Tuesday, January 31, 2012
The word was created by the advertising industry to capture the essence of a particular type of work hard, play hard, ambitious minded city career person of either sex.
The hectic lifestyle of a yuppie meant that after long hours of work, they would hard;y indulge in free time. We see an example of this in the film Wall Street when Bud's co - worker offers him Nicks Tickets (Basketball) and he turns them down in order to look through the books.
The website or blog http://www.80sactual.com/2009/10/yuppie.html starts off by mentioning a book called Diary Of A Yuppie by Louis Auchincloss. The story of Robert Service's quick rise to the top in the world of New York law and his love of posh clothes, posh food, boardroom meetings and making money.
Auchincloss himself was a Wall Street attorny so he has the experience and knowledge to make his characters ring true.
The 80’s woman yuppie would wear a power suit, with a straight knee-length skirt and big shoulder pads. While on the go they would wear trainers and carry their heels. They would wear brand name bags, and chunky looking jewellery. Men would wear a basic business suit, similar to those of today. They’d wear a plain shirt, with some black suspenders. They’d carry a large briefcase, and a brick sized phone to top off the business look. Their hair would be slicked back, to give them a more ‘professional’ look.
"A yuppie with a yuppie toy in the 1980s - a brick mobile phone. Yuppies also liked filofaxes and wine bars".
"Hello, darling, it's me. Listen, I've got a meeting with the chairman of the board in twenty minutes, and my shoulder pads have gone all funny..."
Although Yuppie was the most popular and well known nickname during the 80's there were also Buppies (Black Yuppies), Juppies (Japanese Yuppies), Guppies (Gay Yuppies) Juppies, Green Yuppies (Enviromentally concerned Yuppies) and Yuppie Puppies (Under Twenty and Offspring of Yuppies)!
The classic ideology of what defines a "yuppie", or what indeed seems to be the "what-to-look-for" gag that remains ever elusive is the concept of trying to appear trendy, at the cost of one's finances. This expensive meant that these Young Urban Professionals were always on the go, endorsing themselves in various stress-relief exercises to compensate for their fast-paced lifestyles and overwhelming schedules. The article quotes a witty so-called "Yuppie handbook" as saying “A yuppie most nearly approaches sainthood, when he or she is able to accomplish more things in a single day than is humanly possible.”
Friday, January 27, 2012
This site is dedicated to all things 80's and this particular blog post lists in detail the many ways in which you could have been identified as a Yuppie during the 1980's.
- "Were L.A. Law and thirtysomething two of your favorite television shows?"
- "Did you own a Beemer (BMW) or a Mercedes -- or want to?"
- "Did you wear Armani trousers or power suits, write with a Cross pen, carry a Gucci briefcase, and talk about the "bottom line?""
- "Did you prefer wine over beer, pasta over Big Macs, designer ice cream (or yogurt) over the supermarket brands?"
- "If you answered yes to some or all of the above, made $40,000 or more a year in the 1980s, and were a baby boomer (born between 1946 and 1964), chances are you were a yuppie, even though you might not have admitted it."
Newsweek declared that 1984 was the year of the Yuppie, a Yuppie being someone who can be said to represent "Reagan's America."
It goes on to explain how the Yuppies and their pursuit of the American Dream did not last for long because of the stock market crash in October '87. The fact that they were being joked about and the term was now a derogatory term goes to show that Yuppies had become a part of American Culture.
It goes on to explain how the yuppie then sparked a specific type of decor.
The following site: http://yuppiedecor.com/ is a website by a couple who would have been classed as Yuppies and they make custom pieces which very much embody the personality of them, but possibly in a more modern framework.
In addition the blog site talks about yuppie literature* including the book we have to read, Bret Easton Ellis's book, Less than Zero. It also says that New Age ("yuppie Musak") music became more prominent due to yuppie consumers. New Age music being a fusion of jazz, impressionist, acoustic and classical styles.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
This video discusses Reagans presidency in a critical manner, suggesting that his presidency was the beggining of many of the United States current problems. Also addressed is whether Reagan deserves the praise he recieves on issues such as the cold war and economics: "a strong case can be made that the Cold War was won well before Reagan arrived in the White House. Indeed, in the 1970s, it was a common perception in the U.S. intelligence community that the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was winding down, in large part because the Soviet economic model had failed in the technological race with the West." Current political and military issues such as the war in Iraq are argued to be traced back to Reagan and his decisions during his time in office.
