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From The Atlantic:

THE CALIFORNIA DREAM IS DYING

The once-dynamic state is closing the door on economic opportunity.

By Conor Friedersdorf

About the author: Conor Friedersdorf is a California-based staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

Behold California, colossus of the West Coast: the most populous American state; the world’s fifth-largest economy; and arguably the most culturally influential, exporting Google searches and Instagram feeds and iPhones and Teslas and Netflix Originals and kimchi quesadillas. This place inspires awe. If I close my eyes I can see silhouettes of Joshua trees against a desert sunrise; seals playing in La Jolla’s craggy coves of sun-spangled, emerald seawater; fog rolling over the rugged Sonoma County coast at sunset into primeval groves of redwoods that John Steinbeck called “ambassadors from another time.”

I.e., the Past, not the Future. Some SoCal writers like the Future, such as Robert Heinlein, who stayed only from 1934-1946, though. Heinlein’s protege Ray Bradbury, I’m not so sure about.

This landscape is bejeweled with engineering feats: the California Aqueduct; the Golden Gate Bridge; and the ribbon of Pacific Coast Highway that stretches south of Monterey, clings to the cliffs of Big Sur, and descends the kelp-strewn Central Coast, where William Hearst built his Xanadu on a hillside where his zebras still graze. No dreamscape better inspires dreamers. Millions still immigrate to my beloved home to improve both their prospects and ours.

Yet I fear for California’s future. The generations that reaped the benefits of the postwar era in what was the most dynamic place in the world should be striving to ensure that future generations can pursue happiness as they did. Instead, they are poised to take the California Dream to their graves by betraying a promise the state has offered from the start.

I think Conor is mistaken in the appeal of Southern California to most Angelenos. It hasn’t been about the future since about 1974, it’s been more about preserving the past. As he writes, the conservative impulse has dominated for over a half century:

… The initial wave of community plans, around 1970, “dramatically rolled back density,” Morrow wrote, “from a planned population of 10 million people down to roughly 4.1 million.” Overnight, the city of Los Angeles planned for a future with 6 million fewer residents.

Angelenos want their part of Southern California to look like it did in Chinatown. I recall when first seeing Chinatown, a landmark 1974 movie set in 1937 that railed against progress, thinking, “Wow, L.A. before smog was beautiful.” By 1974, Angelenos like screenwriter Robert Towne were tired of the Future.

Not surprisingly, Southern California’s biggest accomplishment in recent decades has been rolling back smog to Chinatown levels. (By the 1990s, Towne in his introduction to a published version of his Chinatown script was more unsure that the Dead White Men who built Los Angeles into a great city, such as water engineer William Mulholland and the Otis-Chandler dynasty at the L.A. Times, were quite so bad as he had once depicted them: at minimum, they got big things done, which is becoming increasingly unlikely.)

In Chinatown, the all-time awesome Darth Vader-level villain played by John Huston represented “The Future, Mr. Gittes, the Future:”

Jack Nicholson’s Jake kind of like’s 1937 L.A. and isn’t so sure.

I’ve lived on and off in L.A. since 1958. I figured out while I was still in high school that most people in Los Angeles think it was at its peak when they first can remember it, either as a small child or as a transplant.

Assisted by the countless movies filmed here, Los Angeles has a profoundly nostalgic culture. Nebraska-born director Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways) pointed out the the main appeal of living in L.A. (besides the weather) is the history:

You can trash living in Los Angeles or living in Hollywood, but I’m driving down the street and, oh look, there’s … the stairs that Laurel and Hardy carried the piano up in The Music Box. Now I’m in Los Feliz, there’s the house that was used in Double Indemnity.

Consider L.A.’s favorite sportscasters as evidence that deep down, Angelenos hate change.

Vin Scully was the voice of the Dodgers from 1958 to 2016.

Chick Hearn was the voice of the Lakers from 1961-2001, calling 3,338 consecutive Laker games over 1965-2001.

 
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  1. Why is The Atlantic writing about a state on the Pacific?

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    @AndrewR

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpaOy8b8X6A

    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @AndrewR

    "What states are there West of the Mississippi?"--Al Smith, 1928

  2. Well, if you like stucco you’re gonna love LA.

  3. California, and in particular, Los Angeles County, reached its highest quality of life somewhere between 1971 and 1975, so this article is right in that respect. The movie “Chinatown,” however, is a vastly over-hyped piece of propaganda. Its assertions about California’s history, expressed and implied, are simply false. Even its title is misleading: It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Chinese in California or with any “Chinatown” in particular. Pure trash.

    • Thanks: Angharad
    • Troll: Hangnail Hans
    • Replies: @WJ
    @Icy Blast

    I also thought it strange that the movie had very little to do with Chinatown. Mostly boring and contrived with a really stupid ending. Very over-rated.

    I was in Southern California in the early 80s and it was really nice. It had peaked however and ugly urban sprawl had already covered up the hills and there wasn't a much open coastline south of LA. The summer weather is or was, to me, the best in the world, especially in the coastal zone. A few hours of gloom in the morning followed by that fantastic sea breeze later made July days just about perfect. LA and beauty - I dont know. Especially toward the end of the rainless season in August. Brown vegetation.

    , @Jack D
    @Icy Blast


    Even its title is misleading:
     
    Sheesh, how literal minded can you be? A movie called "Chinatown" that does not feature any egg rolls or fortune cookies? It's a fraud. When Melville called his book "Moby Dick" well then goddam it, it was really about that whale.

    The title comes from the very end of the movie - there has been a climactic, almost operatic scene where everything has come to a head and most of the main characters are now lying dead in the street (in a street in Chinatown to be exact). Jake is in shock and disbelief at what he has just witnessed - he can't process the enormity of it all - incest, murder, etc. But the cynical police detectives who arrive on the scene try to hustle him away (you assume that it's all going to be covered up and the public will never learn the truth just as they have had the wool pulled over their eyes by the powerful throughout the movie) and tell him, "Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown." "Chinatown" means a place where the usual rules of civilization don't apply. (Back in the day, most Chinatowns had things like opium dens, gambling parlors and so on).

    https://youtu.be/TjSshSvQWQA?t=143

    Replies: @Jus' Sayin'..., @Icy Blast, @petit bourgeois

    , @Alden
    @Icy Blast

    Los Angeles Chinatown is right downtown next to the civic center just a few blocks from police headquarters. It’s restaurants, convenience stores and gift shops are heavily patronized by financial district government workers and the police who work at police headquarters.

    Eat lunch, pick up some toothpaste and razor blades find a pretty lacquered box for a birthday present.

    “It’s Chinatown is like TIA “ or this is Africa. Or it’s Harlem what do you expect. Lots of crime in every Chinatown in the world. The four pillars of Chinese crime are; illegal and very crooked gambling, Shylock usurious loans to the gamblers, brothels, and extortion of businesses.

    And neither the extorted businesses, the cheated gamblers or the abused indentured servants and prostitutes will ever say a word to the police. Snitches get stitches isn’t just a black saying.

    I and every other LEO knew exactly what was meant by “It’s Chinatown”. Especially Los Angeles Chinatown so close to police headquarters and the civic center.

    Replies: @Marty

    , @bomag
    @Icy Blast


    California, and in particular, Los Angeles County, reached its highest quality of life somewhere between 1971 and 1975...
     
    The last verse of John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" from 1972 is more and more prescient:

    Now his life is full of wonder
    But his heart still knows some fear
    Of a simple thing, he cannot comprehend
    Why they try to tear the mountains down
    To bring in a couple more
    More people, more scars upon the land

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @AnotherDad
    @Icy Blast


    California, and in particular, Los Angeles County, reached its highest quality of life somewhere between 1971 and 1975, so this article is right in that respect.
     
    LOL. By the early 70s the LA smog problem was already prodigious. That indeed got much better, but everything else has gotten much, much, much worse with mass immigration and then Democrat rule.

    No peak California is when everyone thinks it was--post War, the baby boom years. Still cheap land, and a booming economy with good jobs so an affordable paradise that millions of ex-GIs--exposed during the War-- flocked back to. (I don't know exactly why my dad didn't come back ... but glad he didn't because i'm not in that timeline.)
    , @Dorkbaby
    @Icy Blast

    You idiot. Title is a metaphor

    , @Uncle Dan
    @Icy Blast

    Yeah, just another propaganda film with no connection to its title, like Casablanca.

    , @MEH 0910
    @Icy Blast

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinatown_(1974_film)#Historical_background


    Historical background
    In his 2004 film essay and documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself, film scholar Thom Andersen lays out the complex relationship between Chinatown's script and its historical background:

    Robert Towne took an urban myth about the founding of Los Angeles on water stolen from the Owens River Valley and made it resonate. Chinatown isn't a docudrama, it's a fiction. The water project it depicts isn't the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, engineered by William Mulholland before the First World War. Chinatown is set in 1938, not 1905. The Mullholland-like figure—"Hollis Mulwray"—isn't the chief architect of the project, but rather its strongest opponent, who must be discredited and murdered. Mulwray is against the "Alto Vallejo Dam" because it's unsafe, not because it's stealing water from somebody else.... But there are echoes of Mullholland's aqueduct project in Chinatown.... Mullholland's project enriched its promoters through insider land deals in the San Fernando Valley, just like the dam project in Chinatown. The disgruntled San Fernando Valley farmers of Chinatown, forced to sell off their land at bargain prices because of an artificial drought, seem like stand-ins for the Owens Valley settlers whose homesteads turned to dust when Los Angeles took the water that irrigated them. The "Van Der Lip Dam" disaster, which Hollis Mulwray cites to explain his opposition to the proposed dam, is an obvious reference to the collapse of the Saint Francis Dam in 1928. Mullholland built this dam after completing the aqueduct and its failure was the greatest man-made disaster in the history of California. These echoes have led many viewers to regard Chinatown, not only as docudrama, but as truth—the real secret history of how Los Angeles got its water. And it has become a ruling metaphor of the non-fictional critiques of Los Angeles development.[31]
     

     
    Los Angeles Plays Itself (trailer)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ifii8LvR-ss
    Aug 13, 2014
    , @MEH 0910
    @Icy Blast

    Noah Millman:

    https://gideons.substack.com/p/conspiracy-theories-and-story-logic


    But here’s the funny thing about storytelling: often, good storytelling requires putting in details that, when you think about it, don’t make any logical sense, and that open up the prospect of crazy conspiracy theories. Why? Because when you’re telling a story, you’re focused on the audience’s response. So if you’re choosing between a piece of nonsense that gets the right response and something perfectly logical that the audience won’t process correctly, well, you’re supposed to pick the nonsense, because it works.
     

    Let me give an example that Robert McKee spends a bunch of time on in his famous seminar, from Casablanca. At the beginning of the film, Ugarte (played by Peter Lorre) has these documents that will get you safe passage out of Axis territory, something all the random refugees who have congregated in Rick’s Cafe in Vichy-controlled Casablanca would like. In particular, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), needs them to escape the Nazis who are hot on his tail, and to get them he will ultimately need the help of Rick (Humphrey Bogart) who is still in love with Laszlo’s wife, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman)—but you know all that.

    The documents, though, are what I want to highlight. When we are first told about them, we learn that they are signed by Charles de Gaulle. And this, as McKee points out in his seminar, makes absolutely no sense in terms of the story. De Gaulle had no authority in Vichy France; possession of documents signed by him would be far more likely to get you arrested than anything else. If you wanted safe passage out, you’d need documents signed by Marshall Pétain or someone like that.

    So why does the script say they are signed by de Gaulle? Because the documents are a good thing that the good guys want and that the bad guys want to intercept. And in the fleeting moment when the audience is going to hear about them, the filmmakers wanted to make sure the audience would understand that, that the moment would land correctly on an emotional level. The fact that it made no sense is secondary.

    Of course, it doesn’t do to think too much about the details of Casablanca because the whole setup makes no sense when you think about it. Why have all these refugees shown up here in the first place? There’s no good explanation—they’re there for symbolic reasons, not logical ones. Casablanca isn’t aiming for realism. But usually the follow up to that acknowledgement is to say that while stories don’t need to be realistic, they need to follow an internal logic—their worlds have to be consistent. And my point is this isn’t actually true. They have to follow an emotional logic—we need to understand them in that sense—and they do need rules. But they can be internally inconsistent, and even have to be if that’s the efficient way to help the audience understand the story.
     
  4. It will be scaled up across the US sooner than you think. The point of no return has come to pass.

    It was all avoidable you know. No passage of the 1965 Immigration Reform Act…..Implementation of a strict National Origins Immigration policy that completely excluded all nonwhites forever.

    I blame the Cold War and the monumental Greed of the White Liberal Greedy Cheating Class as the fundamental reasons for upcoming turlet bowl America.

    The Hindu-Jamaica slut POTUS waiting in the wings to race-replace the Old Boomer White Guy Irish Catholic who is cognitively functioning on a level slightly above a turnip will unleash open race war against Slavic Christian Russia and the Historic Native Born White Working Class Majority.

    To all you White Guys:Was decades of NFL Tryrone Ball worth it?

    The future?…Cormack McCarthy’s THE ROAD…Mancorn time coming up after the Collapse….We can learn a thing or two from the “gentle” Hopi…..With probability 1…it’s a coming….

  5. • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
    @dearieme

    What victim flees the scene from a self-defense shooting? Both the woman witnessing it and the man who fired a gun to defend himself?

    Robbery my backside!

    Replies: @Joe Stalin

  6. Conor. Naming your son Conor is like naming your daughter Chloe/Zoe. Fuggedaboutit.

    • Replies: @anon
    @Daniel H


    Conor. Naming your son Conor is like naming your daughter Chloe/Zoe. Fuggedaboutit.
     
    Is he Jewish or German? There aren’t many Jewish “Conors”. On the other hand, there aren’t many Germans at The Atlantic.
    , @Neil Templeton
    @Daniel H

    Parents name their kids whatever they fuckin' want, without your advice. Thank you.

  7. I’ve lived on and off in L.A. since 1958. I figured out while I was still in high school that most people in Los Angeles think it was at its peak when they first can remember it, either as a small child or as a transplant.

    Steve, as an east coast born Gen Xer, I’m definitely of the opinion that you grew up in the best place and best time in America history. Nostalgia always effects memory, but I think by any objective measure, it would be hard to beat post California. This makes the descent of California in the 21st century all the more sad.

    • Agree: SunBakedSuburb
    • Replies: @Alfa158
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    We arrived in the early sixties when I was an adolescent, and the place was indeed paradise, I literally attended the Beach Boys’ high school and it was everything you would imagine.
    Except for one thing. The air during warm months could be like an alien planet. I remember one summery morning waiting for a bus on Santa Barbara Avenue (now Martin Luther King Boulevard) and watching the visibility looking down the street shrink block by block into a cloud of brown smog. On that bright sunny day you could barely see more than a block.
    Young people today note the gasoline stench from restored 1960’s collector cars and I tell them to imagine what it was like when every car around you on the street was putting that out.

    , @Charlotte Allen
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    Did you know my husband? Don Allen, student-body president, Hawthorne High, class of '63? Grew up on 120th Street, in a house his father built himself after WW2. Everything but the plumbing and wiring. The Wilsons lived a few blocks away, and Dennis Wilson was in Don's class. Hawthorne was a working-class paradise back then--before they widened 120th Street (Don's old house is now a rental dump) and tore down all the little businesses on Hawthorne Blvd. to build that ghastly monstrosity of a shopping mall that failed almost immediately and is now a huge, lurking ghost-hulk that continues to destroy the street. Hawthorne today isn't quite as decrepit as it looked in Pulp Fiction, and some of the little neighborhood-y side streets are quite pleasant with their little houses now entirely occupied by Mexicans. Since it's not far from the beach, the climate is quite pleasant: about 10 degrees cooler in summer than downtown L.A. I don't know why Hawthorne hasn't been "discovered" as a gentrification locus, as it's not that far south from Beverly Hills. I've always said that we ought to retire there, except for the generally grim socioeconomic scene in California. In fact, we stayed in Hawthorne (so close to LAX) on a family visit this June--at a Hampton Inn on Imperial and Acacia, the site of Andy Lococo's Cockatoo Inn, where Jack Kennedy had a tryst with Marilyn Monroe. Did you ever eat there growing up? It was Hawthorne's premiere restaurant, where the Lions Club and the other civic clubs used to meet. Imagine: the Lions Club meeting in a mafia-run operation.

  8. Steve

    Where is it all going:

    Concrete example here on Paumonauck….Because of nonwhite foreigners(Wealthy Asians and Muslims)..home prices bid up to the stratosphere(‘front page of Newsday Today)…Today, a bull escaped and is running around the streets of Suffolk County…The experts on Animal Husbandry have tried to lure Mr. Bull with a cow with a nice ass-to no avail…How the fuck did this happen?…Well, it’s Muslim Holy Week time and this Mr. Bull was to be slaughtered for Halal Meat on a Muslim Hala Meat Farm on Long Island…..I am watching this story as a type this post at the Car Dealership-oil change time……News 12 Blond Hair Bimbo:”and Animal Rights Activist on Long Island are upset that the bull will be slaughtered for Halal Meat….”……20 years after 9/11 and George W Bush opened the door to Pakistani Muslim LEGAL IMMIGRANTS-direct road to Long Island……….In the fall you can see the off-the-boat Taliban picking black berries on the North Shore East End as you drive by on 25 A ten miles past Renaissance Technologies…

    So Steve….This is where it’s all going-20 years after 9/11…Comrade John Derbyshire down the road on 25A can vouch for what I have wrote this morning….

  9. Anon[308] • Disclaimer says:

    The other day I was browsing the Today’s Deals list on my Kindle (one-day discounts to $2 or $3, mostly chick-lit romance, but the occasional good find), and there was The Stories of Ray Bradbury, 902 pages of 100 stories in chronological order by date of publication (except for the last story, for reasons), selected by Bradbury and his editor out of the 300 or so stories he had written, including novelesque sequences like Martian Chronicles.

    I had read some Bradbury as a junior high school kid, but I was kind of vague about what it was like. Two cents a story? I bought it. Things learned:

    1. Bradbury is a really good writer. On a sentence and paragraph level he is very Strunk and White, very crisp and clear. He avoids big words, but then once in a while, not too often, throws in a word you’ve never seen, usually short in number of letters, that is perfect and you wonder where he got it from. He also occasionally engages in creative use of words in new ways, like pluralizing scrutiny: “in a recurrent series of scrutinies,” to indicate a doubletake that lasts longer than two looks.

    2. He’s very good with dialect and doesn’t let it get in the way.

    3. His stuff hasn’t really aged as Asimov’s has.

    4. Sci Fi was only one genre for him. Most of his stuff really isn’t SF. He did fantasy, horror, and a lot of literary, O. Henry type stories.

    5. He had a Spielberg streak, with a lot of stories having a mid-20th century suburban feel to them, and a lot of stories from a kid’s POV. Speaking of POV, the first story in the collection uses a Bret Easton Ellis-like second-person POV. I didn’t even notice it until I flipped through the book later. I think the story dates from the early 1940s.

    6 A character drinks Orange Crush.

    • Replies: @Cortes
    @Anon

    Bradbury is a wonderful writer with an amazing gift for immediately engaging the reader in wholehearted suspension of disbelief. I think I’ll dig out my copy of his stories: thanks.

    , @James J O'Meara
    @Anon

    I do that too, and even bought that Bradbury. Man is it great. Don't be fooled, there's a few "best of Bradbury" collections around but that's the one. He gets a little shitlib now and then but the rest makes it worth it. I was reading his Bantam paperbacks back in the 60s but it's good to revisit his work.

    , @Mr Mox
    @Anon

    One of these days I'm going to re-read Dandelion Wine. As I recall it, it was a series of short stories tied together in a novel. It must be forty years since I read it last, I even persuaded my mother to give it a try, and she liked it a lot. Bradbury could paint a story in your imagination like no one else.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

  10. The other thing that the Californian dream was that it was not just white but very WASPy. It seems to me that California was much more old stock than the big East Coast cities. In a way it was a last stand of old stock America in a big urban setting.

    • Thanks: El Dato
    • Replies: @Anon
    @Altai

    You are a typical hallucinating Unz commenter who makes observations that are diametrically opposed to reality. Northeast big cities were basically the only cities that were ever WASP. California was mostly Irish and white trash. That's why it fell apart so quickly, while the northeast is still the best place in America.

    By 1979 gang homiciees in LA were averaging 1 every 32 hours.

    Replies: @Gaspar DeLaFunk, @SunBakedSuburb

    , @Corn
    @Altai

    In Steve’s review of the movie Crash (which famously upset Brokeback Mountain at the Oscars) he noted that the social template for Southern California was set by settlers from the Midwest in the late 1800s-early 1900s.

    I’ve never been there but I’ve always imagined pre-immivasion Southern California as Ohio or Illinois with surfboards substituted for snow.

    , @Gordo
    @Altai

    'If the race is good, the place is good'

    Thoreau

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    , @Jack D
    @Altai


    It seems to me that California was much more old stock than the big East Coast cities. In a way it was a last stand of old stock America in a big urban setting.
     
    Just like our weather patterns tend to blow from west to east, America's (European) migration patterns tended to blow the other way. When Kansas opened up, a lot of New England Pilgrim Stock sick of plowing up rocks fled for the wide open prairies (to be replaced by Ellis Island immigrants - at the beginning of the 20th century, Paul Revere's house was a Banca Italiana/cigar shop in the middle of the Italian North End ghetto of Boston). (The tourist attraction you see today is largely a reconstruction).

    https://northendwaterfront.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/8273235092_9928d57078_o-652x522.jpg

    Then later, the descendants of those New Englanders migrated even further west to the sunny skies and orange groves of California. Immigrants usually bought the cheapest ticket that would land them on American shores - that's how Boston ended up with so many Irish, because it was slightly cheaper than sailing to NY. The West coast was out of the question.

    That being said, California always had large populations of Mexicans and Asians, it's just that they were sort of NPCs - the Japanese gardener, the Chinese cook, etc. And the rail lines ran north and south so the blacks of Mississippi ended up in Chicago and Detroit and not LA until they brought a bunch of them in during WWII to load ships, etc.

    Replies: @Dutch Boy, @Bill P, @Dumbo

    , @Jtgw
    @Altai

    I think that’s right. My maternal grandmothers family were pioneering orange farmers in Redlands with Southern and ultimately Scottish roots (Alexanders, Farquhars). My maternal grandfathers family had a lot more German and English blood but he came from Oregon.

    Replies: @Altai

    , @Paperback Writer
    @Altai

    Julia McWilliams Child was a native Californian. Of course her mother registered her at Smith the day she was born.

    California Woman 1965:

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/57/22/72/57227272a99193147b28583bf23fb2f3.jpg

    2021:

    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRhmJYRSbpF8Zum_tYhBWswRNgv_yU6Lp1wSA&usqp=CAU

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    , @Anonymous
    @Altai

    Nobel Prize winning physicist and founding president of Caltech, Robert Millikan, called LA in the '40s "the westernmost outpost of Nordic civilization . . . [with] a population which is twice as Anglo-Saxon as that existing in New York, Chicago or any of the great cities of this country."

    Having said that, it was a different kind of WASP or founding stock culture than that of the East Coast. It was more middle and working class, as more established and upper-middle/upper class WASPs back east generally weren't enticed or compelled to move far west to the deserts of southern California. There were always many evangelical and fundamentalist Protestant churches in LA and Socal unlike WASP areas in the Northeast that tended to be dominated by Mainline Protestants.

    This class and cultural difference was why Socal was favorable towards middle/working class aspirations, but probably also responsible for the underlying hokeyness and middlebrow, superficial, anti-intellectual culture of Socal that persists.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @Ancient Briton
    @Altai

    99% of the characters of the Perry Mason TV series (1957-66) set in LA, had English surnames, as did a high percentage of the actors who played them.

  11. Anon[308] • Disclaimer says:

    The Pan Pacific burned down in 1978, and there was no attempt at preservation. Anyone could walk through holes in the fence, as I did to take photographs and as homeless druggies did to do the stuff that resulted in its destruction.

    Ships and the other Googie architecture coffee shops were being torn down well into the 1980s.

    Important residential architecture was being acquired by investors and stripped of unique purpose-designed lamps and fixtures that were sold at auction well into the 1980s also.

    I don’t think that Angelenos as a whole have cared much about preservation. Mexicans and Central Americans certainly don’t care.

    On the other hand, the Watts Towers were protected from the late 1950s

    The acid test will be how much longer Irving Gill’s Horatio West Court apartments last in Santa Monica. I mean, that land is needed for a homeless shelter. Or maybe it was eminent-domained from a black person way back and needs to be reparated.

  12. Anon[437] • Disclaimer says:
    @Altai
    The other thing that the Californian dream was that it was not just white but very WASPy. It seems to me that California was much more old stock than the big East Coast cities. In a way it was a last stand of old stock America in a big urban setting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-omKOpkpEm0

    Replies: @Anon, @Corn, @Gordo, @Jack D, @Jtgw, @Paperback Writer, @Anonymous, @Ancient Briton

    You are a typical hallucinating Unz commenter who makes observations that are diametrically opposed to reality. Northeast big cities were basically the only cities that were ever WASP. California was mostly Irish and white trash. That’s why it fell apart so quickly, while the northeast is still the best place in America.

    By 1979 gang homiciees in LA were averaging 1 every 32 hours.

    • Troll: El Dato
    • Replies: @Gaspar DeLaFunk
    @Anon

    I see these comments occasionally where one sums up bad stuff by just saying it was the fault of "the Irish." The Irish are understood to be bad/inferior people who ruin what the dear WASP had so lovingly created.

    The commenters sound like blacks who explain all manners of problems by magic "white racism!"

    It seems the Irish had descended on California at an early stage. They were Indian fighters,gold prospectors,oil field workers,etc. Tom Brady's family came to the Bay from Boston to work in a saddle company long ago.
    So it seems that the Irish were aplenty during the creation,rise and golden age of California.
    But you say they wrecked it.
    Could you specifically ,eschewing magic,explain what they did to bring it down?
    I see immigration as the death of California. Were the Irish behind immigration?. I do know the Chinese exclusion Act and the Immigration Act of 24 were supported by Irish leaders.
    So please tell me what they did to destroy what their ancestors helped to build?

    Replies: @(((Owen)))

    , @SunBakedSuburb
    @Anon

    "California was mostly Irish and white trash."

    This is true of the white populations in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. One side of my family, Irish and Scotch-Irish, migrated from Texas in the 1930s looking for work. An "Okie" dialect, which is indistinguishable from a Texas twang, is still prevalent in the white working class clusters in Fresno, Stockton, and Sacramento. Most of the white trash stayed in the valleys. San Francisco and Los Angeles both have unique populations. Although SF stays static (until the Silicon Valley horde arrived and ruined the city) whilst LA has a high turnover rate.

  13. How can any place that is desirable maintain the qualities that make it so? This is not just a problem for Los Angeles. I live in a small seaside town that has apartment buildings and new housing going up all around, and I doubt that the ambitious mayor is going to know when enough is enough. Even if he will, does he have the legal right to block “development”? Lots of people have a lot that has appreciated; who has the right to tell them they can’t sell it? For the moment there are still country roads and fields within 15 minutes’ walk, but how long will that last? Are China’s cities a model for us? Not for me.

    • Replies: @rebel yell
    @Tono Bungay


    a small seaside town
     
    No small seaside town will ever stay small, because every human on earth wants to live in a small seaside town.
    The solution is to change what you want. May I suggest Scott City, Kansas. I've never been there, but it looks small and is in the middle of nowhere in west Kansas. The open flat plains will give the feeling of being on the ocean. You can buy lots of land at a cheap price and ride a horse instead of sail. No one else will ever move there.

    Replies: @Anonymous

  14. Meanwhile, in San Francisco

    From PKD’s “The Man in the High Castle”

    [MORE]

    Now talk to me, he told it. Now that you have snared me. I want to hear your voice issuing from the blinding clear white light, such as we expect to see only in the Bardo Thodol afterlife existence. But I do not have to wait for death, for the decomposition of my animus as it wanders in search of a new womb. All the terrifying and beneficent deities; we will bypass them, and the smoky lights as well. And the couples in coitus. Everything except this light. I am ready to face without terror. Notice I do not flinch.
    I feel the hot winds of karma driving me. Nevertheless I remain here. My training was correct: I must not shrink from the clear white light, for if I do, I will once more reenter the cycle of birth and death, never knowing freedom, never obtaining release. The veil of maya will fall once more if I –
    The light disappeared.
    He held the dull silver triangle only. Shadow had cut off the sun; Mr. Tagomi glanced up. Tall, blue-suited policeman standing by his bench, smiling.
    ‘Eh?’ Mr. Tagomi said, startled.
    ‘I was just watching you work that puzzle.’ The policeman started on along the path.
    ‘Puzzle,’ Mr. Tagomi echoed. ‘Not a puzzle.’
    ‘Isn’t that one of those little puzzles you have to take apart? My kid has a whole lot of them. Some are hard.’ The policeman passed on.
    Mr. Tagomi thought, Spoiled. My chance at nirvana. Gone. Interrupted by that white barbarian Neanderthal yank. That subhuman supposing I worked a child’s puerile toy.
    Rising from the bench he took a few steps unsteadily. Must calm down. Dreadful low-class jingoistic racist invectives, unworthy of me.
    Incredible unredemptive passions clashing in my breast. He made his way through the park. Keep moving, he told himself. Catharsis in motion.
    He reached periphery of park. Sidewalk, Kearny Street. Heavy noisy traffic. Mr. Tagomi halted at the curb.
    No pedecabs. He walked along the sidewalk instead; he joined the crowd. Never can get one when you need it.
    God, what is that? He stopped, gaped at hideous misshapen thing on skyline. Like nightmare of roller coaster suspended, blotting out view. Enormous construction of metal and cement in air.
    Mr. Tagomi turned to a passer-by, a thin man in rumpled suit. ‘What is that?’ he demanded, pointing.
    The man grinned. ‘Awful, ain’t it? That’s the Embarcadero Freeway. A lot of people think it stinks up the view.’
    ‘I never saw it before,’ Mr. Tagomi said.
    ‘You’re lucky,’ the man said, and went on.
    Mad dream, Mr. Tagomi thought. Must wake up. Where are the pedecabs today? He began to walk faster. Whole vista has dull, smoky, tomb-world cast. Smell of burning. Dim gray buildings, sidewalk, peculiar harsh tempo in people. And still no pedecabs.
    ‘Cab!’ he shouted as he hurried along.
    Hopeless. Only cars and buses. Cars like brutal big crushers, all unfamiliar in shape. He avoided seeing them; kept his eyes straight ahead. Distortion of my optic perception of particularly sinister nature. A disturbance affecting my sense of space. Horizon twisted out of line. Like lethal astigmatism striking without warning.
    Must obtain respite. Ahead, a dingy lunch counter. Only whites within, all supping. Mr. Tagomi pushed open the wooden swinging doors. Smell of coffee. Grotesque jukebox in corner blaring out he winced and made his way to the counter. All stools taken by whites.
    Mr. Tagomi exclaimed. Several whites looked up. But none departed their places. None yielded their stools to him. They merely resumed supping.
    ‘I insist!’ Mr. Tagomi said loudly to the first white; he shouted in the man’s ear.
    The man put down his coffee mug and said, ‘Watch it, Tojo.’
    Mr. Tagomi looked to the other whites; all watched with hostile expressions. And none stirred.
    Bardo Thodol existence, Mr. Tagomi thought. Hot winds blowing me who knows where.
    This is vision – of what? Can the animus endure this? Yes, the Book of the Dead prepares us: after death we seem to glimpse others, but all appear hostile to us. One stands isolated.
    Unsuccored wherever one turns. The terrible journey – and always the realms of suffering, rebirth, ready to receive the fleeing, demoralized spirit. The delusions.
    He hurried from the lunch counter. The doors swung together behind him; – he stood once more on the sidewalk.
    Where am I? Out of my world, my space and time.
    The silver triangle disoriented me. I broke from my moorings and hence stand on nothing. So much for my endeavor. Lesson to me forever. One seeks to contravene one’s perceptions-why? So that one can wander utterly lost, without signposts or guide?
    This hypnagogic condition. Attention-faculty diminished so that twilight state obtains; world seen merely in symbolic, archetypal aspect, totally confused with unconscious material. Typical of hypnosis-induced somnambulism. Must stop this dreadful gliding among shadows; refocus concentration and thereby restore ego center.
    He felt in his pockets for the silver triangle. Gone. Left the thing on the bench in the park, with briefcase. Catastrophe.
    Crouching, he ran back up the sidewalk, to the park.
    Dozing bums eyed him in surprise as he hurried up the path. There, the bench. And leaning against it still, his briefcase. No sign of the silver triangle. He hunted. Yes. Fallen through to grass; it lay partly hidden. Where he had hurled it in rage.
    He reseated himself, panting for breath.
    Focus on silver triangle once more, he told himself when he could breath. Scrutinize it forcefully and count. At ten, utter startling noise. Erwache, for instance.
    Idiotic daydreaming of fugal type, he thought. Emulation of more noxious aspects of adolescence, rather than the clearheaded pristine innocence of authentic childhood. Just what I deserve anyhow.
    All my own fault. No intention by Mr. R. Childan or artisans; my own greed to blame.
    One cannot compel understanding to come.
    He counted slowly, aloud, and then jumped to his feet. ‘Goddam stupidity,’ he said sharply.
    Mists cleared?
    He peeped about. Diffusion subsided, in all probability. Now one appreciates Saint Paul’s incisive word choice seen through glass darkly not a metaphor, but astute reference to optical distortion. We really do see astigmatically, in fundamental sense: our space and our time creations of our own psyche, and when these momentarily falter – like acute disturbance of middle ear.
    Occasionally we list eccentrically, all sense of balance gone.
    He reseated himself, put the silver squiggle away in his coat pocket, sat holding his briefcase on his lap. What I must do now, he told himself, is go and see if that malignant construction – what did the man call it? Embarcadero Freeway. If it is still palpable.
    But he felt afraid to.

  15. @Altai
    The other thing that the Californian dream was that it was not just white but very WASPy. It seems to me that California was much more old stock than the big East Coast cities. In a way it was a last stand of old stock America in a big urban setting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-omKOpkpEm0

    Replies: @Anon, @Corn, @Gordo, @Jack D, @Jtgw, @Paperback Writer, @Anonymous, @Ancient Briton

    In Steve’s review of the movie Crash (which famously upset Brokeback Mountain at the Oscars) he noted that the social template for Southern California was set by settlers from the Midwest in the late 1800s-early 1900s.

    I’ve never been there but I’ve always imagined pre-immivasion Southern California as Ohio or Illinois with surfboards substituted for snow.

  16. iSteve seems to be avoiding the point that California is turning into a hell hole.

    I first visited California in the early 80s as a teenager who had never left the flat lands of the midwest. I was blown away by the mountains, the beauty of the coast, the glass-smooth roads and the overall cleanliness of the place.

    After having lived there from 2008 to 2020, I can say it’s going downhill fast. Homeless living under overpasses; graffiti on the road signs; dry brush everywhere because no one can afford to water anything; confiscatory tax rates and draconian regulations on business.

    I’m convinced the only reason the government of CA never changes is because they keep replacing those of us who know what CA used to be, and know what the rest of the country is like, with foreigners who find CA to be perfectly fine compared to the shit holes they fled.

    • Agree: Peterike
    • Replies: @Mr. Grey
    @Spud Boy

    Right, if the California dream is dying, just import more Dreamers!

  17. @Altai
    The other thing that the Californian dream was that it was not just white but very WASPy. It seems to me that California was much more old stock than the big East Coast cities. In a way it was a last stand of old stock America in a big urban setting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-omKOpkpEm0

    Replies: @Anon, @Corn, @Gordo, @Jack D, @Jtgw, @Paperback Writer, @Anonymous, @Ancient Briton

    ‘If the race is good, the place is good’

    Thoreau

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @Gordo

    ‘If the race is good, the place is good’ Thoreau

    Perhaps we should view "Walden" as pre-emptive cancellation?

    Replies: @J.Ross

  18. This landscape is bejeweled with engineering feats: the California Aqueduct; the Golden Gate Bridge; and the ribbon of Pacific Coast Highway that stretches south of Monterey, clings to the cliffs of Big Sur, and descends the kelp-strewn Central Coast, where William Hearst built his Xanadu on a hillside where his zebras still graze.

    Oddly, for an enthusiast for The Future, Conor’s most recent engineering feat example is from … um …. 1963. And the rest are even older.

    • Agree: BB753, Desiderius
    • Replies: @Farenheit
    @Almost Missouri


    Oddly, for an enthusiast for The Future, Conor’s most recent engineering feat example is from … um …. 1963. And the rest are even older.
     
    Yo, The California High speed rail project will soon been included in this glorious pantheon of California engineering achievements!!! Ha Ha Ha!
    , @Desiderius
    @Almost Missouri

    https://twitter.com/GodCloseMyEyes/status/1417958304865824768?s=20

  19. F Freiersdorf. If California is dying, it’s because of people like him.

    In 2019, the left was right about race:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20190809122603/https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/08/what-if-left-was-right-race/595777/

    He describes a bogus “social science” experiment. I cry bullshit. Replication crisis. Maybe outright fabrication.

    If I don’t want to get sucker-punched, it’s because I suffer from the disease known as “difference-ism.”

    What a simp.

