Back To A Forgotten Past

When you read old books, something you will notice is that intellectuals a century ago had a better sense of history. They did not “remember” things that happened before their time, of course, but they knew a lot about the past. Therefore, their sense of history was broader than what you see today. For most people in this age, history started somewhere around when they began to notice things. This makes for a strange sense of history, particularly for young people, as they have not been around long.

This is something that Oswald Spengler addressed in The Decline of the West, with the ancient Greeks. An interesting point he makes is that because the Greeks did not create monuments for their dead, like elaborate tombs or cemeteries, they could not build a timeline from the lives of their heroes. The Egyptians, on the other hand, would always know they were an ancient people, because they lived and died in the shadows of great monuments built by their ancestors to venerate their ancestors.

The claim is debatable, but a people’s sense of time is not universal. If you are a people without a belief in an afterlife, it will shape how you live this life, compared to those who believe in judgement after death. The possibility of eternal damnation not only alters behavior, it is a daily reminder of the brevity of a man’s life. Similarly, if you know, or at least assume, you will die young, you’re going to live fast. That is the whole basis of the “live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse” ethos of the rock star.

In modern America, the past is a foreign country to most people, even for those with an interest in history. The reason is our present is not littered with reminders of those who came before us. America has always been a live fast, die young country, so we have never centered our culture on people and events of the past. In a few weeks we will have “Memorial Day” and few people can say what it is we memorialize. What it means to most Americans is the start of summer and the consumption of summer product.

There is something to say for the live fast, die young ethos, but it makes it easy to repeat the same mistakes over and over. We see this with the mass media, which is in low regard at the moment. The inability to remember before yesterday has people thinking this is a new thing, rather than the normal state of affairs. Matt Taibbi thinks the media wrecked itself in the 1990’s, with the Lewinsky scandal. Their covering up for the Clintons was the start of the collapse of journalism and the reputation of the media.

While it was certainly a shabby performance, it was not all that different from what went on the 1980’s and it was not worse than what happened in the 1970’s. If you want to put down a marker as the starting point of modern advocacy journalism, the Watergate scandal is where it all started. That’s when narrative journalism bloomed and it made some reporters rich and famous. Since then, every upper middle-class kid entering journalism school, has dreamed of being Bob Woodward and taking down a Republican president.

The reality though, is the media has always been advocacy. There was never a time when news reporters were objective or conformed to a set of ethics. In fact, the idea of journalistic ethics is an entirely new thing. The reporters in the 1920’s would have laughed themselves silly if someone scolded them about their ethics. The newspaper man was a carouser who lived rough and played rough. Until after World War II, being in the media was a working class job with the morality of carny folk.

It is this inability to think clearly about the past that has people like Taibbi confused about what’s happening in the media. Because what’s happening is new to him, he assumes it must be new. This cultural amnesia is also why the media started thinking of itself as a priesthood back in the 1960’s. The well-scrubbed college graduates from good families showing up in newsrooms just assumed it had always been a profession for beautiful people. After all, they had never experienced anything otherwise.

The fact is, the only thing different about the media today is the scale and the uniformity of opinion. In prior ages, both sides of the political class had their media, so there was competition. As the political class collapses into a monolith, the mass media is following in the same path. The difference between Fox News and CNN is quite small, once you get past the theatrics. Sean Hannity having an aneurysm over the latest attack on Trump is the flip side of Don Lemon squealing about Trump’s last tweet.

Probably the one real difference in the modern media compared to the past, is that we are saturated with it today. In the old days, communist countries would put up loudspeakers in the middle of small towns to broadcast propaganda. Today we have the internet, mobile phones and cable television. The agit-prop is everywhere and in the case of the internet, it is actively spying on us. Our rulers are now installing listening devises in our homes in order to make sure we are consuming the correct media products.

If you are over the age of 50, you recall a time when consuming mass media was something you did on the train to work or when you got home. There were morning papers and evening papers. The evening television news was an hour. First you had the local news then the national news. If you wanted to consume a discussion of public affairs, you did so on Sunday morning. Within living memory it was easy for a man to be completely free of politics and mass media. Today it is close to impossible.

What we are seeing today, in terms of media status, is probably just a return to the historic norm. Media companies are slashing their payrolls, because there’s no money in advocacy, at least not enough to warrant lavish salaries. More and more news is being reported by low paid kids and crafty independents with a specialty. Opinion writing is becoming a hobby again. The future of mass media is the past, where the business is to sell a point of view and live like carny folk on the fringes of society.

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Member

I am reminded of how much I feel the need to turn on and drop out forgoing the tune in part.

