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"Are Physical Limits All in Our Heads?"
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Nike has been trying to re-start public interest in running by sponsoring a big project to get some East African to break the 2 hour barrier in the marathon.

The Berlin marathon on Sunday looks like a good bet for a new record (which is currently 2:02:57 seconds), although the weather might be a little warmer (high 63 F) than ideal. The last six best times ever have been set in Berlin, which has a very flat course. (The most famous annual marathon is Boston’s on Patriots Day every April, but it hasn’t seen a world record since 1947 because it is a hilly course.)

To demonstrate to marathoners that they can run faster, Nike recently sponsored a demonstration marathon-distance run on a track with designated rabbits to break the wind for the three stars. Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya ran 2:00:25, which suggests that a sub-2 hour run is not physiologically impossible.

On the other hand, running on city streets, which is essential to a genuine marathon, is harder than running on a high tech track, and a record setter would have to expect to run out in front, breaking the wind, for the last several miles. (You can’t hire somebody to run at a world record pace for 26 miles and then collapse in the tunnel to the stadium.)

In the New York Times,

Are Physical Limits All in Our Heads?
Alex Hutchinson
SPORTING SEPT. 22, 2017

It’s a truth universally acknowledged in the sporting world that the toughest obstacles to surmount are those we erect in our own minds. A barrier like the four-minute mile, we’re told, is impregnable — until someone like Roger Bannister shows, as he did in 1954, that it can be breached, and then everyone else follows. …

To me, the bout in Berlin seems like not just a clash of three heavyweights but a real-life test of the “mental barriers” theory of human endeavor. Faith in the primacy of mind over body is a trope as eagerly embraced in board rooms as in locker rooms and Nike commercials — and it’s a message we’ve lapped up, without much evidence, for centuries. …

The four-minute mile is now an allegorical staple of the self-help literature. Bannister’s feat shattered an imposing mental barrier much like the one holding you back from climbing El Capitan or getting promoted at work. “Within one year,” asserts “The Winning Mind Set,” a fairly typical self-help tract from 2006, “37 other runners did the same thing. In the year after that, over 300 runners ran a mile in less than four minutes.”

This claim is only marginally less impressive than the premise of “Do It With Words: Regrow Your Hair With Your Mind,” one of the “related titles” Amazon suggested to me, impertinently, when I looked up Norman Vincent Peale. Unfortunately, it’s not true. Just one other runner joined Bannister within a year of the first four-minute mile, and four more followed the next year. Still, even the unvarnished truth is striking: What was once impossible became possible, and soon almost unremarkable, with startling rapidity.

What happened was that two Swedish runners spent WWII smashing each other’s records in the mile and the 1500 meter “metric mile.” Between 1942 and 1945, Arne Andersson and Gunder Haag cut the record in the mile from 4:06.4 to 4:01.4 and made similar progress in the slightly shorter metric mile.

But then progress halted for nine puzzling years, with no new marks in the mile and two runners tying but not breaking the mark in the 1500m.

This hiatus from 1945 to 1954 is what made the Four Minute Mile into a legend. One neutral country, Sweden, had been able to break the mile record six times and the metric mile record four times from 1942-1945, but then all North Atlantic countries, back at peace, failed to make any progress from 1946-1953.

Was something wrong? The British, in particular, were worried that the Feudal Spirit that had built the Empire was as exhausted as the foreign reserves.

Thus, accomplishments like (New Zealander) Edmund Hillary climbing Mt. Everest in 1953 and Roger Bannister breaking the four minute mile in 1954 were seized upon by patriotic publicity geniuses James/Jan Morris and Norris McWhirter, respectively. (Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale likewise dates from 1953.) The Swedes helped out by expanding the boundaries of the Nobel Prize in Literature to accommodate the English left with Bertrand Russell in 1950 and the English right with Winston Churchill in 1953.

It took another decade for the Brits to recover fully from the exhaustion of WWII to conquer the world with James Bond movies and British Invasion rock bands.

My odd suggestion is that Woodstock in 1969 was a victory party for the sons of the guys who won WWII.:

 
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  1. The two-hour mark will almost certainly never be broken, and, if it is, it will be only done by mere nanoseconds, by a genetic freak, and never decreased. We’ve simply determined, empirically, how fast humans, even the best of them, can run. To expect otherwise is to expect that Real Soon Now, a peregrine falcon will fly supersonically, someone will deadlift teo thousand pounds, and a person will live to see two hundred years.

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    • Replies: @SteveRogers42
    When germ-line genetic engineering becomes commonplace, those who can afford the process will be standard-issue genetic freaks, and all the old track and field records will be meaningless. The field dimensions and rules of the game will have to be changed for all team sports, too.
    , @pyrrhus
    Using rabbits to break the wind for a premier runner is unsportsmanlike and grounds for disqualification....On another front, it's becoming clear that running marathons is not a healthy activity, so I think it will become less popular.
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  2. “Are Physical Limits All in Our Heads?”

    Who knows? It would have been interesting to ask Napoleon Hill:

    “There is a difference between WISHING for a thing and being READY to receive it. No one is ready for a thing, until he believes he can acquire it. The state of mind must be BELIEF, not mere hope or wish. Open-mindedness is essential for belief.”
    ― Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

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  3. neutral says:

    Nike has been trying to re-start public interest in running by sponsoring a big project to get some East African to break the 2 hour barrier in the marathon.

    One can say that physical limits are in the heads of some people, I don’t see Nike sponsoring this for Mongolian sprinters.

    Then there is the fact that there ARE simply physical limits, regardless of how much we are telling ourselves in our heads otherwise.

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    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Hmm... Well, even though Zeno tells us we can never get where we're going, we somehow seem to get there.

    Athletes over time are forever cutting the remaining distances from their limits in half. Sometimes, like the rest of us, they get there.
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  4. CK says:

    Supersonic pigeons already exist:

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  5. Perhaps there could be a freakish performance, such as Bob Beamon’s world-record long jump in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Not sure what that would prove, however. The risk is that someone might adopt a training regimen that led to a sub two hour marathon, but had fatal, or near-fatal consequences, even without PEDs. IIRC, Ron Clark nearly died running in Mexico City in 1968.

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    • Agree: Autochthon
    • Replies: @martin2
    Wasn't Bob Beamon partly due to altitude?
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  6. unit472 says:

    A two hour marathon requires a 2+% faster time which, I suppose, is a lot at the upper end of human endurance. Nike or some other shoe company may hold the key if the running shoe can be made with more spring, less weight or some other improvement. This maybe as much a technological problem as an athletic one.

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  7. OT but Sailerish – trans m->f invokes Sailer’s Law. Maybe there is such a thing as a female brain after all. OTOH, I don’t think s/he’s quite got the delicate mental balance which enables a girl to put it all on show AND object to the creepy guy looking. (via Ray Blanchard’s twitter)

    http://www.playboy.com/articles/trans-objectification

    “I want to be sexually objectified and it never happens. I want people to appreciate the time and effort that I put into my body and my look. I want people to look at my perfectly applied lipstick and want me because of it. I want my long legs to give people feels. I want to dance on the bar and leave boys breathless, panting, and desperate to talk to me.

    As a trans person, some days it feels like this is just too much to ask of the world. Trans people never get the sexual attention that we deserve. We are so hot, so sexy, so beautiful. We are skilled, compassionate, ferocious lovers. We’ve already worked through our issues and our personal courage makes for some incredible intimacy. But given the sexual stigma that is placed on our bodies and on other people’s desire for our bodies, there is shockingly little space for us to be objectified safely and out in the open. People are often so scared of their desire for me that they avert their eyes. They can’t so much as look at me without fearing that their “deviant” desire for me will be revealed to the world.

    And trans people aren’t the only ones. People of size, people of color, people with disabilities, we all experience these forms of sexual hypervisibility and invisibility. We’ve all felt sexually invisible in a bar at the same time as we’ve been told that people like us are sexual freaks. We’ve all been simultaneously fetishized and sexually erased. We’ve all been ignored or denied equivalent sexual appreciation and agency while we dance on the bar next to our skinnier, whiter, cis-er, more able-bodied counterparts.”

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    • Replies: @Kylie
    Omg. Why didn't you warn us?
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  8. “My odd suggestion is that Woodstock in 1969 was a victory party for the sons of the guys who won WWII”

    Perhaps more true than you know.

    I read some amusing work by one of the more fun-loving conspiracy theorists that posited Laurel Canyon as 1) the real center of the hippie movement and 2) some kind of psy-op from the military-industrial complex.

    As committed political activists like Abbie Hoffman wondered, “where the f*** did the hippies come from?”

    Where indeed.

    An uncanny number of rock music superstars will emerge from Laurel Canyon beginning in the mid-1960s and carrying through the decade of the 1970s. The first to drop an album will be The Byrds, whose biggest star will prove to be David Crosby. The band’s debut effort, “Mr. Tambourine Man,” will be released on the Summer Solstice of 1965. It will quickly be followed by releases from the John Phillips-led Mamas and the Papas (“If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears,” January 1966), Love with Arthur Lee (“Love,” May 1966), Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention (“Freak Out,” June 1966), Buffalo Springfield, featuring Stephen Stills and Neil Young (“Buffalo Springfield,” October 1966), and The Doors (“The Doors,” January 1967).

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The Police along with IRS Records and Frontier Booking International had nothing at all to do with the CIA! Nothing!
    , @Anon
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWEF52tv76Y
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  9. OT

    Steve Bannon is now taking aim at Trump’s chosen candidate, Luther Strange, in Alabama’s special election to replace Jeff Sessions. Bannon, along with Sarah Palin, is endorsing Judge Roy Moore (of Ten Commandments fame), who is now, according to polls, favored to win the race: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/taibbi-steve-bannon-splits-from-trump-hilarity-ensues-w504732

    The gloves have come off. I don’t know about you people, but I’m with Bannon now. Trump has f_cked us for the last time.

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  10. If it ain’t Barkley, it ain’t a marathon.

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  11. JohnJ says:

    Maybe it’s all the farting that makes those rabbits so fast. But still, with all the stopping and changing directions they do.

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  12. Flip says:
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    • Replies: @Kylie
    A prime example of Auster's First Law of Majority-Minority Relations.
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  13. It is all in the head, in that delimiting fatigue ultimately occurs in the brain, but it is caused by actual physical things like ammonia, inflammatory cascades, heat, etc.

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  14. dr kill says:

    Doesn’t anyone at the NYT know about mitochondria?

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  15. Read More
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  16. OK, that might be the advance forces, but here’s your shock and awe:

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  17. I’d be way more interested if they were trying to get a White guy to run under 2 hours…

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    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig

    I’d be way more interested if they were trying to get a White guy to run under 2 hours…
     
    The blacks get all their practice running from the cops.
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  18. Ah, a chance to quote from the greatest movie ever:

    “There was a demon who lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him, would die.”

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Perfect for this post!

    I liked the movie just as much as the book.
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  19. Re Woodstock:

    Our dads scared the shit out of us guys who grew up in the 50s.

    They constantly regaled us with stories of guys getting their guts ripped open by the thousands by machine guns on the beaches of Normandy and uncles who slipped behind the lines to cut some German sentry’s throat.

    Our dads didn’t intend to scare the hell out of us. They intended to create another generation of glorious cannon fodder for the next war.

    And we just wanted to live and get laid and have babies and make music.

    Can you blame us?

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    • Replies: @anonymous
    That's about as succinct--and accurate--a summary of the difference between the "Greatest Generation" (who grew up amidst an economic depression) and the "Woodstock Generation" (who grew up amidst unprecedented economic prosperity).
    , @2Mintzin1
    Mr. Thomas, I am not being snarky, but your upbringing was, at least in my experience, highly unusual.
    I have never met a WWII combat veteran (including some close relatives) who would talk about his experiences at all without being asked. Most just seemed to want to put that behind them. The experiences were just too ugly, I think.

    Vietnam vets, esp. those from the enlisted ranks, needed less convincing...possibly because they were still angry over the terrible waste they witnessed, or maybe some sort of generational difference.
    , @Sam Haysom
    No but we can blame or at least laugh at you for talking a lot more about having sex than actually having sex. And blame you for not having that many babies and raising the ones you did shittily.

    I guess people like you just make me admire my parents all the more.

    Also your music probally sucks.
    , @guest
    "we just wanted to live and get laid and have babies and make music"

    You had fewer babies than your scary fathers.

    You may have gotten laid less, though with more women.

    I'm not convinced your music was better.
    , @passive-aggressivist
    baby boomers are freaking worthless
    , @Rod1963
    I've known 3 WWII combat vets (two in my family and one family associate) NONE of them would even talk about what they experienced until decades later and only when I asked. They kept the details sparse for very good reasons. Imagine watching your platoon getting wiped out by Germany machine gunners in under a minute. I'm not talking one or two men, but almost 40 men.

    They all came back with PTSD and none recommended the military as a career. Though two of them were careerists because they understood what war really was.
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson II

    Our dads didn’t intend to scare the hell out of us. They intended to create another generation of glorious cannon fodder for the next war.
     
    My dad did not intend to "create another generation of glorious cannon fodder for the next war." His WWII service was due to the now archaic notion that your allegiance was to your country, and when your country was attacked, it deserved your self-sacrifice.

    There was, most assuredly, no notion of cannon fodder. I am sorry you were raised by a neocon.
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  20. The British competitors in the earliest days of the Olympics were usually upper class amateurs from Oxford and Cambridge universities. Harold Abrahams of Chariots of Fire fame, son of an immigrant financier, attended Cambridge and became a lawyer. After doing not very well in the 100 meters of 1920, he personally hired a professional coach and improved immensely before the Olympics of 1924 where he won the gold medal in the 100 meters and beat the American favorites of the time.

    Several of his peers and member so the group that paced Bannister to the 4-minute mile were medical doctors or medical students. Bannister was a doctor, his pacers Christopher Brasher and Chris Chataway went on to become a distinguished journalist and founder of the London marathon, and a prominent business executive, Member of Parliament and government Minister.

    Clearly in this era of amateur athletics, it was those who took the most professional approach who where ultimately successful.

    Up to the 1960s there were still heroic stories like Don Thompson, the London maths teacher who trained for the heat of the 50 Km walk in the 1960 Rome Olympics in his steam-filled bathroom at home with additional heat coming from a kerosene heater. After half an hour or so, he would become dizzy, due, in retrospect, to the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, an early example of the benefits of altitude training use later on by many professional athletes who could afford to go to high altitude training camps. Nevertheless Thompson was the only British man to bring home a gold medal in 1960.

    With the era of professional track and field and Olympic Games (TM) everything has changed and whole nations devote considerable resources to identifying the best potential athletes almost from birth with lifelong professional training for a shot at an Olympic medal.

    My four year old daughter for example, is excited that she is going to a “back handspring clinic” at her gymnastics class today, and yet her involvement in the sport is purely for fun, and although she is quite good at handstands and cartwheels, the likelihood of her becoming a top level gymnast are probably less than one in a million due to lack of parental commitment and correct genes.

    Highly unlikely that Roger Bannister and his peers had professional coaching at the age of 4, though it is interesting to note that Chataway spent his childhood in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, as his father was a member of the Sudan Political Service, so he might have been inspired by seeing Africans running long distances in lieu of transportation.

    I was certainly inspired by the Olympics of 1960, which were shown on sketchy black and white TV. My friend Tim and I spent many hours that summer running 10,000 meter races around the large traffic circle outside our homes, (fortunately at the end of a cul-de-sac in a residential subdivision) and using the same venue as a velodrome for bicycle races. For many years I remained interested in athletics, ran half marathons as an adult, and so on. Unfortunately my personal best achievement was running 12:35 for 2 miles, which is not very good. A friend of mine did a 4:20 mile at the age of 16 on a grass track with a pronounced slope.

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    Up to the 1960s there were still heroic stories like Don Thompson, the London maths teacher who trained for the heat of the 50 Km walk in the 1960 Rome Olympics in his steam-filled bathroom at home with additional heat coming from a kerosene heater. ....
     
    Oh, you British are all so posh ... here in America, we have guys like Rocky Balboa who would train to box by beating his the meat at a packing plant in the heart of Philadelphia, PA. Nowadays, Adrienne's brother might have to drive him out to Iowa, where he could train at another meat packing plant by beating up on illegal Mexicans.

    Seriously now, very interesting comment.
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  21. BB753 says:

    “And we just wanted to live and get laid and have babies and make music.”

    Not enough babies. The pill saw to that. And too much confusion and drugs and the “Me” culture”. All of which pretty much destroyed civilization.

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    • Replies: @Alden
    How many White children did you conceive and raise to adulthood? If it's less than 6 you have no right to criticize other Whites for having small families.

    Practice what you preach.
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  23. “Are Physical Limits All in Our Heads?”

    No. Although there’s certainly some advantage in challenging one’s boundaries.

