1. zebede says

    Spare a thought for us in the UK – blanket hagiographical coverage on all major TV and radio stations for the next 24 hours at least.

  2. cartomancer says

    This is an absolute calamity! I’m off work and about to settle down to enjoy the daytime quiz shows on BBC1, and the whole schedule is taken over by repeats of the same message that a very old man has finally stopped being there. NOW I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING THAT REQUIRES THOUGHT.

    Selfish bastard…

  3. kingoftown says

    A week of violent protest by loyalist gangs against the Irish Sea border gets barely any mention in the british press. A 99 year old man who was recently in hospital for a heart condition dies? Clearly we need round the clock coverage.

  4. loop says

    kingoftown, the NI rioting has been the top, or near top, news item on the BBC for the last few days.

  5. quotetheunquote says

    I am, whether I like it or not (I don’t), a subject of HM Queen Elizabeth II, and have been my entire life. I am also a white anglo-saxon (not) protestant, and the offspring of two monarchist parents. I am therefore right smack-dab in the middle of the “target market” for those shilling monarchist sentimentality.

    And this foreign family (I’m Canadian) does nothing at all for me, except occasional be annoying. Now, imagine how all my fellow citizens – many of whom are not WASP nor anything remotely like it – must feel about being told they owe fealty to some upper-class Brits? I can’t, really, but I’m guessing they must feel vaguely excluded, at the very least. There are actually quite a few commentators here who still write about the Royal Family as some sort of unifying symbol for my country, but I can’t help but think that it’s likely just the opposite.


  6. drew says

    The glowing pro-royal sentiment from the libertarian technologists over on HackerNews is expected. They are attracted to power and rules. Much like xians, now that I think about it.

  7. maireaine46 says

    Susan #4: As someone else of Irish descent with relatives in the Republic, I fully agree. We have had a hard time even hearing about the riots on US news, now a very old man who died will be all over the news here too.

  8. kingoftown says

    @chigau There is no Queen of England, that title hasn’t existed for about 300 years. He might look it, but Philip wasn’t quite that old.

  9. says

    Pardon. He was famous for being the husband of Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of this Realm and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. At least, that’s what she was called in the provinces.

  10. dean56 says

    “I wonder if Harry and Meaghan will attend the funeral.”

    Brian Kilmeade beat you to the punch — in a way only that scumbag could.

    “If you factor in this, there are reports that he was enraged after the interview … Here he is trying to recover, and then he gets hit with that.”

    IOW, according to him: Prince Phillip killed by black woman’s drive-by.

    Time for me to go remember the father of an old friend — the dad just died at 92. Fantastic man all 50+ years I knew him, and he will and should be missed.

  11. chigau (違う) says

    et aussi:
    Sa Majesté Elizabeth Deux, par la grâce de Dieu Reine du Royaume-Uni, du Canada et de ses autres royaumes et territoires, Chef du Commonwealth, Défenseur de la Foi

  12. Rob Grigjanis says

    quotetheunquote @7: The first time I remember being sort of annoyed at royalty was when my family moved from England to Canada in 1968.

    I’d gone to school in England through third form (grade 9 in Canada). Every school day started with an assembly in the gymnasium, with the headmaster prattling on about something or other for about 10 minutes. There was always some nonsense about God, but no mention of the Queen AFAIR.

    Then we came to Canada (Ontario), and every home room (the first period) at high school started with a rendition of God Save the Queen! My response was the 1968 equivalent of “WTF?”. For the first few days, I simply refused to stand. Not out of antimonarchist sentiment; I was always rather apathetic about that stuff. It just seemed so unnecessary, and a bit embarrassing. But nobody chastised me, and after a while I felt sillier sitting than standing. Funny old colonials.

  13. says

    “I wonder if Harry and Meaghan will attend the funeral.”

    If she does, she’ll be accused of acting in bad faith and trying to overshadow the rest of the family.

    If she doesn’t, she’ll be accused of acting in bad faith and trying to overshadow the rest of the family.

    Meanwhile, Belfast burns, we bury more COVID dead, we patch up a crumbling economy, and pretend Britain is a model of racial harmony.

  14. Artor says

    It was only in the past few years that I realized Prince Phillip existed. I assumed that Charles hadn’t appeared from parthenogenesis or budding, but I never gave it any thought beyond that. I don’t feel like my enlightenment on the matter was worth much, and now the point is moot. I can now scrub those bits from my long term memory and get back to not knowing or caring about his existence.

