asserting that cops were entrapping blacks.

    Seems there were a bunch of blacks who’d been arrested because there was a truck full of Nike shoes left unlocked. It was the cop’s fault for putting it there. They didn’t call to their attention that it was unlocked, or suggest that it be checked, or anything like that — someone in the neighborhood noted it, and it spread around that it was, and the cops took note of anyone who stole from the truck, and then arrested a bunch of them.

    I pointed out that this was not entrapment — with a description of what made it “not entrapment”, along with a discussion of how this was a black cultural issue, of thinking that anything not nailed down was free for the taking. I asserted that if you took some economically equivalent white neighborhood, and put a similar truck full of, say, X-Boxes, that, yes, there would be thefts, but far far fewer of them… because White people don’t generally need to be told not to steal things — or at least, our culture does it and teaches us to generally avoid it, which leads to far less of that kind of behavior even when economic class is the same. And, frankly, I think that it USED to be that way among blacks — it USED to be, back in the 50s and earlier, that their own culture WAS resistant to casual theft, that any suggestion that “blacks were criminal” was far more connected to racism and poverty. But somehow, sometime, that changed, as the 70s and 80s wore on.

    Anyway, he censored that reply, and that was the one thing I won’t accept — censor me when I’m making a reasoned, rational argument… well, you can get bent. So I terminated the connection.

    But this IS a major part of the problem — black CULTURE promotes a low respect for the notion of property.

  62. I mentioned Cronkite, not to endorse his politics, but to ID the show. He narrated, but I’m not sure what other roles he played in the series–which I recall as half-hour(?) B&W documentaries about different topics–battles, leaders, major natural disasters.

    And don’t think for a moment that the series, or Victory at Sea, is an objective look at the real history (however you want for define those terms). They are period pieces, reflecting the interests and priorities of the GI Bill generation–my parents, the winners.

    I always read RAH as the libertarian he claimed to be, but not the kind of guy who would ignore pederasty if he knew about it.

    As to the general level of kulcha in America, try as I might I can’t get many people to share my love of chamber music. And when I go to the concerts I’m often one of the younger attendees. If I wasn’t married I would start asking younger attractive women to go with me.
    Never give up!

  63. }}} I mentioned Cronkite, not to endorse his politics, but to ID the show.

    I’m not really talking about his politics, either. I’m trying to get across that, if you become aware of what REALLY happened with the Tet Offensive — that it was a total disaster for the NV — they lost tremendous amounts of men and materiel, and it has since come out that those who were in the leadership, when they first realized what a disaster it was, began to talk amongst themselves how to sue for surrender, to get the best terms they could.

    THEN they heard how the US merdia lying #$%#$@% bastards were selling it to the American people, and they knew that all the had to do was hold on, and the US “paper tiger” would give up. And so that happened — we “lost” the Vietnam war, but, much much more critically, anyone who allied with us risked being purged. Not for nothing were there as many as a million — 800k is the number wiki cites — fleeing the aftermath.

    And Cronkite was, as THE most respected newsman at the time — at the very heart of that. It seems highly unlikely that he was unaware of the lie, and that the whole issue was being sold as anti-American propaganda.

    And to me, that says he cannot be trusted as a news source.

    }}} I always read RAH as the libertarian he claimed to be, but not the kind of guy who would ignore pederasty if he knew about it.

    Agreed. He certainly had no issues with the actions of consenting adults, but it feels as though they did have to be adults.

    And for that to be in that context, it seems that he would not have been fully aware of what was going on in/at Berkeley… that he might have heard rumors, but people he trusted told him they were false.

    }}} And don’t think for a moment that the series, or Victory at Sea, is an objective look at the real history (however you want for define those terms).

    There is a magazine — American Heritage.

    It’s out of print, but you can often still find copies of it in places.

    I find it interesting in the sense you suggest — it is a view of historical events — some then-contemporary (i.e., the cold war) others still more in the past (e.g., “westerns” vs the “real west”… but they do, when you read them now, show interesting insights into the times they are written in, as well as whatever they have to say about the events. This is especially true about political articles, such as ones about the Senate or the House under Reagan vs. earlier times… It’s a very interesting capsule of “history as history”.

