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The Lost Age of Los Angeles Triumphalism
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The 1985 series Half Nelson starred Joe Pesci and featured bull terrier Spuds MacKenzie plus three NFL football players, two of whom, Dick Butkus and Bubba Smith, got lower billing than Spuds.

Rocky Nelson is a former New York City cop who moved to Beverly Hills, where he got a job at a private security service for the rich and famous, while attempting to make it as an actor. In addition to guarding celebrities, he also helps solve crimes.

Presumably, the pitch was that it’s like three 1984 hits, Beverly Hills Cop, The Karate Kid, and Miami Vice, all rolled into one. Joe Pesci playing Axel Foley / Daniel LaRusso / Sonny Crocket lasted 9 episodes.

This reminds me that Los Angeles was really fashionable for a half dozen years after the 1984 Olympics. No cities in the world except L.A. and Tehran wanted the 1984 Olympics, and then the Ayatollah happened, so L.A. was it.

Everybody decided that the L.A. Olympics were going to be a disaster due to smog, terrorism, traffic jams, or earthquakes, so few came from outside SoCal.

But the 1984 Olympics turned out to be a big success, the perfect illustration of the Reagan re-election slogan of “Morning in America.” So, Los Angeles triumphalism reigned until Dick Cheney turned off the aerospace budget spigot after the fall of the Soviet Union, which ushered in Los Angeles’s 1990s time of troubles of riot, earthquake, and OJ.

Do football players still get cast in TV shows? It was a Thing in the 20th Century.

 
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  1. Michael Strahan had a sitcom for a brief period

  2. Twinkie says:

    Dick Cheney turned off the aerospace budget spigot after the fall of the Soviet Union, which ushered in Los Angeles’s 1990s time of troubles of riot, earthquake, and OJ.

    All captured neatly in “Falling Down,” in which Michael Douglas portrays the laid-off defense industry peon-gone-vigilante.

  3. 80s music sounds masculine, triumphant, fun, social, and optimistic.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @SunBakedSuburb
  4. They had those cool greenish and magenta Olympic banners all over town, on all the light poles. They just left them until they rotted from sunlight. I ought to have snatched one or three.

    • Replies: @Hangnail Hans
  5. Thomm says:

    until Dick Cheney turned off the aerospace budget spigot after the fall of the Soviet Union, which ushered in Los Angeles’s 1990s time of troubles of riot, earthquake, and OJ.

    Fail.

    i) The aerospace cuts hardly affected all of Greater Los Angeles. Only the 10-mile Aerospace corridor (El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance, etc.) south of LAX, and barely 2% of the jobs in the metropolis. Plus, by 1996, Aerospace was hiring a lot again.

    ii) I regret to inform you that the 1994 Northridge Earthquake would have happened whether Cheney cut aerospace spending by the D0D or not.

    iii) Did the OJ circus really have any affect on the Los Angeles economy? The people most interested in it were almost certainly not the same people who worked in the Aerospace corridor. Plus, it is not like the murders would not have occurred if there were more Aerospace jobs in Los Angeles in 1994, since none out of the victims or murderer relied on the aerospace sector for their livelihoods.

    You forgot to mention the far more cataclysmic event for California in 1994. As if by ancient prophecy, a man by the name of Ron Unz ran for Governor of California, on a weird strategy of combining a bunch of far-left (for the time) positions into a platform despite running as a Republican claiming to be more conservative than Wilson. Needless to say, he did not win his party’s primary, even though his party won.

    It was rumored at the time that voters were suspicious of a man with the middle name of ‘Keeva’. But I think it was just the platform, and the alleged claim of an IQ of 214 (as per Wikipedia).

  6. The Lost Age of Los Angeles Triumphalism

    From an ad in the February, 1950 National Geographic (formatting in original):

    Free Color Booklet – Mail Coupon Today

    All-Year Club of Southern California, Div. C-2
    629 S. Hill St., Los Angeles 14 California

    Please send me your free vacation booklet, “WHAT TO DO AND SEE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.”