  15. kingoftown says

    @Rob Grigjanis

    Wow, is that normal in Canada? I thought Americans were strange playing their national anthem everywhere but a foreign one?

  16. kingoftown says

    Not that we in Northern Ireland can say much about weird ways of expressing patriotism.

  17. KG says

    I’m annoyed he couldn’t have waited another month, until after the elections for the Scottish Parliament (and various local elections in England and Wales). Campaigning has been suspended by all the main parties – I don’t know how long for – and the sentimental dribble will go on for weeks, and could act as a boost to the unionist parties. Maybe Johnson had him poisoned…

    One bizarre report in the Guardian alleges that despite being born as a prince of Greece, with largely German, Danish and Russian ancestry, he was from birth a British subject. According to this article (which I can’t now find), a law of 1705 decreed that all descendants of Sophia Electress of Hanover (who had been chosen as heir to the throne, although she died before Queen Anne so it was her son who succeeded as George I) would be British subjects. This can’t be quite right, as there was no such status in 1705, but think of the implications – most of the current and former monarchs of Europe must be/have been British, along with an ever-increasing proportion of the world population! What a cunning, cunning plan!

    From the Guardian obituary, some examples of the man’s wit and wisdom:

    “Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?” (to a blind Exeter woman with a guide dog during a royal tour); “You’ll be getting slitty eyes” (warning a group of British students not to stay too long in China); “It’s pleasant for once to be in a country which is not ruled by its people” (visiting the Paraguayan dictatorship); “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?” (to a Scottish driving instructor)

  18. mailliw says

    @18 Rob Grigjanis

    A British citizen has to swear allegiance to the queen to become a Canadian citizen. I find this strange.

  19. nomuse says

    I noticed last night Amazon Prime had pulled “Get Duked” from their streaming site.

  20. mailliw says

    @KG 24.

    Phil once greeted Helmut Kohl, with “guten Tag Herr Reichskanzler” – a title not used since 1945.

  21. KG says


    Yes, the sight of “loyalists” throwing stones and petrol bombs at the police does lead one to rise an eyebrow or two!

  22. jenorafeuer says

    Depends on the part of Canada and the time. I’m somewhat younger than Rob Grigjanis above (only born in 1968) and the morning assemblies with God Save the Queen were happening when I was in elementary school, but faded out not long after that.

    One thing you have to remember is that Canada is pretty new to a lot of this. The modern Canadian flag was only official in 1965. ‘O Canada’ may have been around since 1880, but was only officially declared the National Anthem in 1980. Up until 1980, the only official anthem of Canada was the Royal Anthem, God Save the Queen, so that’s what would have been used for assemblies.

    Also, Rob mentioned Ontario, and I grew up in British Columbia. Considering that there was a lot of old-school Orange Lodge (meaning the actively pro-English/Protestant side of the Troubles) sentiment in Ontario up until very recently, Ontario was probably a lot more blatantly pro-Royal than most of the rest of the provinces.

  23. davidc1 says

    Someone wrote a comment on the Simon Jenkins Guardian bit about him ,i wrote a reply about the time Sarah Ferguson was talking to someone who had Downs Syndrome ,”Why were you talking to that Mongoloid idiot ? ” he asked Fergie later on .
    It got deleted .

  24. quotetheunquote says

    @Rob Grigjanus #18: Oh yes, I remember that, from grade school! For a while it was just GStQ, and then Oh, Canada! was added, and then they finally dropped GStQ when I was in third grade or so. Oh, and Her Royal Portrait on the wall in every home room, of course. Yes, we were (are?) a terribly insecure bunch of forelock-tuggers, we colonials… <retches>,

    It didn’t really bother me, at the time. What did was reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Huh?! Even at 7-8 years old, I was thinking “that’s just not right…”

    @kingoftown #22: Ah, but you see, in the eyes of HM’s loyal subjects, it’s NOT a foreign anthem, because tradition [something something] the Constitution [something something] we’re all part of the pink bits!

  25. Rob Grigjanis says

    jenorafeuer @29: There were still Orange Parades going past my grad residence in downtown Toronto, in the late 1970s. Not quite within spitting distance from my window…

  26. mnb0 says

    I rather like this version of that national anthem. Today is a good opportunity to rewatch this video.