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  24. The book “The Perfect Mile” starts out with the idea that timing records were of minor interest in British sport. It was racing against a man, not a clock, that mattered. The optimal preparation to break a record was not the same as what it took to win important races. Until he broke the four-minute mile, Bannister was a bit of a national disgrace for letting his country down in important races and then taking a break from competition to prepare better for the four-minute mile.

    I bored of the book, counter to my expectation, so I don’t know what changed record setting into an important, lauded accomplishment. Maybe it was Britain culturally ascendant latching onto what Bannister did because he was theirs?

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  25. sb says:

    It is maybe worth noting that it was once actually illegal under the rules of athletics ( track and field ) to have pacemakers in running races . Clearly ,as with all rules , some played by them whereas others bent them if not ignored them altogether .
    Bannister’s breaking of the four minute mile barrier was the result of very organised pacing and was controversial at the time among the sticklers for the rules ie it was not quite “cricket ”

    Of course Bannister became such a respected Establishment figure that this is rarely mentioned

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    • Replies: @Moshe
    Never heard of it.
    Looked it up....
    Oh
    My
    God!

    I am officially un-fanning Banister.
    This really pisses me off.
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  26. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Shouting Thomas
    Re Woodstock:

    Our dads scared the shit out of us guys who grew up in the 50s.

    They constantly regaled us with stories of guys getting their guts ripped open by the thousands by machine guns on the beaches of Normandy and uncles who slipped behind the lines to cut some German sentry's throat.

    Our dads didn't intend to scare the hell out of us. They intended to create another generation of glorious cannon fodder for the next war.

    And we just wanted to live and get laid and have babies and make music.

    Can you blame us?

    That’s about as succinct–and accurate–a summary of the difference between the “Greatest Generation” (who grew up amidst an economic depression) and the “Woodstock Generation” (who grew up amidst unprecedented economic prosperity).

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  27. Adrian Bejan thinks that things getting more efficient over time is another law of physics. Pretty interesting read.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0307744345/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_x0NXzbZ4GSTEQ

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  28. You know what the advantage of drinking is? Half a bottle of Pinotage and half a bottle of 8-year Wild Turkey in, and I recognized what an internal contradiction “all physical limits are in our heads” is. I wouldn’t have thought of that while sober.

    Tomorrow morning, I can find out whether that still makes sense…

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    • Replies: @Moshe
    The head is physical

    :)
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  29. Is it possible that the nine year gap relates not to those years themselves, but twenty-five or so years earlier, to the period of time in which the pool of potential athletes in their prime would have been born and raised?

    The Great Depression started in 1929 and was severe for a few years. Did the birth rate go down ? Was nutrition worse for several years? Did the pool of great athletes able to hit their physiological peak shrink just enough to affect world records?

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  30. @27 year old
    I'd be way more interested if they were trying to get a White guy to run under 2 hours...

    I’d be way more interested if they were trying to get a White guy to run under 2 hours…

    The blacks get all their practice running from the cops.

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  31. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Interesting.

    Of course, the euphoria of victory in World War 2 was matched by the loss of Empire – most poignantly with India in 1947 – and the tough ‘austerity’ years in which official rationing of life’s essentials continued for many years after the war. However, perhaps most significantly for Britain, Winston Churchill was unexpectedly ejected by the British electorate, and in came Clement Attlee with the most unabashed explicitly socialist programme in UK history.
    The National Health Service was established, together with the welfare state and heavy industry was nationalised. Incidentally, Ross McWhirter who you mention was a fierce enemy of socialism, and he was later murdered by the IRA.

    Now, after around 1950 when the economy really got going again, the UK experienced for the next 20 or so years a surge in incomes, prosperity, employment, personal happiness etc the likes of which it never experienced before – or again – in history. These were the ‘You’ve never had it so good years’ of Harold McMillan.
    A turning point in UK foreign policy was the American-sabotaged 1956 Anglo-French militarized attempt to win back the Suez Canal from Nasser’s ‘nationalization’. The realisation being that no ‘special relationship’ or mythical bond of blood, love and culture existed between the UK and the USA – the USA would rather favor the ‘anti-colonialist’ Arabic Nasser over the so-called ‘mother country’. Hence, the British political class’s move towards federating with a ‘united Europe’ really started from there.
    Also, despite economic growth rates being the highest ever in UK history, envious eyes were being cast at the continental European nations’ higher rates of economic growth. The irony is that in the past few decades EU growth rates, on the continent, have been anaemic to say the least.
    .

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    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    "the UK experienced for the next 20 or so years a surge in incomes, prosperity, employment, personal happiness etc the likes of which it never experienced before – or again – in history"

    Yup. It became fashionable among UK conservatives to bash the 1970s because of the militancy of the (heavily Trotskyite-infiltrated/influenced) trades unions and left groups, which led among other things to a short period of three day working weeks (miners on strike, power cuts) and a big local government strike in which there were "rats in the streets and the dead went unburied" , which was 99% manufactured by the press (the rats bit is still true now of London , and it was true at the height of Thatcherism - London's full of them).

    But wages were good, especially compared against house prices. An ordinary worker could buy a house and raise a family on a single average wage with a full time mother at home, a skilled worker could do that in a modern house, run a car and holiday abroad. Even a single man on a low wage could afford a house, just not a very big one. No tax credits - the only benefit a working family might get was child allowance.

    anonymouslee - I know the USG was investigating LSD as a weapon, but sometimes things just come together - Renaissance Florence, Enlightenment Edinburgh, stoner hippie chick Cali. Joni drew a little picture of needlewoman, earth mother and proto-Stevie Nicks that sounds a lot nicer than the Trigglypuff generation.

    "Trina wears her wampum beads
    She fills her drawing book with line
    Sewing lace on widows' weeds
    And filigree on leaf and vine
    Vine and leaf are filigree
    And her coat's a secondhand one
    Trimmed with antique luxury
    She is a lady of the canyon

    Annie sits you down to eat
    She always makes you welcome in
    Cats and babies 'round her feet
    And all are fat and none are thin
    None are thin and all are fat
    She may bake some brownies today
    Saying, you are welcome back
    She is another canyon lady

    Estrella circus girl
    Comes wrapped in songs and gypsy shawls
    Songs like tiny hammers hurled
    At beveled mirrors in empty halls
    Empty halls and beveled mirrors
    Sailing seas and climbing banyans
    Come out for a visit here
    To be a lady of the canyon"
     
    , @Grandpa Charlie

    "A turning point in UK foreign policy was the American-sabotaged 1956 Anglo-French militarized attempt to win back the Suez Canal from Nasser’s ‘nationalization’. The realisation being that no ‘special relationship’ or mythical bond of blood, love and culture existed between the UK and the USA – the USA would rather favor the ‘anti-colonialist’ Arabic Nasser over the so-called ‘mother country’. Hence, the British political class’s move towards federating with a ‘united Europe’ really started from there." -- Anonymous (#39)
     
    Brilliant historical/political analysis! However, the 'special relationship' was, and likely still is, real; it's just that it was/is manifest mainly in close sharing of intelligence between the UK and USA armed forces that existed since before World War II and, probably, on into the present day. CW seems to believe that USA and UK work closely together also in clandestine operations around the world (cf., the James Bond legend, or, more recently, e.g., the Netflix movie Night Manager.)

    About the "Anglo-French militarized attempt to win back the Suez Canal" in 1956: that short description completely omits the role played by Israel.


    "The Israelis struck first, on October 26, 1956. Two days later, British forces and French military forces joined them. Originally, the three countries were set to strike at once, but the British and French troops were delayed." -- History.com

    http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/suez-crisis
     

    Anonymous comes from a UK POV and seems to imply a belief that Eisenhower, traitorously preferred Nasser's Arabs over the govt. and people of the UK. But there's another side to the story:

    "Soviet leader Khruschchev railed against the invasion and threatened to rain down nuclear missiles on Western Europe if the Israeli-French-British force did not withdraw ... [Eisenhower] cautioned Khrushchev to refrain from direct intervention in the conflict. However, Eisenhower also issued stern warnings to the French, British and Israelis to give up their campaign and withdraw from Egyptian soil. Eisenhower was upset with the British, in particular, for not keeping the United States informed about their intentions. The United States threatened all three nations with economic sanctions if they persisted in their attack. The threats did their work. The British and French forces withdrew by December; Israel finally bowed to U.S. pressure in March 1957." -- History.com
     

    Whether in reality, the UK deliberately and successfully kept USA in the dark or the UK merely tried to do so and Eisenhower was disingenuous (merely feigning surprise), it's clear that there must have been a breach of the Anglo-American intelligence-sharing agreement. That would, indeed, piss off Eisenhower with his background as SCAEF (in London!) in WW II.

    What is most interesting in all this is the fact that Eisenhower did not hesitate to tell Israel what to do, although he gave them ample time in which to comply with his orders, but with no apology to any Israel lobby or whatever. Compare that with the USS Liberty event during the LBJ administration (during the 1967 Six Day War).

    What happened between the era of Eisenhower/Dulles and Nixon/Kissinger? That is, what happened between 1956 and 1967?

    We could say that what happened was Kennedy/Bundy, but McGeorge Bundy, who served as NSA from 1961 through 1965 and two months into 1966, was basically a continuation of Eisenhower/Dulles, and Bundy was followed by Walt Rostow, a further continuation. In January 1969, five years into the Nixon administration, Kissinger took over as NSA, expanding his portfolio to include SoS in 1973. (Later, In 2002, Kissinger was pulled out of retirement to set up the 9/11 Commission, as the original Chair of that farcical excuse for a real investigation of the assassination.)

    Returning to the question, "What happened between the era of Eisenhower/Dulles and Nixon/Kissinger?" -- we could say Kennedy, Bundy, Rostow .. or, we might say, the JFK assassination (22 November 1963). Kissinger's reign in what has been called the "Kissinger administration" -- with Nixon originally fronting it -- began in January 1969, lasting through Nixon's resignation and on through the Ford administration ... right up until the day that Jimmy Carter took over in January 1977. A total of eight years.


    In summary, it's moot whether USA "sabotaged" the Israeli-Anglo-French Suez venture in 1956 or whether what happened in 1956 was that the UK sabotaged the special relationship between the UK and the USA. The problem today is that the UK and the USA are like two dogs that somehow are being wagged by the same insane and destructive tail.

    Yes, by all means, especially since Brexit, bring back the special relationship of the Engish-speaking world! May the Commonwealth absorb the USA and welcome back all the Anglo-Saxons plus the Kelts and even the gdawful Normans into our greater ancestral homelands! We should even bring in all the Boer people suffering persecution in South Africa. And even all the Irish should they so decide. Hell, YES!

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  32. Woodstock was a party for the sons of the victors of WWII? That makes some sense. Plus, there must have been an increase in the standard of living between the two generations.

    What supports this theory is that the Baader-Meinhof/Rote Armee Fraktion & the Brigate Rosse terrorist groups started around the same time with the express purpose of punishing their parents’ generation (Was it punishment for Auschwitz, as they claimed? Or was it subconsciously punishment for losing?).

    However, what was happening in Japan at the same time? RE 1960s Japan, all that comes to mind is Kurosawa films, that song Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto, and Yukio Mishima holding a samurai sword.

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    • Replies: @anonguy

    However, what was happening in Japan at the same time?
     
    Japan had its sixties loonies as well. Global phenomenon of the developed non-communist world for the most part.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Left_in_Japan

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Red_Army

    , @whoever

    what was happening in Japan at the same time? RE 1960s Japan, all that comes to mind is Kurosawa films, that song Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto, and Yukio Mishima holding a samurai sword.
     
    Look up 日本赤軍. Granted, most of their super fun hi-jinx occurred in the early 1970s, but they declared war on the state in 1969 and they kept going for another two decades. They did manage to kill Aharon Katzir-Katchalsky, among many others less well known.
    Also check out these groovy 全学連 snapshots from the 1960s. Far out, man!
    It amazes me that one of the handful of truly important countries in the world, Japan, is scarcely known to the wider world, except by some frivolous pop cult junk, while a bunch of stupid, useless, unimportant nothing countries are in the news on a practically daily basis.
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  33. cthulhu says:

    The British Invasion remains the most important event in popular music over the last sixty years, but damned if I know why it happened. By 1963, rock and roll was dying here in the States – Elvis had moved on to more ballad-style music; Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran were dead, and Gene Vincent never really recovered from the injuries he suffered in the wreck (caused by an incompetent London taxi driver) that killed Cochran; Little Richard had found God; the rockabilly pioneers from Sam Phillips’ Sun Studios had either moved into the mostly C&W vein (e.g., Johnny Cash) or had become somewhat toxic from a PR standpoint (Jerry Lee Lewis), or had just stopped making hits (Carl Perkins). But somehow a bunch of white middle-class kids from England (many of the British Invasion movers and shakers were Art School students) breathed in the ’50s American electric blues and rock&roll, and breathed out some of the most vital music ever made.

    Maybe it was influenced by the privations that England had after the war; it was much more grim over there than here. Also, I heard a very recent interview with Pete Townshend (now as then still rock music’s Thinking Man) where he said the generation gap in England in the ’60s was extremely deep and wide, probably more so than here. But once those British bands got here in the mid ’60s, the American bands kicked it into gear again, and…glorious.

    BTW, the Who hated Woodstock. Townshend famously said it was the worst gig they ever played.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Popular music always goes through phases and the US and the UK were out of phase enough that that in the UK a lot of young kids were playing something the industry in the US had abandoned, but for which there turned out to be a lot of pent up demand. That, plus the novelty of the British accents and fashions proved a big win over here.

    Another thing is that in the UK, there were few subdivisions of popular music as opposed to the US where (before Motown) blacks and (before the seemingly opposite trends of countrypolitan and the Bakersfield sound) hillbillies had their own stations catering to those markets. The Old Grey Whistle Test and similar shows would have country, rock, R&B, and other acts-MOR, and occasionally foreign language acts like ye-ye or schlager singers-all in a row. Even in the punk era, you might have P-Funk, Emmylou Harris and the Stranglers on the same week.

    Most of the 50s rockabilly acts went country in the sixties because the money was better if you were willing to tour enough. And Elvis of course went into the Army and when he got out made movies, such as they were, where he got to sing such gems as "No Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car". Blame illegal immigration: "Col. Tom" was really an illegal Dutch immigrant, and possibly a wanted criminal to boot.

    Thomas Andrew "Colonel Tom" Parker (born Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk; June 26, 1909 – January 21, 1997) was a Dutch-born American talent manager, best known as the manager of Elvis Presley.[1] His management of Presley defined the role of masterminding talent management, which involved every facet of the client's life and was seen as central to the success of Presley's career.
     
    So Brit acts (and occasional Australian and NZ ones) found North America low hanging fruit, whereas other international acts had the major disadvantage of not speaking English. Johnny Hallyday, Francoise Hardy, Heino, and dozens of other French, German and Italian acts never seriously chose to sing in English and passed up on the major markets and the major money. ABBA, famously, sang exclusively in English and made an enormous amount of money doing so.
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  34. Hugh says:

    In just a few years the 100 metre record went from 9.77 to 9.58 seconds. That’s a 2% improvement. 2% of 2 hours is 2 minutes and 25 seconds, which is about the improvement needed to get to two hours.

    I say it can be done.

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  35. utu says:

    Ron Clarke 5k and 10k world records

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  36. Hubbub says:

    Whatever happened to f*cking common sense? There are limits to everything. Yes, that, too, so forget about it.

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  37. The Z Blog says: • Website

    Well, I would imagine there are bio-mechanical limits. Human size is constrained by the square cube law. Nine feet is roughly the limit for a human shaped creature. How fast someone can run, their top speed, is limited by how fast muscles can contract and how much force the legs can withstand. The estimate is 40 mph, so there’s plenty of room to improve 100 meter times.

    Distance adds another element. How fast a human can run 26 miles is determined by cardio-vascular capacity. I guess you would need to figure out the calorie burn and then calculate the maximum lung capacity and blood flow. There’s also the fact that the energy the runner would need has to come from fat or food, so you would need to figure out the maximum a person could carry and still run at 13 mph for two hours or less.

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  38. goatweed says:

    As an American Nationalist, I prefer Devo’s Satisfaction.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    As an American Nationalist, I prefer Devo’s Satisfaction.
     
    Kudos, Goatweed, and as a died-in-the-wool Vulcanist, I prefer Leonard Nimoy's Proud Mary over CCR.

    No, I may like a good joke, but there's no way I'd take the chance on being banned from this site for embedding that.... just too too risky.
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  39. JimB says:

    Maybe if athletes give up bipedalism for running on all fours they can break the 2 hr marathon time limit.

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  40. BenKenobi says:

    Not-at-all OT: Steve you gotta get in on this Trump-NFL brouhaha — it’s juicy.

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  41. syonredux says:

    Off-topic,

    Anderson Cooper is the SJW ideal for what a White man is supposed to be:

    Anderson Cooper reacts to learning that his ancestor was killed by a slave:

    “Beaten to death with a farm hoe.”

