Author Archives: Phil Paine

Revolt in 2100

Cover art for Revolt in 2100

Cover art for Revolt in 2100

In a hurry to get out the door, I grabbed a paper­back at ran­dom for sub­way read­ing. It was a bat­tered copy of Robert Heinlein’s Revolt in 2100 which I had last read in 1985. It’s three sto­ries are early Hein­lein, mate­r­ial that had first appeared in the pulp mag­a­zines in the 1930s and 1940s. The sto­ries that he wrote at that time were framed within a puta­tive “future his­tory.” That is to say, that the sto­ries were not directly con­nected, but all existed in the same pro­jected imag­i­nary future, cov­er­ing sev­eral thou­sand years. Much was made of this “future his­tory” at the time, but Hein­lein aban­doned the project to pur­sue other writ­ing paths from the 1950s until his death in 1988. The books that col­lected the “future his­tory” sto­ries each repro­duced a chart plac­ing the sto­ries in time, with notes on tech­no­log­i­cal, social and polit­i­cal events. It was, Hein­lein always main­tained, a work of spec­u­la­tive imag­i­na­tion, not of attempted prophecy. But some of its spec­u­la­tions weren’t too far of the mark. In sto­ries writ­ten in 1940 an 1949, he had the first land­ing on the moon take place in 1978. In sub­se­quent real­ity, it occurred in 1969. But what is espe­cially inter­est­ing is that the “future his­tory” has the United States suc­cumb to a fun­da­men­tal­ist reli­gious dic­ta­tor­ship some­where close to the year 2017. One of the sto­ries is about the rebel­lion against this dic­ta­tor­ship. At the end of the vol­ume, first pub­lished in 1953, Hein­lein pro­vided a postscipt, Con­cern­ing Sto­ries Never Writ­ten, in which he explained that some of the sto­ries listed in the chart, those tak­ing place dur­ing the early part of the dic­ta­tor­ship, he chose not to write because the sub­ject mat­ter was too depress­ing. Con­cern­ing their main premise, he wrote:

As for the sec­ond notion, the idea that we could lose our free­dom by suc­cumb­ing to a wave of reli­gious hys­te­ria, I am sorry to say that I con­sider it pos­si­ble. I hope that it is not prob­a­ble. But there is a latent deep strain of reli­gious fanati­cism in this cul­ture; it is rooted in our his­tory and it has bro­ken out many times in the past. It is with us now; there has been a sharp rise in strongly evan­gel­i­cal sects in this coun­try in recent years, some of which hold beliefs theo­cratic in the extreme, anti-intellectual, anti-scientific, and anti-libertarian [1].

Fur­ther on, he added:

…a com­bi­na­tion of a dynamic evan­ge­list, tele­vi­sion, enough money, and mod­ern tech­niques of adver­tis­ing and pro­pa­ganda might make Billy Sun­day [2]’s efforts look like a cor­ner store com­pared to Sears Roe­buck. Throw in a depres­sion for good mea­sure, promise a mate­r­ial heaven here on earth, add a dash of anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism, anti-Negroism [3], and a good dose of anti-“furriners” in gen­eral and anti-intellectuals here at home and the result might be some­thing quite fright­en­ing — par­tic­u­larly when one recalls that our vot­ing sys­tem is such that a minor­ity dis­trib­uted as plu­ral­i­ties in enough states can con­sti­tute a work­ing major­ity in Washington.

Hein­lein imag­ined his fic­tional dic­ta­tor, Nehemiah Scud­der, as a back­woods hick bankrolled by big-money tycoons and helped along by the Repub­li­can estab­lish­ment, with murky ties to the Ku Klux Klan. The key to his power is his use of tele­vi­sion. This is remark­able con­sid­er­ing that broad­cast tele­vi­sion in the United States had existed for only three years when Hein­lein wrote this. Few peo­ple thought tele­vi­sion was polit­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant until a decade later. Equally inter­est­ing is his ref­er­ence to the pecu­liar­i­ties of the Amer­i­can elec­toral sys­tem that went largely unno­ticed until they made Nehemiah Scu…— I’m sorry, I meant Don­ald Trump — the Pres­i­dent of the United States of Amer­ica. Reli­gious fanati­cism is not the only com­po­nent of Trump­ism, which is a total­i­tar­ian ide­ol­ogy sim­i­lar to Nazism, Com­mu­nism and Fas­cism. Like all such total­i­tar­ian move­ments, it brings together many dis­parate groups and motives. But reli­gious fun­da­men­tal­ists form a con­sid­er­able block of Trump’s cred­u­lous “core” fol­low­ing — and among them many are “Domin­ion­ists”, i.e. believ­ers and pro­mot­ers of a lit­eral reli­gious dic­ta­tor­ship abol­ish­ing the sep­a­ra­tion of Church and State. There is even a bizarre move­ment that explains Trump’s obvi­ous irre­li­gion, sex­ual per­ver­sion and per­sonal cor­rup­tion as “proof” that he is a vehi­cle of divine inter­ven­tion — a typ­i­cal sort of men­tal gym­nas­tic that one expects from the reli­gious fanatic.

