williambanzai7's picture


There follows a home movie that made it into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, which means it is deemed to be of national historical significance. I had seen it before and was mesmerized by it. First of all it is a very well done "home movie" considering it was done with a Super 8 film camera like my Dad used back then. Second, it is truly revealing of the economic faith and idealism that motivated almost all Americans: the good old "American Dream." I remember it very well because I am a young baby boomer and lived through much of the ensuing period.

For too many reasons, that faith and idealism has settled into a suspended state of collective unrealism. We are caught in a drunken national stupor. We are unable to collectively admit the direness of our economic situation and what is necessary to turn it around.

Moreover, our corrupt leadership is unwilling to put the finger on the culprits that have packed us off to global Palookaville.

Frank Rich reminded me of the film and wrote a superb editorial on this theme in today's NYT. I recommend you all read it and watch the film. He really hits it on the nail with this quote: 

"How many middle-class Americans now believe that the sky is the limit if they work hard enough? How many trust capitalism to give them a fair shake? Middle-class income started to flatten in the 1970s and has stagnated ever since. While 3M has continued to prosper, many other companies that actually make things (and at times innovative things) have been devalued, looted or destroyed by a financial industry whose biggest innovation in 20 years, in the verdict of the former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, has been the cash machine.

It’s a measure of how rapidly our economic order has shifted that nearly a quarter of the 400 wealthiest people in America on this year’s Forbes list make their fortunes from financial services, more than three times as many as in the first Forbes 400 in 1982. Many of America’s best young minds now invent derivatives, not Disneylands, because that’s where the action has been, and still is, two years after the crash. In 2010, our system incentivizes high-stakes gambling — “this business of securitizing things that didn’t even exist in the first place,” as Calvin Trillin memorably wrote last year — rather than the rebooting and rebuilding of America.

In last week’s exultant preholiday press conference, Obama called for a “thriving, booming middle class, where everybody’s got a shot at the American dream.” But it will take much more than rhetorical Scotch tape to bring that back."

At this point I am really feeling ripped off...and as each day passes, I am feeling more and more pissed off that all of the scumbags that made and are still making this sad state of affairs possible, are allowed to run freely and laugh at all of us in the comfortable confines of their publicly subsidized mini-homelands.

I can't help but wonder if the kids in the film are felling the same way I do right now.

As for those other swindling scumbags, they have my sincerest holiday wish:

Happy "Fuck You" to You in 2011!




[Link to: Frank Rich Editorial ]


Here is another interesting film clip from the NY World's Fair in 1964. The same mood of boundless potential is evoked. A mood that was clearly evident in this year's Shanghai Expo as well as on Wall Street.


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pama's picture

The first thing in the morning ZH read makes me wonder? Is the confidence and faith in the Government and Media so destroyed that it can not be rebuilt? Not to say that I believe any one of the sons of bitches. Just sayin that some how some way, trust has to be re-invented.
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pama's picture

It's retarded shit like this that really detracts from the quality of the site.
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hama's picture

The first thing in the morning ZH read makes me wonder? Is the confidence and faith in the Government and Media so destroyed that it can not be rebuilt? Not to say that I believe any one of the sons of bitches. Just sayin that some how some way, trust has to be re-invented.
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hama's picture

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hama's picture

Thanks about taking people away from their own reality. Disney was the company of happy endings. Disney made our lives seem better in giving us an outlet that was happy and so much better than the 1950 lives we had that were glossed

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hama's picture

You're still making variations of the NT bet today... High risk gambling on securities that have already made huge moves, never planning for the party to end. Parties always end. Bankers and insiders are selling into the high prices. To succeed one needs to do what they do -- buying when it's uncomfortable. You do the opposite and keep losing.
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hama's picture

we are specialized in handing nike shoes and wishes to enter into business relations with you.Our company has been in this line of business for many years and enjoys high?international prestige.
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VeloSpade's picture

Disneyland is full of pedophiles.  Don't take your kids there, unless you want them to be abducted and raped.

