Open Thread - Thurs 04 August 2022: New World, Same as the Old World

New World, Same as the Old World

I started reading a new (new to me) book last night about the history of UK punk from 1980-1984 called Burning Britain by Ian Glasper.

The early 80's was the time when I got involved in punk and quickly became a 'goth'. I was in college, doing my under graduate degree, living near the music and cultural centers of Berkeley and San Francisco. Anyway, this book is gonna be super interesting, I think, because although my first tastes of punk were of the American (and first wave British) variety, once I moved to Britain I got more exposed to the second wave of British punk and dived in.


Link to the book on Spamazon

The first chapter goes a bit into the background of the social conditions in the very early 80s in Britain which gave rise to first and second waves of punk. The British had their Thatcher, we had our Reagan. It all sucked. The following (on pg 11 in the book) really struck me:

Unemployment was rife, opportunities non-existent, with so-called job creation schemes proving as ineffectual as they were patronising... Thatcherism was shading our green and pleasant land the very unpleasant grey shades of despair.

The police force, showing their true colours on picket lines and demonstrations, seemed increasingly concerned with oppression rather than protection, and the government was callously ignoring the plight of industry at home to concentrate on futile conquests overseas. Everybody was terrified of either a nuclear strike or meltdown, and soon there would be pitched battles on the streets when social tensions reached boiling point.

What struck me was how much this sounds like now. The past is repeating itself (as usual, I guess). I know there are differences, after all, we are beyond the changes that Thatcher and Reagan saw into being. We are dealing with the consequences of those changes. Still the police act the same or worse (in the USA). There is still the frustrating futility of trying to change things. We are constantly moved by TPTB from one terrifying possibility (Russia!) to another (China!). Nukes, nukes, nukes are a problem again and social tensions are rising quite quickly. I guess, almost in my early 60s, I will be doing the same fighting and protesting I did in my early 20s. I hope I'm not too old for it!

Here's some music, very punk, but modern (2016). It's from a punk opera/cabaret from Germany, by Heiter bis Wolkig. They have been a punk band since the late 1980s/early 1990s or so. The whole album is really good, in German, or in English (here's a link to the album in English on youtube).

Smash your TV (English version) by Heiter bis Wolkig. Just a warning, there's swearing in this.

And just for the heck of it, here's one of their first videos from 25 to 30 years ago. It's a German folk song, done super punk.

So, thanks for reading and here's the open thread - and remember, everything is interesting if you dive deep enough, so tell us about where you're diving!

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Sima's picture

Hope your week, your day, and everything is going well!

The heat has left, we just had a very tiny amount of rain (like about 20 minutes max). It got down to 47 here last night. So, I'm happy with that, I guess. We got all our garlic harvested. We harvested the onions too. All the broccoli has been harvested. There's a couple plants of swiss chard to grab soon, and a lot of celery. In the hoop house, we are doing well with the peppers and tomatoes!

I want to welcome MrMickeysMom and others from JPR!

Tell us what's up, what's interesting you, what you've been reading or doing! Love to hear it!

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If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

QMS's picture

was about. This helps explain it. It sounds like a young peoples cultural reaction to counter
the stagnation of the old guard. Somewhat the way rock and roll blistered established norms.

47 degrees sounds heavenly. We are lucky if it cools to 70 at night here.

who knew?

cheers!

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Sima's picture

@QMS
to the culture of the very late 70's basically. I think each generation does this, but some have more impact than others. Just finished a book about Skiffle in Britain, the trend that led to the British kids playing guitars and the Beatles, basically the generation before Punk.

70's at night do me in. We've had that a couple times. I would melt. Heh. But I grew up in central CA, so I was once used to such temps! Great video btw, thanks!

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5 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

QMS's picture

Zelensky wants talks with China

The Ukrainian president would like to “directly” speak with China’s President Xi Jinping, to talk him into pressuring Russia

HA! Guess he doesn't read the news much. Perhaps it would be more productive if he tried to talk to Taiwan?

