Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Yes, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Threadmarks: McGoverning: Elections and Oscars and Sports, Oh My!

    Yes Safe, Efficient Airship Travel Since 1972

    Aug 8, 2013
    The Shire, somewhere in Cascadia
    Hey there, Careful Readers! As I crawl back up out of the mudhole a major sinus infection stomped in me, and get about the business of whipping this coming national security/foreign policy chapter into shape so you good people can actually read it, I wanted to offer up one more of my patented diversions. Some electoral news in the 1974-75 timeframe (including at least three cases that I know will draw interest), and then a good deal more from the sports and CULTCHA end of things, including at least one sports event that might be timeline-"spoilery" a tiny bit in that it happens in 1976 although it has no direct effects on major plot points of McGoverning.

    Electoral News from the McGoverningverse, 1974-75:

    No, we're not getting to US midterms just yet. But. We can take a little time to examine some other significant electoral events of the TLverse in this time frame. First a few wire-service notes:

    • The Italian Divorce Referendum still preserves that constitutional right though the "Yes" (get rid of the divorce laws) vote is slightly higher in early signs of a push-back against the broad civil-liberties opening in Western politics out of America's unexpected presidential result in 1972
    • Australia does indeed go to the polls in 1974 and, with better international management on commodity pricing, a couple of poorly-timed Billy Snedden gaffes, and considerable backroom support from the McGovern administration Labor actually gains two seats ITTL; John Howard keeps his deposit but his access to the federal parliament is denied in a surprise constituency result (and anyone looking for news of butterflies on OTL's constitutional crisis you're just going to have to wait)
    • Walter Washington still walks away with the DC mayoralty by stonking margins in the Democratic primary and general election
    • Down Kiwi way, butterflies flap as Norman Kirk decides to share the seriousness of his health issues with his wife and close advisers sooner and is urged to go to the UK for more advanced surgical care; as a result he hangs on long enough to get Labor a narrowed majority as he ponders whether to carry on and potentially die in harness from the strain of continued political life, or roll the dice on further care and leave designated successor Bill Rowling with a not-large but workable majority through the mid-Seventies
    Very good. Now the biggies.

    United Kingdom General Election, December 1973

    All right, all right, I'm throwing the readership a bone here. You've seen intimations of it already in the last chapter, and this will be preparatory for a handful of chapters down the line when we do a chapter-long detailed tour of life and politics in the UK. I'll even throw in some patented Cabinetry just for kicks.

    Things get gnarlier towards the end of '73 in the wake of TTL's Oil Shock. Without his confidant and enabler Dick Nixon across the water to whom he can turn, Ted Heath takes an even more waspish and petulant turn and moves even faster to a snap vote on the "Who Governs Britain" theme. The result is what the tabloid rags call the "Boxing Day Election" because even though it takes place on December 27th who's going to argue with the first draft of history? The results are... messy.

    (Total of 635 seats, 318 needed for a majority)
    Labour Party, 301 seats
    Conservative Party, 295 seats
    Liberal Party, 18 seats
    Scottish Nationalists, 6 seats
    Plaid Cymru, 2 seats
    Ulster Unionist, 5 seats
    Vanguard Party, 4 seats
    SDLP, 2 seats
    Democratic Unionist, 1 seat
    Independent Labour, 1 seat

    Broadly like OTL's results (though with some preturbations in Northern Ireland) but with crucial marginal-seat breakthroughs for the Liberals as Middle England shrinks back from just swapping out Ted No He's Not the Bandleader Heath for Oor 'Arold again. The result is several turgid days of talks about talks among the leading parties, during which the Libs' man Jeremy Thorpe really favors a Tory-Liberal-Unionist coalition to hold things together until another election. But with that odd Svengali-like nous he often had, Wilson lets Thorpe - frustrated by Ted Heath's coldness about a potential government - talk himself into a Lib-Lab coalition. So it is that on New Year's, as Heath fugues away in self-sustaining gloom with the caretaker role, Harold Wilson rides to Buckingham Palace to form another government.

    What does that Lib-Lab aggregation look like, you may ask? A well-timed question! Let's get our C A B I N E T R Y on and see!