Hein­lein is a writer who has been bizarrely co-opted by some of the most evil and trea­so­nous move­ments in today’s Amer­ica. He is often quoted by peo­ple who are essen­tially dis­ci­ples of Nehemiah Scud­der. A sim­i­lar process has taken place with George Orwell. Orwell, an anti-totalitarian who utterly despised Con­ser­vatism, is reg­u­larly quoted by Con­ser­v­a­tives to sup­port the very things that Orwell opposed. Every­body who thinks and writes seri­ously has to take into account that their work might be exploited and dis­torted in this fashion.

—-

[1] the term “lib­er­tar­ian”, in 1953, did not sig­nify the “Lib­er­tar­ian” polit­i­cal move­ment of today, but instead meant roughly what the term “lib­eral” is now used to signify.

[2] Billy Sun­day (1862–1935) was an evan­ge­list with fun­da­men­tal­ist views whose pop­u­lar­ity peaked some­what before World War I. He pio­neered many of the tech­niques used by later evan­ge­lists in mass ral­lies, which were then mod­i­fied for radio and tele­vi­sion. He attached him­self to the Repub­li­can party, and cam­paigned against immi­gra­tion from Europe, the teach­ing of evo­lu­tion, danc­ing, card-playing, attend­ing the the­atre, read­ing nov­els, and the usual sex­ual “sins”. He was one of the key moti­va­tors in the move­ment toward alco­hol pro­hi­bi­tion that cul­mi­nated in the 18th Amend­ment in 1919.

[3] The use of the terms “Black” and “African-American” were unknown in 1953. Lib­er­als and non-racists at that time referred to African-Americans as “Negro”, as did most African-Americans them­selves.

FILMSJANUARY 2017

(Mar­tin 1965) Crack in the World
(Ben­nett 1976) Doc­tor Who: Ep.430 ― The Masque of Man­dragora, Part 3
(Ben­nett 1976) Doc­tor Who: Ep.431 ― The Masque of Man­dragora, Part 4
(Rei­ther­man 1967) The Jun­gle Book
(Mayne 1976) Doc­tor Who: Ep.432 ― The Hand of Fear, Part 1
(Mayne 1976) Doc­tor Who: Ep.433 ― The Hand of Fear, Part 2
(McBrearty 2008) Mur­doch Mys­ter­ies: Ep.5 ― Till Death Do Us Part
(Mar­cel 1983) Pris­on­ers of the Lost Uni­verse [Riff­Trax ver­sion]
(Hard­cas­tle 2010) School of Com­edy: Ep.10
(Mayne 1976) Doc­tor Who: Ep.434 ― The Hand of Fear, Part 3
(Mayne 1976) Doc­tor Who: Ep.435 ― The Hand of Fear, Part 4
(Mal­oney 1976) Doc­tor Who: Ep.436 ― The Deadly Assas­sin, Part 1
(Mal­oney 1976) Doc­tor Who: Ep.437 ― The Deadly Assas­sin, Part 2
(Mal­oney 1976) Doc­tor Who: Ep.438 ― The Deadly Assas­sin, Part 3
(Mal­oney 1976) Doc­tor Who: Ep.439 ― The Deadly Assas­sin, Part 4
(Nesher 1982) She
(Kruse 2004) The Simp­sons: Ep.327 ― The Ziff Who Came to Din­ner
(Lan­dau 1990) Star Trek, the Next Gen¬er¬a¬tion: Ep.82 ― Future Imper­fect
(McNaughton 1970) Monty Python’s Fly­ing Cir­cus: Ep.22 ― How to Rec­og­nize Dif­fer­ent Parts
. . . . of the Body
(Thomas 1964) The High Bright Sun
Read more »

