Movies

The Good Kind of Pirates

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I haven't seen The Boat That Rocked, the latest fluffy film from Richard "Love Actually" Curtis, so I don't know if it's as terrible as everyone says. But as history, if nothing else, it clearly stinks:

It tells the story of a pirate radio station in the North Sea, presumably based on the real-life Radio Caroline, which was closed down by the authorities in 1967.

Anyone under the age of 40 who watches this superficial film should not imagine that it is remotely historical. For example, whenever there are scenes of young people partying or listening to pop songs, there are invariably a number of black people intermingling on terms of perfect intimacy and equality with whites. The suggestion is that Britain in the 1960s was a well integrated society without any racial tensions. It wasn't.

An even more blatant rewriting of history in the film has a Conservative government closing down the pirate radio stations when it was, in fact, a Labour government under Harold Wilson that did it. The minister responsible in the film is a repressed and highly unpleasant Tory toff with more than a passing resemblance to Hitler, played by Kenneth Branagh. Mr Curtis's wholly inaccurate cultural message is that nasty Tories were trying to spoil the enjoyment of a joyful, colour-blind England.

I don't expect historical accuracy at the cineplex, but this is extreme even by Hollywood's standards. Making the Conservative Party the villain of this story is like making the Republican Party the racist enforcers in a tale set in 1950s Alabama. Not only was Wilson in power at the time, but Radio Caroline regularly attacked the Labour Party. The Tories not only failed to lead the charge against the pirates, but some of them bought ads on the offshore stations (as did some Scottish Nationalists). There certainly were Conservatives who opposed the broadcasters—one Tory MP accused them of "providing what people want," which sounds good to me but he intended it as an insult—but it was Labour that pushed through the Marine Broadcasting Offenses Act of 1967, which barred British citizens from aiding the pirates in various ways, most notably by advertising on their shows. (Contrary to the report quoted above, Radio Caroline didn't close down that year, but it was crippled considerably.)

If Curtis had set his movie during the second wave of British pirate radio, when hundreds of urban stations playing reggae and R&B cropped up in the '80s, he could have cast the Thatcherites as villains without abusing history. (Margaret Thatcher may have championed individual initiative in her speeches, but when people pooled their pennies to start stations without the state's permission, she cracked down.) But that would entail giving up his Swinging Sixties setting and soundtrack. So he rewrote the past instead.

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  1. Making the Conservative Party the villain of this story is like making the Republican Party the racist enforcers in a tale set in 1950s Alabama.

    [public school educator voice]
    Do you think that you are actually going to convince anybody that the Dixiecrats were not Republicans?

    Why don’t you try blaming the misery and poverty in DC on Democrats too!
    [/public school educator voice]

  2. This will become the “true” history. Because, you know, they wouldn’t show it if it wasn’t true!

  3. Making the Conservative Party the villain of this story is like making the Republican Party the racist enforcers in a tale set in 1950s Alabama.

    Coming soon to a theater near you!

  4. Making the Conservative Party the villain of this story is like making the Republican Party the racist enforcers in a tale set in 1950s Alabama.

    I think you mean tail don’t you? Perhaps that Duke girl can play her.

  5. This will become the “true” history.

    Just as the Kraken is now part of Greek mythology, thanks to Ray Harryhausen.

  6. I wonder how it would’ve hurt the filmmakers to actually depict historical events accurately.

  7. An even more blatant rewriting of history in the film has a Conservative government closing down the pirate radio stations when it was, in fact, a Labour government under Harold Wilson that did it.

    In art it is not the truth that matters, it is the truth of the feelings. Besides, kids wouldn’t understand if anyone but conservatives were the bad guys.

  8. It should also be pointed out that RAdio Caroline was a free market reaction to a state enforced monopoly. BBC is just media socialism. It is the very thing that real leftists hate, free, not controlled by the government and profit making.

    Next I figure Hollywood will be making a movie about how the evil Republican Party and President Cooledge got us into World War I and passed the sedition act.

  9. “The suggestion is that Britain in the 1960s was a well integrated society without any racial tensions. It wasn’t.”

    That doesn’t even describe Britain today.

  10. Oh, yes, the Labourites especially one Anthony Wedgewood Benn (yep, that Wedgewood) who restyled himself as Tony Benn when he decided to be come a sushi socialist.

    He’s still a lying bastard. He turns up on PRI from time to time, blaming every ill in the world on the US and repeating every canard and half-truth he comes upon. Since he’s retired from government, even the BBC no longer gives him air time.

    A disgusting human being.