Severian
Guest

I’ve always wondered why no one is actually doing this: “the business is to sell a point of view and live like carny folk on the fringes of society.” We all agree that Fox kills in the ratings because it’s the only network that isn’t 24/7 moonbattery, and that new Leftwing nets/shows all fail because they’re chasing the same eyeballs MSNBCABCCBSCNN etc. are chasing. “Conservative news” seems like a no-brainer, market-wise. Drudge I guess used to do something like this, and there are micro-sites like World Net Daily (I think?), but no serious effort to be the rightwing advocacy media.… Read more »

Citizen of a Silly Country
Guest
Citizen of a Silly Country

First, it takes money to set up a media operation, even a very small scale one on the internet. You need a studio, cameras, a couple of reporters, etc. Not a ton of money, but some money. Rich guys don’t want to lose their status doing that.

Second, to survive, you’d need advertising and no company is going to advertise on a dissident right show, even a thoughtful one.

To a degree, I think that Vox Day is attempting to do some of this. He’s an odd fellow sometimes, but he’s right about creating alternative platforms and content.

Member

Vox Day wants everyone to build their own platform while using platforms such as blogspot and Amazon. Talk is a lot easier than very expensive action.

Member

Whack Nut Daily is just one more Israel First treason rant.

TomA
Guest
TomA

Rewiring the brain in order to inculcate specific mental habits is best done when toddlers are beginning to understand verbal messaging and the brain is still growing rapidly. Hence, the most effective forms of indoctrination occur early in life. Once upon a time, primary school and religious practices were the foundation of this education, and cultural/moral messaging was aimed at conveying ancient wisdom and establishing social trust mechanisms. That was then, this is now. Progressives understand this dynamic better than any other power player and have systemically pushed out religion and co-opted elementary education. Their aim is not promotion of… Read more »

Tono Bungay
Guest
Tono Bungay

A big theme of Steven Crane(red badge of courage fame), in his essays and poetry, is the duplicity and unaccountability of the press. They supposedly lied us into the Spanish American war, etc. See, it goes all the way back! There was never a golden age. The condition of humanity. Actually, I believe things are better than they ever have been, with the rise of the internet and instant communication. I think as recently as the 90s there were events blacked out and events made out of whole cloth. I’m referring specifically to race and crime, but probably other arenas… Read more »

Olive
Guest
Olive

Kipling, too.

AltitudeZero
Guest
AltitudeZero

Taibbi blames it on the Lewinski business, because he is smart enough to see the mess that he and his fellow journalists have made of things, and how their stupid obsessions almost blundered us into a disastrous war with Russia, but, somehow, it just has to be the fault of right-wingers. Z is right, all this media mess really started with Watergate. It remains to be seen if Taibbi, who seems to be transitioning from vermin to near-hominid status, is willing to finally put the blame where it lies and make the leap to the truth.

Da Booby
Guest

As for the US, you have Fox, which is an organ of the Republican Party. Meanwhile, CNN, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, PBS, et al are organs of the Democratic Party. Neither source tries to report objectively, they tow the party line, with some token commentators from the other side thrown in for good measure, usually chosen because they will mortify loyal viewers. Thus the mass media suffers from the same disease as the political process. You have (in the US) two parties that fight like cats and dogs to gain power, but differ very little in terms of how they govern.… Read more »

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Fox is a middle-of-the-road media outlet that is threading the needle between tapping into an untapped (conservative) hunger for mainstream news and not being boycotted by advertisers. The Media is a means to an end, which is advertiser dollars. But the Left knows how to shame advertisers out of advertising under competing viewpoints, and Fox (and the WSJ) must toe a narrow line.

SpartanDan
Guest
SpartanDan

I agree that Fox is mostly in the tank for the Republican party but it has produced Tucker Carlson. I find myself enjoying almost everything he says and I do think he has hammered on both Trump and the Republican party considerably. His book “Ship of Fools” paints Trump in a fairly negative light.

Jack Boniface
Member

“American journalism (like the journalism of any other country) is predominantly paltry and worthless. Its pretensions are enormous, but its achievements are insignificant.” – H.L. Mencken

The Babe
Member
The Babe

“In Sir Henry Wotton’s jocular definition, ‘An Ambassador is said to be a man of virtue sent abroad to tell lies for the advantage of his country; a news-writer is a man without virtue, who lies at home for his own profit.’ “To these compositions is required neither genius nor knowledge, neither industry nor sprightliness; but contempt of shame and indifference to truth are absolutely necessary. He who by a long familiarity with infamy has obtained these qualities, may confidently tell today what he intends to contradict to-morrow; he may affirm fearlessly what he knows that he shall be obliged… Read more »