    Third Wilson Ministry

    Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, and Minister for Civil Service: Harold Wilson
    Lord Chancellor: Elwyn Jones, Lord Elwyn-Jones
    Lord Privy Seal: Ed Short, Lord Short (Our Ed gets a gong in the New Years' List)
    Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons: Michael Foot
    First Secretary of State and Home Secretary: James Callaghan
    Ministers of State for Home Affairs: Brynmor John, David Owen
    Chancellor of the Exchequer: Denis Healey
    Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury: Robert Sheldon
    Foreign Secretary: Jeremy Thorpe
    Minister of State for Foreign Affairs: Bill Rodgers
    Secretary of State for Defence: Anthony Crosland
    Minister of State for Defence: John Gilbert
    Secretary of State for Trade and Industry: Anthony Wedgewood Benn
    Secretary of State for Employment: Shirley Williams
    Secretary of State for Health and Social Services: Barbara Castle
    Secretary of State for Energy: Merlyn Rees
    Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food: Fred Peart
    Secretary of State for Transportation: Peter Shore
    Secretary of State for Education and Science: Reg Prentice
    Secretary of State for the Environment: John Silkin
    Secretary of State for Scotland: David Steel
    Secretary of State for Wales: John Morris
    Secretary of State for Northern Ireland: Roy Mason
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Jo Grimond
    Minister for Overseas Development: Bob Mellish
    Minister for Planning and Local Government: Eric Varley
    Paymaster General: Edmund Dell
    Attorney General: Peter Archer

    So there's your preview of coming redactions :p

    Canadian Federal Election, 1974

    A few interesting developments here. On one hand P I E R R E benefits in several ways from both the McGovern victory in '72 and the McGovern administration at work. Despite the shadow of Quebec 1970 Trudeau tacks back towards charismatic cultural liberalism in an effort to outflank the NDP's rather stolid leadership and practically grabs a sewing kit to stitch himself (Trudeau) on to the side of whichever senior McGovern administration official happens to be visiting at the moment, particularly the one Trudeau - with that big carnivorous smile of his - likes to call "our inside man," Canadian-born Treasury Secretary Ken Galbraith. Indeed Galbraith does Trudeau a solid in another way: Galbraith's coordination of wage-price controls among the major Western economies pushes the peevish Trudeau into following suit, and this disarms Robert Stanfield's telling criticism of Gritonomics from OTL and OTL's 90-day freeze proposal from the PCs (Galbraith's system is more complex and enduring than that.) Meanwhile the Creditistes continue to moulder, the NDP's Western branches continue to self-sabotage and implode while David Lewis, secretly battling leukemia, fails to inspire. Does Stanfield Catch the Football? Well, metaphorically at least - most of all, with momentum running towards the idea that at least Trudeau's a strong hand on the tiller Stanfield instead concentrates on projecting sobriety and good judgment so he steers clear of visual and verbal gaffes like OTL's famous moment. With a Trudeauvian eye for the jugular, Pierre and senior Liberal Party operators decide their best bet for a majority is to break the NDP on the wheel with various bones thrown to the NDP left and publicity for the (correctly reported) view that Lewis would rather back a PC minority government than the Liberals.

    "I believe I shall be fabulously Left this cycle, Smithers. Alert the proles."

    The results?

    (264 total seats, 133 needed for a majority)

    Liberal Party, 135 seats
    Progressive Conservative Party, 104 seats
    New Democratic Party, 13 seats
    Social Credit Party, 12 seats

    Trudeau does indeed get his majority, but almost entirely by shanking the NDP like a prison-yard slaying. The New Dems' British Columbian massacre is even more complete as rumors of corruption to do with Dave Barrett's proposed mineral tax plus Trudeau making sweet, sweet love to the McGovernite agenda lead the NDP down to one seat, plus greater losses in Ontario. The Creditistes turn out the same as OTL except that, with a stronger PC showing, Real Caouette is able to talk Leonard Jones into caucusing with Social Credit in order to cock a snook at Stanfield. As for the Dome of Justice:

    The vote is a dog that failed to bark. The PCs suffer tiny losses but far from enough to call it a disaster, as more voters retain a skepticism about Trudeau's commitment to, well, everything. What the PCs fail to do is go forward. And that's likely to be enough to call time on Stanfield's leadership. The Liberals, however, can govern but really just because no one is strong enough to challenge them and everything will depend on whether they can manage the economy well in years ahead so by-election results don't eat away their power. The New Democrats are in a mess: with his seat lost, his health failing, and an even worse outcome than OTL's, Lewis simply resigns the leadership and makes way for a potential brawl over succession. The Creditistes continue to hedge their way towards studied irrelevance as new political forces in their Quebec and Western heartlands start to offer alternatives.