    Name_____________________________________
    Street_____________________________________
    City _________________________Zone________
    State______________________________________

    PLEASE PRINT NAME AND ADDRESS

    Advise anyone not to move here now unless assured of employment.

    They already had Eden Ahbez. They didn’t need anyone else living in the parks.

  7. Mr. Anon says:
    @Thomm

    i) The aerospace cuts hardly affected all of Greater Los Angeles. Only the 10-mile Aerospace corridor (El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance, etc.) south of LAX, and barely 2% of the jobs in the metropolis. Plus, by 1996, Aerospace was hiring a lot again.

    There’s a knock-on effect. Several low-paying jobs can depend on one high-paying job. The LA Times certainly thought there might be an economic impact to the area:

    https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1992-03-17-mn-3990-story.html

    And how come you’re back here, you moron? Is WWE Smackdown on hiatus?

    • Agree: bomag
    • Replies: @Thomm
  8. Altai says:

    At the end of the 2013 World War Z film adaptation the remains of the US military lure a horde of zombies into the LA Coliseum before blowing the whole thing up.

    Max Brooks grew up in LA. Was it just a cool landmark he enjoyed featuring or was it redolent of the changing view of LA that developed in the 90s where every show and film began to make the same joke about LA being the heart of evil and a crappy place to live?

    Maybe the Hispanic displacement of attractive women of North West European ancestry changed the writers and producers view of LA?

  9. The theme song sounds like a cheap knockoff of Randy Newman’s I Love LA.

    • Replies: @Tony massey
  10. Anonymous[383] • Disclaimer says:
    @JohnnyWalker123

    80s music sounds masculine, triumphant, fun, social, and optimistic.

    80s had stuff like this:

    And Prince and Michael Jackson.

  11. Don’t forget the Eighties had LA Law, a show that I’ve seen criticised as unrealistic because it always began with the team at McKenzie Brackman arguing over mattters of legal principle at the daily meeting. Presumably in real life lawyers talk about what they’re going to do with their money.

    • Replies: @Alden
  12. @Anonymous

    Do you notice that all those videos are by British acts?

    • Agree: Ron Mexico
    • Replies: @animalogic
  13. Remember when “I love LA” was supposed to be snarky but everyone was just like, Hell yeah we love it!

  14. Alex70 says:
    @Anonymous

    I’d add Love Plus One and Too Shy and lastly I Ran So Far Away. Nothing is less masculine than that Flock of Seagulls singer

    • Replies: @Joe S.Walker
  15. Nodwink says:

    I have never been there, but I do remember this exchange from an episode of Futurama (The Cryonic Woman):

    “So you’re saying these aren’t the decaying ruins of New York in the year 4000?”
    ―Fry
    “You wish! You’re in Los Angeles!”
    ―Farnsworth
    “But there was this gang of 10-year-olds with guns.”
    ―Fry
    “Exactly, you’re in L.A.”
    ―Leela
    “But everyone is driving around in cars shooting at each other.”
    ―Fry
    “That’s L.A. for you.”
    ―Bender
    “But the air is green and there’s no sign of civilization whatsoever.”
    ―Fry
    “He just won’t stop with the social commentary.”
    ―Bender
    “And the people are all phonies. No one reads. Everything has cilantro on it..”

    • Replies: @Spect3r
  16. KerryOwen says:

    As an aside, those opening graphics didn’t come cheap back rhen. Cheesy by today’s standards, probably cost them \$75,000 in today’s money.

  17. @Hypnotoad666

    Arrow de Wilde and starcrawler smash Randy Newman’s i love L.A..
    She’s the love child of twiggy and iggy pop and wow can she rock.
    I love L.A.

    • Thanks: Harry Baldwin
  18. @Twinkie

    Who says that defense spending is wasted?

    The F-35 is the Build Back Better for white males?

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
    , @Jim Don Bob
  19. LP5 says:

    The 1984 Olympics on television were fun for people around the world to watch. Terrific opening ceremony presentation and many superlative performances.