    And it’s also online, if you’re ok with that, vs. actual hardcopy of the mags.

    https://www.americanheritage.com/magazine/archive

  64. What the historian choses to tell you tells you as much about him and his times as it does about the stories they’re relating to you about history. Look at Shakespeare’s distortions of the historic record with his plays–He was playing to an audience, much as any historian would in academia, because they have to sell what they write. Few, I fear, are doing it for the sheer love of it and objective truth.

    Which is why you should take absolutely everything you hear or read, even from direct primary resources, with a very large grain of salt. Even the guys writing down what is happening as it happens may well be flatly delusional about it all, reporting the lovely things they wish were happening rather than those that really are.

    Hell, I’ll even go a step further: Archaeology itself may well be suspect, given that we’re only seeing what evidence remains, interpreted through the eyes of the guys digging it all up. They’re as human and prone to self-delusional error as any of us, and if you’ve ever taken more than a single witness statement from someone who was on-scene at something, you’ll know why I’m such a cynical bastard about these things.

  65. I am buying up print versions of American Heritage, as I can find them at various sales, trying to replicate my mother’s collection. She had a subscription from the late 1950s, and I grew up devouring each issue as they appeared – the casebound editions with the white covers/relevant art selection covers are the best, IMHO. When it later went to soft-cover with ads, it went to cr*p. Most of the articles in the casebound and quarterly decades were written by serious, and sometimes obscure-but-later-to-become prominent historians, who were informed by an extravagant love of their subject. Bruce Catton, the Civil War historian par excellence, was the supervising editor during that time. I still get out the odd edition and read them, for the art selections and scholarship and all.

  66. I reread your post and realized I’ve watched a lot of the same programs you have Sgt Mom.

    I had watch that series on the Turkish special forces and the only downside to streaming is it you blow through a season and then wait a year for the next one.

    Do you think of all of the work involved in production and we just consume it like where gluttons stuffing our mouths.

    One of the best series I watched as I believe I mentioned, is the new series 1883. It’s about the original James Dutton taking his family by wagon train from Texas to Montana.

    And you have to wait two weeks for each new episode.

    There’s also a great series on this Israeli special forces unit it’s always going in to Gaza.

    Restart to see the issue from a local perspective and there are good players and bad players in that troubled area.

    Between the Internet and international productions and subtitles we really don’t need Hollywood and all the hypocrisy.

    I was thinking the other day how many people at these Academy Awards knew all about Harvey Weinstein I get continued to spew their self righteous sermons on the rest of us. Of course not a word was sad by all of these industry insiders, just the victims for years of which few would listen

  67. Well I guess I should proofread this AutoCorrect garbage more. That would be the subject of a good post.

    Does auto correct save time or cost time?

  68. Bill, I may be mistaken in my take on these things, but what I’ve observed over the years is that the louder the person shouts about something, the more likely they are to be engaged in that thing, themselves. Particularly when it regards some sort of deviancy or perversion…

    Bible passage has it something to the effect of “the guilty fleeth where no man pursues…”, and truer words were e’er spoken.

  69. Tet was long after the “Twentieth Century” series IIRC, and I have no interest in discussing it. I saw Vietnam happen live on TV, and know who said what, when. You don’t like Uncle Walter, be my guest.

    As to Kirk’s sweeping statement, I know of an academic historian who writes books that he knows have some prospective market (to help him feed his family) and other books on topics too obscure for that (to advance in his profession). I’ve read his biography of von Steuben (speaking of possible pervs) and have no reason to doubt that he has done the best job he can in gathering, comparing, and presenting information on his topic. I have some knowledge of the period and didn’t spot any howlers, but then again . . . I’m not seeking certainty, or some ultimate reality, I’m trying to learn and understand.

    So that’s the guy’s money-maker. When he wanted to write a good modern account of some conflicts in the Baltic he had to travel to the archives, and master the languages.
    He wrote that a scientific colleague heard him describe a research visit to Moscow and speculate that his work must be very expensive. How so? “Paying to have all those documents translated.” As if!

