John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Discussion of various public figures

Re: John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Postby Gavin » 07 Mar 2012, 23:34

As someone who posted a Morrissey track on the forum, I think this just goes to show that music is a language of the emotions and those who specialise in it (as in most arts, I suppose) are often people who let their emotions rule their brains. Your "go to" person on global politics or the economy is not a Morrissey or a Sean Penn, but a specialist in those subjects.

This is not so say that an artist cannot have a sound view on such issues, just that there is no reason to suppose they will have, and there are a few reasons to suppose they won't.

I say this as someone who is very keen on music and has found solace in it, but I have long noted that popular music is almost entirely bereft of even centre, never mind right wing notions. There is the idea of the music listening youth wanting to rebel, but since the government is liberal-left and has been for many years, I think this presents new opportunities for the genre! Maybe there is room for some common sense in lyrics.

Regarding Morrissey anyway, he seems to have some views which are quite hard to pin down, what with the trouble he got into over songs like The National Front Disco and Bengali in Platforms, but I assume he is as left-wing as the next pop star. That t-shirt stunt is in any case obviously childish and idiotic.

The left has such an iron grip in Hollywood by the way that is apparently virtually impossible to find work if you let on that you are right wing. You will be sidelined. Accordingly, the only "out" conservative actor I know of is John Malkovich, and this resulted in a fellow actor describing him as "so right-wing you have to wonder if he's kidding". This links quite neatly back to the article I posted here. Oh no, our topics are converging!
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Re: John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Postby Caleb » 08 Mar 2012, 00:22

Gavin: There are a handful of others who are also right wing in Hollywood. Chuck Norris has openly supported and/or campaigned with Republicans in the past. Arnie is another obvious example. I believe Bruce Willis is pretty right wing also. I remember him saying once that America didn't lose the Vietnam War because they ultimately stopped the domino theory from being realised. There's also the urban legend that he personally phoned George Bush Jr and offered to fight in Iraq, but George Bush said he was too old. There are older (dead) guys such as Charlton Heston and I believe also Charles Bronson, though I could be wrong on that. Anyway, the common theme (Malkovich excepted) seems to be preposterous 80s action movies.

Oh yeah, John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Conan the Barbarian, Rome) is a screen writer/director/producer who is pretty right wing and unashamedly so. Check out his quotes on Internet Movie Database.

In fact, upon further investigation, I found this documentary. This thread on the forums lists additional right wing people in Hollywood.
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Re: John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Postby Gavin » 08 Mar 2012, 11:41

Hi Caleb. Yes, you're quite right, there are those too. I thought of Arnie just as I was finishing my post actually.

To digress for a moment, I think Schwarzenegger is quite a remarkable example of how people can be self made. He came from a poor family and somewhat dysfunctional family in a small village. Before he even got to Hollywood he had won Mr Olympia seven times and (lesser known) was a self-made millionnaire many times over through business activities (brick laying, mail order goods).

Arnie simply decided that he was going to get to America via achievement (so that he could achieve even more), and bodybuilding was his means. When he arrived he spoke nearly no English, but he learnt it (he did not start forming isolated communities with other Austrians). I like this quote from him about his politics:

"I finally arrived here in 1968. What a special day it was. I remember I arrived here with empty pockets but full of dreams, full of determination, full of desire. The presidential campaign was in full swing. I remember watching the Nixon-Humphrey presidential race on TV. A friend of mine who spoke German and English translated for me. I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism, which I had just left. But then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military. Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air. I said to my friend, I said, "What party is he?" My friend said, "He's a Republican." I said, "Then I am a Republican." And I have been a Republican ever since."


Here is someone who did not wish to change the culture of his adopted country, but wanted to fit in and excel within it. When one looks at anyone like Arnie, I think it is hard to deny the claim that "anyone can do it" if they are so inclined. He was just very determined, and I repeat he did not come from a "privileged background", nor did he beg any favours or special treatment. I think examples like Arnie make things very difficult for left wingers who wish to go on about "deprivation" etc.

Primetime Propaganda - The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TVBack to the point (though I would like to hear people's views on the above), I'm sure you will agree nonetheless that the majority of actors are left wingers. The book on the left examines this phenomenon in more detail. This makes for Hollywood being an odd marriage of liberal left actors and hard right capitalist studios.