    Viewers also got to find out about Peter Ueberroth, the story of a travel agent who rose to fame heading the LA Olympics Organizing Committee. They marveled at how smog and traffic dissipated for a few weeks. And those games turned a surplus. Mirabile Dictu!

  20. It was also part of the routine 20-30 year look back that pop culture performs. The guys who made this sitcom and other 1980s pieces had all been children and teenagers during the 1950s and 1960s and had this nostalgia for the time when California was the golden destination of American perfectionism. Remember, this is the same era where Hollywood made Family Ties (about 60’s hippies dealing with their failings and a Reagan-loving son) and Back to the Future (kid in 1985 goes back to 1955).

    Not to mention that the 1960s-80s crime wave was still ripping apart NYC and other shoved-together cities. Though there were lots of attempts at making those cities look friendly (e.g. The Muppets Take Manhattan made NYC look happy and safe, while Ferris Bueller’s Day Off made Chicago look like a teenage playground), it was hard with all the graffiti, hobos, muggers, and vandalism that were observable to anyone with the naked eye.

    LA, with its spread-apart construction and newer developments, looked a lot more palatable to the average eye. As I wrote before, when black movies and rap videos of the 80s and 90s tried to show “ghettos”, they were much more successful using NYC and Chicago streets and housing projects, but LA “ghettos” didn’t seem that bad, and actually seemed pretty nice, e.g. in Friday, supposedly set in a black LA ghetto, everyone has single family homes and yards and you wonder “how can they say that’s so awful?”

  21. Voltarde says:

    1970’s Los Angeles. Freedom of opinion, and a sense of humor!

    • Thanks: Harry Baldwin
  22. Everybody decided that the L.A. Olympics were going to be a disaster due to smog, terrorism, traffic jams, or earthquakes, so few came from outside SoCal.

    I think it was more the fact that the Soviets and East Germans weren’t there. Let’s face it, Rocky needs his Ivan Drago. Without the Soviets this was the Commonwealth Games, and who watches that? Sorry to say but every single medal won in 1984 was probably tainted, same as the 1980 Olympics. It all started with Dollar General shopper Jimmy Carter.

  23. @Thomm

    You forgot to mention the far more cataclysmic event for California in 1994. As if by ancient prophecy, a man by the name of Ron Unz ran for Governor of California, on a weird strategy of combining a bunch of far-left (for the time) positions into a platform despite running as a Republican claiming to be more conservative than Wilson. Needless to say, he did not win his party’s primary, even though his party won.

    I remember that.
    I was actually quite favorably disposed to the Ron Unz candidacy (although I literally had no firm idea who he was, unlike today), and definitely would’ve voted for him…had I been a registered Republican in 1994.
    But alas, I was a registered Libertarian that year. So I voted for Richard Rider. Who obtained 100 percent of the vote, since he was the sole candidate for the LP’s gubernatorial nomination.
    Rider’s campaign signs, when he was a serious candidate for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, a couple years previous to ’94, had characterized him as “Dick Rider”.
    We were college students, and yes, we made the requisite jokes deriving from that.

  24. @Anonymous

    Whatever, breaux.

    Back in the 1980s, the Men of Unz were not into New Wave ‘n’ crap like that.
    We would’ve beat you up if we caught you listening to The Cure.

    Seriously, when I think of 80s music, I think of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, Flotsam & Jetsam…bands that actually rocked…as opposed to dressing up in “gender-queer” costumes, and making generic “pop” music. That’s the stuff girls listened to, for crying out loud.

    And, and since I’m going on record here, David Bowie sucks too.
    As do the rest of the Marc Bolan* imitators.

    *Marc Bolan himself was awesome, however.

  25. I thought Rocky Nelson was the Pirate 1st baseman who’s misplay allowed the tying run to score while Mickey Mantle evaded the needless tag. Then Maz’ HR made everyone forget the mid 20th century Merkle moment.

    Everyone except Hal Smith.