    “That’s amazing. I’m blown away.”

    “You think he deserved it?”

    “Yeah. I have no doubt.”

    (x)

    “That’s a horrible way to die, Anderson!”
    “He had 12 slaves! I don’t feel bad for him.”

    Anderson Cooper is my most non-problematic fave

    The speed and the assurance with which Anderson answered that he absolutely believed his ancestor deserved to die was astounding to me. I’ve never seen a mainstream public figure do that before.

    http://chatteringwench.tumblr.com/post/165631949624/your-bald-majesty-caliphorniaqueen

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Well, he was killed by a "rebellious slave", so I guess that lets the slave off the hook, 'cause slaves had lots to rebel against.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVFVti_p1-Q (video of Anderson Cooper learning that one of his ancestors was killed by a rebellious slave)

    , @Buzz Mohawk
    Too bad Anderson lives in the city. Otherwise, he might have a Mexican gardener with a hoe...
    , @SteveRogers42
    Anderson Pooper is an SJW ideal for another reason as well. He probably envisioned the fatal beating as some kind of BDSM funfest where his ancestor forgot the safe word.
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  42. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @syonredux
    Off-topic,

    Anderson Cooper is the SJW ideal for what a White man is supposed to be:


    Anderson Cooper reacts to learning that his ancestor was killed by a slave:


    “Beaten to death with a farm hoe.”

    “That’s amazing. I’m blown away.”

    “You think he deserved it?”

    “Yeah. I have no doubt.”

    (x)

    “That’s a horrible way to die, Anderson!”
    “He had 12 slaves! I don’t feel bad for him.”

    Anderson Cooper is my most non-problematic fave

    The speed and the assurance with which Anderson answered that he absolutely believed his ancestor deserved to die was astounding to me. I’ve never seen a mainstream public figure do that before.
     

    http://chatteringwench.tumblr.com/post/165631949624/your-bald-majesty-caliphorniaqueen

    Well, he was killed by a “rebellious slave”, so I guess that lets the slave off the hook, ’cause slaves had lots to rebel against.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVFVti_p1-Q (video of Anderson Cooper learning that one of his ancestors was killed by a rebellious slave)

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  43. 2Mintzin1 says:
    @Shouting Thomas
    Re Woodstock:

    Our dads scared the shit out of us guys who grew up in the 50s.

    They constantly regaled us with stories of guys getting their guts ripped open by the thousands by machine guns on the beaches of Normandy and uncles who slipped behind the lines to cut some German sentry's throat.

    Our dads didn't intend to scare the hell out of us. They intended to create another generation of glorious cannon fodder for the next war.

    And we just wanted to live and get laid and have babies and make music.

    Can you blame us?

    Mr. Thomas, I am not being snarky, but your upbringing was, at least in my experience, highly unusual.
    I have never met a WWII combat veteran (including some close relatives) who would talk about his experiences at all without being asked. Most just seemed to want to put that behind them. The experiences were just too ugly, I think.

    Vietnam vets, esp. those from the enlisted ranks, needed less convincing…possibly because they were still angry over the terrible waste they witnessed, or maybe some sort of generational difference.

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  44. @Shouting Thomas
    Re Woodstock:

    Our dads scared the shit out of us guys who grew up in the 50s.

    They constantly regaled us with stories of guys getting their guts ripped open by the thousands by machine guns on the beaches of Normandy and uncles who slipped behind the lines to cut some German sentry's throat.

    Our dads didn't intend to scare the hell out of us. They intended to create another generation of glorious cannon fodder for the next war.

    And we just wanted to live and get laid and have babies and make music.

    Can you blame us?

    No but we can blame or at least laugh at you for talking a lot more about having sex than actually having sex. And blame you for not having that many babies and raising the ones you did shittily.

    I guess people like you just make me admire my parents all the more.

    Also your music probally sucks.

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  45. guest says:
    @Shouting Thomas
    Re Woodstock:

    Our dads scared the shit out of us guys who grew up in the 50s.

    They constantly regaled us with stories of guys getting their guts ripped open by the thousands by machine guns on the beaches of Normandy and uncles who slipped behind the lines to cut some German sentry's throat.

    Our dads didn't intend to scare the hell out of us. They intended to create another generation of glorious cannon fodder for the next war.

    And we just wanted to live and get laid and have babies and make music.

    Can you blame us?

    “we just wanted to live and get laid and have babies and make music”

    You had fewer babies than your scary fathers.

    You may have gotten laid less, though with more women.

    I’m not convinced your music was better.

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    • Replies: @anonguy

    I’m not convinced your music was better.
     
    It wasn't . It was just louder.

    Big Band era, from Duke Ellington to Bob Wills is probably the peak of musical sophistication in American popular music.
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  46. Mr. Anon says:

    OT: from Ann Coulter’s latest column:

    “I don’t know about a lot of things. I don’t know where women let you grab them if you’re a rich celebrity. I don’t know how to play a wind instrument. But when everyone else said Trump was a joke, I said, nope, he’s going to be our next president. If anyone is telling Trump that a “virtual wall,” drones, a conga line or a “Don’t Cross!” sign are as good as a wall, he can get his stock tips from them, but not his political advice.

    If Trump doesn’t get that wall built, and fast, his base will be done with him and feed him to Robert Mueller.”

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  47. martin2 says:
    @Diversity Heretic
    Perhaps there could be a freakish performance, such as Bob Beamon's world-record long jump in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Not sure what that would prove, however. The risk is that someone might adopt a training regimen that led to a sub two hour marathon, but had fatal, or near-fatal consequences, even without PEDs. IIRC, Ron Clark nearly died running in Mexico City in 1968.

    Wasn’t Bob Beamon partly due to altitude?

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    Most commentators agreed that a portion of Beamon's extraordinary performance was due to the altitude. Ron Clarke's collapse and near-death in the 10,000 meter race in Mexico City was also due to altitude. It was irresponsible to have the Olympics at that altitude.
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  48. BWV says:

    Are physical limits all in our heads? Yes and no.

    Since we’re talking about running, I’ll stay with that. The greatest improvements come when the body convinces the mind that a new level of performance is possible. This is why the 4 minute mile was repeatedly broken once Bannister did it. Runners now understood it was possible – so they did it.

    Is the 2 hour marathon mark in the same realm? It might be – but probably not by much. So yes, physical limits are all in our heads.

    On the other hand, consider the 100 meter dash. It is safe to say that no human will ever cover that distance on foot in say… three seconds. Four is probably safe too. Five seems safe enough. And so on. Somewhere there is a mark that simply cannot be improved – if it can even be attained. So no, the limits are the limits.

    The only other possibility is the freak of nature. No horse has run faster in any of the Triple Crown races or on those three tracks – than Secretariat did in 1973. Secretariat’s heart was approximately double the size of a normal race horse. He had a bigger engine, so to speak.

    But suppose a human runner was similarly blessed? Ok, he’d set a new record – and it would be unbroken, likely forever.

    Limits are psychological for a while… but eventually they become physical.

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    • Replies: @EdwardM
    Your comment reminds us of the fallacy of round numbers. Because the mile was run in a bit over 4 minutes, we said, gee, 4 minutes should be possible. Ditto for the 2 hour marathon.

    Meanwhile, the world record for 100m is 9.58. The layman isn't really interested a similar 2% reduction; "wow, 9.38!" doesn't quite have the same ring to it.
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  49. @syonredux
    Off-topic,

    Anderson Cooper is the SJW ideal for what a White man is supposed to be:


    Anderson Cooper reacts to learning that his ancestor was killed by a slave:


    “Beaten to death with a farm hoe.”

    “That’s amazing. I’m blown away.”

    “You think he deserved it?”

    “Yeah. I have no doubt.”

    (x)

    “That’s a horrible way to die, Anderson!”
    “He had 12 slaves! I don’t feel bad for him.”

    Anderson Cooper is my most non-problematic fave

    The speed and the assurance with which Anderson answered that he absolutely believed his ancestor deserved to die was astounding to me. I’ve never seen a mainstream public figure do that before.
     

    http://chatteringwench.tumblr.com/post/165631949624/your-bald-majesty-caliphorniaqueen

    Too bad Anderson lives in the city. Otherwise, he might have a Mexican gardener with a hoe…

    Read More
    • LOL: Alden
    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson II

    Too bad Anderson lives in the city. Otherwise, he might have a Mexican gardener with a hoe…
     
    You know Anderson makes his gardeners use Nerf toys and not genuine gardening implements. But is it nice to know that he has endorsed the use of violence against his ancestors, because his judgment applies to him too.

    And when Nemesis visits her vengeance upon him, we shall stand in awe of his ignorance of Kharma.
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  50. @neutral

    Nike has been trying to re-start public interest in running by sponsoring a big project to get some East African to break the 2 hour barrier in the marathon.
     
    One can say that physical limits are in the heads of some people, I don't see Nike sponsoring this for Mongolian sprinters.

    Then there is the fact that there ARE simply physical limits, regardless of how much we are telling ourselves in our heads otherwise.

    Hmm… Well, even though Zeno tells us we can never get where we’re going, we somehow seem to get there.

    Athletes over time are forever cutting the remaining distances from their limits in half. Sometimes, like the rest of us, they get there.

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  51. Whiskey says: • Website

    Somewhat related, Trump has started a fight between the NFL and owners and players, and fans, over the subject of kneeling for the National Anthem. At least one Democrat has called for ALL players to kneel, and Roger Goodell, beloved of NFL fans, has blasted Trump for being “divisive.” Another NFL player told Trump to “stay in your place.”

    Nothing worse than an Uppity White. Particularly the President. And this is why Trump is President. Exploiting the fundamental divide between the vast majority of NFL fans: White men who love the National Anthem; and the players, owners, League officials, and Media/Dems who loathe it.

    Colin Kaepernick, making $17 million a year, felt it mandatory to kneel for the National Anthem of a nation that oppresses him so much he’s paid 340 times the national median salary of $50,000 a year. Kaepernick made more than many Fortune 500 execs, and felt he was being racially oppressed.

    There’s your White Identity, born out of Angry Rich Black people telling middle class Whites they are racist oppressors, their national anthem garbage, and their President “Uppity” for criticizing them.

    I suspect, cynically, this fight is White Men Boob Bait for Bubba in prelude to a sell-out totally on immigration and one massive amnesty. But who knows, Trump may whip up Black anger at being an Upppity White man so as to torpedo any sellout with his new pal Chucky Schumer.

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  52. @Shouting Thomas
    Re Woodstock:

    Our dads scared the shit out of us guys who grew up in the 50s.

    They constantly regaled us with stories of guys getting their guts ripped open by the thousands by machine guns on the beaches of Normandy and uncles who slipped behind the lines to cut some German sentry's throat.

    Our dads didn't intend to scare the hell out of us. They intended to create another generation of glorious cannon fodder for the next war.

    And we just wanted to live and get laid and have babies and make music.

    Can you blame us?

    baby boomers are freaking worthless

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    • Replies: @anonguy

    baby boomers are freaking worthless
     
    This is where synthetic categories go wrong. But I'll use your pop generational labels for brevity.

    Early baby boomers were the hippies and so forth.

    Late baby boomers reintroduced conservatism on college campuses in 1980s and were the demographic most supportive of Ronald Reagan.

    The two groups couldn't be more different. Late baby boomers are a lot more simpatico with Gen-Xers than they are with early baby boomers.
    , @Harry Baldwin
    Steve Sailer is a baby boomer, so why are you here?.
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  53. OT: A dam in Puerto Rico has reached its limit and failed, much like Oroville in California:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-latin-america-41370702/puerto-rico-dam-failure-sparks-mass-evacuation

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  54. @Autochthon
    The two-hour mark will almost certainly never be broken, and, if it is, it will be only done by mere nanoseconds, by a genetic freak, and never decreased. We’ve simply determined, empirically, how fast humans, even the best of them, can run. To expect otherwise is to expect that Real Soon Now, a peregrine falcon will fly supersonically, someone will deadlift teo thousand pounds, and a person will live to see two hundred years.

    When germ-line genetic engineering becomes commonplace, those who can afford the process will be standard-issue genetic freaks, and all the old track and field records will be meaningless. The field dimensions and rules of the game will have to be changed for all team sports, too.

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  55. @syonredux
    Off-topic,

    Anderson Cooper is the SJW ideal for what a White man is supposed to be:


    Anderson Cooper reacts to learning that his ancestor was killed by a slave:


    “Beaten to death with a farm hoe.”

    “That’s amazing. I’m blown away.”

    “You think he deserved it?”

    “Yeah. I have no doubt.”

    (x)

    “That’s a horrible way to die, Anderson!”
    “He had 12 slaves! I don’t feel bad for him.”

    Anderson Cooper is my most non-problematic fave

    The speed and the assurance with which Anderson answered that he absolutely believed his ancestor deserved to die was astounding to me. I’ve never seen a mainstream public figure do that before.
     

    http://chatteringwench.tumblr.com/post/165631949624/your-bald-majesty-caliphorniaqueen

    Anderson Pooper is an SJW ideal for another reason as well. He probably envisioned the fatal beating as some kind of BDSM funfest where his ancestor forgot the safe word.

    Read More
    • LOL: Kylie
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  56. Daniel H says:

    Nike’s dilemma is a lot of the fitness customer base has caught on that long distance running may not be healthy at all, and it certainly doesn’t make the runner look good. Should start making stylish clothes for resistance training.

    https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/how-running-a-marathon-can-seriously-harm-your-health/

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  57. FWIW, Boston Marathon is also not a sanctioned course (cannot set records there) because it loses so much elevation over the length of the course.

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  58. anonguy says:
    @Mikey Darmody
    Woodstock was a party for the sons of the victors of WWII? That makes some sense. Plus, there must have been an increase in the standard of living between the two generations.

    What supports this theory is that the Baader-Meinhof/Rote Armee Fraktion & the Brigate Rosse terrorist groups started around the same time with the express purpose of punishing their parents' generation (Was it punishment for Auschwitz, as they claimed? Or was it subconsciously punishment for losing?).

    However, what was happening in Japan at the same time? RE 1960s Japan, all that comes to mind is Kurosawa films, that song Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto, and Yukio Mishima holding a samurai sword.

    However, what was happening in Japan at the same time?

    Japan had its sixties loonies as well. Global phenomenon of the developed non-communist world for the most part.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Left_in_Japan

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Red_Army

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  59. @anonymouslee
    "My odd suggestion is that Woodstock in 1969 was a victory party for the sons of the guys who won WWII"

    Perhaps more true than you know.

    I read some amusing work by one of the more fun-loving conspiracy theorists that posited Laurel Canyon as 1) the real center of the hippie movement and 2) some kind of psy-op from the military-industrial complex.

    As committed political activists like Abbie Hoffman wondered, "where the f*** did the hippies come from?"

    Where indeed.


    An uncanny number of rock music superstars will emerge from Laurel Canyon beginning in the mid-1960s and carrying through the decade of the 1970s. The first to drop an album will be The Byrds, whose biggest star will prove to be David Crosby. The band’s debut effort, “Mr. Tambourine Man,” will be released on the Summer Solstice of 1965. It will quickly be followed by releases from the John Phillips-led Mamas and the Papas (“If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears,” January 1966), Love with Arthur Lee (“Love,” May 1966), Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention (“Freak Out,” June 1966), Buffalo Springfield, featuring Stephen Stills and Neil Young (“Buffalo Springfield,” October 1966), and The Doors (“The Doors,” January 1967).



    One of the earliest on the Laurel Canyon/Sunset Strip scene is Jim Morrison, the enigmatic lead singer of The Doors. Jim will quickly become one of the most iconic, controversial, critically acclaimed, and influential figures to take up residence in Laurel Canyon. Curiously enough though, the self-proclaimed “Lizard King” has another claim to fame as well, albeit one that none of his numerous chroniclers will feel is of much relevance to his career and possible untimely death: he is the son, as it turns out, of the aforementioned Admiral George Stephen Morrison.


    Given that Zappa was, by numerous accounts, a rigidly authoritarian control-freak and a supporter of U.S. military actions in Southeast Asia, it is perhaps not surprising that he would not feel a kinship with the youth movement that he helped nurture. And it is probably safe to say that Frank’s dad also had little regard for the youth culture of the 1960s, given that Francis Zappa was, in case you were wondering, a chemical warfare specialist assigned to – where else? – the Edgewood Arsenal. Edgewood is, of course, the longtime home of America’s chemical warfare program, as well as a facility frequently cited as being deeply enmeshed in MK-ULTRA operations. Curiously enough, Frank Zappa literally grew up at the Edgewood Arsenal, having lived the first seven years of his life in military housing on the grounds of the facility. The family later moved to Lancaster, California, near Edwards Air Force Base, where Francis Zappa continued to busy himself with doing classified work for the military/intelligence complex. His son, meanwhile, prepped himself to become an icon of the peace & love crowd. Again, nothing unusual about that, I suppose.