The video was a response to an article published by journalist Robert Parry about Reagan as 'the worst president ever' here. He takes the same tact in the video as he has in the article: "there’s a growing realization that the starting point for many of the catastrophes confronting the United States today can be traced to Reagan’s presidency. There’s also a grudging reassessment that the
“failed” presidents of the 1970s – Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter – may deserve more credit for trying to grapple with the problems that now beset the country. Nixon, Ford and Carter won scant praise for addressing the systemic challenges of America’s oil dependence, environmental degradation, the arms race, and nuclear proliferation – all issues that Reagan
essentially ignored and that now threaten America’s future."
I think the argument is slightly extreme in its linkings, but I would not entirely dismiss the view that Reagan, like many other presidents, ignored issues that have led to current political, economic and social problems. The policies and stratergies that Reagan implimented I do agree had an effect on the current situation, more so than possibly than the issues it as argued he ignored. "To marginalize dissent, Reagan and his subordinates stoked anger toward anyone who challenged the era’s feel-good optimism. Skeptics were not just honorable critics, they were un-American defeatists or – in Jeane Kirkpatrick’s memorable attack line – they would “blame America first.”" I think that sentiment was brought back by George W Bush, most noteably in his ''you're with us or with the terrorists' speech. I think that much of the new criticism and hatred directed at Reagan stems from the fact that his presidency caused substantial changes and because people are currently looking for answers about Americas 'decline'. Under Reagan... there were attack groups that went after mainstream journalists who dared disclose information that poked holes in Reagan’s propaganda themes. In effect, Reagan’s team created a faux reality for the American public."
He also broke the Air Traffic Controllers Union who were striking, telling them to give up striking or they would be terminated - a fierce ultimatum. The blog partly blames Reagan for the recession - obviously everybody is entitled to their opinion - by saying what contributed towards it was Reagan dismantling regulations on Banks and Wall Street, which paved the way for the "financial free for all of the eighties".
For my blog this week I have chosen to look at an example of Reagan hatred. The example I’ve found is an article written by Steve Kornacki from Salon Media Group online magazine, which compares the political trajectory of Ronald Reagan with that of President Barack Obama.
First launched in 1995 by founder David Talbot, Salon was the first internet only commercial publication featuring original investigative stories along with breaking news and entertainment. Salon writer Steve Kornacki – who has previously written for the New York Times, the New York Observer and the Wall Street Journal – featured an article in August 2010 titled This Week In Baseless Reagan Hagiography in which he critises Reagan’s presidency while also comparing it to that of current U.S. President, Barack Obama. He begins the article by stating “why is it so hard for pundits to admit that Reagan was just as unpopular in 1982 as Obama [was] in 2010.” – an interesting comparison to make when taking into account historical context. In both 1982 and 2010 America experiences an economic recession at a time when both Reagan and Obama are half way through their first term in office. With their mid-term election results indicating a decline in the support for these presidents, Kornacki suggests that Reagan and Obama’s presidencies are following the same path (he states they have “nearly identicle political trajectories.”)
He goes on to argue that Reagan was “not some magical political super-being” as many remember him to be – he is often ranked among the most popular presidents of the United States, especially in recent years. Kornacki refers to the lack of public confidence in Reagan at the time of his presidency, as well as his bad mid-term election results and the doubts about his presidency felt within his own party, stating that the Republicans called for Reagan “not to seek re-election in 1984”.
Further into the article he goes on to quote Fouad Ajami’s 2010 Wall Street Journal article which states that Reagan “was never bigger than his country… he gloried in the country and took sustenance from its heroic deeds.” This suggests that Reagan’s presidency didn’t help shape America but that America helped shape his presidency. While Kornacki would agree that Reagan’s as president didn’t make any positive progress for America in his role as president, therefore agreeing with Ajami’s point, he criticises Ajami’s conclusion that Reagan was popular in his second term, with specific reference to America’s victory in the Cold War, saying that there’s “no evidence that the unbreakable bond between the president and his people ever really existed”. To illustrate this he once again refers to Reagan’s poor mid-term election results, which saw a drop in the number of Republicans in Congress, as well as the Iran-Contra affair of 1986 – a political scandal in which the Reagan administration facilitated the sale of arms to Iran in order to free American hostages.
Kornacki claims that Reagan’s policies were to blame for the problems which 1980s America faced, such as growing unemployment and economic recession. He also suggests that Reagan’s character didn’t help his popularity or success, stating “his personality counted for nothing.”