  26. Mike1 says:

    LA is a genuine horror show at this point. The last remaining bits of fun are gone:

    – Excellent restaurants now serve cardboard food at the same, or even higher, prices.
    – Homeless have gone from mostly harmless eccentrics to a very dangerous group.
    – The filth is just incredible. People call it third world but most of the third world is far cleaner.
    – People are almost uniformly mean and bitter. The relaxed Californian no linger exists.

    • Replies: @prosa123
  27. MEH 0910 says:

    That’s not Spuds MacKenzie. Spuds had a black patch around one eye.

  28. “he also helps solve crimes.”

    sigh

  29. @74v56ruthiyj

    They also had those headless human mascots which take the cake for creepiest olympic imagery in history.

  30. @JohnnyWalker123

    “80s music sounds masculine, triumphant, fun, social, and optimistic.”

    I came of age during the 1980s. Your description of 80s music can also apply to life in general, back then. It seems like a dreamworld now.

    • Thanks: JohnnyWalker123
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  31. ATBOTL says:
    @Anonymous

    The hard rock/new wave divide in 80’s music was largely regional, with teens on the east and west coast favoring hard rock and midwestern/interior teens favoring new wave.

  32. What could be more LA than LA Guns? (From 1988 but starring my dad’s ’59 Buick)

    • Replies: @danand
  33. @MEH 0910

    Now that is some ’80s architectural hair!

  34. MEH 0910 says:
    @MEH 0910

    https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/56228/life-death-and-resurrection-spuds-mackenzie-original-party-animal

    There’s a moment in Spuds MacKenzie’s interview with Dick Clark when Clark shifts gears and, as if by obligation, brings up the recent bad press the bull terrier has been the subject of. “There are these vicious rumors,” he begins, addressing not the tuxedo-wearing Spuds, but one of the beautiful spokesmodels—or “Spudettes”—who accompany him. “Is there any truth to the fact that he is female?” The Spudette, clearly trained for this type of question, asserts, “He’s got three women around him, and I don’t think we’d be following him…” Clark, thrusting his fist forward, interrupts, “He’s a full-out macho guy?” A few men in the audience let out ferocious whoos! and yeahs! They are relieved to hear that their hero is, like them, a cool dude.

    Spuds MacKenzie was, in fact, a female dog. Her real name was Honey Tree Evil Eye, and Jackie and Stanley Oles, the humans who owned her, called her “Evie.” This was all revealed in a 1987 People Magazine article that set out to debunk rumors that the bull terrier had died in a limo accident, or while surfing, or in a plane crash.

    [MORE]

    […]
    Honey Tree Evil Eye was bred to be a show dog, and the Oles joined Chicago’s Fort Dearborn Bull Terrier Club and coached her for competition. Evie performed relatively well within her breed, but never placed at Silverwood, America’s premier bull terrier event.

    At a show in Chicago, Evie caught the attention of DDB Needham. The ad agency was scouting for a dog-centered campaign, and the splotch over Evie’s left eye made her stand out. She was invited for a photo shoot, and soon posters of her as Spuds MacKenzie sitting behind a goblet of Bud Light while wearing a “Delta Omicron Gamma” fraternity sweatshirt began to pop up at college campuses. The premise—cool dog is cool—proved so popular that wholesalers demanded Anheuser-Busch put Spuds on television.

    Evie’s demeanor was unusually calm for her breed and she behaved more like a lap cat than a rough-and-tumble terrier. Her breeder told the Bull Terrier Club of Dallas that “she was very mellow and low key. The owners sometimes used a yo-yo in the ring to get her to spark up and show.” She was known to lounge about and munch on Raisin Chex, which was hand-fed to her. Relaxed and undemanding, Evie was a perfect candidate for TV work.

    […]
    Honey Tree Evil Eye died of kidney failure at the age of 10 in 1993—she had an average lifespan for a healthy English bull terrier. Her death was reported at the time with the headline “Spuds MacKenzie Really Dead This Time.” Unlike the actors who played Max Headroom and Joe Isuzu, Evie didn’t need to worry about what she would do with her career once the ad work dried up. It is understood that she spent her retirement lounging with her family and eating Raisin Chex.

    https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-grapes/

    Can dogs eat grapes? The answer (and this goes for raisins, too, which are just dried grapes) is easy: No, dogs should never eat grapes. Grapes and raisins are known to be highly toxic to dogs, though research has yet to pinpoint exactly which substance in the fruit causes this reaction.