    Zappa’s manager, by the way, is a shadowy character by the name of Herb Cohen, who had come out to L.A. from the Bronx with his brother Mutt just before the music and club scene began heating up. Cohen, a former U.S. Marine, had spent a few years traveling the world before his arrival on the Laurel Canyon scene. Those travels, curiously, had taken him to the Congo in 1961, at the very time that leftist Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was being tortured and killed by our very own CIA. Not to worry though; according to one of Zappa’s biographers, Cohen wasn’t in the Congo on some kind of nefarious intelligence mission. No, he was there, believe it or not, to supply arms to Lumumba “in defiance of the CIA.” Because, you know, that is the kind of thing that globetrotting ex-Marines did in those days (as we’ll see soon enough when we take a look at another Laurel Canyonluminary).
    Making up the other half of Laurel Canyon’s First Family is Frank’s wife, Gail Zappa, known formerly as Adelaide Sloatman. Gail hails from a long line of career Naval officers, including her father, who spent his life working on classified nuclear weapons research for the U.S. Navy. Gail herself had once worked as a secretary for the Office of Naval Research and Development (she also once told an interviewer that she had “heard voices all [her] life”). Many years before their nearly simultaneous arrival in Laurel Canyon, Gail had attended a Naval kindergarten with “Mr. Mojo Risin’” himself, Jim Morrison (it is claimed that, as children, Gail once hit Jim over the head with a hammer). The very same Jim Morrison had later attended the same Alexandria, Virginia high school as two other future Laurel Canyon luminaries – John Phillips and Cass Elliott.
    “Papa” John Phillips, more so than probably any of the other illustrious residents of Laurel Canyon, will play a major role in spreading the emerging youth ‘counterculture’ across America. His contribution will be twofold: first, he will co-organize (along with Manson associate Terry Melcher) the famed Monterrey Pop Festival, which, through unprecedented media exposure, will give mainstream America its first real look at the music and fashions of the nascent ‘hippie’ movement. Second, Phillips will pen an insipid song known as “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair),” which will quickly rise to the top of the charts.

    John Edmund Andrew Phillips was, shockingly enough, yet another child of the military/intelligence complex. The son of U.S. Marine Corp Captain Claude Andrew Phillips and a mother who claimed to have psychic and telekinetic powers, John attended a series of elite military prep schools in the Washington, D.C. area, culminating in an appointment to the prestigious U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis
    After leaving Annapolis, John married Susie Adams, a direct descendant of ‘Founding Father’ John Adams. Susie’s father, James Adams, Jr., had been involved in what Susie described as “cloak-and-dagger stuff with the Air Force in Vienna,” or what we like to call covert intelligence operations. Susie herself would later find employment at the Pentagon, alongside John Phillip’s older sister, Rosie, who dutifully reported to work at the complex for nearly thirty years. John’s mother, ‘Dene’ Phillips, also worked for most of her life for the federal government in some unspecified capacity.

    John Phillips, of course – though surrounded throughout his life by military/intelligence personnel – did not involve himself in such matters. Or so we are to believe. Before succeeding in his musical career, however, John did seem to find himself, quite innocently of course, in some rather unusual places. One such place was Havana, Cuba, where Phillips arrived at the very height of the Cuban Revolution. For the record, Phillips has claimed that he went to Havana as nothing more than a concerned private citizen, with the intention of – you’re going to love this one – “fighting for Castro.” Because, as I mentioned earlier, a lot of folks in those days traveled abroad to thwart CIA operations before taking up residence in Laurel Canyon and joining the ‘hippie’ generation.

    Before his arrival in Laurel Canyon, Stephen Stills was (*yawn*) the product of yet another career military family. Raised partly in Texas, young Stephen spent large swaths of his childhood in El Salvador, Costa Rica, the Panama Canal Zone, and various other parts of Central America – alongside his father, who was, we can be fairly certain, helping to spread ‘democracy’ to the unwashed masses in that endearingly American way. As with the rest of our cast of characters, Stills was educated primarily at schools on military bases and at elite military academies. Among his contemporaries in Laurel Canyon, he was widely viewed as having an abrasive, authoritarian personality. Nothing unusual about any of that, of course, as we have already seen with the rest of our cast of characters.
    There is, however, an even more curious aspect to the Stephen Stills story: Stephen will later tell anyone who will sit and listen that he had served time for Uncle Sam in the jungles of Vietnam. These tales will be universally dismissed by chroniclers of the era as nothing more than drug-induced delusions. Such a thing couldn’t possibly be true, it will be claimed, since Stills arrived on the Laurel Canyon scene at the very time that the first uniformed troops began shipping out and he remained in the public eye thereafter. And it will of course be quite true that Stephen Stills could not have served with uniformed ground troops in Vietnam, but what will be ignored is the undeniable fact that the U.S. had thousands of ‘advisers’ – which is to say, CIA/Special Forces operatives – operating in the country for a good many years before the arrival of the first official ground troops. What will also be ignored is that, given his background, his age, and the timeline of events, Stephen Stills not only could indeed have seen action in Vietnam, he would seem to have been a prime candidate for such an assignment. After which, of course, he could rather quickly become – stop me if you’ve heard this one before – an icon of the peace generation.


    Another of those icons, and one of Laurel Canyon’s most flamboyant residents, is a young man by the name of David Crosby, founding member of the seminal Laurel Canyon band the Byrds, as well as, of course, Crosby, Stills & Nash. Crosby is, not surprisingly, the son of an Annapolis graduate and WWII military intelligence officer, Major Floyd Delafield Crosby. Like others in this story, Floyd Crosby spent much of his post-service time traveling the world. Those travels landed him in places like Haiti, where he paid a visit in 1927, when the country just happened to be, coincidentally of course, under military occupation by the U.S. Marines. One of the Marines doing that occupying was a guy that we met earlier by the name of Captain Claude Andrew Phillips.
    But David Crosby is much more than just the son of Major Floyd Delafield Crosby. David Van Cortlandt Crosby, as it turns out, is a scion of the closely intertwined Van Cortlandt, Van Schuyler and Van Rensselaer families. And while you’re probably thinking, “the Van Who families?,” I can assure you that if you plug those names in over at Wikipedia, you can spend a pretty fair amount of time reading up on the power wielded by this clan for the last, oh, two-and-a-quarter centuries or so.

    Another shining star on the Laurel Canyon scene, just a few years later, will be singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, who is – are you getting as bored with this as I am? – the product of a career military family. Browne’s father was assigned to post-war ‘reconstruction’ work in Germany, which very likely means that he was in the employ of the OSS, precursor to the CIA. As readers of my “Understanding the F-Word” may recall, U.S. involvement in post-war reconstruction in Germany largely consisted of maintaining as much of the Nazi infrastructure as possible while shielding war criminals from capture and prosecution. Against that backdrop, Jackson Browne was born in a military hospital in Heidelberg, Germany. Some two decades later, he emerged as … oh, never mind.

    the band America, the three will score huge hits in the early ‘70s with such songs as “Ventura Highway,” “A Horse With No Name,” and the Wizard of Oz-themed “The Tin Man.” I guess I probably don’t need to add here that all three of these lads were products of the military/intelligence community. Beckley’s dad was the commander of the now-defunct West Ruislip USAF base near London, England, a facility deeply immersed in intelligence operations. Bunnell’s and Peek’s fathers were both career Air Force officers serving under Beckley’s dad at West Ruislip, which is where the three boys first met.
    We could also, I suppose, discuss Mike Nesmith of the Monkees and Cory Wells of Three Dog Night (two more hugely successful Laurel Canyon bands), who both arrived in LA not long after serving time with the U.S. Air Force. Nesmith also inherited a family fortune estimated at $25 million. Gram Parsons, who would briefly replace David Crosby in The Byrds before fronting The Flying Burrito Brothers, was the son of Major Cecil Ingram “Coon Dog” Connor II, a decorated military officer and bomber pilot who reportedly flew over 50 combat missions. Parsons was also an heir, on his mother’s side, to the formidable Snively family fortune. Said to be the wealthiest family in the exclusive enclave of Winter Haven, Florida, the Snively family was the proud owner of Snively Groves, Inc., which reportedly owned as much as 1/3 of all the citrus groves in the state of Florida.
    And so it goes as one scrolls through the roster of Laurel Canyon superstars. What one finds, far more often than not, are the sons and daughters of the military/intelligence complex and the sons and daughters of extreme wealth and privilege – and oftentimes, you’ll find both rolled into one convenient package.
     

    The Police along with IRS Records and Frontier Booking International had nothing at all to do with the CIA! Nothing!

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    The Police along with IRS Records and Frontier Booking International had nothing at all to do with the CIA!
     
    So Sting was a CIA stooge and not just the lazy bastard I saw him to be once he had pocketed the price of my concert ticket?
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  60. whoever says: • Website
    @Mikey Darmody
    Woodstock was a party for the sons of the victors of WWII? That makes some sense. Plus, there must have been an increase in the standard of living between the two generations.

    What supports this theory is that the Baader-Meinhof/Rote Armee Fraktion & the Brigate Rosse terrorist groups started around the same time with the express purpose of punishing their parents' generation (Was it punishment for Auschwitz, as they claimed? Or was it subconsciously punishment for losing?).

    However, what was happening in Japan at the same time? RE 1960s Japan, all that comes to mind is Kurosawa films, that song Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto, and Yukio Mishima holding a samurai sword.

    what was happening in Japan at the same time? RE 1960s Japan, all that comes to mind is Kurosawa films, that song Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto, and Yukio Mishima holding a samurai sword.

    Look up 日本赤軍. Granted, most of their super fun hi-jinx occurred in the early 1970s, but they declared war on the state in 1969 and they kept going for another two decades. They did manage to kill Aharon Katzir-Katchalsky, among many others less well known.
    Also check out these groovy 全学連 snapshots from the 1960s. Far out, man!
    It amazes me that one of the handful of truly important countries in the world, Japan, is scarcely known to the wider world, except by some frivolous pop cult junk, while a bunch of stupid, useless, unimportant nothing countries are in the news on a practically daily basis.

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  61. Njguy73 says:

    Ok, people. Mechanics 101. A column can only be built to a certain height before collapsing under its own weight. It depends on the material, the cross-stitch, and the height. The human leg operates the same. Higher speed, higher force, eventual reaching of point where leg shatters.

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  62. anonguy says:
    @guest
    "we just wanted to live and get laid and have babies and make music"

    You had fewer babies than your scary fathers.

    You may have gotten laid less, though with more women.

    I'm not convinced your music was better.

    I’m not convinced your music was better.

    It wasn’t . It was just louder.

    Big Band era, from Duke Ellington to Bob Wills is probably the peak of musical sophistication in American popular music.

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  63. anonguy says:
    @passive-aggressivist
    baby boomers are freaking worthless

    baby boomers are freaking worthless

    This is where synthetic categories go wrong. But I’ll use your pop generational labels for brevity.

    Early baby boomers were the hippies and so forth.

    Late baby boomers reintroduced conservatism on college campuses in 1980s and were the demographic most supportive of Ronald Reagan.

    The two groups couldn’t be more different. Late baby boomers are a lot more simpatico with Gen-Xers than they are with early baby boomers.

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  64. @Anonymous
    Interesting.

    Of course, the euphoria of victory in World War 2 was matched by the loss of Empire - most poignantly with India in 1947 - and the tough 'austerity' years in which official rationing of life's essentials continued for many years after the war. However, perhaps most significantly for Britain, Winston Churchill was unexpectedly ejected by the British electorate, and in came Clement Attlee with the most unabashed explicitly socialist programme in UK history.
    The National Health Service was established, together with the welfare state and heavy industry was nationalised. Incidentally, Ross McWhirter who you mention was a fierce enemy of socialism, and he was later murdered by the IRA.

    Now, after around 1950 when the economy really got going again, the UK experienced for the next 20 or so years a surge in incomes, prosperity, employment, personal happiness etc the likes of which it never experienced before - or again - in history. These were the 'You've never had it so good years' of Harold McMillan.
    A turning point in UK foreign policy was the American-sabotaged 1956 Anglo-French militarized attempt to win back the Suez Canal from Nasser's 'nationalization'. The realisation being that no 'special relationship' or mythical bond of blood, love and culture existed between the UK and the USA - the USA would rather favor the 'anti-colonialist' Arabic Nasser over the so-called 'mother country'. Hence, the British political class's move towards federating with a 'united Europe' really started from there.
    Also, despite economic growth rates being the highest ever in UK history, envious eyes were being cast at the continental European nations' higher rates of economic growth. The irony is that in the past few decades EU growth rates, on the continent, have been anaemic to say the least.
    .

    “the UK experienced for the next 20 or so years a surge in incomes, prosperity, employment, personal happiness etc the likes of which it never experienced before – or again – in history”

    Yup. It became fashionable among UK conservatives to bash the 1970s because of the militancy of the (heavily Trotskyite-infiltrated/influenced) trades unions and left groups, which led among other things to a short period of three day working weeks (miners on strike, power cuts) and a big local government strike in which there were “rats in the streets and the dead went unburied” , which was 99% manufactured by the press (the rats bit is still true now of London , and it was true at the height of Thatcherism – London’s full of them).

    But wages were good, especially compared against house prices. An ordinary worker could buy a house and raise a family on a single average wage with a full time mother at home, a skilled worker could do that in a modern house, run a car and holiday abroad. Even a single man on a low wage could afford a house, just not a very big one. No tax credits – the only benefit a working family might get was child allowance.

    anonymouslee – I know the USG was investigating LSD as a weapon, but sometimes things just come together – Renaissance Florence, Enlightenment Edinburgh, stoner hippie chick Cali. Joni drew a little picture of needlewoman, earth mother and proto-Stevie Nicks that sounds a lot nicer than the Trigglypuff generation.

    “Trina wears her wampum beads
    She fills her drawing book with line
    Sewing lace on widows’ weeds
    And filigree on leaf and vine
    Vine and leaf are filigree
    And her coat’s a secondhand one
    Trimmed with antique luxury
    She is a lady of the canyon

    Annie sits you down to eat
    She always makes you welcome in
    Cats and babies ’round her feet
    And all are fat and none are thin
    None are thin and all are fat
    She may bake some brownies today
    Saying, you are welcome back
    She is another canyon lady

    Estrella circus girl
    Comes wrapped in songs and gypsy shawls
    Songs like tiny hammers hurled
    At beveled mirrors in empty halls
    Empty halls and beveled mirrors
    Sailing seas and climbing banyans
    Come out for a visit here
    To be a lady of the canyon”

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    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    I'd never heard that Joni song, YAA, but I remembered the name of that album "Ladies of the Canyon".

    That lifestyle and Joni herself had a lot of influence even to across the pond. I've read that Led Zeppelin's ballad, "Going to California" referenced Joni Mitchell when it went "Someone told me there's a girl out there with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair." It probably didn't hurt that she had a picture of herself naked inside the album jacket of "For the Roses" either, though.

    Calm down, it was from the backside. Still, you can't get that stuff off of mp3 songs, can you, Millenial punks?
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  65. Rod1963 says:
    @Shouting Thomas
    Re Woodstock:

    Our dads scared the shit out of us guys who grew up in the 50s.

    They constantly regaled us with stories of guys getting their guts ripped open by the thousands by machine guns on the beaches of Normandy and uncles who slipped behind the lines to cut some German sentry's throat.

    Our dads didn't intend to scare the hell out of us. They intended to create another generation of glorious cannon fodder for the next war.

    And we just wanted to live and get laid and have babies and make music.

    Can you blame us?

    I’ve known 3 WWII combat vets (two in my family and one family associate) NONE of them would even talk about what they experienced until decades later and only when I asked. They kept the details sparse for very good reasons. Imagine watching your platoon getting wiped out by Germany machine gunners in under a minute. I’m not talking one or two men, but almost 40 men.

    They all came back with PTSD and none recommended the military as a career. Though two of them were careerists because they understood what war really was.

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  66. EdwardM says:
    @BWV
    Are physical limits all in our heads? Yes and no.

    Since we're talking about running, I'll stay with that. The greatest improvements come when the body convinces the mind that a new level of performance is possible. This is why the 4 minute mile was repeatedly broken once Bannister did it. Runners now understood it was possible - so they did it.

    Is the 2 hour marathon mark in the same realm? It might be - but probably not by much. So yes, physical limits are all in our heads.

    On the other hand, consider the 100 meter dash. It is safe to say that no human will ever cover that distance on foot in say... three seconds. Four is probably safe too. Five seems safe enough. And so on. Somewhere there is a mark that simply cannot be improved - if it can even be attained. So no, the limits are the limits.

    The only other possibility is the freak of nature. No horse has run faster in any of the Triple Crown races or on those three tracks - than Secretariat did in 1973. Secretariat's heart was approximately double the size of a normal race horse. He had a bigger engine, so to speak.