China has refused to condemn Russia for the Ukraine conflict and has opposed sweeping economic sanctions that the West has slapped on Moscow. Beijing has also blamed NATO expansion for the tensions between Western powers and Russia, adding that the West has to “understand Russia’s legitimate security concerns” and “build a sustainable European security system through negotiation.”

https://www.rt.com/russia/560186-zelensky-china-talks-russia/

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@QMS https://www.theonion.com/americans-explain-why-they-support-going-to-war...

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

To paraphrase Jodie Foster: Human is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.

Sima's picture

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5 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

Sima's picture

@QMS
or a rock star, or a comedian (of course). He's world-wide famous and everyone should want to talk to him, even leaders of neutral countries! As for leading his country, naw... he lets the nazis do that! They write the script!

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7 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

Creosote.'s picture

@QMS

if he wants to speak directly?
So he can't even do indirection successfully

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Lookout's picture

...and goth. Often some of the brighter ones. Coming of age in the 60's I was more exposed to folk and rock, so I don't know much about it. However, I appreciate most music and the clips today were not too far from the realm of the music of my youth.

We've been out harvesting tomatoes, peppers, and figs. It's daily now. Already time to start thinking about the fall garden. I'm pulling my pea cover crop and leaving it as mulch before manuring, straw mulching and planting. One bed down, two more to go. Always something.

I like these images. A friend wrote the second verse of this version.

We won't see 47 F till Oct or possibly Nov. Summer has been pretty mild by Alabama standards. Mainly 90 day time high and 70 nighttime low. Overcast today which made the harvest this AM pleasant.

Take care and thanks for the OT!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Sima's picture

@Lookout
Figs? I wish. We just can't really grow those. We are going to have some a decent apple crop, even though it's the 'off' year for apples. Next year should be amazing, maybe. Unlike last year, we haven't really had a summer yet. Got some 90 degree days coming up next week, so we'll see. The lawns are still green, without watering! It's weird. At least it's not so hot, like a few years ago, that even the coast was seeing huge fires.

60's music was awesome. I was just a wee kid, but I liked it. My parents were really into folk music, and so am I, although I go off on tangents all the time, like German Celtic Folk. Weird, but fun!

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8 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

usefewersyllables's picture

big-ass middle of the punk scene in Boston in the early 80s. I wrote a song for my band du jour that summed up the zeitgeist of the times, entitled simply "No". Here's a little excerpt from the chorus:

Learn from the past
Or be doomed to repeat it all
Are we doomed to repeat it all?
I say No!

Can't say that the lyrics were all that inventive, but stick them into some slammin' power-pogo music and it worked, not to mention being lot of fun to perform. We played it out a lot, at places like Chet's Last Call, the Rat, the Channel, Inn Square Men's Bar, but it never got any traction or airplay anywhere and nobody remembers it now. I've found myself singing it softly a lot here lately.

I still say "No!", but nobody is listening. Oh, well; at least we all woke up not-dead again today, by some miracle...

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

Sima's picture

@usefewersyllables
Much respect. I didn't really involve myself in the east coast punk scene, since at that time I was just west coast. In the mid 80s I moved to Philly, and did some of the punk stuff then. But grad school took too much time, so I had to content myself with being the 'weird one' in the Anthropology department. Heh! 15 or so years later, when I was finally graduating (my fault it took so long, not theirs) my mentor and advisor told me how strange the teachers and students at the Anth. department had found me. He was proud of me, because I rattled them all up.

I still say 'No' too. Those lyrics sound perfect, for then, and for now.

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7 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

CB's picture

I don't think there is a fully functioning brain in America's leadership and Kamala only makes it worse by scrambling what's left. What the fuck is wrong with the country that they can't see what's now becoming painfully obvious?