    Breed, sex, or age of a dog has no influence on the risk of being affected, and since there is no proven amount that is safe, you shouldn’t be giving your pup grapes or raisins at all.

    Can a Single Grape Kill a Dog?
    Unfortunately, even one grape/raisin toxicity can even be fatal. Ingesting the fruit could potentially lead to acute (sudden) kidney failure in dogs.

  35. One trend that may have hurt LA’s rep was the increasing cost-conscious move to shoot shows and movies in Canada. The switch from palm trees to giant evergreens was very apparent during X-Files’ run. And what the heck was Kwai Chang Caine doing in Toronto?

  36. Thomm says:
    @Mr. Anon

    I answered your questions in the past, over here :

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/even-black-male-models-murder-each-other/#comment-4614905

    I advise you to commit to a New Year’s Resolution to lose 60 pounds. Obesity is hazardous to one’s health.

  37. MEH 0910 says:
    @MEH 0910

    https://www.imdb.com/name/nm9037841/bio

    Spuds Mackenzie was the well known character name for Honey Tree Evil Eye, a bull terrier. Though Spuds was perceived to be a male dog, Honey Tree was a female that was born on October 7, 1983 and passed away May 31, 1993. She was in several movies and shows like Half Nelson (1985) where she played Joe Pesci’s dog, Hunk, but is most famous for the Bud Light commercials she was featured in.
    – IMDb Mini Biography By: Blogmonstermike

    That can’t be right. The Half Nelson opening credits clearly say that Hunk was played by Tony. What, did they cover the black eye patch with makeup? I don’t believe it.

    WTF, Vox‘s resident tranny had a recent tweet featuring this show and this dog:

  38. Muggles says:

    While I can understand iSteve’s love of the LA myth in the mid 80s, it was/is mostly due to it being the home of the major US entertainment media: TV/film/music.

    Though music has centers in Nashville and NYC (and now elsewhere w/ rap) and theater/dance was always centered in NYC.

    Modern video/audio tech (and the Internet) has expanded the choices. Bollywood, Shanghai, London, Mexico City and Lagos, among other places, internationally.

    I was very busy staying afloat career-wise in the 80s but the LA Olympics was a colossal joke due to the absence of the USSR. China was barely present due to lingering political chaos.

    No Russians meant that E. Germany had to be the main competition along with Japan, Korea and Europe.

    A big deal for the host city, not so much for others. So politics killed the LA Olympics though was greatly hyped as an American Triumph. Those medal counts were more like Harlem Globetrotter scores.

    Well, LA has always had more than its fair share of glory. If it can survive more Democrat politics this time, it may well again. People are now, net, fleeing the Golden State. Sad.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  39. MEH 0910 says:

    Playlist of the Half Nelson pilot and episodes 3 thru 8:

    Half Nelson [ TV Series ] playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZoc4cN7TGHmELK6Omlrn2wwMSWWiTm0h

    [MORE]

    HALF NELSON | TV Review | 1985 | JOE PESCI, FRED WILLIAMSON, DEAN MARTIN

    Apr 12, 2020

    A review of the TV Pilot for “Half Nelson”, a dramedy / action-adventure series created by Glen A. Larson (“Magnum P.I.”, “The Fall Guy” and “Knight Rider”) starring Joe Pesci, Fred Williamson, Victoria Jackson and Dean Martin.

    8 episodes aired on NBC from March 24th to May 10th 1985.

    This was Joe Pesci’s only starring role in a TV series before he hit it big with “Lethal Weapon 2” and his Oscar winning role in “Goodfellas”.

    Synopsis:

    Pesci stars as Rocky Nelson, a New York cop who makes a big drug bust and then sells his life story to Hollywood. He quits the force and goes to L.A. to try his luck as an actor. He gets to screen test to play the lead role in his own life story, but the director finds him to short to play himself.