First-time listening for January 2017

28171. (May Kelso) “Because” [1899 Edi­son wax cylin­der]
28172. (Samuel Siegel) “Sto­ry­teller Waltz” [1899]
28173. (Len Spencer) “Whistling Rufus” [1899]
28174. (Vess L. Oss­man) “Whistling Rufus” [rag­time banjo] [1899]
28175. (Kendrick Lamar) Wel­come to Comp­ton [mix­tape]
28176. (Cristóbal de Morales) Motet: Andreas Christi famu­lus
28177. (Cristóbal de Morales) Motet: Sancta Maria, suc­curre mis­eris
28178. (Cristóbal de Morales) Motet: Clam­a­bat autem mulier Chananea
28179. (Cristóbal de Morales) Motet: O sacrum con­vivium
28180. (Cristóbal de Morales) Motet: Regina caeli
28181. (Cristóbal de Morales) Missa Quer­a­mus cum pas­toribus
28182. (Katy Perry) Prism
28183. (Umberto Gior­dano) Andrea Chénier [com­plete opera; d. Mat­acic; Corelli, Tibaldi]
28184. (Sasha) Essen­tial Mix, Jan­u­ary 15, 1994 — Stu­dio Ses­sion
28185. (Billy Golden) “Hot Time Med­ley” [1899]
28186. (Gia­como Meyer­beer) Margharita d’Anjou [com­plete opera; d. Parry; Mas­sis, Ford,
. . . . . Bar­cel­lona]
28187. (Arthur Sul­li­van) The Zoo, A Musi­cal Folly [com­pete operetta; d. Nash; D’Oyly Carte]
28188. (Andy Gram­mer) Andy Gram­mer
28189. (Kil­i­man­jaro Dark­jazz Ensem­ble) The Kil­i­man­jaro Dark­jazz Ensem­ble
Read more »

READINGJANUARY 2017

26901. (Andrew Tay­lor) The World of Ger­ard Mer­ca­tor
26902. (Olivier P. Nieuwen­huyse et al) The 8.2 Event in Upper Mesopotamia [arti­cle]
26903. (Daniele Con­versi) Eth­no­rad­i­cal­ism as a Mir­ror Image of State Cen­tral­i­sa­tion: the
. . . . . Basque Par­a­digm in Franco’s Spain [arti­cle]
26904. (Neha Dhavale et al) Lin­ear and Appo­si­tional Growth in Infants and Chil­dren from the
. . . . . Pre­his­toric Set­tle­ment of Ban Non Wat, North­east Thai­land: Eval­u­at­ing Bio­log­i­cal
. . . . . Responses to Agri­cul­tural Inten­si­fi­ca­tion in South­east Asia [arti­cle]
26905. (Jef­frey M. Hur­wit) The Athen­ian Acrop­o­lis ― His­tory, Mythol­ogy, and Archae­ol­ogy
. . . . . from the Neolithic Era to the Present
26906. (Lydia Pyne) Open Sourc­ing Lucy, the World’s Most Famous Fos­sil [arti­cle]
26907. (Jesse Bulling­ton) The Folly of the World
26908. (Mojúbàolú Olúfúnké Okome) The Trauma of Cap­tiv­ity and Chal­lenge of Free­dom:
. . . . . Niger­ian School­girls Walk­ing the Tightrope from Boko Haram Cap­tiv­ity to Free­dom
. . . . . [draft arti­cle]
26909. (Szy­mon Zdziebłowski) The First Pol­ish Archae­o­log­i­cal Research Project in Burk­ina
. . . . . Faso [arti­cle]
26910. (Jenny Hagen­blad et al) Farmer Fidelity in the Canary Islands Revealed by Ancient
. . . . . DNA from Pre­his­toric Seeds [arti­cle]
26911. (Steve Coll) Pri­vate Empire ― Exxon­Mo­bil and Amer­i­can Power
26912. (Tor­ben Bjarke Ballin) The Brodgar Point and Its Affini­ties ― An Update [arti­cle]
26913. (Johnny Marr) Set the Boy Free
26914. (Mikheil Abra­mashvili) South Cau­ca­sia and the Aegean before the Arg­onauts [arti­cle]
26915. (Silke Reeploeg) Coastal Cul­tures in Scot­land and Nor­way: Nar­ra­tives, Affin­ity, Con­tact
. . . . . [arti­cle]
26916. (Tim Win­ton) Eyrie
26917. (B. Zipfel & L. R. Berger) Shod Ver­sus Unshod: The Emer­gence of Fore­foot Pathol­ogy
. . . . . in Mod­ern Humans? [arti­cle]
26918. (Jen Sook­fong Lee) The Conjoined