    In 2020, Conor’s whining about woke racism:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20200820133941/https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/08/meta-arguments-about-anti-racism/615424/

    Screw Conor Freiersdorf.

    • Thanks: Kylie
  20. WJ says:
    @Icy Blast
    California, and in particular, Los Angeles County, reached its highest quality of life somewhere between 1971 and 1975, so this article is right in that respect. The movie "Chinatown," however, is a vastly over-hyped piece of propaganda. Its assertions about California's history, expressed and implied, are simply false. Even its title is misleading: It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Chinese in California or with any "Chinatown" in particular. Pure trash.

    Replies: @WJ, @Jack D, @Alden, @bomag, @AnotherDad, @Dorkbaby, @Uncle Dan, @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

    I also thought it strange that the movie had very little to do with Chinatown. Mostly boring and contrived with a really stupid ending. Very over-rated.

    I was in Southern California in the early 80s and it was really nice. It had peaked however and ugly urban sprawl had already covered up the hills and there wasn’t a much open coastline south of LA. The summer weather is or was, to me, the best in the world, especially in the coastal zone. A few hours of gloom in the morning followed by that fantastic sea breeze later made July days just about perfect. LA and beauty – I dont know. Especially toward the end of the rainless season in August. Brown vegetation.

  21. OT:

    I need to Sabermetrics Steve to interpret this.

    Is this really elite speed in baseball? He looks fast especially when considering Shohei Ohtani is 6’4” and 203 lbs.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @Anon

    Is this really elite speed in baseball?

    30 fps is a 10 second 100 yd dash . Considering that one is starting somewhat obliquely to the base, rather than from blocks, even for a lefty it's pretty darn fast.

    , @Faraday's Bobcat
    @Anon

    Soon there will be Shohei Ohtani jokes like people used to tell Chuck Norris jokes.

    "Shohei Ohtani always takes the stairs when he goes up Tokyo Tower. The elevator takes too long."

  22. A friend of mine who died a couple of years back had a discussion with me about California 10 years ago. He had never been there, and I have. His pick for greatest time and place to every have lived on the Earth would be California in the 1950s. I couldn’t argue with that.

    As Jim Morrison exclaimed, “what have you done to our fair sister?!” I don’t know WTF that druggie was going on about, but one could say the same to the 50 years of cntl-left politicians and idiot voters that ruined the place by doubling the population via foreigners from all over and put a stranglehold on business. Four years ago Peak Stupidity lamented this in “They Called it Paradise”. – WARNING: Live DEAD music.

  23. The nostalgia goes back a long way. Raymond Chandler, writing in the 1940s, has his narrator making some bitter comments about how LA used to be a nice little town just after the first war, with small houses in their own plots and a cozy bohemian feel. So either nostalgia is a universally-held emotion or else California has been going downhill so fast and so badly that wherever you stand it always looks better in the past.

    • Replies: @Uncle Dan
    @Leave Blank

    The ancient Greeks also lamented the passing of the good old days.

    Replies: @Leave Blank

  24. Anon[181] • Disclaimer says:

    I visited California in the late 1970s, and it was already overcrowded and too expensive back then. I was shocked by the poverty of my father’s friend, a UCLA professor. He and his family were living in an expensive slumlike apartment without even a dishwasher, and he was wearing broken glasses because he couldn’t afford to get them fixed. His car got stolen a month after we visited. At that point, I knew California was a very bad deal.

    My Dad, who lived in flyover land and who was not making a large salary, could nonetheless afford a house, could afford to get things fixed, and we never locked the cars because there was no car theft in our small town.

  25. “Behold California, colossus of the West Coast”

    Strangely, these nostalgics always fail to mention what really made California great: the military-industrial complex, of which Silicon Valley is but a branch of.

    • Agree: Spect3r
  26. Anonymous[167] • Disclaimer says:

    The conservative/libertarian website Law and Liberty has been running a similar series on California’s decline, with several of the essays, including the central one by Michael Barone, discussing immigration’s negative consequences on California .
    https://lawliberty.org/forum/paradise-lost/

    Steve himself even gets mentioned in one of the entries.
    https://lawliberty.org/forum/california-as-the-past-californians-as-the-future/

    • Thanks: Chrisnonymous
    • Replies: @Daniel H
    @Anonymous


    including the central one by Michael Barone, discussing immigration’s negative consequences on California .
     
    Michael Barone prattling on about the baleful effects of third world immigration? That's rich. For decades Barone has been a reliable cuck for mass immigration, assuring us that latins will work their way into America the same way that Irish, Slavs and Italians did.

    Damn the cucks.
  27. Steve – this gives me another opportunity to harass you about doing a retrospective piece on “The Rockford Files.”

    The all-time greatest poster, Bumbling American (retired from the Internet) once said if white people ever had a theme song, it would be the opening theme to “The Rockford Files.”

    • Replies: @Anon
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    I never watched the show. First time I’ve heard the theme music, and, wow is that synthesizer hideous!

    , @Ganderson
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    One of the greatest shows ever. My knowledge of Southern California is largely derived from Rockford, Mothers of Invention records, and Jack Webb produced TV shows

    “Save your ‘I’m Sorries’ for Brenda Lee, Jimmy!”

  28. Assisted by the countless movies filmed here, Los Angeles has a profoundly nostalgic culture. Nebraska-born director Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways) pointed out the the main appeal of living in L.A. (besides the weather) is the history:

    California has the history of the entertainment industry. For people who are not enamored with the entertainment industry it doesn’t have much history to offer. I can see why this is appealing to movie directors, but I doubt even 1% of Los Angeles residents would know the two sites he mentions when they see them.

    • Agree: Hangnail Hans, LondonBob
    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @Barnard

    Exactly. It's like expecting someone living in some shithole in the Bronx to give a damn about "that really great party Goldman Sachs had in 1979!"

  29. My grandfather attended a work conference in the 1960s in Los Angeles, and brought my grandmother. He and my grandmother had a grand old time; after he died, I even found a postcard he had kept of Los Angeles from the trip.

    As Quentin Tarantino pointed out in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, LA in the 60s seemed both absolutely perfect and yet still a place on the rise and still unknown. A man could go out there and buy a new home at a good price with plenty of space, find a good wife, live in great weather, have a two-garage household to grow 5 kids while having a lifetime job.

    Or he could lout about and have wild open hippie sex with the dozens of fresh-off-the-farm, newly-birth-controlled, trusting, thin, attractive, still-near-virginal white blond women dressed in next-to-nothing who had trekked out there to either be movie stars or join hippie communes. All while getting high on weed, alcohol, and LSD.

    In either way, it must’ve been paradise until the Manson family and the race riots hit town.

    • Thanks: Buffalo Joe
  30. A rather major decision was announced yesterday by PG&E , the largest California electric utility. It is going to put 10,000 miles of electric transmission line underground ( if it can find the money, it is already bankrupt). One assume So Cal Edison and Sempra will have to follow suit. The risk of power line created wildfires is that bad.

    Californians already are paying come of the highest electricity rates in the US. This is going to easily double those rates again. It may not be possible for an average homeowner in parts of the state that experience high temperatures to live there anymore.

    The good news is that the effort to bury power lines is going to take some time. PG&E’s BEST daily effort where the effort has already begun was 1250 feet of line in one day. This is not a simple project as putting 10,000 plus miles of transmission lines underground is going to require a colossal amount of construction ( and aggravation).

    • Replies: @JMcG
    @UNIT472

    There ain’t a hope in hell of that getting done. Perhaps they’re trying to shock some sense into the regulators. Wait until the NIMBY starts. Every environmentalist in California is getting ready to step into the batter’s box.

    , @Anonymous
    @UNIT472

    Yes, $40 billion / 10,000 mi = Good Infrastructurr. I'm sure after that there won't be any more rolling blackouts or incinerated B&Bs in the whine country-- hahahahahahaha
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/21/business/energy-environment/pge-underground-powerlines-wildfires.html

    , @Buffalo Joe
    @UNIT472

    Unit, or get permission to cut back the trees that abut the transmission lines and clear cut all brush under the transmission lnes. Just kidding, no problem burying the lines until you come to a stream or a protected wetland. And, the old overhead lines will stay in service while all new lines are buried. In other words, replicate the whole system. Pocket change.

    , @Jack D
    @UNIT472

    Les' see. 1 mile every 4 days x 10,000 miles = 40,000 days - they should be done by '31. 2131.

  31. Before it went all Hitler-Aliens-Bigfoot-Reality Show Garbage, The History Channel had a great little show called Movies in Time hosted by Roger Mudd.

    On the show, they’d play an old classic movie with commercial breaks, and then in the bumpers before/after a commercial break Mudd would describe how the movie was reflecting the politics and people involved in making the movie, e.g. how a Civil War movie made in the 1930s and 40s was actually commenting on FDR’s New Deal policy and the opposition to it.

    Chinatown would’ve been a great movie for Movies in Time. I’d love to hear more about how the politics and people of 1974 influenced a movie set in 1937 Los Angeles.

  32. Compare the US to countries with no concept of god-given inalienable rights but recognizable law talker interference in law enforcement (eg, Brazil). Either the elite are unable to deal with violent crime (and that must be true at a certain level, there’s always some idiot with a knife, no matter the security), or they inflict it deliberately as a kind of lazy SS. They could build a Stasi organization with expenses for training, buildings, surveillance devices, administration struggles, and so on, or they could just make sire Their Own live in a safe neighborhood and people like you live where you live. Plenty of fear, effective oppression, none of the overhead.

  33. @Almost Missouri


    This landscape is bejeweled with engineering feats: the California Aqueduct; the Golden Gate Bridge; and the ribbon of Pacific Coast Highway that stretches south of Monterey, clings to the cliffs of Big Sur, and descends the kelp-strewn Central Coast, where William Hearst built his Xanadu on a hillside where his zebras still graze.
     

     
    Oddly, for an enthusiast for The Future, Conor's most recent engineering feat example is from ... um .... 1963. And the rest are even older.

    Replies: @Farenheit, @Desiderius

    Oddly, for an enthusiast for The Future, Conor’s most recent engineering feat example is from … um …. 1963. And the rest are even older.

    Yo, The California High speed rail project will soon been included in this glorious pantheon of California engineering achievements!!! Ha Ha Ha!

  34. Steve, a couple of comments in moderation, thanks.

  35. I first visited California in 1980; it struck me as an entire state run like a summer camp. But this article is making me think about what I meant by that.

    For one thing, the tone of the place was relaxed. Relaxed dress codes, relaxed people, fewer rigid requirements. More like vacation than work.

    The weather reminded me of summer, especially summer in places like northern Michigan. Low humidity, pine or cedar scent, blue skies, cool nights, warm days. The places you’d visit in the summer in the midwest were northern summer towns, vacation towns that thrived on offering easy, relaxed living.

    Also, not crowded. When I was a child in the 1960’s, cheap air travel had destroyed the summer tourism industry; many people flew south for their major vacation in winter. For me, it just made summer even more relaxed, and less crowded.

    Who wouldn’t want that, practically year-round?

    So, white people started describing it this way, portraying it this way, kind of like you’d talk about heaven or Eden, in religious awe.

    Other people around the world saw these portrayals, and sure enough, thought they’d come and try it. And buy parts of it. And move in. And breed.

    And that was the end of that.

  36. I was a child in the LA area in the 80s and while I recall my own suburban childhood as idyllic in its way, I also remember the smog days and earthquake drills. In the 90s, as a college student, I sometimes travelled into the city. I remember downtown — the neighbourhoods around LA Union Station in particular — as grimy and unloved, with dingy cracked paint and trash spilled on the streets. My impression is that there was a little bit of a renaissance in the early 00’s. Streets were cleaner. Maybe a powerwash and a new coat of paint. But by the teens, my strongest memory of LA — I had long ago left California — is of taking the Metrolink into the city and seeing that long shantytown of homeless tents and lean-tos lining the dry riverside. It’s less squalid than Baltimore, less gross than New York when the trash rots on the street on a hot, sticky summer day. Beggars are less omnipresent than in Washington DC (or San Francisco). But it feels desolate, charmless, and sad.

    Of my highschool friends, only one remained to live out his life in California. I cannot imagine what could tempt me to return there now.

  37. I’d add late 50s San Francisco to the list of greatest places/era to live based on watching Vertigo. Its depiction of the physical beauty of the city and the civilization of its people is very hard to top.

    • Replies: @Marty
    @ex-banker

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYFp2k19anM

    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    @ex-banker


    I’d add late 50s San Francisco to the list of greatest places/era to live based on watching Vertigo. Its depiction of the physical beauty of the city and the civilization of its people is very hard to top.

     

    Daughter C had 'Vertigo' as part of her curriculum for her high school final examinations in English lit, so we watched all and/or parts of it several times with her in the past couple of years. I agree with your assessment. It's pretty hard to reconcile with my own experiences of visiting SF, a city have little interest in returning to.
  38. the stairs that Laurel and Hardy carried the piano up in The Music Box.

    Honestly, that’s it? A mundane flight of concrete steps from the 1920s is the greatest landmark in LA? Philly has Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and we don’t brag about them as much as this guy is bragging about those stupid steps. The Spanish Steps they ain’t. Maybe if Jefferson & Adams had made a movie they would be bigger than Laurel & Hardy.

    The only good thing about the coming ethnic turnover is that the newcomers won’t give a damn about those stupid steps or about Laurel & Hardy – Cantinflas, si! It’s one thing to be in awe of history when you walk (or in the case of LA drive) thru Rome or Cordoba but the stuff they have in LA is just cheap commercial architecture from the early 20th century – there’s not one bit of it that is a true historical building. Even Olvera Street is a phony tourist attraction rebuilt in 1930.

    • Replies: @Alden
    @Jack D

    There’s an original 1790s house and the original mission church on Olevera street.

    , @MEH 0910
    @Jack D

    Director Alexander Payne is into motion picture history.

    https://www.npr.org/2014/02/21/280679375/director-alexander-payne-on-mining-every-film-for-comic-potential


    Older Hollywood, because I'm a film buff, is fantastic. ... You can trash living in Los Angeles or living in Hollywood, but I'm driving down the street and, oh look, there's ... the stairs that Laurel and Hardy carried the piano up in The Music Box. Now I'm in Los Feliz, there's the house that was used in Double Indemnity. It's delightful, and you think of what ... was created there in the teens and '20s and '30s and '40s. But I think about silent comedy a lot and the brilliance of what comic actors did in the '20s and I'm filled with pride.
     
    , @UNIT472
    @Jack D

    If it was 'just' concrete stairs you'd have a point but its not. Most people in America had never seen a concrete stairway of such prodigious steepness and length before. Laurel and Hardy's film made that the focal point of their hilarious movie.

    Same thing in San Francisco. A mere 'sidewalk' would be too steep to attempt to climb so steps were made to get to the next block uphill. To east coast and midwestern America such architecture was remarkable.

    Replies: @Jack D, @MEH 0910

    , @Charlotte Allen
    @Jack D

    Don't knock Olvera Street. Olvera Street is great. I'm a Southern California native (Pasadena), and I never fail to visit Olvera Street whenever I'm back in L.A. visiting family or whatever. It has it all: adobe houses from the early 19th century--the time of the missions--a beautiful old church, a lovely, tree-shaded plaza, great Mexican food at restaurants that have been there since forever, and wonderful Mexican tchotchkes for sale that are not made in China (Day of the Dead figurines, etc.). It is also unabashedly religious: a big cross, Our Lady of Guadalupe everywhere, Las Posadas as the big festival. The ACLU has not gotten to Olvera Street. Sure, it was set up in the 1930s as a tourist attraction for Anglos, and when it was growing up, it was derided as cornball and phony-baloney--who'd want to go there? But now, nearly 100 percent of the "tourists" are actually Mexican-Americans from L.A. They love it. The place is always packed.

  39. I’ve read the article and it leaves me unconvinced. First, whenever was “growth” a value in itself? And Friedersdorf has no argument for that beyond the cliché “that’s who we are” (meaning “that’s what I am”).
    But his obvious disappointment with the Democrats is a reason to be glad – even if it leads him to hope for a non-Trumpist Republican Party and the Chamber of Commerce.

  40. @Altai
    The other thing that the Californian dream was that it was not just white but very WASPy. It seems to me that California was much more old stock than the big East Coast cities. In a way it was a last stand of old stock America in a big urban setting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-omKOpkpEm0

    Replies: @Anon, @Corn, @Gordo, @Jack D, @Jtgw, @Paperback Writer, @Anonymous, @Ancient Briton

    It seems to me that California was much more old stock than the big East Coast cities. In a way it was a last stand of old stock America in a big urban setting.

    Just like our weather patterns tend to blow from west to east, America’s (European) migration patterns tended to blow the other way. When Kansas opened up, a lot of New England Pilgrim Stock sick of plowing up rocks fled for the wide open prairies (to be replaced by Ellis Island immigrants – at the beginning of the 20th century, Paul Revere’s house was a Banca Italiana/cigar shop in the middle of the Italian North End ghetto of Boston). (The tourist attraction you see today is largely a reconstruction).

    Then later, the descendants of those New Englanders migrated even further west to the sunny skies and orange groves of California. Immigrants usually bought the cheapest ticket that would land them on American shores – that’s how Boston ended up with so many Irish, because it was slightly cheaper than sailing to NY. The West coast was out of the question.

    That being said, California always had large populations of Mexicans and Asians, it’s just that they were sort of NPCs – the Japanese gardener, the Chinese cook, etc. And the rail lines ran north and south so the blacks of Mississippi ended up in Chicago and Detroit and not LA until they brought a bunch of them in during WWII to load ships, etc.

    • Replies: @Dutch Boy
    @Jack D

    I grew up in the San Diego area. A large contingent in those days were Midwesterners (like my parents) who had ended up in San Diego via the military (mostly Marines and Navy but there were army bases there in WWII and some of them stuck around too). My father was the first to show up and promptly brought his parents out here from Iowa, soon to be followed by most of his brothers and sisters (my mother's family followed a similar course). A big draw was the weather. Midwestern weather varies from miserable to barely endurable. I well remember my Minnesota-raised mother's opinion of snow: "When you're a kid, snow is fun but when you're an adult, it's just a pain in the neck." Her Norwegian father had a similar opinion: "If I'd known there was a California, I never would have stopped in Minnesota - forty years of shoveling walks!"

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    , @Bill P
    @Jack D


    Immigrants usually bought the cheapest ticket that would land them on American shores – that’s how Boston ended up with so many Irish, because it was slightly cheaper than sailing to NY. The West coast was out of the question.
     
    My Irish great grandmother sailed from Ireland to San Francisco via Panama, before the canal was built. But her parents were already in Nevada, so they might have bought the ticket for her. I'm not sure where they landed, but I'm not aware of any Irish family on the East Coast, so I wouldn't be surprised if they did the same.

    My Norwegian great grandparents arrived at Ellis Island, but they immediately got on trains headed west.

    So all of my immigrant ancestors traveled directly west, not bothering with the East Coast at all.

    But my Southern ancestors beat them all. They were in the West during the Mexican War, when it was still like a Sergio Leone movie.
    , @Dumbo
    @Jack D


    That being said, California always had large populations of Mexicans and Asians, it’s just that they were sort of NPCs – the Japanese gardener, the Chinese cook, etc.
     
    They are still seen that way. Only now the NPCs are the majority of the population so it's harder to completely ignore them.
  41. @Altai
    The other thing that the Californian dream was that it was not just white but very WASPy. It seems to me that California was much more old stock than the big East Coast cities. In a way it was a last stand of old stock America in a big urban setting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-omKOpkpEm0

    Replies: @Anon, @Corn, @Gordo, @Jack D, @Jtgw, @Paperback Writer, @Anonymous, @Ancient Briton

    I think that’s right. My maternal grandmothers family were pioneering orange farmers in Redlands with Southern and ultimately Scottish roots (Alexanders, Farquhars). My maternal grandfathers family had a lot more German and English blood but he came from Oregon.

    • Replies: @Altai
    @Jtgw

    Portland is one of the most pre-great wave (That isn't black) big cities in the US. (At least historically, not much movement into it except from it's own hinterlands even if more recently it is suffering the fate of every city over 1 million in the West and being 'diversified'.) With most of the rest of the non-WASP populations coming from groups who were very early and North West European.

    And it exhibits a very high degree of consciousness and social solidarity/responsibility. That those things are associated with the left and that the left in the US post Trump is unable to call antifa what they are, a collection of cluster B fuckups who enjoy aggression and violence who need to go away is merely a sad reflection of the maladptive state of political alignments in the US rather than a reflection of the type of people who live there.

    An example of the inherent entropy of equality when faced with a world of immigration.

  42. I think the best way to understand California is that it was time shifted, where everything happened FASTER (starting with the gold rush). California went through the same stages that America went through, but it went through them more rapidly. It is now ahead of America on the timeline.

    It was the explosion of suburbia after the advent of the automobile, the agricultural explosion, the industry, the settlement of WASPy whites followed by other ethnic groups. The influx of immigrants, the slow encroachment of Leftists, evolving from liberty-loving free-thinkers to Leninists. The conservative snap back with Ronald Reagan, followed by the slow victory of the Marxist locust swarm.

    California — started later than the rest of America, went zooming past it with some of the highest potential that America ever head, ended up where America is headed.

  43. res says:

    I figured out while I was still in high school that most people in Los Angeles think it was at its peak when they first can remember it, either as a small child or as a transplant.

    What do you think are the relative proportions of CA changing for the worse vs. nostalgia being strongest for youth in that?

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    @res

    We can probably measure that with some reasonably hard economic metric or statement of the state's material potential -- midcentury working class or less educated person getting a job in aerospace versus degreed millennial getting a job at an Amazon laogai.

    , @Currahee
    @res

    Every time I think of leaving, I take a walk for a few blocks and change my mind.

  44. California shoots itself in the foot constantly. Heading for a record drought this year, worst since 1976, but California added 15 million people since 1976. Record snow falls in the mountains and no added reservoirs. Restrictive eviromental rules on cutting and clearing underbrush, record wildfires. They always hype the fact that California is the World’s Fifth Biggest Economy. Well, take away Federal input, AFB, shipyards etc, and it drops. But, California also has some of the highest rates of poverty and worst educational results. San Francisco was a gem of a city. I went there for my 40th birthday, choosing SF over any place else. Today SF is a shit hole. Major conventions cancelling their events rather than have their members or guests accosted by the homeless zombies that use the streets and sidewalks and doorways as their beds and toilets. Walgreens closes seven SF stores rather than lose thousands of dollars daily to shoplifters. SF had 30,000 reported car break ins, less than 2% charged for the crimes. Billions spent on the homeless, the majority of whom are addicts in need of mental health care and the left press still blames Reagan. Solution to the homeless, spend billions more on them. Golden Gate Bridge built in the 40s still solid. New Oakland Bay Bridge already has major engineering faults. Add to all of this that Cali is underpowered and is shutting their Nuclear Reactors. Yet the state is mandating all housing be electrified and natural gas and propane for almost all uses be banned. There are many states with spectacular scenery, mountains and seascapes. Nature provided those. California’s problems are man made starting always and still with their extreme liberal bent. For a daily dose of agita, read Berkeleyside, Sac Bee and San Fran Chron online. Comments are the best.

    • Replies: @ArthurinCali
    @Buffalo Joe

    From the perspective of a military veteran who was stationed here in California during my final years and stayed on after retirement, many of us are simply waiting on the kids to graduate school so we can move on.

    California is no longer a Mecca for opportunities. Mismanagement has taken its toll.

    , @Alden
    @Buffalo Joe

    The new Oakland Bridge was built in China shipped to Oakland and assembled by Chinese Chinese workers. Some of the welds didn’t pass inspection when it was assembled. It’s beautiful though.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe

    , @obwandiyag
    @Buffalo Joe

    Half right. Liberals and conservatives like you conspire to make everything suck extra big-time.

    Zum Beispiel: Liberals agitated to close down the insane asylums because reasons. Then the conservatives withheld the funding for the half-way houses that were supposed to replace them.

    Result: The Deluges--an new army of insane homeless. And this is the 70s. Now more than half the homeless are sane and white. That's also a trifecta of libcon love. Liberals hate whites and conservatives impoverish them and take away their safety nets. Perfect.

    It's like love and marriage, a horse and carriage.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe

  45. Whether or not we should be in a position
    Where you are
    Why can’t the experts say
    We know that this virus is
    In fact it’s going to be
    Or excuse
    We know why all the drugs approved
    Or not temporarily but permanently approved
    That’s underway, too.

  46. @res

    I figured out while I was still in high school that most people in Los Angeles think it was at its peak when they first can remember it, either as a small child or as a transplant.
     
    What do you think are the relative proportions of CA changing for the worse vs. nostalgia being strongest for youth in that?

    Replies: @J.Ross, @Currahee

    We can probably measure that with some reasonably hard economic metric or statement of the state’s material potential — midcentury working class or less educated person getting a job in aerospace versus degreed millennial getting a job at an Amazon laogai.

  47. @Icy Blast
    California, and in particular, Los Angeles County, reached its highest quality of life somewhere between 1971 and 1975, so this article is right in that respect. The movie "Chinatown," however, is a vastly over-hyped piece of propaganda. Its assertions about California's history, expressed and implied, are simply false. Even its title is misleading: It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Chinese in California or with any "Chinatown" in particular. Pure trash.

    Replies: @WJ, @Jack D, @Alden, @bomag, @AnotherDad, @Dorkbaby, @Uncle Dan, @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

    Even its title is misleading:

    Sheesh, how literal minded can you be? A movie called “Chinatown” that does not feature any egg rolls or fortune cookies? It’s a fraud. When Melville called his book “Moby Dick” well then goddam it, it was really about that whale.

    The title comes from the very end of the movie – there has been a climactic, almost operatic scene where everything has come to a head and most of the main characters are now lying dead in the street (in a street in Chinatown to be exact). Jake is in shock and disbelief at what he has just witnessed – he can’t process the enormity of it all – incest, murder, etc. But the cynical police detectives who arrive on the scene try to hustle him away (you assume that it’s all going to be covered up and the public will never learn the truth just as they have had the wool pulled over their eyes by the powerful throughout the movie) and tell him, “Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown.” “Chinatown” means a place where the usual rules of civilization don’t apply. (Back in the day, most Chinatowns had things like opium dens, gambling parlors and so on).

    • Agree: Servant of Gla'aki
    • Thanks: Desiderius, MEH 0910
    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
    @Jack D


    "The title comes from the very end of the movie ... Jake is in shock and disbelief at what he has just witnessed ... the cynical police detectives who arrive on the scene try to hustle him away ... tell him, 'Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown.' "
     
    There's also a much earlier scene in the movie, which makes it clear that Jake left the LAPD because he was a participant in or observer of something awful which happened in Chinatown. This later scene is a reference to the earlier one. The detectives are telling Jake that this is just a continuation of the state of affairs that originally drove him from the force. As far as LA corruption goes, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

    And "Chinatown" is one the greatest, most timeless, most perfect movies ever made. It's sad that the phillistine, to whom you are responding, is such a literalist that he cannot appreciate great art.

    Replies: @SunBakedSuburb

    , @Icy Blast
    @Jack D

    Your ability to state the obvious is absolutely precious!

    I've seen the freakin' movie more than once. The villain is an incestuous Okie - an authoritarian personality, no doubt.

    Nicholson is ridiculously miscast. Walter Matthau would have been a more appropriate choice.

    Replies: @Mike Tre

    , @petit bourgeois
    @Jack D

    I can't attest to criminality in L.A.'s Chinatown. I've only been there a few times for dim sum.

    But Chinatown in San Francisco does have a degree of lawlessness. When I was in college, my girlfriend (a catholic from Hong Kong) and I would frequent the Bow Bow cocktail lounge on Grant Street, right on the border of Chinatown, North Beach and the Financial District. We were such regulars that the owner, Candy Wong, would often give us her homemade shrimp paste stuffed jalapenos that the other customers wouldn't get.

    Here is an article about Candy worth mentiioning: https://www.sfgate.com/bars/article/Bow-Bow-Cocktail-Lounge-Chinatown-Mama-Candy-14550764.php

    But there was lawlessness, including:

    1. Candy would let me smoke in the bar, a big no-no in California.

    2. Candy would usher all of the other customers out at 2 a.m. while we were allowed to remain in the bar and drink, sometimes past 3 a.m. People have lost their liquor licenses for less than that.

    3. Even the karaoke was pirated/illegal, probably stolen music from China. Nobody is paying copyright for that crap.

    There were quite a few nights when I would drive home from the Bow Bow to Alameda across the Bay Bridge with one eye because of double vision drunkeness. I too, was lawless in Chinatown and should have been lit up by the cops, but never had an encounter.

    Back in the day, the racial animus towards Chinese in my hometown was so bad, white people burned down an entire Chinatown: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1993-05-31-me-41995-story.html

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @Steve Sailer

  48. I first saw Chinatown when it was released and before everyone knew about the director Roman Polanski’s predeliction for underage girls. I wonder if anyone else working on the movie knew it or if they did, being the kind of people attracted by the entertainment industry, no one thought it was particularly note worthy.
    It is creepy seeing the movie today knowing that Polanski thought he was directing a movie with a happy ending where Jake has to watch helplessly while the old monster triumphantly clutches his new sex toy.

    • Agree: BB753
    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Alfa158

    Honestly, in those days no one thought it was a big deal. Only in our hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times is Polanski viewed as some sort of war criminal/monster. Of course what he did was wrong, but it wasn't "lock him up for the rest of his life" wrong the way we are doing now to guys like Weinstein. The original plea deal called for Polanski to plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and to receive probation (he had already spent 42 days in prison for a psychiatric evaluation). This is what the prosecutors recommended, the court appointed shrink, etc. Everyone was on board with it. Although it was certainly a crime due to the girl's age, the feeling was that she had been a willing participant and this lessened the severity of the crime. In those distant days, all humans and not just white men were believed to have some degree of agency and the world was seen in shades of gray and not in stark black and white terms of victim and villain.

    But the judge apparently saw recent photos of Polanski out in public with his arm around young girls (even those were not formally submitted as evidence) and decided that he wasn't sufficiently rehabilitated and needed some time in prison (followed by deportation) to send him a message. Polanski decided to skip the prison part and deport himself.

    Replies: @Escher, @Alfa158, @Paperback Writer, @Dumbo, @J.Ross, @Peter D. Bredon

    , @BB753
    @Alfa158

    The assault took place in Jack Nicholson's house. I'll leave it at that.

    , @J.Ross
    @Alfa158

    The first time I saw his absolutely brilliant Repulsion, I didn't know about the whole 1960s pseudo-intellectual sexual liberation schtick accusing people of having a terror of sex: I assumed the film was about a traumatized abuse victim, all the more effective because of its director.

    , @Paperback Writer
    @Alfa158


    I wonder if anyone else working on the movie knew it or if they did, being the kind of people attracted by the entertainment industry, no one thought it was particularly note worthy.
     
    Sure they knew. Just like people in the rock music business knew about underage groupies and Bowie, Page, Jagger, and Morrison.
  49. Metaphor alert, An L.A. traffic reporter recently reported a “ladder in lane” traffic jam. In an unguarded moment, he lamented that this was the fifth ladder-in-lane” he had heard about in the past hour.

    • Replies: @Excal
    @SafeNow

    I remember a radio station many years ago holding a daily "where's the ladder" contest (no prizes, for obvious reasons). There always, always was at least one.

  50. @Jtgw
    @Altai

    I think that’s right. My maternal grandmothers family were pioneering orange farmers in Redlands with Southern and ultimately Scottish roots (Alexanders, Farquhars). My maternal grandfathers family had a lot more German and English blood but he came from Oregon.

    Replies: @Altai

    Portland is one of the most pre-great wave (That isn’t black) big cities in the US. (At least historically, not much movement into it except from it’s own hinterlands even if more recently it is suffering the fate of every city over 1 million in the West and being ‘diversified’.) With most of the rest of the non-WASP populations coming from groups who were very early and North West European.

    And it exhibits a very high degree of consciousness and social solidarity/responsibility. That those things are associated with the left and that the left in the US post Trump is unable to call antifa what they are, a collection of cluster B fuckups who enjoy aggression and violence who need to go away is merely a sad reflection of the maladptive state of political alignments in the US rather than a reflection of the type of people who live there.

    An example of the inherent entropy of equality when faced with a world of immigration.

  51. @Buffalo Joe
    California shoots itself in the foot constantly. Heading for a record drought this year, worst since 1976, but California added 15 million people since 1976. Record snow falls in the mountains and no added reservoirs. Restrictive eviromental rules on cutting and clearing underbrush, record wildfires. They always hype the fact that California is the World's Fifth Biggest Economy. Well, take away Federal input, AFB, shipyards etc, and it drops. But, California also has some of the highest rates of poverty and worst educational results. San Francisco was a gem of a city. I went there for my 40th birthday, choosing SF over any place else. Today SF is a shit hole. Major conventions cancelling their events rather than have their members or guests accosted by the homeless zombies that use the streets and sidewalks and doorways as their beds and toilets. Walgreens closes seven SF stores rather than lose thousands of dollars daily to shoplifters. SF had 30,000 reported car break ins, less than 2% charged for the crimes. Billions spent on the homeless, the majority of whom are addicts in need of mental health care and the left press still blames Reagan. Solution to the homeless, spend billions more on them. Golden Gate Bridge built in the 40s still solid. New Oakland Bay Bridge already has major engineering faults. Add to all of this that Cali is underpowered and is shutting their Nuclear Reactors. Yet the state is mandating all housing be electrified and natural gas and propane for almost all uses be banned. There are many states with spectacular scenery, mountains and seascapes. Nature provided those. California's problems are man made starting always and still with their extreme liberal bent. For a daily dose of agita, read Berkeleyside, Sac Bee and San Fran Chron online. Comments are the best.

    Replies: @ArthurinCali, @Alden, @obwandiyag

    From the perspective of a military veteran who was stationed here in California during my final years and stayed on after retirement, many of us are simply waiting on the kids to graduate school so we can move on.

    California is no longer a Mecca for opportunities. Mismanagement has taken its toll.

    • Agree: Buffalo Joe
  52. @Jack D
    @Altai


    It seems to me that California was much more old stock than the big East Coast cities. In a way it was a last stand of old stock America in a big urban setting.
     
    Just like our weather patterns tend to blow from west to east, America's (European) migration patterns tended to blow the other way. When Kansas opened up, a lot of New England Pilgrim Stock sick of plowing up rocks fled for the wide open prairies (to be replaced by Ellis Island immigrants - at the beginning of the 20th century, Paul Revere's house was a Banca Italiana/cigar shop in the middle of the Italian North End ghetto of Boston). (The tourist attraction you see today is largely a reconstruction).

    https://northendwaterfront.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/8273235092_9928d57078_o-652x522.jpg

    Then later, the descendants of those New Englanders migrated even further west to the sunny skies and orange groves of California. Immigrants usually bought the cheapest ticket that would land them on American shores - that's how Boston ended up with so many Irish, because it was slightly cheaper than sailing to NY. The West coast was out of the question.

    That being said, California always had large populations of Mexicans and Asians, it's just that they were sort of NPCs - the Japanese gardener, the Chinese cook, etc. And the rail lines ran north and south so the blacks of Mississippi ended up in Chicago and Detroit and not LA until they brought a bunch of them in during WWII to load ships, etc.

    Replies: @Dutch Boy, @Bill P, @Dumbo

    I grew up in the San Diego area. A large contingent in those days were Midwesterners (like my parents) who had ended up in San Diego via the military (mostly Marines and Navy but there were army bases there in WWII and some of them stuck around too). My father was the first to show up and promptly brought his parents out here from Iowa, soon to be followed by most of his brothers and sisters (my mother’s family followed a similar course). A big draw was the weather. Midwestern weather varies from miserable to barely endurable. I well remember my Minnesota-raised mother’s opinion of snow: “When you’re a kid, snow is fun but when you’re an adult, it’s just a pain in the neck.” Her Norwegian father had a similar opinion: “If I’d known there was a California, I never would have stopped in Minnesota – forty years of shoveling walks!”

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Dutch Boy

    I've got a set of Iowa relatives who also upped and took off for CA back in its heyday. Some ended up in Orange County, some farther north. We visited them a few years ago, and it was interesting to see that they'd maintained quite a few midwestern cultural traits -- in some ways, maybe moreso than my relatives who'd stayed in IA. I guess they were maintaning tribal identity in the vast sea of otherness, or something like that.

    But now most of them have left or are getting out; they're moving to Montana, Idaho, inland Pacific NW, etc.

    BTW, you're too harsh on the IA weather. I spent enough years growing up in it myself, and will assert that it's not always that bad. Most years have a nice day sometime in late May/early June, and then another in September.

  53. @Alfa158
    I first saw Chinatown when it was released and before everyone knew about the director Roman Polanski’s predeliction for underage girls. I wonder if anyone else working on the movie knew it or if they did, being the kind of people attracted by the entertainment industry, no one thought it was particularly note worthy.
    It is creepy seeing the movie today knowing that Polanski thought he was directing a movie with a happy ending where Jake has to watch helplessly while the old monster triumphantly clutches his new sex toy.

    Replies: @Jack D, @BB753, @J.Ross, @Paperback Writer

    Honestly, in those days no one thought it was a big deal. Only in our hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times is Polanski viewed as some sort of war criminal/monster. Of course what he did was wrong, but it wasn’t “lock him up for the rest of his life” wrong the way we are doing now to guys like Weinstein. The original plea deal called for Polanski to plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and to receive probation (he had already spent 42 days in prison for a psychiatric evaluation). This is what the prosecutors recommended, the court appointed shrink, etc. Everyone was on board with it. Although it was certainly a crime due to the girl’s age, the feeling was that she had been a willing participant and this lessened the severity of the crime. In those distant days, all humans and not just white men were believed to have some degree of agency and the world was seen in shades of gray and not in stark black and white terms of victim and villain.

