Print Story 1970s Retrospective
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By Phage (Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 09:45:22 AM EST) (all tags)
Feeling a bit maudlin today. After having an old-fashioned interweb tussle with a committed christian over the abortion debate, I found something that took we back 30-odd years.


As a child I was quite solitary, and read a great deal. Reading was my primary source of entertainment, and I quickly gravitated to the early SF of Heinlein, Asimov, Vogt and Harrison. Back then the world seemed more optimistic, and I feel somewhat nostalgic for that time and those people I never met. (I still love the art of Modernism)

In the course of a recent debate I remembered some quotes from heinlein that I wanted to re-use and have since found again. I'm posting the link here, because I think that some of you may be new to them, and some are funny, some maudlin and some plain Right-wing nut job.

This one is exactly right.

"What did I want?
I wanted the hurtling moons of Barsoom. I wanted Storisende and Poictesme, and Holmes shaking me awake to tell me, "The game's afoot!" I wanted to float down the Mississippi on a raft and elude a mob in company with the Duke of Bilgewater and Lost Dauphin.
I wanted Prester John, and Excalibur held by a moon-white arm out of a silent lake. I wanted to sail with Ulysses and with Tros of Samothrace and to eat the lotus in a land that seemed always afternoon. I wanted the feeling of romance and the sense of wonder I had known as a kid. I wanted the world to be the way they had promised me it was going to be, instead of the tawdry, lousy, fouled-up mess it is."

http://homepage.eircom.net/~odyssey/Quotes/Popular/SciFi/Heinlein.html

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1970s Retrospective | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
This is not unusual by theboz (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 10:24:30 PM EST
Back then the world seemed more optimistic, and I feel somewhat nostalgic for that time and those people I never met.

I think we all have that to a degree.  Although right now I also feel like I miss how things were right up to September 10th, 2001.  Things have recovered some, but it's like society became suicidal and bitter after that and still remains in that mode.
- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
Aye by Phage (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 04:38:05 AM EST
I saw a Michael J Fox movie over the weekend, and the cultural differences in outlook from the late 80s till now are frankly quite scary.

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Some are, some aren't by lm (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 07:34:44 AM EST
In the eighties, the movie about teen pregnancy that everyone was talking about was Dirty Dancing where the plot revolved around raising money so an unwed mother could get an abortion because that was the only option. In the oughts, the movie about teen pregnancy that everyone was talking about was Juno which involved an unwed mother puzzling out what option was best for her.

I think Juno offers a much more positive outlook on cultural values.

Another interesting comparison is Heathers to Mean Girls.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
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Yebbut by Phage (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 08:42:44 AM EST
(NB - I haven't seen those movies)
It was the sheer optimism that seemed to underly motivations that seems to have been lost.
Stuff like this seems to be flooding my media.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17015699

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My experience may be atypical by lm (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 08:57:41 AM EST
In the eighties, I was listening to Social Distortion and the Dead Kennedys and watching movies like Heathers, Brazil, Sid and Nancy, and River's Edge.

Social Disortion's It wasn't a pretty picture opens up with

Last night, a whore, found murdered in the streets.
The skid row bums, just waking up.
A politician, caught holding drugs.
A friend who's left us in a suicidal way.

I didn't see much optimism. I did see many people that I thought were confusing being distracted for optimism.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
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at the same time by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 05:35:50 PM EST
Prior to 1989, humanity dying in a nuclear fire was a very, very real possibility. It's still a risk, but it doesn't capture much cultural space anymore.

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

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Strange isn't it ? by Phage (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 03:41:42 AM EST
I'd be very interested in knowing why. Fear fatigue ?

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no more Soviet Union by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 01:13:33 PM EST
We moved on to the terrorist boogeyman.

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

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(Comment Deleted) by Phage (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 04:28:20 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by Phage



I love that quote by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 03:51:12 PM EST
And having finally read Cabell's Jurgen, I get Poictisme, finally.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

Heinlein by Phage (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 03:40:01 AM EST
May have terrible politics, but so much of his that I digested in my formative years has really stayed with me.
Ditto Asimov, Bradbury et al. I have different eyes now, so I can see more of the place they were standing, but much of it is still very good.

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similar, here by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #12 Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:18:59 PM EST
I read Stranger in a Strange Land far too early in life. Some of his politics did seep in, although his economic theories are kind of bogus. I think it has a lot to do with how I can be a pro-military liberal.

Recently I read that Heinlein modeled Stranger on Jurgen. Now I'll have to read them both again, back to back. It's interesting to me how much Cabell was an it author back in the day, but not so known know. I wonder what people will think of Gaiman in 100 years.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
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