Saturday, June 13, 2009

Buy Buy Love!

Much of the following information comes from Martin Kaufman in a wonderful article he did for Popular Paranoia called "The Manhattan Project to Manufacture the First Yuppies" published in 2002 and edited by Kenn Thomas. In 1984 Newsweek wrote: "much of the energy and optimism and passion of the sixties seems to have been turned inward, on lives, on careers, apartments and dinners." Martin Kaufman writes: "Note the passive verb; been turned suggests it happened by itself, that nothing caused the rebellious sixties spirit to turn inward...Do a little bit of cultural archaeology, however, and you discover that the yuppies were a created phenomenon. The manufacturing process didn't start with Reagan, but all the way back in the days of Ford, even Nixon. Its goal? To transform the anti-materialistic sixties generation back into responsible Americans; i.e., get them to buy on command. Some background: With the pullout from Vietnam and ouster of Nixon, many people in the 70s felt they could really make change happen. The 60s spirit was alive-in 1975 seven bills to legalize marijuana were introduced in the New York legislature. (4) David Rockefeller's elitist Trilateral Commission termed such attempts by the people to influence their government "a crisis of democracy" that had to be dealt with."

How do you like that my fellow Americans? OUR attempts to have a say in what is supposedly OUR government are "a crisis of democracy." If I am not mistaken David Rockefeller (coulda been his bro Nelson-I get the slimy fucks mixed up) also said that the United States "suffered from an excess of democracy in the 1970s." Hey at least the rat bastards kinda tell it like it is anyway -eh?? The illusion that this nation is "of the people by the people, for the people" has never been anything more than a sick joke-and the joke is on us-sadly. Getting back to Martin Kaufman, "On November 10, 1976, the world's most influential newspaper, The New York Times, debuted its Wednesday "Living" section. In the very first issue we find all the tokens and value systems of yuppiedom that would "mysteriously" arise eight years later. Kaufman continues on in his article to give us examples of the names and subject matter of these articles. For the purposes of this post some of the names will be quite sufficient I think. "The Best Pates in New York" by Mimi Sheraton, Craig Claiborne begged us to cook "Volaille au Coulis de Poitreux et de Truffles"-I don't have an effin clue as to what this dish might be-except maybe something with truffles in it-hey private investigator at work here! "Wine Talk" was a section telling people to drink ultra fine and expensive wines and champagne and not as Kaufman writes, "the plebian California stuff but the real champagne from "the valley of the Marne River east of Paris." Kaufman goes on to say, "Mike Wallace pondered his dream to open a restaurant ( a future yuppie cliche). William F. Buckley, Jr. shared veal recipes with a typically yuppie (and typically Buckley) unconcern for the disgraceful torture veal calves undergo."

Let me interject some of my own thoughts about Mr. Buckley if I may. A nice boy wouldn't say this-but then who says I am a nice boy? I am happy Buckley is no longer on this mortal coil and probably rotting in whatever circle of hell slimy fascists go to when they pass on-probably sharing space with Falwell, Franco, the "Gipper", Jesse Helms and a host of other personalities. Unfortunately they'd better save some room! Just in this nation alone people like Ollie North, 41, 43, Kissinger, Zbig, Limbaugh, O'Reilly -well you get the picture are still around-not to mention kind-hearted folks like Le Pen in France and other nations-so save room down there please! Back in the 1980s Mr. Buckley suggested that people with HIV/AIDS be tattooed and interned in camps-kinda reminds you of another time and place eh? Mr. Buckley began the neo-fascist rag (at least in spirit anyway) The National Review in 1955. In a memorable debate on 27 August 1968 in an exchange with the extremely talented novelist/essayist/playright and almost politico -Gore Vidal this exchange occurred involving the debate raging over America's involvement in the Vietnam war: Gore Vidal: "the only pro or crypto-Nazi here is yourself." William F. Buckley: "Now listen, you queer, you stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I'll sock you in the goddamn face and you'll stay plastered."