    But the judge apparently saw recent photos of Polanski out in public with his arm around young girls (even those were not formally submitted as evidence) and decided that he wasn’t sufficiently rehabilitated and needed some time in prison (followed by deportation) to send him a message. Polanski decided to skip the prison part and deport himself.

    • Agree: Servant of Gla'aki
    • Replies: @Escher
    @Jack D

    What if that girl was your daughter or sister? JackD?

    Replies: @Jack D

    , @Alfa158
    @Jack D

    Jack, everyone I know thought it was big deal.
    1. The girl was 13 freaking years old.
    2. He gave her alcohol and drugs.
    3. As a cherry on top the rape included sodomizing her.
    4. The justice system bent over backwards trying to be lenient with that vicious little shit and he still fled to a country where the age of consent is 13.
    Even Weinstein never did anything like that.
    Obviously you and I must run in different circles if no one you know thought it was a big deal

    Replies: @Bill, @Jack D, @Boomthorkell

    , @Paperback Writer
    @Jack D


    Honestly, in those days no one thought it was a big deal. Only in our hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times is Polanski viewed as some sort of war criminal/monster
     
    Then why was he prosecuted?

    Honestly, Jack, sometimes it's hard to take you seriously. For every insane leftist position, there's Jack, advocating its equally insane right-wing counterpart.

    Newsflash: It's possible for decent, moral people to think that the current feminist movement is crazy, but that drugging and anally raping a 13-year old is a heinous crime for which he really should have spent YEARS in jail. That the legal system went easy on him actually disproves your point. Maybe one of the reasons for the current hysteria is that in the past, these crimes were glossed over, if the man was powerful enough, especially in the company town known as Hollywood, contributed to the current overreaction.

    As to whether I can enjoy his films, some I do, some I don't. A lot of people can't separate the man from the work. I can.

    Replies: @Jack D, @fredyetagain aka superhonky, @Peterike

    , @Dumbo
    @Jack D


    Honestly, in those days no one thought it was a big deal. Only in our hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times is Polanski viewed as some sort of war criminal/monster.
     
    But Polanski is a criminal/monster.

    Besides drugging, raping and sodomizing a 13-old teenager (pimped by her singe mother), he's probably involved in much worse stuff. I wouldn't even find it strange it it turned out he was even involved somehow in the murder of Sharon Tate. A disgusting individual. The only film of him I like is Rosemary's Baby, and that one is probably autobiographical.

    The 70s were pretty wild, but I doubt everyone was alright with what he did.

    We do not live in "hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times", that's just for the suckers. You think that those kind of things still don't happen in Hollywood today? You gotta be kidding me. Yeah, they threw Weinstein under the bus, there were probably other reasons for that.
    , @J.Ross
    @Jack D

    Jack's part right but acting stupid. Recall the various kidnapping scandals and the movies Pretty Baby, Hardcore and Taxi Driver. There was sexual licentiousness, which was not truly tolerated but which survived because people didn't know about it. When they found out about it they got mad and passed laws. Child porn was effectively legal in the 70s. It wasn't legal because a majority of Americans were cool with it.

    , @Peter D. Bredon
    @Jack D

    Polanski agreed to a plea bargain deal: the same one Catholic priests get;,90 days psychiatric evaluation and time served; but the judge reneged and wanted to sentence him to 50 years. Just like (sorta) Bill Cosby. Assuming the appellate court didn't hate Polanski because he was a short Polish Jew, it would have been overturned anyway. So Polanski saved the taxpayers a lot of money.

  54. @Jack D
    @Alfa158

    Honestly, in those days no one thought it was a big deal. Only in our hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times is Polanski viewed as some sort of war criminal/monster. Of course what he did was wrong, but it wasn't "lock him up for the rest of his life" wrong the way we are doing now to guys like Weinstein. The original plea deal called for Polanski to plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and to receive probation (he had already spent 42 days in prison for a psychiatric evaluation). This is what the prosecutors recommended, the court appointed shrink, etc. Everyone was on board with it. Although it was certainly a crime due to the girl's age, the feeling was that she had been a willing participant and this lessened the severity of the crime. In those distant days, all humans and not just white men were believed to have some degree of agency and the world was seen in shades of gray and not in stark black and white terms of victim and villain.

    But the judge apparently saw recent photos of Polanski out in public with his arm around young girls (even those were not formally submitted as evidence) and decided that he wasn't sufficiently rehabilitated and needed some time in prison (followed by deportation) to send him a message. Polanski decided to skip the prison part and deport himself.

    Replies: @Escher, @Alfa158, @Paperback Writer, @Dumbo, @J.Ross, @Peter D. Bredon

    What if that girl was your daughter or sister? JackD?

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Escher

    Apparently in this case, it was the girl's mother who in effect pimped her out. I'm not saying that's right or that excuses what everyone later agreed was a crime. If it was my daughter I wouldn't have allowed it, but she wasn't my daughter, she was someone else's daughter who was apparently OK with it so what I would have wanted for my daughter is neither here nor there.

    There is no argument that a crime was committed under California law (although other countries do set the age of consent as low as 14 and by other countries I don't mean Afghanistan but places like Germany and Italy which most people agree are nevertheless civilized countries). The only argument was what punishment was suitable according to the sentencing rules of that time.

    Replies: @Escher

  55. @Alfa158
    I first saw Chinatown when it was released and before everyone knew about the director Roman Polanski’s predeliction for underage girls. I wonder if anyone else working on the movie knew it or if they did, being the kind of people attracted by the entertainment industry, no one thought it was particularly note worthy.
    It is creepy seeing the movie today knowing that Polanski thought he was directing a movie with a happy ending where Jake has to watch helplessly while the old monster triumphantly clutches his new sex toy.

    Replies: @Jack D, @BB753, @J.Ross, @Paperback Writer

    The assault took place in Jack Nicholson’s house. I’ll leave it at that.

  56. @NJ Transit Commuter

    I’ve lived on and off in L.A. since 1958. I figured out while I was still in high school that most people in Los Angeles think it was at its peak when they first can remember it, either as a small child or as a transplant.
     
    Steve, as an east coast born Gen Xer, I’m definitely of the opinion that you grew up in the best place and best time in America history. Nostalgia always effects memory, but I think by any objective measure, it would be hard to beat post California. This makes the descent of California in the 21st century all the more sad.

    Replies: @Alfa158, @Charlotte Allen

    We arrived in the early sixties when I was an adolescent, and the place was indeed paradise, I literally attended the Beach Boys’ high school and it was everything you would imagine.
    Except for one thing. The air during warm months could be like an alien planet. I remember one summery morning waiting for a bus on Santa Barbara Avenue (now Martin Luther King Boulevard) and watching the visibility looking down the street shrink block by block into a cloud of brown smog. On that bright sunny day you could barely see more than a block.
    Young people today note the gasoline stench from restored 1960’s collector cars and I tell them to imagine what it was like when every car around you on the street was putting that out.

  57. @Jack D
    @Icy Blast


    Even its title is misleading:
     
    Sheesh, how literal minded can you be? A movie called "Chinatown" that does not feature any egg rolls or fortune cookies? It's a fraud. When Melville called his book "Moby Dick" well then goddam it, it was really about that whale.

    The title comes from the very end of the movie - there has been a climactic, almost operatic scene where everything has come to a head and most of the main characters are now lying dead in the street (in a street in Chinatown to be exact). Jake is in shock and disbelief at what he has just witnessed - he can't process the enormity of it all - incest, murder, etc. But the cynical police detectives who arrive on the scene try to hustle him away (you assume that it's all going to be covered up and the public will never learn the truth just as they have had the wool pulled over their eyes by the powerful throughout the movie) and tell him, "Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown." "Chinatown" means a place where the usual rules of civilization don't apply. (Back in the day, most Chinatowns had things like opium dens, gambling parlors and so on).

    https://youtu.be/TjSshSvQWQA?t=143

    Replies: @Jus' Sayin'..., @Icy Blast, @petit bourgeois

    “The title comes from the very end of the movie … Jake is in shock and disbelief at what he has just witnessed … the cynical police detectives who arrive on the scene try to hustle him away … tell him, ‘Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown.’ ”

    There’s also a much earlier scene in the movie, which makes it clear that Jake left the LAPD because he was a participant in or observer of something awful which happened in Chinatown. This later scene is a reference to the earlier one. The detectives are telling Jake that this is just a continuation of the state of affairs that originally drove him from the force. As far as LA corruption goes, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

    And “Chinatown” is one the greatest, most timeless, most perfect movies ever made. It’s sad that the phillistine, to whom you are responding, is such a literalist that he cannot appreciate great art.

    • Agree: Servant of Gla'aki
    • Thanks: bomag, MEH 0910
    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    "And 'Chinatown' is one of the greatest, most timeless, most perfect movies ever made."

    Yes. In the neo-noir genre it's tops; followed by Peter Yates's The Friends of Eddie Coyle, William Friedkin's Cruising, and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

    "It's sad that the phillistine[sic] ... is such a literalist."

    Steve's blog draws in dogmatic guys, smart guys, and guys like me who think they're smart.

    Replies: @Tusk, @JMcG

  58. @Jack D
    @Icy Blast


    Even its title is misleading:
     
    Sheesh, how literal minded can you be? A movie called "Chinatown" that does not feature any egg rolls or fortune cookies? It's a fraud. When Melville called his book "Moby Dick" well then goddam it, it was really about that whale.

    The title comes from the very end of the movie - there has been a climactic, almost operatic scene where everything has come to a head and most of the main characters are now lying dead in the street (in a street in Chinatown to be exact). Jake is in shock and disbelief at what he has just witnessed - he can't process the enormity of it all - incest, murder, etc. But the cynical police detectives who arrive on the scene try to hustle him away (you assume that it's all going to be covered up and the public will never learn the truth just as they have had the wool pulled over their eyes by the powerful throughout the movie) and tell him, "Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown." "Chinatown" means a place where the usual rules of civilization don't apply. (Back in the day, most Chinatowns had things like opium dens, gambling parlors and so on).

    https://youtu.be/TjSshSvQWQA?t=143

    Replies: @Jus' Sayin'..., @Icy Blast, @petit bourgeois

    Your ability to state the obvious is absolutely precious!

    I’ve seen the freakin’ movie more than once. The villain is an incestuous Okie – an authoritarian personality, no doubt.

    Nicholson is ridiculously miscast. Walter Matthau would have been a more appropriate choice.

    • Replies: @Mike Tre
    @Icy Blast

    "Nicholson is ridiculously miscast. "

    So is Huston. That role should have gone to Woody Allen.

  59. In 19777, when I was in the 8th grade, a pretty blonde high school senior moved from our suburban Boston neighborhood to LA when she graduated; and I thought that was the coolest thing ever.

    Having my own California dreams, ten years later I applied for IT jobs in LA and was offered a job with LA County but turned it down at the last minute, instead choosing to relocate to Miami Beach for a job. Again, just over ten years after that, in 1999, I interviewed for IT jobs in LA, turning down a couple of offers. Now, over 20 years later, I’ve remained in FL and will soon retire never making the move west. No regrets, but sometimes I wonder what could have been.

  60. @Jack D
    @Alfa158

    Honestly, in those days no one thought it was a big deal. Only in our hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times is Polanski viewed as some sort of war criminal/monster. Of course what he did was wrong, but it wasn't "lock him up for the rest of his life" wrong the way we are doing now to guys like Weinstein. The original plea deal called for Polanski to plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and to receive probation (he had already spent 42 days in prison for a psychiatric evaluation). This is what the prosecutors recommended, the court appointed shrink, etc. Everyone was on board with it. Although it was certainly a crime due to the girl's age, the feeling was that she had been a willing participant and this lessened the severity of the crime. In those distant days, all humans and not just white men were believed to have some degree of agency and the world was seen in shades of gray and not in stark black and white terms of victim and villain.

    But the judge apparently saw recent photos of Polanski out in public with his arm around young girls (even those were not formally submitted as evidence) and decided that he wasn't sufficiently rehabilitated and needed some time in prison (followed by deportation) to send him a message. Polanski decided to skip the prison part and deport himself.

    Replies: @Escher, @Alfa158, @Paperback Writer, @Dumbo, @J.Ross, @Peter D. Bredon

    Jack, everyone I know thought it was big deal.
    1. The girl was 13 freaking years old.
    2. He gave her alcohol and drugs.
    3. As a cherry on top the rape included sodomizing her.
    4. The justice system bent over backwards trying to be lenient with that vicious little shit and he still fled to a country where the age of consent is 13.
    Even Weinstein never did anything like that.
    Obviously you and I must run in different circles if no one you know thought it was a big deal

    • Agree: Ian Smith, Alden, sayless
    • Troll: JohnPlywood
    • Replies: @Bill
    @Alfa158

    Yeah, you and Jack "run in different circles."

    , @Jack D
    @Alfa158

    The past is a different country. Hollywood has been debauched from Day 1 (Charlie Chaplin also had a thing for young girls). In Hollywood circles of that time, a situation involving a hot tub, some 'ludes and champagne and various forms of recreational sex was just a typical night out. Only the fact that the girl was a little too young for such activities caused it to cross the line of the law.

    Maybe the environment of the times was a bit (ok, maybe a lot) too permissive but the hysterical anti (heterosexual) sex climate of our time is even worse. The people who are driving this hysteria are not your friends. They don't believe in traditional morality - they just want to lock up and depose (white) men from positions of power so that they can replace them, any way that they can. As far as they are concerned, it's not just minors but all women who are incapable of giving valid consent (due to "power imbalances", coercion, yadda, yadda) so all heterosexual sex can be retconned as rape at any time, even years or decades later. Constitutional protections such as the statute of limitations and burdens of proof mean nothing to this crowd.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Alexander Turok

    , @Boomthorkell
    @Alfa158

    John "sodomizing a 13-year old is a based, Paleo-male move" Plywood.

    Though I suspect the sacrificial murder of his wife at the time probably screwed him up some. No excuses, of course, just reasons.

  61. Ah, stop with this California whining. Enough to cure anyone of Calidolatry is a TV show “Californication”, with that guy from the paranoid X Files (Duchovny?).

    Seeing 2-3 episodes is enough for anyone normal to wish he had a nuclear arsenal at his disposal …

  62. Conor Friedersdorf lost all credibility with this statement: “Millions still immigrate to my beloved home to improve both their prospects and ours.”

    “And ours”? You lying sack of sh!t.

    • Agree: ArthurinCali, Spud Boy
    • Replies: @Sgt. Joe Friday
    @Kylie

    "Improving our...prospects" can mean different things to different people.

    For college educated professionals: interesting ethnic restaurants

    For recent immigrants: "oh, look people who speak my language and look like they come from the same village I did."

    For dual-income households: cheap nannies, maids, and gardeners

    For single women: Increase in relative SMV, due to most immigrant women being significantly less attractive (although American womens' increasing obesity rate somewhat offsets this)

    Pretty hard to believe that what took 125 years to build up has been flushed down the shitter in less than 50 years.

    Replies: @Anon

  63. @Jack D
    @Altai


    It seems to me that California was much more old stock than the big East Coast cities. In a way it was a last stand of old stock America in a big urban setting.
     
    Just like our weather patterns tend to blow from west to east, America's (European) migration patterns tended to blow the other way. When Kansas opened up, a lot of New England Pilgrim Stock sick of plowing up rocks fled for the wide open prairies (to be replaced by Ellis Island immigrants - at the beginning of the 20th century, Paul Revere's house was a Banca Italiana/cigar shop in the middle of the Italian North End ghetto of Boston). (The tourist attraction you see today is largely a reconstruction).

    https://northendwaterfront.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/8273235092_9928d57078_o-652x522.jpg

    Then later, the descendants of those New Englanders migrated even further west to the sunny skies and orange groves of California. Immigrants usually bought the cheapest ticket that would land them on American shores - that's how Boston ended up with so many Irish, because it was slightly cheaper than sailing to NY. The West coast was out of the question.

    That being said, California always had large populations of Mexicans and Asians, it's just that they were sort of NPCs - the Japanese gardener, the Chinese cook, etc. And the rail lines ran north and south so the blacks of Mississippi ended up in Chicago and Detroit and not LA until they brought a bunch of them in during WWII to load ships, etc.

    Replies: @Dutch Boy, @Bill P, @Dumbo

    Immigrants usually bought the cheapest ticket that would land them on American shores – that’s how Boston ended up with so many Irish, because it was slightly cheaper than sailing to NY. The West coast was out of the question.

    My Irish great grandmother sailed from Ireland to San Francisco via Panama, before the canal was built. But her parents were already in Nevada, so they might have bought the ticket for her. I’m not sure where they landed, but I’m not aware of any Irish family on the East Coast, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they did the same.

    My Norwegian great grandparents arrived at Ellis Island, but they immediately got on trains headed west.

    So all of my immigrant ancestors traveled directly west, not bothering with the East Coast at all.

    But my Southern ancestors beat them all. They were in the West during the Mexican War, when it was still like a Sergio Leone movie.

  64. @Alfa158
    @Jack D

    Jack, everyone I know thought it was big deal.
    1. The girl was 13 freaking years old.
    2. He gave her alcohol and drugs.
    3. As a cherry on top the rape included sodomizing her.
    4. The justice system bent over backwards trying to be lenient with that vicious little shit and he still fled to a country where the age of consent is 13.
    Even Weinstein never did anything like that.
    Obviously you and I must run in different circles if no one you know thought it was a big deal

    Replies: @Bill, @Jack D, @Boomthorkell

    Yeah, you and Jack “run in different circles.”

  65. “(besides the weather)”

    Wow, I know you don’t mean to downplay that, but you can’t really escape the 800 lb. gorilla. What do you mean there’s almost no rain/storms/snow/sleet/humidity/bugs/dust/cold/heat/etc.?

    My northern CA suburb is pretty temperate and nice, but being in Pasadena or thereabouts is almost like being in weather Heaven. Every single stinking day is pleasant and nice to be outside. How often do you get to lay in the sun in Maine? 3 or 4 days a year? A visit to Portland, OR means rain nearly every day.

    Over 50 years I’ve lived in CA and in that time I’ve seen one roach. One. And it was dead. We visited Virginia and they were in the bathroom the first night. Even in AZ we saw roaches. Of course, let’s talk about the South. The insects in Houston or Atlanta will eat you alive, and they’re the size of small birds. Humidity? My son was in MO one summer and said it was like being in a sauna once you got close to the river. We went for a walk in GA before the sun was up and it was still soupy and wet.

    God bless the USA; I certainly love all of it and the people therein. But the weather in CA has to be front and center of any discussion of its merits.

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @stillCARealist

    Hunter Thompson back in his 1972 election coverage tried to explain the Wallace phenomenon and pointed out how he was the spokesman for people whose ancestors has been white "indentured servants" i.e. slaves, and being transported to the swampland of GA or AL was like being sent to Hell on Earth

  66. Immigrant circumstances varied. Most were “huddled masses” (or else they wouldn’t have left in the 1st place) but there were a few people who had $. My wife’s maternal grandmother’s family decided to combine immigration with a Grand Tour and they, almost unbelievably, stopped in Egypt on the way to America.

    • Replies: @Paperback Writer
    @Jack D

    Well, they tended to skew young, male, and with a bit of money. The truly destitute didn't leave, except for the famine Irish.

  67. @Icy Blast
    California, and in particular, Los Angeles County, reached its highest quality of life somewhere between 1971 and 1975, so this article is right in that respect. The movie "Chinatown," however, is a vastly over-hyped piece of propaganda. Its assertions about California's history, expressed and implied, are simply false. Even its title is misleading: It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Chinese in California or with any "Chinatown" in particular. Pure trash.

    Replies: @WJ, @Jack D, @Alden, @bomag, @AnotherDad, @Dorkbaby, @Uncle Dan, @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

    Los Angeles Chinatown is right downtown next to the civic center just a few blocks from police headquarters. It’s restaurants, convenience stores and gift shops are heavily patronized by financial district government workers and the police who work at police headquarters.

    Eat lunch, pick up some toothpaste and razor blades find a pretty lacquered box for a birthday present.

    “It’s Chinatown is like TIA “ or this is Africa. Or it’s Harlem what do you expect. Lots of crime in every Chinatown in the world. The four pillars of Chinese crime are; illegal and very crooked gambling, Shylock usurious loans to the gamblers, brothels, and extortion of businesses.

    And neither the extorted businesses, the cheated gamblers or the abused indentured servants and prostitutes will ever say a word to the police. Snitches get stitches isn’t just a black saying.

    I and every other LEO knew exactly what was meant by “It’s Chinatown”. Especially Los Angeles Chinatown so close to police headquarters and the civic center.

    • Replies: @Marty
    @Alden

    In 1971 I went to Little Joe’s in Chinatown. The sawdust on the floors was cute, but coming from a San Francisco Tuscan family I was sorely disappointed in the food.

  68. @Buffalo Joe
    California shoots itself in the foot constantly. Heading for a record drought this year, worst since 1976, but California added 15 million people since 1976. Record snow falls in the mountains and no added reservoirs. Restrictive eviromental rules on cutting and clearing underbrush, record wildfires. They always hype the fact that California is the World's Fifth Biggest Economy. Well, take away Federal input, AFB, shipyards etc, and it drops. But, California also has some of the highest rates of poverty and worst educational results. San Francisco was a gem of a city. I went there for my 40th birthday, choosing SF over any place else. Today SF is a shit hole. Major conventions cancelling their events rather than have their members or guests accosted by the homeless zombies that use the streets and sidewalks and doorways as their beds and toilets. Walgreens closes seven SF stores rather than lose thousands of dollars daily to shoplifters. SF had 30,000 reported car break ins, less than 2% charged for the crimes. Billions spent on the homeless, the majority of whom are addicts in need of mental health care and the left press still blames Reagan. Solution to the homeless, spend billions more on them. Golden Gate Bridge built in the 40s still solid. New Oakland Bay Bridge already has major engineering faults. Add to all of this that Cali is underpowered and is shutting their Nuclear Reactors. Yet the state is mandating all housing be electrified and natural gas and propane for almost all uses be banned. There are many states with spectacular scenery, mountains and seascapes. Nature provided those. California's problems are man made starting always and still with their extreme liberal bent. For a daily dose of agita, read Berkeleyside, Sac Bee and San Fran Chron online. Comments are the best.

    Replies: @ArthurinCali, @Alden, @obwandiyag

    The new Oakland Bridge was built in China shipped to Oakland and assembled by Chinese Chinese workers. Some of the welds didn’t pass inspection when it was assembled. It’s beautiful though.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    @Alden

    Alden, amazing when you consider that in heavy steel construction the welders must pass a test and be certified. Then, after they are tested and certified, a percentage of their welds are tested, usually x- rayed. If too many of your welds fail the testing you are no longer a welder on that job. The huge anchor bolts and nuts for the foundations also arrived on jobsite without certifications (certs) meaning they were not tested. Some have cracks. Poor construction.

  69. The gold rush got California started with getting populated, and then California became the location of the movie industry because it was usually sunny and dry. Everything else followed.

    The Californias of the eras of Grease!, 77 Sunset Strip, and the Beach Boys must have been nice, but you could not pay me enough to live in California now.

    • Replies: @Barnard
    @Jonathan Mason

    California saw significant growth after the transcontinental railroad was completed in between those two events. It was already in the top ten in population by the 1920 Census before the movie industry would have had a significant impact on population.

  70. @Jack D

    the stairs that Laurel and Hardy carried the piano up in The Music Box.
     
    Honestly, that's it? A mundane flight of concrete steps from the 1920s is the greatest landmark in LA? Philly has Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and we don't brag about them as much as this guy is bragging about those stupid steps. The Spanish Steps they ain't. Maybe if Jefferson & Adams had made a movie they would be bigger than Laurel & Hardy.

    The only good thing about the coming ethnic turnover is that the newcomers won't give a damn about those stupid steps or about Laurel & Hardy - Cantinflas, si! It's one thing to be in awe of history when you walk (or in the case of LA drive) thru Rome or Cordoba but the stuff they have in LA is just cheap commercial architecture from the early 20th century - there's not one bit of it that is a true historical building. Even Olvera Street is a phony tourist attraction rebuilt in 1930.

    Replies: @Alden, @MEH 0910, @UNIT472, @Charlotte Allen

    There’s an original 1790s house and the original mission church on Olevera street.

  71. Anonymous[330] • Disclaimer says:

    As a Los Angeles native I can’t stand Friedersdorf’s rote, corny “Golden State” prose. He sounds like someone from the north, or possibly a writer of the terrible car commercials for your [N/S/C] California Toyota dealer, or whatever, which typically go along in a stream of homer postcard cliches (this lame style of car/beer/clothing ad has reached other states of course).

    However I do find noir nostalgia generally fun and Ye olde Southlande just plain wins on period-piece inventory— even better than 1920s Chicago or 1880s NYC/Boston. I enjoy “Chinatown,” “L.A. Confidential,” Raymond Chandler, (some) James Ellroy, etc. for probably the same aesthetic reasons their contemporaries did. More puzzling is the revival of 80s chic—which is really the Michael Mann style derived from a more superficial industry genre e.g. Paul Schrader’s “American Gigolo” after at least 1 gen of Central Europeans’ copying/improvement.

    I think Bay Area tech will be far diminished in glamour after a few more quarters of Slack activism have hit. It’s like a year-round hurricane season now.

    • Replies: @James J O'Meara
    @Anonymous

    "More puzzling is the revival of 80s chic—which is really the Michael Mann style"

    Manhunter is the greatest movie ever made.

  72. @Buffalo Joe
    California shoots itself in the foot constantly. Heading for a record drought this year, worst since 1976, but California added 15 million people since 1976. Record snow falls in the mountains and no added reservoirs. Restrictive eviromental rules on cutting and clearing underbrush, record wildfires. They always hype the fact that California is the World's Fifth Biggest Economy. Well, take away Federal input, AFB, shipyards etc, and it drops. But, California also has some of the highest rates of poverty and worst educational results. San Francisco was a gem of a city. I went there for my 40th birthday, choosing SF over any place else. Today SF is a shit hole. Major conventions cancelling their events rather than have their members or guests accosted by the homeless zombies that use the streets and sidewalks and doorways as their beds and toilets. Walgreens closes seven SF stores rather than lose thousands of dollars daily to shoplifters. SF had 30,000 reported car break ins, less than 2% charged for the crimes. Billions spent on the homeless, the majority of whom are addicts in need of mental health care and the left press still blames Reagan. Solution to the homeless, spend billions more on them. Golden Gate Bridge built in the 40s still solid. New Oakland Bay Bridge already has major engineering faults. Add to all of this that Cali is underpowered and is shutting their Nuclear Reactors. Yet the state is mandating all housing be electrified and natural gas and propane for almost all uses be banned. There are many states with spectacular scenery, mountains and seascapes. Nature provided those. California's problems are man made starting always and still with their extreme liberal bent. For a daily dose of agita, read Berkeleyside, Sac Bee and San Fran Chron online. Comments are the best.

    Replies: @ArthurinCali, @Alden, @obwandiyag

    Half right. Liberals and conservatives like you conspire to make everything suck extra big-time.

    Zum Beispiel: Liberals agitated to close down the insane asylums because reasons. Then the conservatives withheld the funding for the half-way houses that were supposed to replace them.

    Result: The Deluges–an new army of insane homeless. And this is the 70s. Now more than half the homeless are sane and white. That’s also a trifecta of libcon love. Liberals hate whites and conservatives impoverish them and take away their safety nets. Perfect.

    It’s like love and marriage, a horse and carriage.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    @obwandiyag

    ob, The bi-partisan Lanterman-Petris-Short Act 1967 closed the asylums in California, The Act passed with a veto proof majority, but Reagan gets the blame. ACLU backed the bill and Reagan is still blamed. I did mention this happened in 1967. I don't know if half or more than half of the homeless are white, but I would say most of the homeless are addicts or mentally disabled. California's weather and insane hand outs to the homeless, including hundreds of thousands of free needles, feeds this growth and becomes an attraction for more homeless. Arriving in one of the most costly places to live will quickly impoverish anyone, sane or not.

  73. @Jack D

    the stairs that Laurel and Hardy carried the piano up in The Music Box.
     
    Honestly, that's it? A mundane flight of concrete steps from the 1920s is the greatest landmark in LA? Philly has Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and we don't brag about them as much as this guy is bragging about those stupid steps. The Spanish Steps they ain't. Maybe if Jefferson & Adams had made a movie they would be bigger than Laurel & Hardy.

    The only good thing about the coming ethnic turnover is that the newcomers won't give a damn about those stupid steps or about Laurel & Hardy - Cantinflas, si! It's one thing to be in awe of history when you walk (or in the case of LA drive) thru Rome or Cordoba but the stuff they have in LA is just cheap commercial architecture from the early 20th century - there's not one bit of it that is a true historical building. Even Olvera Street is a phony tourist attraction rebuilt in 1930.

    Replies: @Alden, @MEH 0910, @UNIT472, @Charlotte Allen

    Director Alexander Payne is into motion picture history.

    [MORE]

    https://www.npr.org/2014/02/21/280679375/director-alexander-payne-on-mining-every-film-for-comic-potential

    Older Hollywood, because I’m a film buff, is fantastic. … You can trash living in Los Angeles or living in Hollywood, but I’m driving down the street and, oh look, there’s … the stairs that Laurel and Hardy carried the piano up in The Music Box. Now I’m in Los Feliz, there’s the house that was used in Double Indemnity. It’s delightful, and you think of what … was created there in the teens and ’20s and ’30s and ’40s. But I think about silent comedy a lot and the brilliance of what comic actors did in the ’20s and I’m filled with pride.

  74. @Alfa158
    @Jack D

    Jack, everyone I know thought it was big deal.
    1. The girl was 13 freaking years old.
    2. He gave her alcohol and drugs.
    3. As a cherry on top the rape included sodomizing her.
    4. The justice system bent over backwards trying to be lenient with that vicious little shit and he still fled to a country where the age of consent is 13.
    Even Weinstein never did anything like that.
    Obviously you and I must run in different circles if no one you know thought it was a big deal

    Replies: @Bill, @Jack D, @Boomthorkell

    The past is a different country. Hollywood has been debauched from Day 1 (Charlie Chaplin also had a thing for young girls). In Hollywood circles of that time, a situation involving a hot tub, some ‘ludes and champagne and various forms of recreational sex was just a typical night out. Only the fact that the girl was a little too young for such activities caused it to cross the line of the law.

    Maybe the environment of the times was a bit (ok, maybe a lot) too permissive but the hysterical anti (heterosexual) sex climate of our time is even worse. The people who are driving this hysteria are not your friends. They don’t believe in traditional morality – they just want to lock up and depose (white) men from positions of power so that they can replace them, any way that they can. As far as they are concerned, it’s not just minors but all women who are incapable of giving valid consent (due to “power imbalances”, coercion, yadda, yadda) so all heterosexual sex can be retconned as rape at any time, even years or decades later. Constitutional protections such as the statute of limitations and burdens of proof mean nothing to this crowd.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Jack D


    Constitutional protections such as the statute of limitations and burdens of proof mean nothing to this crowd.
     
    The statute of limitations doesn't apply in Polanski's case because he's a fugitive. The clock hasn't run out; it hasn't even started.

    The most ironic of SOL cases was that of New York's removing it from the crime of rape while Hillary Clinton represented the state in the Senate. Had only Arkansas done that forty years earlier!
    , @Alexander Turok
    @Jack D


    Maybe the environment of the times was a bit (ok, maybe a lot) too permissive
     
    It wasn't the environment of "the times," it was the environment of one particular subculture within the times that was out of step with the law. "My subculture says this is okay" is generally rejected when Jamal the crack dealer uses it and should be rejected in this case too.

    I would say age-of-consent laws should, at the margin, be reduced. It's certainly cringe watching all these white knighting "populists" cheer them as if their enforcement against Hollywood moguls was a dog-bites-man rather than man-bites-dog story. But the Polanski case, yeah, it should stay criminal.

    People sometimes say "b-b-but premodern society X allowed marriage" - the keyword there is marriage. It's completely inappropriate to compare that to these kind of Hollywood pump-and-dump whore-arounds. It's hardly unreasonable to ask them wait until ~16 years old to start with that.

    Replies: @Anon

  75. @res

    I figured out while I was still in high school that most people in Los Angeles think it was at its peak when they first can remember it, either as a small child or as a transplant.
     
    What do you think are the relative proportions of CA changing for the worse vs. nostalgia being strongest for youth in that?

    Replies: @J.Ross, @Currahee

    Every time I think of leaving, I take a walk for a few blocks and change my mind.

  76. @Jonathan Mason
    The gold rush got California started with getting populated, and then California became the location of the movie industry because it was usually sunny and dry. Everything else followed.

    The Californias of the eras of Grease!, 77 Sunset Strip, and the Beach Boys must have been nice, but you could not pay me enough to live in California now.

    Replies: @Barnard

    California saw significant growth after the transcontinental railroad was completed in between those two events. It was already in the top ten in population by the 1920 Census before the movie industry would have had a significant impact on population.

  77. @Altai
    The other thing that the Californian dream was that it was not just white but very WASPy. It seems to me that California was much more old stock than the big East Coast cities. In a way it was a last stand of old stock America in a big urban setting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-omKOpkpEm0

    Replies: @Anon, @Corn, @Gordo, @Jack D, @Jtgw, @Paperback Writer, @Anonymous, @Ancient Briton

    Julia McWilliams Child was a native Californian. Of course her mother registered her at Smith the day she was born.

    California Woman 1965:

    2021:

    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRhmJYRSbpF8Zum_tYhBWswRNgv_yU6Lp1wSA&usqp=CAU

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Paperback Writer

    Talk about California Dreamin' at its best.

  78. @Jack D
    Immigrant circumstances varied. Most were "huddled masses" (or else they wouldn't have left in the 1st place) but there were a few people who had $. My wife's maternal grandmother's family decided to combine immigration with a Grand Tour and they, almost unbelievably, stopped in Egypt on the way to America.

    Replies: @Paperback Writer

    Well, they tended to skew young, male, and with a bit of money. The truly destitute didn’t leave, except for the famine Irish.

  79. @Almost Missouri


    This landscape is bejeweled with engineering feats: the California Aqueduct; the Golden Gate Bridge; and the ribbon of Pacific Coast Highway that stretches south of Monterey, clings to the cliffs of Big Sur, and descends the kelp-strewn Central Coast, where William Hearst built his Xanadu on a hillside where his zebras still graze.
     

     
    Oddly, for an enthusiast for The Future, Conor's most recent engineering feat example is from ... um .... 1963. And the rest are even older.

    Replies: @Farenheit, @Desiderius

  80. @Jack D
    @Alfa158

    Honestly, in those days no one thought it was a big deal. Only in our hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times is Polanski viewed as some sort of war criminal/monster. Of course what he did was wrong, but it wasn't "lock him up for the rest of his life" wrong the way we are doing now to guys like Weinstein. The original plea deal called for Polanski to plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and to receive probation (he had already spent 42 days in prison for a psychiatric evaluation). This is what the prosecutors recommended, the court appointed shrink, etc. Everyone was on board with it. Although it was certainly a crime due to the girl's age, the feeling was that she had been a willing participant and this lessened the severity of the crime. In those distant days, all humans and not just white men were believed to have some degree of agency and the world was seen in shades of gray and not in stark black and white terms of victim and villain.

    But the judge apparently saw recent photos of Polanski out in public with his arm around young girls (even those were not formally submitted as evidence) and decided that he wasn't sufficiently rehabilitated and needed some time in prison (followed by deportation) to send him a message. Polanski decided to skip the prison part and deport himself.

    Replies: @Escher, @Alfa158, @Paperback Writer, @Dumbo, @J.Ross, @Peter D. Bredon

    Honestly, in those days no one thought it was a big deal. Only in our hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times is Polanski viewed as some sort of war criminal/monster

    Then why was he prosecuted?

    Honestly, Jack, sometimes it’s hard to take you seriously. For every insane leftist position, there’s Jack, advocating its equally insane right-wing counterpart.

    Newsflash: It’s possible for decent, moral people to think that the current feminist movement is crazy, but that drugging and anally raping a 13-year old is a heinous crime for which he really should have spent YEARS in jail. That the legal system went easy on him actually disproves your point. Maybe one of the reasons for the current hysteria is that in the past, these crimes were glossed over, if the man was powerful enough, especially in the company town known as Hollywood, contributed to the current overreaction.

    As to whether I can enjoy his films, some I do, some I don’t. A lot of people can’t separate the man from the work. I can.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Paperback Writer


    Then why was he prosecuted?
     
    Everyone, including Polanski himself, agreed that he was rightfully being prosecuted because he had in fact committed a crime.

    However, our society goes thru wild swings in what it considers appropriate punishments for various crimes at various time. At that time, his crime was considered by many (including prosecutors) to be one that should be suitably punished by probation for a 1st offense. We are seeing the same thing now for many types of black crime.