    French Presidential Election, 1975

    Butterflies are pretty, fickle things. The McGovern administration - more particularly its vigorously prominent and francophile figures Secretary of State Sargent Shriver and US Ambassador to France Pierre Salinger - have been good to Georges Pompidou's political standing, determination to secure a legacy of his own apart from being De Gaulle's water boy for years, and even for his broken health. He's supported US brokering of a wonky but functional governing coalition in ex-French Cambodia to try and keep the Khmer Rouge at bay; he's been a useful interlocutor on Asian and African issues with Moscow on behalf of the McGoverners; and he's played host to the most comprehensive and important arms-control agreement of the Cold War thus far. You can figure, at that point, that he would use his dying breaths to secure a political legacy as well and, as one might expect of a French president, that it would have to do with sentiment as much as dry calculation:

    One could indeed figure that Pompidou, given a few extra months of relative strength, would move hard to settle his mantle on old comrade and fading liberal-conservative darling Jacques Chaban-Delmas. One might though underestimate just how hard Pompidou would twist the necessary arms - to the point of coughing up blood during one particularly choice harangue at ambitious technocrat Jacques Chirac - in order to make that happen. The result is in fact twofold: several key Gaullists including Edgar Faure decide that in the end it's better to put JCD so deep in political debt to them that his liberalizing wings can be clipped and he can serve the parliamentarians rather than the other way round, while after ... vigorous discussions on the point Jean Royer huffs off into an independent candidacy that's an M.C. Escher like combination of right-wing Gaullism and opportunistic snippets of Poujadisme. Meanwhile a third force - the young Independent Repubilcans led by charming fortysomething-in-a-hurry Valery Giscard d'Estaing - move calmly to maneuver through the middle of the right, a GPS coordinate that makes more sense in a French context than just about anywhere else.

    At the same time, though, there are broader changes afoot in the French body politic. Energized by Washington's new willingness to tolerate, sometimes even encourage, the Left abroad, the Union Gauche is in such full steam that there are even dissident ginger candidates who look to push it even further in issue-specific directions. For the first round of presidential voting, that boils down as follows:

    First round (candidates claiming at least 1%)

    Francois Mitterand, 42.78%
    Jacques Chaban-Delmas, 24.02%
    Valery Giscard d'Estaing, 22.83%
    Jean Royer, 4.13%
    Arlette Laguier, 3.14%
    Rene Dumont, 1.35%

    Thus in a train wreck on the right JCD edges out VGE while even Royer makes his presence felt. Pompidou, who lives long enough to see the initial result, passes beyond the veil confident that the Humpty Dumpty of French conservatism will rearrange itself when faced with Jean Marchais' legions lined up behind Mitterand's stalking horse. But what settles it in the end? There are so many things, at so many levels, in a vote so close, that it might even be the absence of covert American support for a Gaullist status quo (indeed Ken Galbraith is getting a little weary of Gaullist fucking-about with currency-buying actions to angle for the franc), or just the weather in the right departements, or even a head cold JCD picked up in the last week of the campaign:

    Second round

    Francois Mitterand, 50.2%, 13,234,639
    Jacques Chaban-Delmas, 49.8%, 13,133,167

    By the narrowest margin, on the strength of the political moment and opportunistic spite from JCD's opponents and an acute PS effort to mark Mitterand out as a Serious and Responsible Fellow, seven years out from the Soixante-Huit, the Left finds itself on the presidential heights of French politics.