Kornacki concludes by stating “There’s just no need to bend over backwards trying to invent reasons for Reagan’s post-’82 strength when we already have a perfectly good one” saying that the Republican party “began a course independent of Reagan’s White House”. He therefore suggests that it is not Reagan who should be remembered as a great president but the Republican party of the time that should be recognised for their achievements. After studying the presidency of Reagan last semester I would agree with this conclusion. I feel that while Reagan did later see economic success and the Cold War victory he himself was not responsible. Along with the Iran-Contra affair I agree that Reagan was not a great president. It will be interesting to see whether Kornacki’s theory that Obama’s presidency will follow the same path as Reagans plays out. Commenting two years after his article was written, it appears that he may have been right about the Obama presidency with the recent decline in his popularity.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The book How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life, by Peter Robinson, is a hagiography as well as a self-help book and a memoir, with a quite commercialised, upbeat name. Peter Robinson gives in his book an insight to Ronald Reagan’s stay at the White House from his position of a former White House Speech writer. In the book there is a weird feel of Robinson’s relationship with the Democratic Party. He uses what he learnt from observing Reagan’s life, his decisions and motivations that make up a book, which includes a certain amount of lessons for life, so to say.
While researching this book I found a short review on it, which describes the book short but concisely. The review is quite critical on the book’s exact purpose but achieves to show however, that Robinson uses the bad decisions as well as the good as a guideline to his book. He doesn’t, however, acknowledge the bad decisions, which becomes very obvious, “especially as he glosses over Reagan's shortcomings ("Now, I myself was never able to get worked up over the deficits," Robinson says). (Editorial Review - Reed Business Information (c) 2003) Robinson was a man who got the job of a speechwriter for the White House, straight out of college. He was young, inexperienced and in need of a boss/role model, his turned out to be Reagan. Another article on the book describes the book as having an interesting perspective, therefore interesting to read, but in no ways a ‘reliable’, ‘non-biased’ source of information on Reagan’s presidency, due to his position. It ended up being a book that would help Reagan-haters understand a Reagan-fan’s point of view.
So whether you are a Reagan fan looking for further insights or a Reagan detractor trying to figure what the other side sees in him or somewhere in between, Robinson provides a personal and insightful view into Reagan's life, character, and leadership. As a result he helps us understand both Reagan the President and Reagan the man.
I therefore chose this book as an example of a Reagan hagiography, a fan-based book, with very little constructive criticism to Reagan’s time of serving in the 1980’s. It has a comical feel to its lay-out, very much a ‘light-read’, not completely a useless book but more designed for a Reagan-loving type of audience, people who have always and only seen Reagan as a hero, an icon of America’s 20th century history.
In an article from TIME Magazine Douglas Brinkley stated that "Obama is approaching the job in a Reaganesque fashion." and he indicated that Obama has a "role Model" and that role model is Reagan. It is argued that Obama has taken some of the same idea's of Reagan and is pushing for them to be put into practice for example changes need to be made to social security and defence budget cuts.
The writer argues that Obama is relying on Reagan and his career to support his own term in office. I think that this shows how important Reagan was and still is. It shows that Reagan is someone to live up to and Obama is being compared to him and people maybe expecting more from Obama because of similarities they may see in his character and the popularity vote which Reagan and Obama both recieved which helped them into their Presidency.
However, this article, as seen in the title, deals with Reagan’s foreign policy toward less economically developed countries particularly those in South/Central America. The article begins by saying "In the interest of filling out the Reagan portrait, let us consider a few regions unfortunate enough to capture his attention, starting with Central America." and the article goes on to discuss how Reagan supported the wrong side by supporting the Salvadoran government in their oppression of their own people and the article suggests that Reagan's actions potentially resulted in the death of another 20,000 Salvadorians.
"El Salvador’s labor movement was decimated, the opposition press exterminated, opposition politicians murdered or driven into exile, the church martyred."
Reagan was further criticised within the article for supporting and praising this government in its handling of the situation and with public and congressional support continued to aid this oppressive regime. what is perhaps most significant about this is that Reagan had not only Congressional support but also public, as a result of this the article is able to suggest that Reagan's great public speaking (something he is often praised for amongst republicans) allowed the American people to be deceived and further bloodshed to continue.
