September 28th, 2017

Jerry Brown and the troglodytes

Almost two weeks ago Jerry Brown came up with this lovely gibe: “You should check out the derivation of ‘Trump-ite’ and ‘troglodyte,’ because they both refer to people who dwell in deep, dark caves.”

And I say Brown’s supporters are Elois.

So there.

The Time Machine:

…[T]he Time Traveller [in Wells’ The Time Machine] tests his device with a journey that takes him to A.D. 802,701, where he meets the Eloi, a society of small, elegant, childlike adults. They live in small communities within large and futuristic yet slowly deteriorating buildings, doing no work and having a frugivorous diet. His efforts to communicate with them are hampered by their lack of curiosity or discipline, and he speculates that they are a peaceful, communist society, the result of humanity conquering nature with technology, and subsequently evolving to adapt to an environment in which strength and intellect are no longer advantageous to survival.

Returning to the site where he arrived, the Time Traveller is shocked to find his time machine missing and eventually concludes that it has been dragged by some unknown party into a nearby structure with heavy doors, locked from the inside, which resembles a Sphinx. Luckily, he had removed the machine’s levers before leaving it (the time machine being unable to travel through time without them). Later in the dark, he is approached menacingly by the Morlocks, ape-like troglodytes who live in darkness underground and surface only at night. Within their dwellings, he discovers the machinery and industry that makes the above-ground paradise possible. He alters his theory, speculating that the human race has evolved into two species: the leisured classes have become the ineffectual Eloi, and the downtrodden working classes have become the brutal light-fearing Morlocks. Deducing that the Morlocks have taken his time machine, he explores the Morlock tunnels, learning that due to a lack of any other means of sustenance, they feed on the Eloi. His revised analysis is that their relationship is not one of lords and servants but of livestock and ranchers. The Time Traveller theorizes that intelligence is the result of and response to danger; with no real challenges facing the Eloi, they have lost the spirit, intelligence, and physical fitness of humanity at its peak.

There’s much more at the link, of course. In case you haven’t read the book, it’s not a real cheerer-upper about the fate of humankind.

16 Responses to “Jerry Brown and the troglodytes”

  1. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    IMO, assigning the label of “Elois” to Brown and his ilk is so perfectly appropriate that it’s a bit of genius. And that’s not flattery, just an honest evaluation.

  2. Sam L. Says:

    You’ve heard California wants a state dinosaur?
    I suggest the “High-Speed-Railosaurus”.

  3. Mac Says:

    Hippies and capitalists.

  4. arfldgrs Says:

    America’s enemies are now ready to rain fire and fury upon America; for America is a divided country, intellectually confused, deracinated and demoralized. It is not the powerful, united and stable country of the past. The American people have, in large part, lost their instinct for national self-preservation. They have no real civil defense, yet they do not even feel their defenselessness. They are unprepared and ignorant of their enemy’s motives. Their leaders are a patchwork of plausible crooks, panderers and empty suits.

    Last year an anonymous high-ranking NATO military official was quoted by La Stampa as saying, “We are at war, a hybrid war, the last step before the shooting begins.”

  5. arfldgrs Says:

    Something else to thik about while your distracted with the entertainment:

    It has been my contention [the author not artfldgr], for many years, that the KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn was generally correct in his analysis of the liberalization that led to the collapse of the USSR. Golitsyn predicted the liberalization before it occurred, and he accurately predicted where it would lead. He said that the communist party would appear to lose its monopoly of power. This would allow Russia access to capital and technology it could not have acquired during the Cold War. This capital and technology would enable Russia, further down the road, to build a military machine second to none. Golitsyn argued that Soviet liberalization was devised with this end in mind. It was also devised to eliminate anti-communism and destroy the West’s vigilance so that communism could make gains across the globe without anyone noticing. If we look at what has happened, from Venezuela and Nicaragua to Brazil and Nepal, South Africa, Congo and Angola, communism did not disappear. It has been victorious in country after country. But nobody in the media says anything. And this is quite telling.

  6. huxley Says:

    FWIW, Leonard Nimoy and John De Lancie of Star Trek fame formed a production company, “Alien Voices” to do classic SF audio dramas.

    Their version of “The Time Machine” is most excellent. I’ve listened to it many, many times while driving.

    The George Pal movie of “The Time Machine” holds up reasonably well too. It was my entry into science fiction as a child.

    I went on to read most of HG Wells’ science fiction and his “Outline of History.” Wells was a big influence.

    Few people realize Wells in his heyday was a world famous intellectual. I can’t think of anyone comparable today.

  7. Oldflyer Says:

    Well said Sam L.
    California’s infrastructure is crumbling at an alarming rate, yet the Gov persists in his high speed rail to nowhere pipe dream. Most people outside of California have no idea how meaningless his first segment, which intends to link two medium sized cities in the Central Valley, really is–assuming the unlikely event of that segment ever actually moving a passenger. Even fewer realize that at this time you can’t even take a train from LA to SF. You have to take connecting bus rides of hundreds of miles, because there is no continuous track linking these cities–or for that matter, LA and the state capital. Some might wonder why resources are not applied to simply tying together the existing rail segments into a cohesive whole; but, those things called mountain ranges will make any project to directly link LA and SF very expensive. Brown’s scheme simply goes off the charts.