    All right! Let's move on to Other News! First a quick dip into Tinseltown, then S P O R T S

    47th Academy Awards, 1975

    Best Picture: The Godfather, Part II
    Best Director: Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather, Part II
    Best Actor: Al Pacino, The Godfather, Part II
    Best Actress: Faye Dunaway, Chinatown
    Best Supporting Actor: Robert de Niro, The Godfather, Part II
    Best Supporting Actress: Diane Ladd, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

    Best Original Screenplay: Robert Towne, Chinatown
    Best Adapted Screenplay
    : Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo, The Godfather, Part II

    G2 comes on even stronger, particularly as phenom Al Pacino (the gossip sheets say he's starting to displace Jack Nicholson as the young prince of Hollywood) makes it back-to-back awards after last year's win for Serpico. We see some emergence of tactical voting in the MPAA here: Faye Dunaway takes Best Actress in large part to honor Chinatown with a senior award after both the film and Polanski were muscled out by the Godfather juggernaut, while Diane Ladd's bravura performance in Alice... comes up in part for its own sake but also because Ellen Burstyn, a sentimental favorite of many Academy voters, lost Best Actress to Dunaway. A number of people likewise insist Art Carney Wuz Robbed, but what with, well, things going on in relation to the previous presidential administration, G2 seems even better suited to its cultural moment than IOTL so no one's altogether surprised.

    Off in the marginalia "Blazing Saddles" wins as Best Song because Do Not Even @ Me It's My TL.

    And now we reach SPORTSBALL! On several fronts:

    UEFA European Ciup club winners, 1973-75

    1973: Ajax 2, Juventus 0
    1974: Bayern Munchen 3, Dinamo Bucuresti 2
    1975: Derby County FC 2, Barcelona 1

    1975 World Series champions
    Boston Red Sox def. Cincinnati Reds, 4-2 AND LO THE CURSE IS BROKEN Yaz was on a Mishun From Gahd

    NBA Champions, 1975
    Washington Bullets def. Phoenix Suns, 4-1 (MVP: Elvin Hayes)

    Stanley Cup champions, 1975
    Los Angeles Kings (the Kardiac Kings see it through ITTL)

    NCAA I-A football champions, 1975
    Ohio State Buckeyes

    NCAA I-A men's basketball champions, 1975
    UCLA (The Streak lives on in the McGoverningverse)

    And now that little bit of spoileration:

    UEFA Euro 1976 (NB: UEFA Euro 1972, whose finals occurred right after the POD, produced the same first- and third-place winners as OTL)

    Qualifying play-offs
    Yugoslavia 3 - Wales 2
    England 2 - Sovoet Union 1
    Romania 2 - West Germany 4
    Netherlands 4 - Belgium 1

    Netherlands 3 - England 2 (widely considered a classic)
    Yugoslavia 2 - West Germany 1 (buoyed by the home-town fans in a historic upset)


    Netherlands 3 - Yugoslavia 1

    Third-place fixture
    West Germany 2 - England 0

    Now we get some pleasant diversions (courtesy of Yr. Hmbl. Author & C. and in the realm of ALL-AMERICAN H A N D E G G


    Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Washington Redskins 14

    Led by their soon-to-be-legendary defense longtime also-rans Pittsburgh reach the big game after a titanic AFC Championship contest against the reigning Dolphins. On the NFC side, DC's Over The Hill Gang is back on form and want a second chance after their woodshed-beating at Miami's hands two years prior. The main question is whether the "Steel Curtain" can contain Washington's doughty offense. For the most part the answer is yes. Larry Brown does scamper loose for a touchdown in the second half but only after the Steelers' stolid, ball-control offense was already up 13-0. Running a platoon system (ed. more common at this point in the McGoverningverse) Chuck Noll has leaned more on Terry Bradshaw up to this point but the Cajun's had an indifferent afternoon. In response to Brown's score, and on his second set of downs that afternoon, Steeler QB Joe Gilliam throws a touchdown to second-string wideout Frank Lewis and puts Pittsburgh up 20-7. The moment has significant cultural weight: it makes Gilliam the first black quarterback to throw a touchdown in a Super Bowl, and colors "Joe Touchdown"'s path through the league for both good and ill. Later Billy Kilmer, who's flown Washington's offensive flag almost solo, connects on a long bomb to Charley Taylor. For a moment bipartisan hearts are raised (including President McGovern's, an avowed Redskins fan) on behalf of the District of Columbia Racist Names. But, no: rookie receiver John Stallworth covers Washington's onside kick and the Steelers grind down the clock for their first title.