I hope to post a link to this exchange from you tube. What a typical Amero-fascist maneuver-call Vidal a queer (he is a bisexual man-getting up in years now-but talented and smart-very handsome also in my opinion-not that that has anything to do with anything-I just mentioned that part because I always thought Buckley was an ugly as sin-slack jawed and slack brained phoney) and threatening him with physical violence. I hope the video is as good as it was when I viewed it for you all. For you young folks who may not know who these people are -well I will put it this way -Buckley and his ever so precious mannerisms strike me as about as threatening as one of the Seven Dwarves of Snow White fame-to bad they didn't have a dwarf called Dorky Fascist Bootlicker! Buckley was also a defender of McCarthyism. In McCarthy and His Enemies he stated that " a movement around which men of goodwill and stern morality can close ranks." Uh yeah Bill-if you happen to be an admirer of Adolph Hitler! Well as usual I am getting way off-topic.

Back to Martin Kaufman and the yuppies or rather the creation of them: "In 1977-79, still years before yuppieism, "Living" tackled such important issues as: "The Best of Brie." Late autumn marks...the year's best season for game, truffles, fresh foie gras and especially brie, France's King of Cheese and the Number One status choice in this country as well. We also discovered the wonders of Supreme de Volaille aux Polvons. "The succulence of Caneton Etrange a la Suedois...The "newspaper of record" seemed intent on setting record for sheer single-mindedness of purpose. Their super-salesmanship (and they were selling class consciousness for the would- be nouveau riche more than food), was obsessive, overdone, and showed an appalling lack of gentility and moderation-exactly the characteristics that came to typify the new-money yuppies."

Martin Kaufman goes on a bit later in his article: "By the time 1984 rolled around and the name "yuppie" had been coined, the New York yuppies had been programmed for over a decade and were obedient robots. The Times and New York (magazine) were now joined by innumerable other publications celebrating excess (and the economic system that made it possible). But the 1987 stock market crash found the Times in a reflective mood, noting that the yuppies' "huge incomes and ostentatious consumption, an inclination highlighted in both advertising and news coverage (italics mine; when you create a phenomenon, can you really be said to be 'covering it?)-generated deep resentment...Get it? That distaste many of us felt for status-seeking and egotism was mere jealousy. That disgust at people without consciounces, disguised envy. Post-crash, however, the Times quickly rejoined the party, with gift ideas: For your son: "A yuppie, he likes the new and different, so give him a BMW in milk, dark or white chocolate , $14.75 at Li-lac."

Well I have let Mr. Kaufman tell so much of our tale here why stop now? "What a feat of social engineering. Moving masses of people awar from flower power, and toward materialism, class-consciousness and rightest politics. And making it seem like it all just happened spontaneously, unassisted. In 1977, the first year with both new sections, Times income more than doubled from 1975. It's interesting how the Times' interests and Wall Street's coincide. More interesting still is how the Times' duties as lapdog to the power elite (a role well documented by Noam Chomsky and others) go well beyond just whitewashing U.S. foreign policy and printing corporate PR in the guise of news, all the way to ineventing lifestyles and zeitgeists that bolster elitist values. Thus setting the course not just for educated professionals' lives, but those of the millions who emulate them. And all other societies that emulate the U.S. (or, more accurately, are having U.S. culture forced down their throats). Yes the Times really outdid itself with its "coverage" of the yuppie phenomenon. We thought it was time they received the credit they were due."

Thank you Martin Kaufman! This isn't a typical MFM post-of course what really is typical here? I zig and zag and mix and match so much I bet folks are glad I am not a pilot or bus driver! I just really enjoyed that article and wanted to share some of it here. The parts here are not nearly the whole thing. I found it fascinating -the "cultural achaeology" Mr. Kaufman did to let us know that the yuppies and their admirers didn't arise out of a cultural vacuum. The fact that this social engineering was in the works so long before the actual "yuppies" arrived on the scene interested me a great deal also. In the same article Mr. Kaufman mentions an article by Stanley H. Brown, "People's Capitalism is killing Wall Street", in New York magazine from way back in April of 1970! It does worry me a great deal sometimes about what other goodies the social engineers are thinking of to mold our reality. Thanks again for all of your kind, intelligent and thoughtful comments! I will try to post the You Tube link and some others. Vidal and Buckley in 1968- and Gore Vidal Link


Autumnforest said...

