Them US Blues - 2020

Posted On: Saturday - July 4th 2020 11:10AM MST
In Topics: 
  Music  The Dead  Americans  US Feral Government  Holiday from Stupidity

As is now a Peak Stupidity Independence Day tradition, we're posting The Dead's classic US Blues, same as last year, in '18, and in '17.

Back to back, chicken shack.
Son of a gun, better change your act.
We're all confused. What's to lose?
You can call this song "The United States Blues".

Wave that flag, wave it wide and high.
Summertime done, come and gone, my, oh, my.

Though I'm sure some commenters (and you know who you are) could give me a date/venue of a better version, this one is from 2 weeks before the Bicentennial of the Declaration of Indpendence's signing by those courageous Founding Fathers. I do remember these times, though had never heard of The Grateful Dead yet* (unfortunately). I just figured this time, half a century minus half a decade minus one year** later, might be a good one to reflect on. (I can't go back 50 years as the song was from 1974.) BTW, the band had already been playing 11 years together by the time of this show.

How many more 4th of July's will have ANY sort of celebration? I don't think very many. We are not grilling out, but will shoot off some fireworks with friends (they've been burning a hole under the bed for 1/2 a years, though not literally.)

I can still be glad that I live in America, but that's now based more on the fact that "we got no place else to go!"*** You'd have heard a slightly different story from me even 15 years ago and a drastically different one 25 years back. That is not just age and experience talking, but look at this place. I guess it's up to us - a more complicated situation than the Founding Fathers had to deal with, but that causes both pros and cons for us.

Also, now, just as a comparison, there is lots of widespread bad news out of China. My Chinese source has lots of information that makes me think our situation here is not nearly the worst thing going on in even the "developed" world right now. I'll start posting on that after the weekend.

Enjoy Independence Day. It's a good time for reflection, but just as much about the near future now as our illustrious past.

* I did not understand what the term "acid rock" was exactly referring to either. Just from context, I'd assumed it meant very caustic guitar sounds, something I was not ready for at that age - still more of an ABBA, Neil Diamond, and Gerry Rafferty type. (Hell, I still am.)

Therefore, I was quite surprised to hear the sound of Alabama Getaway on Saturday Night Live, my first time ever listening to this band. It was nothing like I expected.

** Do I sound like Abraham Lincoln here? Sorry 'bout that.

*** In the words of Officer Candidate Mayo, from An Officer and a Gentleman, in case you were wondering where you remember that from - with a picture accompanying our post Toward Sustainable Stupidity. (Nominated but not the winner of "Peak Stupidity Best Supporting Post Title")

[UPDATED -7/11/20!]
Wow, it said 2019 in the title for one full week! What the heck? You people are too nice to say anything. Fixed.

Wednesday - July 8th 2020 9:19PM MST
PS: Mr. Hail, yes, I read that VDare article and even meant to write a post on it - never happened. (I've probably read 95% of what's been published on VDare, since I started reading it within a year or two after it started up.)

Speaking of good articles, yes, I have already read your California post. I think I came upon it before you came out with your 15-part series on the Kung Flu panic. It was a well-written and well-organized article with some good graphs, as I recall. About 1/2 of the politics in it I had already known from keeping up with goings-on there. It's just speculation, but from spending time there, I'd say things could have been turned around even in the late 1980s.
Wednesday - July 8th 2020 4:07PM MST
PS. We May well have passed the point of Brazilification in the US.
Wednesday - July 8th 2020 3:54PM MST
"you just need to relax and pick your battles"

This reminds me of something. Late last year, I got interested in the academic question of finding the crossover point was at which California was "lost" to Classic-America, an academic-historical exercise but maybe with general lessons.