    Quarters 1 2 3 4 Total
    Steelers 10 0 3 7 20
    Redskins 0 0 7 7 14
    MVP: L.C. Greenwood, DE (4 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries leading to Steelers scores)

    Scoring summary
    PIT FG Roy Gerela 24 yds (Q1 9:39)
    PIT TD Franco Harris 8 yd run (Gerela kick) (Q1 1:48)
    PIT FG Roy Gerela 40 yds (Q3 10:15)
    WAS TD Larry Brown 18 yd run (Knight kick) (Q3 2:19)
    PIT TD Frank Lewis 7 yd pass from Gilliam (Gerela kick) (Q4 11:19)
    WAS TD Charley Taylor 52 yd pass from Kilmer (Knight kick) (Q4 1:29)

    Key Stats: Possession PIT 33:11 WAS 26:49 Rushing PIT Franco Harris 15-49 1 TD, Rocky Bleier 10-35, Terry Bradshaw 4-28 WAS Larry Brown 17-36 1 TD, Charlie Harraway 11-21 Passing PIT Terry Bradshaw 9-25 165 1 INT, Joe Gilliam 8-13 77 1 TD WAS Billy Kilmer 17-29 275 1 TD Receiving PIT Franco Harris 4-72, John Stallworth 4-50, Frank Lewis 4-46 1 TD, Lynn Swann 2-48 WAS Charley Taylor 6-132 1 TD, Roy Jefferson 5-91, Larry Brown 3-27 Defense PIT LC Greenwood 4 tackles 2 sacks 2 fumble recoveries, Jack Ham 6 tackles WAS Richie Petitbon 6 tackles, Harold McLinton 4 tackles 2 sacks


    Pittsburgh Steelers 14, Dallas Cowboys 10

    Just before the (earlier-than-OTL) introduction of a sweping new rules set intended to empower the passing game, destined to arrive in the Bicentennial season, Super Bowl X offers the last true Dead-Ball death match. Like the 'Phins-'Boys contest two years earlier, no one doubts that this particular season the two best teams in the league have reached the title matchup. On one hand these are classically-formed teams of legendary defenses and grinding ball-control games (leavened with famous, charismatic quarterbacks), run by conservative chessmaster head coaches. On the other there are signs already, in the shape of the game, about some places where the NFL game may be headed and what that portends for both "America's Team" from Dallas and the Wavers of the Terrible Towels. It's a grinding affair, with only ten points scored in the first half. Dallas can dominate control of the clock, but against the "Steel Curtain" they have little to show for it. In the fourth quarter the dam breaks, a little: first a rocket-like touchdown run by the Cowboys' Doug Dennison that gives Dallas their only lead, then a lightning drive of just over two minutes by the lanky Joe Gilliam that replicates the Gilliam-to-Lewis connection of last year and puts Pittsburgh up 14-10. Now it's up to Captain Comeback, Roger Staubach, but the Steel Curtain - to mix metaphors - lands on Dallas' counterattack like a ton of bricks. The epic game played by all nine teeth of Pittsburgh's future Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Lambert, with six solo tackles, all three sacks of Roger Staubach, and the game's lone interception, marks him out as MVP on behalf of a dominating defense.

    Quarters 1 2 3 4 Total
    Steelers 7 0 0 7 14
    Cowboys 0 3 0 7 10
    MVP: Jack Lambert, LB (6 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 INT)

    Scoring summary
    PIT TD Rocky Bleier 11 yd pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick) (Q1 7:07)
    DAL FG Tony Fritsch 37 yds (Q2 0:11)
    DAL TD Doug Dennison 26 yd run (Fritsch kick) (Q4 12:50)
    PIT TD Frank Lewis 13 yd pass from Gilliam (Gerela kick) (Q4 10:20)