Aristarchan's picture

Willie, Disney has always been about taking people away from their own reality. Disney was the company of happy endings. Disney made our lives seem better in giving us an outlet that was happy and so much better than the 1950 lives we had that were glossed over as being perfect, but in fact, were not. Disney was part of the process that made Americans live under an illusion that we were better, our society was better, our government was better. But, the underpinnings of our society were rife with drugs, alcoholism, rape, incest, murder and all the other things we have now, but do not seem to equate to our idea of the 50's. The thing you refer to is an illusion of what we like to think ourselves as being. We have always been what we are, but the rude fact of it was not pumped through terrabyte servers and broadcast all over the world....our "best" was sent out in black-and-white movies in a sub-kilobyte world. We no longer have that ability to delude the world with our "Disney" propoganda. We killed our own propogation of our illusions with our own technology, because we never were what we thought we were, and we surprised more than most when this fact hit home. Our own propoganda came back to haunt us.

Aristarchan's picture

An awful lot of people (including politicos, government bankstas and economists) believe that the American standard of living of the last few decades must be maintained at all costs, and the only way to do that is to embrace the false wealth created by financial engineering. It has always been pretty much a given that nobody gets wealthy working their ass off for somebody else. You only get wealthy through innovation, and by investing (or by winning some fortune off a scratcher, if you are a fucking idiot). So, as wages stagnated, and costs went up (without official inflation) profits in investing soared (for those who did not lose their ass outright). Investing was encouraged, rules limiting risk were thrown out, and greed pretty much took care of the rest. Now, just a few cunt hairs above the foul bottom of a depression, it is important for these folks to re-ignite that American dream of getting rich from putting your money into the hands (or gun sights) of that crowd of greedy shithooks that got us here in the first place....how else are they going to prevent a slow meltdown of every one's faith in the "system?"

Boys, it is time to take a little of that gross pay you get for digging those ditches in frozen rock, and start putting them back in a managed fund - managed by the smartest people this country can produce, and start building up that nest egg for an early retirement, where you can sit back, take cruises on foreign- registered vessels, stockpile Viagra, Build that $500K log home with built-in vacuum system, media room, swimming pool and wine cellar. Fuck yes...it is time to get back in the saddle and take some risk with the boys that brought us Depression 2008. They may have kinda screwed the pooch that time, but they have learned their lesson now, and your friendly Fed has put in some tough new rules to make sure this kind of thing never happens again. Remember...the business of America is, indeed, business...and oh, by-the-way, brother, can you spare a dime?

williambanzai7's picture

Yes built in vacuum system, and digital fire place.

Aristarchan's picture

In 3D with a system that is Green Certified...."honey, can you chop some more Cyber wood, the fireplace seems to be dying?"

"Absolutely, honeybunch, I have this new Pulse axe from Blizzard Entertainment that chops down new growth trees without even leaving the comfort of our 3000 square feet living room."

"I love you so much snickerdiddles, have you taken your little blue pill tonight?"


Mr. Regression's picture

"Open eye's but you're sleeping, you best wake up 'cause tommorrow comes creepin'".......


williambanzai7's picture

I went to two Grand Funk concerts. Both times they were the lead in act. One was opening for Led Zepp in Osaka. They were the only band on this planet that played at a higher volume than Led Zepp.

And i will never ever forget watching Jimmy Page do his violin bow thing.

Aristarchan's picture

I went to a Humble Pie concert back in the early seventies...and I know I came away with hearing damage.....gunfire took care of the rest of my hearing:)

Aristarchan's picture

Which comes in handy when my wife says shit like "would you please haul the trash out to the curb?"

Mr. Regression's picture

Right you are elvisdog!  I remember being at the Worlds Fair in Queens in 1964 (I was 8).  It was a great time.

I've been reading through all these comments after taking a long walk in the snow.  You know, so many of us are slaves to our posessions.  I've a friend that own 7 cars.  He and his wife pay thousands to store them, and they work so hard for the money to keep them up that they don't even have time to drive 'em.  Same thing for houses and vacation homes.  My wife and I spend a few days every spring in a beautiful little town called Spring Lake in New Jersey.  Many multi-million dollar homes there.  Funny thing though, you never see any people, except the gardeners and maintenance people.  I asked a gardener where the owners were and he said "working".  What is the point of living by the sea if you're never there? 

