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Sep 18 2013

21st century America

Funny, when I was watching all those optimistic predictions from Walter Cronkite back when I was a kid, he never mentioned this one.

ifyousee

That must have been the episode I missed.

22 comments

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  1. 1
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Well, fuck.

  2. 2
    A Hermit

    A picture’s worth a million angry words…

  3. 3
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Plus ça change

  4. 4
    anuran

    Walter Cronkite’s was an age when Capitalism was regulated and there was an idea that people mattered.

  5. 5
    Akira MacKenzie

    To paraphrase Marx: Optimism is the opiate of the masses. The cultural assumption that “everything will turn out, somehow” is a huge part of the reason nothing ever seems to change.

    Sure, pessimists, like myself, are grumpy, misanthropic, assholes, but at least we see the world for the shithole that it is, and, to use another cliché, the first step in fixing a problem is admitting it exists.

  6. 6
    gussnarp

    Oh wow. Wow. Wow. That is such a simple but strong cartoon. Brilliant.

  7. 7
    busterggi

    The problem is conservatives look at that picture and see a ‘welfare queen’ and her ‘anchor babies’ (probably all Mooslims cause they look off-white) who are destroying the country with their hedonistic lifestyle of living big off the poor corporations who, even though they pay no taxes, pay no taxes.

  8. 8
    carlie

    That’s a real punch to the gut. And then when you’re doubled over, it punches you in the kidney.

  9. 9
    tbtabby

    And conservatives do say something when they say this. They say the magic word “Gedajahb,” which instantly drops a steady job with a living wage into the woman’s lap. They must think that it’s that easy, or else they wouldn’t be saying it so flippantly. It would be like telling a person with AIDS to “get a functioning immune system.”

  10. 10
    carlie

    And conservatives do say something when they say this. They say the magic word “Gedajahb,” which instantly drops a steady job with a living wage into the woman’s lap. They must think that it’s that easy, or else they wouldn’t be saying it so flippantly.

    “Can I get some help going back to school to get a good job?”

    “No.”

    “Can I get some clothes so I look ok in an interview to get a job?”

    “No.”

    “Can I get help getting a phone so interviewers can call me back to tell me if I get the job?”

    “No.”

    “I got a job! Can I get some help with having someone watch my kids while I’m at my job?”

    “No.”

    “Ok, um, but I just still need some help because the job doesn’t pay all that much. Can I still have some food assistance for me and my kids?”

    “No.”

    “Can I get public transportation to get to my job?”

    “No.”

    “Can I get some time off if I’m sick or my kids are sick?”

    “NO.”

    “I lost my job because my car broke down and I couldn’t get there and my mom couldn’t watch the kids because they were sick and the phone got turned off because I hadn’t gotten paid yet so I couldn’t call in sick and I got fired.”

    “SLACKER. GO GET A JOB.”

    Rinse and repeat.

  11. 11
    Ichthyic

    ^^ I find no fault in that portrayal. I have actually personally met people who would have been saying no to all of those questions, and not seen the slightest logical flaw in their reasoning.

    it’s almost common in certain parts of So Cal.

  12. 12
    Jafafa Hots

    Just yesterday I responded to a retweet by the SF Muni blog I follow, someone complaining about a man who smelled like urine on the bus. Very privileged complaint.
    Reminded the person that it’s worse for the man than it was for him.
    The tweeter insisted “no, it was far worse for me, he was asleep” etc.

    Then denied having just said that when I pointed out that being a person clearly struggling, possibly disabled, possibly homeless, is worse than a spoiled commute.

    They asked why I think I’m so “Godly.” Heh. Don’t think they expected my response to THAT.

    San Francisco is horrible this way. Elitist, iPad WholeFoods Prius Liberalism (and then there’s the conservatives that live there) – and Berkeley is getting there, trying to pass an ordinance that bans the homeless from the sidewalks.

  13. 13
    anuran

    Jafafa,There are many things you can say to Atheist Conservatives and Libertarians (Conservatives who like their hookers and blow). But if people are talking about being “Godly” while shitting on the poor there’s always this:

    Matthew 25:34-45

    34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

    44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

    45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’.”

  14. 14
    Ichthyic

    Berkeley changed drastically even in the 4 years I was there.

    just in that time period, most of the homeless shelters were closed, and most of the mom & pop stores on telegraph and around campus were replaced by chain stores. It was actually kinda shocking just how fast things changed.

    did it improve the neighborhood, as the city council had hoped?

    having lived through it, I can truthfully say…

    FUCK NO.

  15. 15
    Jafafa Hots

    Ichthyic, Berkeley is now talking about closing more independent shops on Telegraph to make room for a Target.

    And parking. Every city council meeting report I read has people insisting they need much, much more parking.

  16. 16
    chigau (違う)

    Parking!
    Won’t somebody think of the Parkers?!?‽!!

  17. 17
    Ichthyic

    closing more independent shops on Telegraph to make room for a Target.

    a Target? FFS, why not a Walmart while they’re at it.

    glad I’m not there to see it.

  18. 18
    tomhuld

    Sorry, but could someone explain the finer points of the cartoon to a non-USAnian who has never seen Cronkite on TV? I get the thing about how the bright future turned out, but was the slogan on the wall something Cronkite promoted? Something about being all civic-minded and working to get things changed?

    San Francisco is horrible this way. Elitist, iPad WholeFoods Prius Liberalism (and then there’s the conservatives that live there) – and Berkeley is getting there, trying to pass an ordinance that bans the homeless from the sidewalks.

    Maybe someone saw the homeless and said something: “Get rid of them!”

    @anuran #13: I wonder if the Evangelicals have named themselves after the part of the Bible they never got round to reading?

  19. 19
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    Sorry, but could someone explain the finer points of the cartoon to a non-USAnian who has never seen Cronkite on TV? I get the thing about how the bright future turned out, but was the slogan on the wall something Cronkite promoted?

    The cartoon itself doesn’t reference Cronkite–that was just PZ reminiscing about his childhood. The “If you see something, say something” signs are part of the Big Brother-like reaction to 9/11.

  20. 20
    tomhuld

    The cartoon itself doesn’t reference Cronkite–that was just PZ reminiscing about his childhood. The “If you see something, say something” signs are part of the Big Brother-like reaction to 9/11.

    OK, thanks. I wonder if creating a starving underclass will really help make the country safer.

  21. 21
    David Marjanović

    But if people are talking about being “Godly” while shitting on the poor there’s always this:

    And this

  22. 22
    schism

    OK, thanks. I wonder if creating a starving underclass will really help make the country safer.

    Of course it will. Starving people don’t have the energy to assemble and plant explosives or hijack vehicles.

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