*Yes, I do realize this post is relatively lightweight, and that a lot of the points can be debated. I woke up late, nauseated and dizzy. I’m hoping I’m not coming down with “what’s going around” because we have to fly out soon.*
At Least It’s Not The Seventies
Those of you too young to remember the seventies – looks towards the kiddy table – might not realize why this is a good thing. Yes, I do agree with the Professor that at this point Carter is an (unattainable) best case scenario. However, that’s politics, and politics is always several decades behind life.
Yes, I know tons of scientific advances and amazing stuff were being one in the seventies, but – either because the mass media controlled the dissemination of what it wanted to show – or (and having lived through that time I incline to the second) people really believed this bizarre stuff, a lot of odd ideas got credence in the seventies that right now only apply in highly specialized areas… like in colleges, or among the very young and the very stoned.
– This is the dawning of the age of aquarius was semi-respectable. No, the religious and the older people didn’t really buy into this, but “what’s your sign?” WAS a normal gambit for opening conversations.
I’m not going to discuss the relative merits of astrology, but I’m going to say when an entire civilization formed on the enlightenment principles chases after it, things have gone seriously wrong.
– Psi power is the future.
It might be – but if it is it needs to be tamed and brought within the realm of the “studyable” (totally a word, shut up.) It wouldn’t be the first odd knowledge to become mainstream and studied, HOWEVER – and this has been discussed ad nauseum on these pages before, both by me and the commenters when they were intent (for reasons known only to their psychiatrists) on creating a brand new magical world – the way we’ve gone about it is clearly wrong, and event he “best scientific efforts” of places like the USSR have failed to do anything. “But Sarah,” you say. “All the scientific advances from the USSR proved to be the ones they’d stolen, pretty much. So their process was wrong.” Oh, sure, as Solyndra proves top-down scientific research doesn’t work. Also, note I’m not saying there are no psi-phenomena. I couldn’t. And any writer who can uses a different process. BUT as discussed here, right now it seems to be powered by something that’s notoriously observation-shy. This causes it to be a hot bed of trickster activity (some of it psi – read The Trickster and The Paranormal.) But in the seventies, any number of otherwise educated people (Heinlein!) believed that a lot of our science could be profitably replaced with psi-stuff. Even scientists believed that. Again, maybe this is possible in the far distant future, when we tame the unobtanium that powers psi, but they thought they were in the process of doing that, and it was just around the corner. Again, when a lot of people believe that, at our current level of knowledge of it, something has gone seriously wrong.
– Communism is the future.
Yes, even a lot of people on the right believed this. No, seriously, they really did. You see, there were all those figures coming out of the USSR (like the ones coming out of China now – snort!) that said how much more efficient a controlled economy was, so of course, in the end they won. A lot of the race on the right was to create a parallel, equally controlled but more humane system, so that in the end our system would win. This was essentially social democracy (and sometimes Christian democracy.) A lot of the GOP cut their teeth in this era (those older than me by a few years.) This is why they act the way they do. (Juan McCain, say.) This is why their whole attitude is “the same, only slower.”
The fact they were wrong wrong wrong takes a while to percolate and might necessitate their death. Whether we collapse before that, who knows, but at least we’re no longer there and the new generation doesn’t assume controlled is better. Which is good because:
– All tech is mass tech.
Even though things like Future Shock talked of micro manufacturing, no one believed it. Now it looks likely to be the thing of the future. Also things they didn’t know were in the future include blogs, information transfer, the ability for the individual to do more and have more power than ever before.
This makes the future horrifying, upside-down, and very much OURS. “Ours?” Yep, the odds, because dahlings, when the going gets weird, the weird get pro.
– All Children Must Go Through State Indoctrination School
Yes, I know the homeschooling movement began in the seventies. It was also mostly “unschooling” which only works if your kid is self-motivated and driven. (I suppose in the end what I did with younger son came close to that. He would spend the morning sprawled on my bed – it’s largest and my office is across from it – reading golden age SF, then write me essays about how the science and tech have changed, and that was a school day. Or he lectured me on Greek Myth while we gardened, and that was a “test”.) But now it is respectable, it’s becoming the default in some places, and there are so many resources.
-If You Don’t Want To Have Sex With Everyone, You’re Repressed &
In The Future There Is No Marriage.
Turned out those were only true in France. Okay, only the second one. Despite the statistics, etc, and despite the spectacular damage that the economy and the crazy fems have done on our kids’ chances of marriage, I believe we might have turned the corner. At least there are fewer movies pushing general, forced promiscuity as the only way to be sane.
Mind you, now the feminists believe having sex with a man at all is a betrayal of the cause, but that’s something else, isn’t it? When the most idiotic thing around is political neo- Victorianism it’s not good, but it’s considerably better than the Brave New World Assumption that you must have sex with everyone, all the time. When THE gay cause is the securing of the benefits of marriage to same sex couples… We’ve won. No, I know some of you don’t feel that way, but compare it to the “marriage is just a piece of paper” cause. We’ve won. In the future, we’re all married. (But not to each other, en masse, because that would be icky. Some of you don’t wear pants.)
I leave it as a class exercise whether there are UFOs. I mean, some of Puppet Masters’ is right on it, there could be real ones, in the mass of insanity. But by the late seventies, we were getting the “UFOs are a spiritual phenomenon and these aliens tell us how to save the Earth” BS and no, really, no. Even Marxism is more rational or at least “integrated” as a religion.
– Things Just Get Worse
I know that this is hard to believe, but it was expected then that double digit employment rates would last forever, that the economy would just get worse. We had too many people, see, and the future was grey, starving and awful. Again, they’re trying to resurrect that. Don’t buy it. It’s a lie. (Though in most of Europe, which never had a Reagan, the 70s now look like a high point for stuff like savings and employment – not in the PIIGS though, they got tons of money from EU and… Okay, those indicators still suck, but they do have more consumer goods.)
– Bell bottoms, that particularly horrible brown that was everywhere. That particularly
horrible orange that was everywhere, too. Afro perms, even for guys. Psychedelic wall paper. Yoko Ono. No, this is not a “tastes cannot be disputed.” It’s a “EWWWWW”
– We’ve Learned
We’ve learned. At least those of us not in the political class. Most of these ideas bring out a half-laugh, sometimes embarrassed because we bought into them when we were very young. Reading some of middle Heinlein does the same. “Oh, sensitives, RAH, really?” It’s hard to remember this was “respectable” at the time. And though our kids are indoctrinated into Marxism, now they’re told it didn’t go right before, not that it’s the way of the bright and shiny future. And the kids have a reckoning coming (poor things. Unfortunately those of our kids who have been brought to reality have to go through it with them) and they will learn. Some already are.
The most important thing we’ve learned is that communism is not our inevitable future. And that’s enough.
Don’t jump off the ledge. It’s not the seventies. We’ve learned some, and the years between have proved us right and opened new tech options that are on our side.
In the end, we win, they lose. Whoever tells you otherwise, just wants you to stop fighting.