  27. KG says

    Lauding the death of a human. – chrispollard@32

    Nonsense – it’s well-established that Philip was an alien shapeshifting lizardoid!

  28. says

    @11. My maternal great-grandmother came from Ireland around 1916. I don’t know any relations I may have over there but I do know a few Irish who are justly angry over the coverage or lack thereof.

    @38. Who could have seen that coming?

  29. PaulBC says

    (1) Thank God I live in a place where absolutely nobody gives a rat’s ass about this.

    (2) Since we’re all waving our Irish creds, I’ll note that my great great great grandmother was born in Ballymena, County Antrim (?!) (better known for Ian Paisley) in the late 18th century to a well-to-do flax farmer. She and every one of my other ancestors (i.e. the ones born in Ireland) left and eventually settled in Brooklyn. I think most were pre-famine. I was shocked to find out how many were from Northern Ireland, but I probably should not be in retrospect.

    I am sure I have distant relations there, but I don’t think the genealogists in many family have tracked any of them down. I have “no dog in this fight” as they say, but lasting peace and a reunified Ireland would be a great convenience to my retirement plans that might involve some ancestral sleuthing.

  30. Rob Grigjanis says

    PaulBC @42:

    Thank God I live in a place where absolutely nobody gives a rat’s ass about this.

    Huh? Maybe you mean on your street?

    I certainly thank the Fates that I wasn’t born in the US, and that my parents chose to emigrate to Canada rather than there.

  31. KG says

    Rob Grigjanis@41,

    Yes, I suspect that one way in which Lydon/Rotten has not changed since his Sex Pistols years is in his contempt for hippies! A real soulmate you have there, Susan!

  32. PaulBC says

    Rob Grigjanis@43 I meant the SF Bay Area*, though I agree my comment was more aspirational than literal, but at least under my own roof I can be pretty sure.

    *And I get FB posts from local TV news personality Robert Handa for reasons that are not worth detailing, and he was just bragging about his brush with royalty in the 80s, so indeed it was more a matter of wishful thinking than anything else.

  33. mnb0 says

    @38 KG: “which I know will be more important to you!”
    Conclusion: you are not aware of what you don’t know.

  34. PaulBC says

    I always liked hippie culture more than punk even though the latter is closer to my generation. In fact, the older I get, the less I like negativity. Actually, I like Billy Bragg, who is at least punk-inspired in style. I tried listening to The Clash a few years ago and still don’t get it (is London Calling really all that great? I’m missing it.) What’s wrong with hippies? I think hippies are great… even Donovan going off on idiosyncratic tangents about King Arthur in the middle of a song about LSD. They don’t write ’em like that anymore.

  35. PaulBC says

    chrispollard@48 I am sure plenty of people will line up to give him credit for whatever. Speaking only for myself, it’s not something I plan to help with.

  36. Jazzlet says

    One less racist fuck, good ridance, I hope the rest of them get demoted to common citizens with their vast estates forfeit.

  37. mnb0 says

    @KG: I can’t resist the tempation, because you’re simply too ridiculously funny.

    Johnny Rotten didn’t vote for JoeB – yes, that’s important.
    Johnny Rotten perhaps voted for Donald the Clown – that’s more important.
    Johnny Rotten shouldn’t have voted at all – that’s the most important.

    It’s one of the many things you don’t know and are not aware of.

  38. raven says

    Sometimes PZ goes off into a totally uncalled for insensitive rant and this is one of those. Lauding the death of a human.

    I cheered when Jerry Falwell died.
    I still smile and laugh when I think about it.
    Same goes for Rush Limpbrain and several dozen other human monsters.
    Why not?

    They are dead and the world is a slightly better place.
    I had nothing good to say about them while they were alive.
    And they would have cheered my death and thrown a party lasting for weeks.

    Prince Phillip? I don’t care because I’ve barely heard the name.
    chrispollard the completely forgettable concern troll?
    Concern trolls are the lawn weeds of the internet. A nuisance but not worth spending a lot of time on.

  39. birgerjohansson says

    Kg @ 24

    A 99-year-old immigrant that has lived off the wealth of his english wife for 73 years has died.
    I admire the mental gymnastics of the jingoist royalists who now are so very sad.
    In Fawlty Towers, the senile major once described people from the Mediterranean as “wogs” (this has been censored in current viewings).
    Re. The racist, dead not-wog: His major achievement seems to have been raising the children in a cold and distant manner, and possibly to pass on the values that it is OK to cheat on your spouse (unless Charles got that from his mom).
    He makes the Swedish king ( a well-meaning bit dim chap) look clever. Which is a good thing for Swedish royalists, I suppose.
    OT -there is an english expression about a good-for-nothing boyfriend/husband who lives off his wife but I naturally cannot recall it when I need it.
    Someone who X off his wife.