  11. Strayhorn,

    How is it that those guys never seem to die? Thatcher can’t speak anymore and Reagan is gone but Heath, Benn and Jimmy Carter prattle on into eternity.

  12. But where they paying royalties to the musicians?

  13. I wonder how it would’ve hurt the filmmakers to actually depict historical events accurately.

    Now that is just insanity! It will never sell. But it is not about the money, it is about the art. The greedy Capitalists don’t care about the art, they just care about the money and they won’t share it.

    Sorry, I was running out of them, but I think those are the biggies.

  14. Well, re WWI, one could accurately portray ex-president and Republican Teddy Roosevelt as being pro-war. And, to boot, that if he hadn’t run against Taft on a third ticket, Wilson never would have been president.

  15. That doesn’t even describe Britain today.

    You mean those guys who keep calling Americans racist don’t have a color-blind society? No way!

  16. But that would entail giving up his Swinging Sixties setting and soundtrack.

    Hell, any movie would be better for having an R&B/reggae soundtrack rather than a worn-out, overplayed Sixties soundtrack.

  17. Hell, any movie would be better for having an R&B/reggae soundtrack rather than a worn-out, overplayed Sixties soundtrack.

    At the risk of revealing a previous handle, as long as the beatles are not on it I am for it.

  18. …is like making the Republican Party the racist enforcers in a tale set in 1950s Alabama.

    I’ll go ahead and join the pile-on by wondering why you think Hollywood is above doing that, Jesse.

  19. I’ll go ahead and join the pile-on by wondering why you think Hollywood is above doing that, Jesse.

    I suspect Jesse is being sly and creating an advance buzz for a project he has written or consulted on. 🙂

  20. Hollywood rewrites and slanders history. THat is just what it does. Just off the top of my head I can think of example after example.

    Showing the most militaristic oppressive society of the ancient world to be freedom fighters The 300

    Showing a captain who for the time was not particularly brutal with his crew and a national hero to be the most brutal tyrant in naval history. Mutiny on the Bounty

    Showing a derranged psychotic pedophile as a noble victim of an evil prison system. The Birdman of Alcatraz

    Showing the antebellum South as a noble place of plantations and happy slaves. Gone With The Wind.

    Showing the African slave trade as entirely one sided with whites capturing blacks rather than buying them from African slave markets. Roots.

    Showing a homocidal sociopath as an idealistic young doctor. The motorcycle Diaries

    Showing the Stalinist show trials as legit. Mission to Moscow

    The list goes on and on.

  21. Just as the Kraken is now part of Greek mythology, thanks to Ray Harryhausen.

    Thank you for that. I consider myself to be fairly well educated, and I never caught that. When you mentioned it, I couldn’t imagine a single Greek story that ever told of the Kraken and, sure enough, you’re absolutely right. It’s not a creature of Greek mythology at all.

  22. John,

    Can add just about anything done on Joe McCarthy to that list too.

  23. Thank you for that.

    [Fist pump]

  24. “Showing a captain who for the time was not particularly brutal with his crew and a national hero to be the most brutal tyrant in naval history. Mutiny on the Bounty”

    In all fairness, John, the narrative of Bligh the tyrant and the romanticizing of the Bounty mutineers started very early.

    And the Australians added to the script when he was Governor of New South Wales (1806-8).

    The Ozzies have made the officers of the New South Wales Corps into revolutionary heroes rather than the corrupt, land grabbing, convict-abusing and exploiting goons that they were.

    They needed no help from Hollywood to do that.

  25. “Can add just about anything done on Joe McCarthy to that list too.”

    It’s always struck me that Tailgunner Joe has become the all-purpose hero for the right and vilain for the left.

    Neither narrative matches the facts particularly well. But both sides persist in spinning their version of it.

  26. Kreel Sarloo,

    True. But I think the movie cemented the idea of Bligh as evil tyrant forever in the popular conscience.

    Remember the Titans is another example of historical slander. The school had been integrated several years before the season in question. There were never angry mobs outside of the school protesting the football team and Alexandria, Virginia is a Washington suburb and never the scene of South Boston Alabama like race problems.

  27. “It’s always struck me that Tailgunner Joe has become the all-purpose hero for the right and vilain for the left.”

    He was certianly not a hero. But at the same time, there really were Stalinists all over the government in the 1940s. The problem was that the problem had already been solved before tailgunner Joe ever got involved. He accomplished nothing but give the left a way to cover up their previous crimes.

  28. Don’t you mean the good kind of voluntary coast guard?

  29. “It’s always struck me that Tailgunner Joe has become the all-purpose hero for the right and vilain for the left.”