Does anyone else see acting as not only a fairly unimportant but also very strange career, by the way? These are people who spend their lives being other people, in a sense lying. Often they seem to go into it because they want to escape who they are. Yet they are so vaunted, worshipped, by society. I'm not even sure it is such a difficult job, except perhaps for more intense, emotional scenes. Even some actors have been dismissive of their profession in this manner - most notably Hugh Grant (though he states that good comedic acting is difficult too).
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Re: John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Postby Gavin » 08 Mar 2012, 18:47

I should probably temper my post above by saying it is certainly debatable whether Arnie is a great intellectual (or moral) achiever, and there are different kind of "success". I address here only success as it is typically understood, but then this is the sense in which the Left usually claim people are held back. Schwarzenegger is just one famous example to show that often people can in fact achieve a great deal in whatever is the field most appropriate for them if they set their minds to it, work very hard and don't shift responsibility onto others.
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Re: John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Postby Caleb » 09 Mar 2012, 00:48

Yes, I think Arnie is a great example of what a person can do. He has definitely lived the American dream. People often talk about how they cannot believe that an idiotic action movie star became governor of California.

What this misses is that whilst he enjoyed himself along the way, everything he did was a stepping stone to something else. Bodybuilding was a stepping stone to acting, which was a stepping stone to politics. All of this was intentional, from what I've read about him. He even married into money/politics (though oddly, into the Democrat dynasty). Also, he is far from stupid. As mentioned, he's been very successful in business (it's funny to hear him talk about his early days bricklaying with fellow bodybuilder Franco Columbu and how they'd play "good cop, bad cop" with Franco pretending to be the slack Italian and Arnie pretending to be the efficient Austrian and having mock arguments in front of potential customers to make them think Arnie was giving them a special price/service). He is, I believe, also a very good chess player.

As for acting, I think it depends. I suppose different people take different approaches. Some people are really, really intense about what they do, and/or they very much live in the lime light. Others put out a movie once per year, or even less frequently, and generally stay well below the radar. Given that the average movie takes one or two months to film, I often wonder what they're doing with the rest of their time.

I have to say that my opinion of Hugh Grant has increased since he turned the tables on that hack journalist. The two things I have always associated with Hugh Grant are 1) limping his way through exactly the same easy role in every single movie he's ever been in, 2) a sex scandal. Thus, I previously had a fairly low opinion of him. As much of an idiot as he is in most ways, he does seem to have some level of insight into things though and isn't quite the same self-important idiot liberal as many in Hollywood. Tons of those guys take themselves way too seriously. What a weird little world that must be to live and work in.
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Re: John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Postby Gavin » 09 Mar 2012, 08:23

Yes, Arnie was/is apparently a great goal setter. He would write his aims on cards at the beginning of the year, then achieve them. He is quite an inspiring example of self-determination who, as I say, does present some serious problems for liberal arguments.

By the way, it's quite amusing in Pumping Iron when Arnie walks into Golds Gym in California, barely fitting through the door, and says "I want to..uh, put on some muscle".
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Re: John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Postby Gavin » 10 May 2012, 21:45

We were writing about actors who are not liberals (a minority). Jon Voight is a striking case of a recovered liberal:

"We were traumatized in the Sixties and all of that behavior — the dancing in circles, the smoking pot and saying "all we need is love" — it was because we couldn't identify evil; we couldn't believe in evil — we didn't want to believe in evil so we just hid from it. It was a very disturbing time ... overwhelmingly, it was a very bizarre, selfish and hedonistic philosophy that wasn't very helpful. It attacked the family — the attack on the family was very severe because not only was there this idea of [indiscriminate love] and that would solve the world's problems, which gave rise to teen pregnancy, but also this idea not to trust anyone over 30. This was from people who were over 30 and bombed out of their minds with every kind of drug they could put into their system. Then there was the romanticization of the drugs — there were people coming out with [pseudo] scientific evidence that [drugs] increase your enlightenment — it was devastating. Today, I find that people look back at that time in a romantic way and that's as dangerous as anything is. It wasn't a romantic time. It was a time of great distortion."


Shame his daughter didn't seem to listen! Read more here...
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Re: John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Postby Elliott » 29 May 2012, 12:52

I couldn't find a better thread for this picture, so I'm putting it here...

