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Nederlog


  December
25, 2013
Crisis: Christmas: All in the Family + George Carlin, personal
  "They who can give up essential 
   liberty to obtain a little temporary
   safety, deserve neither liberty
   nor safety."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
   "All governments lie and nothing
   they say should be believed.
"
   -- I.F. Stone.
   "Power tends to corrupt, and   
   absolute power corrupts
   absolutely. Great men are        
   almost always bad men."
   -- Lord Acton

















Sections
Introduction
  1. All in the Family (the best of)
  2. George Carlin - Unmasked with George Carlin
  3. Personal
About ME/CFS

Introduction

Actually, while this is filed as a crisis item, it isn't - or perhaps it is, namely by providing some background. I'll come to that later, but let me first explain how the present Nederlog came about.

Originally, indeed until this morning, the plan was to redo the Nederlog I did a year ago, about Corporate fascism and the surveillance state (<- the link), which I thought then, and still think now, quite good (check the last link!). In fact, what I wanted to do is not so much redo it, as to point out how well confirmed the Nederlog is by Edward Snowden's revelations.

But this morning I realized that the article is quite serious and, while it did get picked up last year, is not quite Christmas material, precisely because it is so serious.

Also, I found an interview with George Carlin of 80 minutes that I hadn't seen yet, which I have now, but which ruined any possibility of commenting on the above linked piece.

So therefore the present Nederlog is a somewhat brief item, that gives you over two hours of videos to watch. Here they are, with some comments.

1. All in the Family (the best of)

As you may know - it is explained here:
Three things most other men do that I don't do - and why, among other things - I have no television since 1970 [2], mostly because I find most that appears on it rather contemptible, and I have much better uses for my time.

But I am not a fanatic, and there are - occasionally - things on it that I like, and one of the things that I did like in the early 1970ies is "All in the Family" (<- Wikipedia). If you do not know what this is, check out the last link.

In fact, here is a bit of that last link (with a note deleted here):

All in the Family revolved around the life of a working class bigot and his family. Despite being considerably softer in its approach than its BBC predecessor, the show broke ground in its depiction of issues previously considered unsuitable for U.S. network television comedy, such as racism, homosexuality, women's liberation, rape, miscarriage, abortion, breast cancer, the Vietnam War, menopause, and impotence. Through depicting these controversial issues, the series became arguably one of television's most influential comedic programs, as it injected the sitcom format with real-life conflicts.

The show ranked number-one in the yearly Nielsen ratings from 1971 to 1976. It became the first television series to reach the milestone of having topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive years.

And also, it is really funny and it is very well written - and could be put on television these days, not only in my opinion, but in Jean Stapleton's opinion, who played Edith Bunker, and did so marvellously. (Jean Stapleton died in May of this year, aged 90.)

Actually, I did not know most of the above until about December 13 last, when I saw a bit of an item of Bill Maher, who had Rob Reiner as one his guests not long ago, whom I did not recognize, but remembered somehow of something that I did not remember.

Well, for these problems there is Wikipedia: It showed Reiner had been playing Michael Stivic, probably better known as "Meathead", in "All in the Family", and this led me quickly to discovering there is a lot of "All in the Family" on Youtube.

In case you know it because you saw it around 40 years ago, you can see it again, and I, who saw at most 5 of the early ones, am seeing all of them and am presently in season 5, from which also is the following item:

Note this lasts 50 minutes, is presented by Henry Fonda (not very awful, and only with brief appearances), and covers the first 100 items of the series (there are over 200 more, though I do not know how many are available), from which a quite good choice is made.

So... in case you need some relief from your family; want to find some old memories back; or want to see what I really liked that even the majority of the American public also liked, you can try the above.

You'll also find very little changed these forty years: mostly the same problems still exist for mostly the same reasons, of which the main one is human stupidity.

