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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I.G.Y., or nostalgia for unfulfilled promises

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Geophysical_Year




This is the fall of their discontent, those old white guys* and their allies. They were promised flying cars, they were promised gleaming, groomed suburbia, they were promised sleek lines and plush white carpets and a flying car in every carport
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2002 ... more disney mid-century modern

They were promised 9 to 5 jobs and a wife at home, raising their perfect children and keeping their perfect home in perfect condition, while she stayed perfectly compliant and perfectly slim. They were promised health, wealth, upward mobility, pipe tobacco that didn’t cause cancer and that Mad Men would end up being true.



All this modern world is just too sloppy and diverse for them. They decry anything resembling government money going to anyone who doesn’t match their narrow definition of worthy, forgetting that the prosperity of midcentury was possible largely because of the New Deal. It was possible largely because a jobs program was initiated under a very liberal Democratic administration to give work to the poor and unskilled and to help pull the country out of a depression. Midcentury American growth was at the hands of the WPA, something Romney/Ryan and their ilk would have greatly disdained. Without the New Deal and the WPA, the suburbs wouldn’t have happened, because the WPA and the New Deal brought electricity, water, and roads.


As usual, the old white guys* and their allies are nostalgic for an America that never existed. They want the America they saw on TV as kids, Beaver and Mayberry and most especially the Jetsons. They want their women like the women in Star Trek, in miniskirts and high heeled boots and even higher hair, mostly ornamental and easily exchanged. They want their minorities in the kitchen and on the trash truck and in places where they don’t have to look at them, where they are in their place, where they don’t get too… uppity. They most decidedly don’t want them in power.


But the old white guys* and their allies are the minorities now. The 99% have risen up and spoken, and voted, and made a difference. The 47% have stood up to accusations of victimhood and laziness, of waiting for handouts, and have taken their hands to the voting booth and to the blogs and to twitter and have said, it is our time. Not yours.

The all-encompassing greed of guys like Romney/Ryan and their enablers and cohorts and allies, they want time rolled back. They want a do-over. They want to take back women’s suffrage, they want to take back the civil rights act, they want to seal the borders and collect all the money and lock the doors while the hordes of the poor and less deserving wail and pound on the gates so they may feel justified in their greed and arrogance. They believe they are chosen. They believe they are superior. They have a plan and we need to SHUT UP and SIT DOWN and let them handle things. They will try to block and shoot down every attempt at a new new deal. They came right out and said, we want America to fail. Because it’s more important for us to be right, for us to be in power, than it is for people to have medicine, or food, or a place to live.

And we said no. We said Hell No. And we need to keep saying it, because the old white guys* aren’t going away. They know how to play the game, how to manipulate people, how to make people wonder, how to make promises they’ll go on to break. We have to keep telling the truth. Keep taping them when they think they’re alone. Keep speaking up about the lies. Keep telling the truth.



The old white guys* are allowed to have a voice in the country. They’re allowed to help. But they’re not in charge any more. And the sooner they learn to cooperate, the better.




*for literary license, the phrase “old white guys” is shorthand for conservative older white temporarily able bodied straight cisgender upper middle class and up Christian males and those odd women, gay men, disabled people, young people, maladjusted poor, and fundamentalists who ally with them. It goes without saying that many old white guys are actually totally awesome people committed to social justice etc but that’s not who I am talking about here.

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