Saturday, December 08, 2012

Today's links

  • From Takimag: the real war on women. Overlap with Roissy, who likes this article.
  • Brooklyn. I’ve really only been there once. My source: an Italian-American family who left in 1968. They call pasta sauce “gravy.” No, they don’t. That’s an old South Philly thing. True though about ‘macaroni’.
  • From LRC: how we were tricked into WWII. A British writer spelled it out three years before Pearl Harbor. Sidney Rogerson wrote: “Though we are not unfavourably placed, we shall require to do much propaganda to keep the United States benevolently neutral. To persuade her to take our part will be much more difficult, so difficult as to be unlikely to succeed. It will need a definite threat to America, a threat moreover, which will have to be brought home by propaganda to every citizen, before the republic will again take arms in an external quarrel. The position will naturally be considerably eased if Japan were involved and this might and probably would bring America in without further ado. At any rate, it would be a natural and obvious object of our propagandist to achieve this, just as during the Great War they succeeded in embroiling the United States with Germany.” Also, British spies such as Roald Dahl (yes, the children’s author; a real-life James Bond like Bond creator Ian Fleming) and a diplomat’s pretty wife literally seduced key Americans (for example, Clare Booth Luce and an anti-war politician in Washington) to turn them.
  • From Joshua: Sailer and one of his readers on the evitable Vatican II causing the awful Sixties. Don’t miss the comments.
  • I’m thinking of this in a highly stylized sense, but I’ve always had the impression that the big ethnic group that played a major role in American popular culture in the 1950s (especially music) and then again in the 1970s (especially movies), but mostly sat out on The Sixties was Italian-Americans. There's a sense of this in Goodfellas. It’s like time stands still for the Italian-Americans in the ’60s. They're still going to the same nightclubs and listening to the same old music though times are changing all around them through the ’60s. And the most famous Italian-American movie of the ’70s was about Italian-American life before the Sixties. Godfather movies of course. Catholic Church, tradition, community centered around families and kin, clan tribalism, organized crime, cultural conservatism, and distrust of outsiders didn’t translate well into Sixtiesness. It was fitting that The Godfather was released when the Sixties phenom was coming to an end. After all the excesses, it was nice to see something about a family that sticks together. Godfather is both anti-Sixties and an extension of Sixties-ness. Anti-Sixties in putting emphasis on family and tradition. But Sixties-ish in celebrating the rise of ethnic America against Anglo-America and in projecting a very cynical view of organized power and politics (especially in part II). It’s about conservative rebels. Love it. But the Sixties weren’t really anti-organized power and politics; it just wanted to take them over, and it did. (They weren’t really for peace; they were traitors cheering for the other side.) It seems to me that, for a while before Roe v. Wade made the left hate us all again, they sort of liked white ethnic Catholics for that ‘exotic’, anti-establishment reason. Frankie Valli (I love ‘Beggin’’ and ‘C’mon, Marianne’ from ’67 even more than his early, famous falsetto stuff): the good ’60s (the actual decade for most people; continuation of the ’50s; Kennedy era), not the Sixties.
  • Sailer himself: I think this ties in to my notion of the back-to-nature hippie aspects of the Sixties having to do with the for Northern Europeans, California’s perpetual sunshine seemingly represented a nonstop May Day. Italian-Americans ... kind of knew deep down that sunshine doesn’t mean that the rules of life are permanently suspended. He holds that hippieness really came from 19th-century German Romanticism.
  • A thought: the Sixties were roughly 1968, when the rich kids partied hard and adopted all that bad stuff, to 1973, when the storm of that stuff, from the philosophy to the fashion, hit Middle America.
  • From Derek Olsen: the XV Oes of St Bridget.

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