Friday, November 30, 2007

Forget Reactionary Nostalgia

I saw the Drudge Report's synopsis of the contents of Pat Buchanan's book about the end of civilization or whatever he's on about. What a turd. He seems to want to fill the slot that Robert Bork had for a while, writing books chock-a-block full of "widening gyre" and the "lamb slouching towards gomorrah" or whatever the hell the reference is.

Apocalyptic visions can be a sort of dumb fun, I guess. Between him and Al Gore I'm surprised you can hear yourself think at the intellectual bus stop with them both shouting at the passing traffic with visions of DOOM, DOOM, I SAY!

You know, all in all, The Road Warrior was a lot more fun.

The world changes all the time and people don't like it. They certainly don't understand it. Neither side. As I get older, I realize that if I'm going to talk about Old Bastid stuff, I have to be careful not to drift into just being cranky. If I was under the age of thirty, and I saw Pat Buchanan and his Legion of Doom Factoid Brigade approaching, I'd cross the street to avoid him. Even if he was right, he's a jerk. If your doctor ever tells you that you have cancer, and while you're trying to wrap your mind around that fact he adds: "And you're ugly and your wife is fat," you should get another doctor. Even if he knows less about cancer.

If you have experience about a period of time, and it was bad (hello, Jimmy Carter!) you should point out that things were lousy to anyone that might be tempted to try it again in their ignorance. (Hello, current crop of presidential candidates!) But it would be so much more useful to employ your first hand knowledge of time gone by to point out whatever things are glittering in the big pile of woe and sorrow and detritus we call life. They're always there. Help people to see them for the first time, or remember them kindly.

As I was saying; the seventies sucked. Do not reproduce them. But stuff like this used to come out of the jukebox in the highschool cafeteria thirty-five years back. Pat Buchanon was listening to Four Freshmen albums and freshening Richard Nixon's drinks back then. Why pay attention to him? Pay attention to this:


Pastor_Jeff said...

I absolutely cannot understand the 70s nostalgia that's been hanging around for the last several years. If ever a decade deserved to be poured into concrete and dropped in the East River, it was that one.

But while the 70s were an abomination in so many respects, it's good to remember that some positive things happened. If we could keep the music while ditching the clothes and hairstyles, for example, that'd be a start.

Kathy Hall said...
Check out my husband's blog today if you'd like a laugh. The term I was referring to was "emotionally flaccid". Anyone who reads your blog knows you are definitely not emotionally flaccid. I read you for posts like this where you raise us all up and take us to another place or time. You remind me of "The Marlboro Man" in

Janet said...

I enjoyed the 70's, primarily because I was young and dumb and my life wasn't all that bad.

Culturally, I still think they beat the 80's cold. And probably the 90's too.

Just sayin'.

But I'm definitely with Pastor Jeff. Forget the clothes and hairstyles, for sure.

David said...


SippicanCottage said...

Hi Janet- I've enjoyed myself every decade since Eisenhower. My overall opinions about such things, while no doubt skewed some, are not based solely on my personal situation. I found music in the seventies to be superior generally to what came directly after, if for no other reason than I detest drum machines.

Culture and arts examined in the context of their period, or considered on their own, are both interesting ways to look at things. Decades are arbitrary constructs anyway. People refer to the 1950s as some sort of homogenized wasteland of culture, for instance. I'm listening to Kind of Blue by Miles Davis right now, and begging to differ. I suppose if all someone's got is Andy Williams records they might think differently.

Kathy- I enjoyed looking at those websites you offered.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I detest drum machines.

Technically speaking, isn't a drum sander a drum machine?

gfhandel said...

So what is wrong with The Four Freshmen, whom I think are awesome? As for Andy Stewart, he's a good shouter.

You write so well, please skip the name calling. The guy is not your cup of tea; that doesn't make him a turd. (A Somali student told me that the moderate Muslim leaders are "shit.") BTW, Commentary called Buchanan "the reactionary propagandist"--that seems to fit.

SippicanCottage said...

gfhandel- I love your Water Music, by the way.

I'd attempt to defend my word choice, but you have self-identified as a Four Freshmen aficionado, who are known far and wide as desperadoes of the first rank. Only Ray Conniff listeners are known to be more ferocious. I say "uncle."

I do wish I had used the word "shouter" to describe Andy Stewart. It's perfect.

SippicanCottage said...

Ruth Anne- You're right, as usual; but I wear ear muffs to avoid listening to that, too.