    At other times, we have a "lock 'em up and throw away the key" mentality for identical crimes. There is no consistency or fairness at all when it comes to sentencing. I happen to agree with you that some sort of prison sentence would have been appropriate for Polanski (although he already had spent some time in prison for "evaluation".) Six months or a year would have probably been enough to convince Polanski that he should choose 18 year olds for his dates from now one. The only real problem was that Polanski thought that he had made a "deal" with the prosecutor and the judge was rejecting this deal based on evidence that was not introduced in court. As the PA Supreme Ct. just indicated in its Cosby decision, it is important that people should be able to rely on deals that they have made with prosecutors.

    But the modern view seems to be that if a white man transgresses sexually (and by this I mean not gay sex or any other traditional form of perversion - those are all okey dokey, even glorious) , not only should he go to prison forever but he should lose all of his wealth and his artistic works should be banned. This seems to be a bit much to me. Especially since reality is much more nuanced that this - females often seek out such encounters because they know that they will receive favors in return.

    Replies: @Paperback Writer, @Jenner Ickham Errican

    , @fredyetagain aka superhonky
    @Paperback Writer

    Don't expect any logic here from Jack; he's just shilling for polanski, his fellow chosenite.

    , @Peterike
    @Paperback Writer

    “ For every insane leftist position, there’s Jack, advocating its equally insane right-wing counterpart.”

    Oh for goodness sake. Jack isn’t taking a “right-wing position.” He’s just one Jew doing a Talmudic story spin for the sake of another Jew.

    Oh and Charlie Chaplin liked young girls too, Jack tells us non-chalantly. Hmmm, what do Polanski, Chaplin and Jack (and Woody Allen) have in common?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jack D, @Paperback Writer, @Paperback Writer

  81. movies really give a fake and misleading impression of the state. it’s hard to overstate this effect and how widespread it is among the general population who has never actually been there. this effect is global, pretty much. anybody who has watched hollywood movies for a while but never been to US let alone California has a very incorrect idea what it’s like.

    even today, in 2021, movies continue to show a fake and artificial version of California, in particular that there are no mexicans, or at most, one or two in the background. but in real life, when you’re on the ground, it doesn’t take long to realize California is mostly mexicans and other frumpy looking foreigners largely from asia, and it’s this endless wave of short funny looking brown people by the millions that have made things less than great. it takes longer to notice the crazy leftist politicians are largely what caused this, and who are the people that continue to make everything steadily worse, decade by decade.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    @prime noticer

    And gentrification!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0FnJDhY9-0

  82. i think the gangster rap era impression is over now, though. California has lost that additional source of global ‘coolness’ of being the place where rappers smoke drugs, slap around women, and shoot each other. it’s been a while since that was a thing, most rap having shifted to the south or solidified around the east coast for good. that’s about as far in the distance today as the Beach Boys were from the 60s by the time of the 90s gangster rappers in their era.

    60s: Beach Boys, California Dreamin’

    70s to mid 90s: rock and metal, Sunset Strip

    late 80s to late 90s: Gangster Rap

    what kind of music comes out of there now? nothing.

    • Replies: @Servant of Gla'aki
    @prime noticer


    60s: Beach Boys, California Dreamin’

    70s to mid 90s: rock and metal, Sunset Strip

    late 80s to late 90s: Gangster Rap

    what kind of music comes out of there now? nothing.
     
    That does seem like a pretty damning observation. The wellspring has runneth dry.
  83. @Jack D
    @Altai


    It seems to me that California was much more old stock than the big East Coast cities. In a way it was a last stand of old stock America in a big urban setting.
     
    Just like our weather patterns tend to blow from west to east, America's (European) migration patterns tended to blow the other way. When Kansas opened up, a lot of New England Pilgrim Stock sick of plowing up rocks fled for the wide open prairies (to be replaced by Ellis Island immigrants - at the beginning of the 20th century, Paul Revere's house was a Banca Italiana/cigar shop in the middle of the Italian North End ghetto of Boston). (The tourist attraction you see today is largely a reconstruction).

    https://northendwaterfront.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/8273235092_9928d57078_o-652x522.jpg

    Then later, the descendants of those New Englanders migrated even further west to the sunny skies and orange groves of California. Immigrants usually bought the cheapest ticket that would land them on American shores - that's how Boston ended up with so many Irish, because it was slightly cheaper than sailing to NY. The West coast was out of the question.

    That being said, California always had large populations of Mexicans and Asians, it's just that they were sort of NPCs - the Japanese gardener, the Chinese cook, etc. And the rail lines ran north and south so the blacks of Mississippi ended up in Chicago and Detroit and not LA until they brought a bunch of them in during WWII to load ships, etc.

    Replies: @Dutch Boy, @Bill P, @Dumbo

    That being said, California always had large populations of Mexicans and Asians, it’s just that they were sort of NPCs – the Japanese gardener, the Chinese cook, etc.

    They are still seen that way. Only now the NPCs are the majority of the population so it’s harder to completely ignore them.

  84. @AndrewR
    Why is The Atlantic writing about a state on the Pacific?

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  85. @Jack D
    @Alfa158

    Honestly, in those days no one thought it was a big deal. Only in our hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times is Polanski viewed as some sort of war criminal/monster. Of course what he did was wrong, but it wasn't "lock him up for the rest of his life" wrong the way we are doing now to guys like Weinstein. The original plea deal called for Polanski to plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and to receive probation (he had already spent 42 days in prison for a psychiatric evaluation). This is what the prosecutors recommended, the court appointed shrink, etc. Everyone was on board with it. Although it was certainly a crime due to the girl's age, the feeling was that she had been a willing participant and this lessened the severity of the crime. In those distant days, all humans and not just white men were believed to have some degree of agency and the world was seen in shades of gray and not in stark black and white terms of victim and villain.

    But the judge apparently saw recent photos of Polanski out in public with his arm around young girls (even those were not formally submitted as evidence) and decided that he wasn't sufficiently rehabilitated and needed some time in prison (followed by deportation) to send him a message. Polanski decided to skip the prison part and deport himself.

    Replies: @Escher, @Alfa158, @Paperback Writer, @Dumbo, @J.Ross, @Peter D. Bredon

    Honestly, in those days no one thought it was a big deal. Only in our hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times is Polanski viewed as some sort of war criminal/monster.

    But Polanski is a criminal/monster.

    Besides drugging, raping and sodomizing a 13-old teenager (pimped by her singe mother), he’s probably involved in much worse stuff. I wouldn’t even find it strange it it turned out he was even involved somehow in the murder of Sharon Tate. A disgusting individual. The only film of him I like is Rosemary’s Baby, and that one is probably autobiographical.

    The 70s were pretty wild, but I doubt everyone was alright with what he did.

    We do not live in “hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times”, that’s just for the suckers. You think that those kind of things still don’t happen in Hollywood today? You gotta be kidding me. Yeah, they threw Weinstein under the bus, there were probably other reasons for that.

  86. It’s not accurate to reduce the California phenomenon to “hostility to density.” It’s more a hostility to any kind of development whatsoever. There is a lot of completely undeveloped land out there, I’m not talking about parks but private, fenced-off land nobody is allowed to do build anything on. People buy and sell it, speculating on the off chance that one day governments allow people to build there.

  87. @Paperback Writer
    @Jack D


    Honestly, in those days no one thought it was a big deal. Only in our hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times is Polanski viewed as some sort of war criminal/monster
     
    Then why was he prosecuted?

    Honestly, Jack, sometimes it's hard to take you seriously. For every insane leftist position, there's Jack, advocating its equally insane right-wing counterpart.

    Newsflash: It's possible for decent, moral people to think that the current feminist movement is crazy, but that drugging and anally raping a 13-year old is a heinous crime for which he really should have spent YEARS in jail. That the legal system went easy on him actually disproves your point. Maybe one of the reasons for the current hysteria is that in the past, these crimes were glossed over, if the man was powerful enough, especially in the company town known as Hollywood, contributed to the current overreaction.

    As to whether I can enjoy his films, some I do, some I don't. A lot of people can't separate the man from the work. I can.

    Replies: @Jack D, @fredyetagain aka superhonky, @Peterike

    Then why was he prosecuted?

    Everyone, including Polanski himself, agreed that he was rightfully being prosecuted because he had in fact committed a crime.

    However, our society goes thru wild swings in what it considers appropriate punishments for various crimes at various time. At that time, his crime was considered by many (including prosecutors) to be one that should be suitably punished by probation for a 1st offense. We are seeing the same thing now for many types of black crime.

    At other times, we have a “lock ’em up and throw away the key” mentality for identical crimes. There is no consistency or fairness at all when it comes to sentencing. I happen to agree with you that some sort of prison sentence would have been appropriate for Polanski (although he already had spent some time in prison for “evaluation”.) Six months or a year would have probably been enough to convince Polanski that he should choose 18 year olds for his dates from now one. The only real problem was that Polanski thought that he had made a “deal” with the prosecutor and the judge was rejecting this deal based on evidence that was not introduced in court. As the PA Supreme Ct. just indicated in its Cosby decision, it is important that people should be able to rely on deals that they have made with prosecutors.

    But the modern view seems to be that if a white man transgresses sexually (and by this I mean not gay sex or any other traditional form of perversion – those are all okey dokey, even glorious) , not only should he go to prison forever but he should lose all of his wealth and his artistic works should be banned. This seems to be a bit much to me. Especially since reality is much more nuanced that this – females often seek out such encounters because they know that they will receive favors in return.

    • Replies: @Paperback Writer
    @Jack D

    I've seen you get overwrought, but this must be a record.

    Yes, society goes through periods of hard on crime and soft on crime, but this is a bad example.
    Polanski got away with committing this heinous crime because he was an A-list director in a company town. Otherwise he would have ended up in jail for some years. I'm not familiar with the CA sentencing for raping minors in the 70s.

    Moreover, the fact that we've become harder on guys who drug and sodomize 13-year olds isn't an example of "neo-Victorian hysteria." It's progress.

    That's all I'm saying. Kapish?

    In addition to everything else that puts you in a perpetual state of rage, some of which I share, you're wrong about this:


    But the modern view seems to be that if a white man transgresses sexually

     

    Nope, several black men have been caught up in the MeToo dragnet. Nate Parker, and of course, Cosby. But again, there's a difference between the bullshit of MeToo and the Polonski case. I don't care about willing Samantha Geimer was (she was as much a victim of her stage mother as she was of Polonski) what he did was heinous.

    Find another hill to die on.

    Replies: @Dissident

    , @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Jack D


    I happen to agree with you that some sort of prison sentence would have been appropriate for Polanski (although he already had spent some time in prison for “evaluation”.) Six months or a year would have probably been enough to convince Polanski that he should choose 18 year olds for his dates from now one.
     
    Drugging and raping (according to the victim it was totally non-consensual) a 13-year-old (or anyone) should get much more than “six months or a year”. At least 10 actual years sounds appropriate. Part of the reason there are long sentences is to deter others from attempting the same crimes. Many more potential predators with less societal standing, with less to lose, would transgress knowing they could likely survive in the joint for a short stretch.

    Another reason for long sentences is to keep the convicted predator out of public, away from innocent prey. You yourself admit that Polanski was not chastened by being convicted:


    But the judge apparently saw recent photos of Polanski out in public with his arm around young girls (even those were not formally submitted as evidence) and decided that he wasn’t sufficiently rehabilitated and needed some time in prison (followed by deportation) to send him a message.
     
    Chutzpah can have its consequences. The judge was correct:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Polanski_sexual_abuse_case#Conviction_and_flight


    In 1979, Polanski gave a controversial interview with novelist Martin Amis in which, discussing his conviction, he said “If I had killed somebody, it wouldn't have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But... fucking, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to fuck young girls. Juries want to fuck young girls. Everyone wants to fuck young girls!”
     

    Replies: @Anon

  88. Welcome to the future. VidMe was a YouTube alternative used by mainstream journalists to embed non-pornographic videos in their mainstrean articles. Then VidMe went out of business (how does a company that sells nothing and makes no money go out of business, is that like a virus dying?). Then its stuff was bought by a pornographic studio thing. Which used the same urls somehow. I haven’t tested this myself and suggest that you do not either — the proper course of action here as always is to laugh at mainstream journalists — but here are some mainstrean articles which have VidMe embeds:

  89. I lived in CA 2 times: age 0-22, then again 2016-2021. The entire time I was away carpetbagging I longed for it every damn day. What I was longing for was a mirage. Goodbye and good luck to CA; it is nothing like it once was.

  90. @Jack D
    @Alfa158

    Honestly, in those days no one thought it was a big deal. Only in our hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times is Polanski viewed as some sort of war criminal/monster. Of course what he did was wrong, but it wasn't "lock him up for the rest of his life" wrong the way we are doing now to guys like Weinstein. The original plea deal called for Polanski to plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and to receive probation (he had already spent 42 days in prison for a psychiatric evaluation). This is what the prosecutors recommended, the court appointed shrink, etc. Everyone was on board with it. Although it was certainly a crime due to the girl's age, the feeling was that she had been a willing participant and this lessened the severity of the crime. In those distant days, all humans and not just white men were believed to have some degree of agency and the world was seen in shades of gray and not in stark black and white terms of victim and villain.

    But the judge apparently saw recent photos of Polanski out in public with his arm around young girls (even those were not formally submitted as evidence) and decided that he wasn't sufficiently rehabilitated and needed some time in prison (followed by deportation) to send him a message. Polanski decided to skip the prison part and deport himself.

    Replies: @Escher, @Alfa158, @Paperback Writer, @Dumbo, @J.Ross, @Peter D. Bredon

    Jack’s part right but acting stupid. Recall the various kidnapping scandals and the movies Pretty Baby, Hardcore and Taxi Driver. There was sexual licentiousness, which was not truly tolerated but which survived because people didn’t know about it. When they found out about it they got mad and passed laws. Child porn was effectively legal in the 70s. It wasn’t legal because a majority of Americans were cool with it.

  91. @Alfa158
    I first saw Chinatown when it was released and before everyone knew about the director Roman Polanski’s predeliction for underage girls. I wonder if anyone else working on the movie knew it or if they did, being the kind of people attracted by the entertainment industry, no one thought it was particularly note worthy.
    It is creepy seeing the movie today knowing that Polanski thought he was directing a movie with a happy ending where Jake has to watch helplessly while the old monster triumphantly clutches his new sex toy.

    Replies: @Jack D, @BB753, @J.Ross, @Paperback Writer

    The first time I saw his absolutely brilliant Repulsion, I didn’t know about the whole 1960s pseudo-intellectual sexual liberation schtick accusing people of having a terror of sex: I assumed the film was about a traumatized abuse victim, all the more effective because of its director.

  92. I’m from Back East, born 1958.
    Two movies from my childhood that fixed my ideas of Southern California (both favorable):
    1 It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (okay, it’s a cartoon).
    2 Harper (Paul Newman). By comparison, Bullitt (Steve McQueen) made SF look pretty seedy,
    despite great panoramas.

    Also, the 1968-1972 run of Jack Webb’s TV Dragnet was about as good a civic-pride view of LA as there was.
    By the 1970s, (Rockford Files), LA was starting to look like urban sprawl on steroids.

  93. OT:
    Dune | Official Main Trailer

    Jul 22, 2021

    [MORE]

    Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival,” “Blade Runner 2049”) directs Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Dune,” the big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestseller of the same name.

    A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

    The film stars Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name,” “Little Women”), Rebecca Ferguson (“Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep,” “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”), Oscar Isaac (the “Star Wars” franchise) Oscar nominee Josh Brolin (“Milk,” “Avengers: Infinity War”), Stellan Skarsgård (HBO’s “Chernobyl,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), Dave Bautista (the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, “Avengers: Endgame”), Stephen McKinley Henderson (“Fences,” “Lady Bird”), Zendaya (“Spider-Man: Homecoming,” HBO’s “Euphoria”), Chang Chen (“Mr. Long,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”), David Dastmalchian (“Blade Runner 2049,” “The Dark Knight”), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” Netflix’s “Sex Education”), with Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years,” “Assassin’s Creed”), with Jason Momoa (“Aquaman,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), and Oscar winner Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men,” “Skyfall”).

    Villeneuve directed “Dune” from a screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Villeneuve and Eric Roth based on the novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert. Villeneuve also produced the film with Mary Parent, Cale Boyter and Joe Caracciolo, Jr. The executive producers are Tanya Lapointe, Joshua Grode, Herbert W. Gains, Jon Spaihts, Thomas Tull, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert.

    Behind the scenes, Villeneuve reteamed with two-time Oscar-nominated production designer Patrice Vermette (“Arrival,” “Sicario,” “The Young Victoria”), two-time Oscar-nominated editor Joe Walker (“Blade Runner 2049,” “Arrival,” “12 Years a Slave”), two-time Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert (“First Man,” “Blade Runner 2049”), and Oscar-winning special effects supervisor Gerd Nefzer (“Blade Runner 2049”). He also collaborated for the first time with Oscar-nominated director of photography Greig Fraser (“Lion,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”); three-time Oscar-nominated costume designer Jacqueline West (“The Revenant,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Quills”) and costume designer Robert Morgan; and stunt coordinator Tom Struthers (“The Dark Knight” trilogy, “Inception”). Oscar-winning and multiple Oscar-nominated composer Hans Zimmer (“Blade Runner 2049,” “Inception,” “Gladiator,” “The Lion King”) is creating the score.

    Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Present a Legendary Pictures Production, a Film by Denis Villeneuve, “Dune.” The film is slated to be released in select theaters in 2D and 3D and IMAX and on HBO Max on October 22, 2021 and will be available on HBO Max’s Ad-Free plan in 4K UHD, HDR10, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos (English Only) on supported devices for 31 days from theatrical release.

    The film has been rated PG-13 for sequences of strong violence, some disturbing images and suggestive material.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    @MEH 0910

    I fear the worst: a standard Oscar-worthy 21st century action-scene-packed vanilla production about a liberal liberation from Trump Putin-Harkonnen.

    Will they mention galactic Jihad, eugenics, genocide, class-based societies, the idea that skills acquired with dedicated hard work over a lifetime matter, ruthless politicking and space jews?


    the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people
     
    That's not it at all.
  94. @Jack D

    the stairs that Laurel and Hardy carried the piano up in The Music Box.
     
    Honestly, that's it? A mundane flight of concrete steps from the 1920s is the greatest landmark in LA? Philly has Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and we don't brag about them as much as this guy is bragging about those stupid steps. The Spanish Steps they ain't. Maybe if Jefferson & Adams had made a movie they would be bigger than Laurel & Hardy.

    The only good thing about the coming ethnic turnover is that the newcomers won't give a damn about those stupid steps or about Laurel & Hardy - Cantinflas, si! It's one thing to be in awe of history when you walk (or in the case of LA drive) thru Rome or Cordoba but the stuff they have in LA is just cheap commercial architecture from the early 20th century - there's not one bit of it that is a true historical building. Even Olvera Street is a phony tourist attraction rebuilt in 1930.

    Replies: @Alden, @MEH 0910, @UNIT472, @Charlotte Allen

    If it was ‘just’ concrete stairs you’d have a point but its not. Most people in America had never seen a concrete stairway of such prodigious steepness and length before. Laurel and Hardy’s film made that the focal point of their hilarious movie.

    Same thing in San Francisco. A mere ‘sidewalk’ would be too steep to attempt to climb so steps were made to get to the next block uphill. To east coast and midwestern America such architecture was remarkable.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @UNIT472

    Oh, ho hum. European cities built on hills (of which there are many because hills were defensible) often have these kind of staircases and most of them are a lot nicer looking than these steps. The steps are notable because of their appearance in the film and what Laurel & Hardy did to achieve humor with them. Absent that movie, no one would care about them at all.

    Nor was the E. Coast devoid of such steps. Here are some of the steps in Morningside Park, where Tessa Majors met her unfortunate end in the hand of some young black teens.

    https://i2.wp.com/fullaccessnyc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/morningside-park-stair-workout-3.jpg?resize=1300%2C975&ssl=1

    These were done in stone, much wider and with substantial decorative handrails and not the cheap galvanized pipe you see on the "Music Box" steps.

    Midtown and lower Manhattan are fairly flat but upper Manhattan is quite hilly and there are many such steps.

    Replies: @Johann Ricke

    , @MEH 0910
    @UNIT472

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exorcist_steps


    The Exorcist steps, which used to be called the "Hitchcock steps,"[1] are concrete stairs, continuing 36th Street,[2] descending from the corner of Prospect St and 36th St NW, down to a small parking lot, set back from the intersection of M Street NW, Canal Rd NW, and Whitehurst Freeway NW in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., famous for being featured in the 1973 film The Exorcist. The steps were built in 1895 during construction of the adjacent Capital Traction Company Barn for cable cars,[2] serving as a light well and public right of way.

    For The Exorcist, the steps were padded with half-inch-thick (13 mm) rubber to film the death of the character Father Damien Karras. Because the house from which Karras falls was set back slightly from the steps, the film crew constructed an eastward extension with a false front to the house in order to film the scene.[3][4][1]

    In a ceremonial Halloween weekend in 2015 that featured the film's director William Friedkin and screenwriter William Peter Blatty (who also wrote the book on which the film is based), the Exorcist steps were recognized as a D.C. landmark and official tourist attraction by Mayor of the District of Columbia Muriel Bowser, with a plaque unveiled at the base of the steps recognizing its importance to D.C. and film history.[5][6][7]
     
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/Exorcist_Stairs.jpg
    The Exorcist steps in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joker_Stairs

    The "Joker Stairs" are the colloquial name for a step street connecting Shakespeare and Anderson Avenues at West 167th Street in Highbridge in the Bronx, New York City.[1] Located near the 167th Street station on the New York City Subway's 4 train,[2] the stairs served as one of the filming locations in the 2019 film Joker.

    In the film, Arthur Fleck, the main character, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is repeatedly shown walking up and down these stairs as part of his daily routine. Later, during the film's climax, he dances down the stairs wearing a bright red-colored suit and clown makeup that represents a change in his character,[3] as Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2" plays in the background.[4] The stairs appear in a promotional poster for the film and have become a tourist destination. Both the stairs and Arthur's dance have become Internet memes.[5][6] Many visitors reenact the scene from the film, sometimes in Joker attire,[7][8] to the point that the stairs have become crowded with sightseers.[2]
     
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d7/Hbstairstreet.JPG
    West 167th Street step stairs, also known as the Joker Stairs

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/be/Jokerstairstourists.jpg
    Tourists visit the stairs in October 2019, shortly after the release of Joker. A cosplayer dressed as the Joker dances in the middle of the stairwell for a photoshoot.
  95. @Tono Bungay
    How can any place that is desirable maintain the qualities that make it so? This is not just a problem for Los Angeles. I live in a small seaside town that has apartment buildings and new housing going up all around, and I doubt that the ambitious mayor is going to know when enough is enough. Even if he will, does he have the legal right to block "development"? Lots of people have a lot that has appreciated; who has the right to tell them they can't sell it? For the moment there are still country roads and fields within 15 minutes' walk, but how long will that last? Are China's cities a model for us? Not for me.

    Replies: @rebel yell

    a small seaside town

    No small seaside town will ever stay small, because every human on earth wants to live in a small seaside town.
    The solution is to change what you want. May I suggest Scott City, Kansas. I’ve never been there, but it looks small and is in the middle of nowhere in west Kansas. The open flat plains will give the feeling of being on the ocean. You can buy lots of land at a cheap price and ride a horse instead of sail. No one else will ever move there.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @rebel yell

    Your plan has defects; cf. the Viacom/Peacock/??? series "Yellowstone."

    Anyways, moving to Antarctica for cheap rent sounds like cutting-edge Reason Mag cover story of circa 1995

  96. @UNIT472
    A rather major decision was announced yesterday by PG&E , the largest California electric utility. It is going to put 10,000 miles of electric transmission line underground ( if it can find the money, it is already bankrupt). One assume So Cal Edison and Sempra will have to follow suit. The risk of power line created wildfires is that bad.

    Californians already are paying come of the highest electricity rates in the US. This is going to easily double those rates again. It may not be possible for an average homeowner in parts of the state that experience high temperatures to live there anymore.

    The good news is that the effort to bury power lines is going to take some time. PG&E's BEST daily effort where the effort has already begun was 1250 feet of line in one day. This is not a simple project as putting 10,000 plus miles of transmission lines underground is going to require a colossal amount of construction ( and aggravation).

    Replies: @JMcG, @Anonymous, @Buffalo Joe, @Jack D

    There ain’t a hope in hell of that getting done. Perhaps they’re trying to shock some sense into the regulators. Wait until the NIMBY starts. Every environmentalist in California is getting ready to step into the batter’s box.

  97. @Paperback Writer
    @Jack D


    Honestly, in those days no one thought it was a big deal. Only in our hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times is Polanski viewed as some sort of war criminal/monster
     
    Then why was he prosecuted?

    Honestly, Jack, sometimes it's hard to take you seriously. For every insane leftist position, there's Jack, advocating its equally insane right-wing counterpart.

    Newsflash: It's possible for decent, moral people to think that the current feminist movement is crazy, but that drugging and anally raping a 13-year old is a heinous crime for which he really should have spent YEARS in jail. That the legal system went easy on him actually disproves your point. Maybe one of the reasons for the current hysteria is that in the past, these crimes were glossed over, if the man was powerful enough, especially in the company town known as Hollywood, contributed to the current overreaction.

    As to whether I can enjoy his films, some I do, some I don't. A lot of people can't separate the man from the work. I can.

    Replies: @Jack D, @fredyetagain aka superhonky, @Peterike

    Don’t expect any logic here from Jack; he’s just shilling for polanski, his fellow chosenite.

  98. Behold California, colossus of the West Coast ..

    Behold verbiage.

    • LOL: El Dato
  99. Anonymous[117] • Disclaimer says:
    @UNIT472
    A rather major decision was announced yesterday by PG&E , the largest California electric utility. It is going to put 10,000 miles of electric transmission line underground ( if it can find the money, it is already bankrupt). One assume So Cal Edison and Sempra will have to follow suit. The risk of power line created wildfires is that bad.

    Californians already are paying come of the highest electricity rates in the US. This is going to easily double those rates again. It may not be possible for an average homeowner in parts of the state that experience high temperatures to live there anymore.

    The good news is that the effort to bury power lines is going to take some time. PG&E's BEST daily effort where the effort has already begun was 1250 feet of line in one day. This is not a simple project as putting 10,000 plus miles of transmission lines underground is going to require a colossal amount of construction ( and aggravation).

    Replies: @JMcG, @Anonymous, @Buffalo Joe, @Jack D

    Yes, $40 billion / 10,000 mi = Good Infrastructurr. I’m sure after that there won’t be any more rolling blackouts or incinerated B&Bs in the whine country– hahahahahahaha
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/21/business/energy-environment/pge-underground-powerlines-wildfires.html

  100. Anonymous[117] • Disclaimer says:
    @rebel yell
    @Tono Bungay


    a small seaside town
     
    No small seaside town will ever stay small, because every human on earth wants to live in a small seaside town.
    The solution is to change what you want. May I suggest Scott City, Kansas. I've never been there, but it looks small and is in the middle of nowhere in west Kansas. The open flat plains will give the feeling of being on the ocean. You can buy lots of land at a cheap price and ride a horse instead of sail. No one else will ever move there.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    Your plan has defects; cf. the Viacom/Peacock/??? series “Yellowstone.”

    Anyways, moving to Antarctica for cheap rent sounds like cutting-edge Reason Mag cover story of circa 1995

  101. @Gordo
    @Altai

    'If the race is good, the place is good'

    Thoreau

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    ‘If the race is good, the place is good’ Thoreau

    Perhaps we should view “Walden” as pre-emptive cancellation?

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    @kaganovitch

    >cancel the pencilmaker who lives in the woods enjoying his thoughts

    How?

    Replies: @kaganovitch

  102. @Anon
    @Altai

    You are a typical hallucinating Unz commenter who makes observations that are diametrically opposed to reality. Northeast big cities were basically the only cities that were ever WASP. California was mostly Irish and white trash. That's why it fell apart so quickly, while the northeast is still the best place in America.

    By 1979 gang homiciees in LA were averaging 1 every 32 hours.

    Replies: @Gaspar DeLaFunk, @SunBakedSuburb

    I see these comments occasionally where one sums up bad stuff by just saying it was the fault of “the Irish.” The Irish are understood to be bad/inferior people who ruin what the dear WASP had so lovingly created.

    The commenters sound like blacks who explain all manners of problems by magic “white racism!”

    It seems the Irish had descended on California at an early stage. They were Indian fighters,gold prospectors,oil field workers,etc. Tom Brady’s family came to the Bay from Boston to work in a saddle company long ago.
    So it seems that the Irish were aplenty during the creation,rise and golden age of California.
    But you say they wrecked it.
    Could you specifically ,eschewing magic,explain what they did to bring it down?
    I see immigration as the death of California. Were the Irish behind immigration?. I do know the Chinese exclusion Act and the Immigration Act of 24 were supported by Irish leaders.
    So please tell me what they did to destroy what their ancestors helped to build?

    • Replies: @(((Owen)))
    @Gaspar DeLaFunk


    I see immigration as the death of California. Were the Irish behind immigration?
     
    Reagan, the president who opened the borders and amnestied millions of illegals, was Irish by descent.
  103. @Anon
    OT:

    I need to Sabermetrics Steve to interpret this.

    https://twitter.com/MLBStats/status/1416888502969683968?s=20

    Is this really elite speed in baseball? He looks fast especially when considering Shohei Ohtani is 6’4” and 203 lbs.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @Faraday's Bobcat

    Is this really elite speed in baseball?

    30 fps is a 10 second 100 yd dash . Considering that one is starting somewhat obliquely to the base, rather than from blocks, even for a lefty it’s pretty darn fast.

  104. @Spud Boy
    iSteve seems to be avoiding the point that California is turning into a hell hole.

    I first visited California in the early 80s as a teenager who had never left the flat lands of the midwest. I was blown away by the mountains, the beauty of the coast, the glass-smooth roads and the overall cleanliness of the place.

    After having lived there from 2008 to 2020, I can say it's going downhill fast. Homeless living under overpasses; graffiti on the road signs; dry brush everywhere because no one can afford to water anything; confiscatory tax rates and draconian regulations on business.

    I'm convinced the only reason the government of CA never changes is because they keep replacing those of us who know what CA used to be, and know what the rest of the country is like, with foreigners who find CA to be perfectly fine compared to the shit holes they fled.

    Replies: @Mr. Grey

    Right, if the California dream is dying, just import more Dreamers!

  105. @Icy Blast
    @Jack D

    Your ability to state the obvious is absolutely precious!

    I've seen the freakin' movie more than once. The villain is an incestuous Okie - an authoritarian personality, no doubt.

    Nicholson is ridiculously miscast. Walter Matthau would have been a more appropriate choice.

    Replies: @Mike Tre

    “Nicholson is ridiculously miscast. ”

    So is Huston. That role should have gone to Woody Allen.

    • LOL: Kylie, MEH 0910

  106. [MORE]

    Chinatown is the Holy Grail of 1970s cinema. Its twist ending is the most notorious in American film and its closing line of dialogue the most haunting. Here for the first time is the incredible true story of its making.

    In Sam Wasson’s telling, it becomes the defining story of the most colorful characters in the most colorful period of Hollywood history. Here is Jack Nicholson at the height of his powers, as compelling a movie star as there has ever been, embarking on his great, doomed love affair with Anjelica Huston. Here is director Roman Polanski, both predator and prey, haunted by the savage death of his wife, returning to Los Angeles, the scene of the crime, where the seeds of his own self-destruction are quickly planted. Here is the fevered dealmaking of “The Kid” Robert Evans, the most consummate of producers. Here too is Robert Towne’s fabled script, widely considered the greatest original screenplay ever written. Wasson for the first time peels off layers of myth to provide the true account of its creation.

    Looming over the story of this classic movie is the imminent eclipse of the ’70s filmmaker-friendly studios as they gave way to the corporate Hollywood we know today. In telling that larger story, The Big Goodbye will take its place alongside classics like Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and The Devil’s Candy as one of the great movie-world books ever written.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
    @MEH 0910

    This is a fantastic book. Not only a well-told tale of the making of Chinatown, but also illuminating portraits of Roman Polanski, Robert Towne, Robert Evans, and Jack Nicholson. Nicholson is the least interesting character in the book; most actors are simply ciphers, especially the good ones. Robert Towne, famously a god-like being to the wretched scribe class in Hollywood, turns out to be a slow writer with an occasional good idea, and who had a writing partner who really should share equal credit for everything Towne wrote: Outer Limits episodes, script-doc work on The Godfather, Chinatown, and the most accurate depiction of the grungy life of an enlisted man on celluloid -- The Last Detail. Towne's silent partner was Edward Taylor, and he is given his due in The Big Goodbye.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @J.Ross
    @MEH 0910

    "his self-destruction"

    Oh, so he destroyed himself; I had been under the impression that he attacked someone else and was un-destroyed enough to run away.

    , @MEH 0910
    @MEH 0910

    Amazon appears to now be blocking Amazon links placed in Unz Review comments. Let’s try the comment over with a Barnes & Noble link instead:

    https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-big-goodbye-sam-wasson/1131253834

    http://prodimage.images-bn.com/pimages/9781250266293_p0_v2_s1200x630.jpg


    Here for the first time is the incredible true story of the making of Chinatown—the Holy Grail of 1970s cinema.

    IN Sam Wasson’s The Big Goodbye, the story of Chinatown becomes the defining story of the most colorful characters in the most colorful period of Hollywood history.

    Here is Jack Nicholson at the height of his powers, as compelling a movie star as there has ever been, embarking on his great, doomed love affair with Anjelica Huston. Here is director Roman Polanski, both predator and prey, haunted by the savage death of his wife, returning to Los Angeles, the scene of the crime, where the seeds of his own self-destruction are quickly planted. Here is the fevered dealmaking of “The Kid” Robert Evans, the most consummate of producers. Here too is Robert Towne’s fabled script, widely considered the greatest original screenplay ever written.

    Wasson for the first time peels off layers of myth to provide the unvarnished account of its creation.
     
  107. I went to LA in 2005. I was expecting to see Surfin USA , Marcia Brady, swimming pools and movie stars. All I saw was Mexico, China and the Middle East. No desire to return

    I went to SF once. Beautiful city and climate, but a homeless guy threatened to kill me over nothing and there was a lot of shit on the streets. No desire to return

  108. @Kylie
    Conor Friedersdorf lost all credibility with this statement: "Millions still immigrate to my beloved home to improve both their prospects and ours."

    "And ours"? You lying sack of sh!t.

    Replies: @Sgt. Joe Friday

    “Improving our…prospects” can mean different things to different people.

    For college educated professionals: interesting ethnic restaurants

    For recent immigrants: “oh, look people who speak my language and look like they come from the same village I did.”

    For dual-income households: cheap nannies, maids, and gardeners

    For single women: Increase in relative SMV, due to most immigrant women being significantly less attractive (although American womens’ increasing obesity rate somewhat offsets this)

    Pretty hard to believe that what took 125 years to build up has been flushed down the shitter in less than 50 years.

    • Replies: @Anon
    @Sgt. Joe Friday


    Pretty hard to believe that what took 125 years to build up has been flushed down the shitter in less than 50 years.
     
    Don’t the benefits you list contradict your claim that the place is down the shitter?
  109. California has always been the lowest point at which the free floating waste of the US has settled. Gold Rush to the Great Depression to the mass migration of no-future kids who aspired to celebrity or hippiedom. Heaven on Earth = con men on top, Okies in the middle, and squatters at the bottom. The lure of easy living wrapped in trendy superficiality and spiked with lurking predators.

    So yeah, California has always been The Future. And The Future is Now.

  110. Anonymous[921] • Disclaimer says:

    Pop Culture is both transient and nostalgic. Hollywood defines LA.

  111. Anonymous[360] • Disclaimer says:
    @Altai
    The other thing that the Californian dream was that it was not just white but very WASPy. It seems to me that California was much more old stock than the big East Coast cities. In a way it was a last stand of old stock America in a big urban setting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-omKOpkpEm0

    Replies: @Anon, @Corn, @Gordo, @Jack D, @Jtgw, @Paperback Writer, @Anonymous, @Ancient Briton

    Nobel Prize winning physicist and founding president of Caltech, Robert Millikan, called LA in the ’40s “the westernmost outpost of Nordic civilization . . . [with] a population which is twice as Anglo-Saxon as that existing in New York, Chicago or any of the great cities of this country.”

    Having said that, it was a different kind of WASP or founding stock culture than that of the East Coast. It was more middle and working class, as more established and upper-middle/upper class WASPs back east generally weren’t enticed or compelled to move far west to the deserts of southern California. There were always many evangelical and fundamentalist Protestant churches in LA and Socal unlike WASP areas in the Northeast that tended to be dominated by Mainline Protestants.

    This class and cultural difference was why Socal was favorable towards middle/working class aspirations, but probably also responsible for the underlying hokeyness and middlebrow, superficial, anti-intellectual culture of Socal that persists.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Anonymous

    Yes, San Francisco was more post-Puritan New England highbrow than L.A.

    The U.S. learned about how great the San Francisco Bay area was from Richard Henry Dana's 1840 book Two Years Before the Mast. Dana was a Harvard student who'd signed up as a sailor.

    L.A.'s gentry tended to be well-to-do Midwesterners who moved out for their health.

    SF was more elitist, LA more egalitarian.

