The Carousel of Progress

NOTE: This entry is a trip down memory lane, but be warned: At the end it gets political. As a result, I’ve disabled comments for this post. If you disagree with anything here, the Web is open – write your own blog. I have nothing against respectful dialog, but the Internet being what it is, I have no time for trolls.

progress

I first encountered this lovely exhibit when I attended the New York World’s Fair in 1965. Of all the presentations at the Expo (aside from the food – Belgian waffles, mmm) – along with the Picturephone demonstration, this is the one that stuck in my mind.

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After the fair closed, the ride was moved to Disneyland, where I experienced it again, and thereafter found a home in Disney World in Florida, which we visited just last week. It was lovely to reminisce.

Carousel 1

The 1900s. Life couldn’t be better with all the modern conveniences like gas lamps… and soon they’re supposed to have electric lights in the house!

As with anything, the ride did get a few updates over the years:

Carousel 2

Notice in this version it’s Valentine’s Day – and the model has had a bit of an update as well.

Carousel 3

The 1920’s. Electricity and gas are everywhere, and life couldn’t possibly be better. Happy 4th of July!

Carousel4

Hallowe’en in the 1940’s – this looks a lot like kitchens that I grew up with in the 50s.

Carousel 6

Christmas in the 1960s – this tableau has now been supplanted by a 21st-Century version – in the back is a view of Disney’s model city of the future, part of the original idea behind EPCOT (Experimental Planned Community of Tomorrow). Which, unfortunately, because our nation has been focused on flinging its precious human and material resources into unwinnable and futile conflict, has yet to become a reality – despite that dream.

Carousel 5

Another view of the 1960s.

Carousel 7

The 21st Century – (click for a larger view). Most of what you see here is now real, including much better graphics on Virtual Reality devices.

Carousel 8

If our 45th president and the climate-change deniers have their way, it might be necessary to replace the last tableau with one like this.

There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
And tomorrow’s just a dream away

Man has a dream and that’s the start
He follows his dream with mind and heart
And when it becomes a reality
It’s a dream come true for you and me

The only dream of our current “leaders” seems to be to violate the planet, exterminate the poor and the different, and add to the bottom line of the wealthy. I do not support this, I will not support this, I will not be silent – or I will never be able to look my children and grandchildren in the eye with honor.

Resist
The Old Wolf has spoken.

Stopping for lunch, 1960

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Robert Kennedy stops for lunch while on the campaign trail for his brother, John F. Kennedy. Bluefield, West Virginia, 1960. A different world, different times.

Caption from Shorpy: “Spring 1960. “Efforts of John F. Kennedy’s campaign team, including members of his family, in West Virginia during Kennedy’s quest for the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination. Includes brother Bob at a drive-in in Bluefield.” From photos by Bob Lerner for the Look magazine article “The Kennedys: A Family Political Machine.” 35mm negative.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Post 1000: An Open Letter to Congress and the White House

This is my 1000th post on this blog since I began writing 18 months ago. I wish I had a happier topic to write about, but today is day 3 of an inexcusable, unconscionable, and cruel shutdown of our “government.” Notice those scare quotes there… they were placed for a reason.

We do not have a government. What we have is this:

three_way_tantrum

Babies.

Babies in a miserable, wretched sandbox fight.

Babies crying about not getting their way. Throwing sand, pulling hair, crying, taking their ball and going home… babies who are charged with the stewardship of trillions of dollars, not a single one of which belongs to them. They are fighting amongst themselves for only one reason – to shore up their support for the next election. And in the meantime, thousands of workers have been furloughed, parks are closed, visitors are being turned away, revenue is being lost, women and children in desperate need are unable to get supplemental food, critical space projects[1] are coming close to missing deadlines imposed not by some mid-level government functionary but by physicsbitches, our debt rating with the world is being flushed down the toilet, along with seven jillionteen other detrimental consequences, and still they sit there, crying, beating their breasts about dogma and ideology, and not giving a rat’s south-40 that almost all of America, regardless of political persuasion, is saying,

Stop it!

stop-just-stop

As a body, you are not governing. You’re not doing the job you were elected to do.  Although a few of you see the folly and are doing your best to make things happen, but the numbers just aren’t there in the face of all the partisan, ideological obstructionism that pervades both houses of Congress and the presidency, and we, the people, are sick to death of it. As for me, I want to slap every one of you until you come to your senses.

We need jobs. We need education. We need healthcare for every citizen of this country, regardless of their ability to pay. We need to work on reducing poverty, crime, alienation, disenfranchisement, and a host of other social ills – and you arrogant, selfish, short-sighted, privileged buffoons sit there and allow the mechanism that our founding fathers put in place to address those problems to shut down.

garbage

This is where I’m at. I’m disgusted with all of you. I would like to see a total sweep. But in very truth, things are reaching a tipping point.

You, the “leaders” of our country who are leading us nowhere but into deprivation and destruction, are fast approaching a time when voting you out of office will not be enough; rather, you are courting insurrection among the people whom you are charged to govern, and if it comes to that, it will be upon your own heads. America is champing at the bit for a chance to clean the inward vessel.

Take heed. Get off your privileged butts and get the government back to work. Hundreds of millions of people, of whom 15% live in poverty and a much vaster percentage can feel economic terror snapping at their heels on a daily basis, depend on you to do your jobs. Now stop throwing sand, and do them.

The Old Wolf has spoken.[2]


[1] The next time you wonder about what good comes from space exploration and research, have a look at your GPS-enabled phone.
[2] And I’m quite pleased that I was able to express my feelings without sinking to the level of vulgar profanity that I feel is warranted by this debacle.