    He’s then approached by a studio security guard offering Rocky a job with a private security firm called “Beverly Hills Patrol” (co-owned by Dean Martin) where he can put his police training to good use and protect Hollywood heavy-weights who could then give him the break he needs.

    In the two-hour series premiere, Rocky can’t help but get involved when one of his co-workers winds up dead and ultimately uncovers a blackmail scheme involving videotapes of powerful people in compromising situations.

    Guest starring: George Kennedy, Tony Curtis, Bernie Kopell, Rod Taylor and Terry Kiser.

    I don’t get it. This reviewer claims that Spuds MacKenzie played Hunk. Then why does she appear in the credits as Tony rather than Honey Tree Evil Eye (AKA Evie)? To conceal the switched sex role? Was the black eye patch painted on for the Spuds MacKenzie role? That doesn’t jibe with the other sources about Spuds MacKenzie (Honey Tree Evil Eye).

  40. I moved to LA in the early 80s. I liked it. At some point (maybe cumulative effects of the King riots, and the relentless 3rd-world immigration, and later the rise of the vagrant tent cities, and wokening ruling class) it turned into the Woke S***-hole it is now, other than in the remaining (though gradually disappearing) nice areas. Not nearly the glamor it once had. So why make movies about a favela-in-progress. I’m still here, in a nice area, but if and when I see SF-style smash’n’grab action near me, I’m out.

    • Replies: @Flip
  41. prosa123 says:
    @Mike1

    It’s a lot better than Manhattan. There you’ll find:

    – Office buildings turned into ghost towns by WFH, with projected return to office dates becoming sick jokes, just like the Second Avenue Subway’s completion date
    – Empty deteriorating storefronts galore, as seen on Louis Rossman’s YT videos.
    – Streets made hazardous by delivery boys zooming everywhere on e-bikes (whose lithium ion batteries sometime cause deadly fires).
    – Broadway plays closing and restaurants “hibernating,” all on very short notice, because everyone is convinced – convinced! – that we’re all going to be Stinking up a Coffin from this nothingburger Omicron thing.
    – Hotels turned into Skell Motels, at obscene cost to taxpayers.
    – Speaking of skells, hordes of them using sidewalks and subway cars as bedrooms and, to a disturbing extent, restrooms.

    Less visible is rising violent crime, and an unemployment rate of 9.4% compared to a nationwide 3.9%.

    • Thanks: The Wild Geese Howard
  42. MEH 0910 says:
    @Muggles

    Sound City

    Jan 31, 2020

    Deep in the San Fernando Valley, behind the train tracks and amidst dilapidated warehouses, was rock n’ roll’s best kept secret. Sound City, America’s greatest unsung recording studio, housed a legendary, one-of-a-kind recording console, and became the birth place to the seminal albums that defined 20th century music. Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Rick Springfield, Tom Petty, Nirvana, amongst many others, all put magic to tape within these walls. It was Rock n’ Roll hallowed ground. Directed by Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and featuring interviews and performances by the iconic musicians who made their careers in the studio, SOUND CITY tells the story of real rock n’roll history, and celebrates the human element of music, as Grohl gathers some of rock’s greatest artists to collaborate on a new album. Using Sound City’s legendary analog console, together they continue to create musical miracles in a digital world.

  43. Nathan says:
    @Thomm

    Sir,

    They made an award-winning documentary about the decline of the aerospace industry in Los Angeles.

  44. Another questions is: do television shows still get minute-and-a-half intros?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  45. @Gilbert Ratchet

    “We haven’t thought up much of a plot this week, so let’s play the Randy Newman-like theme song longer while showing scenes of Los Angeles traffic.”

  46. Twinkie says:
    @Bill Jones

    Defense spending recovered, but geographically shifted away from Southern California.

  47. @Servant of Gla'aki

    David Bowie sucks too.

    Agree, except for Putting Out Fire With Gasoline.