    Key Stats: Possession PIT 25:01 DAL 34:59 Rushing PIT Franco Harris 12-48, Rocky Bleier 6-22, Terry Bradshaw 5-14, John Fuqua 1-9 DAL Robert Newhouse 10-103, Preston Pearson 14-43, Doug Dennison 8-34, Roger Staubach 1-16 Passing PIT Terry Bradshaw 10-20 141 1 TD, Joe Gilliam 4-8 66 1 TD DAL Staubach 17-24 198 1 INT Receiving PIT Lynn Swann 3-62, John Stallworth 2-56, Larry Brown 2-39, Frank Lewis 2-22 1 TD, Rocky Bleier 1-13 1 TD DAL Drew Pearson 6-82, Jean Fugett 4-37, Golden Richards 3-33, Billy Joe DuPree 1-15 Defense PIT Jack Lambert 6 tackles 3 sacks 1 INT, Dwight White 9 tackles DAL Charlie Waters 7 tackles

    All right then. Some stuff for you good folks to chew on while I get back to getting on with, y'know, actual proper narrative or something.
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  2. mr1940s Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2013
    Washington DC
    Was Nixon really a confidant for Edward heath, it appears to me that Edward Heath had very few confidants, let alone Richard Nixon. Also December 27th does seem like a very unrealistic date for an election. However it is overall a very well done well researched update, as per usual.
    Yes likes this.
  3. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    I don't mind this at all...
    Yes likes this.
  4. Yes Safe, Efficient Airship Travel Since 1972

    Aug 8, 2013
    The Shire, somewhere in Cascadia
    As you say, it's all relative. More than confidant, perhaps, Nixon was a bulwark on which Heath could lean. And - while the larger Tory Cabinet and permanent Civil Service were a good deal more skeptical about things like the Dick-and-Henry machinations in foreign policy, for example - Heath did lean on it with some regularity. Without that he's prone to do, well, petulant things like drag people out from their Boxing Day hangovers to Thrash the Unions and such, which is bound to turn out not as he planned ;) The price one pays for a premier with very little sense of the social and emotional lives of others. Although here that price gets paid for an even shorter time than IOTL.
    Llamastrangler likes this.
  5. THE OBSERVER Independent Progressive

    Jul 22, 2010
    New England
    Oh Boy! Jeremy Thorpe as Foreign Secretary. S**t’s gonna hit the fan when everything about Norman Scott comes out. More scandalous than the Profumo Affair.

    Or maybe things will happen differently ITTL.
    Expat, Llamastrangler and Yes like this.
  6. Gonzo Grumpy Poujadist Norn Person

    Mar 4, 2015
    Béal Feirste, Tuaisceart Éireann

    I want to know all of what happens here. I presume the Official Unionists still drop the Tory whip here?

    The closeness of this and the fact that my boy Jacques nearly won makes this hurt a lot.

    With regards to the legislative elections does Mitterrand call one immediately or wait out the legislative term with a cohabitation term?
    Bulldoggus and Yes like this.
  7. Yes Safe, Efficient Airship Travel Since 1972

    Aug 8, 2013
    The Shire, somewhere in Cascadia

    Oh they drop the whip like it's hot. I'll PM you on the details.

    It is a Sad Day for Gaullism, especially because gaucheophobia almost helped him get over the line despite Light Brigade levels of friendly fire from the right (if one can even call it friendly.) VGE is more cautious here, counting perhaps on an even better result for Royer or a few more swing voters, but JCD really runs the race of his career in the first round against titanic internal and external opposition.
    Gonzo likes this.
  8. Expat Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    The San Francisco of Appalachia

    So Australia. Hm, was this Rupert “Witness Me” Murdoch’s first attempt at breaking a political party, and did he get a rolled up newspaper to the snout for his efforts? Is it too much to hope that this sends him on an altered path?

    Well of course Walter Washington won, you kept his closest competition busy in the administration. It’s such a backwater congressional assignment, almost anything can happen in the DC oversight committee. Usually just a way to make lobbyists happy without reaching the front page. Though sometimes they’ll surprise you. Don’t suppose anything’s different ITTL?

    @THE OBSERVER already mentioned the big one in the UK, and I’m curious there myself. Also, always nice to see Tony Bennett keeping busy.