WThere is, in theory, a calculable Rubicon-crossing point for the loss of California, a point at which before it could be saved and after it couldn't. Finding it requires a mixed analysis of state-demographics, state-politics, national-politics, culture. How did it hapen? What was the critical period, during which had things gone otherwise, California might have been "saved"? I concluded that the critical decade was either the 1980s (harder but possibly still doable) or 1970s (could realistically have been done with the will). When the backlash did come, in the 1990s, California already lost. (People forget California had a major successful nationalist-populist movement in the 1990s, MAGA without the clowning and trolling of DJT; their clean-cut image didn't help them because they were too late; should have come 15, 20, 25 years earlier.)

The California of the 2000s and 2010s emerged as a truly foreign entity attached to the USA. Forward-looking economic-political analysts about the 1990s, seeing what was emerging, coined the term "Brazilianization" in response. California is now truly brazilianized, with a smug elite with high security and a third world masses, not the middle-class common-culture, basically-demographically-stable society Classic-America was.

Now, what would the average person have said to an immigration-restrictionist hardliner in the 1970s in California? I imagine "you just need to relax and pick your battles" was common. There were people who saw it coming. They couldn't rally resistance because of "you just need to relax and pick your battles."

Another surprising finding of the California study was the alignment of the loss of California with Watergate specifically. The media and deep state takedown of Nixon took down a whole lot of others, including a plausible future governor, and instead Democrat Pat Brown was elected on the Watergate wave, to serve two terms during the most critical period of all. The whole thing amounted to domestic election meddling, of course, and remains an untold story in the US.


the post I refer to is:

“Who Lost California?” The ‘When,’ the ‘Who,’ and the ‘Why’ of California’s Decline from Midwest-on-the-Pacific to Brazil-on-the-Pacific (Nov. 2019)
Wednesday - July 8th 2020 3:34PM MST

From the "1995" post (published July 2017):

"I don't think many of these people, including Mr. Gingrich really cared a whole lot about conserving America. They had a chance to roll things back with their majorities and momentum. It never happened. By 1995 or so, things had just petered out, and it started to seem like these national politicians just wanted to stay in their offices in the Federal Shithole, bicker on TV, and do it again next terms."

The funny thing about reading this three years later is the exact thing you describe, recalling 1994-96, happened under Trump in 2016-18 and was at time of writing (July 2017) very much underway.

I don't know if you were thinking of parallels at that time of writing (July 2017), but in retrospect now (July 2020), it's absolutely the same.

Difference: In the 1990s, there was a lot more "slack" in the national rope; by the 2010s, there was less. There was more of a desperation with Trump, with people realizing the sands of the hourglass are running out fast. People also stuck to Trump longer, and a kind of cargo-cult developed around him that the Gingrich Congress Republicans simply never had a chance of achieving. Part of this has been the hysterical attacks, with the US 'regime' stumbling along from manufactured super-crisis to manufactured super-crisis, such crude and childish tactics that tend to deepen support for your guy. US politics and culture lost, in the process, a great deal of whatever seriousness it had.


Relatedly (?), I hope Kanye gets on the ballot so I can vote for him as a protest vote; Trump does not deserve to win, and he is obviously untrustworthy, a con-man really.

BTW, If you haven't seen this VDare article, I recommend it (1400 words), one of the best I've seen there in a long time:
Wednesday - July 8th 2020 12:37PM MST
PS: Mr. Hail: I am careful not to really pin down my age/location and such, as I'm sure the readers can tell. It might be annoying sometimes, as details make for a better story, the personal ones I relate, that is. Suffice it to say that you are in the ballpark though.

OK, I have a post in answer to your question, at least regarding why I pick 1995. "When did the Feral Government get OUT OF CONTROL?" (This one is a Part 1, but the 2nd part is specifically about the Supreme Court.)

See, due to my Dad always having had an interest in politics (on the Conservative side, BTW), I paid attention and cared about it all for most of my life. During the Reagan years, it really looked like we'd wipe out some of the lefty/Socialist crap, but that never happened. Even so, I figured we were holding the line, and it was still a great country - especially after having defeated Communism in the Cold War.