BadThinker
Guest
BadThinker

“Our age which has boasted of realism will fail chiefly through lack of reality. Never, I fancy, has there been so grave and startling a divorce between the real way a thing is done and the look of it when it is done. I take the nearest and most topical instance to hand a newspaper. Nothing looks more neat and regular than a newspaper, with its parallel columns, its mechanical printing, its detailed facts and figures, its responsible, polysyllabic leading articles. Nothing, as a matter of fact, goes every night through more agonies of adventure, more hairbreadth escapes, desperate expedients,… Read more »

DraveckysHumerus
Guest
DraveckysHumerus

An actual nation annoints its naval vessels with the names and personae of national warriors. In contrast a plain commodity market such as the US graces them with Jimmy Carter, Gerry Ford, some guy Stennis, whigger Lyndon Johnson, open gates Bush and, inevitably, the royal Obama — Barack and Michelle, probably Sasha too. We are not a nation. Our press just business advertising. Our history mere marketing aspect of said market. Modern America is Faceborg and nothing more.

DeBeers Diamonds
Guest
DeBeers Diamonds

Royal Navy naming conventions tend to be better in terms of appearance. The actual Royal Navy in the present day, not so much. Naming a carrier “Prince of Wales” is an awful idea, both considering the current holder, and the ignominious loss of the last ship bearing that name in 1941.

Adm. Rickover once said “fish don’t vote”, which is why the Los Angeles-class was named after cities, instead of our traditional convention of naming them after creatures.

King Tut
Guest
King Tut

We did it better in the sepia yesteryear when we had ships with names like HMS Warspite (best ever), HMS Valiant and HMS Invincible. Now, I’m just awaiting the launch of the HMS Genderfluid.

DeBeers Diamonds
Guest
DeBeers Diamonds

HMS Bellerophon has been out of use for more than a century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_battle_at_the_Battle_of_Trafalgar

Look at those names, they echo through the ages. At least no one has been dumb enough for HMS Tony Blair.

Member
Felix_Krull

America has a cruiser called USS Ponce. And a ship called USS Harvey Milk.

King Tut
Guest
King Tut

Felix, I thought you were kidding but I just checked and there is, indeed, a US naval vessel called Harvey Milk. But, I should know better than to be shocked. I expect that the late Mr. Milk would have approved; it is long, hard and full of seamen.

Member
Felix_Krull

And it’s an oiler, I now notice. I bet the symbolism was not lost on the naming committee.

Member

I think the Genderfluid has to wait behind (no pun intended) the HMS Shirtlifter.

Yves Vannes
Member

The widespread availability of journalism and the expectation that the populace needs to be engaged is modernist pozz. In a well functioning traditional civilization there is no need for the endless politicization of the populace. What percentage of people are wired by nature be their own political and moral philosophers? Journalism is just the way a corrupt degenerate false oligarchy plays and manipulates the democracy game. Go back and look at what news people were getting themselves all worked up about 6 weeks ago, 6 months ago, 6 years ago…most of it has turned out to be meaningless. Yet people… Read more »

Da Booby
Guest

Our minds. We’ve lost our minds.

One of the Booby’s email accounts defaults to a “news” (I think it’s MSNBC or something just as stupid) site after logging out.

The lead story – LEAD STORY – is typically some late night talk show host’s skewering of Trump’s latest Tweet. This is what passes for news.

The fact that a significant portion of the population actually pays attention to this stuff is frightening and depressing.

Exile
Guest
Exile

Advocacy journalism and social media have filled the social space once occupied by religion. The bugmen who scorn medieval peasants for their obsession with their “sky-god” are even more monomaniacal about Big Other – more so, I think, because they are more atomized, deracinated and historically illiterate.

pimpkin\'s nephew
Guest
pimpkin\'s nephew

Bravo. In view of the conquest of speculative thought by our oppressors, the most ‘political’ we can get is to walk away from politics. Study German, the cello, the renovation of organs, creating aviaries or rebuilding motorcycles; pursue the philosophy of mastering real things, as Matthew Crawford has advocated in his books (‘Shop Class as Soul Craft’, ‘The World Outside Your Head’). The Left knows all about destroying and dehumanizing “conservatives”. They know nothing about, and are confused by, “nonpolitical” people enjoying life doing and mastering real subjects. In their hearts they admire and envy everyday people who can actually… Read more »

Yves Vannes
Member

In a normally functioning civilization we have that option. In clown world we need to fight politically and then some – to fight ‘tooth and nail’ to obliterate it.

pimpkin\'s nephew
Guest
pimpkin\'s nephew

Historically, the Middle Class has survived, sandwiched between the rulers and the masses, by offering knowledge and utility to the rulers, while retaining roots among the hoi polloi. The rulers despised us, the masses were jealous of us, but neither could exist without us. For a time, a few hundred years, we even convinced them that rule by us was for the best all around, even as we played along with their psychic frailties, like Col. Hogan stringing along Col. Klink, or Karl Marx stringing along the lumpenproletariat. Sadly, our brief dominance, which coincides with the high culture of Europe… Read more »

Member

Journalists and actors have always been the scum of society and we forget that at our peril.

