Two reference points
Observing the relentless unceasing volcanos of Tourette anathemas spewing from all media all the time, I suddenly remembered a different observation just three years ago.
I'll reprint the whole piece for context, but the FOOTNOTE at the end is the important comparison........
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This morning The Economist
has an article on how the DC shutdown 'plays in Peoria'. Good coverage of ordinary people, and especially good understanding of gerrymandering. (Brit journalists often fail to pick up the dirty realities of American politics.)
Fibber and Molly were the main source of the 'plays in Peoria' theme. They grew up in Peoria, played in vaudeville, then on radio. Fibber (Jim Jordan) made a strict rule for the writers of his radio series: If it couldn't happen in Peoria, it won't happen on the show. He especially wanted to avoid inside jokes that would only be meaningful to Hollywood fatcats or NY intellectuals**. This restriction makes Fibber episodes a good reference for common culture: if you hear a word or idiom or topic, you can be sure most Americans understood it.
I always have some Fibber episodes on my bedtime playlist. I've recently bought a set of episodes
from the late '50s that hadn't been in the usual circulation before. Nice to get 'new' stuff from a reliable source of entertainment.
Last night I was listening to a 'new' episode from 1955 in which Fibber writes an outraged letter to his Congressman. The show's writers rarely dipped into partisan politics, but this time they were pissed enough to sternly denounce a bill that would shut down all education funding until the budget was balanced.
Sounds familiar. A shutdown didn't play in Peoria in 1955, doesn't play now!
**Footnote: Chief writer Don Quinn left in '48 to do Halls Of Ivy. In this grotesquely condescending and unctuously smarmy 1951 interview
he makes it painfully clear that he chafed under Fibber's restriction, that he felt Infinitely Intellectually Superior to those horrid midwestern Amerikkkans, and that he HATED HATED HATED having to obey Bourgeois Capitalist Imperialist Running Dog Slobs.
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The Quinn interview has been MemoryHoled from Archive.org for obvious reasons,
but it's still online here
as of this moment.
The interview, and my 2013 comment on it, provide two separate reference points.
Quinn's on-air volcano of condescension was UNIQUE in 1951. He was spewing in an exquisitely sophisticated NYC station where he felt safe to express his vile hatred and bigotry and ignorance openly and freely. Now, of course, grotesquely condescending demonvomit is the ONLY thing we get from TV and radio and movies, on stage and off.
My 2013 response to Quinn shows how suddenly and recently the eruption grew from private grumping to universal epidemic. In 2013, long after the 1954 Cohn Coup
but before Brexit and Trump, the demonfags and demonhags of Hollywood packed their filthy movies and shows with allegorical
bigotry and toxin, constantly injecting raw evil into our minds. But they attempted to sound human
when speaking off stage in interviews or "news" contexts. I was genuinely surprised and appalled by the intensity of Quinn's evil. It was unfamiliar