  48. Flip says:
    @Mike_from_SGV

    How is Pasadena doing? I liked it forty years ago.

    • Replies: @74v56ruthiyj
  49. @Alex70

    In later years A Flock of Seagulls’ singer ran a newspaper stand in Liverpool city centre. Quite a paying business, I believe.

  50. @Servant of Gla'aki

    X was the L.A. band. “Your Phone’s off the Hook, but You’re Not”. “We’re Desperate. Get Used to It”.

    Heavy metal was just chic with dix, noise for 16 year old incels.

  51. @Flip

    Pasadena Report. The real estate people have been adding lots of condos and apartments at the west end of Colorado Blvd. About 20,000 more people than twenty years ago, IIRC. Of course, we are all being bullied to conserve water. Several small homeless encampments around town. Blacks largely replaced by Mexicans, but not entirely.

    Chinese with kids still stay away, due to the bad schools, but we have some older Chinese. They don’t mind standing in line at church-run charities to get free groceries, TP, etc.

    More Armenians, who apparently hate the beautiful wooden century-old houses that comprise half the city. They put up ugly block walls around their front yards, and if they can’t afford to tear down and rebuild their house, they will put fake Greek columns on their porches and stucco over the redwood siding. They also have been getting affirmative action privileges for a decade at least.

    Caltech has gone woke, taking Robert Millikan’s name off of things, and you had best keep your opinions to yourself on race if you want to keep your job.

  52. @SunBakedSuburb

    Counterpoint: the ‘80s also had an undercurrent of fear of nuclear annihilation.

    • Replies: @Known Fact
  53. @Joe S.Walker

    If you’re not too exact about it, the UK is to 80’s music as the US is to 90’s music….

  54. @Bill Jones

    What is “ SIPRI”?
    Good graph – I just want to check it.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  55. AceDeuce says:
    @Inquiring Mind

    I think that the F-35 is built in Georgia, FWIW.

  56. Spect3r says:
    @Nodwink

    Just one more reason why Futurama is one of the best TV shows ever (animation or not).

    • Agree: Nodwink
  57. @Yngvar

    Who were the first Bowie-idolizing zonked white rappers: Bran Van 3000 or Beck?

    • Replies: @Yngvar
  58. Mike Tre says:
    @Thomm

    “Fail.

    i) The aerospace cuts hardly affected all of Greater Los Angeles. Only the 10-mile Aerospace corridor (El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance, etc.) south of LAX, and barely 2% of the jobs in the metropolis. Plus, by 1996, Aerospace was hiring a lot again.”

    Hughes Aircraft (who my dad worked for in the 80’s) was bought out in 1997. Their campus in West Hills sat vacant for over a decade until part of it was converted into a DeVry University.

    Rocketdyne was bought out in the 00’s. Its Canoga Park Campus is pretty much gone now. Rockwell around the same time.

    Who we gonna believe: Sailer, who’s father was involved in the SFV aerospace field, or Thomm, the fake white hindu troll?

    • Agree: Alden
    • Thanks: William Badwhite
    • LOL: JMcG
    • Replies: @Thomm
  59. Thomm says:
    @Mike Tre

    False. You provided two anecdotes, which is how uneducated people debate. The fact is, aerospace was hiring a LOT again by 1996. People not good enough to be rehired were not re-hired, and it is no surprise that you were connected to the dregs.

    I find it funny that the few people dumb enough to still think I am a ‘South Asian’ immigrant are the same people who openly say that having sex with a pretty mulatto/quatroon like 1995 Halle Berry is worse than having sex with a white man. Then again, one is defined by their enemies, so I am doing quite well on that front.

    Plus, you need a Union to create a make-work pizza-delivery truck driver job for you to occupy, since you can’t compete in the free market. What a loser. Unions are left-wing institutions, and you are just as much of a government-subsidized moocher as the black women with HR jobs.

    Fail.

    • Troll: William Badwhite
  60. Batman says:

    “Do football players still get cast in TV shows? It was a Thing in the 20th Century.”