I have acquired and out of print book habit which means I read a lot of old books and yes, their knowledge of history and languages and philosophy is astounding but what really gets me is these crazy predictions they make for the future that are never as bad as the reality is today. Not even close

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

The nice thing about older authors and out of print books is that you get something expected and vetted. Life is too short to read drivel. You also get a feel for the language and culture of the day.

Dear daughter is fascinated with the old west. I am trying to tell her that it was more of an idea than a thing. But she is reading Zane Grey, Larry McMurtry and Louis L’Amour. She’s doing OK.

Member

Oh then I have recommendations! Tell her to read ‘Empire of the summer Moon’ which is still in print and the author is alive but it’s good anyway. And ‘the boy captives’ by Clinton Smith and ‘nine years among the Indians.’ By Herman Lehmann. Both of those are out of print but they’re first hand accounts of boys that were captured and lived with the plains Indians and they are absolutely fascinating

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Thanks!!!!

Mysteerious Rooshian Vooman
Guest
Mysteerious Rooshian Vooman

“Empire of the Summer Moon” Seconded! Yes! Definitely! Fascinating book!

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Interesting. I also recommend older (and mostly free) books. One recently read along your line, “Scalp Dance”. This book is a compiling of scout reports from the army of the plains after the civil war when we were trying to subdue the plains Indians. Fascinating. Get a hundred+ year old book without all the modern PC dribble and you get a realistic assessment of the history involved. Pictures too. The Indians were savage and completely merciless—and so were the soldiers sent to round them up. So savage in fact that the reports are filled with assessments/descriptions of patrols, having been… Read more »

Member

You know I have kind of had the opposite impression a couple times. I read several books on the Incas and the Australian aboriginals written late nineteenth and early twentieth century by the leading experts in the field and they were unbelievably PC. Extremely liberal takes on everything . You could see the origins of the mess we’re in now in their writings.

Range Front Fault
Guest
Range Front Fault

Recommendation for a book about the Southwest prior to the Navajo, Hopi, Apache, Piute, and the horses they rode into town on, for a now-forbidden glimpse into the world of the Anasazi. Check out House of Rain by Craig Childs. Childs wades into the forbidden archaeological fever swamp of early 2005 political correctness by tracing the violent destruction and movement of people in the southwest due to the great 12th century drought. When the climate changed to drought, some very sophisticated societies destabilized, with the added disturbing influences of Meso America including human sacrifice moving north, creating wide-spread over-crowding into… Read more »

Mysteerious Rooshian Vooman
Guest
Mysteerious Rooshian Vooman
Oldgit
Guest
Oldgit

There was a blessed time when actors, when invited to a big house, had to use the tradesmen’s entrance and dine with the servants.

Johnny55
Guest
Johnny55

I disagree very much with the latter part of the statement: “America has always been a live fast, die young country, so we have never centered our culture on people and events of the past.” Prior to the 20th century, our culture and people had a very fresh view of ancient history, it’s why so many places are named Rhodes, etc. I am reading a huge biography of Andrew Jackson written in 1859 and just reading our leaders’ correspondence they based much of their philosophy and thinking on ancient Rome and Greece. Zman is correct that the media has never… Read more »

Big G
Guest
Big G

Have you got a link for that Unz article? Thanks.

Johnny55
Guest
Johnny55

Sorry, I don’t. I think it was in his discussion of David Irving, but I know it was written by him personally, if that helps you filter.

Exile
Guest
Exile

This is one – he’s hit on this theme quite a bit in the last year or so, click his author link for the whole list. http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-our-deadly-world-of-post-war-politics/

Andrew M
Guest
Andrew M

“In modern America, the past is a foreign country to most people“

It literally is. Some 14% of the country is foreign-born; probably the same number again are first-generation immigrants. The stories of the civil war, the pioneers, the founding fathers, are somebody else’s history.