    But suppose a human runner was similarly blessed? Ok, he'd set a new record - and it would be unbroken, likely forever.

    Limits are psychological for a while... but eventually they become physical.

    Your comment reminds us of the fallacy of round numbers. Because the mile was run in a bit over 4 minutes, we said, gee, 4 minutes should be possible. Ditto for the 2 hour marathon.

    Meanwhile, the world record for 100m is 9.58. The layman isn’t really interested a similar 2% reduction; “wow, 9.38!” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

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  67. @Paul Jolliffe
    Ah, a chance to quote from the greatest movie ever:

    "There was a demon who lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him, would die."

    https://youtu.be/aQ-9lxbXqBg

    Perfect for this post!

    I liked the movie just as much as the book.

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  68. @Jonathan Mason
    The British competitors in the earliest days of the Olympics were usually upper class amateurs from Oxford and Cambridge universities. Harold Abrahams of Chariots of Fire fame, son of an immigrant financier, attended Cambridge and became a lawyer. After doing not very well in the 100 meters of 1920, he personally hired a professional coach and improved immensely before the Olympics of 1924 where he won the gold medal in the 100 meters and beat the American favorites of the time.

    Several of his peers and member so the group that paced Bannister to the 4-minute mile were medical doctors or medical students. Bannister was a doctor, his pacers Christopher Brasher and Chris Chataway went on to become a distinguished journalist and founder of the London marathon, and a prominent business executive, Member of Parliament and government Minister.

    Clearly in this era of amateur athletics, it was those who took the most professional approach who where ultimately successful.

    Up to the 1960s there were still heroic stories like Don Thompson, the London maths teacher who trained for the heat of the 50 Km walk in the 1960 Rome Olympics in his steam-filled bathroom at home with additional heat coming from a kerosene heater. After half an hour or so, he would become dizzy, due, in retrospect, to the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, an early example of the benefits of altitude training use later on by many professional athletes who could afford to go to high altitude training camps. Nevertheless Thompson was the only British man to bring home a gold medal in 1960.

    With the era of professional track and field and Olympic Games (TM) everything has changed and whole nations devote considerable resources to identifying the best potential athletes almost from birth with lifelong professional training for a shot at an Olympic medal.

    My four year old daughter for example, is excited that she is going to a "back handspring clinic" at her gymnastics class today, and yet her involvement in the sport is purely for fun, and although she is quite good at handstands and cartwheels, the likelihood of her becoming a top level gymnast are probably less than one in a million due to lack of parental commitment and correct genes.

    Highly unlikely that Roger Bannister and his peers had professional coaching at the age of 4, though it is interesting to note that Chataway spent his childhood in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, as his father was a member of the Sudan Political Service, so he might have been inspired by seeing Africans running long distances in lieu of transportation.

    I was certainly inspired by the Olympics of 1960, which were shown on sketchy black and white TV. My friend Tim and I spent many hours that summer running 10,000 meter races around the large traffic circle outside our homes, (fortunately at the end of a cul-de-sac in a residential subdivision) and using the same venue as a velodrome for bicycle races. For many years I remained interested in athletics, ran half marathons as an adult, and so on. Unfortunately my personal best achievement was running 12:35 for 2 miles, which is not very good. A friend of mine did a 4:20 mile at the age of 16 on a grass track with a pronounced slope.

    Up to the 1960s there were still heroic stories like Don Thompson, the London maths teacher who trained for the heat of the 50 Km walk in the 1960 Rome Olympics in his steam-filled bathroom at home with additional heat coming from a kerosene heater. ….

    Oh, you British are all so posh … here in America, we have guys like Rocky Balboa who would train to box by beating his the meat at a packing plant in the heart of Philadelphia, PA. Nowadays, Adrienne’s brother might have to drive him out to Iowa, where he could train at another meat packing plant by beating up on illegal Mexicans.

    Seriously now, very interesting comment.

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  69. @goatweed
    As an American Nationalist, I prefer Devo's Satisfaction.

    As an American Nationalist, I prefer Devo’s Satisfaction.

    Kudos, Goatweed, and as a died-in-the-wool Vulcanist, I prefer Leonard Nimoy’s Proud Mary over CCR.

    No, I may like a good joke, but there’s no way I’d take the chance on being banned from this site for embedding that…. just too too risky.

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  70. Wait a minute while I put down my 500 lb bar and go outside and run a three minute mile … I’ll get back you.

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  71. @YetAnotherAnon
    "the UK experienced for the next 20 or so years a surge in incomes, prosperity, employment, personal happiness etc the likes of which it never experienced before – or again – in history"

    Yup. It became fashionable among UK conservatives to bash the 1970s because of the militancy of the (heavily Trotskyite-infiltrated/influenced) trades unions and left groups, which led among other things to a short period of three day working weeks (miners on strike, power cuts) and a big local government strike in which there were "rats in the streets and the dead went unburied" , which was 99% manufactured by the press (the rats bit is still true now of London , and it was true at the height of Thatcherism - London's full of them).

    But wages were good, especially compared against house prices. An ordinary worker could buy a house and raise a family on a single average wage with a full time mother at home, a skilled worker could do that in a modern house, run a car and holiday abroad. Even a single man on a low wage could afford a house, just not a very big one. No tax credits - the only benefit a working family might get was child allowance.

    anonymouslee - I know the USG was investigating LSD as a weapon, but sometimes things just come together - Renaissance Florence, Enlightenment Edinburgh, stoner hippie chick Cali. Joni drew a little picture of needlewoman, earth mother and proto-Stevie Nicks that sounds a lot nicer than the Trigglypuff generation.

    "Trina wears her wampum beads
    She fills her drawing book with line
    Sewing lace on widows' weeds
    And filigree on leaf and vine
    Vine and leaf are filigree
    And her coat's a secondhand one
    Trimmed with antique luxury
    She is a lady of the canyon

    Annie sits you down to eat
    She always makes you welcome in
    Cats and babies 'round her feet
    And all are fat and none are thin
    None are thin and all are fat
    She may bake some brownies today
    Saying, you are welcome back
    She is another canyon lady

    Estrella circus girl
    Comes wrapped in songs and gypsy shawls
    Songs like tiny hammers hurled
    At beveled mirrors in empty halls
    Empty halls and beveled mirrors
    Sailing seas and climbing banyans
    Come out for a visit here
    To be a lady of the canyon"
     

    I’d never heard that Joni song, YAA, but I remembered the name of that album “Ladies of the Canyon”.

    That lifestyle and Joni herself had a lot of influence even to across the pond. I’ve read that Led Zeppelin’s ballad, “Going to California” referenced Joni Mitchell when it went “Someone told me there’s a girl out there with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair.” It probably didn’t hurt that she had a picture of herself naked inside the album jacket of “For the Roses” either, though.

    Calm down, it was from the backside. Still, you can’t get that stuff off of mp3 songs, can you, Millenial punks?

    Read More
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    It's a nice song. At one stage hardly anything of hers was on Youtube, she had her lawyers take it down pdq. No longer it seems.

    I knew a few similar scenes and ladies back in the day, when hippy types colonised inexpensive but quaint Northern towns like Nenthead and Hebden Bridge.

    Anon 2.32 - in the 50s and early 60s Brit hipsters were into New Orleans jazz, long after black Americans lost interest, in the mid/late 60s a younger Brit generation was hooked on Delta blues, where a lot of rock bands started..

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  72. Kylie says:
    @YetAnotherAnon
    OT but Sailerish - trans m->f invokes Sailer's Law. Maybe there is such a thing as a female brain after all. OTOH, I don't think s/he's quite got the delicate mental balance which enables a girl to put it all on show AND object to the creepy guy looking. (via Ray Blanchard's twitter)

    http://www.playboy.com/articles/trans-objectification


    "I want to be sexually objectified and it never happens. I want people to appreciate the time and effort that I put into my body and my look. I want people to look at my perfectly applied lipstick and want me because of it. I want my long legs to give people feels. I want to dance on the bar and leave boys breathless, panting, and desperate to talk to me.

    As a trans person, some days it feels like this is just too much to ask of the world. Trans people never get the sexual attention that we deserve. We are so hot, so sexy, so beautiful. We are skilled, compassionate, ferocious lovers. We’ve already worked through our issues and our personal courage makes for some incredible intimacy. But given the sexual stigma that is placed on our bodies and on other people’s desire for our bodies, there is shockingly little space for us to be objectified safely and out in the open. People are often so scared of their desire for me that they avert their eyes. They can’t so much as look at me without fearing that their “deviant” desire for me will be revealed to the world.

    And trans people aren’t the only ones. People of size, people of color, people with disabilities, we all experience these forms of sexual hypervisibility and invisibility. We’ve all felt sexually invisible in a bar at the same time as we’ve been told that people like us are sexual freaks. We’ve all been simultaneously fetishized and sexually erased. We’ve all been ignored or denied equivalent sexual appreciation and agency while we dance on the bar next to our skinnier, whiter, cis-er, more able-bodied counterparts."
     

    Omg. Why didn’t you warn us?

    Read More
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    "Omg. Why didn’t you warn us?"

    What - about the picture of said wannabe sex object, aka a boy in a frock who wonders why the hot girls get the attention? Or the picture it paints of student mating rituals at Duke?

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  73. athEIst says:

    Rosy Ruiz can do it. (Berlin has a subway and bus system does it not.)

    Read More
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  74. Kylie says:
    @Flip
    The St. Louis city government has gone crazy. Even Chicago wouldn't do this.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/st-louis-aldermen-pass-resolution-remembering-anthony-lamar-smith-angering/article_a5f5e396-ca04-5e88-961f-b4c0234eb231.html?mode=comments

    A prime example of Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations.

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  75. Alden says:
    @BB753
    "And we just wanted to live and get laid and have babies and make music."


    Not enough babies. The pill saw to that. And too much confusion and drugs and the "Me" culture". All of which pretty much destroyed civilization.

    How many White children did you conceive and raise to adulthood? If it’s less than 6 you have no right to criticize other Whites for having small families.

    Practice what you preach.

    Read More
    • Replies: @BB753
    Seriously, 6?
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  76. Americans are suckers for “wishing makes it so” philosophies. The lower middle class naturally believes in “no limits” – “if you wish it, it will happen” – “nothing is impossible” (think about that one for a minute) – “anyone can be anything” – “when you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are” – etc. This (and money) is the actual civic religion here, revered and unquestioned.

    “Anyone can be anything” is what you tell yourself when you’re trying to climb out of miserable poverty, along with “willpower is the key” and all the homilies of New Thought, Napoleon Hill, et al.

    Some people do make it out of poverty (and catapult into a higher social class) through effort. Because they had it in them. Others do not because they didn’t have it in them, but the assumption is that our view of the world ought to err on the side of blank-slate optimism. This assumption has costs, though, one of which is that the fine point that it *is* often an error is lost; thus things like “disparate impact” being treated as the result of some sort of oppression.

    The fact that there are limits to human capability, just like there are limits to anything that exists (existence is identity), is noxious to all our red-white-and-blue Jiminy Crickets and climbers.

    Steve interviewed Steven Pinker on his book _The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature_ back in 2002. He has often reproduced this part of the interview. It says it all:

    “Sailer: Aren’t we all better off if people believe that we are not constrained by our biology and so can achieve any future we choose?

    “Pinker: People are surely better off with the truth. Oddly enough, everyone agrees with this when it comes to the arts. Sophisticated people sneer at feel-good comedies and saccharine romances in which everyone lives happily ever after. But when it comes to science, these same people say, “Give us schmaltz!” They expect the science of human beings to be a source of emotional uplift and inspirational sermonizing.”

    link to interview: http://www.vdare.com/articles/pinkers-progress

    Read More
    • Agree: iffen, Grandpa Charlie
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  77. MBlanc46 says:

    I’ll still take the Eddie Cochran version. Then there’s the Blue Cheer cover.

    Read More
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  78. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @cthulhu
    The British Invasion remains the most important event in popular music over the last sixty years, but damned if I know why it happened. By 1963, rock and roll was dying here in the States - Elvis had moved on to more ballad-style music; Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran were dead, and Gene Vincent never really recovered from the injuries he suffered in the wreck (caused by an incompetent London taxi driver) that killed Cochran; Little Richard had found God; the rockabilly pioneers from Sam Phillips' Sun Studios had either moved into the mostly C&W vein (e.g., Johnny Cash) or had become somewhat toxic from a PR standpoint (Jerry Lee Lewis), or had just stopped making hits (Carl Perkins). But somehow a bunch of white middle-class kids from England (many of the British Invasion movers and shakers were Art School students) breathed in the '50s American electric blues and rock&roll, and breathed out some of the most vital music ever made.

    Maybe it was influenced by the privations that England had after the war; it was much more grim over there than here. Also, I heard a very recent interview with Pete Townshend (now as then still rock music's Thinking Man) where he said the generation gap in England in the '60s was extremely deep and wide, probably more so than here. But once those British bands got here in the mid '60s, the American bands kicked it into gear again, and...glorious.

    BTW, the Who hated Woodstock. Townshend famously said it was the worst gig they ever played.

    Popular music always goes through phases and the US and the UK were out of phase enough that that in the UK a lot of young kids were playing something the industry in the US had abandoned, but for which there turned out to be a lot of pent up demand. That, plus the novelty of the British accents and fashions proved a big win over here.

    Another thing is that in the UK, there were few subdivisions of popular music as opposed to the US where (before Motown) blacks and (before the seemingly opposite trends of countrypolitan and the Bakersfield sound) hillbillies had their own stations catering to those markets. The Old Grey Whistle Test and similar shows would have country, rock, R&B, and other acts-MOR, and occasionally foreign language acts like ye-ye or schlager singers-all in a row. Even in the punk era, you might have P-Funk, Emmylou Harris and the Stranglers on the same week.

    Most of the 50s rockabilly acts went country in the sixties because the money was better if you were willing to tour enough. And Elvis of course went into the Army and when he got out made movies, such as they were, where he got to sing such gems as “No Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car”. Blame illegal immigration: “Col. Tom” was really an illegal Dutch immigrant, and possibly a wanted criminal to boot.

    Thomas Andrew “Colonel Tom” Parker (born Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk; June 26, 1909 – January 21, 1997) was a Dutch-born American talent manager, best known as the manager of Elvis Presley.[1] His management of Presley defined the role of masterminding talent management, which involved every facet of the client’s life and was seen as central to the success of Presley’s career.

    So Brit acts (and occasional Australian and NZ ones) found North America low hanging fruit, whereas other international acts had the major disadvantage of not speaking English. Johnny Hallyday, Francoise Hardy, Heino, and dozens of other French, German and Italian acts never seriously chose to sing in English and passed up on the major markets and the major money. ABBA, famously, sang exclusively in English and made an enormous amount of money doing so.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jim jones
    John Lennon Meets Paul McCartney July 6th 1957 :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QByhh5SlRpY
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  79. @passive-aggressivist
    baby boomers are freaking worthless

    Steve Sailer is a baby boomer, so why are you here?.

    Read More
    • Replies: @passive-aggressivist
    because he's bright and insightful. this is the last place i would have imagined people confusing direct statements for universal truths
    , @Anon
    Majority of boomers were patriotic and conservative, but they didn't change the culture.

    Silent boomers lost out to the boomboxers.
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  80. anon says: • Disclaimer

    Woodstock videos? Has Steve been watching the Vietnam War series on PBS with its hippie soundtrack?

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  81. pyrrhus says:
    @Autochthon
    The two-hour mark will almost certainly never be broken, and, if it is, it will be only done by mere nanoseconds, by a genetic freak, and never decreased. We’ve simply determined, empirically, how fast humans, even the best of them, can run. To expect otherwise is to expect that Real Soon Now, a peregrine falcon will fly supersonically, someone will deadlift teo thousand pounds, and a person will live to see two hundred years.

    Using rabbits to break the wind for a premier runner is unsportsmanlike and grounds for disqualification….On another front, it’s becoming clear that running marathons is not a healthy activity, so I think it will become less popular.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    No, because there will always be untalented people insistent that doing something a lot, as opposed to well, makes them virtuous. As a friend who's a former college distance runner says, if you "run" a 4-hour marathon you didn't really "run".

    It's the same thinking that makes the CrossFit weenies believe 10 reps with a 5-pound kettleball makes them powerlifters.
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  82. jim jones says:
    @Anonymous
    Popular music always goes through phases and the US and the UK were out of phase enough that that in the UK a lot of young kids were playing something the industry in the US had abandoned, but for which there turned out to be a lot of pent up demand. That, plus the novelty of the British accents and fashions proved a big win over here.

    Another thing is that in the UK, there were few subdivisions of popular music as opposed to the US where (before Motown) blacks and (before the seemingly opposite trends of countrypolitan and the Bakersfield sound) hillbillies had their own stations catering to those markets. The Old Grey Whistle Test and similar shows would have country, rock, R&B, and other acts-MOR, and occasionally foreign language acts like ye-ye or schlager singers-all in a row. Even in the punk era, you might have P-Funk, Emmylou Harris and the Stranglers on the same week.