The US Military Was Just Used To Help A Dementia Patient Try To Start WW3
August 3, 2022

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has left Taiwan after a brief but diplomatically corrosive visit, the aftereffects of which may be felt for years to come.

Toward the end of her speech alongside Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, Pelosi’s brain underwent one of its increasingly common software glitches, causing her to begin babbling inarticulately.

Here is a transcript of what Nancy Pelosi’s brain said:

“In our earliest days at our founding of our country, Benjamin Franklin, our presidency, said, freedom and democracy. Freedom and democracy, one thing, security here. If we don’t have- we can’t have either, if we don’t have both.”

Of course Benjamin Franklin was neither a president of the United States nor a “presidency”, and the quote Nancy’s floundering brain was reaching for was “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” These are not difficult things to remember or articulate for someone with functioning gray matter.
...

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Sima's picture

@CB
All I can say is that those two, Biden and Pelosi, and Feinstein too, are definitely dementia'd. Too damn old, too unable to think or speak clearly, too vague, rattled and decrepit (in the medical meaning of the term). I hate seeing it in my dad, and there is no way, no WAY, he could lead a dog, never mind a country. I wonder what in the heck is going on with the American people? How can they not see it? Or do they simply not care? Too much to worry about and stress over, too much terror in their day to day lives?

Part of me thinks Pelosi was hoping she'd die a martyr when the Chinese attacked her over Taiwan. As to what a possible war might mean for the rest of us, she doesn't give a damn.

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7 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

QMS's picture

and the present .. Like your lyrics.
Singing to yourself is good medicine.

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enhydra lutris's picture

equipment repairs here. Was always more of a Visigoth myself. Heh. Wink The black garments were cool, sometimes, but I got that more from the beats, black turtle neck, at any rate. My music tastes were already way beyond eclectic when I moved to Berkeley in 64 and ran smack dab into the 60s Bay Area music scene, so I never really got into punk much when it came around.

Still no rain and yet another mini hot spell here, allegedly will cool down over the weekend.

Annnnd, coming in out of nowhere, un poco jazz x dada, kind of maybe

be well and have a good one

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8 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Sima's picture

@enhydra lutris
'Xaviar Ginsberg' -- I laughed out loud! Berkeley in 64? Too cool. I used to go to night clubs in Berkeley in around 81 or 82. So a bit later. The music scene was still there, though a wee bit different!

So I just finished a book about Skiffle music in Britain by Billy Bragg. I think Slim Gaillard was mentioned. Gonna haveta check!

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6 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

enhydra lutris's picture

@Sima

biggie there was probably Lonnie Donegan

be well and have a good one

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3 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Sima's picture

@enhydra lutris
The book I was reading is all about Lonnie and how Skiffle started, and flourished and then basically died as it morphed into rock. The Beatles were all young Skiffle fans. The inspiration for Skiffle was basically jazz and old time jazz, like the Rock Island Line song, which Lonnie made a huge hit in Britain.

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3 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

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Sima's picture

@on the cusp
I have to admit, I never got into Riverdance. I don't know why... I love Celtic dancing. But never got into ballet. Maybe that's it?

Hope you are doing well today!

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6 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

usefewersyllables's picture

here are the lyrics for that song, in toto. Copyright 1981. I'll happily buy a beer for anyone who remembers hearing it played live...

V1:
so here we all are
where we thought we'd be
all those years of history
and have we learned a thing- no!

chorus:
won't someone
tell me why
we can't learn from
our mistakes
we can't control
our response
tell me how long
can it take

V2:
we're such a load of fools
the thinking life is too hard to take
there's so little change to make
so let's just let it be- no!

chorus: ---

V3:
so now we're all here
there's no one left but us
and who'll hear us when we say no
No!

chorus: ---
bridge (4 quarters): ---

Outro, repeat:

there's no one here but us
and who'd listen to us, anyway
there's no one here but us
to say no

learn from the past
or be doomed to repeat it all
are we doomed to repeat it all
I say no

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.