Fantastic and thoughtful post! You really get me thinking. I know being a child of the 70s (though I recall the 60s well), I remember being in an era of doing your own thing--there were the earth people (me) and the stoners (my middle sister), the disco queens (my older sister), and the rising yuppies (my brothers). I don't concern myself with what the American Engine might want from me. I think the point is to not use your country to define yourself. That's the point of a democracy--not to have an awful leader like the royal family in Saudi Arabia and be allowed to do your own religion, pick your own clothing, find your own way. Yeah, we make our bread and butter producing products and buying them--this isn't communal living, but at the same time we shouldn't let folks like Paris Hilton put us in the poorhouse trying to be the "it" thing. There are those weak-willed folks who can't define themselves without materialism, but there is in any society. The lucky thing here, I guess is that the custodian next door could make it big and live that way as well as the guy born into old money. I like to watch the generations cycle. The 50s were kind of like the 80s with growth and consumerism and then now we're more like the 30s and cautious and recycling. I used to wonder why my mom kept the house so cold in the winter and rinsed out plastic bags, but she grew up in the Depression era. I'm kinda getting where she came from. I guess the point is that if you let your country's "bend" define you, you're not being an individual and there is no country without individuals. I can't imagine what I'd be like if I let Bush define how I was going to be during those 8 years...Yikes! I love your passion and your insight. You really get me thinking. I don't know if you ever saw the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?" but that was one of my fav's. Do you like Michael Moore? I love him--he's an ass in the personality department, but I admit that he's gotta be to get the point across. Keep writing these mentally stimulating posts. I look forward to them!

Nina said...

i remember being a teenager in the early to mid 80's and babysitting a lot of these "yuppie" folks children. so much stuff but so much superficiality and emptiness (as well as broken marriages). it was then that i said i would NEVER be a headband-wearing/minivan-driving mother/person. that and i would not marry a man in advertising or finance. or real estate. or banking. lol

when i've been accused of being jealous i simply say "i just want the chance to own my own home. not some stinkin' mansion or some 3500' cookie-cutter home in the burbs." part of the core of americana capitalism and mass consumerism is a real estate market that has gone utterly out of control, right along w/spending and consumption habits.

i still wonder what pate and cavier tastes like, although the idea of fish eggs and champagne has never appealed to me. i'm more the nacho's and lemonade dacquiri type.

Alex Robinson said...

Godamn Devin, I just loved that running commentary - I had to keep stopping to laugh out loud & then read out snipetts to my son (esp the ones with swear words :)
It was also fascinating & painfully plausible. Mind you I've also read that the hippies were assisted onto their stage & then before that there was the 'theatre of war' - is their ever a time when we are not manipulated onto some show or other I wonder.

Thanks so much for this article - really enjoyed it.
All the best & hope you are having a wonderful day or night :)

Sub Specie Aeternitatis said...

William F. Buckley eh? Interesting. I'd never heard of him before, but it's not surprising being as I'm British. I watched the video of him and Vidal and also of him threatening Chomsky in an interview.
He certainly liked to try and intimidate his guests. I just done the requisite Wiki on the guy and thought his blast aimed at Norman Mailer some years was sharp:

"[sic. Mailer was]...almost unique in his search for notoriety and absolutely unequalled in his co-existence with it".

Whatever his political leanings he was erudite and witty from my cursory web search on him. You certainly would have to take on Vidal. But then style and a sharp tongue only mask intent...

Thanks for the article Devin.

Julie said...

I saw a TV special called, Earth 2100. It focused on a fictitious character named Lucy born on June 2, 2009 and what her life would be like if we continue on this path of destroying our planet. It painted a gloomy picture, but did say, at the end, that we can do things now to not let that be our future. I get angry at those who say that "why should I care, I won't be here"? No, but your children, grandchildren and so on WILL! I would like my granddaughter Kennedy's future to be a good one and will do my part to see that happen. Maybe those "yuppies" and "hippies" of the 60's and 70's knew what they were talking about.

Devin said...