Bob
Guest
Bob

In my freshman year, a Spanish friend and I took the required American History class. He fell in love with the Communist Manifesto and never cared for history that wasn’t his ancestors’.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Because I am over 40 years old I like to think I got a reasonably good primary and middle school education in history, back before it got muddied by the Hyphenated-American History Month craze. I distinctly remember writing an essay on Yellow Journalism and the growth of Hearst and Pulitzer (who greenwashed his legacy with the award) publications, along with their involvement/driving force of the US into the Spanish-American War. Mind you this was in 6th or 7th Grade. Now there is almost no sense of perspective and proportion in history, because everyone needs a seat at the multiculti table.… Read more »

Member

I figured that eventually the computer would have the same effect on the news business that it had on the music business. The money in music is now in live performance, and not as much is being made in recording. How many people even know what the number one hit single is now? Or even if their is one? I get my news without ever going to one solitary major news source of yesteryear, and I’m one of the old codgers you would expect to still be getting two newspapers and six magazines. I no longer give a damn about… Read more »

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Money in music was always in performance. The problem was getting out (known) to the audience prior to the Internet—and that was the hold the record companies had. Indeed, in the 80/90’s there was a lot of Congressional testimony from any number of stars (usually younger) that lamented wrt their lengthy album contracts they had to sign with the “predatory” record labels. In short, by the time they would complete their 8 album “deal”, their careers were effectively over or on the decline. The Asian market quickly figured this out and as early as the 90’s I remember pop stars… Read more »

Member

It wasn’t that there wasn’t money in album sales, it was who was getting the money. Stars savvy enough to control their own careers and albums did well. Kate Bush became one of the wealthiest women in England strictly through her album sales — she did one brief tour early in her career and then, never ever again.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Yep, but not all stars were savvy or even stars before they were offered a record contract by the recording companies. When you are a nobody and hungry for your first break, it’s hard to say no. You sign without much thought and only later realize you’ve signed away a big portion of your income for your productive life.

If you are mega stars like the Stones, you can cut a deal when you are in your 60’s with the record companies and make out like a bandit. 😉

Member

It can boggle the mind that we live in an era when anyone can learn anything about any event in history while sitting on the toilet and yet most people are completely illiterate when it comes to history and what they do know is mostly revisionist leftist propaganda. A few years ago I looked at a “history” book one of my kids had and the section on World War II was almost entirely eaten up by Japanese internment camps, as if that was the only thing (other than the Holocaust) that was going on in the 1940’s.

Johnny55
Guest
Johnny55

So true. And even then, how ignorant we are. I read Hillsdale’s six volume (and complete writings) biography of Churchill. And yet, I literally had no idea what Danzig was about nor about the absurdity of the “guarantee”. “The Forced War” is brilliant and so eye-opening. I really wish its source material had been translated into English and if it has, I would LOVE to get a copy. In other words, you MUST LOOK FOR THIS STUFF, even if you are very very informed and educated. Which is insane.

Mysteerious Rooshian Vooman
Guest
Mysteerious Rooshian Vooman

“The Forced War”?? That’s all? no author or other info? Do you not recommend the book?

Have A Cigar
Guest

Well, as they say…

1. Politics is Show Biz for ugly people.

2. Show Biz is politics for stupid people.

3. Journalism is Show Biz Politics for ugly, stupid people.

All three are just massive holding pens for needy people who have an unusually strong, pathological urge to Feel Important. It would all be rather harmless if the U.S. weren’t such a massively over-armed busybody obsessed with bothering the whole planet, and if numbers 1), 2) and 3) weren’t all completely controlled by the (((Special People With The Unending Hunger To Be More Important Than Everyone Else))).

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

Come in here, dear boy, have a cigar.
You’re gonna go far

Linda Fox
Guest

Today, many people are re-assessing their understanding of the past, beginning with their own families – it’s not coincidental that Ancestry.com is making money hand over fist. The most resistant to this historical re-analysis are the single women with no kids/those whose kids are a bitter disappointment to her. These are the bitter old cat ladies, who fulminate over those who would destroy their legacy (ironic, as their legacy is – nihilism – goodbye to kids, husbands, traditions, culture, and faith). But for most of us, today’s willingness to take a fresh look at the recent past leads from our… Read more »

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

The whole ancestry research thing is an appeal to vanity. You get to know how special you are, and they will tell you that you are related to Shakespeare or Martin Luther King, based on some little genetic link from about 30 generations ago.

The companies are selling all the data to the Chinese, that’s how they make a profit at the end of the day. What the Chinese are doing with it, I have no idea.

A B
Guest
A B

I’ll disagree with that a little. For the vast majority (me included), it’s finding out that you’re descended from generations of serfs who worked the land, with the occasional craftsman thrown in. You find the families tended to be much larger (the manufacturing of farm “help”), and that life was much harder. That seems a decent historical lesson for people.