"The Great Communicator/Prevaricator achieved his objective; aid — and blood — continued to flow"
The article then goes on to criticise Reagan for some of his more infamous deeds regarding Nicaragua and the 'Contras', "Reagan’s proxy army" as the article refers to them as well as criticising Reagans supposed stand against terrorism whilst making arms deals with Iran and nation at the time, and perhaps still, considered a terrorist nation who acquired munitions from the US by holding US citizens hostage and exchanging them for missiles. the article surmises this section by saying "the contras themselves were terrorists, as were those elements of the Honduran army that the CIA and Ollie North employed to help the contras, as was the notorious Salvadoran air force that assisted in the contra resupply effort. All murdered noncombatants to achieve political objectives."
The article goes on to list numerous occasions in which the Reagan administration supported the 'wrong sides' in several conflicts, usually the side prone to mass murder, raps and pillaging their enemy. The article discusses Reagans support of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, a warlord who had been removed from power by the Vietnamese after continually attacking villages in Vietnam, the article discusses how Reagan even went so far as to have his UN representative acknowledge Khmer Rouge as the true leader of Cambodia and not the existing government. Finally within the article he is criticised for supporting South Africa's illegal occupation of Namibia and his support for the human rights violating leaders of South Africa at the time and dismissing Nelson Mandela’s African national congress as a "communist terrorists"
The article finishes up with the following statement "By providing apologetics, diplomatic support and/or military aid to some of the worst governments, rebel forces and terror-prone proxy armies of the 1980s, Reagan was an accomplice in hundreds of thousands of deaths. That’s a big part of his legacy, and it’s no cause for celebration."
Having researched Reagan Hatred i am inclined to believe that his legacy as a supporter of apartheid South Africa, the Salvadoran government and his oppression of the Nicaraguan people should outlive his accomplishments as a public speaker. However this appears to have not been the case and as a result the call for 'another Reagan' in present republican primaries is potentially a cause for concern given the instability and fragility of certain nations at this moment in time.
Ronald Reagan's Hagiography is the term used in poltics and religious circumstances, for worshiping someone's work, and in this perticular sense it is worshiping Ronlad Reagan's legarcy as the 40th President of the United States.
While resarching for the this task, I came across the website called Salon.com. On Salon.com is an artical entilted Reagan Worship in where it discusses in deatil the media and conutrys obsesstion with Regan and its long term affects on the nation and Regan himself, with long term illness.
In the artical is states,
“Ronald Reagan is a sort of masterpiece of American magic — apparently one of the simplest, most uncomplicated creatures alive, and yet a character of rich meanings, of complexities that connect him with the myths and powers of his country in an unprecedented way,” trumpeted Time magazine. “He is a Prospero of American memories, a magician who carries a bright, ideal America like a holograph in his mind and projects its image in the air.”
What’s telling is that that passage wasn’t published this week. It comes from a cover story dated July 7, 1986, written by Lance Morrow. The 3,700-word essay serves as a critical reminder that, despite conservative charges of its liberal bias, the press has been fawning over Reagan for years. And this week’s uncritical treatment of the 40th president is a natural culmination of what has been going on for the past quarter of a century
While the artical from Salon is not exactly worhiping Raagan's work but clearly studying the reasons why Reagan is worship for so long as one of the best modern presidences. The artical goes on to say that the director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, Alex jones said that “I think when somebody dies there’s a tendency for the press to view them through rose-colored glasses. It’s only polite,” Meaning that when an iconic figure dies they are always remembered for the greatness they did and their hidden secrets and dark shaddes of their lifes are forgotten out of respect for the death. Michael Jackson himself is a great example for this.
Ronald Reagan has seen his fair share of compliments and insults throughout his Presidency. On the popular political magazine Slate's website, I found an article focussing on President Reagans apparent stupidity whilst in office.
The article starts off by showing just how much respect there as for Reagan after his Presidency, with the writer being invited to attend a Ronald Reagan Appreciation ceremony. The writer, Christopher Hitchens, then goes on to say "But nothing could make me forget what the Reagan years had actually been like", which tells me that although there is a lot of positive compliments towards Reagan, his Presidency wasnt as well made out that it was thought of by many.
