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(BBC)   The Great Gatsby: What it says to modern America's decline - written by a news organization in a country that has been literally set on fire by rioters   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 102
    More: Fail, Great Gatsby, home ownership, American Dream  
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6412 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Aug 2011 at 11:51 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-08-10 11:53:50 AM  
All I remember about that book is that a woman got her boob ripped off in. Man, the days before internet porn...
 
2011-08-10 11:55:15 AM  
It says that we need more billboards with giant eyes.
 
2011-08-10 11:55:36 AM  
The U.S. 'decline' is still better than many other country's ascent.
 
2011-08-10 11:58:15 AM  
Why so insecure, subby?
 
2011-08-10 11:59:07 AM  
Ah c'mon America! Even retarded, idiotic Forrest Gump could live the American dream. All you have to do is follow the rules, be a good boy/girl, and you, too, will end up a rich hero.
Right?
 
2011-08-10 11:59:33 AM  
America?
 
2011-08-10 11:59:59 AM  
The Jungle is far more pertinent.
 
2011-08-10 12:00:22 PM  
Best. Book. Ever.
 
2011-08-10 12:00:35 PM  
I don't think the country has been "literally set on fire by rioters", subby: I think dumbass American news organizations just feed you b.s. 24/7.
 
2011-08-10 12:02:13 PM  

Occam's Chainsaw: The Jungle is far more pertinent.

 
2011-08-10 12:02:46 PM  
In my high school English class, we had the choice of writing a report on either The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, The Jungle, or 1984.

I did all four.



/One of these things is not like the others...
 
2011-08-10 12:03:41 PM  
FTFA:
...in a new adaptation directed by Baz Luhrmann

Had hopes for this movie until I saw this. Fark it's going to suck. Gatsby will probably just lip-synch to crappy old pop songs.
 
2011-08-10 12:03:50 PM  

highendmighty: All you have to do is be born rich to begin with follow the rules and get a governement bailout if you don't, be a good boy/girl or not, since you're rich, and you, too, will end up a rich hero.
Right?


ftfu
 
2011-08-10 12:04:34 PM  

The English Major: Best. Book. Ever.


One of my favorites.
 
2011-08-10 12:05:08 PM  
We aren't going to have to rescue them again are we? Last couple of times the Germans, now it appears to be themselves.

The UK really needs to grow up
 
2011-08-10 12:07:40 PM  

Occam's Chainsaw: The Jungle is far more pertinent.


QTF
 
2011-08-10 12:22:05 PM  

Spanky_McFarksalot: highendmighty: All you have to do is be born rich to begin with follow the rules and get a governement bailout if you don't, be a good boy/girl or not, since you're rich, and you, too, will end up a rich hero.
Right?

ftfu


Oh boo farking hoo. "I wasn't born rich and can never get ahead because the rich stole all the money."

Grow a pair. Put down the XBOX and get out there and work your ass off. I know a guy who is in his mid thirties that dropped out of high school at 16 and started doing yard maintenance. Today, he is very well off, but works in excess of 70 hours per week.

So yeah, it can still be done.
 
2011-08-10 12:22:58 PM  
Ahhh The Jungle, one of the best works of non-fiction I have ever read.
 
2011-08-10 12:24:02 PM  

highendmighty: Ah c'mon America! Even retarded, idiotic Forrest Gump could live the American dream. All you have to do is follow the rules, be a good boy/girl, and you, too, will end up a rich hero.
Right?


If that movie wasn't a creature of the '90s, I don't know what was.

/also, the Great Gatsby sucks
//don't get all butthurt, both U.S. AND U.K. can be declining simultaneously
 
2011-08-10 12:25:08 PM  

Marley'sGirl: The English Major: Best. Book. Ever.

One of my favorites.


HellRaisingHoosier: Occam's Chainsaw: The Jungle is far more pertinent.

QTF


I was talking with a friend about these two books this weekend. Somehow I missed reading them.

TO THE KINDLE!
 
2011-08-10 12:26:11 PM  

JohnCarter: We aren't going to have to rescue them again are we? Last couple of times the Germans, now it appears to be themselves.

The UK really needs to grow up


Ever heard of the Battle of Britain? That's when the UK defeated the Luftwaffe all by themselves. If they hadn't won, the US wouldn't have been able to join the European theatre at all (not without going through the Sahara, anyway).
 
2011-08-10 12:26:13 PM  
Well, they do have experience as a post empire declining power, so I think it might be useful to learn how they cope.
 
2011-08-10 12:26:50 PM  
Subby sounds fat.
 