Range Front Fault
Guest
Range Front Fault

One of the unintended consequences of the fad of analyzing genetic material is the more frequent than one would think discovery that your Daddy is not your Daddy. Companies like 23 and Me apparently train some of their customer service folks to act as counselors to those who call the company in hysterical tears after the discovery Daddy ain’t Daddy. Dr. Laura has to calm people down with her take that whoever raised you is your Daddy, and not to get hung up over the sperm donor who shot and left, and the woman who had a role in this,… Read more »

Range Front Fault
Guest
Range Front Fault

I don’t trust any of theses companies with my DNA sample. Won’t do it. Once they give you a “report” they still have your sample. Seriously, as we move into tyranny, you want BigGov’t to get hold of your DNA! They have enough ways to stick it to you and control you without holding your DNA info over your head.
Also, these reports from some of these companies are a scam. Just heard of a company who gave a very similar boilerplate origin report to all customers. Everyone from Sweden and so on.

BadThinker
Guest
BadThinker

Are you a circumcised male? They likely already have your DNA if so.

Range Front Fault
Guest
Range Front Fault

Nope….am a girlie girl. Compsci below thread has the info that unfortunately we’re still surrounded. Plus just read that many of these companies sell their DNA samples to China.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Range, seems it doesn’t matter that you don’t trust these companies—neither do I—but if anyone in your immediate genome has contributed, you are likely to be able to be identified. I believe a recent example came from that retire CA cop who was a serial killer. I believe it was a cousin or so of his whom had their DNA analyzed, leading to the identification.

Range Front Fault
Guest
Range Front Fault

Damn, I forgot that. You’re right! You ever get the feeling you’re standing in the middle of a square, and you have ropes around your neck stretched to all 4 corners!

Sextus Empiricus
Guest
Sextus Empiricus

One of my new sources of leisure time schadenfreude is live-streamed YouTube videos of people opening up and reading their DNA test results in real time. Besides the classic “who’s my daddy?” surprises, I really enjoy watching woke blacks discovering, to their horror, that they are not as black as they thought. Priceless.

https://youtu.be/0FnZOGB4C-c

Primi Pilus
Guest
Primi Pilus

Memory — collective and cultural ….. I’ve long thought a people who no longer know or remember those who went before them are doomed. Among those younger Americans I encountered over many years, there was a near complete lack of historical knowledge or understanding. It’s almost as if ancient history began for them with Madonna and Brittany Spears’ on-stage kiss. I think in this cemeteries figure somehow important. A nation that doesn’t honor and remember its dead is dangerously susceptible to rot and ultimate subversion. A people who don’t perpetuate the rituals attending their care and the honoring of their… Read more »

Member
Felix_Krull

There were morning papers and evening papers. The evening television news was an hour.

In the mid to late eighties, I lived on the Faroe Islands. Television was Monday, Wednesday and Friday, three hours each.

Member

That must have been interesting to live there. Our boy, any your’s, Frodi is from there I believe.

Member
Felix_Krull

That must have been interesting to live there. It was brain-witheringly boring. The hamlet I lived in, had just shy of a thousand souls. The center of public life – outside work – was the fry cook/kiosk. Once a month, there’d be disco in the indoor ball court. Booze was not sold on the islands, you had to order it from Denmark and you only had a certain allowance per month. It rains all the time on the Faroe Islands, the summer is too chilly for t-shirts and the winter is too hot for snow. The national sport is driving… Read more »

BadThinker
Guest
BadThinker

Boredom builds character. Hence why you’re such a stand-up Dane.

Member
Felix_Krull

That’s not how it works. When were weren’t making the roads unsafe, we’d be trying to peep into the women’s shower room, or put a few dollars in the petrol pump and set a match to it.

The Devil makes work for idle hands.

Member
Felix_Krull

I lived in a rented house, and in the front yard there were two massive concrete blocks half buried and with eye bolts embedded. I never gave it much thought – there were a lot of abandoned, improvised building projects in the village – but I had found a set of wire ropes in the cellar, and one day I casually told the proprietor about them, thinking he might be missing them on his boat. It turned out they were guylines for the roof which had, as he pointed out to me, matching eye bolts attached. When a bad hurricane… Read more »

MemeWarVet
Guest
MemeWarVet

If you don’t know your personal history, learn it. Find places that were significant to ancestors you never knew (but maybe your favorite grandparent did) and visit them.

It will change your life.

Bob
Guest
Bob

One of the most eye-opening experiences was my mother sitting me down and telling me the family history she’d done. Little did I know I was descended from a Revolutionary War vet, and people who’d come just after the Pilgrims. I’ve taken to looking on the Family Search app and found a lot more ancestors who got here in the 1600s. It made me care a whole lot more about the country and angry at the thought of participating in White Flight.

