Brett Weston seemed destined from birth to become one of the greatest American photographic artists. Born in Los Angeles in 1911, the second son of photographer Edward Weston, he had perhaps the closest artistic relationship with his famous father of all four of the Weston sons.
It’s 1974. Richard Nixon resigns the presidency; Barbara Streisand is singing, “The Way We Were” all over the radio (that music-playing thing before the internet); and you could buy a hand calculator that could only add, subtract, multiply, and divide for, in today’s currency, $100. Someone asks you: Here are three pretty radical ideas – which do you think is likely to happen first, if ever?:
- Americans will so fully accept homosexuals that they will be allowed to marry one another just like heterosexuals do.
- A black man will be elected president of the United States.
- Everyone will have government-subsidized health insurance – just like the elderly have Medicare and poor have Medicaid, both of which started just several years before; just like citizens in most western countries had.
I bet most Americans in 1974 – and probably most social scientists – would have picked the third.
The first radical idea is just about come true. There is a headlong rush toward normalizing gay marriage going on almost everywhere. A recent poll found that most Republicans under 45 support “same–sex marriage rights” and another found that more Republicans under 30 consider it a “good” rather than a “bad” thing – in spite of the fact that just a few years ago the Republican party deployed opposition to gay marriage as a powerful winning strategy. A few weeks ago, conservative Catholic columnist Russ Douthat recently discussed the “terms of surrender” for his side of the gay marriage debate.
We’ve now had a black president for five years and even though he pays a price in voter support because of his race, Americans are less ticked off at him because he is black than because of his effort to extend government health insurance, that third radical idea.
As the Obamacare deadline has (sort of) come and gone, what appeared to be the least radical idea of 1974, that we would have universal national health insurance, is still a long way off (if it ever happens). How come?
In the end, Gmail ended up running on three hundred old Pentium III computers nobody else at Google wanted. That was sufficient for the limited beta rollout the company planned, which involved giving accounts to a thousand outsiders, allowing them to invite a couple of friends apiece, and growing slowly from there.
As much as I rag on email, it’s hard to imagine a world without Gmail. Actually, it’s terrifying. We’d still be using email, but it would probably look like this.
Happy 10th birthday, Patches!
What I imagine when I hear “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”
Elizabeth Taylor in a publicity still from Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
(Bikini Babes Back Then)
DETAILS: What do you think is the scariest part of the character?
ROBIN WRIGHT: There’s a cadence to her speech—soothing but foreboding—that reminds me of a metronome. The clock is ticking, time is wasting, and if you don’t do what Claire wants, you’re gone. (via)
2014: be more like claire underwood.
(Source: mote-historie, via toasterhaus)
I can’t decide if
- someone stabbed someone else over a cheeseburger
- someone stabbed someone else with a cheeseburger
- someone stabbed a cheeseburger
- a cheeseburger stabbed someone
- a cheeseburger stabbed another cheeseburger
(Source: higregjohnson, via afternoonsnoozebutton)