Hey I want to thank all of you for your bright and thoughtful comments!! This is one of the articles I did that I briefly thought of taking down-thinking it sounded too angry and there was more I could have added had I not been so tired-I am glad I left it up now!!

Autumnforest-I definitely agree about not letting your country define you-and agree totally about Moore in some of the things he has done-but as a hard line conspiracy buff I think there are folks out there better than him as far as explaining the way the world is (and no I am definitely not thinking of Alex Jones!:-) thanks as always for stopping by Autumnforest -I always enjoy your comments and your blog best as always!!ps I will definitely check out who killed the electric car?

Nina thanks so much for the comment and stopping by-I agree about the superficiality of the yuppies -and I am very much a nachos and daiquiri type myself-lemnonade daiquiris are great-thanks as always for your thoughtful comment and best as always!!

Alex thanks so much for your comment!! I am wondering that exact same thing about manipulation-and as we move further into the twenty-first century I wonder if technology will come up with ways to be even more effective-glad you enjoyed the article and best to you as always!!

Sub Specie thanks for your comment!! Haha I didn't know about the Mailer comment-as much as I hate to laugh at anything Buckley came up with-that one is rather funny-you also mentioned something that I think I went to far with as far as WBs intelligence-he was definitely not our typical knuckle dragging conservative we usually have here in the states-if I am not mistaken Ann Coulter thought Canada fought the Vietnam war with us and shes a frikkin commentator (or something-havent figured it out yet) as always I so appreciate your stopping by and commenting-best as always!!

Fantastic comment Julie!! with regard to my medical condition and other things i have had something very along the same lines said to me "Why the eff do you care you wont be here?" well besides the obvious selfishness of that comment here are two things I could immediately think of to answer 1) I care about my fellow humans or try to anyway and want to see the people after us inherit a great world 2) I think some really bad stuff could happen in OUR lifetimes perhaps soon if we cant get things straightened out-best to you as always!!

and to everyone who commented I apologize my comments back were not longer and perhaps better thought out-I wanted to get them posted and with the meds i take sometimes the tremors in my hands and fingers make my typing atrocious-so I will stop here and thanks again to all of you for stopping by!!

Michael Skaggs said...


Nicely done, and colorful! Nothing gets my blood pressure boiling more than "social engineering"! Bastards have been at it far too long!

Nice work bro!
Remember to do some much needed cerebral cleansing!

Be well!

Devin said...

Michael I am so glad you enjoyed the article-so far so good with the ones I have had second doubts about leaving up:-)this one could have been so much better had I just waited a bit till I wasnt so tired-thanks again for stopping by and best as always!!

Sub Specie Aeternitatis said...

Hey Devin,

I thank you for making me aware of the Buckley vs. Vidal feud (and the rest), despite his seeming to be a proto-Neo-con (nee Nazi) such clashes of personality, intelligence, philosophy, and ideology fascinate me. Especially against the backdrop of the chaotic milieu of the sixties.

I don't condone Buckley's worldview or political leanings (I try and avoid the political circus, even though I veer towards anarcho-libertarianism, if you really want to box me I may come down in that vicinity. Sometimes. ;-) ) the theatre of warfare in political doctrine you introduced me to there really captivated me. Whilst never having read any Vidal (I shall have to remedy that soon) I have always loved his shining intelligence and cutting wit. The story years ago of how he taunted Norman Mailer about his book "The Prisoner of Sex" is a classic. Vidal compared the text to "three days of menstrual flow" (the book was an aggressive polemic against the nascent feminist movement I believe, a fitting retort then to puncture Mailer's ego).
Mailer's recourse, as usual, was violence. The first time he headbutted Vidal, the second time he decked him at a party.

Whilst on his back, on the floor, Vidal struck back with far more force verbally:

“Words fail Norman Mailer yet again.”

Again, sometimes articulate words are only a superficial mask. In Buckley's case to cover the "crypto-Nazi" within.
Anyways, it was a good piece Devin. I focused more on the ideological battle between Buckley and Vidal than the true message of your post. But it did strike me so. That was a fascinating era.