    Claiming McCarthy may have been right about various individuals is a lot different than claiming he was an all-purpose hero, and I don’t know many on the right who make such claims. Maybe you could enlighten us.

  30. Alexandria, Virginia is a Washington suburb and never the scene of South Boston Alabama like race problems.

    Or the problems of Boston, MA.

  31. I meant South Boston or Alabama.

  32. I meant South Boston or Alabama.

    Sorry, for some reason I thought there was a town in Alabama by that name.

  33. Richard Curtis has sunk awfully low since the brilliance of Black Adder.

  34. What? The 60s weren’t as cool as Hollywood wants me to think? Boomer nostalgia sucks just as much, if not more, as every other kind? Color me shocked.

    BTW, I’m still pissed off the feds killed low-power FM. Fucking bastards. If we own the airwaves, why can’t I use them?

  35. “BTW, I’m still pissed off the feds killed low-power FM. Fucking bastards. If we own the airwaves, why can’t I use them?”

    Worse still copyright bullshit killed off internet radio. As long as you are not charging for advertising, anyone should be able to get on the internet or low power FM and broadcast anything they want. If I am not making any money, how am I violating your copyright?

  36. “BTW, I’m still pissed off the feds killed low-power FM. Fucking bastards. If we own the airwaves, why can’t I use them?”

    because “I” ? “we” Collective ownership of the airwaves is like the collective right to bear arms. It means the opposite of what it sounds like.

  37. I think all of John’s examples are good ones.

    I’d add a few others:

    Having US pilots be involved in The Great Escape.

    Having the US capture the Enigma machine in…whatever that stupid sub movie was called.

    I wonder much of the story choice in this situation is the filmmaker’s own political bias, and how much of it is his concern that his target audience would only “buy” the story if the conservatives were the bad guy. Based on parts of Love, Actually I tend to think that the marketing concern is minimal and that Curtis is just being a dick on purpose.

    But at the same time, there really were Stalinists all over the government in the 1940s.

    That’s not really relevant to the issue of whether or not McCarthy was a hero, you know.

    It was not illegal to be a member of the Communist Party in the 30’s, the 40’s, or the 50’s, and the House had no business abusing its subpoena power and investigatory power in a sordid campaign to “expose” the personal political beliefs and history of any citizen.

  38. “Showing a homocidal sociopath as an idealistic young doctor. The motorcycle Diaries”

    John,
    My favorite scene in that movie is when Che miraclously swims across the Amazon river at night. So he could spend the night with the lepers on the other side.

  39. Sorry, in my last post the way the quote is snipped makes it look like I’m accusing John of calling McCarthy a hero, when clearly he had just done the opposite.

    I’m really just responding to the notion that McCarthy can be rehabilitated if there were in fact Communists or former Communists among the people he attacked. He had no business using his offense to attack them in any event.

  40. Fluffy,

    I thought about the Great Escape. That is another good one, although there were Americans involved at first, they just got moved to another camp before the tunnels were dug.

    But at the same time, there really were Stalinists all over the government in the 1940s.

    “That’s not really relevant to the issue of whether or not McCarthy was a hero, you know”

    It doens’t make him a hero for sure. But what it does do is put lie to the Left’s claim that because McCarthy was chasing shadows and slandering innocent people, like General of the Army Marshal, there really weren’t any communists in the US.

    Yes, while it wasn’t illegal to be a Communist in the 1940s, it was illegal to spy, which a lot of people did. Further, even if it wasn’t illegal, anyone who sympathized with Stalin was a crapweasel worthy of eternal distain.

  41. because “I” ? “we” Collective ownership of the airwaves is like the collective right to bear arms. It means the opposite of what it sounds like.

    It’s important to keep in mind that the history of early radio broadcasting makes it clear that the state seized control of the airwaves in an attempt to restrict access to them just enough to make it possible to make broadcasting a business instead of a hobby – in one of the earliest examples of corporatism in our government.

    I’d like to blame the left on this one but they didn’t really do it. Business interests did.

  42. No Fluffy, there is no rehabilitating McCarthy. He was a bully and a piece of crap. There is a great story about Eisenhower meeting him in Wisconsin. Now McCarthy had gone after Marshal, who was Eisenhower’s mentor. A lot of people criticize Eisenhower for not defending Marshal in a more public way, but that is another post. Anyway, McCarthy met with Eisenhower and marched in like some kind of gamecock thinking he was going to push Eisenhower around. I guess Eisenhower tore into him of the crap he had been saying about Marshal. By the time the meeting was over McCarthy was almost in tears and completly crushed. Typical bully, can’t stand it when someone hits him back.