  40. Rob Grigjanis says

    birgerjohansson @63: Is “immigrant” supposed to be disparaging here? Maybe the jingoes appreciate that he served with distinction in the Royal Navy during WWII. Not as clever as Gustav V either, I guess.

  41. birgerjohansson says

    Riffing on Nicholas Cage ‘s film “8mm”, what if Elisabeth- in the role of Mrs. Christian- finds a snuff film commissioned by her husband? He certainly despised common people, so it would not be a reach.

  42. consciousness razor says

    Still processing Chick Corea from two months ago. This one will have to wait.

  43. birgerjohansson says

    Rob Grigjanis @ 56
    I assume royalists in Britain have a non-trivial proportion of the local MAGA hats.
    Using immigrants as a disparaging term is something I leave to SD (a nasty jingoist party here in Sweden which I loathe). But- and please correct me if I am mistaken- the venn diagram between royalists and Brits who blame immigrants for their problems will have an overlap greater than a comparison bwtween two random groups. Both cathegories go back to tradition, after all.

    The problem as I see it is that the emotional turmoil around Brexit has made the jingoists come out in the open, immigrants suffering open verbal abuse.
    -As for people who did military service, or served the empire in other ways, there are foreigners and there are foreigners. Are there many former Gurkhas that have been allowed to settle in Britain?
    And what of the ex-Jamaicans who helped build the country? Theresa May did not appreciate their service at all.
    Re.Swedish kings who lived before my time, I just assume they were anti-semites or otherwise racist as hell. The upper-class homes of Stockholm had a scary number of Hitler portaits right up to 1945. And the non-conformist members of the royal house lost their prince titles for marrying commoners.

  44. Rob Grigjanis says

    birgerjohansson @59: Your #53 (sorry for misnumbering it) wondered how jingoes could square their acceptance of Philip with their dislike of foreigners. I partially answered that. That he was blond and spoke English with a toff accent helped as well.

    As for the rest: I grew up in an area of Leeds which had a large immigrant population; Caribbean, South Asian and East European (which includes my parents). I’m convinced that one of the reasons my parents moved us to Canada was because of the (mostly subtle at the time) xenophobia that permeated the society. I don’t say “subtle” lightly. I personally never experienced discrimination from my schoolmates because of my last name, and I didn’t see it aimed at schoolmates of colour by our peers. But it was certainly there from some older people. Maybe some of those schoolmates developed their parents’ bigotry over time.

    So yeah, the UK could be a shitty place for ‘outsiders’, and Trump/Brexit/whatever has emboldened the despicables. But do you think that they wouldn’t be around if the monarchy had been abolished 70 years ago? Would the SD not have arisen if Gustav V had been kicked out? It’s a nonsensical link.

    Also, your pornographic fantasy @57 is just pathetic.

  45. PaulBC says

    Rob Grigjanis@60

    I personally never experienced discrimination from my schoolmates because of my last name

    I can’t see this being an issue in the US, at least in urban areas, except maybe some generic childish teasing (which I got too) rather than anything ethnically targeted. It has nothing to do with the lack of a monarchy, but the large influx of immigrants around the turn of the 20th who were eventually considered “white” no matter how they were viewed at the time.

    In the 1970s, there were still plenty of stereotypes and ethnic jokes. “All in good fun” I suppose in Catholic school where nearly everyone was of Irish, Italian, or Polish descent, or some mixture thereof. Today I would say it’s in poor taste but it was normal at the time.

  46. Louis says

    I see you are all aware that the major spoiler for the next season of The Crown has been leaked.


  47. PaulBC says

    With PZ being a big meanie and speaking ill of a man struck down in the first century of his young life, I suppose Prince Philip will have to settle for the fawning bloviation of a sitting US President (and apparently every living former president).

    To be clear, he was not a perfect man and was perhaps a product of his times (though it does strike me that my parents were about the same age and did not suffer from racist Tourettes syndrome, so maybe it would be more accurate to say he was a product of a racist upbringing and the privilege to get away with it). And sure, a lot of people I actually care about have died in the past year from coronavirus and other causes. And sure, more people have already made speeches on his behalf than for [fill in just about anyone you care about who died this year]. But aside from all that, PZ is being very ungenerous. Shame on him!