    Most of the 50s rockabilly acts went country in the sixties because the money was better if you were willing to tour enough. And Elvis of course went into the Army and when he got out made movies, such as they were, where he got to sing such gems as "No Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car". Blame illegal immigration: "Col. Tom" was really an illegal Dutch immigrant, and possibly a wanted criminal to boot.

    Thomas Andrew "Colonel Tom" Parker (born Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk; June 26, 1909 – January 21, 1997) was a Dutch-born American talent manager, best known as the manager of Elvis Presley.[1] His management of Presley defined the role of masterminding talent management, which involved every facet of the client's life and was seen as central to the success of Presley's career.
     
    So Brit acts (and occasional Australian and NZ ones) found North America low hanging fruit, whereas other international acts had the major disadvantage of not speaking English. Johnny Hallyday, Francoise Hardy, Heino, and dozens of other French, German and Italian acts never seriously chose to sing in English and passed up on the major markets and the major money. ABBA, famously, sang exclusively in English and made an enormous amount of money doing so.

    John Lennon Meets Paul McCartney July 6th 1957 :

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    That funny-looking kid is cute Paul?

    Nasty casting.

    That idyllic fair looks like Pepperland.
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  83. @Harry Baldwin
    Steve Sailer is a baby boomer, so why are you here?.

    because he’s bright and insightful. this is the last place i would have imagined people confusing direct statements for universal truths

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  84. @Kylie
    Omg. Why didn't you warn us?

    “Omg. Why didn’t you warn us?”

    What – about the picture of said wannabe sex object, aka a boy in a frock who wonders why the hot girls get the attention? Or the picture it paints of student mating rituals at Duke?

    Read More
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  85. @Achmed E. Newman
    I'd never heard that Joni song, YAA, but I remembered the name of that album "Ladies of the Canyon".

    That lifestyle and Joni herself had a lot of influence even to across the pond. I've read that Led Zeppelin's ballad, "Going to California" referenced Joni Mitchell when it went "Someone told me there's a girl out there with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair." It probably didn't hurt that she had a picture of herself naked inside the album jacket of "For the Roses" either, though.

    Calm down, it was from the backside. Still, you can't get that stuff off of mp3 songs, can you, Millenial punks?

    It’s a nice song. At one stage hardly anything of hers was on Youtube, she had her lawyers take it down pdq. No longer it seems.

    I knew a few similar scenes and ladies back in the day, when hippy types colonised inexpensive but quaint Northern towns like Nenthead and Hebden Bridge.

    Anon 2.32 – in the 50s and early 60s Brit hipsters were into New Orleans jazz, long after black Americans lost interest, in the mid/late 60s a younger Brit generation was hooked on Delta blues, where a lot of rock bands started..

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "in the 50s and early 60s Brit hipsters were into New Orleans jazz"

    They called it "trad," leading to a 1962 movie directed by Richard Lester entitled "It's Trad, Dad!" But the trad craze started dying out while they were filming, so they added Chubby Checker doing the twist.

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  86. @YetAnotherAnon
    It's a nice song. At one stage hardly anything of hers was on Youtube, she had her lawyers take it down pdq. No longer it seems.

    I knew a few similar scenes and ladies back in the day, when hippy types colonised inexpensive but quaint Northern towns like Nenthead and Hebden Bridge.

    Anon 2.32 - in the 50s and early 60s Brit hipsters were into New Orleans jazz, long after black Americans lost interest, in the mid/late 60s a younger Brit generation was hooked on Delta blues, where a lot of rock bands started..

    “in the 50s and early 60s Brit hipsters were into New Orleans jazz”

    They called it “trad,” leading to a 1962 movie directed by Richard Lester entitled “It’s Trad, Dad!” But the trad craze started dying out while they were filming, so they added Chubby Checker doing the twist.

    Read More
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    There's an Angry-Young-Mannish novel of the period by John Wain (IIRC an Oxbridge prof), Strike The Father Dead , in which rebellious young jazzman hero discovers that he's yesterday's news, and the kids are now looking to rock'n'roll to deliver them from the days of old.

    It's ironic - in my youth, when for a young person the UK was probably the most prosperous it has ever been, a lot of the kids were into the blues tales - low wage, low-status jobs, women leaving them, cried all night (every morning too), rough sleeping, poor housing, can't make the rent etc. Bands would find the dirtiest back streets for their publicity photos, preferably by the bins.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/ab/Bluesbreakers_John_Mayall_with_Eric_Clapton.jpg

    Forty years on those song themes are becoming all too real for young Brit males, but there's no 'indigenous blues'. UK blues festivals still attract the same old people, now in their 50s and 60s.

    , @slumber_j
    Hard to believe, but I have searched these comments in vain for the string "skiffl".
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  87. Realist says:

    “…and a record setter would have to expect to run out in front, breaking the wind, for the last several miles.”

    For that I would suggest plenty of beans.

    Read More
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  88. @Steve Sailer
    "in the 50s and early 60s Brit hipsters were into New Orleans jazz"

    They called it "trad," leading to a 1962 movie directed by Richard Lester entitled "It's Trad, Dad!" But the trad craze started dying out while they were filming, so they added Chubby Checker doing the twist.

    There’s an Angry-Young-Mannish novel of the period by John Wain (IIRC an Oxbridge prof), Strike The Father Dead , in which rebellious young jazzman hero discovers that he’s yesterday’s news, and the kids are now looking to rock’n’roll to deliver them from the days of old.

    It’s ironic – in my youth, when for a young person the UK was probably the most prosperous it has ever been, a lot of the kids were into the blues tales – low wage, low-status jobs, women leaving them, cried all night (every morning too), rough sleeping, poor housing, can’t make the rent etc. Bands would find the dirtiest back streets for their publicity photos, preferably by the bins.

    Forty years on those song themes are becoming all too real for young Brit males, but there’s no ‘indigenous blues’. UK blues festivals still attract the same old people, now in their 50s and 60s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    Clapton is reading the Beano comic. He later said that he was trying not to cooperate with the photographer, but I suspect there was more to it than that. Probably the picture was just taken outside the recording studio rather than at a specially selected downmarket location. The Beatles famously took an album photograph in the street outside Abbey Road studios.

    I grew up in the decaying industrial cities of Britain after World War II and the Blues, with its sardonic wit and emphasis on basic emotions had a lot of appeal. I remember when Howling Wolf toured England in about 1970, though I knew nothing about the American South at the time, just liked the sound of the music.

    Rap/hip hop today has many themes of urban deprivation and delinquency that makes the Blues look like Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPeP3M-NqFo&list=RDQPeP3M-NqFo

    , @whoever

    rebellious young jazzman hero discovers that he’s yesterday’s news, and the kids are now looking to rock’n’roll to deliver them from the days of old.
     
    This part of your comment particularly struck a chord with me because I recently ran across some old Navy promotional radio shows, The Navy Swings, broadcast in 1965, that aimed to appeal to those in their late teens to join the Navy.
    I find them interesting, and the artists they showcase, most of whom I've never heard of, enjoyable, but I can't imagine what those who produced the shows were thinking. Were they really that out of touch with the youth culture of the era? I can't imagine a high school student in 1965 pausing for even one second to give those shows a listen.
    Instead they were grooving on such fab hits as We Five's "You Were On My Mind," which I think is still outa sight!

    https://youtu.be/29uNvGHsRlc

    , @unpc downunder
    In fairness the blues/mod rocker period quickly transformed into the melodic heavy rock/ prog rock period of the late 60s and early 70s. In many respects this was a more authentic form of expression. Upper middle class white guys from public schools know a lot more about fantasy novels and Greek history than they do about the lives of depression-era black people in the southern US.
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  89. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    And these myths of psychological barriers to human performance will withstand anything but blood tests for new Performance Enhancing Drugs.

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  90. My odd suggestion is that Woodstock in 1969 was a victory party for the sons of the guys who won WWII.

    As you pointed out some time ago, Steve, the rock music of the 1960s was created by the older siblings of the Baby Boomers. The majority of their audience, though, was the Baby Boom kids who were born after 1945.

    It really is quite striking. If one looks up the birth dates of the members of all the great rock bands of the Sixties, not one was born after 1945—almost to a man. Almost each and every one of them was a wartime baby.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    If one looks up the birth dates of the members of all the great rock bands of the Sixties, not one was born after 1945—almost to a man. Almost each and every one of them was a wartime baby.

    Keith Moon

    Bob Weir

    Mick Taylor

    Robert Plant

    John Echols

    Mitch Mitchell

    Jon Bonham

    David Gilmour

    Carlos Santana

    Robby Krieger

    Gram Parsons

    Pete Ham

    Carl Wilson

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  91. slumber_j says:
    @Steve Sailer
    "in the 50s and early 60s Brit hipsters were into New Orleans jazz"

    They called it "trad," leading to a 1962 movie directed by Richard Lester entitled "It's Trad, Dad!" But the trad craze started dying out while they were filming, so they added Chubby Checker doing the twist.

    Hard to believe, but I have searched these comments in vain for the string “skiffl”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    I guess you're right that a skiffle band was the musical grounding of many if not most of the war-baby musicians. And I have a bit of a blind spot in that I was too young to remember those years, for me skiffle means Lonnie Donegan. But (wiki)...

    "It has been estimated that in the late 1950s, there were 30,000–50,000 skiffle groups in Britain. Sales of guitars grew rapidly, and other musicians were able to perform on improvised bass and percussion in venues such as church halls and cafes and in the flourishing coffee bars of Soho, London, like the 2i's Coffee Bar, the Cat's Whisker and nightspots like Coconut Grove and Churchill's, without having to aspire to musical perfection or virtuosity. A large number of British musicians began their careers playing skiffle in this period, and some became leading figures in their respective fields. These included leading Northern Irish musician Van Morrison and British blues pioneer Alexis Korner, as well as Ronnie Wood, Alex Harvey and Mick Jagger; folk musicians Martin Carthy, John Renbourn and Ashley Hutchings; rock musicians Roger Daltrey, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Robin Trower and David Gilmour; and popular beat-music successes Graham Nash and Allan Clarke of the Hollies. Most notably, the Beatles developed from John Lennon's skiffle group the Quarrymen. Similarly, the Bee Gees developed from Barry Gibb's skiffle group the Rattlesnakes."
     
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  92. BB753 says:
    @Alden
    How many White children did you conceive and raise to adulthood? If it's less than 6 you have no right to criticize other Whites for having small families.

    Practice what you preach.

    Seriously, 6?

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  93. @YetAnotherAnon
    There's an Angry-Young-Mannish novel of the period by John Wain (IIRC an Oxbridge prof), Strike The Father Dead , in which rebellious young jazzman hero discovers that he's yesterday's news, and the kids are now looking to rock'n'roll to deliver them from the days of old.

    It's ironic - in my youth, when for a young person the UK was probably the most prosperous it has ever been, a lot of the kids were into the blues tales - low wage, low-status jobs, women leaving them, cried all night (every morning too), rough sleeping, poor housing, can't make the rent etc. Bands would find the dirtiest back streets for their publicity photos, preferably by the bins.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/ab/Bluesbreakers_John_Mayall_with_Eric_Clapton.jpg

    Forty years on those song themes are becoming all too real for young Brit males, but there's no 'indigenous blues'. UK blues festivals still attract the same old people, now in their 50s and 60s.

    Clapton is reading the Beano comic. He later said that he was trying not to cooperate with the photographer, but I suspect there was more to it than that. Probably the picture was just taken outside the recording studio rather than at a specially selected downmarket location. The Beatles famously took an album photograph in the street outside Abbey Road studios.

    I grew up in the decaying industrial cities of Britain after World War II and the Blues, with its sardonic wit and emphasis on basic emotions had a lot of appeal. I remember when Howling Wolf toured England in about 1970, though I knew nothing about the American South at the time, just liked the sound of the music.

    Rap/hip hop today has many themes of urban deprivation and delinquency that makes the Blues look like Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

    Read More
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  94. @slumber_j
    Hard to believe, but I have searched these comments in vain for the string "skiffl".

    I guess you’re right that a skiffle band was the musical grounding of many if not most of the war-baby musicians. And I have a bit of a blind spot in that I was too young to remember those years, for me skiffle means Lonnie Donegan. But (wiki)…

    “It has been estimated that in the late 1950s, there were 30,000–50,000 skiffle groups in Britain. Sales of guitars grew rapidly, and other musicians were able to perform on improvised bass and percussion in venues such as church halls and cafes and in the flourishing coffee bars of Soho, London, like the 2i’s Coffee Bar, the Cat’s Whisker and nightspots like Coconut Grove and Churchill’s, without having to aspire to musical perfection or virtuosity. A large number of British musicians began their careers playing skiffle in this period, and some became leading figures in their respective fields. These included leading Northern Irish musician Van Morrison and British blues pioneer Alexis Korner, as well as Ronnie Wood, Alex Harvey and Mick Jagger; folk musicians Martin Carthy, John Renbourn and Ashley Hutchings; rock musicians Roger Daltrey, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Robin Trower and David Gilmour; and popular beat-music successes Graham Nash and Allan Clarke of the Hollies. Most notably, the Beatles developed from John Lennon’s skiffle group the Quarrymen. Similarly, the Bee Gees developed from Barry Gibb’s skiffle group the Rattlesnakes.”

    Read More
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  95. whoever says: • Website
    @YetAnotherAnon
    There's an Angry-Young-Mannish novel of the period by John Wain (IIRC an Oxbridge prof), Strike The Father Dead , in which rebellious young jazzman hero discovers that he's yesterday's news, and the kids are now looking to rock'n'roll to deliver them from the days of old.

    It's ironic - in my youth, when for a young person the UK was probably the most prosperous it has ever been, a lot of the kids were into the blues tales - low wage, low-status jobs, women leaving them, cried all night (every morning too), rough sleeping, poor housing, can't make the rent etc. Bands would find the dirtiest back streets for their publicity photos, preferably by the bins.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/ab/Bluesbreakers_John_Mayall_with_Eric_Clapton.jpg

    Forty years on those song themes are becoming all too real for young Brit males, but there's no 'indigenous blues'. UK blues festivals still attract the same old people, now in their 50s and 60s.

    rebellious young jazzman hero discovers that he’s yesterday’s news, and the kids are now looking to rock’n’roll to deliver them from the days of old.

    This part of your comment particularly struck a chord with me because I recently ran across some old Navy promotional radio shows, The Navy Swings, broadcast in 1965, that aimed to appeal to those in their late teens to join the Navy.
    I find them interesting, and the artists they showcase, most of whom I’ve never heard of, enjoyable, but I can’t imagine what those who produced the shows were thinking. Were they really that out of touch with the youth culture of the era? I can’t imagine a high school student in 1965 pausing for even one second to give those shows a listen.
    Instead they were grooving on such fab hits as We Five’s “You Were On My Mind,” which I think is still outa sight!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The US generated a giant number of professional musicians during the Big Band era, and then came up with various schemes to put them to work as musicians afterwards, such as high school band teachers.
    , @anonguy
    The Navy has a bluegrass band of very long standing. Great gig, I knew one guy who played in it. But really, a Navy bluegrass band?
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  96. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    It got lonely.

    Top British runners since the 60s.

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  97. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @PiltdownMan

    My odd suggestion is that Woodstock in 1969 was a victory party for the sons of the guys who won WWII.

     

    As you pointed out some time ago, Steve, the rock music of the 1960s was created by the older siblings of the Baby Boomers. The majority of their audience, though, was the Baby Boom kids who were born after 1945.

    It really is quite striking. If one looks up the birth dates of the members of all the great rock bands of the Sixties, not one was born after 1945—almost to a man. Almost each and every one of them was a wartime baby.

    If one looks up the birth dates of the members of all the great rock bands of the Sixties, not one was born after 1945—almost to a man. Almost each and every one of them was a wartime baby.

    Keith Moon

    Bob Weir

    Mick Taylor

    Robert Plant

    John Echols

    Mitch Mitchell

    Jon Bonham

    David Gilmour

    Carlos Santana

    Robby Krieger

    Gram Parsons

    Pete Ham

    Carl Wilson

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I found it surprising that Mick Taylor is younger than Ronnie Wood and that the only two living former members of the Rolling Stones are the youngest and the oldest.
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  98. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @jim jones
    John Lennon Meets Paul McCartney July 6th 1957 :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QByhh5SlRpY

    That funny-looking kid is cute Paul?

    Nasty casting.

    That idyllic fair looks like Pepperland.

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  99. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Harry Baldwin
    Steve Sailer is a baby boomer, so why are you here?.

    Majority of boomers were patriotic and conservative, but they didn’t change the culture.

    Silent boomers lost out to the boomboxers.