  43. But what it does do is put lie to the Left’s claim that because McCarthy was chasing shadows and slandering innocent people, like General of the Army Marshal, there really weren’t any communists in the US.

    Is that what the left really claims about McCarthy?

    I always thought that the claims were that he pretended to have evidence that he didn’t have, that he persecuted people for political associations dating back to the 30’s that were really pretty mundane in liberal politics during the early New Deal, that he persecuted citizens for engaging in perfectly legal political activity, and that he directed particular abuse at individuals who refused to cooperate with the hearings [“name names”] and make themselves complicit in his abuse.

    Those pretty much all seem like valid criticisms to me.

    it was illegal to spy, which a lot of people did.

    McCarthy didn’t even pretend to have evidence of espionage. He sought out people who had belonged to Communist groups. That’s it. That was enough to be worthy of investigation and coerced testimony.

    Further, even if it wasn’t illegal, anyone who sympathized with Stalin was a crapweasel worthy of eternal distain.

    That is true, but it’s not the business of the House of Representatives or any committee of the House, either way.

  44. No Fluffy, there is no rehabilitating McCarthy. He was a bully and a piece of crap. There is a great story about Eisenhower meeting him in Wisconsin. Now McCarthy had gone after Marshal, who was Eisenhower’s mentor. A lot of people criticize Eisenhower for not defending Marshal in a more public way, but that is another post. Anyway, McCarthy met with Eisenhower and marched in like some kind of gamecock thinking he was going to push Eisenhower around. I guess Eisenhower tore into him of the crap he had been saying about Marshal. By the time the meeting was over McCarthy was almost in tears and completly crushed. Typical bully, can’t stand it when someone hits him back.

    Yes, I’ve read that too. In many respects Eisenhower is dramatically underappreciated.

  45. “Is that what the left really claims about McCarthy?”

    They claim what you claim to. But then they jump the sharp and paint the entire late 40s as the age of McCarthyism. That is not true. McCarthy didn’t come along and start his crap until 1950. He cam along after Alger Hiss and after all of the real communists were cleaned out. Of course he didn’t have any evidence. There wasn’t any evidence to be had. But leftists pull a bait and switch and lump the entire era both pre and post 1950 into the “McCarthy Era” as a way to cover up the inconvienent facts that many of them really were Stalinist back in the day.

  46. Kreel Sarloo | April 17, 2009, 3:08pm

    “Claiming McCarthy may have been right about various individuals is a lot different than claiming he was an all-purpose hero, and I don’t know many on the right who make such claims.”

    Well, of course, the fact that he was right, makes him such a failure as a villain. That and as others have mentioned he never did actually expose anyone by name.

    And you’re right to when you say “[not] many on the right…make such claims”. I should have said just Ann Coulter. 🙂

    I was hyperbolizing. So shoot me.

    Not about the left though. They have turned a corrupt little rabble-rouser into the ultimate evil of the 20th century.

    And all when guys like Nixon (Hiss) and the guys at HUAC (Hollywood Ten) did far more damage to their cause than Joe M ever did. And while the left hate those guys too, they’ve never attained the villain status that mcCarthy did.

  47. “And all when guys like Nixon (Hiss) and the guys at HUAC (Hollywood Ten) did far more damage to their cause than Joe M ever did. And while the left hate those guys too, they’ve never attained the villain status that mcCarthy did.”

    But Nixon was right. Hiss was communist piece of shit. Chambers was telling the truth.

  48. I don’t expect historical accuracy at the cineplex, but this is extreme even by Hollywood’s standards.

    Oh, they can get much worse. Try checking Braveheart against actual history.

  49. “Oh, they can get much worse. Try checking Braveheart against actual history.”

    You mean William Wallace really didn’t bang the Pricess of Wales? I am shocked. That is another good historical slander movie.

  50. The Left does not hate Hiss, they claim he was framed.

  51. Sorry if i gave the wrong impression, John.

    You’re absolutely right, Hiss was a commie. But so were most of the Hollywood Ten. Hiss was also a spy. For about as good a treatment as you can get see Allan Weinstein’s book on the case. Sorry can’t remember the name.

    Weinstein started out as a liberal democrat researching a book to clear Hiss’ name. But as the facts started to accumulate the evidence became more and more damning. Shook the guy’s whole ideological foundation to the core.

    While I though the treatment of the Hollywood Ten was wrong (as Fluffy pointed out, they broke no laws being members of CPUSA) every time we go through the ritual reliving of the case (usually on NPR or PBS) one or three of them is trotted out to expound on their persecution. They come across as such arrogant bastards that I lose all sympathy.

