Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by statichaos, Jan 22, 2009.
The last line of LBJ's speech, in which he mentioned civil rights.
Count me among your growing fan base. This is a very well-written TL, and you've made the premise quite believeable despite its unlikelihood. Your style is incidentally reminiscent of James Ellroy's fiction, especially American Tabloid, which features several of the same figures you depict.
About Roy Cohn: on top of being a self-hating homosexual, was he also a self-hating Jew? One wonders if there's anything about himself he didn't hate, and make someone else pay for it.
Well, at least President Disney did something right.
I see why you needed to make Paris unattractive, but I don't think that reason would be a good one. There still was, in the 1950s, a fairly vibrant community of American expatriate artists in Paris, though of course in was nothing like the interwar period. Perhaps Ginsberg wants to go someplace more original?
Good work statichaos!
Just a question, how had Disney dealt with the problem of Mossadegh in Iran?
Yes, in fact I'm directly referencing Ellroy's take on the purple prose of the gossip sheets of the time when I do the Hollywood entries. Good eye.
He's the Mikey of the Cold War.
Yeah, I don't want him to purely be a "bad guy", and with his love of trains, I could see this as being a pet program of his.
Point taken. However, considering the shifts going on in American politics, and the French nationalism of the day, I was thinking that the Gallic take on a bunch of scruffy, dope-smoking beatniks would be a decidedly negative one.
Much the same as in this one.
Don't stop! Keep going! I must see more of this TL!
One wonders what Cyril Kornbluth's "The Advent on Channel Twelve" (Star Science Fiction No. 4, November 1958) will be like. [It's a thinly disguised story of how Mickey Mouse became real . . . and God.)
To the Alaskian Goulag!
After the polls came out a couple of weeks before the election, you would have thought that President Disney would have been on top of the world. You would have been incorrect in that assumption. Instead, on October 23rd, 1956, riots broke out in Hungary. The Soviet backed government looked as if it was going to topple. Cohn was beside himself with glee, but the rest of the President's advisers were more hesitant.
One major, if unofficial adviser was General Eisenhower. He was now recovering from his most recent heart episode. His advice was to hold off: The Soviets were bound to interfere at some point, and an invasion could lead to a nuclear showdown in Europe. When Cohn heard of this, he went insane with rage. The Chief of Staff pulled out all of the stops to get the President away from the General, but Eisenhower was too canny and too well-connected for that. Therefore, the President now had his two most trusted advisers at odds with each other, with the General advising caution and his right-hand man advising something close to an invasion in support of the uprising.
A compromise was reached wherein the United Ståtes publicly supported the new government of Hungary, but took no military action to defend or support the revolutionaries. However, I was reasonably certain that our intelligence people were working night and day to assist our Hungarian brothers and sisters in their struggle for liberty.
-The Truth Of Fantasy: A Washington Memoir, Former White House Press Secretary James Dodd
SOVIET ARMY CROSSES BORDER INTO HUNGARY, SABOTAGE RAMPANT
-Washington Post, 10/27/56
"We shall not stand idly by as our friends in Hungary are brutalized by the forces of International Communism. We shall not turn our heads as the flower of youth is crushed in the streets of Budapest."
-President Walt Disney, address to the nation, 11/1/56
"The peace-loving people of the Soviet Union are not intimidated by the empty rhetoric of the fascist showman who runs the United States."
-Pravda Editorial, 11/3/56
"And I'll tell you Wally, it's wild and wooly out here in the streets of Berlin. On the one side you have the young and crazy Communists, and I mean Communists, not what President Mouse and his gang call a Red, the so-called parlor pinks who vote union and bust open the heads of scabs. No, these are the real McCoy, or real MarxCoy, cats and chicks who'd rather read Engels than get laid. They're out in the streets yelling about "imperialist aggression", and I can dig, but they're so into the revolution that they forget about what comes next, or even what comes now. Then on the other side you have the old folks who'd put on a swastika right now if it wouldn't mean a kick in the ass from the Army folks who still walk around like Uncle Sam owns the place, which he does, and who's caught in the middle but yours truly. So Alan's heard of this cat Elvis who does some crazy things with Negro music, and I'm hip, because we hear that he's going to be in London any time now for a series of shows since he can't get booked even into a jail cell in the U.S. since the Mouse Clubs came along. So if you get to Berlin before we get back, talk to Jack, since he's over here till the heat dies down from that auto theft rap."