X. Dell said...

There's a lot here that you can find in The Century of the Self, particularly in the efforts of commercial culture to woo the non-materialistic counterculture of the 1960s. A lot of this ground is covered by Stuart Ewen in PR and to some degree in All Consuming Images.

Devin said...

Sub Specie thanks so very much for dropping by with more information!! I completely agree that in many more cases than just WBs the "culture" and "intelligence" hides a vicious soul. I am glad this article got you interested in this -it was indeed a fascinating time-Another thought that springs to my much addled mind is the vicious criticism author James Dickey (have no idea what his politics are or really anything about him) leveled at poet Anne Sexton-if I can find the exact quote I will post it in comments here and your blog-He was the author of Deliverance-which ended up being made into a movie which gave the world the well-shall we say not to pleasant sight of an actor dammit will have to find his name to-haha your memory really does start going at 40 at least in my case-being viciously raped and made to squeal like a pig by some rather ugly backwoods men or man (forgot that also been a long time since I have seen the movie-and don't really want a second viewing:) Considering the criticism he threw at Anne about the either sickness or pornography of her poetry I thought this rather hypocritical for a man who gave the nation such a horrible image (albeit perhaps indirectly) in a movie. Sometimes here in the states to this day (the movie was from the 70s) you will hear people joke "You got a purty mouth" which was what I believe the ugly backwoods guy told Ned Beattie? before the rape scene-sorry to ramble so long-I am a bit at loose ends or no ends haha-as I had a terrible panic attack today and this hadnt happend for awhile-now that I think about it I hope my comment back to you makes even the slightest bit of sense!! best to you as always-and I cant wait for your next article!!

Xdell-thanks so very much for stopping by with the comment and the heads up-I really appreciate it!! I hope work for The Golden Ganesh is going wonderfully and cant wait to hear an episode-I hope you are getting some downtime also here and there-I know you are usually very busy-best to you as always and thanks again-I hadnt heard of this work and am interested!!

Michael said...

Ah, a good rant. Thanks for the venting. The homo vs. the Nazi - the mongoose vs. the cobra. Whenever I think of WFB and the self-satisfied East Coast Elite, I think of this classic Onion piece: Rich Guy Wins Yacht Race.

Cheers, Michael

Devin said...

Michael thanks so much for stopping by and the link-The Onion is great and I didnt see that-I just love how WFB says I will Plooster you and you will stay ploostered-haha scary-not!! best to you as always Michael and I hope you are having a great week!!

Devin said...

The Onion article was great-I especially laughed at the last two paragraphs:-)thanks again!!

foam said...

quite a rant .. lol ..
william buckley ..i had not thought of him in a while ..
he was interesting to watch, highly intelligent, spoke well ...
sometimes what he said was spot on ..
although politicallly, i was usually on the opposite spectrum ..
anyway, i realized early on that young upwardly mobile would never be me .. lol ..
although i did buy french wines and brie and camenbert ..
but then again, i lived in germany. those weren't considered fancy imports ...

benjibopper said...

really interesting stuff. what a trap they set. even tho we almost never buy stuff, since becoming parents my wife and i are in a constant struggle to avoid that middle class yuppie trap of too much stuff, too much materialism, the mundane shallow existence of day to day drudgery.

speaking of social engineering and homophobia, i just read roy cohn's autobiography, one of the original closeted gay gay bashers. sadly some things haven't changed.

Leigh Russell said...

Its stumulating to read such a thoughtful blog. I think there are a lot of people around who don't sign up to money worship, but there's no getting away from the fact that money fuels our society, sadly.

Devin said...

foam thanks so much for stopping by and commenting-haha I also realized years ago that upwardly mobile would never be me-more like downwardly mobile:)best to you as always!!

benjibopper very much appreciate your thoughts on this also!! congratualations on being parents to you and your wife-roy cohn is a fascinating figure-i should read a bio on him also-if I remember right he kept insisting he was dying of liver cancer and not AIDS right up to the very end in 1986-best to you as always!!

Leigh thanks so much for stopping by-so much of what I do here is based on work other people have done that I like but i very much still appreciate your compliment-and I hope your book sales are going through the roof (I dont know what the appropriate English version of this would be or I would have used it:)best to you as always!!