The Divide: Don “Big Daddy” Garlits

 

Subject: “Big Daddy” Don Garlits Did Not… appreciate my enlightening share, evidently.

Take me off your fucking list! I don’t need to hear your liberal shit! Your type is what has happened to our great Nation! Go kiss the idiot Biden’s ass, I don’t care. He didn’t get the most votes, it was a totally illegal election!! I know that for a fact!

Don Garlits

DWjr

~~~

In the 1960s there were two things every young boy paid attention to, baseball and ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.”

It wasn’t until the late sixties that football superseded baseball as America’s Pastime. Football moved faster in a world that was moving faster. The two leagues merged. There was the Super Bowl and then Joe Namath’s called victory, baseball was never the same. But before that…scratch a baby boomer and they’ll complain their parents threw out their baseball cards, they’d be worth so much if they still had them! We didn’t save them in pristine condition in a vault as an investment, rather we put them all in a plastic bag and went to friends’ houses and at first traded, and then flipped. Yes, you flipped for cards, today that would be called a sport.

As for Saturday afternoon… At five o’clock you watched “Wide World of Sports.” This was before networks put a bug in the corner to remind you what channel you were watching. Most burgs only had three networks, and every kid could tell the difference, they knew the late night schedule by heart.

So, “The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.” Boomers still employ that phrase today, usually ironically, but they know it better than religious treatises. And they also know the ski jumper who fell in the intro, everyone always wondered what happened to him, there was no internet, certainly no Wikipedia, unanswered questions were the rule of the day.

One can actually argue that ski jumping and bobsledding were bigger in the sixties, because they were constantly featured on “Wide World of Sports.” And this was before the fitness boom, these were just regular people competing, you didn’t have ringers from other sports, amazing physical specimens to add push and weight to your bobsled…this was a winter job, nearly a lark, and we watched…did you see when that four man sled went over the side and people died? It’s embedded in my brain, I can see it right now, albeit in black and white.

Some sports have died along the way. Like barrel jumping. That was always from Grossinger’s, in the Catskills. I remember when the record was just over ten, I believe it was twelve or so. Ultimately it went up to fourteen, fifteen, sixteen or… And if you crashed… The barrels were made out of cardboard, so the pain was lessened, but you still crashed on ice.

Another sport featured on “Wide World of Sports” was drag racing. Always from Southern California. California was exotic back then, no one saw a need to put it down, and being three hours behind the time, many people in business did not even think of it. But if you were a youngster, you had the Beach Boys, and the beach, and the girls on it, and drag racing…it was where you wanted to go and many did, for the freedom it promised, before freedom had different connotations and we started to argue over it. And one of the drag racing stars was Don “Big Daddy” Garlits. I never forgot him, who could forget that name, in an era where nicknames were prominent, like “Moose” Skowron, never mind Rattfink.

Who were these guys who built their own cars with the goal just to go fast for a quarter mile? You’d watch the different categories, gain knowledge that no one has today, in an era of specialization. This is stuff we were exposed to at a young age, Top Fuel, Funny Cars…not that I could ever figure out which one was faster, after all you got limited exposure, only on Saturday afternoons.

And the host was one Jim McKay. It took a decade for us to find out his real last name was “McManus,” how would we know? But McKay ran herd over the entire enterprise, he was our trusted authority.

Of course as time went by more people became aware of McKay, he hosted the Olympics, but the Olympics back then had a fraction of the mindshare they do today, the winter games only lasted a week, and no one got rich, not even the networks, exploitation really began in the seventies, when ballparks lost their original monikers and players started to do huge endorsement deals.

In other words, back in the sixties, in the days of “Wide World of Sports,” you can argue that life was quaint, one thing you can say for sure, we were always on the same page.

You cannot say that today.

2

What changed? Well, definitely there was the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine, but in truth there was an explosion of options, first pay cable with HBO and then further premium channels as well as basic cable outlets and to think that Bruce Springsteen complained that there were only fifty seven channels and nothing on, talk about a dated view, today there are hundreds of channels, never mind streaming outlets, and people have so much to watch that many are cutting the cord, they can live quite easily without those hundreds of cable channels, they’ve got enough options.

Let’s see what else changed.

Well, instead of love your brother it became about getting rich. Taxes dropped, income inequality soared, and in the nineties it looked like everybody was winning until…

The century turned. That’s when things got bad.

It started with 9/11. It happened on American soil, the generation alive and aware back then is still not over it. And then the war. And then the 2008 crash.

Suddenly people realized there were winners and losers, and if you were a loser, it had to be somebody else’s fault. And now there were numerous outlets to reinforce that notion. That someone stole your job, the immigrants… And foreign nations were ripe for abuse too. They took the jobs. Meanwhile, Americans would switch loyalties for one dollar. Look at airline tickets. To the point where you can buy a no-frills ticket, you can’t even bring carry-on luggage, and people who buy these tickets always complain when they’re confronted with the rules, how were they supposed to know, it’s unfair! And one can criticize them for their ignorance, but the truth is we’re constantly confronted with boilerplate and no one can be an expert on everything, and no one can sacrifice, make that the 28th Amendment. No one can lose their job, no technology can cause them to go out of business, no one can make less money as the future marches on. Of course this is untrue, but people believe this, especially those in power.