2. George Carlin - Unmasked with George Carlin 

I only discovered George Carlin two years after he died, in 2010, but have been a fan ever since, and have seen most of the Carlin material on Youtube, and several times linked to selections from it.

I must have mentioned him in Nederlog before May 2, 2012, but that is the first time he is in the Nederlog-indexes, and I then did include my assessment of him:

George Carlin, although he never got any university degree, was a real philosopher who discussed real philosophical problems in ways that are accessible, amusing and instructive to real people who are not blessed by academic tenure for knowing how to perform some academic tricks passably well and without giving offense to the authorities or the public at large, and who call themselves "philosophers" because they teach it, and maybe also write about it in journals that are only read by their own kind.

Then again, in order to reach the public Carlin had to adopt the stance of a comedian - as few will pay to hear a talk about philosophy - a subject which he excelled in thanks to a combination of courage, individualism, intelligence and verbal wit.

He seems to me to be one of the very few Americans of his and my generation who dared to speak the truth about many accepted idiocies and injustices in an intelligent and intelligible way, and who also managed to get away with it, and indeed to make money by it, because he was genuinely witty, which is another talent academic philosophers rarely have, even if they believe they do (see Magee's interviews, if you were inclined to think otherwise: compare the verbal agility of these supposedly major 20th Century philosophers with the verbal agility, ready wit and logical clarity that Carlin displayed, also in direct discussion, as can be seen on YouTube).

All of that still holds, and indeed I also really think Carlin did far more good than any American philosopher of the 20th Century did, because he made a lot of sense, that very few people really do, and reached a far wider audience than any philosopher ever did.

This is especially so from 1992 onwards, as he himself indicates in the following item, that - as I explained in the beginning - is the cause of the contents of this Nederlog:
In fact, this is an interview from 2007, about a year before his death, and it is a good video with good questions, and I hadn't seen this before, although I have seen and linked other interviews with him.

Finally here is a quotation with links, that still work today, from May 2, 2012:
    1. George Carlin - Top 20 Moments (Part 1 of 4)
    2. George Carlin - Top 20 Moments (Part 2 of 4)
    3. George Carlin - Top 20 Moments (Part 3 of 4)
    4. George Carlin - Top 20 Moments (Part 4 of 4)
Enjoy!

(And while you enjoy, realize this was no ordinary fool: He was one of the very few who dared to speak the truth about average mankind to average mankind, and who survived that and made money from it by sheer wit.)

3. Personal 

So this is why I did not review my one year old Corporate fascism and the surveillance state. I may come to that tomorrow (or later) but here and now I only should explain why the above material is in the crisis series.

There are two reasons:

One. Because this is material by really intelligent people, who tried to improve the world by being comedians - and being a comedian seems to be the only way to speak to a considerable part of the American public about serious issues and get a hearing.

Two. Because very few persons are as intelligent (or indeed: as funny) as they were (I write "were" because all the main characters died: Carroll O'Connor in 2001, George Carlin in 2008, Jean Stapleton in 2013) and because that is the main problem of the human world I live in - the level of average intelligence humans have, that very well may kill all or most, or enslave nearly all, effectively, not through wanting this, but through being deceived.

In any case, I hope you may be amused by some or all of the above.

---------------------------------
P.S. Dec 26, 2013: I linked note [2], that I forgot to link.
Note

[1] Here it is necessary to insist, with Aristotle, thay the governors do not rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the government, if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn Greenwald:
It is more proper that law should govern than any of the citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to be only guardians, and the servant of laws.
(And I note the whole file I quote from is quite pertinent.)

[2] Actually, I lately found out I did have a small black and white TV in 1984/5, that did show two Dutch stations, which I even used a few times, in fact mostly to see a series with the lookalike of a woman I then loved. But apart from that, it is strictly true what I wrote, and even then I really looked hardly any TV: Too stupid.

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to
facilitate search machine) which is a disease that I have since 1.1. 1979:

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
9.
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)



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