  52. “The Left does not hate Hiss, they claim he was framed.”

    I meant that Nixon exposed Hiss as a Red (funny that doesn’t mean the same thing now, does it?). This is the basis for much of the left’s hatred of Tricky Dick.

  53. I meant that Nixon exposed Hiss as a Red (funny that doesn’t mean the same thing now, does it?). This is the basis for much of the left’s hatred of Tricky Dick.

    Word brother! True that.

  54. “I meant that Nixon exposed Hiss as a Red (funny that doesn’t mean the same thing now, does it?). This is the basis for much of the left’s hatred of Tricky Dick.”

    Yes it is. Nixon was the uncoth nobody from California, which was still way outside the mainstream back them. Imagine if Sarah Palin were in Congress and proved that David Axelrod were a Chinese spy. Imagine how much the KOS crowd would hate Palin then and then you will get a feel for how much the left hated Nixon.

  55. “You mean William Wallace really didn’t bang the Pricess of Wales?”

    Either that or she had the longest getation peiod ever. Her first kid was born five years after Wallace was drawn and quartered.

  56. That’s “gestation period”, dammit.

  57. You mean William Wallace really didn’t bang the Pricess of Wales?

    I think you mean George Wallace.

  58. “I think you mean George Wallace.”

    Considering Dianna’s sexual morality, that one wouldn’t shock me.

  59. Making the Conservative Party the villain of this story is like making the Republican Party the racist enforcers in a tale set in 1950s Alabama.

    A lot of Americans believe this to be true, in my experience.

    Many who know better will, when pressed, equivocate and try to tie dixiecrats to the republicans with statements like “they all just quit the democratic party and joined the republicans at the beginning of the sixties anyway.”

  60. wingnut,

    Sadly that is my experience to. They also are completely ignorant of the abuses of the FBI and CIA during the Kennedy and Johnson years and often think Nixon was the one who got us into Vietnam.

  61. Weinstein started out as a liberal democrat…. But as the facts started to accumulate the evidence became more and more damning. Shook the guy’s whole ideological foundation to the core.

    To how many of us has the same thing happened!

  62. This reminds me somewhat of the movie The Contender, where evil republicans use an old sexual indiscretion to smear a candidate.

    I’m pretty sure if you ever see a movie about the Ryan/Obama sex club scandal, the roles will be reversed.

  63. I can’t beleive Hollywood hasn’t made a movie about J.Edgar Hoover portraying him as a Republican.

  64. Considering Dianna’s sexual morality, that one wouldn’t shock me.

    Now now, John, we wouldn’t want to discourage that type of behaviour amongst the womenfolk.

  65. Facts always get in the way of a good story.

  66. I’m pretty sure if you ever see a movie about the Ryan/Obama sex club scandal, the roles will be reversed.

    That would be an awesome movie, especially if they could get Mrs. Ryan to play herself.

  67. Hell, any movie would be better for having an R&B/reggae soundtrack rather than a worn-out, overplayed Sixties soundtrack.

    Since they’re fudging history anyway, set the movie a couple of years later and give it a 60s reggae/northern soul soundtrack. That would be ideal.

  68. This Is England had some good northern soul & reggae in it.

    Good movie, too.

  69. Agreed.

  70. “Making the Conservative Party the villain of this story is like making the Republican Party the racist enforcers in a tale set in 1950s Alabama.”

    Do you really think Hollywood is that constrained by facts.
    BTW, not a Republican, don’t really care.

  71. “They also are completely ignorant of the abuses of the FBI and CIA during the Kennedy and Johnson years and often think Nixon was the one who got us into Vietnam.”

    You’re obviously drinking the rightwing establishment’s kool-aid. It’s well known that Nixon ordered the Kennedy assassination and then used his humanoid robot that replaced Lyndon Johnston in 1965 to get us embroiled in Vietnam. The aliens from Roswell were involved. And Reptile-looking joozians from the center of the earth.

  72. Oh, they can get much worse. Try checking Braveheart against actual history.

    I go into pretty much any movie set more than 100 years in the past expecting a complete fantasy. What makes this remarkable (though not really surprising) is that the original events occured within living memory. Harold Wilson isn’t exactly an obscure historical figure — not for a middle-aged Brit like Curtis, anyway.

  73. “Oh, they can get much worse. Try checking Braveheart against actual history.”

    So you mean…Longshanks didn’t reintroduce the privilege of Prima Noctis?

    I’m shocked.

