Old Soviet jokes become the new American reality
I have seen the future and ran away.
At first the move to America from the former USSR made me feel as though I had made a jump in time, from the stagnant depraved past into a distant dynamic future.
There was an abundance of commonly available futuristic contraptions, machines, and appliances that made everyday existence easier and more enjoyable. Less obvious but just as exciting was the media's openness: I no longer needed to read between the lines to know what was happening.
Most importantly, there was honesty, dignity, and respect in relations among people.
Today I'm feeling like a time traveler again. Only this time the productive, honest and self-reliant America is vanishing in the past, as we are quickly approaching the all too familiar future.
It is the future of equal poverty, one-party rule, media mooching, government looting, bureaucratic corruption, rigged elections, underground literature, half-whispered jokes, and the useful habit of looking over your shoulder.
It was nice living in America before it changed the course and followed Obama's direction "Forward," which, according to my compass, is pointing backward.
All of a sudden I find myself playing the role of a comrade from the future, helping my new compatriots to navigate the quagmire ahead of us.
Deprived of free political speech, Soviets had developed a culture of underground political jokes. I used to remember thousands of them. Here's one of my favorites, dealing with the discrepancy between the official narrative and the everyday reality:
The six contradictions of socialism in the USSR:
* There is no unemployment - yet no one is working.
* No one is working - yet the factory quotas are fulfilled.
* The factory quotas are fulfilled - yet the stores have nothing to sell.
* The stores have nothing to sell - yet people's homes are full of stuff.
* People's homes are full of stuff - yet no one is happy.
* No one is happy - yet the voting is always unanimous.
Already in America I discovered that most of my old Soviet jokes didn't work in translation. It wasn't so much the language difference as the fact that Americans had no first-hand knowledge of a totalitarian government, ideological uniformity, and shameless propaganda. But that is changing. The more America "progresses" back to the Soviet model, the more translatable the old Soviet jokes become.
Let's see how an old Soviet joke can be rewritten into a new American joke. The six contradictions of socialism in the United States of America:
* America is capitalist and greedy - yet half of the population is subsidized.
* Half of the population is subsidized - yet they think they are victims.
* They think they are victims - yet their representatives run the government.
* Their representatives run the government - yet the poor keep getting poorer.
* The poor keep getting poorer - yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.
* They have things that people in other countries only dream about - yet they want America to be more like those other countries.
There's more where it came from - or where we're going, whichever the case may be.
Hello Obama second term; bye bye Western Civilization
By James Delingpole, writing from Britain
It seems to me that the victory the Obamaphiles have won is entirely Pyrrhic. In what way, I would like to ask them, is a second term for a proven failure a good thing? On the evidence of Obama's four years in power so far, what exactly have they seen that augurs so well for the next four years of the American presidency?
Was it his resolute decision to sacrifice the lives of four brave men in Benghazi, perhaps?
Or was it his truly heartwarming eagerness to reward his friends at Solyndra by handing them $500 million of taxpayers' money for a business that was essentially worthless?
Or his inspired decision to hit the already struggling US economy with the bill for a whopping new, NHS-style disaster in the making called Obamacare?
Under the Obama administration the US economy has shown few if any signs of a genuine economic recovery. Housing remains depressed, unemployment is high, average family income has fallen and America increasingly has about it the moribund, shabby air of third world kleptocracy rather than the thrusting optimism you'd expect of the leader of the free world.
The US today is almost unrecognisable from the land of opportunity I fell in love with on my first visit nearly 30 years ago. And the reason for this is really very simple (and especially obvious in basket cases like the People's Republic of California): Big Government has continued to grow and grow; regulations have accumulated; private wealth has been confiscated and squandered, on welfare, on bail-outs for companies like GM which would have been better left to fail, on Ben Bernanke's quantitative easing spree, on stringent measures to deal with the so-far unproven threat of "climate change"….
And this hasn't just been an Obama-related problem. It's been an every-US-president-since-at-least-Calvin-Coolidge problem. Even under Ronald Reagan the size of government grew.