    Replies: @Old Palo Altan

  112. California – Phantom Planet, 2002. Soundtrack from “The O.C.”

  113. @Anon
    The other day I was browsing the Today's Deals list on my Kindle (one-day discounts to $2 or $3, mostly chick-lit romance, but the occasional good find), and there was The Stories of Ray Bradbury, 902 pages of 100 stories in chronological order by date of publication (except for the last story, for reasons), selected by Bradbury and his editor out of the 300 or so stories he had written, including novelesque sequences like Martian Chronicles.

    I had read some Bradbury as a junior high school kid, but I was kind of vague about what it was like. Two cents a story? I bought it. Things learned:

    1. Bradbury is a really good writer. On a sentence and paragraph level he is very Strunk and White, very crisp and clear. He avoids big words, but then once in a while, not too often, throws in a word you've never seen, usually short in number of letters, that is perfect and you wonder where he got it from. He also occasionally engages in creative use of words in new ways, like pluralizing scrutiny: "in a recurrent series of scrutinies," to indicate a doubletake that lasts longer than two looks.

    2. He's very good with dialect and doesn't let it get in the way.

    3. His stuff hasn't really aged as Asimov's has.

    4. Sci Fi was only one genre for him. Most of his stuff really isn't SF. He did fantasy, horror, and a lot of literary, O. Henry type stories.

    5. He had a Spielberg streak, with a lot of stories having a mid-20th century suburban feel to them, and a lot of stories from a kid's POV. Speaking of POV, the first story in the collection uses a Bret Easton Ellis-like second-person POV. I didn't even notice it until I flipped through the book later. I think the story dates from the early 1940s.

    6 A character drinks Orange Crush.

    Replies: @Cortes, @James J O'Meara, @Mr Mox

    Bradbury is a wonderful writer with an amazing gift for immediately engaging the reader in wholehearted suspension of disbelief. I think I’ll dig out my copy of his stories: thanks.

  114. @MEH 0910
    OT:
    Dune | Official Main Trailer
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g18jFHCLXk
    Jul 22, 2021

    Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival,” “Blade Runner 2049”) directs Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Dune,” the big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestseller of the same name.

    A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

    The film stars Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name,” “Little Women”), Rebecca Ferguson (“Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep,” “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”), Oscar Isaac (the “Star Wars” franchise) Oscar nominee Josh Brolin (“Milk,” “Avengers: Infinity War”), Stellan Skarsgård (HBO’s “Chernobyl,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), Dave Bautista (the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, “Avengers: Endgame”), Stephen McKinley Henderson (“Fences,” “Lady Bird”), Zendaya (“Spider-Man: Homecoming,” HBO’s “Euphoria”), Chang Chen (“Mr. Long,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”), David Dastmalchian (“Blade Runner 2049,” “The Dark Knight”), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” Netflix’s “Sex Education”), with Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years,” “Assassin’s Creed”), with Jason Momoa (“Aquaman,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), and Oscar winner Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men,” “Skyfall”).

    Villeneuve directed “Dune” from a screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Villeneuve and Eric Roth based on the novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert. Villeneuve also produced the film with Mary Parent, Cale Boyter and Joe Caracciolo, Jr. The executive producers are Tanya Lapointe, Joshua Grode, Herbert W. Gains, Jon Spaihts, Thomas Tull, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert.

    Behind the scenes, Villeneuve reteamed with two-time Oscar-nominated production designer Patrice Vermette (“Arrival,” “Sicario,” “The Young Victoria”), two-time Oscar-nominated editor Joe Walker (“Blade Runner 2049,” “Arrival,” “12 Years a Slave”), two-time Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert (“First Man,” “Blade Runner 2049”), and Oscar-winning special effects supervisor Gerd Nefzer (“Blade Runner 2049”). He also collaborated for the first time with Oscar-nominated director of photography Greig Fraser (“Lion,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”); three-time Oscar-nominated costume designer Jacqueline West (“The Revenant,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Quills”) and costume designer Robert Morgan; and stunt coordinator Tom Struthers (“The Dark Knight” trilogy, “Inception”). Oscar-winning and multiple Oscar-nominated composer Hans Zimmer (“Blade Runner 2049,” “Inception,” “Gladiator,” “The Lion King”) is creating the score.

    Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Present a Legendary Pictures Production, a Film by Denis Villeneuve, “Dune.” The film is slated to be released in select theaters in 2D and 3D and IMAX and on HBO Max on October 22, 2021 and will be available on HBO Max’s Ad-Free plan in 4K UHD, HDR10, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos (English Only) on supported devices for 31 days from theatrical release.

    The film has been rated PG-13 for sequences of strong violence, some disturbing images and suggestive material.
     

    Replies: @El Dato

    I fear the worst: a standard Oscar-worthy 21st century action-scene-packed vanilla production about a liberal liberation from Trump Putin-Harkonnen.

    Will they mention galactic Jihad, eugenics, genocide, class-based societies, the idea that skills acquired with dedicated hard work over a lifetime matter, ruthless politicking and space jews?

    the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people

    That’s not it at all.

  115. @Jack D
    @Icy Blast


    Even its title is misleading:
     
    Sheesh, how literal minded can you be? A movie called "Chinatown" that does not feature any egg rolls or fortune cookies? It's a fraud. When Melville called his book "Moby Dick" well then goddam it, it was really about that whale.

    The title comes from the very end of the movie - there has been a climactic, almost operatic scene where everything has come to a head and most of the main characters are now lying dead in the street (in a street in Chinatown to be exact). Jake is in shock and disbelief at what he has just witnessed - he can't process the enormity of it all - incest, murder, etc. But the cynical police detectives who arrive on the scene try to hustle him away (you assume that it's all going to be covered up and the public will never learn the truth just as they have had the wool pulled over their eyes by the powerful throughout the movie) and tell him, "Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown." "Chinatown" means a place where the usual rules of civilization don't apply. (Back in the day, most Chinatowns had things like opium dens, gambling parlors and so on).

    https://youtu.be/TjSshSvQWQA?t=143

    Replies: @Jus' Sayin'..., @Icy Blast, @petit bourgeois

    I can’t attest to criminality in L.A.’s Chinatown. I’ve only been there a few times for dim sum.

    But Chinatown in San Francisco does have a degree of lawlessness. When I was in college, my girlfriend (a catholic from Hong Kong) and I would frequent the Bow Bow cocktail lounge on Grant Street, right on the border of Chinatown, North Beach and the Financial District. We were such regulars that the owner, Candy Wong, would often give us her homemade shrimp paste stuffed jalapenos that the other customers wouldn’t get.

    Here is an article about Candy worth mentiioning: https://www.sfgate.com/bars/article/Bow-Bow-Cocktail-Lounge-Chinatown-Mama-Candy-14550764.php

    But there was lawlessness, including:

    1. Candy would let me smoke in the bar, a big no-no in California.

    2. Candy would usher all of the other customers out at 2 a.m. while we were allowed to remain in the bar and drink, sometimes past 3 a.m. People have lost their liquor licenses for less than that.

    3. Even the karaoke was pirated/illegal, probably stolen music from China. Nobody is paying copyright for that crap.

    There were quite a few nights when I would drive home from the Bow Bow to Alameda across the Bay Bridge with one eye because of double vision drunkeness. I too, was lawless in Chinatown and should have been lit up by the cops, but never had an encounter.

    Back in the day, the racial animus towards Chinese in my hometown was so bad, white people burned down an entire Chinatown: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1993-05-31-me-41995-story.html

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @petit bourgeois

    Back in the day, the racial animus towards Chinese in my hometown was so bad, white people burned down an entire Chinatown:

    And with the torching of 'Chinese Wall Street' , the Chinese were eternally damned to penury. I say we need lepalations!

    , @Steve Sailer
    @petit bourgeois

    Presumably, when Jake Gittes was an LAPD officer he was involved in some seemingly low-level corruption in Chinatown that had a tragic outcome, such as a beautiful prostitute that he loved being murdered without anybody being brought to justice for the crime, which drove him out of the LAPD and into being a cynical private eye.

    That's my most Chandleresque interpretation.

    Does anybody else have a theory of Jake Gittes' backstory? (I've never seen the sequel "The Two Jakes.")

    Replies: @MEH 0910, @Servant of Gla'aki

  116. @Anon
    @Altai

    You are a typical hallucinating Unz commenter who makes observations that are diametrically opposed to reality. Northeast big cities were basically the only cities that were ever WASP. California was mostly Irish and white trash. That's why it fell apart so quickly, while the northeast is still the best place in America.

    By 1979 gang homiciees in LA were averaging 1 every 32 hours.

    Replies: @Gaspar DeLaFunk, @SunBakedSuburb

    “California was mostly Irish and white trash.”

    This is true of the white populations in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. One side of my family, Irish and Scotch-Irish, migrated from Texas in the 1930s looking for work. An “Okie” dialect, which is indistinguishable from a Texas twang, is still prevalent in the white working class clusters in Fresno, Stockton, and Sacramento. Most of the white trash stayed in the valleys. San Francisco and Los Angeles both have unique populations. Although SF stays static (until the Silicon Valley horde arrived and ruined the city) whilst LA has a high turnover rate.

  117. @UNIT472
    @Jack D

    If it was 'just' concrete stairs you'd have a point but its not. Most people in America had never seen a concrete stairway of such prodigious steepness and length before. Laurel and Hardy's film made that the focal point of their hilarious movie.

    Same thing in San Francisco. A mere 'sidewalk' would be too steep to attempt to climb so steps were made to get to the next block uphill. To east coast and midwestern America such architecture was remarkable.

    Replies: @Jack D, @MEH 0910

    Oh, ho hum. European cities built on hills (of which there are many because hills were defensible) often have these kind of staircases and most of them are a lot nicer looking than these steps. The steps are notable because of their appearance in the film and what Laurel & Hardy did to achieve humor with them. Absent that movie, no one would care about them at all.

    Nor was the E. Coast devoid of such steps. Here are some of the steps in Morningside Park, where Tessa Majors met her unfortunate end in the hand of some young black teens.

    https://i2.wp.com/fullaccessnyc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/morningside-park-stair-workout-3.jpg?resize=1300%2C975&ssl=1

    These were done in stone, much wider and with substantial decorative handrails and not the cheap galvanized pipe you see on the “Music Box” steps.

    Midtown and lower Manhattan are fairly flat but upper Manhattan is quite hilly and there are many such steps.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
    @Jack D


    Here are some of the steps in Morningside Park, where Tessa Majors met her unfortunate end in the hand of some young black teens.

    https://i2.wp.com/fullaccessnyc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/morningside-park-stair-workout-3.jpg?resize=1300%2C975&ssl=1
     
    Speaking of the park, an incident from March:

    Man found dead in pond of Morningside Park in NYC
    https://nypost.com/2021/03/28/man-found-dead-in-pond-of-morningside-park-in-nyc/
  118. @prime noticer
    movies really give a fake and misleading impression of the state. it's hard to overstate this effect and how widespread it is among the general population who has never actually been there. this effect is global, pretty much. anybody who has watched hollywood movies for a while but never been to US let alone California has a very incorrect idea what it's like.

    even today, in 2021, movies continue to show a fake and artificial version of California, in particular that there are no mexicans, or at most, one or two in the background. but in real life, when you're on the ground, it doesn't take long to realize California is mostly mexicans and other frumpy looking foreigners largely from asia, and it's this endless wave of short funny looking brown people by the millions that have made things less than great. it takes longer to notice the crazy leftist politicians are largely what caused this, and who are the people that continue to make everything steadily worse, decade by decade.

    Replies: @El Dato

    And gentrification!

  119. In Chinatown, the all-time awesome Darth Vader-level villain played by John Huston represented “The Future, Mr. Gittes, the Future:”

    When Huston, in real life, was asked for the secret to his longevity, he answered with candor: “Surgery.”

    That could be the theme of Steve’s post.

  120. @Escher
    @Jack D

    What if that girl was your daughter or sister? JackD?

    Replies: @Jack D

    Apparently in this case, it was the girl’s mother who in effect pimped her out. I’m not saying that’s right or that excuses what everyone later agreed was a crime. If it was my daughter I wouldn’t have allowed it, but she wasn’t my daughter, she was someone else’s daughter who was apparently OK with it so what I would have wanted for my daughter is neither here nor there.

    There is no argument that a crime was committed under California law (although other countries do set the age of consent as low as 14 and by other countries I don’t mean Afghanistan but places like Germany and Italy which most people agree are nevertheless civilized countries). The only argument was what punishment was suitable according to the sentencing rules of that time.

    • Replies: @Escher
    @Jack D


    other countries do set the age of consent as low as 14 and by other countries I don’t mean Afghanistan but places like Germany and Italy which most people agree are nevertheless civilized countries
     
    I don’t think they have sex between a 13 year old girl and a 45 year old man in mind

    From Wikipedia:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Polanski_sexual_abuse_case


    In March 1977, then-43-year-old film director Roman Polanski was arrested and charged in Los Angeles with six offenses against Samantha Geimer, a 13-year-old girl – rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14,
     
    If this is true, the man is a POS who deserves to hang, and it is shameful that you imply she consented to being drugged and sodomized.

    Replies: @Jack D

  121. @MEH 0910
    https://www.amazon.com/Big-Goodbye-Chinatown-Years-Hollywood/dp/1250301823/

    Chinatown is the Holy Grail of 1970s cinema. Its twist ending is the most notorious in American film and its closing line of dialogue the most haunting. Here for the first time is the incredible true story of its making.

    In Sam Wasson's telling, it becomes the defining story of the most colorful characters in the most colorful period of Hollywood history. Here is Jack Nicholson at the height of his powers, as compelling a movie star as there has ever been, embarking on his great, doomed love affair with Anjelica Huston. Here is director Roman Polanski, both predator and prey, haunted by the savage death of his wife, returning to Los Angeles, the scene of the crime, where the seeds of his own self-destruction are quickly planted. Here is the fevered dealmaking of "The Kid" Robert Evans, the most consummate of producers. Here too is Robert Towne's fabled script, widely considered the greatest original screenplay ever written. Wasson for the first time peels off layers of myth to provide the true account of its creation.

    Looming over the story of this classic movie is the imminent eclipse of the '70s filmmaker-friendly studios as they gave way to the corporate Hollywood we know today. In telling that larger story, The Big Goodbye will take its place alongside classics like Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and The Devil's Candy as one of the great movie-world books ever written.
     

    Replies: @SunBakedSuburb, @J.Ross, @MEH 0910

    This is a fantastic book. Not only a well-told tale of the making of Chinatown, but also illuminating portraits of Roman Polanski, Robert Towne, Robert Evans, and Jack Nicholson. Nicholson is the least interesting character in the book; most actors are simply ciphers, especially the good ones. Robert Towne, famously a god-like being to the wretched scribe class in Hollywood, turns out to be a slow writer with an occasional good idea, and who had a writing partner who really should share equal credit for everything Towne wrote: Outer Limits episodes, script-doc work on The Godfather, Chinatown, and the most accurate depiction of the grungy life of an enlisted man on celluloid — The Last Detail. Towne’s silent partner was Edward Taylor, and he is given his due in The Big Goodbye.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @SunBakedSuburb

    I never hear about "The Last Detail," but the one time I saw it I thought it was a great movie.

    Replies: @J.Ross, @Ganderson

  122. @MEH 0910
    https://www.amazon.com/Big-Goodbye-Chinatown-Years-Hollywood/dp/1250301823/

    Chinatown is the Holy Grail of 1970s cinema. Its twist ending is the most notorious in American film and its closing line of dialogue the most haunting. Here for the first time is the incredible true story of its making.

    In Sam Wasson's telling, it becomes the defining story of the most colorful characters in the most colorful period of Hollywood history. Here is Jack Nicholson at the height of his powers, as compelling a movie star as there has ever been, embarking on his great, doomed love affair with Anjelica Huston. Here is director Roman Polanski, both predator and prey, haunted by the savage death of his wife, returning to Los Angeles, the scene of the crime, where the seeds of his own self-destruction are quickly planted. Here is the fevered dealmaking of "The Kid" Robert Evans, the most consummate of producers. Here too is Robert Towne's fabled script, widely considered the greatest original screenplay ever written. Wasson for the first time peels off layers of myth to provide the true account of its creation.

    Looming over the story of this classic movie is the imminent eclipse of the '70s filmmaker-friendly studios as they gave way to the corporate Hollywood we know today. In telling that larger story, The Big Goodbye will take its place alongside classics like Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and The Devil's Candy as one of the great movie-world books ever written.
     

    Replies: @SunBakedSuburb, @J.Ross, @MEH 0910

    “his self-destruction”

    Oh, so he destroyed himself; I had been under the impression that he attacked someone else and was un-destroyed enough to run away.

    • Agree: JMcG
  123. @Paperback Writer
    @Jack D


    Honestly, in those days no one thought it was a big deal. Only in our hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times is Polanski viewed as some sort of war criminal/monster
     
    Then why was he prosecuted?

    Honestly, Jack, sometimes it's hard to take you seriously. For every insane leftist position, there's Jack, advocating its equally insane right-wing counterpart.

    Newsflash: It's possible for decent, moral people to think that the current feminist movement is crazy, but that drugging and anally raping a 13-year old is a heinous crime for which he really should have spent YEARS in jail. That the legal system went easy on him actually disproves your point. Maybe one of the reasons for the current hysteria is that in the past, these crimes were glossed over, if the man was powerful enough, especially in the company town known as Hollywood, contributed to the current overreaction.

    As to whether I can enjoy his films, some I do, some I don't. A lot of people can't separate the man from the work. I can.

    Replies: @Jack D, @fredyetagain aka superhonky, @Peterike

    “ For every insane leftist position, there’s Jack, advocating its equally insane right-wing counterpart.”

    Oh for goodness sake. Jack isn’t taking a “right-wing position.” He’s just one Jew doing a Talmudic story spin for the sake of another Jew.

    Oh and Charlie Chaplin liked young girls too, Jack tells us non-chalantly. Hmmm, what do Polanski, Chaplin and Jack (and Woody Allen) have in common?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Peterike

    Charlie Chaplin likely didn't have significant Jewish ancestry. He may have had some Gypsy ancestry (like Bob Hoskins), but he was mostly English.

    , @Jack D
    @Peterike

    Charlie was not Jewish but his beloved older half brother Syd is believed to have had a Jewish father. Charlie himself never had anything bad to say about Jews.

    In 1929, while he was filming a movie in Britain, a bit-player named Molly Wright accused Syd Chaplin of a "cannibalistic attack" – a violent sexual assault in which he was alleged to have bitten off one of her nipples. Ms. Wright received a financial settlement from Syd's movie studio. Syd declared bankruptcy and left for the Continent, never to return.

    , @Paperback Writer
    @Peterike


    Oh for goodness sake. Jack isn’t taking a “right-wing position.” He’s just one Jew doing a Talmudic story spin for the sake of another Jew.
     
    It's an alt-right position that females are a bunch of THOTs who lie all the time about being raped.
    , @Paperback Writer
    @Peterike


    Oh and Charlie Chaplin liked young girls too, Jack tells us non-chalantly. Hmmm, what do Polanski, Chaplin and Jack (and Woody Allen) have in common?
     
    There were all in show biz.

    Chaplin wasn't a Jew, and Allen is innocent of those charges.

    Errol "UberGoy" Flynn: "I like my whiskey old and my women young."

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  124. @The Anti-Gnostic
    Steve - this gives me another opportunity to harass you about doing a retrospective piece on "The Rockford Files."

    The all-time greatest poster, Bumbling American (retired from the Internet) once said if white people ever had a theme song, it would be the opening theme to "The Rockford Files."

    https://youtu.be/tO0Vq4fj3ho

    Replies: @Anon, @Ganderson

    I never watched the show. First time I’ve heard the theme music, and, wow is that synthesizer hideous!

  125. @Anon
    OT:

    I need to Sabermetrics Steve to interpret this.

    https://twitter.com/MLBStats/status/1416888502969683968?s=20

    Is this really elite speed in baseball? He looks fast especially when considering Shohei Ohtani is 6’4” and 203 lbs.

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @Faraday's Bobcat

    Soon there will be Shohei Ohtani jokes like people used to tell Chuck Norris jokes.

    “Shohei Ohtani always takes the stairs when he goes up Tokyo Tower. The elevator takes too long.”

  126. @ex-banker
    I'd add late 50s San Francisco to the list of greatest places/era to live based on watching Vertigo. Its depiction of the physical beauty of the city and the civilization of its people is very hard to top.

    Replies: @Marty, @The Last Real Calvinist

  127. @Peterike
    @Paperback Writer

    “ For every insane leftist position, there’s Jack, advocating its equally insane right-wing counterpart.”

    Oh for goodness sake. Jack isn’t taking a “right-wing position.” He’s just one Jew doing a Talmudic story spin for the sake of another Jew.

    Oh and Charlie Chaplin liked young girls too, Jack tells us non-chalantly. Hmmm, what do Polanski, Chaplin and Jack (and Woody Allen) have in common?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jack D, @Paperback Writer, @Paperback Writer

    Charlie Chaplin likely didn’t have significant Jewish ancestry. He may have had some Gypsy ancestry (like Bob Hoskins), but he was mostly English.

  128. @UNIT472
    A rather major decision was announced yesterday by PG&E , the largest California electric utility. It is going to put 10,000 miles of electric transmission line underground ( if it can find the money, it is already bankrupt). One assume So Cal Edison and Sempra will have to follow suit. The risk of power line created wildfires is that bad.

    Californians already are paying come of the highest electricity rates in the US. This is going to easily double those rates again. It may not be possible for an average homeowner in parts of the state that experience high temperatures to live there anymore.

    The good news is that the effort to bury power lines is going to take some time. PG&E's BEST daily effort where the effort has already begun was 1250 feet of line in one day. This is not a simple project as putting 10,000 plus miles of transmission lines underground is going to require a colossal amount of construction ( and aggravation).

    Replies: @JMcG, @Anonymous, @Buffalo Joe, @Jack D

    Unit, or get permission to cut back the trees that abut the transmission lines and clear cut all brush under the transmission lnes. Just kidding, no problem burying the lines until you come to a stream or a protected wetland. And, the old overhead lines will stay in service while all new lines are buried. In other words, replicate the whole system. Pocket change.

    • Agree: JMcG
  129. @SunBakedSuburb
    @MEH 0910

    This is a fantastic book. Not only a well-told tale of the making of Chinatown, but also illuminating portraits of Roman Polanski, Robert Towne, Robert Evans, and Jack Nicholson. Nicholson is the least interesting character in the book; most actors are simply ciphers, especially the good ones. Robert Towne, famously a god-like being to the wretched scribe class in Hollywood, turns out to be a slow writer with an occasional good idea, and who had a writing partner who really should share equal credit for everything Towne wrote: Outer Limits episodes, script-doc work on The Godfather, Chinatown, and the most accurate depiction of the grungy life of an enlisted man on celluloid -- The Last Detail. Towne's silent partner was Edward Taylor, and he is given his due in The Big Goodbye.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    I never hear about “The Last Detail,” but the one time I saw it I thought it was a great movie.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    @Steve Sailer

    I have seen and enjoyed a ton of movies like this based on 4chan recommendations. A very similar one in themes, timing and caliber is Bang The Drum Slowly. If either were remade today, the actors would lack the totally essential masculine credibility, plus it would be ruined by shoehorned homosexuality.

    Replies: @Kylie

    , @Ganderson
    @Steve Sailer

    Great movie, directed by the under appreciated Hal Ashby.

    Great cast, too; Nicholson, Clifton James, Randy Quaid; and cameos by Carol Kane, Gilda Radner, Nancy Allen and Michael Moriarity . Wonder what ever happened to Otis Young?

  130. @Jus' Sayin'...
    @Jack D


    "The title comes from the very end of the movie ... Jake is in shock and disbelief at what he has just witnessed ... the cynical police detectives who arrive on the scene try to hustle him away ... tell him, 'Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown.' "
     
    There's also a much earlier scene in the movie, which makes it clear that Jake left the LAPD because he was a participant in or observer of something awful which happened in Chinatown. This later scene is a reference to the earlier one. The detectives are telling Jake that this is just a continuation of the state of affairs that originally drove him from the force. As far as LA corruption goes, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

    And "Chinatown" is one the greatest, most timeless, most perfect movies ever made. It's sad that the phillistine, to whom you are responding, is such a literalist that he cannot appreciate great art.

    Replies: @SunBakedSuburb

    “And ‘Chinatown’ is one of the greatest, most timeless, most perfect movies ever made.”

    Yes. In the neo-noir genre it’s tops; followed by Peter Yates’s The Friends of Eddie Coyle, William Friedkin’s Cruising, and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.

    “It’s sad that the phillistine[sic] … is such a literalist.”

    Steve’s blog draws in dogmatic guys, smart guys, and guys like me who think they’re smart.

    • Replies: @Tusk
    @SunBakedSuburb

    Cruising really isn't that good. Much of Robert Mitchum's other work is more demanding. For example, The Yakuza (1974) is vastly more interesting.

    , @JMcG
    @SunBakedSuburb

    I’ve never seen Chinatown, but I’ll have to give it a go. If you’re placing it higher than The Friends of Eddie Coyle, that’s good enough for me. I like Robert Mitchum much more than Jack Nicholson though, so we’ll see.

  131. @kaganovitch
    @Gordo

    ‘If the race is good, the place is good’ Thoreau

    Perhaps we should view "Walden" as pre-emptive cancellation?

    Replies: @J.Ross

    >cancel the pencilmaker who lives in the woods enjoying his thoughts

    How?

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @J.Ross

    Yes, that's what I mean. You can't impose social death on someone living in splendid isolation.

  132. @Steve Sailer
    @SunBakedSuburb

    I never hear about "The Last Detail," but the one time I saw it I thought it was a great movie.

    Replies: @J.Ross, @Ganderson

    I have seen and enjoyed a ton of movies like this based on 4chan recommendations. A very similar one in themes, timing and caliber is Bang The Drum Slowly. If either were remade today, the actors would lack the totally essential masculine credibility, plus it would be ruined by shoehorned homosexuality.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
    • Replies: @Kylie
    @J.Ross

    "From here on in, I rag nobody."

  133. @Anonymous
    The conservative/libertarian website Law and Liberty has been running a similar series on California's decline, with several of the essays, including the central one by Michael Barone, discussing immigration's negative consequences on California .
    https://lawliberty.org/forum/paradise-lost/

    Steve himself even gets mentioned in one of the entries.
    https://lawliberty.org/forum/california-as-the-past-californians-as-the-future/

    Replies: @Daniel H

    including the central one by Michael Barone, discussing immigration’s negative consequences on California .

    Michael Barone prattling on about the baleful effects of third world immigration? That’s rich. For decades Barone has been a reliable cuck for mass immigration, assuring us that latins will work their way into America the same way that Irish, Slavs and Italians did.

    Damn the cucks.

  134. @Icy Blast
    California, and in particular, Los Angeles County, reached its highest quality of life somewhere between 1971 and 1975, so this article is right in that respect. The movie "Chinatown," however, is a vastly over-hyped piece of propaganda. Its assertions about California's history, expressed and implied, are simply false. Even its title is misleading: It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Chinese in California or with any "Chinatown" in particular. Pure trash.

    Replies: @WJ, @Jack D, @Alden, @bomag, @AnotherDad, @Dorkbaby, @Uncle Dan, @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

    California, and in particular, Los Angeles County, reached its highest quality of life somewhere between 1971 and 1975…

    The last verse of John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” from 1972 is more and more prescient:

    Now his life is full of wonder
    But his heart still knows some fear
    Of a simple thing, he cannot comprehend
    Why they try to tear the mountains down
    To bring in a couple more
    More people, more scars upon the land

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @bomag

    But the smog was bad in L.A. in the 1970s.

    Replies: @bomag

  135. Anonymous[165] • Disclaimer says:

    This was when liberals hated science and engineering. They found everything about it suspicious. Like nuclear energy.

    It was wrapped up in anti-capitalism as well.

    For some reason the scientific crowd decided to appeal to them instead of conservatives! That was stupid. Scientists and engineers seem to believe that you had to convince liberals that they were good guys. They should’ve focused on teaming up with conservatives.

  136. @Altai
    The other thing that the Californian dream was that it was not just white but very WASPy. It seems to me that California was much more old stock than the big East Coast cities. In a way it was a last stand of old stock America in a big urban setting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-omKOpkpEm0

    Replies: @Anon, @Corn, @Gordo, @Jack D, @Jtgw, @Paperback Writer, @Anonymous, @Ancient Briton

    99% of the characters of the Perry Mason TV series (1957-66) set in LA, had English surnames, as did a high percentage of the actors who played them.

  137. @Alden
    @Buffalo Joe

    The new Oakland Bridge was built in China shipped to Oakland and assembled by Chinese Chinese workers. Some of the welds didn’t pass inspection when it was assembled. It’s beautiful though.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe

    Alden, amazing when you consider that in heavy steel construction the welders must pass a test and be certified. Then, after they are tested and certified, a percentage of their welds are tested, usually x- rayed. If too many of your welds fail the testing you are no longer a welder on that job. The huge anchor bolts and nuts for the foundations also arrived on jobsite without certifications (certs) meaning they were not tested. Some have cracks. Poor construction.

    • Agree: fish
  138. @Jack D
    @UNIT472

    Oh, ho hum. European cities built on hills (of which there are many because hills were defensible) often have these kind of staircases and most of them are a lot nicer looking than these steps. The steps are notable because of their appearance in the film and what Laurel & Hardy did to achieve humor with them. Absent that movie, no one would care about them at all.

    Nor was the E. Coast devoid of such steps. Here are some of the steps in Morningside Park, where Tessa Majors met her unfortunate end in the hand of some young black teens.

    https://i2.wp.com/fullaccessnyc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/morningside-park-stair-workout-3.jpg?resize=1300%2C975&ssl=1

    These were done in stone, much wider and with substantial decorative handrails and not the cheap galvanized pipe you see on the "Music Box" steps.

    Midtown and lower Manhattan are fairly flat but upper Manhattan is quite hilly and there are many such steps.

    Replies: @Johann Ricke

    Here are some of the steps in Morningside Park, where Tessa Majors met her unfortunate end in the hand of some young black teens.

    https://i2.wp.com/fullaccessnyc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/morningside-park-stair-workout-3.jpg?resize=1300%2C975&ssl=1

    Speaking of the park, an incident from March:

    Man found dead in pond of Morningside Park in NYC
    https://nypost.com/2021/03/28/man-found-dead-in-pond-of-morningside-park-in-nyc/

  139. @obwandiyag
    @Buffalo Joe

    Half right. Liberals and conservatives like you conspire to make everything suck extra big-time.

    Zum Beispiel: Liberals agitated to close down the insane asylums because reasons. Then the conservatives withheld the funding for the half-way houses that were supposed to replace them.

    Result: The Deluges--an new army of insane homeless. And this is the 70s. Now more than half the homeless are sane and white. That's also a trifecta of libcon love. Liberals hate whites and conservatives impoverish them and take away their safety nets. Perfect.

    It's like love and marriage, a horse and carriage.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe

    ob, The bi-partisan Lanterman-Petris-Short Act 1967 closed the asylums in California, The Act passed with a veto proof majority, but Reagan gets the blame. ACLU backed the bill and Reagan is still blamed. I did mention this happened in 1967. I don’t know if half or more than half of the homeless are white, but I would say most of the homeless are addicts or mentally disabled. California’s weather and insane hand outs to the homeless, including hundreds of thousands of free needles, feeds this growth and becomes an attraction for more homeless. Arriving in one of the most costly places to live will quickly impoverish anyone, sane or not.

  140. @UNIT472
    A rather major decision was announced yesterday by PG&E , the largest California electric utility. It is going to put 10,000 miles of electric transmission line underground ( if it can find the money, it is already bankrupt). One assume So Cal Edison and Sempra will have to follow suit. The risk of power line created wildfires is that bad.

    Californians already are paying come of the highest electricity rates in the US. This is going to easily double those rates again. It may not be possible for an average homeowner in parts of the state that experience high temperatures to live there anymore.

    The good news is that the effort to bury power lines is going to take some time. PG&E's BEST daily effort where the effort has already begun was 1250 feet of line in one day. This is not a simple project as putting 10,000 plus miles of transmission lines underground is going to require a colossal amount of construction ( and aggravation).

    Replies: @JMcG, @Anonymous, @Buffalo Joe, @Jack D

    Les’ see. 1 mile every 4 days x 10,000 miles = 40,000 days – they should be done by ’31. 2131.

  141. @Alden
    @Icy Blast

    Los Angeles Chinatown is right downtown next to the civic center just a few blocks from police headquarters. It’s restaurants, convenience stores and gift shops are heavily patronized by financial district government workers and the police who work at police headquarters.

    Eat lunch, pick up some toothpaste and razor blades find a pretty lacquered box for a birthday present.

    “It’s Chinatown is like TIA “ or this is Africa. Or it’s Harlem what do you expect. Lots of crime in every Chinatown in the world. The four pillars of Chinese crime are; illegal and very crooked gambling, Shylock usurious loans to the gamblers, brothels, and extortion of businesses.

    And neither the extorted businesses, the cheated gamblers or the abused indentured servants and prostitutes will ever say a word to the police. Snitches get stitches isn’t just a black saying.

    I and every other LEO knew exactly what was meant by “It’s Chinatown”. Especially Los Angeles Chinatown so close to police headquarters and the civic center.

    Replies: @Marty

    In 1971 I went to Little Joe’s in Chinatown. The sawdust on the floors was cute, but coming from a San Francisco Tuscan family I was sorely disappointed in the food.

  142. @prime noticer
    i think the gangster rap era impression is over now, though. California has lost that additional source of global 'coolness' of being the place where rappers smoke drugs, slap around women, and shoot each other. it's been a while since that was a thing, most rap having shifted to the south or solidified around the east coast for good. that's about as far in the distance today as the Beach Boys were from the 60s by the time of the 90s gangster rappers in their era.

    60s: Beach Boys, California Dreamin'

    70s to mid 90s: rock and metal, Sunset Strip

    late 80s to late 90s: Gangster Rap

    what kind of music comes out of there now? nothing.

    Replies: @Servant of Gla'aki

    60s: Beach Boys, California Dreamin’

    70s to mid 90s: rock and metal, Sunset Strip

    late 80s to late 90s: Gangster Rap

    what kind of music comes out of there now? nothing.

    That does seem like a pretty damning observation. The wellspring has runneth dry.

  143. @Peterike
    @Paperback Writer

    “ For every insane leftist position, there’s Jack, advocating its equally insane right-wing counterpart.”

    Oh for goodness sake. Jack isn’t taking a “right-wing position.” He’s just one Jew doing a Talmudic story spin for the sake of another Jew.

    Oh and Charlie Chaplin liked young girls too, Jack tells us non-chalantly. Hmmm, what do Polanski, Chaplin and Jack (and Woody Allen) have in common?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jack D, @Paperback Writer, @Paperback Writer

    Charlie was not Jewish but his beloved older half brother Syd is believed to have had a Jewish father. Charlie himself never had anything bad to say about Jews.

    In 1929, while he was filming a movie in Britain, a bit-player named Molly Wright accused Syd Chaplin of a “cannibalistic attack” – a violent sexual assault in which he was alleged to have bitten off one of her nipples. Ms. Wright received a financial settlement from Syd’s movie studio. Syd declared bankruptcy and left for the Continent, never to return.

  144. @Peterike
    @Paperback Writer

    “ For every insane leftist position, there’s Jack, advocating its equally insane right-wing counterpart.”

    Oh for goodness sake. Jack isn’t taking a “right-wing position.” He’s just one Jew doing a Talmudic story spin for the sake of another Jew.

    Oh and Charlie Chaplin liked young girls too, Jack tells us non-chalantly. Hmmm, what do Polanski, Chaplin and Jack (and Woody Allen) have in common?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jack D, @Paperback Writer, @Paperback Writer

    Oh for goodness sake. Jack isn’t taking a “right-wing position.” He’s just one Jew doing a Talmudic story spin for the sake of another Jew.

    It’s an alt-right position that females are a bunch of THOTs who lie all the time about being raped.

  145. @Icy Blast
    California, and in particular, Los Angeles County, reached its highest quality of life somewhere between 1971 and 1975, so this article is right in that respect. The movie "Chinatown," however, is a vastly over-hyped piece of propaganda. Its assertions about California's history, expressed and implied, are simply false. Even its title is misleading: It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Chinese in California or with any "Chinatown" in particular. Pure trash.

    Replies: @WJ, @Jack D, @Alden, @bomag, @AnotherDad, @Dorkbaby, @Uncle Dan, @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

    California, and in particular, Los Angeles County, reached its highest quality of life somewhere between 1971 and 1975, so this article is right in that respect.

    LOL. By the early 70s the LA smog problem was already prodigious. That indeed got much better, but everything else has gotten much, much, much worse with mass immigration and then Democrat rule.

    No peak California is when everyone thinks it was–post War, the baby boom years. Still cheap land, and a booming economy with good jobs so an affordable paradise that millions of ex-GIs–exposed during the War– flocked back to. (I don’t know exactly why my dad didn’t come back … but glad he didn’t because i’m not in that timeline.)

    • Thanks: MEH 0910
  146. @Jack D
    @Paperback Writer


    Then why was he prosecuted?
     
    Everyone, including Polanski himself, agreed that he was rightfully being prosecuted because he had in fact committed a crime.

    However, our society goes thru wild swings in what it considers appropriate punishments for various crimes at various time. At that time, his crime was considered by many (including prosecutors) to be one that should be suitably punished by probation for a 1st offense. We are seeing the same thing now for many types of black crime.