    The work goes on, regardless of the difficulties and sniping from outside–historians are constantly told by non-historians on the internet that they have no idea what they’re up to –and there is neither fame, nor money, not glory in academic history.

    Shakespeare is not a good example of historical distortion by a historian, anyway.

  70. @Cousin Eddie,

    You needn’t be so defensive, as the point I’m getting at is that you have to maintain perspective on where the various parties are coming from. It’s like taking eyewitness reports at an accident scene–Sure, someone is going to have an axe to grind, wanting to insure that they get the maximum insurance payout, but others are just going to honestly report what they perceived and remembered… Which ain’t always what they actually witnessed. Distortions creep in, interpretations vary, and there really is no absolute truth available when there are people involved in any way. Especially when those people are filtering reality through highly distorted senses that really are not all that reliable.

    The thing I object to is what all too many historians and popularizers (like Mr. Shakespeare…) get up to, which is making grand pronouncements of certainty and truth. My friends, I’ve been there… And, I’m here to tell you that if you asked me what happened, and then asked other people who were there the same set of questions, you’d likely get different answers, and we’d all be doing our best to tell you the truth about the event. It’s just that we saw it differently, from a different viewpoint, processed it differently, and have been remembering it differently for years and years. And, if you don’t think that the very act of pulling something up inside the memory spaces of your own mind doesn’t change what you’re remembering, you haven’t been keeping up with your reading on human memory.

    I don’t mean to be so damn cynical, but the thing that really drives me nuts on this issue is just how much of this crap is inculcated into us as kids as though it were gospel truth, and then you go and start digging around in the issues, only to find that you were willfully deceived in all too many cases by people who had definite axes to grind.

    I honestly don’t think I ever had a teacher or professor that ever once said “Y’know… This might not be the actual truth, but this is what most people who’ve studied the issue think happened…”. If they did that, I’d have a hell of a lot less angst than I have, which mostly stems from these assholes standing up in front of me and telling me that they were offering up the received truth, and then I go and find out that it tain’t necessarily so…

    The “authorities” have more than earned my contempt, I think. Collectively, at least–Individually, there are some really good people out there, some of whom are likely mistaken, even if they’re doing the best they can. All I’m really intending to say is, keep your eyes open and think about what you’re reading and hearing. Hell, even if it happens right there in front of you, keep your mind open about what you think you might have seen…

  71. Returning to the discussion about recognizing movie set locations, I recall when I first saw “Logan’s Run”, and wondering at the end why he ended up in Fort Worth. (The Water Gardens)

  72. WRT Heinlein: IIRC in Glory Road there’s a scene where the hero is creeped-out when a young girl being offered to him, as he recalls some things he’d seen in the Army. Shortly thereafter he’s rebuked as dangerously fastidious; everything is really honest and voluntary.

  73. just like buck rogers was in the old montreal olympics set,

    just one recent example, pbs remakes ‘around the earth in 80 days, and makes changes in one chapter, so they made it a trek across the Arabian desert. which was unneccessary to the plot. and they changed at least one character’s ethnicity, I noticed the 90s poirot episodes were updated in not salutory ways, I haven’t seen the Acorn ones, they are probably worse,

  74. One of the ambivalencies I have about Heinlein stems from the question of “Does he really believe this bullsh*t he’s writing, or is he mimicking a true believer for the purposes of character and world-building…?”.

    I kinda get the whole way Lazarus Long is written as an incestuous lech; dude was effectively immortal, and once you’re separated from your immediate family by a few hundred years or so, and you add in genetic counseling/engineering…? What’s the point of an incest taboo…?

    The romance between Lazarus and Maureen is kinda squicky when you first look at it, but… Take someone with five hundred years of life, stick them back in their childhood, and then what? One the one end, you have Back to the Future, where it’s literally within your childhood and you’re going back to hers, but on the other, it’s got centuries of separation from any real maternal relationship. Does that fit the classic definition and purpose of the incest taboo?

    Heinlein was a good author for making you think, but the sumbitch wasn’t always really clear on what the hell he was thinking, himself.

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