Image
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Re: John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Postby Gavin » 29 May 2012, 14:36

That pose says a certain something, doesn't it, but not much about vegetarianism.
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Re: John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Postby Damo » 30 May 2012, 11:58

It's like if he is saying: 'Hey, look at me, I'm so important!'
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Re: John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Postby Mike » 30 May 2012, 23:12

Urgh...everything about that photo makes me cringe. Partly because I love so many of his Beatles-era songs (and one or two from afterwards as well). Growing old with dignity is very much out of fashion.

Will I be posing
With others brown-nosing
When I'm sixty-four?


Couldn't resist.
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Re: John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Postby Elliott » 18 Jun 2012, 20:48

Just a quick historical note: Paul McCartney turned 70 today.
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Re: John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Postby Martin » 16 Jul 2013, 14:06

I noticed a while ago that Liverpool has renamed its airport at Speke 'John Lennon Airport'. I met a Liverpudlian while on holiday & asked him what he thought of this. He said 'we just call it Liverpool airport'. Seems like Liverpool council have completely failed to make any impression there with their 'famous son'.
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Re: John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Postby Nathan » 08 Nov 2013, 11:49

I've never actually watched Absolutely Fabulous - I was about ten when that was on, so it would have been wasted on me at the time anyway - but some of you might be interested in this article about its satire of the oddness of the younger generation being straight-laced as a rebellion against their Baby Boomer parents becoming reality.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/907 ... b-britain/
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Re: John Lennon and the Baby Boomers' Cultural Legacy

Postby Charlie » 23 Dec 2013, 10:15

There’s an opinion piece in today’s Times written by Matt Ridley. Before I look at it, I should perhaps tell you - if you don’t know who he is - a little bit about the author for perspective’s sake.

In 2010 he released a book called “The Rational Optimist”, which argues that:

Life is getting better, and at an accelerating rate. Food availability, income and lifespan are up; disease, child mortality and violence are down - all across the globe.


Which, at the time, made me think: “A book to counteract the pervading sense of gloom? Sure, I’ll read that!”

And, having read it, the book does indeed paint a rosy picture, drawing on a lot of the right names (Adam Smith etc.) and praying at the altar of almighty scientism to prove that it’s all going to be ok after all.

Perhaps you’ve seen his TED talk, “When ideas have sex” - if you have, you can probably attest to his general cheeriness and positivity.

However, I later learned that Mr Ridley was chairman of Northern Rock when it became the first British bank to have a run on it for 150 years.

Was Viscount Ridley (yes, my horrible, British, jealous, inverse snobbery-meter is in the red) as jocular during the bank run, I wonder? Did his glorious, utopian, scientastic vision come to him after the British tax-payer bailed out the bank?

Should I turn off my secular, baby-boomer corporatist detector?

Maybe just for the time being.

So, today’s opinion piece is titled…

Wait for it…

Woolwich shows how civilised we’ve become


Now, let’s give Mr Ridley the benefit of the doubt and suppose that an editor came up with that title. I’m sure, however, that, as I read the headline, you won’t think any less of me for having thought:

“Yeah, try telling that to Lee Rigby’s family…”

Barely able to keep the coffee in my mouth, I somehow managed to make it through most of the rest of the “it’s all just getting so much better” piece. Then came the final paragraphs:

Whatever the explanation, there is no doubt that - with occasional backward lurches, and some exceptions - morality has progressed towards niceness (in theory, I have no problem with that statement, but let’s continue.).

Hence the long list of habits that, one by one, become unacceptable as the decades pass: hanging, drawing and quartering; spitting at meals; slavery; cock fighting; sexism (I’m sure he’s referring to 'Manland' in Ikea.); homophobia; smoking. (I don’t know about you, but I’m glad we live in a world where smokers are on the same list as those who hang, draw and quarter.)

So the question immediately suggests itself. What am I doing today that my great-grandchildren will find disgusting and might even get me prosecuted in old age? (taking back your old job at Northern Rock?)

When I asked Pinker for his answer, he replied: “That’s easy - meat eating.” I would add field sports. I consider hooking a trout on a dry fly, or shooting a fast woodcock for the pot, to be acts of almost noble communion with nature, but others see them as barbaric. It seems unlikely that my view will prevail in the very long run.

(Yes, let us all get down on our knees and pray to our fascistic, killjoy youth!


It was at that point that my secular, baby-boomer corporatist detector exploded.
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