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» One Touch Football - Archive » Music » Old man advises critics to cool it (Page 6)

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Author Topic: Old man advises critics to cool it
Amor de Cosmos
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It's certainly true that the 80s' worst excesses were cheered on, even pushed through, by many individuals who'd come through the 60s "revolution", but a causal link between Lennonism and Thatcherism is tenuous at best, I think.

Absolutely right.

Of course I'm slightly biased on this question.

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Mat Pereira
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No, I have read that Taylor.

What i'm saying isn't that the hippies led to Thatcher, as it goes. The hippies were a very, very small cultural group in the UK anyway, and didn't have anything like the cultural force of the hippies in the US.

What i'm essentially talking about I suppose is Trans-Atlantic Man, who's as much a creation of 60's pop as The Mods, The Speakeasy and 'Ready Steady Go'.

There would have been no Thatcher without Trans-Atlantic Man.

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Amor de Cosmos
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Trans-Atlantic Man? Can you explain that idea Mat, I assume you're not being exactly literal.
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Mat Pereira
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It's from a Tom Wolfe essay, John. I wasn't talking about you know Henry james or Ben Franklin.

Tom Wolfe defined it as a memeber of the professional middle-classes who lives in the UK, but works a lot in the US, and goes back to the UK wanting it to be more like the US. So hating restrictions on trade, but only in as much as they restrict business pratices, not in the semi-egalitarian and meritocratic way the US constitution makes some appeal for. He also hates the feeling of feeling vaguely inferior to the upper-middle classes, and not being allowed to sit in any club that he likes when he has the money too. He wants his money to count.

Tom Wolfe puts it better, obviously. And he wrote his essay in 1968.

The creed of Tran-Atlantic Man eventually sucked in a lot of the pop entrepeneurs, filmakers, and movers and shakers in the 70's, by the 80's they were essentially running the gaff.

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Amor de Cosmos
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Interesting. I'm a big Tom Wolfe fan but I don't think I've ever read that piece. Is it in one of the collections?

Does he consider why this doesn't work the other way? There were after all, as many, or more, American businessmen working in Europe. Why didn't they feel an equivalent need to proselytize for on-demand medical care or social housing when they returned to the US?

Is Ursus around today? Maybe he'd know.

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mackstress
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I'm pretty sure that essay is in a collection I've got called 'The Purple Decades'.
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Hieronymus Bosch
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a memeber of the professional middle-classes who lives in the UK, but works a lot in the US, and goes back to the UK wanting it to be more like the US.

It sounds a slightly odd idea for a movement when you take into account that, by definition, this section of society would have formed an exceedingly minute portion of the population.

Mind you, I haven't read the essay myself.

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Mat Pereira
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John, yeah it's one of the essays in 'The Pump House Gang' collection, which is probably my favourite Tom Wolfe book.

I think he speculates that it doesn't work the other way, because the UK feels like a closed society in the same way that the US felt like a more open society.

I think essentially the Welfare State and its social adjuncts was always seen from a business point of view as an encumberance, it's just one the middle-classes were generally prepared to accept on the lines of the liberal consensus. The new middle-classes weren't prepared to accept them.

I think actually the trade-off back is best represented to me in PJ O'Rourke going on at length about how much he loved English Breakfast Tea served with milk.

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Mat Pereira
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quote:
It sounds a slightly odd idea for a movement when you take into account that, by definition, this section of society would have formed an exceedingly minute portion of the population.
You don't always need a large section of society to change society, a small section with a lot of job-creating money can do it too.
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Mat Pereira
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quote:
I'm pretty sure that essay is in a collection I've got called 'The Purple Decades'.
I've never read or heard of that, you know.

I'll have to investigate it.

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Hieronymus Bosch
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You don't always need a large section of society to change society, a small section with a lot of job-creating money can do it too.

I'm not saying it couldn't possibly have had any effect, I'm musing whether one could draw any meaningful big conclusions from what must have been a very, very small sample of people.

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Mat Pereira
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I'm not with you. What makes you think it was all that small a group? And small as compared to what?

And why would the size of it matter anyway? Lots of historical movements have been led essentially by a very small group of people leading a very large group of people.

Actually, thinking about it, pretty much all of them.

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Hieronymus Bosch
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This was in the 1960s when air travel was not remotely as widespread as it is today, and about twenty times more expensive. I just can't see the number of UK natives who had their jobs in the US, yet spent all their spare time in Britain, being particularly high at that time. I'm sure there were a few thousand of them but it sounds like a very, very small niche. No doubt it's a different story today.
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Jimski
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quote:
I don't quite know where I'm going with this - and I'm certainly not saying that we should all just get our pipe and slippers out and stop going out altogether - but there's something about the fetishisation and prolongation of youth by much older generations that might actully not be doing many favours for existing youth, and pop culture, themselves.
I understand where Tom's coming from on this, but I disagree with the conclusion. It sounds like perfect conditions for a youth "revolution".

If the existing youth hate the way music is going then it's their job to subvert the entire scene. Punk / acid house (etc., etc.) style.

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wingco
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The conditions just aren't right for that sort of "revolution". In fact, they may never have been worse. Everything's just too abundant, too comfortable. You can't get no dissatisfaction. Or not exactly the sort you need.
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