2011-08-10 12:28:07 PM  
The difference is the UK has already declined three generations ago and everyone there accepts it.

The US decline could easily be prevented. But it won't be, because no one here accepts that it's happening.
 
2011-08-10 12:29:22 PM  
"That isn't always true and although Gatsby's heart is in the right place, the way he goes about achieving his dream brings about his downfall.

"Trying to buy that love shows the failed thinking of Gatsby and the shallowness of Daisy."


Mr. Dowling doesn't seem to have read the book or even the Cliff notes. Gatsby was a gangster and boot legger. The modern equivalent would be someone manufacturing meth or importing and distributing cocaine, much closer to Scarface. As for Baz Luhrman understanding anything heterosexual in nature I'd say the probablility of that based on his Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet or Moulin Rouge is less than zero.
 
2011-08-10 12:32:21 PM  

Tigger: already declined three generations ago


Your timeline's funny. Britain's decline began well before that, and kicked in with gusto in the first few decades of the 20th century.
 
2011-08-10 12:33:23 PM  
I taught the book as part of my American Lit class. I'd do T.S. Eliot's "Prufrock," then show them the b&w version of "All Quiet on the Western Front", then give them "The Hollow Men" directly after, all to give context to what a reader would see, reading Gatsby when it first appeared, and explaining why it wasn't well received.

I'd start Gatsby by looking over the last page, one of the best last pages ever written.

The more I looked into it, the darker the book became. The more I looked into Fitzgerald and Zelda, the more sceptical.

There are a few insights I've had that I believe most teachers never notice, because frankly I don't think many actually give the book their full attention.

1. Nick isn't a trustworthy narrator. He is as much a fraud as all of the other major characters.

2. The reader isn't given a single likeable character on purpose. Therefore an unempathetic vaccuum is sustained throughout, heightened by Nick's consistently feigned empathy.

3. The nature of the tragedy has more to do with the core of each character, rather than what transpires in the book (they are perfect reflections of their cultural context, and each one has agency with their own fates)

4. The "orgastic" future is a reference to actual psychological theory of the time (look up the orgasmatron for a hint), not a reference to orgies. Also, the reference to the future and past have more to do with how the nation saw itself in 1924, according to Fitgerald's experience, and revisions done while an expatriot in France at the time.

[Themoreyouknow.jpg]
 
2011-08-10 12:33:29 PM  
DAISY DAISY DAISY
 
2011-08-10 12:34:30 PM  
i.imgur.com

i.imgur.com
 
2011-08-10 12:34:51 PM  
Your timeline's funny. Britain's decline began well before that, and kicked in with gusto in the first few decades of the 20th century.

Agreed; however, declined past perfect. Not in process of decline. Conclusion of decline.
 
2011-08-10 12:36:18 PM  

glenlivid: I don't think the country has been "literally set on fire by rioters", subby: I think dumbass American news organizations just feed you b.s. 24/7.



LOL WUT?

voxrox.co
 
2011-08-10 12:37:43 PM  

Unhip1: There are a few insights I've had that I believe most teachers never notice, because frankly I don't think many actually give the book their full attention....Nick isn't a trustworthy narrator. He is as much a fraud as all of the other major characters.


SRSLY? I've never had a student that didn't notice this. Dude spends his time overtelling you how farking honest he is. Dead-ass giveaway.
 
2011-08-10 12:37:44 PM  

Devil's Playground: Spanky_McFarksalot: highendmighty: All you have to do is be born rich to begin with follow the rules and get a governement bailout if you don't, be a good boy/girl or not, since you're rich, and you, too, will end up a rich hero.
Right?

ftfu

Oh boo farking hoo. "I wasn't born rich and can never get ahead because the rich stole all the money."

Grow a pair. Put down the XBOX and get out there and work your ass off. I know a guy who is in his mid thirties that dropped out of high school at 16 and started doing yard maintenance. Today, he is very well off, but works in excess of 70 hours per week.

So yeah, it can still be done.


Not really. And it WILL get worse as the disparity between the rich and everyone else gets wider.

Hard work will almost never make you rich. The key to being rich is to contribute very little of your own energy but instead leach off the energy of others. Hire and exploit desperate people, throw them away when you're done with them, sell them out whenever you can. The real secret to becoming rich is to not give a good gawd damn about anybody and spend your life playing angles.

Sound like fun?
 
2011-08-10 12:40:10 PM  
i149.photobucket.com
Meanwhile Canuckistan's star is rising - just like the smoke off that overturned police car.
 