    I will say that Ca does one thing well–assisted by the Feds–and that is react to wild fires. The Canyon fire that burned 2,000 acres this week, came within a mile or so of me; and within feet of some houses. Yet the massive response of men and equipment, including multiple aircraft, stopped it cold; in some cases at the fence line of dwellings. Kudos to those who manage and respond to these threats.

  8. BrianE Says:

    “Yet the massive response of men and equipment, including multiple aircraft, stopped it cold”

    Totally off topic, but there’s a Forest Service Airtanker station right next to where I work, and you’ll see a variety of tankers both propeller and jet. The largest is the DC10, which can carry 10,800 gallons of water or retardant. It costs the government $50,000 a day plus $22,000/ flight hour to hire.
    There is now a 747 converted as a tanker, but as yet the forest service won’t hire it. It can carry 19,000 gallons and is said it will cost the government $250,000 a day to operate.

    Most of the tankers can carry between 2-3000 gallons.

  9. Oldflyer Says:

    BrianE, we had one DC-10 committed to our fire; and I spotted at least one C-130. I also saw one of the aircraft that I used to fly; the British Aerospace BAe-146. I am glad that they found a useful purpose for this airplane that mostly failed as an airliner. I grieve that I am not 20 or 25 years younger, so that I could fly it in this role. It is hard to imagine a 747 in the role; or for that matter the DC-10.

    For taxpayers, these fires are a hugely expensive operation. In Ca, they often blame them on dry lightening, but they are usually human initiated; even though any blooming idiot should know that the whole state is a tinder box in the summer and fall. In this case the unofficial word is that workers were doing something with flares along a freeway at 1pm. That boggles the mind, and may be an urban myth.

  10. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    I haven’t yet visited your most populous state but will keep this most interesting and entertaining review of it in mind when I do.

  11. parker Says:

    I was in CA in the mid 70s and again 2008. It is a beautiful state with varied environments. Unfortunately it is prone to fires, droughts, mudslides, earthquakes, and fruitcakes. In flyover country we have floods, droughts, and the occasional tornado; but thankfully few fruitcakes and no fault lines.

    I feel pity for the sane and rational people in CA, you live in a place that holds much natural beauty, but is infested with utopian dreamers and dictator wannabes. Come to Iowa. It is not flat as some would have you believe, it is not all cornfields and hog farms, we have low taxes, a reasonably sane state government, and a more stable fiscal status than most states. Plus, we are friendly people.

    What are you waiting for, paradise? 😉

  12. Oldflyer Says:

    Parker, good advice, except those who matter most came to California, and we chose to follow while we could still enjoy grandchildren. That makes up for a lot. Besides, we experienced one tornado that killed 19 in our town–in the Florida panhandle, of all places. There are many scary phenomena, but none reach the threshold of tornadoes.
    When I think of Iowa, two thoughts come to mind; the birthplace of my Father, and tornadoes.

  13. huxley Says:

    It’s interesting to ponder the Eloi-Morlock dichotomy today.

    It’s easy to imagine why Wells would extrapolate such a future from the fierce class divisions of 1895 England. If Wells had not been recognized as an exceptionally intelligent young man, he would likely have remained working, as he did, 13-hour days as an apprentice in a drapery store or chemist shop.

    It’s not surprising Wells turned to Fabian-style socialism.

    It’s not well-known how desperate Wells became by the failure of the League of Nations and the advent of WW II.

    His last book was “Mind at the End of Its Tether” in which he considered the possibility of homo sapiens being replaced by another species.

  14. om Says:

    I’ve heard that Iowa winters aren’t something to be sneezed at.

    Maybe not as cold as south central WY or ND, my points of reference for grim winters, as south eastern WA is pretty mild by comparison.

  15. parker Says:


    Grandchildren are an anchor. They are a blessing and thankfully our’s are within a 4 hour drive. A tornado these days via modern techonolgies provide good notice (usually) to go to the basement. Until death I will remember standing on the front porch watching a a funnel about two miles away and dad saying time to go to the basement Parker. BTW I inherited the name of a maternal uncle I never knew, childless, buried in Normandy. Our first grandchild was named Cora Parker ____. May his name live on for many generations. If we stay salt of the earth. Cora is the eldest, we hope she will insist her first born bears the name.

  16. parker Says:


    We are in the middle, far from oceans. We often have extremes in heat or cold. One or two winters are very cold and snowy, one or two summers are hot and dry out of ten, We survive, we deal with the extremes.We are strong. Ever notice how Iowa is rarely in the news except when the caucus comes around? We take care of each other. Flood, drought, or tornado.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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