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  100. prosa123 says: • Website

    Didn’t happen at Berlin today. The winner ran it in 2:03:32, about 30 seconds short of the world record.

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  101. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    The quad jump in figure skating was long considered an almost unreachable ideal but now every male needs one. The triple axel for women (ever landed by only 3 women in competition so far, one of whom was T. Harding) is also on its way to be a must-have. Advances in coaching and training routines (which probably influence body form as well) have driven this.

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  102. @whoever

    rebellious young jazzman hero discovers that he’s yesterday’s news, and the kids are now looking to rock’n’roll to deliver them from the days of old.
     
    This part of your comment particularly struck a chord with me because I recently ran across some old Navy promotional radio shows, The Navy Swings, broadcast in 1965, that aimed to appeal to those in their late teens to join the Navy.
    I find them interesting, and the artists they showcase, most of whom I've never heard of, enjoyable, but I can't imagine what those who produced the shows were thinking. Were they really that out of touch with the youth culture of the era? I can't imagine a high school student in 1965 pausing for even one second to give those shows a listen.
    Instead they were grooving on such fab hits as We Five's "You Were On My Mind," which I think is still outa sight!

    https://youtu.be/29uNvGHsRlc

    The US generated a giant number of professional musicians during the Big Band era, and then came up with various schemes to put them to work as musicians afterwards, such as high school band teachers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    El Cumbanchero, one of the most Cuban-sounding pieces ever, especially in Desi Arnaz's rendition, was written by a Puerto Rican native based in Washington , DC, after a period studying composition in Mexico City.

    Sometimes multiculturalism does work. Like when what little of it there is is cherry-picked.

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  103. I thought our heads were physical limits.

    It’s even enshrined into law. My right to swing my fist…

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  104. @Steve Sailer
    The US generated a giant number of professional musicians during the Big Band era, and then came up with various schemes to put them to work as musicians afterwards, such as high school band teachers.

    El Cumbanchero, one of the most Cuban-sounding pieces ever, especially in Desi Arnaz’s rendition, was written by a Puerto Rican native based in Washington , DC, after a period studying composition in Mexico City.

    Sometimes multiculturalism does work. Like when what little of it there is is cherry-picked.

    Read More
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  105. anonguy says:
    @whoever

    rebellious young jazzman hero discovers that he’s yesterday’s news, and the kids are now looking to rock’n’roll to deliver them from the days of old.
     
    This part of your comment particularly struck a chord with me because I recently ran across some old Navy promotional radio shows, The Navy Swings, broadcast in 1965, that aimed to appeal to those in their late teens to join the Navy.
    I find them interesting, and the artists they showcase, most of whom I've never heard of, enjoyable, but I can't imagine what those who produced the shows were thinking. Were they really that out of touch with the youth culture of the era? I can't imagine a high school student in 1965 pausing for even one second to give those shows a listen.
    Instead they were grooving on such fab hits as We Five's "You Were On My Mind," which I think is still outa sight!

    https://youtu.be/29uNvGHsRlc

    The Navy has a bluegrass band of very long standing. Great gig, I knew one guy who played in it. But really, a Navy bluegrass band?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Oddly enough it makes sense. The core audience for bluegrass is ole Scots-Irish peckerwoods in rural areas a long, long way from seawater, but who both join the military at higher rates than normal and tend to be good soldiers (and airmen, and Marines, and, if they think of it, sailors) especially in wartime.

    The Navy figures that if it can get them to think about the Navy, some will join the Navy instead of the other services. This theory seems to be correct: a bluegrass band is a cost effective recruiting tool.

    What is more arcane and interesting is the US Navy Steel Band, now defunct, established by RADM Dan Gallery, the mastermind behind the intact seizure of the U-505. I saw them play once, and it was a unique show: the Caribbean folk instruments played by real, trained musicians. It was the only military steel drum band in the world.
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  106. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @anonguy
    The Navy has a bluegrass band of very long standing. Great gig, I knew one guy who played in it. But really, a Navy bluegrass band?

    Oddly enough it makes sense. The core audience for bluegrass is ole Scots-Irish peckerwoods in rural areas a long, long way from seawater, but who both join the military at higher rates than normal and tend to be good soldiers (and airmen, and Marines, and, if they think of it, sailors) especially in wartime.

    The Navy figures that if it can get them to think about the Navy, some will join the Navy instead of the other services. This theory seems to be correct: a bluegrass band is a cost effective recruiting tool.

    What is more arcane and interesting is the US Navy Steel Band, now defunct, established by RADM Dan Gallery, the mastermind behind the intact seizure of the U-505. I saw them play once, and it was a unique show: the Caribbean folk instruments played by real, trained musicians. It was the only military steel drum band in the world.

    Read More
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  107. Olorin says:

    Are Physical Limits All in Our Heads?

    Mmmmm, no, not a good headline at all.

    Howbout this?:

    What other extreme outlier capacities can we redefine as normal now that there’s a tranny in every one of your daughters’ locker rooms and bathrooms and public opinion seems resistant to bestiality and pedophilia and for the moment we seem to have run out of outlying capacities to normalize and politicize?

    There. Much more Progressive.

    Coming soon from the Old Gray Master Clickbaiter:

    Is it racist that we can’t all be Guaranis?
    One woman’s bid to join the world’s smallest ethnic group in the name of justice and Resist/ing Literally Hitler

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_contemporary_ethnic_groups

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  108. @martin2
    Wasn't Bob Beamon partly due to altitude?

    Most commentators agreed that a portion of Beamon’s extraordinary performance was due to the altitude. Ron Clarke’s collapse and near-death in the 10,000 meter race in Mexico City was also due to altitude. It was irresponsible to have the Olympics at that altitude.

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  109. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anon
    If one looks up the birth dates of the members of all the great rock bands of the Sixties, not one was born after 1945—almost to a man. Almost each and every one of them was a wartime baby.

    Keith Moon

    Bob Weir

    Mick Taylor

    Robert Plant

    John Echols

    Mitch Mitchell

    Jon Bonham

    David Gilmour

    Carlos Santana

    Robby Krieger

    Gram Parsons

    Pete Ham

    Carl Wilson

    I found it surprising that Mick Taylor is younger than Ronnie Wood and that the only two living former members of the Rolling Stones are the youngest and the oldest.

    Read More
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  110. @YetAnotherAnon
    There's an Angry-Young-Mannish novel of the period by John Wain (IIRC an Oxbridge prof), Strike The Father Dead , in which rebellious young jazzman hero discovers that he's yesterday's news, and the kids are now looking to rock'n'roll to deliver them from the days of old.

    It's ironic - in my youth, when for a young person the UK was probably the most prosperous it has ever been, a lot of the kids were into the blues tales - low wage, low-status jobs, women leaving them, cried all night (every morning too), rough sleeping, poor housing, can't make the rent etc. Bands would find the dirtiest back streets for their publicity photos, preferably by the bins.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/ab/Bluesbreakers_John_Mayall_with_Eric_Clapton.jpg

    Forty years on those song themes are becoming all too real for young Brit males, but there's no 'indigenous blues'. UK blues festivals still attract the same old people, now in their 50s and 60s.

    In fairness the blues/mod rocker period quickly transformed into the melodic heavy rock/ prog rock period of the late 60s and early 70s. In many respects this was a more authentic form of expression. Upper middle class white guys from public schools know a lot more about fantasy novels and Greek history than they do about the lives of depression-era black people in the southern US.

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  111. Moshe says:
    @sb
    It is maybe worth noting that it was once actually illegal under the rules of athletics ( track and field ) to have pacemakers in running races . Clearly ,as with all rules , some played by them whereas others bent them if not ignored them altogether .
    Bannister's breaking of the four minute mile barrier was the result of very organised pacing and was controversial at the time among the sticklers for the rules ie it was not quite "cricket "

    Of course Bannister became such a respected Establishment figure that this is rarely mentioned

    Never heard of it.
    Looked it up….
    Oh
    My
    God!

    I am officially un-fanning Banister.
    This really pisses me off.

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  112. Moshe says:
    @Chrisnonymous
    You know what the advantage of drinking is? Half a bottle of Pinotage and half a bottle of 8-year Wild Turkey in, and I recognized what an internal contradiction "all physical limits are in our heads" is. I wouldn't have thought of that while sober.

    Tomorrow morning, I can find out whether that still makes sense...

    The head is physical

    :)

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  113. @Anonymous
    Interesting.

    Of course, the euphoria of victory in World War 2 was matched by the loss of Empire - most poignantly with India in 1947 - and the tough 'austerity' years in which official rationing of life's essentials continued for many years after the war. However, perhaps most significantly for Britain, Winston Churchill was unexpectedly ejected by the British electorate, and in came Clement Attlee with the most unabashed explicitly socialist programme in UK history.
    The National Health Service was established, together with the welfare state and heavy industry was nationalised. Incidentally, Ross McWhirter who you mention was a fierce enemy of socialism, and he was later murdered by the IRA.

    Now, after around 1950 when the economy really got going again, the UK experienced for the next 20 or so years a surge in incomes, prosperity, employment, personal happiness etc the likes of which it never experienced before - or again - in history. These were the 'You've never had it so good years' of Harold McMillan.
    A turning point in UK foreign policy was the American-sabotaged 1956 Anglo-French militarized attempt to win back the Suez Canal from Nasser's 'nationalization'. The realisation being that no 'special relationship' or mythical bond of blood, love and culture existed between the UK and the USA - the USA would rather favor the 'anti-colonialist' Arabic Nasser over the so-called 'mother country'. Hence, the British political class's move towards federating with a 'united Europe' really started from there.
    Also, despite economic growth rates being the highest ever in UK history, envious eyes were being cast at the continental European nations' higher rates of economic growth. The irony is that in the past few decades EU growth rates, on the continent, have been anaemic to say the least.
    .

    “A turning point in UK foreign policy was the American-sabotaged 1956 Anglo-French militarized attempt to win back the Suez Canal from Nasser’s ‘nationalization’. The realisation being that no ‘special relationship’ or mythical bond of blood, love and culture existed between the UK and the USA – the USA would rather favor the ‘anti-colonialist’ Arabic Nasser over the so-called ‘mother country’. Hence, the British political class’s move towards federating with a ‘united Europe’ really started from there.” — Anonymous (#39)

    Brilliant historical/political analysis! However, the ‘special relationship’ was, and likely still is, real; it’s just that it was/is manifest mainly in close sharing of intelligence between the UK and USA armed forces that existed since before World War II and, probably, on into the present day. CW seems to believe that USA and UK work closely together also in clandestine operations around the world (cf., the James Bond legend, or, more recently, e.g., the Netflix movie Night Manager.)

    About the “Anglo-French militarized attempt to win back the Suez Canal” in 1956: that short description completely omits the role played by Israel.

    “The Israelis struck first, on October 26, 1956. Two days later, British forces and French military forces joined them. Originally, the three countries were set to strike at once, but the British and French troops were delayed.” — History.com

    http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/suez-crisis

    Anonymous comes from a UK POV and seems to imply a belief that Eisenhower, traitorously preferred Nasser’s Arabs over the govt. and people of the UK. But there’s another side to the story:

    “Soviet leader Khruschchev railed against the invasion and threatened to rain down nuclear missiles on Western Europe if the Israeli-French-British force did not withdraw … [Eisenhower] cautioned Khrushchev to refrain from direct intervention in the conflict. However, Eisenhower also issued stern warnings to the French, British and Israelis to give up their campaign and withdraw from Egyptian soil. Eisenhower was upset with the British, in particular, for not keeping the United States informed about their intentions. The United States threatened all three nations with economic sanctions if they persisted in their attack. The threats did their work. The British and French forces withdrew by December; Israel finally bowed to U.S. pressure in March 1957.” — History.com

    Whether in reality, the UK deliberately and successfully kept USA in the dark or the UK merely tried to do so and Eisenhower was disingenuous (merely feigning surprise), it’s clear that there must have been a breach of the Anglo-American intelligence-sharing agreement. That would, indeed, piss off Eisenhower with his background as SCAEF (in London!) in WW II.

    What is most interesting in all this is the fact that Eisenhower did not hesitate to tell Israel what to do, although he gave them ample time in which to comply with his orders, but with no apology to any Israel lobby or whatever. Compare that with the USS Liberty event during the LBJ administration (during the 1967 Six Day War).

    What happened between the era of Eisenhower/Dulles and Nixon/Kissinger? That is, what happened between 1956 and 1967?

    We could say that what happened was Kennedy/Bundy, but McGeorge Bundy, who served as NSA from 1961 through 1965 and two months into 1966, was basically a continuation of Eisenhower/Dulles, and Bundy was followed by Walt Rostow, a further continuation. In January 1969, five years into the Nixon administration, Kissinger took over as NSA, expanding his portfolio to include SoS in 1973. (Later, In 2002, Kissinger was pulled out of retirement to set up the 9/11 Commission, as the original Chair of that farcical excuse for a real investigation of the assassination.)

    Returning to the question, “What happened between the era of Eisenhower/Dulles and Nixon/Kissinger?” — we could say Kennedy, Bundy, Rostow .. or, we might say, the JFK assassination (22 November 1963). Kissinger’s reign in what has been called the “Kissinger administration” — with Nixon originally fronting it — began in January 1969, lasting through Nixon’s resignation and on through the Ford administration … right up until the day that Jimmy Carter took over in January 1977. A total of eight years.

    In summary, it’s moot whether USA “sabotaged” the Israeli-Anglo-French Suez venture in 1956 or whether what happened in 1956 was that the UK sabotaged the special relationship between the UK and the USA. The problem today is that the UK and the USA are like two dogs that somehow are being wagged by the same insane and destructive tail.

    Yes, by all means, especially since Brexit, bring back the special relationship of the Engish-speaking world! May the Commonwealth absorb the USA and welcome back all the Anglo-Saxons plus the Kelts and even the gdawful Normans into our greater ancestral homelands! We should even bring in all the Boer people suffering persecution in South Africa. And even all the Irish should they so decide. Hell, YES!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I've been getting Christmas cards lately from Alice Springs, Australia in the dead center of the Outback from a distant relation who is there for Five Eyes (US, UK, CA, AU, NZ) reasons that stretch back to the time of Alan Turing and Claude Shannon.

    Ask the head of French counter-intelligence if he thinks the "Special Relationship" of the Anglo-Saxon powers is history.

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  114. @Grandpa Charlie

    "A turning point in UK foreign policy was the American-sabotaged 1956 Anglo-French militarized attempt to win back the Suez Canal from Nasser’s ‘nationalization’. The realisation being that no ‘special relationship’ or mythical bond of blood, love and culture existed between the UK and the USA – the USA would rather favor the ‘anti-colonialist’ Arabic Nasser over the so-called ‘mother country’. Hence, the British political class’s move towards federating with a ‘united Europe’ really started from there." -- Anonymous (#39)
     
    Brilliant historical/political analysis! However, the 'special relationship' was, and likely still is, real; it's just that it was/is manifest mainly in close sharing of intelligence between the UK and USA armed forces that existed since before World War II and, probably, on into the present day. CW seems to believe that USA and UK work closely together also in clandestine operations around the world (cf., the James Bond legend, or, more recently, e.g., the Netflix movie Night Manager.)

    About the "Anglo-French militarized attempt to win back the Suez Canal" in 1956: that short description completely omits the role played by Israel.


    "The Israelis struck first, on October 26, 1956. Two days later, British forces and French military forces joined them. Originally, the three countries were set to strike at once, but the British and French troops were delayed." -- History.com

    http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/suez-crisis
     

    Anonymous comes from a UK POV and seems to imply a belief that Eisenhower, traitorously preferred Nasser's Arabs over the govt. and people of the UK. But there's another side to the story:

    "Soviet leader Khruschchev railed against the invasion and threatened to rain down nuclear missiles on Western Europe if the Israeli-French-British force did not withdraw ... [Eisenhower] cautioned Khrushchev to refrain from direct intervention in the conflict. However, Eisenhower also issued stern warnings to the French, British and Israelis to give up their campaign and withdraw from Egyptian soil. Eisenhower was upset with the British, in particular, for not keeping the United States informed about their intentions. The United States threatened all three nations with economic sanctions if they persisted in their attack. The threats did their work. The British and French forces withdrew by December; Israel finally bowed to U.S. pressure in March 1957." -- History.com
     

    Whether in reality, the UK deliberately and successfully kept USA in the dark or the UK merely tried to do so and Eisenhower was disingenuous (merely feigning surprise), it's clear that there must have been a breach of the Anglo-American intelligence-sharing agreement. That would, indeed, piss off Eisenhower with his background as SCAEF (in London!) in WW II.

    What is most interesting in all this is the fact that Eisenhower did not hesitate to tell Israel what to do, although he gave them ample time in which to comply with his orders, but with no apology to any Israel lobby or whatever. Compare that with the USS Liberty event during the LBJ administration (during the 1967 Six Day War).