    At other times, we have a "lock 'em up and throw away the key" mentality for identical crimes. There is no consistency or fairness at all when it comes to sentencing. I happen to agree with you that some sort of prison sentence would have been appropriate for Polanski (although he already had spent some time in prison for "evaluation".) Six months or a year would have probably been enough to convince Polanski that he should choose 18 year olds for his dates from now one. The only real problem was that Polanski thought that he had made a "deal" with the prosecutor and the judge was rejecting this deal based on evidence that was not introduced in court. As the PA Supreme Ct. just indicated in its Cosby decision, it is important that people should be able to rely on deals that they have made with prosecutors.

    But the modern view seems to be that if a white man transgresses sexually (and by this I mean not gay sex or any other traditional form of perversion - those are all okey dokey, even glorious) , not only should he go to prison forever but he should lose all of his wealth and his artistic works should be banned. This seems to be a bit much to me. Especially since reality is much more nuanced that this - females often seek out such encounters because they know that they will receive favors in return.

    Replies: @Paperback Writer, @Jenner Ickham Errican

    I’ve seen you get overwrought, but this must be a record.

    Yes, society goes through periods of hard on crime and soft on crime, but this is a bad example.
    Polanski got away with committing this heinous crime because he was an A-list director in a company town. Otherwise he would have ended up in jail for some years. I’m not familiar with the CA sentencing for raping minors in the 70s.

    Moreover, the fact that we’ve become harder on guys who drug and sodomize 13-year olds isn’t an example of “neo-Victorian hysteria.” It’s progress.

    That’s all I’m saying. Kapish?

    In addition to everything else that puts you in a perpetual state of rage, some of which I share, you’re wrong about this:

    But the modern view seems to be that if a white man transgresses sexually

    Nope, several black men have been caught up in the MeToo dragnet. Nate Parker, and of course, Cosby. But again, there’s a difference between the bullshit of MeToo and the Polonski case. I don’t care about willing Samantha Geimer was (she was as much a victim of her stage mother as she was of Polonski) what he did was heinous.

    Find another hill to die on.

    • Agree: Dissident
    • Replies: @Dissident
    @Paperback Writer

    Since hastily registering agreement with your comment, I have learnt, after spending some time reading about the case, that it is not nearly as simple as I had thought it to be. I was remiss, first in uncritically accepting the sensationalist, shallow and extremely limited, mostly opinion pieces that I had read concerning the case. And then, much worse, in publicly parroting and affirming these highly tendentious, shallow claims and condemnations myself. (Said lapses of judgment on my part go well beyond any mere "AGREE"s registered with the comments of others, but include my own explicit, publicly posted comments.)

    It is now apparent to me that in this and other comments that you have posted on the topic in this thread, you have parroted tendentious claims, while completely omitting any mention that they are in dispute. You have also completely omitted any mention of either (a) a number of rather serious revelations that have surfaced and accusations that have been made concerning the conduct of Judge Laurence J Rittenband (deceased 1993) and other key figures in the prosecution; as well as (b) critical statements that have been made by Samantha Geimer decades since her experience with Polanski.

    (None of this is to condone or defend any of the behavior that Polanski has admitted to engaging Geimer in on the infamous night in question back in 1977.)

    Below I have copied some carefully selected, highly germane excerpts from the Wikipedia entry Roman Polanski sexual abuse case, followed by excerpts from a 2011 review of the documentary film Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired that was directed by Maria Zenovich. (Any and all added emphasis is mine.)


    Describing the event in his autobiography, Polanski stated that he did not drug Geimer, that she "wasn't unresponsive", and that she did not respond negatively when he inquired as to whether or not she was enjoying what he was doing.[28] The 28-page probation report submitted to the court by Kenneth Fare (signed by deputy Irwin Gold) concluded by saying that there was evidence "that the victim was not only physically mature, but willing." The officers quoted two psychiatrists' denial of Roman being "a pedophile" or "sexual deviant".[29]
    [...]
    In 2008, Geimer stated in an interview that she wishes Polanski would be forgiven,[...] I don't think he needs to be locked up forever and no one has ever come out ever – besides me – and accused him of anything. It was 30 years ago now.
    [...]
    In February 2009, [...] Samantha Geimer filed to have the charges against Polanski dismissed from court, saying that decades of publicity as well as the prosecutor's focus on lurid details continues to traumatize her and her family.[53] Judge Espinoza also stated that he believed there was misconduct by the judge in the original case but Polanski must return to the United States to apply for dismissal.[54]

    There is no statute of limitations governing the case because Polanski had already been charged and pleaded guilty in 1978 to having had unlawful sex with a minor.[55]
     


    (Excerpts from Wikipedia entry, continued from above break.)

    On May 2, 2010, Polanski published an open letter entitled "I can remain silent no longer!" on Bernard-Henri Lévy's web site.[69] In it, he stated that on February 26, 2010 Roger Gunson (the deputy district attorney in charge of the case in 1977, retired by the time of the letter) testified under oath before Judge Mary Lou Villar in the presence of David Walgren (the present deputy district attorney in charge of the case, who was at liberty to contradict and question Gunson) that on September 16, 1977 Judge Rittenband stated to all the parties concerned that Polanski's term of imprisonment in Chino constituted the totality of the sentence he would have to serve. Polanski also stated that Gunson added that it was false to claim (as the present district attorney's office does in their request for his extradition) that the time he spent in Chino was for the purpose of a diagnostic study.

    On July 12, 2010, the Swiss court rejected the U.S. request and released Polanski from custody.
     

    Selected excerpts below from Roman Polanski: The truth about his notorious sex crime, Jonathan Romney, The Independent, 2011

    Polanski had been led to believe by Rittenband that after Chino, his time behind bars would be over. However, the judge was overheard boasting at his country club that he would put Polanski away "for 100 years".

    This was just part of Rittenband's bizarre behaviour. We learn from Zenovich's film that the judge, anxious to impress on the media that he was in control of proceedings, twice proposed to prosecuting Assistant District Attorney Roger Gunson and to Polanski's defence lawyer Douglas Dalton that they should plead their cases to him, after which he would pronounce a sentence that he had decided beforehand – in effect, amounting to a mock trial. We learn that Rittenband was inordinately influenced by publicity, and that, quite inappropriately, he solicited other people's advice on how he should act: one of them, reporter Richard Brenneman, who was startled to be asked, "What the hell do I do with Polanski?"

    In the documentary, Geimer says of Rittenband, "He didn't care what happened to me, and he didn't care what happened to Polanski. He was orchestrating some little show ' that I didn't want to be in."
    [...]
    But her carefully constructed film is startling in what it reveals about the US legal system, in which the execution of justice can apparently fall prey to the vagaries of a judge susceptible to media pressure. Rittenband was eventually removed from the Polanski case, but was heard declaring, when he stepped down from the bench in 1989, that he would get Polanski yet.
    [...]
    As far as Geimer is concerned, the case is closed: Polanski settled out of court with her in 1993. She now lives and works in Hawaii, has been married for 18 years and has three children. She finally went public in the US in 1997, appearing on TV and forgiving Polanski. She also made a statement in the LA Times in 2003, saying the film-maker should be allowed to return to the US: the longer he remained a fugitive, she said, the longer she would have to live with the story.
     

    Replies: @Paperback Writer, @Paperback Writer, @but an humble craftsman

  147. @Peterike
    @Paperback Writer

    “ For every insane leftist position, there’s Jack, advocating its equally insane right-wing counterpart.”

    Oh for goodness sake. Jack isn’t taking a “right-wing position.” He’s just one Jew doing a Talmudic story spin for the sake of another Jew.

    Oh and Charlie Chaplin liked young girls too, Jack tells us non-chalantly. Hmmm, what do Polanski, Chaplin and Jack (and Woody Allen) have in common?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jack D, @Paperback Writer, @Paperback Writer

    Oh and Charlie Chaplin liked young girls too, Jack tells us non-chalantly. Hmmm, what do Polanski, Chaplin and Jack (and Woody Allen) have in common?

    There were all in show biz.

    Chaplin wasn’t a Jew, and Allen is innocent of those charges.

    Errol “UberGoy” Flynn: “I like my whiskey old and my women young.”

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Paperback Writer

    I mostly doubt that Woody Allen is guilty of Mia Farrow's charges. But, his critically acclaimed movie "Manhattan" about a Woody Allen-like character having an affair with a high school girl is autobiographical.

    Replies: @Dissident

  148. @Icy Blast
    California, and in particular, Los Angeles County, reached its highest quality of life somewhere between 1971 and 1975, so this article is right in that respect. The movie "Chinatown," however, is a vastly over-hyped piece of propaganda. Its assertions about California's history, expressed and implied, are simply false. Even its title is misleading: It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Chinese in California or with any "Chinatown" in particular. Pure trash.

    Replies: @WJ, @Jack D, @Alden, @bomag, @AnotherDad, @Dorkbaby, @Uncle Dan, @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

    You idiot. Title is a metaphor

  149. @AndrewR
    Why is The Atlantic writing about a state on the Pacific?

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “What states are there West of the Mississippi?”–Al Smith, 1928

  150. @Daniel H
    Conor. Naming your son Conor is like naming your daughter Chloe/Zoe. Fuggedaboutit.

    Replies: @anon, @Neil Templeton

    Conor. Naming your son Conor is like naming your daughter Chloe/Zoe. Fuggedaboutit.

    Is he Jewish or German? There aren’t many Jewish “Conors”. On the other hand, there aren’t many Germans at The Atlantic.

  151. As a midwestern kid growing up, i always expected/wanted to live at some point in California. (Almost took an aerospace job their in the early 80s, but never did.) Sad what’s happened to California.

    ~

    Beyond the critical immigration disaster, one of the things you realize is that there’s just this game theory problem of parasite takeover/colonization of anything valuable.

    As soon as the neolithic was underway eventual those stronger were able to stop working and live by demanding everyone feed them/give them stuff–tribute. This is the pattern on through medieval nobles and kings–serfdom.

    And that’s what has happened in California. Democrat/super-state parasites have gained control of this piece of real estate which is really nice. And because it is really nice–and has some entrenched industries–they can extort a premium from everyone who wants to live there. And that premium enables them to buy off enough people to stay in charge.

    Parasitic takeover is just a thing. Parasites never go away. You just have to keep whacking them, killing them, trying to keep them away from you. It’s a never ending battle.

  152. I lived in California from 99-06, left because I had kids to raise, but always intended to head back later. Even ten years ago it could still be a great place to live for grownups with a little money. But the last five years have wrecked it for me. The last time I was there was during the forest fires in 2018. You couldn’t even see downtown from the Golden Gate Bridge. Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley smelled like bum pee from one end to the other. I drove up on Grizzly Peak one night and every other car contained potheads sucking on huge bongs.

    I was talking to a guy in Berkeley – staff scientist at a famous lab, MIT Ph.D. – and he was all excited because he had just managed to get his family into half a house in a part of Oakland that wasn’t covered in graffiti. I wonder what his neighborhood looks like now.

    And, the fries at In-N-Out are terrible. There, I said it.

    Florida or Texas will be in my future.

    • Replies: @Escher
    @Faraday's Bobcat


    And, the fries at In-N-Out are terrible. There, I said it.
     
    Just for saying that, good you were “In-N-Out” of California. How could you denigrate the State’s most iconic contribution to American cuisine?
  153. I remember watching “Chinatown” for the first time in high school, and thinking the same thing, what an awesome acting performance, not knowing at the time he was primarily an A-list Hollywood director, not an actor. I later saw a comment by him suggesting he thought acting was easy compared to directing, saying you got paid 90 percent as much for 10 percent of the work.

    • Replies: @BLESTO-V
    @Unladen Swallow

    Huston gave an interview to PBS in which he said, "I'll try anything once - except homosexuality.|"

  154. @Paperback Writer
    @Altai

    Julia McWilliams Child was a native Californian. Of course her mother registered her at Smith the day she was born.

    California Woman 1965:

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/57/22/72/57227272a99193147b28583bf23fb2f3.jpg

    2021:

    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRhmJYRSbpF8Zum_tYhBWswRNgv_yU6Lp1wSA&usqp=CAU

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Talk about California Dreamin’ at its best.

  155. @Paperback Writer
    @Peterike


    Oh and Charlie Chaplin liked young girls too, Jack tells us non-chalantly. Hmmm, what do Polanski, Chaplin and Jack (and Woody Allen) have in common?
     
    There were all in show biz.

    Chaplin wasn't a Jew, and Allen is innocent of those charges.

    Errol "UberGoy" Flynn: "I like my whiskey old and my women young."

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    I mostly doubt that Woody Allen is guilty of Mia Farrow’s charges. But, his critically acclaimed movie “Manhattan” about a Woody Allen-like character having an affair with a high school girl is autobiographical.

    • Thanks: Unladen Swallow
    • Replies: @Dissident
    @Steve Sailer


    his critically acclaimed movie “Manhattan” about a Woody Allen-like character having an affair with a high school girl is autobiographical.
     
    In no fewer than thirty states of the Union, the age-of-consent is sixteen.

    Paperback Writer wrote:


    Errol “UberGoy” Flynn: “I like my whiskey old and my women young.”
     
    Line from an episode of Gunsmoke! (radio version starring William Conrad and Virginia Gregg):

    Welcome to the Texas Trail, where all our whiskey is aged over thirty days, and all our dancing girls under thirty years.
     
  156. @Icy Blast
    California, and in particular, Los Angeles County, reached its highest quality of life somewhere between 1971 and 1975, so this article is right in that respect. The movie "Chinatown," however, is a vastly over-hyped piece of propaganda. Its assertions about California's history, expressed and implied, are simply false. Even its title is misleading: It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Chinese in California or with any "Chinatown" in particular. Pure trash.

    Replies: @WJ, @Jack D, @Alden, @bomag, @AnotherDad, @Dorkbaby, @Uncle Dan, @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

    Yeah, just another propaganda film with no connection to its title, like Casablanca.

  157. @bomag
    @Icy Blast


    California, and in particular, Los Angeles County, reached its highest quality of life somewhere between 1971 and 1975...
     
    The last verse of John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" from 1972 is more and more prescient:

    Now his life is full of wonder
    But his heart still knows some fear
    Of a simple thing, he cannot comprehend
    Why they try to tear the mountains down
    To bring in a couple more
    More people, more scars upon the land

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    But the smog was bad in L.A. in the 1970s.

    • Replies: @bomag
    @Steve Sailer

    We often remember things more fondly if there was some struggle or discomfort involved.

  158. @J.Ross
    @Steve Sailer

    I have seen and enjoyed a ton of movies like this based on 4chan recommendations. A very similar one in themes, timing and caliber is Bang The Drum Slowly. If either were remade today, the actors would lack the totally essential masculine credibility, plus it would be ruined by shoehorned homosexuality.

    Replies: @Kylie

    “From here on in, I rag nobody.”

  159. @Anonymous
    @Altai

    Nobel Prize winning physicist and founding president of Caltech, Robert Millikan, called LA in the '40s "the westernmost outpost of Nordic civilization . . . [with] a population which is twice as Anglo-Saxon as that existing in New York, Chicago or any of the great cities of this country."

    Having said that, it was a different kind of WASP or founding stock culture than that of the East Coast. It was more middle and working class, as more established and upper-middle/upper class WASPs back east generally weren't enticed or compelled to move far west to the deserts of southern California. There were always many evangelical and fundamentalist Protestant churches in LA and Socal unlike WASP areas in the Northeast that tended to be dominated by Mainline Protestants.

    This class and cultural difference was why Socal was favorable towards middle/working class aspirations, but probably also responsible for the underlying hokeyness and middlebrow, superficial, anti-intellectual culture of Socal that persists.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Yes, San Francisco was more post-Puritan New England highbrow than L.A.

    The U.S. learned about how great the San Francisco Bay area was from Richard Henry Dana’s 1840 book Two Years Before the Mast. Dana was a Harvard student who’d signed up as a sailor.

    L.A.’s gentry tended to be well-to-do Midwesterners who moved out for their health.

    SF was more elitist, LA more egalitarian.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    @Steve Sailer

    You're quite right Steve.
    San Francisco was one of the cities which was part of the Social Register group (founded in New York City in 1887, it expanded quickly to obvious places like Boston and Philadelphia, and before the Crash had some 20 or so cities under its wing, including San Francisco. By 1938 the number had declined to 12: New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia and Wilmington, Chicago, Boston, St Louis, Pittsburgh (can't leave the Mellons out now can we?), Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton, San Francisco, Baltimore, and, for reasons I have never been able to fathom, Buffalo. No Los Angles, no Portland, and certainly no Seattle.
    Of course these places had there own "blue books" but these never really took hold and never acquired anything like the mystique of the Registers.
    The reason? Well, basically just what you say: the upper class in San Francisco was made up roughly of the same families as those in New York, Boston and Philadelphia and its members wanted a handy way to keep in touch with their cousins out West.

    For the well off (to look to the general topic of this thread) Los Angeles remains largely as it was: when I go back (something which I shall probably never do again, as I refuse the vaccine) I find Bel Air, Holmby, Santa Monica (north of Montana), and Brentwood fundamentally unchanged. Unlike all too many of my relations I am not indifferent to the sad state of the rest of the county. Sadly though I think it is too late for anything other than deep sorrow.

  160. @Leave Blank
    The nostalgia goes back a long way. Raymond Chandler, writing in the 1940s, has his narrator making some bitter comments about how LA used to be a nice little town just after the first war, with small houses in their own plots and a cozy bohemian feel. So either nostalgia is a universally-held emotion or else California has been going downhill so fast and so badly that wherever you stand it always looks better in the past.

    Replies: @Uncle Dan

    The ancient Greeks also lamented the passing of the good old days.

    • Replies: @Leave Blank
    @Uncle Dan

    Hence the popularity of Spengler's 'Decline of the West': it showed us there's a difference between everyday nostalgia for how things were better during your salad days and recognizing when you're living in a civilization that's in terminal collapse. It can be harder to tell the difference than you might think.

  161. @Alfa158
    I first saw Chinatown when it was released and before everyone knew about the director Roman Polanski’s predeliction for underage girls. I wonder if anyone else working on the movie knew it or if they did, being the kind of people attracted by the entertainment industry, no one thought it was particularly note worthy.
    It is creepy seeing the movie today knowing that Polanski thought he was directing a movie with a happy ending where Jake has to watch helplessly while the old monster triumphantly clutches his new sex toy.

    Replies: @Jack D, @BB753, @J.Ross, @Paperback Writer

    I wonder if anyone else working on the movie knew it or if they did, being the kind of people attracted by the entertainment industry, no one thought it was particularly note worthy.

    Sure they knew. Just like people in the rock music business knew about underage groupies and Bowie, Page, Jagger, and Morrison.

  162. @ex-banker
    I'd add late 50s San Francisco to the list of greatest places/era to live based on watching Vertigo. Its depiction of the physical beauty of the city and the civilization of its people is very hard to top.

    Replies: @Marty, @The Last Real Calvinist

    I’d add late 50s San Francisco to the list of greatest places/era to live based on watching Vertigo. Its depiction of the physical beauty of the city and the civilization of its people is very hard to top.

    Daughter C had ‘Vertigo’ as part of her curriculum for her high school final examinations in English lit, so we watched all and/or parts of it several times with her in the past couple of years. I agree with your assessment. It’s pretty hard to reconcile with my own experiences of visiting SF, a city have little interest in returning to.

  163. @Faraday's Bobcat
    I lived in California from 99-06, left because I had kids to raise, but always intended to head back later. Even ten years ago it could still be a great place to live for grownups with a little money. But the last five years have wrecked it for me. The last time I was there was during the forest fires in 2018. You couldn't even see downtown from the Golden Gate Bridge. Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley smelled like bum pee from one end to the other. I drove up on Grizzly Peak one night and every other car contained potheads sucking on huge bongs.

    I was talking to a guy in Berkeley - staff scientist at a famous lab, MIT Ph.D. - and he was all excited because he had just managed to get his family into half a house in a part of Oakland that wasn't covered in graffiti. I wonder what his neighborhood looks like now.

    And, the fries at In-N-Out are terrible. There, I said it.

    Florida or Texas will be in my future.

    Replies: @Escher

    And, the fries at In-N-Out are terrible. There, I said it.

    Just for saying that, good you were “In-N-Out” of California. How could you denigrate the State’s most iconic contribution to American cuisine?

  164. ” I figured out while I was still in high school that most people in Los Angeles think it was at its peak when they first can remember it, either as a small child or as a transplant.”

    Same with Noo Yawkers. When they arrived from Podunk, it was at its height. Now it’s just full of people from Dubuque.

  165. Little-known secrets of California anthropology:

    Cannibal Women In The Avocado Jungle Of Death

  166. ” He is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.”

    Gotta give him props. Now he’s a “founding editor” of something that hands out “Best of Journalism” awards. He’s scrambled to the top of the heap without all that tiresome work on churning out actual writing. Most journos aren’t that smart or ambitious and just grind out stuff for Vice or HuffPost.

  167. @Dutch Boy
    @Jack D

    I grew up in the San Diego area. A large contingent in those days were Midwesterners (like my parents) who had ended up in San Diego via the military (mostly Marines and Navy but there were army bases there in WWII and some of them stuck around too). My father was the first to show up and promptly brought his parents out here from Iowa, soon to be followed by most of his brothers and sisters (my mother's family followed a similar course). A big draw was the weather. Midwestern weather varies from miserable to barely endurable. I well remember my Minnesota-raised mother's opinion of snow: "When you're a kid, snow is fun but when you're an adult, it's just a pain in the neck." Her Norwegian father had a similar opinion: "If I'd known there was a California, I never would have stopped in Minnesota - forty years of shoveling walks!"

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    I’ve got a set of Iowa relatives who also upped and took off for CA back in its heyday. Some ended up in Orange County, some farther north. We visited them a few years ago, and it was interesting to see that they’d maintained quite a few midwestern cultural traits — in some ways, maybe moreso than my relatives who’d stayed in IA. I guess they were maintaning tribal identity in the vast sea of otherness, or something like that.

    But now most of them have left or are getting out; they’re moving to Montana, Idaho, inland Pacific NW, etc.

    BTW, you’re too harsh on the IA weather. I spent enough years growing up in it myself, and will assert that it’s not always that bad. Most years have a nice day sometime in late May/early June, and then another in September.

  168. @Jack D
    @Alfa158

    The past is a different country. Hollywood has been debauched from Day 1 (Charlie Chaplin also had a thing for young girls). In Hollywood circles of that time, a situation involving a hot tub, some 'ludes and champagne and various forms of recreational sex was just a typical night out. Only the fact that the girl was a little too young for such activities caused it to cross the line of the law.

    Maybe the environment of the times was a bit (ok, maybe a lot) too permissive but the hysterical anti (heterosexual) sex climate of our time is even worse. The people who are driving this hysteria are not your friends. They don't believe in traditional morality - they just want to lock up and depose (white) men from positions of power so that they can replace them, any way that they can. As far as they are concerned, it's not just minors but all women who are incapable of giving valid consent (due to "power imbalances", coercion, yadda, yadda) so all heterosexual sex can be retconned as rape at any time, even years or decades later. Constitutional protections such as the statute of limitations and burdens of proof mean nothing to this crowd.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Alexander Turok

    Constitutional protections such as the statute of limitations and burdens of proof mean nothing to this crowd.

    The statute of limitations doesn’t apply in Polanski’s case because he’s a fugitive. The clock hasn’t run out; it hasn’t even started.

    The most ironic of SOL cases was that of New York’s removing it from the crime of rape while Hillary Clinton represented the state in the Senate. Had only Arkansas done that forty years earlier!

  169. @Anon
    The other day I was browsing the Today's Deals list on my Kindle (one-day discounts to $2 or $3, mostly chick-lit romance, but the occasional good find), and there was The Stories of Ray Bradbury, 902 pages of 100 stories in chronological order by date of publication (except for the last story, for reasons), selected by Bradbury and his editor out of the 300 or so stories he had written, including novelesque sequences like Martian Chronicles.

    I had read some Bradbury as a junior high school kid, but I was kind of vague about what it was like. Two cents a story? I bought it. Things learned:

    1. Bradbury is a really good writer. On a sentence and paragraph level he is very Strunk and White, very crisp and clear. He avoids big words, but then once in a while, not too often, throws in a word you've never seen, usually short in number of letters, that is perfect and you wonder where he got it from. He also occasionally engages in creative use of words in new ways, like pluralizing scrutiny: "in a recurrent series of scrutinies," to indicate a doubletake that lasts longer than two looks.

    2. He's very good with dialect and doesn't let it get in the way.

    3. His stuff hasn't really aged as Asimov's has.

    4. Sci Fi was only one genre for him. Most of his stuff really isn't SF. He did fantasy, horror, and a lot of literary, O. Henry type stories.

    5. He had a Spielberg streak, with a lot of stories having a mid-20th century suburban feel to them, and a lot of stories from a kid's POV. Speaking of POV, the first story in the collection uses a Bret Easton Ellis-like second-person POV. I didn't even notice it until I flipped through the book later. I think the story dates from the early 1940s.

    6 A character drinks Orange Crush.

    Replies: @Cortes, @James J O'Meara, @Mr Mox

    I do that too, and even bought that Bradbury. Man is it great. Don’t be fooled, there’s a few “best of Bradbury” collections around but that’s the one. He gets a little shitlib now and then but the rest makes it worth it. I was reading his Bantam paperbacks back in the 60s but it’s good to revisit his work.

  170. @Barnard

    Assisted by the countless movies filmed here, Los Angeles has a profoundly nostalgic culture. Nebraska-born director Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways) pointed out the the main appeal of living in L.A. (besides the weather) is the history:

     

    California has the history of the entertainment industry. For people who are not enamored with the entertainment industry it doesn't have much history to offer. I can see why this is appealing to movie directors, but I doubt even 1% of Los Angeles residents would know the two sites he mentions when they see them.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    Exactly. It’s like expecting someone living in some shithole in the Bronx to give a damn about “that really great party Goldman Sachs had in 1979!”

  171. @Jack D
    @Alfa158

    The past is a different country. Hollywood has been debauched from Day 1 (Charlie Chaplin also had a thing for young girls). In Hollywood circles of that time, a situation involving a hot tub, some 'ludes and champagne and various forms of recreational sex was just a typical night out. Only the fact that the girl was a little too young for such activities caused it to cross the line of the law.

    Maybe the environment of the times was a bit (ok, maybe a lot) too permissive but the hysterical anti (heterosexual) sex climate of our time is even worse. The people who are driving this hysteria are not your friends. They don't believe in traditional morality - they just want to lock up and depose (white) men from positions of power so that they can replace them, any way that they can. As far as they are concerned, it's not just minors but all women who are incapable of giving valid consent (due to "power imbalances", coercion, yadda, yadda) so all heterosexual sex can be retconned as rape at any time, even years or decades later. Constitutional protections such as the statute of limitations and burdens of proof mean nothing to this crowd.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Alexander Turok

    Maybe the environment of the times was a bit (ok, maybe a lot) too permissive

    It wasn’t the environment of “the times,” it was the environment of one particular subculture within the times that was out of step with the law. “My subculture says this is okay” is generally rejected when Jamal the crack dealer uses it and should be rejected in this case too.

    I would say age-of-consent laws should, at the margin, be reduced. It’s certainly cringe watching all these white knighting “populists” cheer them as if their enforcement against Hollywood moguls was a dog-bites-man rather than man-bites-dog story. But the Polanski case, yeah, it should stay criminal.

    People sometimes say “b-b-but premodern society X allowed marriage” – the keyword there is marriage. It’s completely inappropriate to compare that to these kind of Hollywood pump-and-dump whore-arounds. It’s hardly unreasonable to ask them wait until ~16 years old to start with that.

    • Agree: Dissident
    • Replies: @Anon
    @Alexander Turok


    People sometimes say “b-b-but premodern society X allowed marriage” – the keyword there is marriage. It’s completely inappropriate to compare that to these kind of Hollywood pump-and-dump whore-arounds.
     
    So you oppose premarital sex?
  172. @Jack D
    @Alfa158

    Honestly, in those days no one thought it was a big deal. Only in our hysterical neo-Victorian feminist driven times is Polanski viewed as some sort of war criminal/monster. Of course what he did was wrong, but it wasn't "lock him up for the rest of his life" wrong the way we are doing now to guys like Weinstein. The original plea deal called for Polanski to plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and to receive probation (he had already spent 42 days in prison for a psychiatric evaluation). This is what the prosecutors recommended, the court appointed shrink, etc. Everyone was on board with it. Although it was certainly a crime due to the girl's age, the feeling was that she had been a willing participant and this lessened the severity of the crime. In those distant days, all humans and not just white men were believed to have some degree of agency and the world was seen in shades of gray and not in stark black and white terms of victim and villain.

    But the judge apparently saw recent photos of Polanski out in public with his arm around young girls (even those were not formally submitted as evidence) and decided that he wasn't sufficiently rehabilitated and needed some time in prison (followed by deportation) to send him a message. Polanski decided to skip the prison part and deport himself.

    Replies: @Escher, @Alfa158, @Paperback Writer, @Dumbo, @J.Ross, @Peter D. Bredon

    Polanski agreed to a plea bargain deal: the same one Catholic priests get;,90 days psychiatric evaluation and time served; but the judge reneged and wanted to sentence him to 50 years. Just like (sorta) Bill Cosby. Assuming the appellate court didn’t hate Polanski because he was a short Polish Jew, it would have been overturned anyway. So Polanski saved the taxpayers a lot of money.

  173. @Sgt. Joe Friday
    @Kylie

    "Improving our...prospects" can mean different things to different people.

    For college educated professionals: interesting ethnic restaurants

    For recent immigrants: "oh, look people who speak my language and look like they come from the same village I did."

    For dual-income households: cheap nannies, maids, and gardeners

    For single women: Increase in relative SMV, due to most immigrant women being significantly less attractive (although American womens' increasing obesity rate somewhat offsets this)

    Pretty hard to believe that what took 125 years to build up has been flushed down the shitter in less than 50 years.

    Replies: @Anon

    Pretty hard to believe that what took 125 years to build up has been flushed down the shitter in less than 50 years.

    Don’t the benefits you list contradict your claim that the place is down the shitter?

  174. @stillCARealist
    "(besides the weather)"

    Wow, I know you don't mean to downplay that, but you can't really escape the 800 lb. gorilla. What do you mean there's almost no rain/storms/snow/sleet/humidity/bugs/dust/cold/heat/etc.?

    My northern CA suburb is pretty temperate and nice, but being in Pasadena or thereabouts is almost like being in weather Heaven. Every single stinking day is pleasant and nice to be outside. How often do you get to lay in the sun in Maine? 3 or 4 days a year? A visit to Portland, OR means rain nearly every day.

    Over 50 years I've lived in CA and in that time I've seen one roach. One. And it was dead. We visited Virginia and they were in the bathroom the first night. Even in AZ we saw roaches. Of course, let's talk about the South. The insects in Houston or Atlanta will eat you alive, and they're the size of small birds. Humidity? My son was in MO one summer and said it was like being in a sauna once you got close to the river. We went for a walk in GA before the sun was up and it was still soupy and wet.

    God bless the USA; I certainly love all of it and the people therein. But the weather in CA has to be front and center of any discussion of its merits.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    Hunter Thompson back in his 1972 election coverage tried to explain the Wallace phenomenon and pointed out how he was the spokesman for people whose ancestors has been white “indentured servants” i.e. slaves, and being transported to the swampland of GA or AL was like being sent to Hell on Earth

  175. @Unladen Swallow
    I remember watching "Chinatown" for the first time in high school, and thinking the same thing, what an awesome acting performance, not knowing at the time he was primarily an A-list Hollywood director, not an actor. I later saw a comment by him suggesting he thought acting was easy compared to directing, saying you got paid 90 percent as much for 10 percent of the work.

    Replies: @BLESTO-V

    Huston gave an interview to PBS in which he said, “I’ll try anything once – except homosexuality.|”

  176. @Daniel H
    Conor. Naming your son Conor is like naming your daughter Chloe/Zoe. Fuggedaboutit.

    Replies: @anon, @Neil Templeton

    Parents name their kids whatever they fuckin’ want, without your advice. Thank you.

  177. @Anonymous
    As a Los Angeles native I can’t stand Friedersdorf’s rote, corny “Golden State” prose. He sounds like someone from the north, or possibly a writer of the terrible car commercials for your [N/S/C] California Toyota dealer, or whatever, which typically go along in a stream of homer postcard cliches (this lame style of car/beer/clothing ad has reached other states of course).

    However I do find noir nostalgia generally fun and Ye olde Southlande just plain wins on period-piece inventory— even better than 1920s Chicago or 1880s NYC/Boston. I enjoy “Chinatown,” “L.A. Confidential,” Raymond Chandler, (some) James Ellroy, etc. for probably the same aesthetic reasons their contemporaries did. More puzzling is the revival of 80s chic—which is really the Michael Mann style derived from a more superficial industry genre e.g. Paul Schrader’s “American Gigolo” after at least 1 gen of Central Europeans’ copying/improvement.

    I think Bay Area tech will be far diminished in glamour after a few more quarters of Slack activism have hit. It’s like a year-round hurricane season now.

    Replies: @James J O'Meara

    “More puzzling is the revival of 80s chic—which is really the Michael Mann style”

    Manhunter is the greatest movie ever made.

  178. @Jack D
    @Paperback Writer


    Then why was he prosecuted?
     
    Everyone, including Polanski himself, agreed that he was rightfully being prosecuted because he had in fact committed a crime.

    However, our society goes thru wild swings in what it considers appropriate punishments for various crimes at various time. At that time, his crime was considered by many (including prosecutors) to be one that should be suitably punished by probation for a 1st offense. We are seeing the same thing now for many types of black crime.

    At other times, we have a "lock 'em up and throw away the key" mentality for identical crimes. There is no consistency or fairness at all when it comes to sentencing. I happen to agree with you that some sort of prison sentence would have been appropriate for Polanski (although he already had spent some time in prison for "evaluation".) Six months or a year would have probably been enough to convince Polanski that he should choose 18 year olds for his dates from now one. The only real problem was that Polanski thought that he had made a "deal" with the prosecutor and the judge was rejecting this deal based on evidence that was not introduced in court. As the PA Supreme Ct. just indicated in its Cosby decision, it is important that people should be able to rely on deals that they have made with prosecutors.

    But the modern view seems to be that if a white man transgresses sexually (and by this I mean not gay sex or any other traditional form of perversion - those are all okey dokey, even glorious) , not only should he go to prison forever but he should lose all of his wealth and his artistic works should be banned. This seems to be a bit much to me. Especially since reality is much more nuanced that this - females often seek out such encounters because they know that they will receive favors in return.

    Replies: @Paperback Writer, @Jenner Ickham Errican

    I happen to agree with you that some sort of prison sentence would have been appropriate for Polanski (although he already had spent some time in prison for “evaluation”.) Six months or a year would have probably been enough to convince Polanski that he should choose 18 year olds for his dates from now one.

    Drugging and raping (according to the victim it was totally non-consensual) a 13-year-old (or anyone) should get much more than “six months or a year”. At least 10 actual years sounds appropriate. Part of the reason there are long sentences is to deter others from attempting the same crimes. Many more potential predators with less societal standing, with less to lose, would transgress knowing they could likely survive in the joint for a short stretch.

    Another reason for long sentences is to keep the convicted predator out of public, away from innocent prey. You yourself admit that Polanski was not chastened by being convicted:

    But the judge apparently saw recent photos of Polanski out in public with his arm around young girls (even those were not formally submitted as evidence) and decided that he wasn’t sufficiently rehabilitated and needed some time in prison (followed by deportation) to send him a message.

    Chutzpah can have its consequences. The judge was correct:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Polanski_sexual_abuse_case#Conviction_and_flight

    In 1979, Polanski gave a controversial interview with novelist Martin Amis in which, discussing his conviction, he said “If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… fucking, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to fuck young girls. Juries want to fuck young girls. Everyone wants to fuck young girls!”

    • Replies: @Anon
    @Jenner Ickham Errican


    The judge was correct:
     
    The quote from Polanski is maybe ambiguous, but he most likely was referring to consensual sex.

    Replies: @Jack D, @Jenner Ickham Errican

  179. @Anon
    The other day I was browsing the Today's Deals list on my Kindle (one-day discounts to $2 or $3, mostly chick-lit romance, but the occasional good find), and there was The Stories of Ray Bradbury, 902 pages of 100 stories in chronological order by date of publication (except for the last story, for reasons), selected by Bradbury and his editor out of the 300 or so stories he had written, including novelesque sequences like Martian Chronicles.

    I had read some Bradbury as a junior high school kid, but I was kind of vague about what it was like. Two cents a story? I bought it. Things learned:

    1. Bradbury is a really good writer. On a sentence and paragraph level he is very Strunk and White, very crisp and clear. He avoids big words, but then once in a while, not too often, throws in a word you've never seen, usually short in number of letters, that is perfect and you wonder where he got it from. He also occasionally engages in creative use of words in new ways, like pluralizing scrutiny: "in a recurrent series of scrutinies," to indicate a doubletake that lasts longer than two looks.

    2. He's very good with dialect and doesn't let it get in the way.

    3. His stuff hasn't really aged as Asimov's has.

    4. Sci Fi was only one genre for him. Most of his stuff really isn't SF. He did fantasy, horror, and a lot of literary, O. Henry type stories.