SamlAdams
Guest
SamlAdams

The one advantage you will find in your research is that for the pre-Revolution families all the work is largely complete. It was a small place back then and the records in New England were quite good.

SamlAdams
Guest
SamlAdams

14 generations in America and can go to one of the oldest cities in North America and look at a monument in the center of town and see the person I was named after inscribed on it. The trick, sometimes is both knowing your history and but learning to live past it.

Range Front Fault
Guest
Range Front Fault

You have stories..you have deep history.

When exploring a cemetery near Lake Almanor, California, found a tombstone inscription by a husband about his deceased wife,

“Here lies Sadie. She did the best she could.”

Ouch!

Drake
Guest
Drake

The destruction of our schools certainly has a lot to do with it. Actual history just ins’t taught any more at public schools. People bring up Islamic terrorism and I shrug and say something about how it’s been going on for 1400 years. They are shocked until I cite specific events through that long war.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

One of my earliest professors in college was in the history department. He taught history with a passion I’ve rarely seen since in any field. He was brilliantly sarcastic and never missed an opportunity to denigrate every other discipline. He termed all other fields, “the great pseudosciences”. When he was forced to mention the names of famous people in those fields, he never missed a put down. Sigmund Freud, was Sigmund “Fraud” and so forth. 🙂

BadThinker
Guest
BadThinker

Hollywood could get several fantastic movies or series out of the wars between the Ottomans, Genoese, Hapsburgs, Venetians, and Knights of St. John. Game of Thrones is still going gangbusters.

But there would be a lot of white people in those movies and not nearly enough women, and (((special people))) were often spies and traitors.

And Barbarossa was not an enlightened modern Muslim… But Suelmian married a white woman from his Harem, so Hollywood could get their woke quota there…

Member
Felix_Krull

But there would be a lot of white people in those movies and not nearly enough women, and (((special people))) were often spies and traitors. Which is why I am hopeful that our people will rediscover their history: they will turn to Whiteworld, where they can watch a story without having poz rammed down their throats. I’m holding out for when game engines are good enough for making lifelike scenes, allowing fans to make their own shows in near studio quality. Game of Thrones is still going gangbusters. Game of Thrones is broken, the two noses running the show did… Read more »

Drake
Guest
Drake

“Day of Siege” is available on Amazon Prime. A movie about the 1683 siege of Vienna. It was made on the cheap so don’t get excited.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Z-man, wonderful essay. It should be noted (but doesn’t change your premise) that after Watergate (or around that time) the college departments of Journalism changed radically in their teachings, with the emphasis on narrative journalism. Gone was the old emphasis of who, what, why, when, and how. Now we sent out advocates for social change.

Exile
Guest
Exile

Tom Wolfe was one of the few members of the “New Journalism” school who was willing to apply its culture of critique techniques to the new elites. Milt Rosenberg of 720 Chicago radio interviewed Chi Tribune writer Ron Grossman who commented that journalists were actively hostile and disdainful of elites in his early years, reporters who played access journalism and toadied to power were scorned by their peers. He specifically mentioned Matt Lauer’s astronomical wealth as of this 2010’s interview as evidence that journalism had wholly converged with the elite. J-Schools are also to blame, with relatively few modern journos… Read more »

Citizen of a Silly Country
Guest
Citizen of a Silly Country

Z is right. As I’ve mentioned, in my salad days in 90s in DC, I hung out with a lot of reporters due to proximity and job ties. The older guys were great, with many either having not gone to college or to some basic state school. The under-50 reporters and especially the ones in their 20s and 30s were insufferable. Wealthy kids who typically went to some big name colleges. They were the worst limousine liberal DBs you’ll ever meet. Despite having done nothing of value in their lives, they felt entitled to have a say in national policy,… Read more »

Member

I was fortunate in the mid 80s to study under a very old-school journalism professor. He was all about the 5Ws and H and would rail vehemently against any hint of editorializing in what was supposed to be a news story. He was fond of telling us to keep our opinions our of the story: “Nobody cares what you think!” He also had a real hatred of suggestive “may” type headlines. he’d say stuff like “Mayor may have conspired with corporate interests? May? Monkeys may fly out my butt. Write what definitely happened, not what might have happened. ‘John Smith… Read more »

Citizen of a Silly Country
Guest
Citizen of a Silly Country

The old school reporters saw it as a job, a craft really, while the younger reporters saw it as a cause.

SidVic
Member
SidVic

I used to watch those old reruns of ‘you bet your life” with groucho marx as host. I was always struck with how much better educated and informed those contestants appeared compared to today. Especially the women.