2011-08-10 12:40:45 PM  
On 16 September 1985, when the Commerce Department announced that the United States had become a debtor nation, the American Empire died.

-Gore Vidal
 
2011-08-10 12:40:50 PM  

OscarTamerz: As for Baz Luhrman understanding anything heterosexual in nature I'd say the probablility of that based on his Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet or Moulin Rouge is less than zero.


Yes, because there is absolutely NOTHING in Gatsby that could be interpreted as "tragically ludicrous," or the "ludicrously tragic," or as the rest of us know it: "campy as all hell." Not that its the goddamn Gilded Age or anything.
 
2011-08-10 12:42:10 PM  

Unhip1: I taught the book as part of my American Lit class. I'd do T.S. Eliot's "Prufrock," then show them the b&w version of "All Quiet on the Western Front", then give them "The Hollow Men" directly after, all to give context to what a reader would see, reading Gatsby when it first appeared, and explaining why it wasn't well received.

I'd start Gatsby by looking over the last page, one of the best last pages ever written.

The more I looked into it, the darker the book became. The more I looked into Fitzgerald and Zelda, the more sceptical.

There are a few insights I've had that I believe most teachers never notice, because frankly I don't think many actually give the book their full attention.

1. Nick isn't a trustworthy narrator. He is as much a fraud as all of the other major characters.

2. The reader isn't given a single likeable character on purpose. Therefore an unempathetic vaccuum is sustained throughout, heightened by Nick's consistently feigned empathy.


Personally I always looked at Nick as someone who wanted to live his life through Jay until one day he became him, but in the end realizes that he's better off not trying to persue that lifestyle. So in one way he could be dishonest about his intentions, but at least he sorta owned up to it and moved on.

And depending on how you define "likeable" one could somehow like Jay for the simple reason that he loved someone so much he was willing to die for that person despite the fact she had no long term interest in him.
 
2011-08-10 12:42:32 PM  

hitlersbrain: Devil's Playground: Spanky_McFarksalot: highendmighty: All you have to do is be born rich to begin with follow the rules and get a governement bailout if you don't, be a good boy/girl or not, since you're rich, and you, too, will end up a rich hero.
Right?

ftfu

Oh boo farking hoo. "I wasn't born rich and can never get ahead because the rich stole all the money."

Grow a pair. Put down the XBOX and get out there and work your ass off. I know a guy who is in his mid thirties that dropped out of high school at 16 and started doing yard maintenance. Today, he is very well off, but works in excess of 70 hours per week.

So yeah, it can still be done.

Not really. And it WILL get worse as the disparity between the rich and everyone else gets wider.

Hard work will almost never make you rich. The key to being rich is to contribute very little of your own energy but instead leach off the energy of others.


I'm having a grand time imagining you sitting here typing in your Che t-shirt.
 
2011-08-10 12:43:56 PM  

Uncle Tractor: JohnCarter: We aren't going to have to rescue them again are we? Last couple of times the Germans, now it appears to be themselves.

The UK really needs to grow up

Ever heard of the Battle of Britain? That's when the UK defeated the Luftwaffe all by themselves. If they hadn't won, the US wouldn't have been able to join the European theatre at all (not without going through the Sahara, anyway).


Then they joined the EU and ended up being dominated by Germany anyways.
 
2011-08-10 12:46:47 PM  

Treygreen13: hitlersbrain: Devil's Playground: Spanky_McFarksalot: highendmighty: All you have to do is be born rich to begin with follow the rules and get a governement bailout if you don't, be a good boy/girl or not, since you're rich, and you, too, will end up a rich hero.
Right?

ftfu

Oh boo farking hoo. "I wasn't born rich and can never get ahead because the rich stole all the money."

Grow a pair. Put down the XBOX and get out there and work your ass off. I know a guy who is in his mid thirties that dropped out of high school at 16 and started doing yard maintenance. Today, he is very well off, but works in excess of 70 hours per week.

So yeah, it can still be done.

Not really. And it WILL get worse as the disparity between the rich and everyone else gets wider.

Hard work will almost never make you rich. The key to being rich is to contribute very little of your own energy but instead leach off the energy of others.

I'm having a grand time imagining you sitting here typing in your Che t-shirt.


Sorry to spoil your fun but I'm in a cubicle, wearing a tie and make close to 6 figures.
 
2011-08-10 12:48:11 PM  

Occam's Chainsaw: Tigger: already declined three generations ago

Your timeline's funny. Britain's decline began well before that, and kicked in with gusto in the first few decades of the 20th century.


I blame that Simpson woman.
 
