Paul Kersey's article on the latest white-guilt-porn
movie Hidden Figures
, posted last night, is brilliant. [HIDDEN FIGURES Myth Dissolves–It Wasn’t Blacks Who Got America To The Moon, They Actually Wanted To Stop It
by Paul Kersey; February 7th 2017.] I can add some anecdotal data points to support Paul's case.
I was a science geek from infancy. At age 14 I discovered Scientific American
magazine. I can remember the precise issue: it was the one with cover story "The Green Flash," January 1960
. I've been hoping ever since, on the rare occasions I've been in a suitable time and place, to see the green flash
for myself, but never have.Sci Am
was fascinating to a provincial English kid not only for its scientific-ness, but also for its American-ness. It radiated breezy mid-20th-century can-do confidence and abundance — the spirit that got us to the Moon.
And the ads! Was there anything
you couldn't buy in America? — anything, I mean, that a teen geek on 1s.6d. pocket money a week so wished
he could afford. I remember a tiny pressure-jet gadget that, said the ad, would cut through anything, this illustrated with a picture of a shape being carved out of an egg shell. America's national weather service would sell you a meteorological balloon that could go to 50,000 feet! (They still sell them
.) That was ten miles up! I wanted one of those balloons so badly I could taste it. Think what you could do! … if you could somehow get the hydrogen.
There were small puzzlements, though. The companies advertising in Sci Am
all made a point of telling readers they were "equal opportunity employers." What did that
What it meant was that science and technology companies — contractors for the space program — were already, in the early 1960s, keen to present themselves as PC-compliant, twenty years before the phrase "politically correct" entered general currency.
The past is another country, indeed. The past as presented to young Americans today is not only another country, it is a country as fictional as those described by Jonathan Swift
in Gulliver's Travels
One of Steve's recurring themes is that nobody remembers anything. Well, some number of us still remember things. Some dwindling number …