  48. birgerjohansson says

    Actually, 8mm was a fantasy by Columbia Pictures about the consequences of priviliged sociopaths considering other people’s lives as playthings.
    My pornographic fantasy would be taking a time machine to Vienna in 1913, killing Hitler and Stalin in a single day.

  49. lucifersbike says

    birgerjohansson@53. the word you were looking for is “ponce”.
    It is almost a term of affection compared to my opinion of the inhabitants of Buck House (and far too many other outrageously lavish properties), and their rectum-kissing admirers. They are the heirs to bandits, murderers, and in at least three cases, persons who had a direct interest in the slave trade.
    I am English; I have a reasonable knowledge of British and European history. I think it’s fair to say that the main difference, in terms of destructive cruelty, between the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century and the British Empire is that the latter lasted for centuries longer than the former. I am aware that other European empires murdered millions of people whether deliberately or through neglect and indifference, but as far as I know very few Dutch, French, Spanish, or Portuguese have a nostalgic yearning for their vanished empires.
    Britain had two (unsuccessful) revolutions in the seventeenth century, IMHO we are long overdue for a successful one.

  50. says

    @41 The punk movement was the logical continuation of the “if it feels good, do it” attitude of the counterculture. When you hold self-indulgence and instant gratification as ideals some people are going to find that hate and destruction feels pretty good to them.

  51. birgerjohansson says

    Rob Grigjanis @ 60
    Anyone who is a pal of the likes of Jimmy Saville (or, in USA, Epstein) is fair game for mockery.
    But I do however not blame him for prince Andrew’s conduct. History shows us men re-invent that kind of behavior over and over again. Unless they have the necessity of treating others others as human beings imprinted from early on.

  52. birgerjohansson says

    Lucifersbike @ 66
    The advantage of losing an empire very long ago is that people no longer feel an affinity for the robber barons of that day.
    But losing the empire did not stop Sweden from being horrible to Rom and to ethnic Finns near the border. (This was a result of adopting the nationalistic zeirgeist of the world but other countries did not go that far)
    I do not think the presence or absence of a royal house makes much difference to jingoism per se but a royal house will usually be complicit in the more repressive values (- an important exception being Denmark during WWII when the king opposed the nazi attempt to single out the jews).

  53. PaulBC says


    My pornographic fantasy would be taking a time machine to Vienna in 1913, killing Hitler and Stalin in a single day.

    You could premise a time travel story on the idea that some many people show up to smother baby Hitler with a pillow at birth that they wind up stepping on each others toes in some comical way and that’s how he survives. (Probably been done but I can’t think of any.)

  54. Rob Grigjanis says

    birgerjohansson @68: Phil and the rest deserve to be mocked, as does the family business they represent. I don’t waste much time on it myself because I’ve never considered it to be that important. I’d love to live in a Republic run by a socialist government. But given a choice between a Republic run by Conservatives and a Constitutional Monarchy run by Labour, I’d choose the latter in a heartbeat. The giant corporate bloodsucking vampire squid latched onto our faces seems a bit more important than a leech on your leg.

  55. Rob Grigjanis says

    @67: Thanks for the latest instalment of History for by Dummies. I was never a follower of punk, but I do know about The Clash, who don’t fit into your ridiculous little narrative.

    I’d love to see Crip Dyke respond to you, but I suspect she has more important things to do.

  56. PaulBC says

    Susan Montgomery@67

    The punk movement was the logical continuation of the “if it feels good, do it” attitude of the counterculture. When you hold self-indulgence and instant gratification as ideals some people are going to find that hate and destruction feels pretty good to them.

    Yeah, right. Thank you, David Brooks. Yes, everything bad is the hippies’ fault, including Donald Trump and global warming.

    The “moral relativism of the 60s” is the biggest canard I have had to listen to my whole life. The key movements of the 60s, civil rights and the peace movement were based on the idea that morality applies equally to people of different races in the US and that human lives abroad count as much as American lives. As Phil Ochs wrote in one of his more obscure songs:

    For someone’s got to go to Mississipi
    Just as sure as there’s a right and there’s a wrong

    Some moral relativism, huh?