Hitchens then goes on to list multiple acts of stupidity by Ronald Reagan. He quotes "Ronald Reagan claimed that the Russian language had no word for "freedom." (The word is "svoboda"; it's quite well attested in Russian literature.) Ronald Reagan said that intercontinental ballistic missiles (not that there are any non-ballistic missiles—a corruption of language that isn't his fault) could be recalled once launched. Ronald Reagan said that he sought a "Star Wars" defense only in order to share the technology with the tyrants of the U.S.S.R. Ronald Reagan professed to be annoyed when people called it "Star Wars," even though he had ended his speech on the subject with the lame quip, "May the force be with you." Ronald Reagan used to alarm his Soviet counterparts by saying that surely they'd both unite against an invasion from Mars. Ronald Reagan used to alarm other constituencies by speaking freely about the "End Times" foreshadowed in the Bible. In the Oval Office, Ronald Reagan told Yitzhak Shamir and Simon Wiesenthal, on two separate occasions, that he himself had assisted personally at the liberation of the Nazi death camps".
Hitchins main argument in this article is that he believes the majority of the American public had 'Honeymoon-eyes' for Reagan, and celebrated his even though his Presidency had many of flawes, including his stupidity in speeches and the Iran-Contra scandal. Hitchins then goes on to say that Reagan had used President Carters briefing book for his own Presidency, once again painting the picture of Reagan being stupid and unable to think of his own way to run the country. In his opinion, he can't believe that Americans would let someone so 'obviously' stupid run a country. He quotes "The fox, as has been pointed out by more than one philosopher, knows many small things, whereas the hedgehog knows one big thing. Ronald Reagan was neither a fox nor a hedgehog. He was as dumb as a stump. He could have had anyone in the world to dinner, any night of the week, but took most of his meals on a White House TV tray. He had no friends, only cronies. His children didn't like him all that much. He met his second wife—the one that you remember—because she needed to get off a Hollywood blacklist and he was the man to see. Year in and year out in Washington, I could not believe that such a man had even been a poor governor of California in a bad year, let alone that such a smart country would put up with such an obvious phony and loon".
This article is an obvious piece of Anti-Reagan propaganda, claiming that Reagan is exceedingly over-rated and that people need to re-think their opinion on Reagan by paying attention to his clear faults.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
- The fact that he was a "visionary", devoting himself to the ideology that "people wanted freedom and would do well when mpre of it was given to them." Stating such examples of this as "Undermining the Soviets, challenging an unlawful union," and "diregulating oil production". He argues that what made Reagan so popular were the ways he looked at the world differently, aiming for a publically popular strife for "more freedom, less government" and strategizing realistic goals enabling for more successful ligislations.
- He also had great character, with a bold personality which made for popular and desired leaders. "Courage, kindness and persistence" were said to be his windfall when his polls were low. It is also stated that even his honesty was a winning trait.
- Third that he was able to accept advice, making him "teachable" allowing for "course corrections" despite coming into his presidency at an age where people were considered to have life figured out for themselves.
Another argument he makes is that Reagan had seen past democracys fail and succeed - and knew what worked and what didn't. He had supported FDR, and was a part of one of those families which had benefitted when he had created jobs. Reagan also saw the flaws in price controls and restrictions on oil production. He realized the tyranny in federal power and that a nation "could not spend its way to prosperity."
Implementing new ideas into his vision meant that he could adjust for a changing climate, and due to the tax cuts he implemented when he became president, this alligated a sense of freedom that Reagan had envisioned which would come to more enhanced fruitition under the future Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush which were further expanded by capital gains cuts. The author quotes that between the periods of 1982 to 2007, "the US economy more than doubled in economic growth" under a substancially low unemployment rate and increasing standard of living.
Article and image available from: http://biggovernment.com/bfolsom/2010/02/06/why-was-ronald-reagan-the-greatest-president-of-the-20th-century/
Monday, January 23, 2012
This book by Paul Slansky was out of print for two decades and was re issued in honour of Reagans 100th Birthday. It relates to the timeline of Ronald Reagan and breaks down his years as President.
From reasearching about Reagon I feel that many people have been embarrassed by what happened during his term however he then went on to win again. I feel that this book should be read by all Americans in case another Presidency like this happens again.
There are many similarities seen in this book between Reagan and Obama, quoting from Ken Layne article of the book, "Ronald Reagan was exactly the way to “bring fun back” to a nation crippled by recession, unemployment, lost wars and humiliation in the Middle East. (Hah, sound familiar?)"
After reading some of the material in the book I feel that the writer Slansky never really forgot that this President was an actor and that his time in office was a film itself. The book even includes "Hollywood Happenings" that you wuld usually find in magazines; such as Natalie Woods death, the death of John Lennon and even dates when the Preseident got his haircut.