-Personal Correspondence of "Beano" to Wally Hedrick
DISNEY IN LANDSLIDE-Johnson strong in Northeast, but fails to capture home state of Texas.
-New York Times, 11/5/56
SOVIETS BOGGED DOWN IN HUNGARY-Western Powers call for ceasefire.
-Washington Post, 11/24/56
Hey, the Reds knew that they were screwed. They didn't want it spilling over into the neighboring states, since they weren't any more fond of all out atomic hell than anyone else. But if they stayed in Hungary, there was no guarantee that they'd get anywhere, and they just didn't want to deal with being bogged down for years...the army had lost their taste for it, for all their talk of solidarity and defeating the imperialist aggressors. So they called in their people, and we called in our people, and we managed to work something out where they were still kind of part of the Warsaw Pact in name, but didn't actually add diddly squat to the defense forces, and they sure as hell weren't NATO. And Nagy's people just sat in the background and stewed. But they knew that they had a choice between getting their asses kicked five ways from Sunday by a fuckload of divisions, or going along with the plan like good little boys and getting some breathing room from the Kremlin.
Hell, it worked out for the Soviets, since they could always point to the free and fair elections in Hungary to prove that they were all for these things. Never mind Poland, or Yugoslavia, or Romania, all still under their thumb....
But at least we got the Army out, even if they were still right on the border. That's probably the proudest moment of the administration.
-Retired Senator Roy Cohn (R-NY), quoted in Magic Kingdom: America In The 50s by Studs Terkel
"As many of you know, we here at Disney have been keeping a pretty close eye on America lately, since we've been faced with all sorts of challenges. We've come out on top, though, so we're ready to announce the National Mickey Mouse Club American Pride Day! Yes, boys and girls throughout this great land will be holding parades and get-togethers up and down the Main Streets of places from the smallest of towns to the biggest cities. We'll even have special appearances from the Disney Defenders, and from all of your favorite characters, including Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and all the gang! So watch for the parades coming your way on December 15th!"
-Ronald Reagan, The Mickey Mouse Club Hour, 11/30/56
I gotta say...
I've been reading this entire thing, and it' Brillient Bloody Brillient.
Great last update, However I just wanted 2 point out, that I seriously doubt LBJ would be able to pick up anything in the Northeast withough a Northern running mate...His map probably looks alot like Stevenson's 56 electoral map. Btw, did you mention who was LBJ's running mate?
No, I did not. Unfortunately, it wasn't in any of the research material I posted. Fear not, it will be mentioned in subsequent posts. And you are correct in regards to the Northeast.
Another great update! Love this TL!
Oh hell, this just came to mind and I had to post it before it burns a hole in my skull. Please forgive my tresspassing on your TL, Stat.
"So join the Fuhrer of the band,
fight for the Ayran race!
H-I-T, L-E-R, Y-O-U-T-H!"
- Graffitti seen on desk in a University of California, Berkley classroom
that's acctualy quite catchy.
I know...it's been stuck in my head for the past hour! I'm half afraid I'll involuntarily sing it in public and get lynched. Damn my sick li'l mind.
And in today's top story, a white kid walking in a black heighborhood in Washington D.C. was unsuspectively assaulted and lynched by a joint black, latino and white gang while singing neo-nazi anthems to the tune of Mickey Mouse music...find out why, at 11!
"I'll tell ya, it was quite a sight and a real thrill when we marched down Pennsylvania Avenue right in front of the White House. President Disney was out there as an honored guest. As a Disney Defender, I got to wear the special uniform with the Mickey armband, and my buddies and I all snapped off our salutes in unison as we passed by.
"That's when all hell broke loose. A bunch of scruffy looking red protesters came up through Lafayette Park. We couldn't see them right off, but we could see the signs they were holding: "No Fascist U.S.A." "Get Your Mouse Off Of My Bookshelf!" "You're Not Defending Me, Disney!". You know. That sort of nonsense. They were yelling and shouting, and trying to break through the crowd watching the parade. One of them managed to shove through, and bumped into Timmy, who was a few rows in front of me. Now, we were taught self-discipline, but we were also taught that a fellow who throws the first punch probably isn't ready to sit down and talk reasonably. Timmy figured that he'd been attacked, so he socked the fellow a good one in the jaw. The other guys with the pickets, they let up this huge howl, and stormed right through the spectators to get at us. I heard someone yelling 'Get the President out of here!' and saw a bunch of Secret Service agents surrounding him and shoving him off the grandstand. Then one of the reds came up to me screaming and swinging a picket sign, so I took out my baton and used the self-defense techniques Sergeant Watson had taught me to bop him a good one on the side of his skull..."