  74. “You’re obviously drinking the rightwing establishment’s kool-aid. It’s well known that Nixon ordered the Kennedy assassination and then used his humanoid robot that replaced Lyndon Johnston in 1965 to get us embroiled in Vietnam. The aliens from Roswell were involved. And Reptile-looking joozians from the center of the earth.”

    Now there’s a movie I would pay to see.

  75. What makes this remarkable (though not really surprising) is that the original events occured within living memory.

    Jesse,

    1967? Maybe Nancy Reagan’s memory but not anybody in their 30s or younger.

    But while you are reading this, can you fill some of us in on the details of WWI that they did not teach us in school? 😉

  76. I remember an interview with Spike Lee in the early 90s, where he was asked what motivated him to do a bio on Malcolm X; his answer was “Because kids don’t read anymore”…it was an admission that if you control the visuals, you control the debate. This is why I don’t hold much faith in libertarianism as a mass-movement, because it can’t be reduced to a pretty, feel-good image.

    The Republicans in Alabama analogy is accurate; here in Chicago, I had to explain that my father was a democrat because in his day, the south was a one-party system under the Democrats…I could see in her eyes that it didn’t compute; it simply COULDN’T be true!
    See what we’re up against?

  77. “The Republicans in Alabama analogy is accurate; here in Chicago, I had to explain that my father was a democrat because in his day, the south was a one-party system under the Democrats…I could see in her eyes that it didn’t compute; it simply COULDN’T be true!”

    Conservatives are sometimes like a kid who has stumbled across a porno magazine when they come across this supposedly devastating secret that the racist South was Democratic. See, they think, and they call us racist!

    Of course this is because they’ve been taught to think conservative=GOP and liberal=Democratic Party and so they think they’ve discoverd a link between liberals and racism. Which is the real historical stupidity.

    For most of its history the Democratic Party was not an ideological party like Labor in the UK. It was an attempt to be a national governing party which allowed incredibly substantial variance by region. And even what ideology it could muster was rarely liberal in any sense (think Grover Cleveland [liberal, wtf?]). In the 1940’s Strom Thurmond and Henry Wallace were both Democrats. Essentially the only thing those wings could agree on was when it was time to caucus you voted Democratic and then went your seperate ways. There was a like tendency within the GOP (think Nelson Rockefeller and Ronald Reagan).

    So in the 1960’s you had conservative Democrats, conservative Republicans, liberal Democrats and liberal Republicans. And so things like the fact that George Wallace was a Democrat, or that more Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act, is pretty meaningless, if you want to castigage “liberalism” as opposed to the Democratic Party.

    But that changed when the national Party under JFK and Johnson were pushed into liberalism social and economic and Goldwater put a states rights face on the national GOP. And things sorted themselves out largely; conservative Democrats left the party and became Republicans, liberal Republicans left that party and became Democrats.

    If you looked at the areas that we today consider solidly blue and red (liberal and conservative) and correlated that with how the reps in those districts voted for the Civil Rights Act, guess what you would find? Yeah, that.

    So put away your porn unnuanced conservatives, we are not as shocked as you that boobies exist, we knew that, but we also know you don’t fully get what’s going on in those photos…

  78. The two major political parties are just an apparatus for various interest groups to seek power. Their ideology changes. The once high tariff GOP is now low tariff and free trade, while the once religious right Democratic Party (think Bryant) is now the more secular of the two. Not until the late 1960’s early 1970’s was the Democratic Party apparatus captured by mostly liberal interests, and not until that time was the GOP captured by conservative ones.

    Again, a history lesson. People talk about Democrats and “progressives.” The Progressive Movement is pretty distinct from those who identify and are identified by others as “progressives” today, but more importantly is that it was hardly a thing of the Democratic Party. In 1924 the Progressive Party ran the Republican Senator Bob LaFollete for President for example (the Democratic candidate John Davis was a conservative).

  79. The two major political parties are just an apparatus for various interest groups to seek power. Their ideology changes.

    I wish more people recognized this.

    In 1924 the Progressive Party ran the Republican Senator Bob LaFollete for President for example (the Democratic candidate John Davis was a conservative).

    You don’t have to go all the way back to 1924 for that. In 1970 Lloyd Bentsen ran for Congress against George Bush. Bentsen was the conservative and Bush the liberal who supported gun-control laws* and a guaranteed annual income for the poor.

    Hell, people forget that in the 1960 race Kennedy was running against an Eisenhower administration (that Nixon represented) that he claimed had appeased the Soviets and was weak on resisting communist aggression and had let the Soviets gain a strategic advantage in missiles. Nixon favored detente and a much less hawkish foreign policy.