I retired at the tender age of 48.  That's not a misprint - 48.  I saved like crazy all my life so that I could do this and I can still afford to be retired and amuse myself restoring old boats as a hobby.  On weekdays our beautiful neighborhood (where we own one of the more modest homes) is deserted.  It's like living in a park.  Everyone is working so much that they're never here.  What a shame, my neighbors don't even realize how peaceful it is here.  They're driving new Mercedes, BMW's and Lexus though.  We drive Chevrolet and Nissan.  I'll trade the "status" for the serenity anyday.  My dad drilled it into me as a boy - he said "work hard, save your money and then get out and enjoy life as soon as you can." when I asked why he said that, he looked at me and replied  "Because you're dead a long time".


Thnk about it......


Mr. Regression

williambanzai7's picture

Do you remember the Belgium waffles?

Aristarchan's picture

My father took me to the Worlds Fair back in the early sixties somewhere in New York...I guess it is the one you are talking about. I can barely remember it. We had flown back from Iran and while everyone else crashed after many hours on 707's, we went to the fair....all I can really remember is a kind of "future of everything motif."

ElvisDog's picture

Geez people, stop reading the blogosphere for 15 minutes and take your dog outside for a walk. I'm pretty sure the sun is going to rise tomorrow. The negativism on this thread is feeding on itself to absurdity.

williambanzai7's picture

Chinese Proverb: When you walk the dog, first there is fun, then there is poop ;-)

Aristarchan's picture

Do not fear, Willie, Blackhawk Ben has a really big pooper-scooper.

Uncle Remus's picture

Wait - where's the backlash? That's right down there where the OKC bombing took place.

"Happy House" in video.


palmereldritch's picture


The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.

~George Carlin


velobabe's picture

oh william, not to change the subject, D O O M , i got another par today. played with some nice old folks. i charm them, she thought i was intriguing. just to let you know. it isn't all about conjecture.

williambanzai7's picture

How can you be golfing there in December?

velobabe's picture

hi blindman, your always good for a full visual. totally all the senses combined. thanks

now my comment can only be

M E N.

how do you honestly come up with this shit. i knew one of the original mouseketeers, Sandy. damn, she was a dim wit. i never did, disneyland, never interested. but suppose the possibilities are limitless. i think it is a male thing. sure we have some female commenters, but most generation of articles on ZH are written by men, smart men, your imaginations are waaaaaay gone.

william, i am at a loss of words, what really interests you? infinite. why are you in Hong Kong, you seem to be sewn into the culture of NYC, why pray tell are you in Hong Kong? well maybe you got some sweetie, can't leave sweetness when you have it. i am thinkin seriousness about just embodying japanese/asian folklore with hooking.

williambanzai7's picture

New York is Banksta Mecca, but my family is there.

Hong Kong is a much easier place to live. Everything is very convenient and there is plenty of interesting old and new. Plus the food can't be beat. Asia is happening ;-)

Aristarchan's picture

Willie....don't do that to me..mentioning food and Honk Kong on the same website....I have often visualized doing a Panzer style eating mission in Hong Kong, much like Trillin's Mao fantasy....just hitting one restaurant and food stall after another....getting just the specialty of each. Maybe we should do that one day.....

Aristarchan's picture

Cool....I know a lot of places there, but am sure you know many more. Consider it an embryonic strategic plan in place for the future. Can I assume we will at some point, end up in Kowloon?:)

williambanzai7's picture

 I rarely leave Kowloon...unless headed to the bars

fallst's picture

My childhood was typical.