    Other than Aaron Rodgers guest hosting Jeopardy!, right?

  61. Alden says:
    @Joe S.Walker

    Law firms don’t have daily meetings. Their meetings are about how many new clients they’ve recruited , actually signed contracts with and billable hours.

    Don’t sneer at lawyers. You’ll probably need one someday.

    Not having watched TV much since I went off to college, sometimes I feel like a stranger in a strange land. It’s just bits and pieces between ADs. Plus whatever liberal propaganda being currently pushed

  62. danand says:
    @Known Fact

    “(From 1988 but starring my dad’s ’59 Buick)”

    Known Fact, your fathers 1960 looks like it was one fine ride, and likely was. (Buick lowered the spring rates ~20% from their overly sprung 1959 models.)

    By happenstance the Buick convertible Pesci wheels in the Half Nelson clip is a ’59. IMO the “wickest” looking ride ever to come out of GM (who produced half the cars sold in the US in 1959).

    • Replies: @Known Fact
  63. @danand

    We also had the magnificent classic ’64 Riviera but then his next one, 1970 or so, was a dud. And family photos before I was 5 reveal a Studebaker!

  64. @Dave Pinsen

    the ‘80s also had an undercurrent of fear of nuclear annihilation.

    Yes, the Jonathan Schell book and The Day After. But do you think this might have been largely because the media reviled Reagan so deeply? I don’t think it was much of a grassroots fear, like hey man I hope nuclear war isn’t going to cancel Friday’s Dio concert

    • Agree: 74v56ruthiyj
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  65. Lol.

    I’m sure it was partly that, but as Michael Crichton argued in State of Fear, it was an emergent phenomenon, one replaced with fears of global warming after the Berlin Wall came down.

    Also, for those unfamiliar with it, The Day After was a huge deal. More than 100 million people watched it; local news shows did features on it, etc.

  66. @Servant of Gla'aki

    “Marc Bolan himself was awesome, however”

    They just don’t make them like this any more – and this is quite late on, when he was less successful. That guitar figure – it’s the musical equivalent of someone positively striding through the streets.

    According to Marc Bolan, he and Rod Stewart were sitting on a park bench in New York when a girl roller-skated by holding a frog. Hence the song’s only real line, “Did you ever see a woman coming out of New York City with a frog in her hand?”

  67. Anonymous[214] • Disclaimer says:
    @Known Fact

    Any war story that shows the sufferings of your own people without also showing the damage done to the enemy is enemy propaganda, intentional or not.

  68. @Paul Jolliffe

    Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

    They do a well research and widely credited annual report on the Death Business.

  69. Yngvar says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I don’t know, my drinking buddies and I were just glad we where not in L.A.
    Songs like it and movies like Swingers (1996) didn’t do much good for Los Angeles reputation.

  70. @Inquiring Mind

    The F-35s rep so far is “Can’t run, can’t hide, can’t fight” because of the (shades of the F-111) insistence on one model for all services. That said, the Israelies have some so we may find out soon how well they do in the real world.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
  71. Fred Dryer was a pro bowler, 2x all-pro, who had a really successful tv run on the show Hunter.

    I wonder if this declined as more money became available to pro athletes, meaning fewer needed a second career.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  72. @Isidore the Farmer

    Do athletes retire straight to the golf course now?

    A lot of jocks go broke after retirement. But I suppose the Merlin Olsen / Fred Dryer types who have what it takes to learn a second career like acting probably have what it takes to invest their sport salaries wisely enough that they don’t.

    Another possibility is that actors are better at acting today, so fewer outsiders can start at age 30 and get up to standard. A lot of stars today were child actors.

    Also, a lot of football players turned actors like Dryer and Olsen were Los Angeles Rams, but the NFL was missing from Los Angeles for a quarter of a century, which hurt the pipeline.

  73. @Jim Don Bob

    The F-35s rep so far is “Can’t run, can’t hide, can’t fight” because of the (shades of the F-111) insistence on one model for all services.

    It’s a brand new platform that needed the kinks worked out. As of today, that’s mostly complete.

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