    What happened between the era of Eisenhower/Dulles and Nixon/Kissinger? That is, what happened between 1956 and 1967?

    We could say that what happened was Kennedy/Bundy, but McGeorge Bundy, who served as NSA from 1961 through 1965 and two months into 1966, was basically a continuation of Eisenhower/Dulles, and Bundy was followed by Walt Rostow, a further continuation. In January 1969, five years into the Nixon administration, Kissinger took over as NSA, expanding his portfolio to include SoS in 1973. (Later, In 2002, Kissinger was pulled out of retirement to set up the 9/11 Commission, as the original Chair of that farcical excuse for a real investigation of the assassination.)

    Returning to the question, "What happened between the era of Eisenhower/Dulles and Nixon/Kissinger?" -- we could say Kennedy, Bundy, Rostow .. or, we might say, the JFK assassination (22 November 1963). Kissinger's reign in what has been called the "Kissinger administration" -- with Nixon originally fronting it -- began in January 1969, lasting through Nixon's resignation and on through the Ford administration ... right up until the day that Jimmy Carter took over in January 1977. A total of eight years.


    In summary, it's moot whether USA "sabotaged" the Israeli-Anglo-French Suez venture in 1956 or whether what happened in 1956 was that the UK sabotaged the special relationship between the UK and the USA. The problem today is that the UK and the USA are like two dogs that somehow are being wagged by the same insane and destructive tail.

    Yes, by all means, especially since Brexit, bring back the special relationship of the Engish-speaking world! May the Commonwealth absorb the USA and welcome back all the Anglo-Saxons plus the Kelts and even the gdawful Normans into our greater ancestral homelands! We should even bring in all the Boer people suffering persecution in South Africa. And even all the Irish should they so decide. Hell, YES!

    I’ve been getting Christmas cards lately from Alice Springs, Australia in the dead center of the Outback from a distant relation who is there for Five Eyes (US, UK, CA, AU, NZ) reasons that stretch back to the time of Alan Turing and Claude Shannon.

    Ask the head of French counter-intelligence if he thinks the “Special Relationship” of the Anglo-Saxon powers is history.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Grandpa Charlie
    Where else would you go but the middle of the Outback? And, yeah, the French ... they are for France!

    Vive le Front national!
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  115. @Steve Sailer
    I've been getting Christmas cards lately from Alice Springs, Australia in the dead center of the Outback from a distant relation who is there for Five Eyes (US, UK, CA, AU, NZ) reasons that stretch back to the time of Alan Turing and Claude Shannon.

    Ask the head of French counter-intelligence if he thinks the "Special Relationship" of the Anglo-Saxon powers is history.

    Where else would you go but the middle of the Outback? And, yeah, the French … they are for France!

    Vive le Front national!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The middle of the Outback was chosen to prevent Soviet electronic spying ships from getting close enough to pick up stray emanations. Alice Springs is the most inland place in the First World Southern Hemisphere, I believe.
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  116. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @anonymouslee
    "My odd suggestion is that Woodstock in 1969 was a victory party for the sons of the guys who won WWII"

    Perhaps more true than you know.

    I read some amusing work by one of the more fun-loving conspiracy theorists that posited Laurel Canyon as 1) the real center of the hippie movement and 2) some kind of psy-op from the military-industrial complex.

    As committed political activists like Abbie Hoffman wondered, "where the f*** did the hippies come from?"

    Where indeed.


    An uncanny number of rock music superstars will emerge from Laurel Canyon beginning in the mid-1960s and carrying through the decade of the 1970s. The first to drop an album will be The Byrds, whose biggest star will prove to be David Crosby. The band’s debut effort, “Mr. Tambourine Man,” will be released on the Summer Solstice of 1965. It will quickly be followed by releases from the John Phillips-led Mamas and the Papas (“If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears,” January 1966), Love with Arthur Lee (“Love,” May 1966), Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention (“Freak Out,” June 1966), Buffalo Springfield, featuring Stephen Stills and Neil Young (“Buffalo Springfield,” October 1966), and The Doors (“The Doors,” January 1967).



    One of the earliest on the Laurel Canyon/Sunset Strip scene is Jim Morrison, the enigmatic lead singer of The Doors. Jim will quickly become one of the most iconic, controversial, critically acclaimed, and influential figures to take up residence in Laurel Canyon. Curiously enough though, the self-proclaimed “Lizard King” has another claim to fame as well, albeit one that none of his numerous chroniclers will feel is of much relevance to his career and possible untimely death: he is the son, as it turns out, of the aforementioned Admiral George Stephen Morrison.


    Given that Zappa was, by numerous accounts, a rigidly authoritarian control-freak and a supporter of U.S. military actions in Southeast Asia, it is perhaps not surprising that he would not feel a kinship with the youth movement that he helped nurture. And it is probably safe to say that Frank’s dad also had little regard for the youth culture of the 1960s, given that Francis Zappa was, in case you were wondering, a chemical warfare specialist assigned to – where else? – the Edgewood Arsenal. Edgewood is, of course, the longtime home of America’s chemical warfare program, as well as a facility frequently cited as being deeply enmeshed in MK-ULTRA operations. Curiously enough, Frank Zappa literally grew up at the Edgewood Arsenal, having lived the first seven years of his life in military housing on the grounds of the facility. The family later moved to Lancaster, California, near Edwards Air Force Base, where Francis Zappa continued to busy himself with doing classified work for the military/intelligence complex. His son, meanwhile, prepped himself to become an icon of the peace & love crowd. Again, nothing unusual about that, I suppose.

    Zappa’s manager, by the way, is a shadowy character by the name of Herb Cohen, who had come out to L.A. from the Bronx with his brother Mutt just before the music and club scene began heating up. Cohen, a former U.S. Marine, had spent a few years traveling the world before his arrival on the Laurel Canyon scene. Those travels, curiously, had taken him to the Congo in 1961, at the very time that leftist Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was being tortured and killed by our very own CIA. Not to worry though; according to one of Zappa’s biographers, Cohen wasn’t in the Congo on some kind of nefarious intelligence mission. No, he was there, believe it or not, to supply arms to Lumumba “in defiance of the CIA.” Because, you know, that is the kind of thing that globetrotting ex-Marines did in those days (as we’ll see soon enough when we take a look at another Laurel Canyonluminary).
    Making up the other half of Laurel Canyon’s First Family is Frank’s wife, Gail Zappa, known formerly as Adelaide Sloatman. Gail hails from a long line of career Naval officers, including her father, who spent his life working on classified nuclear weapons research for the U.S. Navy. Gail herself had once worked as a secretary for the Office of Naval Research and Development (she also once told an interviewer that she had “heard voices all [her] life”). Many years before their nearly simultaneous arrival in Laurel Canyon, Gail had attended a Naval kindergarten with “Mr. Mojo Risin’” himself, Jim Morrison (it is claimed that, as children, Gail once hit Jim over the head with a hammer). The very same Jim Morrison had later attended the same Alexandria, Virginia high school as two other future Laurel Canyon luminaries – John Phillips and Cass Elliott.
    “Papa” John Phillips, more so than probably any of the other illustrious residents of Laurel Canyon, will play a major role in spreading the emerging youth ‘counterculture’ across America. His contribution will be twofold: first, he will co-organize (along with Manson associate Terry Melcher) the famed Monterrey Pop Festival, which, through unprecedented media exposure, will give mainstream America its first real look at the music and fashions of the nascent ‘hippie’ movement. Second, Phillips will pen an insipid song known as “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair),” which will quickly rise to the top of the charts.

    John Edmund Andrew Phillips was, shockingly enough, yet another child of the military/intelligence complex. The son of U.S. Marine Corp Captain Claude Andrew Phillips and a mother who claimed to have psychic and telekinetic powers, John attended a series of elite military prep schools in the Washington, D.C. area, culminating in an appointment to the prestigious U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis
    After leaving Annapolis, John married Susie Adams, a direct descendant of ‘Founding Father’ John Adams. Susie’s father, James Adams, Jr., had been involved in what Susie described as “cloak-and-dagger stuff with the Air Force in Vienna,” or what we like to call covert intelligence operations. Susie herself would later find employment at the Pentagon, alongside John Phillip’s older sister, Rosie, who dutifully reported to work at the complex for nearly thirty years. John’s mother, ‘Dene’ Phillips, also worked for most of her life for the federal government in some unspecified capacity.

    John Phillips, of course – though surrounded throughout his life by military/intelligence personnel – did not involve himself in such matters. Or so we are to believe. Before succeeding in his musical career, however, John did seem to find himself, quite innocently of course, in some rather unusual places. One such place was Havana, Cuba, where Phillips arrived at the very height of the Cuban Revolution. For the record, Phillips has claimed that he went to Havana as nothing more than a concerned private citizen, with the intention of – you’re going to love this one – “fighting for Castro.” Because, as I mentioned earlier, a lot of folks in those days traveled abroad to thwart CIA operations before taking up residence in Laurel Canyon and joining the ‘hippie’ generation.

    Before his arrival in Laurel Canyon, Stephen Stills was (*yawn*) the product of yet another career military family. Raised partly in Texas, young Stephen spent large swaths of his childhood in El Salvador, Costa Rica, the Panama Canal Zone, and various other parts of Central America – alongside his father, who was, we can be fairly certain, helping to spread ‘democracy’ to the unwashed masses in that endearingly American way. As with the rest of our cast of characters, Stills was educated primarily at schools on military bases and at elite military academies. Among his contemporaries in Laurel Canyon, he was widely viewed as having an abrasive, authoritarian personality. Nothing unusual about any of that, of course, as we have already seen with the rest of our cast of characters.
    There is, however, an even more curious aspect to the Stephen Stills story: Stephen will later tell anyone who will sit and listen that he had served time for Uncle Sam in the jungles of Vietnam. These tales will be universally dismissed by chroniclers of the era as nothing more than drug-induced delusions. Such a thing couldn’t possibly be true, it will be claimed, since Stills arrived on the Laurel Canyon scene at the very time that the first uniformed troops began shipping out and he remained in the public eye thereafter. And it will of course be quite true that Stephen Stills could not have served with uniformed ground troops in Vietnam, but what will be ignored is the undeniable fact that the U.S. had thousands of ‘advisers’ – which is to say, CIA/Special Forces operatives – operating in the country for a good many years before the arrival of the first official ground troops. What will also be ignored is that, given his background, his age, and the timeline of events, Stephen Stills not only could indeed have seen action in Vietnam, he would seem to have been a prime candidate for such an assignment. After which, of course, he could rather quickly become – stop me if you’ve heard this one before – an icon of the peace generation.


    Another of those icons, and one of Laurel Canyon’s most flamboyant residents, is a young man by the name of David Crosby, founding member of the seminal Laurel Canyon band the Byrds, as well as, of course, Crosby, Stills & Nash. Crosby is, not surprisingly, the son of an Annapolis graduate and WWII military intelligence officer, Major Floyd Delafield Crosby. Like others in this story, Floyd Crosby spent much of his post-service time traveling the world. Those travels landed him in places like Haiti, where he paid a visit in 1927, when the country just happened to be, coincidentally of course, under military occupation by the U.S. Marines. One of the Marines doing that occupying was a guy that we met earlier by the name of Captain Claude Andrew Phillips.
    But David Crosby is much more than just the son of Major Floyd Delafield Crosby. David Van Cortlandt Crosby, as it turns out, is a scion of the closely intertwined Van Cortlandt, Van Schuyler and Van Rensselaer families. And while you’re probably thinking, “the Van Who families?,” I can assure you that if you plug those names in over at Wikipedia, you can spend a pretty fair amount of time reading up on the power wielded by this clan for the last, oh, two-and-a-quarter centuries or so.

    Another shining star on the Laurel Canyon scene, just a few years later, will be singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, who is – are you getting as bored with this as I am? – the product of a career military family. Browne’s father was assigned to post-war ‘reconstruction’ work in Germany, which very likely means that he was in the employ of the OSS, precursor to the CIA. As readers of my “Understanding the F-Word” may recall, U.S. involvement in post-war reconstruction in Germany largely consisted of maintaining as much of the Nazi infrastructure as possible while shielding war criminals from capture and prosecution. Against that backdrop, Jackson Browne was born in a military hospital in Heidelberg, Germany. Some two decades later, he emerged as … oh, never mind.

    the band America, the three will score huge hits in the early ‘70s with such songs as “Ventura Highway,” “A Horse With No Name,” and the Wizard of Oz-themed “The Tin Man.” I guess I probably don’t need to add here that all three of these lads were products of the military/intelligence community. Beckley’s dad was the commander of the now-defunct West Ruislip USAF base near London, England, a facility deeply immersed in intelligence operations. Bunnell’s and Peek’s fathers were both career Air Force officers serving under Beckley’s dad at West Ruislip, which is where the three boys first met.
    We could also, I suppose, discuss Mike Nesmith of the Monkees and Cory Wells of Three Dog Night (two more hugely successful Laurel Canyon bands), who both arrived in LA not long after serving time with the U.S. Air Force. Nesmith also inherited a family fortune estimated at $25 million. Gram Parsons, who would briefly replace David Crosby in The Byrds before fronting The Flying Burrito Brothers, was the son of Major Cecil Ingram “Coon Dog” Connor II, a decorated military officer and bomber pilot who reportedly flew over 50 combat missions. Parsons was also an heir, on his mother’s side, to the formidable Snively family fortune. Said to be the wealthiest family in the exclusive enclave of Winter Haven, Florida, the Snively family was the proud owner of Snively Groves, Inc., which reportedly owned as much as 1/3 of all the citrus groves in the state of Florida.
    And so it goes as one scrolls through the roster of Laurel Canyon superstars. What one finds, far more often than not, are the sons and daughters of the military/intelligence complex and the sons and daughters of extreme wealth and privilege – and oftentimes, you’ll find both rolled into one convenient package.
     

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  117. @Grandpa Charlie
    Where else would you go but the middle of the Outback? And, yeah, the French ... they are for France!

    Vive le Front national!

    The middle of the Outback was chosen to prevent Soviet electronic spying ships from getting close enough to pick up stray emanations. Alice Springs is the most inland place in the First World Southern Hemisphere, I believe.

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  118. @Steve Sailer
    The Police along with IRS Records and Frontier Booking International had nothing at all to do with the CIA! Nothing!

    The Police along with IRS Records and Frontier Booking International had nothing at all to do with the CIA!

    So Sting was a CIA stooge and not just the lazy bastard I saw him to be once he had pocketed the price of my concert ticket?

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  119. @Shouting Thomas
    Re Woodstock:

    Our dads scared the shit out of us guys who grew up in the 50s.

    They constantly regaled us with stories of guys getting their guts ripped open by the thousands by machine guns on the beaches of Normandy and uncles who slipped behind the lines to cut some German sentry's throat.

    Our dads didn't intend to scare the hell out of us. They intended to create another generation of glorious cannon fodder for the next war.

    And we just wanted to live and get laid and have babies and make music.

    Can you blame us?

    Our dads didn’t intend to scare the hell out of us. They intended to create another generation of glorious cannon fodder for the next war.

    My dad did not intend to “create another generation of glorious cannon fodder for the next war.” His WWII service was due to the now archaic notion that your allegiance was to your country, and when your country was attacked, it deserved your self-sacrifice.

    There was, most assuredly, no notion of cannon fodder. I am sorry you were raised by a neocon.

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  120. @Buzz Mohawk
    Too bad Anderson lives in the city. Otherwise, he might have a Mexican gardener with a hoe...

    Too bad Anderson lives in the city. Otherwise, he might have a Mexican gardener with a hoe…

    You know Anderson makes his gardeners use Nerf toys and not genuine gardening implements. But is it nice to know that he has endorsed the use of violence against his ancestors, because his judgment applies to him too.

    And when Nemesis visits her vengeance upon him, we shall stand in awe of his ignorance of Kharma.

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  121. Brutusale says:
    @pyrrhus
    Using rabbits to break the wind for a premier runner is unsportsmanlike and grounds for disqualification....On another front, it's becoming clear that running marathons is not a healthy activity, so I think it will become less popular.

    No, because there will always be untalented people insistent that doing something a lot, as opposed to well, makes them virtuous. As a friend who’s a former college distance runner says, if you “run” a 4-hour marathon you didn’t really “run”.

    It’s the same thinking that makes the CrossFit weenies believe 10 reps with a 5-pound kettleball makes them powerlifters.

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  122. Question: since 1600 meters is almost exactly one mile, why didn’t they make that the “metric mile”?

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    They wanted to go to round numbers for longer races: 3000m, 5000m, 10000m. So you have to switch from powers of two at some point, such as from 800 to 1500.
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  123. @I, Libertine
    Question: since 1600 meters is almost exactly one mile, why didn't they make that the "metric mile"?

    They wanted to go to round numbers for longer races: 3000m, 5000m, 10000m. So you have to switch from powers of two at some point, such as from 800 to 1500.

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