By 1995, though, with this Gingrich-led GOP Congress having been seriously battling the Clintons for a while, with no real change from the "Contract with America" that I'd thought was the cat's meow, I lost faith in any effort to really bring the country back to conservatism. Another part of this was that, whether it was local, State, or Federal, all new policies leaned Totalitarian (see my topic key "US Police State". I can remember very well that it was in 1995 that I noticed this. No matter what the issue, DUI-checkpoints, etc, the decisions always went to the State. People of my age didn't ever seem too concerned - "it's not a big deal" and "you just need to relax and pick your battles" were what I heard. I still thought this was a great country in the 1990s and thought the totalitarian future was still a long way away.

I bring up 15 years back, 2005, as not exactly a year I remember, but the Bush years (Republicans all over high office) were resulting in just more warfare and welfare State nonsense (of course, Iraq and A'stan, but then Medicare Part D).

I'd guess, Hail, that'd I'd have had a lot to beef about regarding the US Government by 2005 - OK, I actively hated it already. However, I had faith in the people, at least. We could turn it around. (I was just becoming aware, from my Dad again, about the existential immigration-invasion problem by this point too.)

What do you think now?
Wednesday - July 8th 2020 12:19PM MST
PS: Glad to hear of your experience regarding the masks, Mr. G.
Wednesday - July 8th 2020 12:19PM MST
PS: Mr. Ganderson, I didn't know you had a connection to China. Is your son studying there or working?

My post later today will include more (somewhat vague, as usual, I know) information from my China source about a number of general problems that we both see as not boding too well for the future there. It's mostly not about the Jung Flu, though.
Wednesday - July 8th 2020 9:31AM MST
"I can still be glad that I live in America, but that's now based more on the fact that "we got no place else to go!"*** You'd have heard a slightly different story from me even 15 years ago and a drastically different one 25 years back. That is not just age and experience talking, but look at this place."

Would be curious to hear you be more specific on what you mean by this, 1995 vs. 2005 vs. 2020 attitudes on how much/whether you are proud to be American.

I understand, from comments you've made over the while I've followed you, that you were born ca. 1970, making you of young elementary school age at the bicentennial in 1976. Fifteen and twenty-five years ago would be 1995 and 2005; what were your attitudes then? 1975 vs. 1985 vs. 1995 vs. 2005 vs. 2015 (vs. 2020, the year Independence Day became an evil holiday celebrated by extremists and sundry evil people, while the good people, led by the media, boycott it, condemn it).

I think these kinds of time-marker retrospectives are really useful. God willing, Peak Stupidity archives and all else of our humble efforts in Internet scribbling survive and form a lasting record for the future, these are great primary sources for historians of the future.
Monday - July 6th 2020 2:28PM MST
PS. My son lives in Hangzhou, China. In his little corner of the country things are back to normal.

It will be a long time before we even approach normal here, although I’m slightly encouraged in what I’m seeing in my trek across the country (last night in Ohio, tonight in Milwaukee. Fewer masks, less panic.

Listening to the radio news on the way out impressed on methe extent to which the media is promoting the panic.
Sunday - July 5th 2020 3:03AM MST
PS: Not quite like that, AR. I just had no idea about what acid was. Later on, I did. Much later, I read Tom Wolf's book "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test". What a time in American history!
Acid Rock
Sunday - July 5th 2020 12:27AM MST
PS Your footnote says you (past tense) didn't understand what acid rock meant.

I take that to mean that you eventually came to understand that it meant the band was birthed while taking and for a time after took a lot of acid. There was even an LP they cut of the entire band tripping on acid and trying to play their instruments as an experiment run by Ken Kesey and the location was at The Longshoreman's Hall out at the Wharf. This was recorded and released sometime in late 65 early 66.
Saturday - July 4th 2020 9:22PM MST
PS: Thanks, Mr. G, enjoying it now.
Saturday - July 4th 2020 4:11PM MST
PS As passively requested:
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