    And yeah, a lot of people were in it for sex, drugs, and parties, and were no more serious than young people of earlier times. But do you you think most people were ever driven by a careful consideration of ethics? In the past they hid their indiscretions better because of social pressure. That’s it.

    If you can find it in print, it’s worth reading The Strawberry Statement by James Simon Kunen, told firsthand by a Columbia student about the protests there. It’s a very insightful and balanced view of what was motivating the counter culture. It wasn’t just license to do anything you want.

    Hippie culture brought us Wavy Gravy, who is still going strong as far as I know and doing good in the world. People had already figured out that “hate and destruction feels pretty good.” Please do not blame that on good people who envisioned a world driven by love.

  57. PaulBC says

    @74 I’m not entirely sure I get that, but I apologize if my remark was offensive. I could have expressed the same point a much better way (lazy snark gets the better of me).

    Suffice it to say there are many people born a century ago who were never bigots like Prince Philip (my parents for instance), and even if they were, they at least felt the pressure to put a lid on it.

    Jimmy Carter is almost as old, certainly grew up where racism was common and expected, and had a very different life trajectory. There are already problems with making excuses for someone who died in a past age, but there is no justification at all for excusing someone who continues to live well into present times and holds on to the prejudice of the past.

  58. says

    @PaulBC 75
    I don’t feel much from it since I can defend myself, and I acknowledge it’s a bigger problem than you, but it’s in the same category as someone’s argument being “schizophrenic”, or other non-literal use of a diagnosis. The older terms that have passed into insults count too (idiot, moron…) but I haven’t written that post yet.
    It’s a tell to me now. Like with people who have to appeal to “mental illness” to excuse a shooter, and other politically inconvenient people. It looks like displacement from something someone hasn’t processed well enough to be objective about.

    Any apologies are for people who don’t just get amused after getting insulted. I’m past that.

  59. PaulBC says

    Brony, Social Justice Cenobite@76 Well, apology or not, I will probably avoid exactly this lazy reference in the future. I hesitated a little to begin with.

    Prince Philips actual problem was his ability (born of extreme privilege) to get away with saying anything on his mind and suffer no negative consequences from it.

  60. says

    @73 I’ll give that book a look-see, then. Can you at least give some serious consideration as to whether those who “got it” were the rule or the exception?

    In none of this am I saying that Wavy Gravy, Timothy Leary, Hunter S Thompson and Abbie Hoffman all sat down one day and said: “Let’s make sure that, in 2016, a massively corrupt and racist businessman gets elected US President! That’ll be really groovy!” I’m just trying to say that mistakes were made around this particular era which have been compounded by time and inadvertently contributed to the current political and cultural climate. And, if that is indeed the case, that we should take positive action to get us on a productive path.

  61. PaulBC says

    Susan Montgomery@79 Sorry, there is no direct line to be drawn from Timothy Leary to Donald Trump. Also, do we let the Beats off the hook? Jack Kerouac was no model of propriety. Maybe it’s all J.D. Salinger’s fault with that little shit Holden Caulfield whining all the time?

    Or maybe… maybe Donald Trump is Donald Trump’s fault along with every bigot who voted for him.

  62. PaulBC says

    @79 Speaking of Wavy Gravy (Hugh Romney), I would also recommend The Road to Woodstock by Michael Lang (which should be easier to find, at least at a public library) for its detailed account of how Wavy Gravy and the Hog Farm saved Woodstock from being a complete catastrophe.

    The promoters (I forget who now) interviewed different security groups ahead of time, one of which memorably proposed double fences around the perimeters with attack dogs between the fences. They also had a plan to have off-duty NYC police that had to be called off at the last minute. Romney got the job by default, establishing a “please force” that applied nudges more than intimidation “Please don’t do that, please do this instead”. I suspect that has become model for other successful festivals. They helped keep people from dying of dehydration and saved them from bad acid trips.

    Not every hippie has the wisdom of Hugh Romney, but he does provide an example of effective non-coercive leadership.

  63. says

    @80 Didn’t I just explicitly state that there wasn’t such a connection?

    I can see we’re getting nowhere. If you want to believe that Trump and his supporters emerged ex nihilo and that the Trump Administration was a Black Swan that just couldn’t happen again, then I will not try to change your mind.

  64. says

    @80 To clarify @81, while I do think there is a huge connection, I’ve expressly stated that none of this is intentional. Again, as you seem determined to believe that unintended, negative consequences could ever be attached to your idols, I’ll let the matter drop.