To be honest, I think it would probably have continued to grow under a Mitt Romney presidency too. Romney would certainly not have been my first choice of GOP candidate. (Or indeed my second, third or fourth…..) He always struck me as being part of the same corporatist problem rather than the authentic, red-meat, free market solution.
It wasn't so much that I was rooting for Romney. More that I was rooting desperately, passionately against Obama whose statist tendencies – and autocratic instincts – are just a great deal more extreme and dangerous.
One thing I noticed on Twitter today: the quantity of bile being spewed out seemed to increase from very late morning onwards. And I wondered whether, maybe, this was symptomatic of the attitudes and lifestyles and career status of that whole class of person which blindly roots for Obama. I don't mean the welfare class: though of course that rooted for Obama too. I was thinking more of the entitlement class, the bureaucratic and technocratic elite – or trainee members thereof – so brilliantly anatomised in this piece by Joel Kotkin.
Perhaps they're studying "climate science" or "sustainability" at university; maybe they work in the public sector, with its more generous attitudes to those staff members who arrive late or decide to throw the occasional sickie; maybe they're currently resting while they search for the kind of career which enables them to achieve a perfect work/life balance and helps them feel really good about themselves, perhaps doing something marvellously worthwhile in the charities sector; or maybe they're employed by somewhere unimpeachably nice and on the right side of the "progressive" argument, like maybe the BBC, or the Guardian, or the Grantham Institute; perhaps they're incredibly well-paid stand-up comedians who earn their fortunes pandering to the prejudices of that vast constituency of ex-students, future students and perpetual students I've just described…
What this entitlement class has in common, both in Britain and in the US – and indeed throughout our tottering Western civilisation – is an unshakable conviction that a) the state is a force for good and b) that it owes them a living. So fiercely do they cleave to this faith that they have never stopped to think where this benign and bounteous state actually gets its money from or what might happen when the money runs out. In fact they consider the very act of thinking such unpleasant thoughts tantamount to heresy. This is why they dismiss their opponents as being not merely wrong but morally deficient – evil, even.
Problem is, the money has run out. It happened quite a while back and all our governments and their corporatist and bankster allies have been doing these last few years is finding ever more ingenious ways of disguising the fact. Just so long as they can keep the scam going just that little bit longer, that's all they care about. Then they can pass the parcel on to which ever schmuck comes next.
This can't go on forever. Nor will it. Because no one is prepared to face up to the facts and deal with them – and both Obama's re-election and the GOP's failure to come up with a sufficiently convincing candidate are proof of this; as indeed is the history of our own Coalition – it is all going to end very nastily and very messily.
The anger of damaged women helped put Obama back into power
Some comments from Australia by Steve Kates:
Abortion rights are as secure as, indeed more secure, than the right to bear arms. It might as well be in the Constitution, given how literally impossible it would be to change the circumstances for abortion in any significant way, never mind the availability of contraception.
And what’s more, everyone knows it. Anyone who votes based on some concern that the Republican Party would be capable of making this change even if it wished to is living in a world of paranoia and might as well be worried about asking the government to protect them from men from Mars. The reality, however, is more closely represented by this video which is funny in a very unfunny way. Do not play this in an office environment and make sure you turn the volume down. I also give you a bad language alert. But the point is massive.
Miss 31 voted for Obama and is representative of the women who are in massive agreement with the cries of misogyny and the lack of respect for women. There is no point going too far into this, but the most influential social philosopher of the twentieth century was Hugh Hefner and his Playboy Philosophy. You would have to be at least as old as I am to recall what a shock it was to read Hefner’s “philosophy” in the pages of Playboy back when I was about 14 in the 1960s. Here’s the gist: all those uptight girls hanging onto their virginity ought to liberate themselves and get into the sexual scrum with the boys. In an era when a goodnight kiss was a big deal this was magic. And with the likes of Germaine Greer and her buddies saying the same just as the birth control pill was becoming readily available, a new world opened for which neither the young women of the time or the young men were really prepared.
