1981

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The Reagan Revolution Has Begun

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

After President Jimmy Carter it is like night and day. Nothing has changed yet, but there is hope. Carter made a number of hard choices which caused an economic "malaise" as he called it. Interest rates on mortgages shot up so high that it became reasonable to put a down payment on your house using a credit card. Crazy investment schemes to reduce one's taxes were prevalent. Then gasoline prices shot up. Older gas pumps couldn't accommodate a price-per-gallon over 99 cents, so they had to be adjusted to measure cents-per-liter. Gas rationing was instituted. Lines formed. Carter's attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran failed. So now Carter is out. President Ronald Reagan is in. Just as he completes his oath of office, the news comes in. The American hostages have been freed. Negotiations had been in the works for months, which means the Carter Administration did the work, but Reagan gets the credit. Yep. He is the tough guy that the Iranians are afraid to challenge. (Actually, they are not afraid. It was one more opportunity for them to stick it to Jimmy Carter.) President Reagan brings a new vision. It is a vision that the Republican establishment hates almost as must as the Democrats. (Sound familiar?) Yet he'll make it work. Most of it, anyway. [1]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Every President is a mixed bag of bad and good. I had a lot of confidence in Reagan, and for the most part I still feel happy with my vote. I suppose what I liked best was how he handled the press. His delivery was smooth, thoughtful, and often funny. "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes". It was a joke and I laughed my backside off, but it sent reporters scrambling. I know at times it seems as if the world is coming apart at the seams. Sowing the seeds of chaos makes it easier to herd people, but even back then when things were so much worse, we found reasons to laugh. I saw a recent Saturday Night Live skit attempting to poke fun at President Trump. They failed because at a fundamental level all comedy must tell the truth. They didn't tell the truth about Trump, so I didn't laugh. He must baffle them. [2] [3] [4] [5]


The AIDS Virus Hits Critical Mass

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

Something is happening. The Cuban doctors know it. Heck. Even Fidel Castro knows it. He has been locking up homosexuals left and right in an attempt to save all the others. Now doctors in the United States have noticed. A series of difficult and rare diseases have cropped up, and oddly enough, all the men who have it are gay. The only consistent symptom is a drop in the number of T-Cells. (Those are a type of white cell that helps control disease in the body.) AIDS has been in the United States for a number of years now, but it takes time for a contagious disease to hit critical mass. It is reaching that point now. By next year over a thousand cases will be diagnosed. In two years the number of cases within the gay community will be doubling every 6 months. When the CDC is asked why they didn't quarantine the bathhouses (sexual meeting places), the CDC replies, "We didn't want to be interfering with an alternative lifestyle." Quarantines require strong public support, but the CDC knew they would not get that... not after what gay protestors did to Anita Bryant's career. Most people would like to keep their jobs. [6]

"Gay men should wear their sexually transmitted diseases like a red badge of courage in a war against a sex-negative society."
-- Edmund White, the author of The Joy of Gay Sex. [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
My friend was gay. I'll call him Rodger. I haven't seen Roger in years, but in those days we would get together every couple of days. He was a great guy if somewhat haunted by his alternative lifestyle. I could not relate, but I loved him just the same. I'm straight, and confident enough in my masculinity to love Rodger without feeling like I had to have sex with him to prove it. FYI, I feel the same way about my mother and father. Yet, this AIDS thing was a problem. No one knew how it was transmitted. (High on the list was sex followed by sharing of needles.) But no one really knew how else it might be transmitted. It seemed wrong to isolate Roger, so despite my fears, I gave him a hug. It turns out that it is more difficult to gets AIDS than I had realized. The AIDS virus is a delicate beast. It's like taking a six-shooter, loading 2 cartridges, giving it a spin and pulling the trigger. Not something I'd like to try, but not 100% either. I prefer truth to fear-mongering. [8]


My Take by Southpaw Ben
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, better known as AIDS, is the name give to the late stages of HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus. One of the reasons it is so contagious is that one can have, and pass on, the virus while showing no signs of having it, or after having an initial brief period of flu-like symptoms. The AIDS stage of HIV occurs when the damage to one's immune system is severe, leading to the person becoming susceptible to dying from what would be only a minor to anyone with a working immune system. HIV is spread through contact with bodily fluids, such as blood, semen and breast milk. HIV can NOT be spread through saliva and tears. Studies have shown that there are very low quantities of HIV in saliva and tears, and there has never been a confirmed case where it was transmitted from them. HIV also can't be spread through water, air, or insects, and has been shown to not survive well on objects, all of which are shown by the pattern of HIV's spread, such as a lack of an outbreak where HIV and large mosquito populations co-mingled.[9][10]

Notable Births

  • Ivanka Trump: Daughter and Assistant to President Trump. [11] [12]
  • Paris Hilton: Media personality and great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton. [11] [13]
  • Brian Bonsall: Alexander, the son of Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation. [11]
  • Dan Fredinburg (died 2015, age 33): Google Earth executive who died in a avalanche on Mt. Everest during the Nepal earthquake. [11] [14]
  • Jason Dunham (died 2004, age 22): Medal of Honor recipient. He fell on a grenade to save his fellow Marines. [11] [15]
  • -- In Movies: Elijah Wood (Frodo in Lord of the Rings), Natalie Portman (Padmé in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones), and Jessica Alba (Sue Storm in The Fantastic Four). [11] [16] [17] [18]
  • -- In Music: Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, and Britney Spears. [11] [19] [20] [21]
  • -- In Sports: Eli Manning (brother of Payton), Serena Williams (tennis), and Anna Kournikova (tennis). [11] [22] [23]