So let’s say you had a job working with your hands. Most of those were shipped overseas, you can only get a service gig, retraining was a joke, and you made much less and your lifestyle took a nosedive. But as for personal impact by outside forces…it wasn’t like an immigrant was taking your job, but immigrants did have jobs, even illegal immigrants, so therefore it must be affecting your job, because of the trickle down effect, just like with taxes.

Now the truth is a lot of the jobs immigrants do citizens do not want to. Like picking grapes, it’s back-breaking work. But you read about those foreigners getting jobs in Silicon Valley, high-salaried ones, and you must be paying the price for that, you have to be. Furthermore, those who were supporting this way of life became the enemy, they weren’t Americans, there became this myth about “real Americans,” who worked hard, never got divorced, went to church, didn’t do drugs and…few of these people exist, on either end of the political spectrum.

So what we ended up with was a divide.

3

I’d like to see Big Daddy’s proof that Trump won. This is like that “Catfish” show on MTV. Let me see, a movie star is interested in dating me, even though I live on a farm in the middle of nowhere. Some things just make you laugh on the surface. But in a world where everybody should get paid as an artist and a reality TV star becomes president, everyone believes they know everything and are entitled to an opinion. As for others’ contrasting opinions, they’re inherently wrong. This is America’s new sport, the divide between the believers, the political parties, not football, although they learned the game from football, it’s dirty and violent and people cheat but it’s all about winning.

Yesterday, Black people and liberals were thrilled that Chauvin was convicted. However, if you dialed in Fox, just the opposite happened. The debate was framed as pro or con police. There’s not a single American who believes there should be no police, but somehow nearly half the country believes people are saying this. It’s become an issue of semantics, catchphrases, Frank Luntz realized it was all in how you labeled it, “Death Taxes” bad, “Estate Taxes” not so much, so let’s change the term and the perception.

If you go to Fox News on your phone right now, you’ll find the Chauvin trial takes a back seat to stories about liberal media, and AOC and Hollywood and… As for Chauvin, all the stories are not about the conviction, but the penumbra, that the left just isn’t satisfied.

There are some Chauvin headlines on the sides of the page if you’re using your desktop browser, but if you’re on your phone the only relevant story is about how Pelosi handled Maxine Waters’s “revolting” remarks.

In other words, the Chauvin trial is already in the rearview mirror in the Fox News bubble. It’s back to belittling the left ad infinitum.

Note, the right is playing this game quite well, but it doesn’t have its own agenda, other than a return to the past. And while we’re at it, why don’t we get rid of music streaming, electric automobiles, smartphones… You can’t go back, it’s impossible. As for manufacturing in America… Are you willing to pay two grand for a basic flat screen? Five grand for a laptop?

4

Tucker Carlson has gotten a beating in the press. But the press is now wrong unless you agree with it, the right has eliminated the “New York Times” and “Washington Post,” they’re biased and must be ignored. Carlson employs the replacement theory, an anti-Semitic trope, and when criticized for it, by the Anti-Defamation League and more, he doubles down.

But it’s bigger than Carlson. The constant blowback is about moving the goal posts, most recently voting restrictions. Donald Trump said there was voter fraud and he truly won the election and even Big Daddy Garlits believes it!

Yes, look at the maps. Chances are you live in a bubble, you only hear your own opinion repeated to you. As for those who feel differently, they’ve been excised from your life. Or they say they don’t want to talk politics, but when you scratch the surface they support Trump, because it’s good for their pocketbook.

This is America today. Yes, the police are killing Black people in the street, but almost half the country is laboring under reinforced falsehoods seen as facts that the police are innocent and the problem is with the protesters and you might read about it but you never experience it and then you get an e-mail from Big Daddy Garlits.

Words have consequences, as does spin. They call it America, but it’s really two different countries. One that believes we’re all in it together and another that is on high alert for impingement upon their “freedoms.” Hell, people refuse to get vaccinated? God, vaccines were the breakthrough of the twentieth century, can you say POLIO? Would these same people refuse to get a polio shot? Hell, they’re refusing to get a measles vaccination, the crackpots on the left too, who are so rich and educated that they believe they can create science, that they can bend facts, that the rules don’t apply to them, to the point where measles have returned from the brink. As for getting a shot for the good of others? Screw others.

So no one really knows what is going on in the other camp, or just doesn’t believe it. Believe that people think Trump won, just ask Big Daddy.

But the truth is the right is in lockstep sans agenda other than to thwart all Democratic legislation because… Because why? The public loves Obamacare, loves the stimulus bill and the infrastructure bill too. Why are Republican elected officials against it? Because politics is now a team sport. Even worse, facts are fungible. January 6th has been redefined, people didn’t die, the protesters weren’t violent, and really it was an antifa plot. Seems ridiculous, but history is being rewritten as I write this.

I just want to make you aware of it.

Rust never sleeps.

Never mind the undermining of truth by the right wing news outlets.

And why is this done? For power, for people like Murdoch, even though the rank and file are told it is being done for them as they vote against their interests.

It’s true. All those people who believe the election was stolen from Trump and more.

Just ask Big Daddy.

~~~

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