Friday, July 04, 2008
  Polistra's dream, 2

Continued from Part 1.

June 1939, Ponca City.



Fran: Goat glands!

Pol: Aaah, you mean this isn't bacon?

Fran: No, no, no, goat glands is what I was trying to think of. Your Global Warming cult reminds me of Doctor Brinkley's Goat Glands.

Pol: Doctor Brinkley?

Fran: John R. Brinkley. He's a medical quack, a classic snake-oil seller with a modern twist. He started out in Milford, not far from your home in Manhattan. His big thing is transplanting the, ah, male pieces from goats into the, um, relevant area of men. He makes them think that their ... strength ... will be greatly improved, because I suppose goats represent Natural Virility or something.

Pol: Okay, but how does...

Fran: Brinkley's idea is that you can improve yourself by using the virtues of the lower animals and nature. Mere human virtues aren't enough. Goats are better.

Pol: Aha! Now I see.

Fran: Brinkley built one of the first full-fledged radio stations to advertise his various ... therapies. In an odd way he probably did more for radio than lots of legitimate folks, because he needed to fill time between his sales talks, and he needed lots of power. So he added music and other chat programs, and his engineers developed better transmitters and antennas. He also managed to bribe various congressmen and regulators, or maybe his audience was so large and enthusiastic that the regulators couldn't bring themselves to oppose it. Finally the Radio Commission found its own, um, glands and forced him to move the transmitter over into Mexico where he could run as much power as he wanted. He's still going strong in Del Rio or Juarez or one of those places.

Pol: Yes, but there's still a big difference. Here in '39 the majority of people understand that Brinkley is a fraud. You said the Radio Commission did finally enforce the law against him. Nobody is trying to declare anti-Brinkley people insane. But in 2008 the Global Warming fraud has taken control of nearly everything. Scientists, churches, governments, schools, all the radio and television networks. The anti-fraud forces have a voice, and a fair amount of money on their side, but they are the independent operators, the disreputable ones who are in danger of being shut down at any moment.



Fran: Oh, that's just sad. If ignorance is going to win in the end ... why do I bother writing?

Continued in Part 3 here.

 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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