This Year in Film

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark: Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. (Amazing religious adventure film.--alexshrugged) [24]
  • Chariots of Fire: An Olympic athlete refuses to break the Sabbath to compete. (Good man. Very correct.--alexshrugged) [24]
  • The Chosen: Two Jewish teens from differing religious sects fight and then become friends. (A Jewish must see.--alexshrugged) [24]
  • Heavy Metal: An adult sci-fi animated film of stories from the magazine of the same name. (Not for the faint of heart.--alexshrugged) [24]

This Year in TV

  • Dynasty : Prime time soap opera. [25]
  • Hill Street Blues: An excellent police drama. [25]
  • The Saturday Night Live season comes to an abrupt halt: The F-word is heard in the closing moments of the show. It was a mistake, but everyone was canned except Joe Piscapo and Eddie Murphy. [25]

This Year in Music

  • Bette Davis Eyes: Kim Carnes. [26]
  • Kiss On My List: Daryl Hall & John Oates. [26]
  • Jessie's Girl: Rick Springfield. [26]
  • MTV is on the air!: Well... on cable anyway. [26]

This Year in Video Games

  • Electronic Games magazine is published: Thus begins video game journalism. [27]
  • Donkey Kong is released by Nintendo: There are no donkeys in this game. [27]
  • The IBM PC hits the market with one game... DONKEY.BAS: There ARE donkeys in this game. The computer comes with 16K of RAM, no disk drive and a 4-color graphics card. The package price is $1,565 which is over $4,000 in 2015. [27]

In Other News

  • President Ronald Reagan is shot by John Hinckley Jr.: Reagan survives. Hinckley was trying to impress Jodie Foster, the movie star. Yep. He is as crazy as a loon. James Brady is also shot, leading the creation of the Brady Law. [28] [29]
  • Pope John Paul II is shot as he greets the faithful in St. Peter's Square: Allegedly it was by order of the KGB to prevent the Polish Pope from rallying Poland against communism. (That is a real possibility.--alexshrugged) See Tom Clancy's novel, Red Rabbit. [28] [30] [31]
  • The Israeli Air Force bombs Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor: It was believed that Saddam Hussein was developing a nuclear bomb. The US condemned Israel, but privately, President Reagan remarked, "Boys will be boys." [28] [32]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1981, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. Alex Shrugged notes: My remarks come from my personal experience, remembering these times.
  2. Reagan's Joke Lead To Red Alert - Flashback - NBC News - YouTube. Retrieved on 10 April 2017.
  3. Reagan tells Soviet jokes - YouTube. Retrieved on 10 April 2017.
  4. Trump's People - SNL - YouTube (2017). Retrieved on 10 April 2017. “President Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) meets with supporters (Mikey Day, Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Aidy Bryant) in Kentucky's Boone County.”
  5. Alex Shrugged notes:I may give the impression that I am a Trump supporter when I am not. I am neutral for now. That means I don't automatically beat up on the guy and I give him the benefit of the doubt for now.
  6. Anita Bryant - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 10 April 2017. “Bryant became known as an outspoken opponent of gay rights and for her 1977 'Save Our Children' campaign to repeal a local ordinance in Dade County, Florida, that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. This involvement significantly damaged her popularity and career in show business.”
  7. Horowitz, David. Radical Son: A Generational Journey. Free Press. ISBN 9780684840055. 
  8. Fumento, Michael. Myth of Heterosexual AIDS: How a Tragedy has been Distorted by the Media and Partisan Politics, The. Regnery Pub. ISBN 9780895267290. 
  9. https://web.archive.org/web/20050204141148/http://www.cdc.gov/HIV/pubs/facts/transmission.htm
  10. http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=1981
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 1981 Births - Wikipedia.
  12. Ivanka Trump - Wikipedia.
  13. Paris Hilton - Wikipedia.
  14. Dan Fredinburg - Wikipedia.
  15. Jason Dunham - Wikipedia.
  16. Elijah Wood - Wikipedia.
  17. Natalie Portman - Wikipedia.
  18. Jessica Alba - Wikipedia.
  19. Justin Timberlake - Wikipedia.
  20. Beyoncé - Wikipedia.
  21. Britney Spears - Wikipedia.
  22. Eli Manning - Wikipedia.
  23. Serena Williams - Wikipedia.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 1981 in film - Wikipedia (1981).
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 1981 in television - Wikipedia (1981).
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 1981 in music - Wikipedia (1981).
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 1981 in music - Wikipedia (1981).
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 1981 - Wikipedia (1981).
  29. Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 10 April 2017.
  30. Pope John Paul II - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 10 April 2017. “As he entered St. Peter's Square to address an audience on 13 May 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and critically wounded by Mehmet Ali Agca, an expert Turkish gunman who was a member of the militant fascist group Grey Wolves. The assassin used a Browning 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, shooting the pope in the abdomen and perforating his colon and small intestine multiple times.”
  31. Clancy, Tom. Red Rabbit. G.P. Putnam's Sons. ISBN 0399148701. 
  32. Clinton's Convenient Evolution on Israel - Bloomberg View (March 21, 2016). Retrieved on 10 April 2017. “Even the Republican hero Ronald Reagan's State Department condemned Israel for bombing Iraq's nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981 (though privately he brushed off the incident, telling aides: 'boys will be boys'). Reagan's Republican successor, George H.W. Bush, threatened to suspend loan guarantees to Israel, part of an effort to pressure its government to participate in the Madrid peace conference, following the 1991 Gulf War.”

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