Tuesday, August 03, 2021

The inevitability of self-actualisation [part one]

A grand title like that, even pompous, is going to turn off a goodly proportion of the readers of a blog and so is this old chap from a generation ahead of me:

It's an ultra-short video as videos go but his manner might be tiresome to some.  That would be a pity because he hits the nail on the head, pointing out that that opening shot of Ilford is real, it's just a snapshot. 

Then there are other 'snapshots' by Harry Enfield for example [May1961 - birth year counts heavily in this post, making him late Generation Jones or some name for it we have to apply in order to keep discussing it in a British context.]

The nature of the snapshot is crucial, critical to the vision

Misrepresentation [not always deliberate but often part of the overall cabal push], when it presents a time or a people wrongly, meaning ramping up others and playing down others, even suppressing them, is very much a technique which totalitarian regimes latch onto and use.

I contend that Harry Enfleld, for various reasons I'm about to mention, used the medium of comedy to misrepresent an era he was not part of, nor was he favourably disposed towards that era.

Wikipedia, being part of that vaguely left-liberal [emphasis on vague] or social-democrat BBC type political mindset, also played up the wrong aspects out of all proportion [Harry was their man] and two immediate analogies are first wave feminism and 'period drama'.

First wave Friedan feminism was all about righting wrongs women felt and the reason they felt them was because women always feel misunderstood and unappreciated. They don't stop to think that for men, they themselves have difficulty understanding the other way - there are minor resentments by the hundreds but in a society which is strongly pro-marriage due to a certain collection of books everyone knew the stories in, and sticking with one's partner because it was right so to do, so many social ills were avoided.

In my own case, it was not that my father sat in his armchair and expected the newspaper to be brought to him, it was that mother wanted him out of her hair in her kitchen, her domain and my father was only allowed in for washing up and my job was drying the dishes and putting away.  My mother though would co-opt me and show me how she cooked things - mainly by pressure cooker and a deep electric frying pan. She was offloading some of the hack work onto me to let her take care of something else.

Now that's the vision which was the truth and it was so for many of my mates of the time, give or take other social ills. I'm going to now air our dirty linen [a no-no in those days] and say that my mother made a bad first marriage and all she would ever say was that he was a drunk, a brute. Plus she was hardly the put-upon, defenceless type, was she - she was feisty and kept changing topics mid-sentence as I often do.

My father had a temper on him and was a dour Yorkshireman but he not once laid a hand on her in anger, he'd not dare and that's what I'm trying to say here - I was there, I saw what I saw, I know there had to be many cases of the Harry Enfield style of thing in society and I met quite a few of the crusty type older male, narrowly-focused men but they generally, behind that front, were kindly, in a way.  There was no paedo strain through our family, I can report, so I'll leave that aspect aside for this post.

No era is brilliant, no era is the pits, there were ups and there were downs.  But someone like Betty Friedan, an admitted communist and therefore cabal, just as was Gloria Steinem and back in her day - Emily Pankhurst - these people were all about misrepresenting the time, the grievances.  Everyone, male and female that i know, of course was against violence between people, had petty grievances and some large ones and there were various wrongs needed righting, there really were. No argument there.

It's the misrepresentation I cannot abide.  The vision needs to be balanced but how can someone not alive at the time and relying on an unbalanced vision hope to get a snapshot of the time?

Two nights ago, I wrote an angry post section 13, largely addressing Vox Day [August 1968 and therefore late Gen Jones/early Gen X] and his detestation of 'Boomers'.  The point I put in provocative manner was that the effing idiot was not even born in the time he was pontificating on, the dumbass, and that is a critical matter for a historian/politico.  I pulled the post section for two reasons - firstly it did not help matters in its tone, secondly many of our key readers at N.O. are Gen X and I'm a third Gen X myself in my culture, thinking etc. - it was not going to be productive.  The third reason was that i needed something more substantial than a rant - the video at the top here is a good catalyst.

The fourth reason of three - there are four reasons, four, ok - was the Wiki entry on Boomers.  Near the top, it got in a barb that we were the 'welfare generation', namely:
In Europe and North America, many boomers came of age in a time of increasing affluence and widespread government subsidies in post-war housing and education, and grew up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time.

French sociologist Michèle Delaunay in her book Le Fabuleux Destin des Baby-Boomers (2019), places the baby boom generation in France between 1946 and 1973, and in Spain between 1958 and 1975.
Yes, there were subsidies but what the writer fails to mention was that they were known as temporary and specific, e.g. child endowment, rebuilding post-war and so on.  There was no general cultural spongeing as a lifestyle, as everyone was expected to work once they were of age, that was the culture - pull your weight or starve [go to the ant, thou sluggard].  

We were also against credit unless forced to by the inflation in housing prices and that meant cap in hand to the bank, dressed in Sunday best.  I remember the Bloody Midland Bank and it was crusty, wood-panelled and the bank manager was a formidable cove.

We were on the cusp of when it became something far more.  Now I'll admit that Wiki did not lie above, it simply did not give the whole picture and omitted a cultural dislike of credit in a boom time.  That annoys me more than I can say - it's always intellectual dishonesty that I'm most down on.

The 'real' nature of the boomer era

Even though written by a Gen X, this is not a bad write-up, hence the term 'real':
The Office for National Statistics has described the UK as having had two baby booms in the middle of the 20th century - one in the years immediately after World War II and one in around the 1960s with a noticeably lower birth rate (but still significantly higher than that seen in the 1930s or later in the 70s) during part of the 1950s. Bernard Salt places the Australian baby boom between 1946 and 1961.

In the US, the generation can be segmented into two broadly defined cohorts: the "Leading-Edge Baby Boomers" are individuals born between 1946 and 1955, those who came of age during the Vietnam War and Civil Rights eras. This group represents slightly more than half of the generation, or roughly 38,002,000 people of all races. 
The other half of the generation, usually called “Generation Jones”, but sometimes also called names like the "Late Boomers" or "Trailing-Edge Boomers", was born between 1956 and 1964, and came of age after Vietnam and the Watergate scandal.
Yes indeed - there was a clear watershed of the end of WW2 as the designated start, defined by post-war policies, Dr. Spock, ambitions for one's progeny, housing boom etc., but the end of the era was much harder to define.  By the way, the disparaging reference to pig in a python was unworthy in the Wiki entry and typical Gen X/Millennial.  That lot really do have a chip on their shoulders [again see Vox for details].

The last thing I'm going to say on this in part one, from my notes, is that the vision of an era is too often caricature, it lacks depth, it has characters played by those far more gauche and steeped in later eras, who cannot carry themselves in the manner of the earlier era which had more grace to it [I'm thinking Jenna Coleman here - April 1986 and therefore first half Millennial] but not always, as seen from the film of the era, e.g. Ina Ray Hutton, Chandler characters and so on, who weren't exactly graceful.

The video is ok but it's still playacting at the era, as was Jeeves and Wooster with Fry and Laurie, though the music was up to scratch.  Then again, how far was Wooster representative of an era?

And how would I know?  Because we jazzers do look at footage of the time, read literature of the time - that's as close as we can get.  Plus we are favourably disposed - that is such a crucial factor.

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