-Harold "Whitey" Whitmore, quoted in Let Us Hold Our Banner High, Documentary Prize winner at the Cannes International Film Festival, 2002.
PRESIDENT SURVIVES ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT AT DISNEY PRIDE CELEBRATIONS IN WASHINGTON: Other, Lesser Protests Also Evident At Nationwide Celebration
-Los Angeles Times, 12/16/56
"Our evidence will show the following: That my clients sitting here before you were peaceably exercising their constitutional rights as guaranteed under the First Amendment when they were set upon by corporate-sponsored paramilitary youths acting under the protection of the United States government. Also that the gun supposedly owned by Mr. Kunstler here, a respected attorney from New York, was not only not in his possession at the time of his arrest, but was planted by overzealous agents of the same federal government..."
-Opening Statement in United States v. Kunstler, Dwight, and Lange
"We're pleased to announce that due to the January 6th show meeting such a powerful response from the English listening public, we're going to be adding a few more dates and going out on a national tour. He'll also be at the opening of the Cavern Club in your fine city of Liverpool. Of course, Mr. Presley will be giving interviews to established and respectable journalists, as he's an established and respectable performing artist."
-Col. Tom Parker, press conference, 1/8/57
CONGRESS PASSES ANTI-RIOT LAWS: ACLU Promises To Fight Law "To The Highest Court"
-Washington Post, 1/22/57
ISRAEL PROTESTS INCREASED FOREIGN AID TO EGYPT, MIDEAST
-Washington Post, 2/14/57
"Yes, I believe that this trip is appropriate. As the foremost fighters of fascism in the world today, the peace-loving people of the Soviet Union naturally support those who suffered the most at the hands of the madmen who nearly destroyed Germany. As my first act as foreign minister, I am looking forward to visiting Israel, and to improving relations between our people and the Jewish people."
-Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, 2/21/57
KUNSTLER GUILTY OF ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT, INCITEMENT TO RIOT: Facing Life In Prison, Defiant Lawyer Vows Appeal
-The New York Times, 3/6/57
The President was in as bad of a condition as I'd ever seen him in. He'd always had some nervous tics, but ever since the assassination attempt, he couldn't stay at his desk for more than half an hour before getting up to wash his hands. Also, his drinking had increased noticeably. I'd thought that his typical lunch of fresh doughnuts dipped in whiskey to be an amusing affectation brought over from California. Then he started drinking the whiskey afterwards. Then I noticed that the bottle was being pulled out somewhat regularly, though he did his best to keep it from the rest of the staff.
Somewhat worried, I took the unusual step of approaching Roy about the situation. He snorted derisively when I brought it up. "So what?" he snapped back at me. "A bunch of 'em drank. Truman. Roosevelt loved his martinis. Hell, Grant's remembered for it, and not badly, either. Think his drinking is a problem? Unless we get the Soviets and Israel to stop acting like schoolchums, I'm going to have to look at getting my name changed if I want to keep working here."
-The Truth Of Fantasy: A Washington Memoir, Former White House Press Secretary James Dodd
KUNSTLER ERUPTS DURING APPEAL HEARING, HELD FOR PSYCHIATRIC OBSERVATION
-The Washington Post, 3/17/57
Interesting, but how does this prevent the 1956 Sinai war? So this led to Eden remaining in power? and isn't it odd for Disney to be so friendly with near-socialist regimes in the Mideast?
Of course, maybe Nasser is less socialist ITTL, thanks to US Aid
Eden is in power, and Nasser is less socialist due to increased foreign aid, including some under-the-table military aid. Disney isn't a foaming at the mouth anti-Semite, but while he has an intellectual dislike of communism, his dislike of Jews is instinctual and tends to inform his worldview.
Oh boy...I don't want to imagine what's going to happen in the Middle East in the coming years.
Separate names with a comma.