Summers in Rangoon, Luge Lessons...

blindman's picture

full lyrics here



Tom Waits - Small Change , presentation


"'Cause, 'cause the dreams ain't broken down here now
They're walking with a limp".. t.w.


who killed the ...dream?

the debt based, fractional reserve, financial, self defense department group think.

i think we failed to appreciate the two sides of the powerful debt coin and

how the human being/mind responds to both the up and down side of debt.

and now we are awake to the meaning of the trajectory of the structure of

the system.  so, the dream ......maybe the basis for a vision?  the future is


High Plains Drifter's picture


How Hollywood and the military industrial complex, coalesce.

robobbob's picture

that's 46:58 I 'll never get back

brought to you by a panel of guys who think Cuba and Venezuela are role models.

Fernley Girl's picture

'55:  taken to Disneyland

'65:  taken to NY World's Fair

'66:  sent off to college & then off to conquer the world

Now:  FTW.  Fertile soil.  Water.  Food.  Ammo. PM's.

Who wudda thunk?






onlooker's picture

---- Kamikazi---- thanks for the tip on the article by Asia Blues, I had missed it. This will not end well.

bunkermeatheadprogeny's picture

My mother inherited a house from my grandfather who lived the iconic 50's american dream.

One day during a visit, my children wanted to play on his piano, I opened up the piano bench for sheet music, and in there were several copies of "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tommorrow" that he had picked up on his family vacation to the 1964 New York World's Fair.

I lightheartedly imagined what it must have been like, a 1950's dad playing the piano while his baby-boom kids sang along.  Ironically, 1964, in retrospect, seems to be the apex of Pax Americana.

Obiwan's picture

When I last saw my family we talked about the state of country and I suggested that the 10th Amendment (States power to nullify and secede) was a good tool to help correct our course. Everyone was horrified at the idea. To counter that, my sister suggested that maybe we should just erase all the state's borders and have one big mono-country.  I was stunned.  

Upon reflection I had to admit that my family, just like most Americans, prefer to operate under the fairy-tale that the government is thier caretaker and friend.  People really WANT that myth to be true AND WILL INDIGNANTLY FIGHT YOU TO DEFEND IT.  I think this is just another species of infantilism in the psyche of humatity. People don't want to be awake and responsible, they want to be cozy and secure, and will naively place thier hopes in a government to provide it for them.  To come out of denial and really acknowledge that our Nation has undergone a quiet coup and is being pillaged and torn apart is to painful for most people to see. Most people absolutely do not want to look at it and will resist efforts to shine a light on it.

But intense pain is an awakener.  It breaks through denial and gets people to open their eyes.  When things are comfy, who wants to hear bad news? 

Amercians are getting a bucket of ice water over the head.

Keep talking to whoever will listen

zeusman's picture

What is the state of our country that you refer to?  What denial?  Your rant sound like a nebulous fortune cookie.  Who are the bad guys in your Rant?  Wall Street?  The evil Libs? The President?  What myth?   What is this strawman argument "people/government caretaker"  Last time I checked Georgie Porgie and his Treasury buddy Hank Goldman-Paulsen were providing caretaker services of about a trillion dollars to the banking system.  You know the banking system that couldnt adequately care for itself under Georgie's free market capitalism scheme.   I think it is funny how the far right complains about common folk caretaking of government but doesnt seem to mind the moral hazard of corporate welfare.

robobbob's picture

excuse me, but many people on the right complained. But the same PTB that controls the mainstream left, controls the mainstream right.

George B's plan carried through by Nancy and Harry? That was a team effort. And BHO decisively stopped it when?

Go Team Red, Go Team Blue!!!

That was the fundamental trigger for the tea party, before they were pied pipered away, shot in the back, or otherwise captured by the Roves, Gingriches and their patrician backers.

velobabe's picture

actually i have started to embrace closing out all of my body washing, etc. with cold water, not ice cold, but it is good for the skin and body to end a hot water experience with cold. closes the pores. i use to do it when you would hot tub/jacuzzi with the cold pool. in the 70's there was always a cold pool splash. people any more just can't take the extremes. i think on a personal level if you can mentally and physically experience going from hot to cold, you will start to be awakened. plus, people just are not really interested in feeling anything.

blindman's picture

you are wicked smart from experience me thinks.