FILMSDECEMBER 2016

(Enright 1941) The Wag­ons Roll at Night
(Ander­son 2003) The Simp­sons: Ep.298 ― Spe­cial Edna
(Mal­oney 1975) Doc­tor Who: Ep.406 ― Planet of Evil, Part 1
(Mal­oney 1975) Doc­tor Who: Ep.407 ― Planet of Evil, Part 2
(Lewis 2003) The First World War: Ep.7 ― Block­ade
(Mal­oney 1975) Doc­tor Who: Ep.408 ― Planet of Evil, Part 3
(Mal­oney 1975) Doc­tor Who: Ep.409 ― Planet of Evil, Part 4
(Scheerer 1990) Star Trek, the Next Gen¬er¬a¬tion: Ep.80 ― Legacy
(Kirk­land 2003) The Simp­sons: Ep.299 ― The Dad Who Knew Too Lit­tle
(Rich 1962) The Dick Van Dyke Show: Ep.35 ― Hus­tling the Hus­tler
(San­ti­ago & Wynorski 2014) Water Wars
(Gor­don 1962) The Magic Sword [Mys­tery Sci­ence The­atre ver­sion]
(Rus­sell 1975) Doc­tor Who: Ep.410 ― Pyra­mids of Mars, Part 1
(Rus­sell 1975) Doc­tor Who: Ep.411 ― Pyra­mids of Mars, Part 2
(Thomas 1964) Hot Enough for June
(Rus­sell 1970) Dance of the Seven Veils
Read more »

First-time listening for December 2016

28062. (anon.) Per­sonal Mes­sage from a Grand­fa­ther to his Grand­child [1894 wax cylin­der]
28063. (Dan W. Quinn) “Down in Poverty Row” [1997 wax cylin­der]
28064. (Will F. Denny) “Change Will Do You Good” [1897 wax cylin­der]
28065. (John Philip Sousa Band) “Dark­ies Temp­ta­tion” [1897 wax cylin­der]
28063. (Len Spencer) “Sleigh Ride Party” [1897 wax cylin­der]
28064. (Cal Stew­art) “Uncle Josh at a Raines Law Hotel” [1897 wax cylin­der]
28065. (Len Spencer & Roger Hard­ing) “Upper Ten and Lower Five” [1897 wax cylin­der]
28066. (Mod­est Mus­sorgsky) Boris Godunov [1869 ver­sion] [com­plete opera; d. Gergiev;
. . . . . Putilin, Tro­fonova, Bulyceva, Lucuk]
28067. (Yous­sou N’Dour) Dakar – Kingston
28068. (Drake) Noth­ing Was the Same
Read more »

READINGDECEMBER 2016

26963. (Bliss Car­man) Far Hori­zons
26964. (Evan­ge­los Kyr­i­akidis) Some Aspects of the Role of Scribes in Pylian Palace
.… . Admin­is­tra­tion [arti­cle]
26965. (Vong Sot­heara) The Role of Khmer Monks dur­ing 16th-19th Cen­turies [arti­cle]
26966. (Tser­ing Shakya) Mak­ing of the Great Game Play­ers ― Tibetan Stu­dents in Britain
.… . Between 1913 and 1917 [arti­cle]
26967. (Her­bert Jenk­ins) The Gyl­ston Slan­der [story]
26968. (Miroslav Bárta) Pre­his­toric Mind in Con­text: An Essay on Pos­si­ble Roots of Ancient
.… . Egypt­ian Civil­i­sa­tion [arti­cle]
26969. (Adam Gaudry) Review of Metis and Med­i­cine Line by Michel Hogue [review]
26970. (Mil­jana Radi­vo­je­vić) Invent­ing Met­al­lurgy in West­ern Eura­sia: A Look Through the
.… . Micro­scope Lens [arti­cle]
26971. (Maria Mag­dolna Tatár) New Data About the Cult of Čing­gis Qan’s Stan­dard [arti­cle]
26972. (Sheri S. Tep­per) Grass Read more »