2011-08-10 12:50:49 PM  

hitlersbrain: Sorry to spoil your fun but I'm in a cubicle, wearing a tie and make close to 6 figures.


The "I'm gonna get mine so fark you" types don't like it when the successful don't share their views.
 
2011-08-10 12:56:08 PM  

hitlersbrain: The key to being rich is to contribute very little of your own energy but instead leach off the energy of others.


I think you have a valid point, but you are addressing the super rich. I am addressing the ability to get ahead, to be able to live a comfortable life now, and especially when one retires. Very few people need a Bugatti Veyron and a gold plated yacht.
 
2011-08-10 01:03:16 PM  
Gatsby died. In the rain.

-Hemingway'd
 
2011-08-10 01:05:06 PM  

Uncle Tractor: JohnCarter: We aren't going to have to rescue them again are we? Last couple of times the Germans, now it appears to be themselves.

The UK really needs to grow up

Ever heard of the Battle of Britain? That's when the UK defeated the Luftwaffe all by themselves. If they hadn't won, the US wouldn't have been able to join the European theatre at all (not without going through the Sahara, anyway).


Well actually that's not entirely true, and I will just say that maybe you should read up on the contributions many nations gave to win that battle.

But back to the topic at hand, I have noticed numerous articles of late regarding the whole "Game over man" for the U.S. Could be true, oh the bleep knows, maybe we have President Bachman and Vice-President Palin in 2 years. But you know the U.S. does have a lot going for it to rebound, resiliency that other nations do not, or have not ever possessed. And of course one great irony is that immigration is one key factor in keeping this country going, that influx of new ideas, new businesses, new perspectives, etc.. Fact remains that a child born to immigrants in the U.S. is an American, where as you have countries in Europe like the UK or Germany that have generations of a family who are still essentially DENIED assimilation. I just had to add that as I find it ironic and funny when you think about the people most obsessed with US standing are usually the ones most obsessed about hating all immigrants, both legal and non.
 
2011-08-10 01:06:14 PM  

hitlersbrain: Sorry to spoil your fun but I'm in a cubicle, wearing a tie and make close to 6 figures.


And this makes my point. I don't know if you were born privileged or not, but you must have put in some hard work along the way to achieve a comfortable salary doing a job in relative comfort (as opposed to wearing a chicken suit swinging a sign in 95 degree weather). I know I was very poor as a young person, but now I have a job similar in pay & working conditions to yours (but I don't have to wear a tie, thank god.), and had to work hard to get here.
 
2011-08-10 01:08:01 PM  

Unhip1: 1. Nick isn't a trustworthy narrator. He is as much a fraud as all of the other major characters.


"I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known".

Best line in the book (that isn't on the last page).
 
2011-08-10 01:08:14 PM  

Devil's Playground: hitlersbrain: The key to being rich is to contribute very little of your own energy but instead leach off the energy of others.

I think you have a valid point, but you are addressing the super rich. I am addressing the ability to get ahead, to be able to live a comfortable life now, and especially when one retires. Very few people need a Bugatti Veyron and a gold plated yacht.


I would argue that working 70 hours a week, as per your example, is not "living a comfortable life."
 
2011-08-10 01:10:30 PM  

hitlersbrain: Treygreen13: hitlersbrain: Devil's Playground: Spanky_McFarksalot: highendmighty: All you have to do is be born rich to begin with follow the rules and get a governement bailout if you don't, be a good boy/girl or not, since you're rich, and you, too, will end up a rich hero.
Right?

ftfu

Oh boo farking hoo. "I wasn't born rich and can never get ahead because the rich stole all the money."

Grow a pair. Put down the XBOX and get out there and work your ass off. I know a guy who is in his mid thirties that dropped out of high school at 16 and started doing yard maintenance. Today, he is very well off, but works in excess of 70 hours per week.

So yeah, it can still be done.

Not really. And it WILL get worse as the disparity between the rich and everyone else gets wider.

Hard work will almost never make you rich. The key to being rich is to contribute very little of your own energy but instead leach off the energy of others.

I'm having a grand time imagining you sitting here typing in your Che t-shirt.

Sorry to spoil your fun but I'm in a cubicle, wearing a tie and make close to 6 figures.


I want to know your secret... I'm in a cubicle, wearing an Old Navy button-down, and making barely more than a Chili's hostess. How do you do it!?
 
2011-08-10 01:13:21 PM  
Because the BBC and the author are English, and London, an English city, is experiencing riots, the Great Gatsby has NOTHING to say to modern America's decline.
 
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