But who has come out of this genuinely hurt by the changed attitude to women. Both men and women are worse for it, but if you ask me, it is women who have been psychologically damaged far more than the men. And I suspect Miss 29 has not avoided the deep and fearsome pains of commitment-free sexual relations either.
These are the attitudes that Obama was tapping into. Watching the Middle East burn and the American economy trashed by debt and deficits are irrelevant to such women whose anger is beyond all understanding, particularly for men of my and Romney’s generation.
NOTE: The comments above by Steve Kates led to an accusation (not online) from Melbourne Left-leaning newspaper The Age that Kates is a sexist. Kates has taken umbrage at that and is demanding an apology. The only thing that puzzles me about all that is why Kates expects Leftists to do anything other than what they do. It's actually a fairly mild accusation by Leftist standards. Try Bush=Hitler. I think I would simply laugh at their folly. The Murdoch rival of The Age has three times their circulation and The Age consequently is going broke. Confining your market to Leftists is dumb
The cry of the loud blonde in the video -- "There's nobody there" -- is very common among unmarried women in their 30s so Kates is right to draw attention to it and to attempt to explain it. Like Kates, I think the women concerned have mostly been hornswoggled by feminism -- JR
A deluded feminism's real damage
Philippa Martyr backs up Steve Kates
The "cohort of damaged women" is real, and it is huge, and they have been damaged by real sexism, not by Steve Kates. They fell for a sales pitch that has reduced them to a pair of open legs: an airbrushed porn image that can’t answer back, has no mind, no soul, and importantly, no opinions on anything outside "reproductive rights".
Porn images also don’t get pregnant, which is why pretty much every adult woman in Australia has either had, or knows someone who’s had, an abortion. Legalised abortion and access to effective contraception were supposed to make abortion rare, but it’s actually now at plague proportions.
Most adult women in Australia also know someone who regrets having an abortion. Many of us also know the women with the mystery breast cancers, the women who now can’t have children, the women who are on substantial doses of antidepressants and have attempted suicide, the women who cry on certain hidden "anniversaries" they won’t talk about.
How can anyone think that this is a good thing? Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century feminists argued that abortion was a quintessentially male solution to a problem that didn’t exist, except in the panic-stricken male mind. They argued for and tried to envision a future where every child would be welcomed, regardless of its origin. Yet every day women continue to climb up obediently on to the abortionist’s couch in the name of maintaining the status quo. How is this freedom of choice?
Another engine explosion on a superjumbo: "DISTRESSED passengers told how they survived a mid-air emergency last night when an Emirates A380's engine exploded at 10,000 feet and forced it to turn back for an emergency landing. About 20 minutes after leaving Sydney, Emirates flight EK413 experienced an "engine fault" en route to Dubai. "I saw a flash," John Fothergill, 49, from Auckland, said. "I thought it could have been lightening but then we saw flames come out of the engine. The whole interior of the A380 lit up. "You'd have to say there were two or three metre flames. (The) explosion shook the plane, there was a bigger judder."
Why Mitt Romney lost — and the GOP will continue to lose: "How did Mitt Romney and the Republican Party blow it all so badly? The short answer is that the GOP insisted on pushing backward-looking social issues in a country that is increasingly libertarian."
Republicans must be super-careful: "President Obama's re-election puts Republicans on notice. No matter what we do, the media will portray us as extreme, venal, stupid or anti-woman, if not as individuals, then guilty by association. The GOP nominee must bear the burden of admittedly medieval statements on pregnancy and rape. ... Mitt Romney renounced the statements -- and still they tarnished the GOP brand. On the other side, all Democrats are moderates. Party bigs need never explain why Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts senator-elect, padded her credentials as an American Indian. ... Not only do the Democrats' bad actors not stain the ticket, they win."
There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena . GUN WATCH is now put together by Dean Weingarten.
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)