  65. PaulBC says

    Susan Montgomery@82

    If you want to believe that Trump and his supporters emerged ex nihilo

    I never said it emerges ex nihilo. I was half joking in @73 that you think Donald Trump is the fault of the hippies, but it sounds like you hold at least a weak form of this thesis. It requires positive evidence that you have failed to present.

    First off, general cultural forces. How do I know society’s ills didn’t emerge from 50s drag race culture. Maybe I should be blaming James Dean or the Beach Boys for present day ills. They might not have said “if it feels good do it.” It was more like “If your masculinity is questioned, forget about the law. You have to prove yourself.” (Note: I enjoy the Beach Boys–a lot more than I once did–but it is very amusing to see their fixation with being “put down” in early lyrics.) Anyway, this kind of aggressive attitude could morph into Trumpism, right?

    Also, the notion of defiance as virtue has a long history in America. The hippies did not make up the Gadsden Flag. The nation was founded precisely as a defiance of authority. BTW, the Hell’s Angels were founded in 1948 though they were present in 60s counterculture and notoriously at the Altamont Free Concert. Do they get some blame?

    But let me stop being silly. Is it just possible that the forces that made Donald Trump were attributable to his being handed millions of dollars from a racist father who served as an appalling role model and taught him nothing but greed and insecurity. Is it possible that his appeal is just the appeal of any other charlatan (of which we’ve had plenty, long predating the 60s).

    negative consequences could ever be attached to your idols

    I have a mixed view of 60s counterculture figures as I do with most people. I do have a positive view of Wavy Gravy in particular based on everything I’ve read, not to mention Civil Rights leaders and serious anti-war activists. Timothy Leary, I don’t know. I think he was kind of a charlatan himself, but I am open to correction on that. Same with Abbie Hoffman.

    Yes, there are negative consequences to all kinds of things. I enjoyed Catcher in the Rye as a high school reader, but is it possible that a generation going around spotting “phonies” everywhere is going to be less effective in certain elements of living than those who are willing to accommodate society’s rules? (I think so.) There are plenty of negative consequences to the work of Ayn Rand, and I see little positive.

    There are negative consequences even to fairly neutral writing. We can’t all be irreverent geniuses like Richard Feynman, mainly because most of us aren’t geniuses, so where does it get you to try to take him as a role model? (Hint: probably not to Stockholm for a Nobel Prize.)

    The main reason conservatives blame the 60s is because they were losing the culture war (and won back a little in the 80s, but never regained the hold on the public). Little shit Stephen Miller is not a product of the 60s. He’s the backlash. Every age has had an influence, and the blame for individual behavior rests on the individual.

    FWIW, I love the generations who came after me (I’m border-line boomer/Xer). My nieces and nephews all seem to have a greater sense of social responsibility than anyone I knew at their age. My kids and their high school peers also seem a lot better than my cohort (who Brett Kavanaugh so perfectly represents). The 60s were a mixed bag. Everything is a mixed bag.

  66. consciousness razor says

    Incontrovertible facts™ that we’ve established so far:
    (1) Several decades ago, the hippies invented hedonism and epicureanism, but those may as well be the same thing.
    (2) Everything is pop music, which of course has nothing to do with capitalism. (Thales thought it was water, the fucking numbskull.)

  67. PaulBC says

    me@70 I still think this idea for a time-travel comedy could be good–also that if it is any good, somebody has used it by now (the old economist’s joke about the $20 bill on the ground). But now I at least have an opening scene and title…

    A guy is watching TV in a dark room and Mike Lindell comes on the screen. “That’s it!” the guy shouts to nobody in particular. A woman’s voice replies. “What? What is?” “A pillow.” “Huh?” “I could smother him with a pillow.” [sustained silence] “I mean Hitler. I could smother Hitler with a pillow.” “You’re crazy.” “As a baby, I mean, if I went back in time.” [Now calmly] “Riiiiight. Get in line.”

    The the title appears: “Pillow Fight”, credits etc. (Not everyone would be thinking of a pillow, but I like the Mike Lindell tie-in.)

    The running joke, telegraphed above, is that so many people show up to kill Hitler as a baby that they undermine each other’s efforts. So it would be patterned along the lines of It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) where you cut between various groups with ridiculous plans for offing baby Hitler.