    Plus Kennedy was for massive tax cuts. It was he who originally called for the halving of income tax rates that LBJ finally pushed through. Both Nixon and Goldwater considered tax cuts fiscal irresponsibility.

    *As was Charlton Heston at the time. While I concede that political conversions may be genuine I have a hard time taking them seriously and wonder why anyone else does.

  80. Actually, I was with you right up to this,

    So put away your porn unnuanced conservatives, we are not as shocked as you that boobies exist, we knew that, but we also know you don’t fully get what’s going on in those photos…

    which is just bullshit.

    You may know the history and its nuances, but for the most part true believer blues are just as clueless as true believer reds.

    And there was nothing in Barry’s comment that demonstrated that he was a true believer red.

    But you couldn’t keep from making a cheap shot, could you?

  81. On the subject of Pirate radio

    One of the great legends of UK Pirate radio was a chap called John Peel

    If you pop over to Piratebay
    you can download his final broadcast on Pirate radio

    http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/3395785/John_Peel_s_Final_Perfumed_Garden__14-Aug-1967_(Rev._3__Sep-05)

    well worth the band width

    might piss off the Beatles haters I noticed up thread 🙂

    Disc 1

    01 – The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
    02 – The Beatles – With A Little Help From My Friends
    03 – The Attack – Any More Than I Do
    04 – Donovan – Guinevere
    05 – The Purple Gang – Granny Takes A Trip
    06 – Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit
    07 – John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers – Dust My Blues
    08 – The Byrds – Eight Miles High
    09 – Tim Buckley – Song Slowly Sung
    10 – The Misunderstood – I Can Take You To The Sun
    11 – Pink Floyd – Astronomy Domine
    12 – Canned Heat – Rollin’ and Tumblin’
    13 – Tyrannosaurus Rex – Rings Of Fortune
    14 – Simon and Garfunkel – At The Zoo
    15 – Howlin’ Wolf – Dust My Broom
    16 – The Syn – 14 Hour Technicolor Dream
    17 – The Velvet Underground – Venus in Furs
    18 – Jeff Beck – Rock My Plimsoul (abbrev.)
    19 – Big Brother and The Holding Company – All Is Loneliness

    Disc 2:

    01 – Jeff Beck – Rock My Plimsoul
    02 – Bob Dylan – It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
    03 – Jon – Is It Love
    04 – The Beatles – And Your Bird Can Sing
    05 – The Beatles – For No One
    06 – Country Joe And The Fish – Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine
    07 – Orange Bicycle – Hyacinth Threads
    08 – Marc Bolan – Hippy Gumbo
    09 – John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers – Double Trouble
    10 – Tim Hardin – Hang On To A Dream
    11 – The Electric Prunes – Wind-Up Toys
    12 – Donovan – Epistle To Dippy
    13 – Cream – Tales Of Brave Ulysses
    14 – Giant Sunflower – February Sunshine
    15 – Shadows Of Knight – Light Bulb Blues
    16 – Elmore James – Dust My Broom
    17 – The Rolling Stones – We Love You
    18 – Moby Grape – Changes
    19 – Geoffrey Prowse – The Perfumed Garden Blues
    20 – Adrian Henri and Andy Roberts – Tonight at Noon
    21 – Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band – Abba Zabba
    22 – The Jimi Hendrix Experience – The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp

    Disc 3:

    01 – Roy Harper – Sophisticated Beggar
    02 – The Paul Butterfield Blues Band – Look Over Yonder’s Wall
    03 – The Grateful Dead – Cold Rain And Snow
    04 – Love – The Castle
    05 – Marc Bolan – The Wizard
    06 – The Incredible String Band – The Mad Hatter’s Song
    07 – Traffic – Smiling Phases
    08 – Jackson C. Frank – Milk And Honey
    09 – Tomorrow – My White Bicycle
    10 – The Misunderstood – You Don’t Have To Go
    11 – Big Brother and The Holding Company – Call On Me
    12 – Orange Bicycle – Amy Peate
    13 – John Renbourn – Another Monday
    14 – Simon and Garfunkel – Fakin’ It
    15 – The Who – Run Run Run
    16 – David Blue – The Street
    17 – The Beatles – Getting Better
    18 – The Beatles – Fixing A Hole
    19 – The Beatles – She’s Leaving Home

    Disc 4:

    01 – The Beatles – Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
    02 – Judy Collins – Liverpool Lullaby
    03 – The Jimi Hendrix Experience – I Don’t Live Today
    04 – Donovan – Sunny Goodge Street
    05 – Tyrannosaurus Rex – Misty Mist (Highways)
    06 – The Seeds – Mr. Farmer
    07 – Simon and Garfunkel – Sparrow
    08 – The Mothers Of Invention – Plastic People
    09 – The Mothers Of Invention – The Duke Of Prunes
    10 – The Mothers Of Invention – Amnesia Vivace
    11 – The Mothers Of Invention – The Duke Regains His Chops
    12 – The Mothers Of Invention – Call Any Vegetable
    13 – The Mothers Of Invention – Invocation And Ritual Dance Of The Young Pumpkin
    14 – The Mothers Of Invention – Soft-Sell Conclusion
    15 – Zodiac (Cosmic Sounds) – Aquarius The Lover Of Life
    16 – John’s Children – Desdemona
    17 – The Blues Project – Flute Thing
    18 – John Peel – Reading From Winnie the Pooh (Part One)
    19 – Donovan – Sand And Foam
    20 – John Peel – Reading From Winnie the Pooh (Part Two)

    Disc 5:

    01 – The Velvet Underground – Sunday Morning
    02 – John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers – Top Of The Hill
    03 – Pink Floyd – Matilda Mother
    04 – The Syn – Flower Man
    05 – Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band – Sure ‘Nuff N’ Yes I Do
    06 – Shawn Phillips – Coal Tattoo
    07 – Roger McGough – Mother, There’s A Strange Man Waiting At The Door / Mother, The Wardrobe Is Full Of Infantrymen
    08 – John’s Children – Sarah Crazy Child
    09 – The Beatles – The Word
    10 – Bob Dylan – On The Road Again
    11 – The Misunderstood – I Can Take You To The Sun
    12 – Donovan – Writer In The Sun
    13 – John Peel – Big Lil Plays And We Say Goodbye To The Perfumed Garden
    14 – The Rolling Stones – We Love You

  82. “*As was Charlton Heston at the time. While I concede that political conversions may be genuine I have a hard time taking them seriously and wonder why anyone else does.”

    Somehow I think that going on to become president of the NRA qualifies as a “conversion” on the issue of gun control.

  83. “The two major political parties are just an apparatus for various interest groups to seek power. Their ideology changes.”

    I would go so far as to say that prior to the mid-twenthieth century, and really not until the late twentieth century, did either party really have “ideology”. There was a remarkable amount of “me-too”ism throughout the political history of the U.S. For example, Louisiana Democrats of the Old South (and the New South), had no problem with high tariffs on sugar, because most of their sugar was sold domestically and competed with sugar imported from the West Indies and Brazil. Essentially, the two parties catered to different constituencies but differed little in terms of real ideology. This did not even change in the 1930s. While a few Old Guard Republicans opposed the shift into corporatism, the vast majority of Republicans essentially hopped on the statism wagon.
    The first time that ideology became a real bone of contention between the two parties was in 1964, off in 1968 (Nixon was a lefty in all but name), and on again in 1980.

  84. Somehow I think that going on to become president of the NRA qualifies as a “conversion” on the issue of gun control.

    Yes, but a little more honesty would have helped. Heston like other New Deal apostates had a way of trying to tell us that he had always walked the true path.

    George Wallace was for the most part a really nasty piece of work, who never really believed in anything except getting power, but his late in life apology for the nasty racism (which he, like a lot of other southern politicians never really believed, but touted for vote getting purposes) went a long way towards his rehabilitation.

  85. George Wallace’s most memorable quote: “I may look white, but my heart is as black as anyone’s here.”

  86. I think MNG and economist are understating the amount of ideological affinity among Democrats from 1932-1968.

    Racism was particularly virulent among southern working class whites. Southern working class whites were a prime New Deal constituency.

    Racism was particularly virulent among members of organized labor. Organized labor was a prime New Deal constituency.

    I think it would be far more accurate to say that the Democrat party for a long time was not divided by racial issues because support of organized, state-aided racism of some level was pretty much the consensus of all of white America for a very long time. Southern Democrats and northern Democrats had no reason to disagree about the rights of blacks as long as pretty much all white Americans had a negligible interest in the rights of blacks. The party started to split apart when some Democrats decided to start advocating for the rights of minorities and other Democrats said, “Hey, we only signed on for as long as it was ‘working class whites against everybody else’. We’re outta here.”

  87. George Wallace’s most memorable quote

    That wasn’t Wallace, it was Mario Procaccino.

  88. Shit, my bad.

    Google is my friend.
    Google is my friend.
    Google is my friend.
    I will not steal my boss’s Prozac.

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