    5. He had a Spielberg streak, with a lot of stories having a mid-20th century suburban feel to them, and a lot of stories from a kid's POV. Speaking of POV, the first story in the collection uses a Bret Easton Ellis-like second-person POV. I didn't even notice it until I flipped through the book later. I think the story dates from the early 1940s.

    6 A character drinks Orange Crush.

    Replies: @Cortes, @James J O'Meara, @Mr Mox

    One of these days I’m going to re-read Dandelion Wine. As I recall it, it was a series of short stories tied together in a novel. It must be forty years since I read it last, I even persuaded my mother to give it a try, and she liked it a lot. Bradbury could paint a story in your imagination like no one else.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @Mr Mox

    Mr. Mox, I've been reading through all the comments. I am in complete agreement on Ray Bradbury. You brought up my favorite book by the guy, Dandelion Wine. The images he invoked in my mind were fantastic!

    I have a book somewhere which is a compendium of 5 of Ray Bradbury's books. Dandelion Wine is my favorite in there. It has The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and 2 others.

    I started reading him when I was into science fiction. The more I'd think after reading, the more I'd realize, "hey, there's not much science in there". That is as opposed to Issac Asimov's writings, for example. However, I liked the Ray Bradbury writing anyway. He was amazing.

  180. @SunBakedSuburb
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    "And 'Chinatown' is one of the greatest, most timeless, most perfect movies ever made."

    Yes. In the neo-noir genre it's tops; followed by Peter Yates's The Friends of Eddie Coyle, William Friedkin's Cruising, and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

    "It's sad that the phillistine[sic] ... is such a literalist."

    Steve's blog draws in dogmatic guys, smart guys, and guys like me who think they're smart.

    Replies: @Tusk, @JMcG

    Cruising really isn’t that good. Much of Robert Mitchum’s other work is more demanding. For example, The Yakuza (1974) is vastly more interesting.

    • Thanks: JMcG
  181. @Steve Sailer
    @Paperback Writer

    I mostly doubt that Woody Allen is guilty of Mia Farrow's charges. But, his critically acclaimed movie "Manhattan" about a Woody Allen-like character having an affair with a high school girl is autobiographical.

    Replies: @Dissident

    his critically acclaimed movie “Manhattan” about a Woody Allen-like character having an affair with a high school girl is autobiographical.

    In no fewer than thirty states of the Union, the age-of-consent is sixteen.

    Paperback Writer wrote:

    Errol “UberGoy” Flynn: “I like my whiskey old and my women young.”

    Line from an episode of Gunsmoke! (radio version starring William Conrad and Virginia Gregg):

    Welcome to the Texas Trail, where all our whiskey is aged over thirty days, and all our dancing girls under thirty years.

  182. @Uncle Dan
    @Leave Blank

    The ancient Greeks also lamented the passing of the good old days.

    Replies: @Leave Blank

    Hence the popularity of Spengler’s ‘Decline of the West’: it showed us there’s a difference between everyday nostalgia for how things were better during your salad days and recognizing when you’re living in a civilization that’s in terminal collapse. It can be harder to tell the difference than you might think.

  183. @Jack D
    @Escher

    Apparently in this case, it was the girl's mother who in effect pimped her out. I'm not saying that's right or that excuses what everyone later agreed was a crime. If it was my daughter I wouldn't have allowed it, but she wasn't my daughter, she was someone else's daughter who was apparently OK with it so what I would have wanted for my daughter is neither here nor there.

    There is no argument that a crime was committed under California law (although other countries do set the age of consent as low as 14 and by other countries I don't mean Afghanistan but places like Germany and Italy which most people agree are nevertheless civilized countries). The only argument was what punishment was suitable according to the sentencing rules of that time.

    Replies: @Escher

    other countries do set the age of consent as low as 14 and by other countries I don’t mean Afghanistan but places like Germany and Italy which most people agree are nevertheless civilized countries

    I don’t think they have sex between a 13 year old girl and a 45 year old man in mind

    From Wikipedia:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Polanski_sexual_abuse_case

    In March 1977, then-43-year-old film director Roman Polanski was arrested and charged in Los Angeles with six offenses against Samantha Geimer, a 13-year-old girl – rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14,

    If this is true, the man is a POS who deserves to hang, and it is shameful that you imply she consented to being drugged and sodomized.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Escher

    Some US states have "Romeo and Juliet" laws that allow sex between people close in age but not those with a large age gap. I'm not an expert on European law but AFAIK, their age of consent laws are flat - when you reach 14 you can consent to sex with anyone of any age.

    What he was charged with and what he was guilty of were two different things. The prosecutor agreed to much less serious charges, presumably because he did not think that he could get a conviction on the most serious ones. 13 year olds are legally incapable of giving consent but at the time the horrible horrible men in charge still distinguished the severity of the crime between rape victims where the rapist is a stranger who jumps out from the bushes and "rape" where the act was between acquaintances and appeared to be consensual (even if it did not meet the legal standard for such). In our much more enlightened time, we understand that all heterosexual sex is rape (or can be retconned as such under the correct circumstances).

  184. understate it don’t pass it around there are several Californias

  185. @Gaspar DeLaFunk
    @Anon

    I see these comments occasionally where one sums up bad stuff by just saying it was the fault of "the Irish." The Irish are understood to be bad/inferior people who ruin what the dear WASP had so lovingly created.

    The commenters sound like blacks who explain all manners of problems by magic "white racism!"

    It seems the Irish had descended on California at an early stage. They were Indian fighters,gold prospectors,oil field workers,etc. Tom Brady's family came to the Bay from Boston to work in a saddle company long ago.
    So it seems that the Irish were aplenty during the creation,rise and golden age of California.
    But you say they wrecked it.
    Could you specifically ,eschewing magic,explain what they did to bring it down?
    I see immigration as the death of California. Were the Irish behind immigration?. I do know the Chinese exclusion Act and the Immigration Act of 24 were supported by Irish leaders.
    So please tell me what they did to destroy what their ancestors helped to build?

    Replies: @(((Owen)))

    I see immigration as the death of California. Were the Irish behind immigration?

    Reagan, the president who opened the borders and amnestied millions of illegals, was Irish by descent.

  186. @Jack D

    the stairs that Laurel and Hardy carried the piano up in The Music Box.
     
    Honestly, that's it? A mundane flight of concrete steps from the 1920s is the greatest landmark in LA? Philly has Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and we don't brag about them as much as this guy is bragging about those stupid steps. The Spanish Steps they ain't. Maybe if Jefferson & Adams had made a movie they would be bigger than Laurel & Hardy.

    The only good thing about the coming ethnic turnover is that the newcomers won't give a damn about those stupid steps or about Laurel & Hardy - Cantinflas, si! It's one thing to be in awe of history when you walk (or in the case of LA drive) thru Rome or Cordoba but the stuff they have in LA is just cheap commercial architecture from the early 20th century - there's not one bit of it that is a true historical building. Even Olvera Street is a phony tourist attraction rebuilt in 1930.

    Replies: @Alden, @MEH 0910, @UNIT472, @Charlotte Allen

    Don’t knock Olvera Street. Olvera Street is great. I’m a Southern California native (Pasadena), and I never fail to visit Olvera Street whenever I’m back in L.A. visiting family or whatever. It has it all: adobe houses from the early 19th century–the time of the missions–a beautiful old church, a lovely, tree-shaded plaza, great Mexican food at restaurants that have been there since forever, and wonderful Mexican tchotchkes for sale that are not made in China (Day of the Dead figurines, etc.). It is also unabashedly religious: a big cross, Our Lady of Guadalupe everywhere, Las Posadas as the big festival. The ACLU has not gotten to Olvera Street. Sure, it was set up in the 1930s as a tourist attraction for Anglos, and when it was growing up, it was derided as cornball and phony-baloney–who’d want to go there? But now, nearly 100 percent of the “tourists” are actually Mexican-Americans from L.A. They love it. The place is always packed.

  187. @petit bourgeois
    @Jack D

    I can't attest to criminality in L.A.'s Chinatown. I've only been there a few times for dim sum.

    But Chinatown in San Francisco does have a degree of lawlessness. When I was in college, my girlfriend (a catholic from Hong Kong) and I would frequent the Bow Bow cocktail lounge on Grant Street, right on the border of Chinatown, North Beach and the Financial District. We were such regulars that the owner, Candy Wong, would often give us her homemade shrimp paste stuffed jalapenos that the other customers wouldn't get.

    Here is an article about Candy worth mentiioning: https://www.sfgate.com/bars/article/Bow-Bow-Cocktail-Lounge-Chinatown-Mama-Candy-14550764.php

    But there was lawlessness, including:

    1. Candy would let me smoke in the bar, a big no-no in California.

    2. Candy would usher all of the other customers out at 2 a.m. while we were allowed to remain in the bar and drink, sometimes past 3 a.m. People have lost their liquor licenses for less than that.

    3. Even the karaoke was pirated/illegal, probably stolen music from China. Nobody is paying copyright for that crap.

    There were quite a few nights when I would drive home from the Bow Bow to Alameda across the Bay Bridge with one eye because of double vision drunkeness. I too, was lawless in Chinatown and should have been lit up by the cops, but never had an encounter.

    Back in the day, the racial animus towards Chinese in my hometown was so bad, white people burned down an entire Chinatown: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1993-05-31-me-41995-story.html

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @Steve Sailer

    Back in the day, the racial animus towards Chinese in my hometown was so bad, white people burned down an entire Chinatown:

    And with the torching of ‘Chinese Wall Street’ , the Chinese were eternally damned to penury. I say we need lepalations!

  188. @J.Ross
    @kaganovitch

    >cancel the pencilmaker who lives in the woods enjoying his thoughts

    How?

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    Yes, that’s what I mean. You can’t impose social death on someone living in splendid isolation.

  189. @NJ Transit Commuter

    I’ve lived on and off in L.A. since 1958. I figured out while I was still in high school that most people in Los Angeles think it was at its peak when they first can remember it, either as a small child or as a transplant.
     
    Steve, as an east coast born Gen Xer, I’m definitely of the opinion that you grew up in the best place and best time in America history. Nostalgia always effects memory, but I think by any objective measure, it would be hard to beat post California. This makes the descent of California in the 21st century all the more sad.

    Replies: @Alfa158, @Charlotte Allen

    Did you know my husband? Don Allen, student-body president, Hawthorne High, class of ’63? Grew up on 120th Street, in a house his father built himself after WW2. Everything but the plumbing and wiring. The Wilsons lived a few blocks away, and Dennis Wilson was in Don’s class. Hawthorne was a working-class paradise back then–before they widened 120th Street (Don’s old house is now a rental dump) and tore down all the little businesses on Hawthorne Blvd. to build that ghastly monstrosity of a shopping mall that failed almost immediately and is now a huge, lurking ghost-hulk that continues to destroy the street. Hawthorne today isn’t quite as decrepit as it looked in Pulp Fiction, and some of the little neighborhood-y side streets are quite pleasant with their little houses now entirely occupied by Mexicans. Since it’s not far from the beach, the climate is quite pleasant: about 10 degrees cooler in summer than downtown L.A. I don’t know why Hawthorne hasn’t been “discovered” as a gentrification locus, as it’s not that far south from Beverly Hills. I’ve always said that we ought to retire there, except for the generally grim socioeconomic scene in California. In fact, we stayed in Hawthorne (so close to LAX) on a family visit this June–at a Hampton Inn on Imperial and Acacia, the site of Andy Lococo’s Cockatoo Inn, where Jack Kennedy had a tryst with Marilyn Monroe. Did you ever eat there growing up? It was Hawthorne’s premiere restaurant, where the Lions Club and the other civic clubs used to meet. Imagine: the Lions Club meeting in a mafia-run operation.

  190. @Paperback Writer
    @Jack D

    I've seen you get overwrought, but this must be a record.

    Yes, society goes through periods of hard on crime and soft on crime, but this is a bad example.
    Polanski got away with committing this heinous crime because he was an A-list director in a company town. Otherwise he would have ended up in jail for some years. I'm not familiar with the CA sentencing for raping minors in the 70s.

    Moreover, the fact that we've become harder on guys who drug and sodomize 13-year olds isn't an example of "neo-Victorian hysteria." It's progress.

    That's all I'm saying. Kapish?

    In addition to everything else that puts you in a perpetual state of rage, some of which I share, you're wrong about this:


    But the modern view seems to be that if a white man transgresses sexually

     

    Nope, several black men have been caught up in the MeToo dragnet. Nate Parker, and of course, Cosby. But again, there's a difference between the bullshit of MeToo and the Polonski case. I don't care about willing Samantha Geimer was (she was as much a victim of her stage mother as she was of Polonski) what he did was heinous.

    Find another hill to die on.

    Replies: @Dissident

    Since hastily registering agreement with your comment, I have learnt, after spending some time reading about the case, that it is not nearly as simple as I had thought it to be. I was remiss, first in uncritically accepting the sensationalist, shallow and extremely limited, mostly opinion pieces that I had read concerning the case. And then, much worse, in publicly parroting and affirming these highly tendentious, shallow claims and condemnations myself. (Said lapses of judgment on my part go well beyond any mere “AGREE”s registered with the comments of others, but include my own explicit, publicly posted comments.)

    It is now apparent to me that in this and other comments that you have posted on the topic in this thread, you have parroted tendentious claims, while completely omitting any mention that they are in dispute. You have also completely omitted any mention of either (a) a number of rather serious revelations that have surfaced and accusations that have been made concerning the conduct of Judge Laurence J Rittenband (deceased 1993) and other key figures in the prosecution; as well as (b) critical statements that have been made by Samantha Geimer decades since her experience with Polanski.

    (None of this is to condone or defend any of the behavior that Polanski has admitted to engaging Geimer in on the infamous night in question back in 1977.)

    Below I have copied some carefully selected, highly germane excerpts from the Wikipedia entry Roman Polanski sexual abuse case, followed by excerpts from a 2011 review of the documentary film Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired that was directed by Maria Zenovich. (Any and all added emphasis is mine.)

    Describing the event in his autobiography, Polanski stated that he did not drug Geimer, that she “wasn’t unresponsive”, and that she did not respond negatively when he inquired as to whether or not she was enjoying what he was doing.[28] The 28-page probation report submitted to the court by Kenneth Fare (signed by deputy Irwin Gold) concluded by saying that there was evidence “that the victim was not only physically mature, but willing.” The officers quoted two psychiatrists’ denial of Roman being “a pedophile” or “sexual deviant”.[29]
    […]
    In 2008, Geimer stated in an interview that she wishes Polanski would be forgiven,[…] I don’t think he needs to be locked up forever and no one has ever come out ever – besides me – and accused him of anything. It was 30 years ago now.
    […]
    In February 2009, […] Samantha Geimer filed to have the charges against Polanski dismissed from court, saying that decades of publicity as well as the prosecutor’s focus on lurid details continues to traumatize her and her family.[53] Judge Espinoza also stated that he believed there was misconduct by the judge in the original case but Polanski must return to the United States to apply for dismissal.[54]

    There is no statute of limitations governing the case because Polanski had already been charged and pleaded guilty in 1978 to having had unlawful sex with a minor.[55]

    [MORE]

    (Excerpts from Wikipedia entry, continued from above break.)

    On May 2, 2010, Polanski published an open letter entitled “I can remain silent no longer!” on Bernard-Henri Lévy’s web site.[69] In it, he stated that on February 26, 2010 Roger Gunson (the deputy district attorney in charge of the case in 1977, retired by the time of the letter) testified under oath before Judge Mary Lou Villar in the presence of David Walgren (the present deputy district attorney in charge of the case, who was at liberty to contradict and question Gunson) that on September 16, 1977 Judge Rittenband stated to all the parties concerned that Polanski’s term of imprisonment in Chino constituted the totality of the sentence he would have to serve. Polanski also stated that Gunson added that it was false to claim (as the present district attorney’s office does in their request for his extradition) that the time he spent in Chino was for the purpose of a diagnostic study.

    On July 12, 2010, the Swiss court rejected the U.S. request and released Polanski from custody.

    Selected excerpts below from Roman Polanski: The truth about his notorious sex crime, Jonathan Romney, The Independent, 2011

    Polanski had been led to believe by Rittenband that after Chino, his time behind bars would be over. However, the judge was overheard boasting at his country club that he would put Polanski away “for 100 years”.

    This was just part of Rittenband’s bizarre behaviour. We learn from Zenovich’s film that the judge, anxious to impress on the media that he was in control of proceedings, twice proposed to prosecuting Assistant District Attorney Roger Gunson and to Polanski’s defence lawyer Douglas Dalton that they should plead their cases to him, after which he would pronounce a sentence that he had decided beforehand – in effect, amounting to a mock trial. We learn that Rittenband was inordinately influenced by publicity, and that, quite inappropriately, he solicited other people’s advice on how he should act: one of them, reporter Richard Brenneman, who was startled to be asked, “What the hell do I do with Polanski?”

    In the documentary, Geimer says of Rittenband, “He didn’t care what happened to me, and he didn’t care what happened to Polanski. He was orchestrating some little show ‘ that I didn’t want to be in.”
    […]
    But her carefully constructed film is startling in what it reveals about the US legal system, in which the execution of justice can apparently fall prey to the vagaries of a judge susceptible to media pressure. Rittenband was eventually removed from the Polanski case, but was heard declaring, when he stepped down from the bench in 1989, that he would get Polanski yet.
    […]
    As far as Geimer is concerned, the case is closed: Polanski settled out of court with her in 1993. She now lives and works in Hawaii, has been married for 18 years and has three children. She finally went public in the US in 1997, appearing on TV and forgiving Polanski. She also made a statement in the LA Times in 2003, saying the film-maker should be allowed to return to the US: the longer he remained a fugitive, she said, the longer she would have to live with the story.

    • Replies: @Paperback Writer
    @Dissident


    However, the judge was overheard boasting at his country club that he would put Polanski away “for 100 years”.
     
    Hearsay. Not admissible.

    Don't base your opinions on an article in a newspaper - ever.

    And learn to be more concise.

    , @Paperback Writer
    @Dissident

    That dumbass article didn't even get Geimer's name right. It's not Gailey. It's Geimer.

    Go back to school and don't bother responding to me; you are on ignore.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @Paperback Writer

    , @but an humble craftsman
    @Dissident

    Thank you.

  191. @petit bourgeois
    @Jack D

    I can't attest to criminality in L.A.'s Chinatown. I've only been there a few times for dim sum.

    But Chinatown in San Francisco does have a degree of lawlessness. When I was in college, my girlfriend (a catholic from Hong Kong) and I would frequent the Bow Bow cocktail lounge on Grant Street, right on the border of Chinatown, North Beach and the Financial District. We were such regulars that the owner, Candy Wong, would often give us her homemade shrimp paste stuffed jalapenos that the other customers wouldn't get.

    Here is an article about Candy worth mentiioning: https://www.sfgate.com/bars/article/Bow-Bow-Cocktail-Lounge-Chinatown-Mama-Candy-14550764.php

    But there was lawlessness, including:

    1. Candy would let me smoke in the bar, a big no-no in California.

    2. Candy would usher all of the other customers out at 2 a.m. while we were allowed to remain in the bar and drink, sometimes past 3 a.m. People have lost their liquor licenses for less than that.

    3. Even the karaoke was pirated/illegal, probably stolen music from China. Nobody is paying copyright for that crap.

    There were quite a few nights when I would drive home from the Bow Bow to Alameda across the Bay Bridge with one eye because of double vision drunkeness. I too, was lawless in Chinatown and should have been lit up by the cops, but never had an encounter.

    Back in the day, the racial animus towards Chinese in my hometown was so bad, white people burned down an entire Chinatown: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1993-05-31-me-41995-story.html

    Replies: @kaganovitch, @Steve Sailer

    Presumably, when Jake Gittes was an LAPD officer he was involved in some seemingly low-level corruption in Chinatown that had a tragic outcome, such as a beautiful prostitute that he loved being murdered without anybody being brought to justice for the crime, which drove him out of the LAPD and into being a cynical private eye.

    That’s my most Chandleresque interpretation.

    Does anybody else have a theory of Jake Gittes’ backstory? (I’ve never seen the sequel “The Two Jakes.”)

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    @Steve Sailer

    I saw "The Two Jakes" during it's original theatrical run. I found it a letdown compared to the original "Chinatown".

    The Two Jakes - 1990 - Trailer
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUyMEGfOSkc


    The Two Jakes is a 1990 American mystery film, and a sequel to the 1974 film Chinatown. Directed by and starring Jack Nicholson, it also features . Reprising their roles from Chinatown are Joe Mantell, Perry Lopez, James Hong, and, in a brief voice-over, Faye Dunaway. It was released by Paramount Pictures on August 10, 1990. The film was not a box office success, and received mixed critical reviews. Plans for a third film about the character of J. J. Gittes near the end of his life have been abandoned.
     

    The Two Jakes (1990) - Movieclips playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL48BF2B086BCAA0A4

    Siskel & Ebert liked "The Two Jakes" for some reason:

    Siskel & Ebert The Two Jakes
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNJHtrOFEqk

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1990-08-10-9003070025-story.html
    https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-two-jakes-1990

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Two_Jakes#Cancelled_sequel

    Cancelled sequel
    Screenwriter Robert Towne originally planned a trilogy involving private investigator J.J. Gittes. According to Nicholson, the third film, titled Gittes vs. Gittes, was "meant to be set in 1968 when no-fault divorce went into effect in California."[6] However, after The Two Jakes was a commercial failure, plans for a third film were scrapped.[18]
     
    , @Servant of Gla'aki
    @Steve Sailer


    (I’ve never seen the sequel “The Two Jakes.”)
     
    I saw it during its original cinematic release, and again very recently.

    It's not that great, but you should still see it.
  192. @Alexander Turok
    @Jack D


    Maybe the environment of the times was a bit (ok, maybe a lot) too permissive
     
    It wasn't the environment of "the times," it was the environment of one particular subculture within the times that was out of step with the law. "My subculture says this is okay" is generally rejected when Jamal the crack dealer uses it and should be rejected in this case too.

    I would say age-of-consent laws should, at the margin, be reduced. It's certainly cringe watching all these white knighting "populists" cheer them as if their enforcement against Hollywood moguls was a dog-bites-man rather than man-bites-dog story. But the Polanski case, yeah, it should stay criminal.

    People sometimes say "b-b-but premodern society X allowed marriage" - the keyword there is marriage. It's completely inappropriate to compare that to these kind of Hollywood pump-and-dump whore-arounds. It's hardly unreasonable to ask them wait until ~16 years old to start with that.

    Replies: @Anon

    People sometimes say “b-b-but premodern society X allowed marriage” – the keyword there is marriage. It’s completely inappropriate to compare that to these kind of Hollywood pump-and-dump whore-arounds.

    So you oppose premarital sex?

  193. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Jack D


    I happen to agree with you that some sort of prison sentence would have been appropriate for Polanski (although he already had spent some time in prison for “evaluation”.) Six months or a year would have probably been enough to convince Polanski that he should choose 18 year olds for his dates from now one.
     
    Drugging and raping (according to the victim it was totally non-consensual) a 13-year-old (or anyone) should get much more than “six months or a year”. At least 10 actual years sounds appropriate. Part of the reason there are long sentences is to deter others from attempting the same crimes. Many more potential predators with less societal standing, with less to lose, would transgress knowing they could likely survive in the joint for a short stretch.

    Another reason for long sentences is to keep the convicted predator out of public, away from innocent prey. You yourself admit that Polanski was not chastened by being convicted:


    But the judge apparently saw recent photos of Polanski out in public with his arm around young girls (even those were not formally submitted as evidence) and decided that he wasn’t sufficiently rehabilitated and needed some time in prison (followed by deportation) to send him a message.
     
    Chutzpah can have its consequences. The judge was correct:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Polanski_sexual_abuse_case#Conviction_and_flight


    In 1979, Polanski gave a controversial interview with novelist Martin Amis in which, discussing his conviction, he said “If I had killed somebody, it wouldn't have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But... fucking, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to fuck young girls. Juries want to fuck young girls. Everyone wants to fuck young girls!”
     

    Replies: @Anon

    The judge was correct:

    The quote from Polanski is maybe ambiguous, but he most likely was referring to consensual sex.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Anon

    More importantly, he was right. Polanski, having survived the Krakow ghetto and the Stalinists, is an extremely shrewd judge of human character as it really is, not as we would like it to be. People in his situation who did not quickly learn to size up matters did not survive.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @David In TN

    , @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Anon


    The quote from Polanski is maybe ambiguous, but he most likely was referring to consensual sex.
     
    No. He was trying to justify his own criminal actions, which were not at all consensual.
  194. @Mr Mox
    @Anon

    One of these days I'm going to re-read Dandelion Wine. As I recall it, it was a series of short stories tied together in a novel. It must be forty years since I read it last, I even persuaded my mother to give it a try, and she liked it a lot. Bradbury could paint a story in your imagination like no one else.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    Mr. Mox, I’ve been reading through all the comments. I am in complete agreement on Ray Bradbury. You brought up my favorite book by the guy, Dandelion Wine. The images he invoked in my mind were fantastic!

    I have a book somewhere which is a compendium of 5 of Ray Bradbury’s books. Dandelion Wine is my favorite in there. It has The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and 2 others.

    I started reading him when I was into science fiction. The more I’d think after reading, the more I’d realize, “hey, there’s not much science in there”. That is as opposed to Issac Asimov’s writings, for example. However, I liked the Ray Bradbury writing anyway. He was amazing.

  195. @UNIT472
    @Jack D

    If it was 'just' concrete stairs you'd have a point but its not. Most people in America had never seen a concrete stairway of such prodigious steepness and length before. Laurel and Hardy's film made that the focal point of their hilarious movie.

    Same thing in San Francisco. A mere 'sidewalk' would be too steep to attempt to climb so steps were made to get to the next block uphill. To east coast and midwestern America such architecture was remarkable.

    Replies: @Jack D, @MEH 0910

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exorcist_steps

    The Exorcist steps, which used to be called the “Hitchcock steps,”[1] are concrete stairs, continuing 36th Street,[2] descending from the corner of Prospect St and 36th St NW, down to a small parking lot, set back from the intersection of M Street NW, Canal Rd NW, and Whitehurst Freeway NW in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., famous for being featured in the 1973 film The Exorcist. The steps were built in 1895 during construction of the adjacent Capital Traction Company Barn for cable cars,[2] serving as a light well and public right of way.

    For The Exorcist, the steps were padded with half-inch-thick (13 mm) rubber to film the death of the character Father Damien Karras. Because the house from which Karras falls was set back slightly from the steps, the film crew constructed an eastward extension with a false front to the house in order to film the scene.[3][4][1]

    In a ceremonial Halloween weekend in 2015 that featured the film’s director William Friedkin and screenwriter William Peter Blatty (who also wrote the book on which the film is based), the Exorcist steps were recognized as a D.C. landmark and official tourist attraction by Mayor of the District of Columbia Muriel Bowser, with a plaque unveiled at the base of the steps recognizing its importance to D.C. and film history.[5][6][7]


    The Exorcist steps in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joker_Stairs

    The “Joker Stairs” are the colloquial name for a step street connecting Shakespeare and Anderson Avenues at West 167th Street in Highbridge in the Bronx, New York City.[1] Located near the 167th Street station on the New York City Subway’s 4 train,[2] the stairs served as one of the filming locations in the 2019 film Joker.

    In the film, Arthur Fleck, the main character, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is repeatedly shown walking up and down these stairs as part of his daily routine. Later, during the film’s climax, he dances down the stairs wearing a bright red-colored suit and clown makeup that represents a change in his character,[3] as Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2” plays in the background.[4] The stairs appear in a promotional poster for the film and have become a tourist destination. Both the stairs and Arthur’s dance have become Internet memes.[5][6] Many visitors reenact the scene from the film, sometimes in Joker attire,[7][8] to the point that the stairs have become crowded with sightseers.[2]


    West 167th Street step stairs, also known as the Joker Stairs

    [MORE]


    Tourists visit the stairs in October 2019, shortly after the release of Joker. A cosplayer dressed as the Joker dances in the middle of the stairwell for a photoshoot.

  196. @Dissident
    @Paperback Writer

    Since hastily registering agreement with your comment, I have learnt, after spending some time reading about the case, that it is not nearly as simple as I had thought it to be. I was remiss, first in uncritically accepting the sensationalist, shallow and extremely limited, mostly opinion pieces that I had read concerning the case. And then, much worse, in publicly parroting and affirming these highly tendentious, shallow claims and condemnations myself. (Said lapses of judgment on my part go well beyond any mere "AGREE"s registered with the comments of others, but include my own explicit, publicly posted comments.)

    It is now apparent to me that in this and other comments that you have posted on the topic in this thread, you have parroted tendentious claims, while completely omitting any mention that they are in dispute. You have also completely omitted any mention of either (a) a number of rather serious revelations that have surfaced and accusations that have been made concerning the conduct of Judge Laurence J Rittenband (deceased 1993) and other key figures in the prosecution; as well as (b) critical statements that have been made by Samantha Geimer decades since her experience with Polanski.

    (None of this is to condone or defend any of the behavior that Polanski has admitted to engaging Geimer in on the infamous night in question back in 1977.)

    Below I have copied some carefully selected, highly germane excerpts from the Wikipedia entry Roman Polanski sexual abuse case, followed by excerpts from a 2011 review of the documentary film Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired that was directed by Maria Zenovich. (Any and all added emphasis is mine.)


    Describing the event in his autobiography, Polanski stated that he did not drug Geimer, that she "wasn't unresponsive", and that she did not respond negatively when he inquired as to whether or not she was enjoying what he was doing.[28] The 28-page probation report submitted to the court by Kenneth Fare (signed by deputy Irwin Gold) concluded by saying that there was evidence "that the victim was not only physically mature, but willing." The officers quoted two psychiatrists' denial of Roman being "a pedophile" or "sexual deviant".[29]
    [...]
    In 2008, Geimer stated in an interview that she wishes Polanski would be forgiven,[...] I don't think he needs to be locked up forever and no one has ever come out ever – besides me – and accused him of anything. It was 30 years ago now.
    [...]
    In February 2009, [...] Samantha Geimer filed to have the charges against Polanski dismissed from court, saying that decades of publicity as well as the prosecutor's focus on lurid details continues to traumatize her and her family.[53] Judge Espinoza also stated that he believed there was misconduct by the judge in the original case but Polanski must return to the United States to apply for dismissal.[54]

    There is no statute of limitations governing the case because Polanski had already been charged and pleaded guilty in 1978 to having had unlawful sex with a minor.[55]
     


    (Excerpts from Wikipedia entry, continued from above break.)

    On May 2, 2010, Polanski published an open letter entitled "I can remain silent no longer!" on Bernard-Henri Lévy's web site.[69] In it, he stated that on February 26, 2010 Roger Gunson (the deputy district attorney in charge of the case in 1977, retired by the time of the letter) testified under oath before Judge Mary Lou Villar in the presence of David Walgren (the present deputy district attorney in charge of the case, who was at liberty to contradict and question Gunson) that on September 16, 1977 Judge Rittenband stated to all the parties concerned that Polanski's term of imprisonment in Chino constituted the totality of the sentence he would have to serve. Polanski also stated that Gunson added that it was false to claim (as the present district attorney's office does in their request for his extradition) that the time he spent in Chino was for the purpose of a diagnostic study.

    On July 12, 2010, the Swiss court rejected the U.S. request and released Polanski from custody.
     

    Selected excerpts below from Roman Polanski: The truth about his notorious sex crime, Jonathan Romney, The Independent, 2011

    Polanski had been led to believe by Rittenband that after Chino, his time behind bars would be over. However, the judge was overheard boasting at his country club that he would put Polanski away "for 100 years".

    This was just part of Rittenband's bizarre behaviour. We learn from Zenovich's film that the judge, anxious to impress on the media that he was in control of proceedings, twice proposed to prosecuting Assistant District Attorney Roger Gunson and to Polanski's defence lawyer Douglas Dalton that they should plead their cases to him, after which he would pronounce a sentence that he had decided beforehand – in effect, amounting to a mock trial. We learn that Rittenband was inordinately influenced by publicity, and that, quite inappropriately, he solicited other people's advice on how he should act: one of them, reporter Richard Brenneman, who was startled to be asked, "What the hell do I do with Polanski?"

    In the documentary, Geimer says of Rittenband, "He didn't care what happened to me, and he didn't care what happened to Polanski. He was orchestrating some little show ' that I didn't want to be in."
    [...]
    But her carefully constructed film is startling in what it reveals about the US legal system, in which the execution of justice can apparently fall prey to the vagaries of a judge susceptible to media pressure. Rittenband was eventually removed from the Polanski case, but was heard declaring, when he stepped down from the bench in 1989, that he would get Polanski yet.
    [...]
    As far as Geimer is concerned, the case is closed: Polanski settled out of court with her in 1993. She now lives and works in Hawaii, has been married for 18 years and has three children. She finally went public in the US in 1997, appearing on TV and forgiving Polanski. She also made a statement in the LA Times in 2003, saying the film-maker should be allowed to return to the US: the longer he remained a fugitive, she said, the longer she would have to live with the story.
     

    Replies: @Paperback Writer, @Paperback Writer, @but an humble craftsman

    However, the judge was overheard boasting at his country club that he would put Polanski away “for 100 years”.

    Hearsay. Not admissible.

    Don’t base your opinions on an article in a newspaper – ever.

    And learn to be more concise.

  197. @Dissident
    @Paperback Writer

    Since hastily registering agreement with your comment, I have learnt, after spending some time reading about the case, that it is not nearly as simple as I had thought it to be. I was remiss, first in uncritically accepting the sensationalist, shallow and extremely limited, mostly opinion pieces that I had read concerning the case. And then, much worse, in publicly parroting and affirming these highly tendentious, shallow claims and condemnations myself. (Said lapses of judgment on my part go well beyond any mere "AGREE"s registered with the comments of others, but include my own explicit, publicly posted comments.)

    It is now apparent to me that in this and other comments that you have posted on the topic in this thread, you have parroted tendentious claims, while completely omitting any mention that they are in dispute. You have also completely omitted any mention of either (a) a number of rather serious revelations that have surfaced and accusations that have been made concerning the conduct of Judge Laurence J Rittenband (deceased 1993) and other key figures in the prosecution; as well as (b) critical statements that have been made by Samantha Geimer decades since her experience with Polanski.

    (None of this is to condone or defend any of the behavior that Polanski has admitted to engaging Geimer in on the infamous night in question back in 1977.)

    Below I have copied some carefully selected, highly germane excerpts from the Wikipedia entry Roman Polanski sexual abuse case, followed by excerpts from a 2011 review of the documentary film Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired that was directed by Maria Zenovich. (Any and all added emphasis is mine.)


    Describing the event in his autobiography, Polanski stated that he did not drug Geimer, that she "wasn't unresponsive", and that she did not respond negatively when he inquired as to whether or not she was enjoying what he was doing.[28] The 28-page probation report submitted to the court by Kenneth Fare (signed by deputy Irwin Gold) concluded by saying that there was evidence "that the victim was not only physically mature, but willing." The officers quoted two psychiatrists' denial of Roman being "a pedophile" or "sexual deviant".[29]
    [...]
    In 2008, Geimer stated in an interview that she wishes Polanski would be forgiven,[...] I don't think he needs to be locked up forever and no one has ever come out ever – besides me – and accused him of anything. It was 30 years ago now.
    [...]
    In February 2009, [...] Samantha Geimer filed to have the charges against Polanski dismissed from court, saying that decades of publicity as well as the prosecutor's focus on lurid details continues to traumatize her and her family.[53] Judge Espinoza also stated that he believed there was misconduct by the judge in the original case but Polanski must return to the United States to apply for dismissal.[54]

    There is no statute of limitations governing the case because Polanski had already been charged and pleaded guilty in 1978 to having had unlawful sex with a minor.[55]
     


    (Excerpts from Wikipedia entry, continued from above break.)

    On May 2, 2010, Polanski published an open letter entitled "I can remain silent no longer!" on Bernard-Henri Lévy's web site.[69] In it, he stated that on February 26, 2010 Roger Gunson (the deputy district attorney in charge of the case in 1977, retired by the time of the letter) testified under oath before Judge Mary Lou Villar in the presence of David Walgren (the present deputy district attorney in charge of the case, who was at liberty to contradict and question Gunson) that on September 16, 1977 Judge Rittenband stated to all the parties concerned that Polanski's term of imprisonment in Chino constituted the totality of the sentence he would have to serve. Polanski also stated that Gunson added that it was false to claim (as the present district attorney's office does in their request for his extradition) that the time he spent in Chino was for the purpose of a diagnostic study.

    On July 12, 2010, the Swiss court rejected the U.S. request and released Polanski from custody.
     

    Selected excerpts below from Roman Polanski: The truth about his notorious sex crime, Jonathan Romney, The Independent, 2011

    Polanski had been led to believe by Rittenband that after Chino, his time behind bars would be over. However, the judge was overheard boasting at his country club that he would put Polanski away "for 100 years".

    This was just part of Rittenband's bizarre behaviour. We learn from Zenovich's film that the judge, anxious to impress on the media that he was in control of proceedings, twice proposed to prosecuting Assistant District Attorney Roger Gunson and to Polanski's defence lawyer Douglas Dalton that they should plead their cases to him, after which he would pronounce a sentence that he had decided beforehand – in effect, amounting to a mock trial. We learn that Rittenband was inordinately influenced by publicity, and that, quite inappropriately, he solicited other people's advice on how he should act: one of them, reporter Richard Brenneman, who was startled to be asked, "What the hell do I do with Polanski?"

