Tuesday, August 05, 2014

 

Pitch Melba


I've been reading, first, Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August and, now, her The Proud Tower. The first was about the first month of World War One and how, based on the decisions of individuals, it turned from a war of vast military maneuver that could have been, as every supposedly sophisticated ruler, politician, pundit and average man in the street, the latter about to become cannon-fodder, thought, over in a month, but, in fact, became a four year abattoir.

The second book is about the societies in the late 1800s and early 1900s that let that tragedy happen. In her section on Anarchists (who I have no sympathy for anymore than their bastard stepchildren, Libertarians) there is one account that resonates:
The poor lived in a society in which power, wealth and magnificent spending were never more opulent, in which the rich dined on fish, fowl and red meat at one meal, lived in houses of marble floors and damask walls and of thirty, forty or fifty rooms, wrapped themselves in furs in winter and were cared for by a retinue of servants who blacked their boots, arranged their hair, drew their baths and lit their fires. In this world, at a luncheon for Mme. Nellie Melba at the Savoy, when perfect peaches, a delicacy of the season, were served up "fragrant and delicious in their cotton wool," the surfeited guests made a game of throwing them at passers-by beneath the windows.
Our own over-wealthy, governmentally over-pampered, elite, such as the Koch Brothers, have, at least, learned not to pelt the proletariat with the Peach Melba. Instead, sanctioned by the courts, they throw billions of dollars at them in the form of commercials to convince the prols to vote against their own interests.

Will the disaster be any the less? Certainly, whatever disaster comes will almost completely skirt the new elite. We can only wish us prols the best.

Comments:
Our own over-wealthy, governmentally over-pampered, elite, such as the Koch Brothers, have, at least, learned not to pelt the proletariat with the Peach Melba. Instead, sanctioned by the courts, they throw billions of dollars at them in the form of commercials to convince the prols to vote against their own interests.

My next read will be Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War by Max Hastings. The best TV documentary series on the conflict is the BBC's The Great War

What I find odd is that so many of the poverty-stricken prols will defend the right of the wealthy to be obscenely rich. It's as if their paranoia about the overweening power of the Federal government blinds them to any other threat to their economic well-being. They seem to be oblivious to the fact that whichever way they turn their goose is Koched. The only difference is that they at least get to vote for Congresscritters and the President. They don't get to vote for the Kochs.
 
Ian:

Sorry I'm late to this but as I explained in my most recent post, I've had some recent health proplems (and about a week after the hospital stay, I faceplanted in the bathroom late at night and gave myself a rather significant split lip).

The best TV documentary series on the conflict is the BBC's The Great War.

The "American Hero's Channel" (used to be called "The Military Channel" is airing "Apocalypse: WWI," which, based on my recent reading of Tuchman, is pretty accurate.

What I find odd is that so many of the poverty-stricken prols will defend the right of the wealthy to be obscenely rich.

I think it is more that they, almost in the way they believe they will get to heaven if they believe in Jesus, they can get to wealth ... or at least out of poverty ... if they believe in the gospel of free enterprise.

their goose is Koched

I am so stealing that!
 
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