    Consistency: why would they all show up at the same time? (Bogus time travel explanation about how this one exact window opens up on a certain day and they all know about it for various reasons that could also be handled comically: physics lab, tarot reading, accidentally stepping into portal)

    Since Hitler has to survive, the ending is tragic, and that could really turn this into a stinker. I think for that I would introduce some kind of wise time-traveling alien like Vonnegut’s Tralfamadorians or the ones in Ursula LeGuin’s The Lathe of Heaven. They’d counterbalance some of the insensitivity by speaking of the inevitability of all that passes and the foolishness of trying to change it. “Thus it has passed, and thus it shall always pass.”

    At least some of them should at least come close to succeeding, so it looks like the only bad guy is the luck of the draw and the movie is not taking Hitler’s side.

    Well, a lot of potential for offense there. The point is less about cheaply exploiting Hitler for comedy than cheaply exploiting the idea of going back in time to kill Hitler for comedy.

  68. stroppy says

    Ugh. This again.

    When I hear simple language, arguments, and anecdotes focused on “hippies” from somebody who was born in 1972, which sounds like it may have come straight out of the mouths of typical parents/pundits of that confused period, I have to wonder what’s going on there. History is harder than that. Just as a rule of thumb, you may want to avoid overgeneralized othering.

    “…I’ll let the matter drop.” No, you probably won’t. Not for very long, anyway. My advice, get a better hobby.

    Interesting side note on LSD. Worth reading the whole transcript:

  69. stroppy says

    @86 PaulBC

    Some unusual comedy in that vein (but no time travel) would be The Producers. I leave it to others to decide what to make of it…

  70. says

    @86 How about a dark comedy where each of the time-traveling assassins accidentally bump each other off instead of merely undermining each other?

    For a rough idea of where I’m going with this read The Serial: A Year in the Life of Marin County, which is a satirical look at the the impact of the counterculture on mainstream America in the mid to late 70’s.

  71. Ichthyic says

    “If you want to believe that Trump and his supporters emerged ex nihilo ”

    yet another strawman to add to your strawman army.

    one thing I have noticed about you since your arrival here at Pharyngula… you don’t even KNOW how to argue with intellectual honesty, and you project your own ignorance CONSTANTLY.

    take a step back. you have some introspection to accomplish. Because you really do look like an ignorant dolt, and it isn’t a good look. really.

  72. stroppy says

    I called it! @90 is back already.

    @91 Yeah, Trump, and as importantly his supporters, owe more to the the legacies of robber barons, racism, populism (apologies to Huey Long) P.T. Barnum and evangelical fundies than to “hippies.”

    He was sheltered and schooled by his red-baiting McCarthyite mentor Roy Cohn. And this social circle included mobbed up buds, organizations whose excesses and bloody history also predate hippies by a long shot.

    (Heh. Who can forget Joey “No Socks” Cinque prancing around the stage behind newly elected Trump?)

    But I guess that narrative doesn’t sit well with culture warriors.

  73. vucodlak says

    The great twentieth century mistake that most directly led to Donald Trump occurred in the mid-1940s, when we not only refused to stomp out the Nazi infestation once and for all, but wholly embraced many of their core ideals. We already had an embarrassment* of fascists here in the US, and we imported more. We took up the great fascist crusade against communists, despite the fact that communists in the US were a mere annoyance, at worst.

    The civil rights and counterculture movements of the 1960s were, in no small part, a reaction against the world the fascists of 1940s built in the US. Of course, the problems which lead to Trump started much further back in the United States; at least as far back as the abandonment of reconstruction, which was the first attempt we made to fix the problems that, eventually, lead to Trump and his supporters.

    Blaming Trump on hippies is a bit like blaming the Polish for Hitler. It’s not just wrong, it’s wrong in several very revealing ways.

    *Or should that be a “genocide of fascists?” Or, is it now a “Trump maladministration of fascists?” I can never keep up with group nouns.

  74. blf says

    [S]hould that be a “genocide of fascists?” Or, is it now a “Trump maladministration of fascists?” I can never keep up with group nouns.

    Hair furor’s administration was a dalekocrazy (originally an accidental misspelling of dalekocracy), “rule by Daleks“. The members were wannabe-daleks because whilst they were trying to be daleks (Daleks is beyond their incompetence), they were rarely evil enough. For example, teh dalekocrazy took children from their mothers and locked them in unsanitary cages. Daleks would have used them as expendable slave labourers in some vast absurd plot, and then exterminated the lot.