FILMSNOVEMBER 2016

(Zacarías 1978) The Bees
(Mar­tin 2010) Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Ep.64 ― Mur­der on the Ori­ent Express
(Ben­nett 1975) Doc­tor Who: Ep.386 ― The Ark in Space, Part 1
(Kramer 2002) The Simp­sons: Ep.282 ― The Old Man and the Key
(Ander­son 2002) The Simp­sons: Ep.283 ― Tales from the Pub­lic Domain
(Mulc­ahy 2005) Mys­te­ri­ous Island
(Palmer 2011) Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Ep.65 ― The Clocks
(Ben­nett 1975) Doc­tor Who: Ep.387 ― The Ark in Space, Part 2
(Ben­nett 1975) Doc­tor Who: Ep.388 ― The Ark in Space, Part 3
(Ben­nett 1975) Doc­tor Who: Ep.389 ― The Ark in Space, Part 4
(Moore 2002) The Simp­sons: Ep.284 ― Blame It on Lisa
(Rich 1962) The Dick Van Dyke Show: Ep.32 ― The Two Faces of Rob
(Strick­land 2013) Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Ep.66 ― Ele­phants Can Remem­ber
(Ben­nett 1975) Doc­tor Who: Ep.390 ― The Son­taran Exper­i­ment, Part 1
(Ben­nett 1975) Doc­tor Who: Ep.391 ― The Son­taran Exper­i­ment, Part 2
(Pil­lai 2016) Mid­Somer Mur­ders: Ep.105 ― Habeas Cor­pus
(Marsh 2010) Spud
Read more »

First-time listening for November 2016

27999. (Duke Elling­ton) After All
(Anony­mous 4) Dark­ness into Light: The Bride­groom & other works by John Tavener:
. . . . 28000. (John Tavener) Ves­pers hymn: O lux beata trini­tas
. . . . 28001. (John Tavener) Jube domine/Lection: In prin­ci­pio erat ver­bum
. . . . 28002. (John Tavener) Come and do Your will in me [arr. Tavener]
. . . . 28003. (John Tavener) Com­pline hymn: Christe qui lux es et dies
. . . . 28004. (John Tavener) Lec­tio Ysaye prophete/Lection: Surge illu­minare Jerusalem
. . . . 28005. (John Tavener) As One Who Has Slept
. . . . 28006. (John Tavener) Noc­turn hymn: Medie noc­tis tem­pus est
. . . . 28007. (John Tavener) Lec­tion: Vidi civ­i­tatem
. . . . 28008. (John Tavener) The Lord’s Prayer
. . . . 28009. (John Tavener) The Bride­groom
. . . . 28010. (John Tavener) Hymn for the New Light: Inven­tor rutili
28011. (J. Cole) Cole World: The Side­line Story
28012. (Jaroslav Krcek) Bubek & Hun­gar­i­cus [18th C gypsy dances]
28013. (Wolf­gang Amadeus Mozart) Mass in C m: Kyrie [d. Heltay; s. Lott]
28014. (Wolf­gang Amadeus Mozart) Don Gio­vanni, k.527: Com­menda­tore scene [s. Still­well,
. . . . . Tom­lin­son, White]
28015. (Wolf­gang Amadeus Mozart) Zaide: “Ruhe Sanft” [s. Lott]
28016. (Wolf­gang Amadeus Mozart) Requiem: Introi­tus, Dies Irae, Rex Tremen­dae Majes­ta­tis,
. . . . . Confu­tatis, Lacry­mosa [d. Heltay]
28017. (Stoned Jesus) First Com­mu­nion Read more »

READINGNOVEMBER 2016

26932. (Bene­dict de Spin­oza) A Theologico-Political Trea­tise [tr. R. H. M. Elwes]
26933. (Bene­dict de Spin­oza) A Polit­i­cal Trea­tise [tr. R. H. M. Elwes]
26934. (Mehmet Özdoğan) In Quest of a Miss­ing Era in East­ern Thrace ― Dilemma of the
.… . 4th Mil­le­nium [arti­cle]
26935. (Erd­mute Alber & Heike Drot­bohm) Intro­duc­tion to Anthro­po­log­i­cal Per­spec­tives on
.… . Care [arti­cle]
26936. (André Nor­ton) The Time Traders
26937. (Cur­tis Run­nels & Mehmet Özdoğan) The Palae­olithic of the Bospho­rus Region, NW
.… . Turkey [arti­cle]
26938. (Sarah Cabalion) Buveurs de lait et ama­teurs de viande ― aperçu des pra­tiques
.… . ali­men­taires actuelles des Touaregs de la Tagaray­garayt, Aza­wagh, Niger [arti­cle]
26939. (Tim Win­ton) Dirt Music
26940. (Gary M. Fein­man & Linda M. Nicholas) The Late Pre­his­panic Econ­omy of the Val­ley
.… . of Oax­aca, Mex­ico: Weav­ing Threads from Data, The­ory, and Sub­se­quent His­tory
.… . [arti­cle]
26941. (Remke Kruk) Harry Pot­ter in the Gulf: Con­tem­po­rary Islam and the Occult [arti­cle] Read more »