Member

Narrative journalism goes at least as far back as the turn of the 20th century and muck-raking journalists like Upton Sinclair. Sinclair was a blatant activist.

MemeWarVet
Guest
MemeWarVet

Unrepentant Commie as well

Member

Yes. A lot of people praise the reforms such as the Meat Inspection Act that resulted from The Jungle, but it’s always been clear to me that Sinclair wasn’t motivated primarily by a concern for healthy food production. It was just one vector in his war on free markets.

BadThinker
Guest
BadThinker

Much further than that. One recalls the story of John Adams’ “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”

Olive
Guest
Olive

I heard a podcast discussion between Andrew Joyce and K MacD on the Limerick boycott 1884-1904 which involved some fudging of the truth by the editor of the London Times back then. Where people seek to influence or manipulate events, they use what weapons they have and the pen, as they say……….

Vegetius
Guest
Vegetius

Wise man once said that journalism was not a profession but a tactic.

I would put the date of the most recent wrecking at least a decade before Watergate (Vietnam) if not two (coverage of the civil rights marches in the South).

Mysteerious Rooshian Vooman
Guest
Mysteerious Rooshian Vooman

“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

SamlAdams
Guest
SamlAdams

When I was still in the history business in college, one of the more interesting exercises was doing primary research in the newspapers owned by Valentine McClatchy (primarily the Sacramento Bee) and WR Hearst covering roughly 1900-1924. There was no pretense of objectivity on anything. And today is tame in comparison. Another fun read are any of the papers from the Jackson period. Duels happened with ample cause….

A.B. Prosper
Guest
A.B. Prosper

The US past died in the 1960’s with the Immigration reform act though the damage started with the private automobile and interstate highway We brought in tens of millions of people without any real connection to the US and between that and the ability of people to just move anywhere chasing the almighty dollar we become a nation of carpetbaggers The only upside of this, such as it is, will be the death of the media . A fake nation filled with economic opportunists has no common culture for the media elite to leach off That said its not that… Read more »

pimpkin\'s nephew
Guest
pimpkin\'s nephew

My homepage is Reverso.com. My search engine is DuckDuckgo. If it all vanishes tomorrow morning, that’s fine; I’ve archived all the music, books, podcasts, language lessons and videos with which I need to see out my life learning, listening, reading, viewing. My goal is to be left alone – to be Winston Smith without the telescreen, Mrs Parsons and her children, and posters of the Floating Fortress. I know, in his 1939 novel ‘Coming Up for Air’. Orwell satirizes my sort; the old classicist who lives in antiquity, for whom nothing important has happened since Alaric sacked Rome. We also… Read more »

A.B. Prosper
Guest
A.B. Prosper

We don’t need to agree on everything for me to know we are much alike and almost certainly on the same side.

That alone makes many of your posts a pleasure to read.

Christopher S. Johns
Guest
Christopher S. Johns

Sometimes you don’t have to go too far back to learn something about the past, and sometimes it’s relatively painless. And so it is with American “journalism” (what used to be called the “newspaper business” until it got an Ivy League education). Back in the day, when Hollywood was full of talented people making pictures about the grown-up world, some pretty interesting, cynical, and downright hilarious pictures were made about the press, and I can wholeheartedly recommend the following as a sort of easy-to-swallow, time capsule education in how the more things change, the more they stay the same: Ace… Read more »

Member

I listened to the Hedges/Taibbi interview in the car.
The sense of entitlement of these fuckers is astonishing. It’s “journalistic Judgement as to is a story is covered for the great unwashed or not.
It’s like Katherine (sp C?) Graham proudly boasting that she gets to decide what’s news in the wapo all on the back of the blowjobs she gave to some rich old fart ,

walt reed
Member

Cronkite facing the camera and lying about the results of the Tet Offensive was a benchmark for me, concerning the media. He was no different than Jane Fonda or John Kerry. BTW, I fondly remember when when national evening news broadcasts were a pleasant 15 minutes.

Member

Here Zman, this is what you were looking for.

“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?”

― Marcus Tullius Cicero

SjcC
Guest
SjcC

This is probably why big tech companies are willing to operate established venues like YouTube without profitability to maintain market share. A return to the bad old Wild West days of muckraking might result in too many alternative narratives being easily consumable and would be a serious threat to the religious orthodoxy of the oligarchs.

The question is how long can they keep playing whack-a-mole eliminating the badthink (and being increasingly obvious about it) without that effort in and of itself pushing the dwindling plurality of heritage Americans toward a preference cascade of defensive in-group consciousness?