    In the documentary, Geimer says of Rittenband, "He didn't care what happened to me, and he didn't care what happened to Polanski. He was orchestrating some little show ' that I didn't want to be in."
    [...]
    But her carefully constructed film is startling in what it reveals about the US legal system, in which the execution of justice can apparently fall prey to the vagaries of a judge susceptible to media pressure. Rittenband was eventually removed from the Polanski case, but was heard declaring, when he stepped down from the bench in 1989, that he would get Polanski yet.
    [...]
    As far as Geimer is concerned, the case is closed: Polanski settled out of court with her in 1993. She now lives and works in Hawaii, has been married for 18 years and has three children. She finally went public in the US in 1997, appearing on TV and forgiving Polanski. She also made a statement in the LA Times in 2003, saying the film-maker should be allowed to return to the US: the longer he remained a fugitive, she said, the longer she would have to live with the story.
     

    Replies: @Paperback Writer, @Paperback Writer, @but an humble craftsman

    That dumbass article didn’t even get Geimer’s name right. It’s not Gailey. It’s Geimer.

    Go back to school and don’t bother responding to me; you are on ignore.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Paperback Writer


    Go back to school and don’t bother responding to me; you are on ignore.

     

    Dissident is an unrepentant shameless pedophile. Here are the copious receipts:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-msm-tries-to-explain-the-racial-wreckening-on-the-roads/#comment-4737666 (#40)

    Replies: @Paperback Writer

    , @Paperback Writer
    @Paperback Writer

    Thanks. To be clear, it's possible to think that the #MeToo movement is mostly an attack on men's balls, the whiter the better. But the Polanski case is a completely in appropriate way to prove that.

    I still love Chinatown.

  198. Anonymous[152] • Disclaimer says:

    Cali’s golden years were clearly the 1950’s and early ’60s (As were America’s).
    By the ’70s and ’80s it was mostly running on fumes and by the 1990s it was clear things were amiss when for the first time in history more Americans were leaving the state than arriving. The triple whammy of the LA riots, the Northridge quake and the OJ imbroglio certainly scared a lot of people off. Concurrently, mass immigration (which Californians valiantly opposed in the 1990s)* drove up the cost of housing for regular Americans and made swaths of the state unpleasant rundown foreign colonies; it’s still mostly OK for Americans who could afford $800K for a 650 sq. ft. bungalow 3 miles from the ocean, but for regular middle-class Americans folks the “CA dream” is another nice thing they can’t have anymore b/c of immigration and PC.

    *on illegal immi. voters passed Prop 197 in 1994 to deny non-emergency gov’t benefits to illegals. Then a Carter-appointed judge ,Maraina Pfaelzer Rothman, issued an injunction against its implementation and then sat on the case for an unprecedented 3 years as a delaying tactic. By the time she declared it “unconstitutional” (surprise, surprise!) Dem Gray Davis was on his way in as gov. and he dropped the “appeal.”

    on legal immigration, the only state aside form ultra conservative AL where both senators voted against the immigration acceleration act of 1990 was… CA

  199. From The Atlantic:

    THE CALIFORNIA DREAM IS DYING

    The people who killed the “California Dream” are the sort of people who read The Atlantic

  200. @Anon
    @Jenner Ickham Errican


    The judge was correct:
     
    The quote from Polanski is maybe ambiguous, but he most likely was referring to consensual sex.

    Replies: @Jack D, @Jenner Ickham Errican

    More importantly, he was right. Polanski, having survived the Krakow ghetto and the Stalinists, is an extremely shrewd judge of human character as it really is, not as we would like it to be. People in his situation who did not quickly learn to size up matters did not survive.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Jack D


    More importantly, he was right.
     
    Whoa, Jack, since you agree with Polanski that “Everyone wants to fuck young girls!”, how young are the girls you want to fuck? Thirteen, like the unrepentant Polanski, with whom you sympathize? Younger? 10, 8, 5? What’s your lower limit?

    Polanski, having survived the Krakow ghetto and the Stalinists, is an extremely shrewd judge of human character as it really is, not as we would like it to be.
     
    If “shrewd” Polanski knew that the consequences for raping a minor could be severe, and shrewdly knew that many of his fellow humans including judges and juries frown upon such behavior, why did he do it? Is he an incorrigible sadist and masochist, and so decided it was it worth the risk of prison? Doesn’t seem like a shrewd trade-off to me.

    Replies: @anon

    , @David In TN
    @Jack D

    During the 1980s I came across a Polanski In Exile story in, I think, Rolling Stone. Polanski was quoted saying something like, "Reagan is strong against the Soviets. This is good."

    The interviewer was shocked that any film maker would be anti-Communist and hardline on the cold war.

  201. @Escher
    @Jack D


    other countries do set the age of consent as low as 14 and by other countries I don’t mean Afghanistan but places like Germany and Italy which most people agree are nevertheless civilized countries
     
    I don’t think they have sex between a 13 year old girl and a 45 year old man in mind

    From Wikipedia:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Polanski_sexual_abuse_case


    In March 1977, then-43-year-old film director Roman Polanski was arrested and charged in Los Angeles with six offenses against Samantha Geimer, a 13-year-old girl – rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14,
     
    If this is true, the man is a POS who deserves to hang, and it is shameful that you imply she consented to being drugged and sodomized.

    Replies: @Jack D

    Some US states have “Romeo and Juliet” laws that allow sex between people close in age but not those with a large age gap. I’m not an expert on European law but AFAIK, their age of consent laws are flat – when you reach 14 you can consent to sex with anyone of any age.

    What he was charged with and what he was guilty of were two different things. The prosecutor agreed to much less serious charges, presumably because he did not think that he could get a conviction on the most serious ones. 13 year olds are legally incapable of giving consent but at the time the horrible horrible men in charge still distinguished the severity of the crime between rape victims where the rapist is a stranger who jumps out from the bushes and “rape” where the act was between acquaintances and appeared to be consensual (even if it did not meet the legal standard for such). In our much more enlightened time, we understand that all heterosexual sex is rape (or can be retconned as such under the correct circumstances).

  202. @SunBakedSuburb
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    "And 'Chinatown' is one of the greatest, most timeless, most perfect movies ever made."

    Yes. In the neo-noir genre it's tops; followed by Peter Yates's The Friends of Eddie Coyle, William Friedkin's Cruising, and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

    "It's sad that the phillistine[sic] ... is such a literalist."

    Steve's blog draws in dogmatic guys, smart guys, and guys like me who think they're smart.

    Replies: @Tusk, @JMcG

    I’ve never seen Chinatown, but I’ll have to give it a go. If you’re placing it higher than The Friends of Eddie Coyle, that’s good enough for me. I like Robert Mitchum much more than Jack Nicholson though, so we’ll see.

  203. My nostalgic ideal SoCal life is Zorro with surfboards and In-and-Out Burgers. Oh, and blondes.

    I spent 40 years in NorCal and the real deal Californians to me are the sons and daughters of the 49ers. I retired from PG&E and the linemen always had this rough-and-ready attitude because so much of the work is in the mountains. They had inherited their jobs from their fathers and grandfathers. E Clampus Vitus is the social club of choice.

    Sure miss the cool weather in SF and Marin! Today I wake up along side the Persian Gulf and its 100 deg F and a foggy dust storm at dawn – it gets warm later. But I’m glad to have left overall.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    @Somsel

    I know a guy who is a fifth-generation lineman. I don’t think electric distribution goes back much further than that. I hope you have a long and healthy retirement.

  204. @dearieme
    Small robbery in LA, not many hurt.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9812207/Moment-victim-shoots-attackers-legs-brazen-Los-Angeles-robbery.html

    Replies: @Inquiring Mind

    What victim flees the scene from a self-defense shooting? Both the woman witnessing it and the man who fired a gun to defend himself?

    Robbery my backside!

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    @Inquiring Mind


    What victim flees the scene from a self-defense shooting?
     
    Not unheard of in Chicago. A robber got shot in the neck, victim dropped her gun, crook picked up gun, robber & victim run in different directions. Robber expires from GSW.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWKss_21yvo
  205. @Anon
    @Jenner Ickham Errican


    The judge was correct:
     
    The quote from Polanski is maybe ambiguous, but he most likely was referring to consensual sex.

    Replies: @Jack D, @Jenner Ickham Errican

    The quote from Polanski is maybe ambiguous, but he most likely was referring to consensual sex.

    No. He was trying to justify his own criminal actions, which were not at all consensual.

  206. @Jack D
    @Anon

    More importantly, he was right. Polanski, having survived the Krakow ghetto and the Stalinists, is an extremely shrewd judge of human character as it really is, not as we would like it to be. People in his situation who did not quickly learn to size up matters did not survive.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @David In TN

    More importantly, he was right.

    Whoa, Jack, since you agree with Polanski that “Everyone wants to fuck young girls!”, how young are the girls you want to fuck? Thirteen, like the unrepentant Polanski, with whom you sympathize? Younger? 10, 8, 5? What’s your lower limit?

    Polanski, having survived the Krakow ghetto and the Stalinists, is an extremely shrewd judge of human character as it really is, not as we would like it to be.

    If “shrewd” Polanski knew that the consequences for raping a minor could be severe, and shrewdly knew that many of his fellow humans including judges and juries frown upon such behavior, why did he do it? Is he an incorrigible sadist and masochist, and so decided it was it worth the risk of prison? Doesn’t seem like a shrewd trade-off to me.

    • Replies: @anon
    @Jenner Ickham Errican


    Whoa, Jack, since you agree with Polanski that “Everyone wants to fuck young girls!”, how young are the girls you want to fuck? Thirteen, like the unrepentant Polanski, with whom you sympathize?
     
    By what age do you think a female has developed the ability to determine whether she likes something or not?

    Replies: @but an humble craftsman

  207. @Paperback Writer
    @Dissident

    That dumbass article didn't even get Geimer's name right. It's not Gailey. It's Geimer.

    Go back to school and don't bother responding to me; you are on ignore.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @Paperback Writer

    Go back to school and don’t bother responding to me; you are on ignore.

    Dissident is an unrepentant shameless pedophile. Here are the copious receipts:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-msm-tries-to-explain-the-racial-wreckening-on-the-roads/#comment-4737666 (#40)

    • Replies: @Paperback Writer
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Just took a look.

    Yikes.

    Also: he's a windbag.

  208. @Paperback Writer
    @Dissident

    That dumbass article didn't even get Geimer's name right. It's not Gailey. It's Geimer.

    Go back to school and don't bother responding to me; you are on ignore.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @Paperback Writer

    Thanks. To be clear, it’s possible to think that the #MeToo movement is mostly an attack on men’s balls, the whiter the better. But the Polanski case is a completely in appropriate way to prove that.

    I still love Chinatown.

  209. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Paperback Writer


    Go back to school and don’t bother responding to me; you are on ignore.

     

    Dissident is an unrepentant shameless pedophile. Here are the copious receipts:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-msm-tries-to-explain-the-racial-wreckening-on-the-roads/#comment-4737666 (#40)

    Replies: @Paperback Writer

    Just took a look.

    Yikes.

    Also: he’s a windbag.

  210. @Somsel
    My nostalgic ideal SoCal life is Zorro with surfboards and In-and-Out Burgers. Oh, and blondes.

    I spent 40 years in NorCal and the real deal Californians to me are the sons and daughters of the 49ers. I retired from PG&E and the linemen always had this rough-and-ready attitude because so much of the work is in the mountains. They had inherited their jobs from their fathers and grandfathers. E Clampus Vitus is the social club of choice.

    Sure miss the cool weather in SF and Marin! Today I wake up along side the Persian Gulf and its 100 deg F and a foggy dust storm at dawn - it gets warm later. But I'm glad to have left overall.

    Replies: @JMcG

    I know a guy who is a fifth-generation lineman. I don’t think electric distribution goes back much further than that. I hope you have a long and healthy retirement.

  211. @Steve Sailer
    @Anonymous

    Yes, San Francisco was more post-Puritan New England highbrow than L.A.

    The U.S. learned about how great the San Francisco Bay area was from Richard Henry Dana's 1840 book Two Years Before the Mast. Dana was a Harvard student who'd signed up as a sailor.

    L.A.'s gentry tended to be well-to-do Midwesterners who moved out for their health.

    SF was more elitist, LA more egalitarian.

    Replies: @Old Palo Altan

    You’re quite right Steve.
    San Francisco was one of the cities which was part of the Social Register group (founded in New York City in 1887, it expanded quickly to obvious places like Boston and Philadelphia, and before the Crash had some 20 or so cities under its wing, including San Francisco. By 1938 the number had declined to 12: New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia and Wilmington, Chicago, Boston, St Louis, Pittsburgh (can’t leave the Mellons out now can we?), Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton, San Francisco, Baltimore, and, for reasons I have never been able to fathom, Buffalo. No Los Angles, no Portland, and certainly no Seattle.
    Of course these places had there own “blue books” but these never really took hold and never acquired anything like the mystique of the Registers.
    The reason? Well, basically just what you say: the upper class in San Francisco was made up roughly of the same families as those in New York, Boston and Philadelphia and its members wanted a handy way to keep in touch with their cousins out West.

    For the well off (to look to the general topic of this thread) Los Angeles remains largely as it was: when I go back (something which I shall probably never do again, as I refuse the vaccine) I find Bel Air, Holmby, Santa Monica (north of Montana), and Brentwood fundamentally unchanged. Unlike all too many of my relations I am not indifferent to the sad state of the rest of the county. Sadly though I think it is too late for anything other than deep sorrow.

  212. @SafeNow
    Metaphor alert, An L.A. traffic reporter recently reported a “ladder in lane” traffic jam. In an unguarded moment, he lamented that this was the fifth ladder-in-lane” he had heard about in the past hour.

    Replies: @Excal

    I remember a radio station many years ago holding a daily “where’s the ladder” contest (no prizes, for obvious reasons). There always, always was at least one.

  213. @Steve Sailer
    @petit bourgeois

    Presumably, when Jake Gittes was an LAPD officer he was involved in some seemingly low-level corruption in Chinatown that had a tragic outcome, such as a beautiful prostitute that he loved being murdered without anybody being brought to justice for the crime, which drove him out of the LAPD and into being a cynical private eye.

    That's my most Chandleresque interpretation.

    Does anybody else have a theory of Jake Gittes' backstory? (I've never seen the sequel "The Two Jakes.")

    Replies: @MEH 0910, @Servant of Gla'aki

    I saw “The Two Jakes” during it’s original theatrical run. I found it a letdown compared to the original “Chinatown”.

    The Two Jakes – 1990 – Trailer

    The Two Jakes is a 1990 American mystery film, and a sequel to the 1974 film Chinatown. Directed by and starring Jack Nicholson, it also features . Reprising their roles from Chinatown are Joe Mantell, Perry Lopez, James Hong, and, in a brief voice-over, Faye Dunaway. It was released by Paramount Pictures on August 10, 1990. The film was not a box office success, and received mixed critical reviews. Plans for a third film about the character of J. J. Gittes near the end of his life have been abandoned.

    [MORE]

    The Two Jakes (1990) – Movieclips playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL48BF2B086BCAA0A4

    Siskel & Ebert liked “The Two Jakes” for some reason:

    Siskel & Ebert The Two Jakes

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1990-08-10-9003070025-story.html
    https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-two-jakes-1990

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Two_Jakes#Cancelled_sequel

    Cancelled sequel
    Screenwriter Robert Towne originally planned a trilogy involving private investigator J.J. Gittes. According to Nicholson, the third film, titled Gittes vs. Gittes, was “meant to be set in 1968 when no-fault divorce went into effect in California.”[6] However, after The Two Jakes was a commercial failure, plans for a third film were scrapped.[18]

  214. @Alfa158
    @Jack D

    Jack, everyone I know thought it was big deal.
    1. The girl was 13 freaking years old.
    2. He gave her alcohol and drugs.
    3. As a cherry on top the rape included sodomizing her.
    4. The justice system bent over backwards trying to be lenient with that vicious little shit and he still fled to a country where the age of consent is 13.
    Even Weinstein never did anything like that.
    Obviously you and I must run in different circles if no one you know thought it was a big deal

    Replies: @Bill, @Jack D, @Boomthorkell

    John “sodomizing a 13-year old is a based, Paleo-male move” Plywood.

    Though I suspect the sacrificial murder of his wife at the time probably screwed him up some. No excuses, of course, just reasons.

  215. @Steve Sailer
    @petit bourgeois

    Presumably, when Jake Gittes was an LAPD officer he was involved in some seemingly low-level corruption in Chinatown that had a tragic outcome, such as a beautiful prostitute that he loved being murdered without anybody being brought to justice for the crime, which drove him out of the LAPD and into being a cynical private eye.

    That's my most Chandleresque interpretation.

    Does anybody else have a theory of Jake Gittes' backstory? (I've never seen the sequel "The Two Jakes.")

    Replies: @MEH 0910, @Servant of Gla'aki

    (I’ve never seen the sequel “The Two Jakes.”)

    I saw it during its original cinematic release, and again very recently.

    It’s not that great, but you should still see it.

  216. @Inquiring Mind
    @dearieme

    What victim flees the scene from a self-defense shooting? Both the woman witnessing it and the man who fired a gun to defend himself?

    Robbery my backside!

    Replies: @Joe Stalin

    What victim flees the scene from a self-defense shooting?

    Not unheard of in Chicago. A robber got shot in the neck, victim dropped her gun, crook picked up gun, robber & victim run in different directions. Robber expires from GSW.

  217. anon[226] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Jack D


    More importantly, he was right.
     
    Whoa, Jack, since you agree with Polanski that “Everyone wants to fuck young girls!”, how young are the girls you want to fuck? Thirteen, like the unrepentant Polanski, with whom you sympathize? Younger? 10, 8, 5? What’s your lower limit?

    Polanski, having survived the Krakow ghetto and the Stalinists, is an extremely shrewd judge of human character as it really is, not as we would like it to be.
     
    If “shrewd” Polanski knew that the consequences for raping a minor could be severe, and shrewdly knew that many of his fellow humans including judges and juries frown upon such behavior, why did he do it? Is he an incorrigible sadist and masochist, and so decided it was it worth the risk of prison? Doesn’t seem like a shrewd trade-off to me.

    Replies: @anon

    Whoa, Jack, since you agree with Polanski that “Everyone wants to fuck young girls!”, how young are the girls you want to fuck? Thirteen, like the unrepentant Polanski, with whom you sympathize?

    By what age do you think a female has developed the ability to determine whether she likes something or not?

    • Replies: @but an humble craftsman
    @anon

    115 by these people's twisted standards. Though that might me a bit young.

    In my country the voting age is going to be lower than the legal age. (16/18)

    I used to make jokes about this development when the moral panic started, now it's going to be the law of the land.

  218. @Jack D
    @Anon

    More importantly, he was right. Polanski, having survived the Krakow ghetto and the Stalinists, is an extremely shrewd judge of human character as it really is, not as we would like it to be. People in his situation who did not quickly learn to size up matters did not survive.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @David In TN

    During the 1980s I came across a Polanski In Exile story in, I think, Rolling Stone. Polanski was quoted saying something like, “Reagan is strong against the Soviets. This is good.”

    The interviewer was shocked that any film maker would be anti-Communist and hardline on the cold war.

  219. Being a Detrioter, I have trouble understanding californication. I know a good number of boomers who escaped the HBD Mitten for the Golden State (almost everyone escaped for somewhere).

    When I have grilled my former homeboys about their decision, they invariably say California was the only place to go in the 70’s and even the early 80’s. Granted, that’s rather faint praise from a Michigander, but it’s consistent across all the boomers I know on the left coast.

    This doesn’t surprise me. Detriot is Haiti across the river from Windsor. Anyone who could escaped. But what is interesting to me is the insane defensiveness of the escapees. They sound like demonrat politicians in their defense of the state of their State. It’s bad enough that they’re cucks, but 100% of the Detrioter boomers I know who have moved to LA are proxies for Pelosi. And you simply wouldn’t believe how they twist and contort themselves attempting to justify their Paradise turning into the Cass Corridor (only Mexican and Asian – at least most of the negroes have been chased away)

    I struggle to understand this. Is post-negro PTSD so bad that you can embrace lawless Mexicans or antiwhite Asians happily? Is it the case that ANY fate is superior to being forced into cohabitation with negroes?

  220. @Icy Blast
    California, and in particular, Los Angeles County, reached its highest quality of life somewhere between 1971 and 1975, so this article is right in that respect. The movie "Chinatown," however, is a vastly over-hyped piece of propaganda. Its assertions about California's history, expressed and implied, are simply false. Even its title is misleading: It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Chinese in California or with any "Chinatown" in particular. Pure trash.

    Replies: @WJ, @Jack D, @Alden, @bomag, @AnotherDad, @Dorkbaby, @Uncle Dan, @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinatown_(1974_film)#Historical_background

    Historical background
    In his 2004 film essay and documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself, film scholar Thom Andersen lays out the complex relationship between Chinatown‘s script and its historical background:

    Robert Towne took an urban myth about the founding of Los Angeles on water stolen from the Owens River Valley and made it resonate. Chinatown isn’t a docudrama, it’s a fiction. The water project it depicts isn’t the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, engineered by William Mulholland before the First World War. Chinatown is set in 1938, not 1905. The Mullholland-like figure—”Hollis Mulwray”—isn’t the chief architect of the project, but rather its strongest opponent, who must be discredited and murdered. Mulwray is against the “Alto Vallejo Dam” because it’s unsafe, not because it’s stealing water from somebody else…. But there are echoes of Mullholland’s aqueduct project in Chinatown…. Mullholland’s project enriched its promoters through insider land deals in the San Fernando Valley, just like the dam project in Chinatown. The disgruntled San Fernando Valley farmers of Chinatown, forced to sell off their land at bargain prices because of an artificial drought, seem like stand-ins for the Owens Valley settlers whose homesteads turned to dust when Los Angeles took the water that irrigated them. The “Van Der Lip Dam” disaster, which Hollis Mulwray cites to explain his opposition to the proposed dam, is an obvious reference to the collapse of the Saint Francis Dam in 1928. Mullholland built this dam after completing the aqueduct and its failure was the greatest man-made disaster in the history of California. These echoes have led many viewers to regard Chinatown, not only as docudrama, but as truth—the real secret history of how Los Angeles got its water. And it has become a ruling metaphor of the non-fictional critiques of Los Angeles development.[31]

    Los Angeles Plays Itself (trailer)

    Aug 13, 2014

  221. SCTV – Polynesiantown

    [MORE]

    http://j-j-gittes.blogspot.com/2020/03/sctvs-polynesiantown.html

    SCTV’s ‘Polynesiantown’

    In 1981, the sketch TV show SCTV dedicated the majority of one episode to a very loose parody of Chinatown, entitled ‘Polynesiantown’, following the noir-ish escapades of restaurateur Johnny La Rue (played by the late, great John Candy) who runs a tacky Polynesian-style bar/restaurant.

    Despite being punctuated by cues from Jerry Goldsmith’s score, a handful of very cliched film noir tropes, and a seductive femme fatale obviously meant to resemble Faye Dunaway as Evelyn Mulwray (who turns out to be stark raving mad), it doesn’t really have anything to do with Chinatown at all – until the final scene, which ends with guest musician Dr John leading John Candy into the night, saying, “Forget it, La Rue, this is Polnesiantown.”, with a majestic crane shot pulling back to show them wandering off as a crowd gathers to look at

    the corpse they’ve left behind.
    As legend has it, staging this particular crane shot to resemble the final shot of Chinatown blew the entire budget of the fourth series of SCTV.

    It’s all good fun, well worth a look, and although there are really only a few slight references to the film itself, it’s a great illustration of just how much influence Chinatown has had upon popular culture.

    ******
    http://craneshot.blogspot.com/2006/07/do-i-have-to-do-this-all-over-again-to.html

    One of many brilliant bits of that first season began in an early sketch called “Polynesiantown”. It was a parody of CHINATOWN, and starred Candy’s character Johnny LaRue as a bar owner. SCTV was a collection of TV, movie and commercial parodies, but it also featured regular characters who appeared in wraparound segments. LaRue was a wannabe matinee idol, a playboy failed-movie-star who was reduced to making TV-movies for the SCTV network, and “Polynesiantown” was one he wrote, directed, produced and starred in. Featuring a wild plot involving poisoned ribs and musical numbers by Dr. John, “Polynesiantown” is among Season One’s crown jewels. But it’s what happened later that led to its legacy as much as the sketch itself.

    Candy, who also conceived the sketch, ended it with a complicated crane shot that took hours to film and left the cast and crew freezing at 3:00am on an Edmonton night. It also ran the episode over-budget, forcing an angry missive from NBC. So SCTV weaved the real-life incident into their show, with station owner Guy Caballero (Flaherty) chewing out LaRue on the next episode for going over budget and firing him. A blubbering sycophantic LaRue finally convinced Guy for another shot, which turned out to be “Street Beef”, which allowed Johnny only one camera and one microphone. Johnny begged for a crane, but Guy refused to relent.

    This series of gags ran through much of the first season, finally climaxing in the Christmas show, which found LaRue outside alone on Christmas Eve doing “Street Beef” all alone without even a cameraman. Drunk, freezing (it really was damn cold during that snowy Edmonton night shoot) and depressed, LaRue delivered an amazingly funny and poignant monologue directly into the lens (Candy really was a helluvan actor). At the end of it, he had a epiphany of sorts, and discovered that Santa Claus had gifted him with his very own crane, complete with red ribbon, reducing LaRue to tears.

    SCTV – Johnny LaRue’s Street Beef: The Crane Shot

  222. @The Anti-Gnostic
    Steve - this gives me another opportunity to harass you about doing a retrospective piece on "The Rockford Files."

    The all-time greatest poster, Bumbling American (retired from the Internet) once said if white people ever had a theme song, it would be the opening theme to "The Rockford Files."

    https://youtu.be/tO0Vq4fj3ho

    Replies: @Anon, @Ganderson

    One of the greatest shows ever. My knowledge of Southern California is largely derived from Rockford, Mothers of Invention records, and Jack Webb produced TV shows

    “Save your ‘I’m Sorries’ for Brenda Lee, Jimmy!”

  223. @Steve Sailer
    @SunBakedSuburb

    I never hear about "The Last Detail," but the one time I saw it I thought it was a great movie.

    Replies: @J.Ross, @Ganderson

    Great movie, directed by the under appreciated Hal Ashby.

    Great cast, too; Nicholson, Clifton James, Randy Quaid; and cameos by Carol Kane, Gilda Radner, Nancy Allen and Michael Moriarity . Wonder what ever happened to Otis Young?

  224. @Steve Sailer
    @bomag

    But the smog was bad in L.A. in the 1970s.

    Replies: @bomag

    We often remember things more fondly if there was some struggle or discomfort involved.

  225. @Dissident
    @Paperback Writer

    Since hastily registering agreement with your comment, I have learnt, after spending some time reading about the case, that it is not nearly as simple as I had thought it to be. I was remiss, first in uncritically accepting the sensationalist, shallow and extremely limited, mostly opinion pieces that I had read concerning the case. And then, much worse, in publicly parroting and affirming these highly tendentious, shallow claims and condemnations myself. (Said lapses of judgment on my part go well beyond any mere "AGREE"s registered with the comments of others, but include my own explicit, publicly posted comments.)

    It is now apparent to me that in this and other comments that you have posted on the topic in this thread, you have parroted tendentious claims, while completely omitting any mention that they are in dispute. You have also completely omitted any mention of either (a) a number of rather serious revelations that have surfaced and accusations that have been made concerning the conduct of Judge Laurence J Rittenband (deceased 1993) and other key figures in the prosecution; as well as (b) critical statements that have been made by Samantha Geimer decades since her experience with Polanski.

    (None of this is to condone or defend any of the behavior that Polanski has admitted to engaging Geimer in on the infamous night in question back in 1977.)

    Below I have copied some carefully selected, highly germane excerpts from the Wikipedia entry Roman Polanski sexual abuse case, followed by excerpts from a 2011 review of the documentary film Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired that was directed by Maria Zenovich. (Any and all added emphasis is mine.)


    Describing the event in his autobiography, Polanski stated that he did not drug Geimer, that she "wasn't unresponsive", and that she did not respond negatively when he inquired as to whether or not she was enjoying what he was doing.[28] The 28-page probation report submitted to the court by Kenneth Fare (signed by deputy Irwin Gold) concluded by saying that there was evidence "that the victim was not only physically mature, but willing." The officers quoted two psychiatrists' denial of Roman being "a pedophile" or "sexual deviant".[29]
    [...]
    In 2008, Geimer stated in an interview that she wishes Polanski would be forgiven,[...] I don't think he needs to be locked up forever and no one has ever come out ever – besides me – and accused him of anything. It was 30 years ago now.
    [...]
    In February 2009, [...] Samantha Geimer filed to have the charges against Polanski dismissed from court, saying that decades of publicity as well as the prosecutor's focus on lurid details continues to traumatize her and her family.[53] Judge Espinoza also stated that he believed there was misconduct by the judge in the original case but Polanski must return to the United States to apply for dismissal.[54]

    There is no statute of limitations governing the case because Polanski had already been charged and pleaded guilty in 1978 to having had unlawful sex with a minor.[55]
     


    (Excerpts from Wikipedia entry, continued from above break.)

    On May 2, 2010, Polanski published an open letter entitled "I can remain silent no longer!" on Bernard-Henri Lévy's web site.[69] In it, he stated that on February 26, 2010 Roger Gunson (the deputy district attorney in charge of the case in 1977, retired by the time of the letter) testified under oath before Judge Mary Lou Villar in the presence of David Walgren (the present deputy district attorney in charge of the case, who was at liberty to contradict and question Gunson) that on September 16, 1977 Judge Rittenband stated to all the parties concerned that Polanski's term of imprisonment in Chino constituted the totality of the sentence he would have to serve. Polanski also stated that Gunson added that it was false to claim (as the present district attorney's office does in their request for his extradition) that the time he spent in Chino was for the purpose of a diagnostic study.

    On July 12, 2010, the Swiss court rejected the U.S. request and released Polanski from custody.
     

    Selected excerpts below from Roman Polanski: The truth about his notorious sex crime, Jonathan Romney, The Independent, 2011

    Polanski had been led to believe by Rittenband that after Chino, his time behind bars would be over. However, the judge was overheard boasting at his country club that he would put Polanski away "for 100 years".

    This was just part of Rittenband's bizarre behaviour. We learn from Zenovich's film that the judge, anxious to impress on the media that he was in control of proceedings, twice proposed to prosecuting Assistant District Attorney Roger Gunson and to Polanski's defence lawyer Douglas Dalton that they should plead their cases to him, after which he would pronounce a sentence that he had decided beforehand – in effect, amounting to a mock trial. We learn that Rittenband was inordinately influenced by publicity, and that, quite inappropriately, he solicited other people's advice on how he should act: one of them, reporter Richard Brenneman, who was startled to be asked, "What the hell do I do with Polanski?"

    In the documentary, Geimer says of Rittenband, "He didn't care what happened to me, and he didn't care what happened to Polanski. He was orchestrating some little show ' that I didn't want to be in."
    [...]
    But her carefully constructed film is startling in what it reveals about the US legal system, in which the execution of justice can apparently fall prey to the vagaries of a judge susceptible to media pressure. Rittenband was eventually removed from the Polanski case, but was heard declaring, when he stepped down from the bench in 1989, that he would get Polanski yet.
    [...]
    As far as Geimer is concerned, the case is closed: Polanski settled out of court with her in 1993. She now lives and works in Hawaii, has been married for 18 years and has three children. She finally went public in the US in 1997, appearing on TV and forgiving Polanski. She also made a statement in the LA Times in 2003, saying the film-maker should be allowed to return to the US: the longer he remained a fugitive, she said, the longer she would have to live with the story.
     

    Replies: @Paperback Writer, @Paperback Writer, @but an humble craftsman

    Thank you.

  226. @anon
    @Jenner Ickham Errican


    Whoa, Jack, since you agree with Polanski that “Everyone wants to fuck young girls!”, how young are the girls you want to fuck? Thirteen, like the unrepentant Polanski, with whom you sympathize?
     
    By what age do you think a female has developed the ability to determine whether she likes something or not?

    Replies: @but an humble craftsman

    115 by these people’s twisted standards. Though that might me a bit young.

    In my country the voting age is going to be lower than the legal age. (16/18)

    I used to make jokes about this development when the moral panic started, now it’s going to be the law of the land.

  227. @MEH 0910
    https://www.amazon.com/Big-Goodbye-Chinatown-Years-Hollywood/dp/1250301823/

    Chinatown is the Holy Grail of 1970s cinema. Its twist ending is the most notorious in American film and its closing line of dialogue the most haunting. Here for the first time is the incredible true story of its making.

    In Sam Wasson's telling, it becomes the defining story of the most colorful characters in the most colorful period of Hollywood history. Here is Jack Nicholson at the height of his powers, as compelling a movie star as there has ever been, embarking on his great, doomed love affair with Anjelica Huston. Here is director Roman Polanski, both predator and prey, haunted by the savage death of his wife, returning to Los Angeles, the scene of the crime, where the seeds of his own self-destruction are quickly planted. Here is the fevered dealmaking of "The Kid" Robert Evans, the most consummate of producers. Here too is Robert Towne's fabled script, widely considered the greatest original screenplay ever written. Wasson for the first time peels off layers of myth to provide the true account of its creation.

    Looming over the story of this classic movie is the imminent eclipse of the '70s filmmaker-friendly studios as they gave way to the corporate Hollywood we know today. In telling that larger story, The Big Goodbye will take its place alongside classics like Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and The Devil's Candy as one of the great movie-world books ever written.
     

    Replies: @SunBakedSuburb, @J.Ross, @MEH 0910

    Amazon appears to now be blocking Amazon links placed in Unz Review comments. Let’s try the comment over with a Barnes & Noble link instead:

    https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-big-goodbye-sam-wasson/1131253834

    Here for the first time is the incredible true story of the making of Chinatown—the Holy Grail of 1970s cinema.

    IN Sam Wasson’s The Big Goodbye, the story of Chinatown becomes the defining story of the most colorful characters in the most colorful period of Hollywood history.

    Here is Jack Nicholson at the height of his powers, as compelling a movie star as there has ever been, embarking on his great, doomed love affair with Anjelica Huston. Here is director Roman Polanski, both predator and prey, haunted by the savage death of his wife, returning to Los Angeles, the scene of the crime, where the seeds of his own self-destruction are quickly planted. Here is the fevered dealmaking of “The Kid” Robert Evans, the most consummate of producers. Here too is Robert Towne’s fabled script, widely considered the greatest original screenplay ever written.

    Wasson for the first time peels off layers of myth to provide the unvarnished account of its creation.

  228. @Icy Blast
    California, and in particular, Los Angeles County, reached its highest quality of life somewhere between 1971 and 1975, so this article is right in that respect. The movie "Chinatown," however, is a vastly over-hyped piece of propaganda. Its assertions about California's history, expressed and implied, are simply false. Even its title is misleading: It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Chinese in California or with any "Chinatown" in particular. Pure trash.

    Replies: @WJ, @Jack D, @Alden, @bomag, @AnotherDad, @Dorkbaby, @Uncle Dan, @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

    Noah Millman:

    https://gideons.substack.com/p/conspiracy-theories-and-story-logic

    But here’s the funny thing about storytelling: often, good storytelling requires putting in details that, when you think about it, don’t make any logical sense, and that open up the prospect of crazy conspiracy theories. Why? Because when you’re telling a story, you’re focused on the audience’s response. So if you’re choosing between a piece of nonsense that gets the right response and something perfectly logical that the audience won’t process correctly, well, you’re supposed to pick the nonsense, because it works.

    [MORE]

    Let me give an example that Robert McKee spends a bunch of time on in his famous seminar, from Casablanca. At the beginning of the film, Ugarte (played by Peter Lorre) has these documents that will get you safe passage out of Axis territory, something all the random refugees who have congregated in Rick’s Cafe in Vichy-controlled Casablanca would like. In particular, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), needs them to escape the Nazis who are hot on his tail, and to get them he will ultimately need the help of Rick (Humphrey Bogart) who is still in love with Laszlo’s wife, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman)—but you know all that.

    The documents, though, are what I want to highlight. When we are first told about them, we learn that they are signed by Charles de Gaulle. And this, as McKee points out in his seminar, makes absolutely no sense in terms of the story. De Gaulle had no authority in Vichy France; possession of documents signed by him would be far more likely to get you arrested than anything else. If you wanted safe passage out, you’d need documents signed by Marshall Pétain or someone like that.

    So why does the script say they are signed by de Gaulle? Because the documents are a good thing that the good guys want and that the bad guys want to intercept. And in the fleeting moment when the audience is going to hear about them, the filmmakers wanted to make sure the audience would understand that, that the moment would land correctly on an emotional level. The fact that it made no sense is secondary.

    Of course, it doesn’t do to think too much about the details of Casablanca because the whole setup makes no sense when you think about it. Why have all these refugees shown up here in the first place? There’s no good explanation—they’re there for symbolic reasons, not logical ones. Casablanca isn’t aiming for realism. But usually the follow up to that acknowledgement is to say that while stories don’t need to be realistic, they need to follow an internal logic—their worlds have to be consistent. And my point is this isn’t actually true. They have to follow an emotional logic—we need to understand them in that sense—and they do need rules. But they can be internally inconsistent, and even have to be if that’s the efficient way to help the audience understand the story.

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