    Looks like we’ve got a pretty broad collection of fellow travelers holding sway across the West here. This is just asking for an 80s cartoon hero team-up montage with McGovern in prime place!

    I think you changed the Oscars in a smart way, here. While Chinatown and G2: Electric Boogaloo aren't exactly optimistic, they're also not about people society has let fall through the cracks "these days." They're not films that make middle-Americans sigh, "what's the world coming to if sweet Ellen and Ed from the sewers can't catch a break?" and just accept that society is on a downward slope and likely to stay that way. They're not films that have people wondering, "when-oh-when will it be Morning In America again?" Two films about corruption and unreliable systems existing in the past actually undermines the conservative narrative of the arrival of the Age of Lead. And if, dare I say it, optimism begins to creep in, that could see the zeitgeist flit a bit further away from a Reagan moment. Just on the cultural plain, though certainly it's linked with the political.

    Now it's just a couple of changed awards at the Oscars. But certainly the Academy is a largely middle-and-upper-class kinda Orange County affair, so that's not worth nothing. And Art Carney's award has always been one of those glaring head-scratchers largely defended with lines like, "well you have to remember what the nation was going through at the time."

    What's Warren Beatty up to? Has he grown chaste and sober in preparation for an impending political career? :openedeyewink:

    Sportsportsports. Seems like a good few years to be a Dutchman! And good for Yaz. My first and most treasured baseball card was his, and I was convinced my fortune was made- in the years before I learned what a reissue was. (Like Pops is gonna give a 4-year-old a real one!)
  9. THE OBSERVER Independent Progressive

    Jul 22, 2010
    New England
    Please have Gordon Willis for Best Cinematography in 1975. The fact that he did not receive any nominations for his breathtaking work on The Godfather and The Godfather Part II IOTL (Though in fairness, Geoffrey Unsworth's work on Cabaret was considered to be his finest accomplishment), and no Oscar at all apart from an Honorary Oscar is criminal.

    So who wins for the next two years then? If what you're saying is true, "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" may not win Best Picture. Out of the other four Best Picture nominees for 1975 IOTL, "Barry Lyndon", "Jaws", and "Nashville" seem likely contenders, while "Dog Day Afternoon" is unlikely. Of course, a film that wasn't nominated for Best Picture IOTL, such as "The Man Who Would Be King" and "Shampoo", may be nominated ITTL in place of the films previously mentioned. And may win.

    As for 1976, the nominations get a little interesting. Is it possible that TTL's version of "All The President's Men" wins Best Picture instead of "Rocky"?
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    Bulldoggus, Expat and Yes like this.
  10. Expat Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    The San Francisco of Appalachia
    For '76 ('77 ceremony) there's always the unlikely victory of that Rebel Alliance!

    Outside of the Oscars, the underdog Rocky winning his first big fight might happen. Maybe a little too on-the-nose to match the election, but in keeping with the changes in culture (maybe with a revamped casting to make it less cringey that a white guy takes down a black guy).

    For the year before, I kinda like Cuckoo's Nest still. Maybe just highlight a little more that it takes place in the past. @Yes was talking about the important of McGovern as an anti-establishment figure as much (or more) than a figure of the left, and that's Cuckoo's terf, too. And whatever you think of Randle, he doesn't present as a person who's fallen through the cracks the way Harry or Alice do in their respective movies.
    Yes likes this.
  11. Yes Safe, Efficient Airship Travel Since 1972

    Aug 8, 2013
    The Shire, somewhere in Cascadia
    It's just a whisker early for Murdoch to be in full bloom, but he's starting to acquire his assets and range his forces at this point. Faced with (as you say) what looks purely on its surface like a Justice League of liberal-to-left major figures in office (a slightly creaky wave in McGovern's wake) there may also be more coordination among the international players who would like those leaders shoved off their perches.

    I thought you had an eye on that, and was correct.

    Wedgie has been handed either a golden opportunity to make substantive policy, or enough rope to hang himself, or a chance for Harold Wilson to yet again set all his ministers against each other in order to preserve his (Wilson's) own relative position, or possibly all three. 'Arold has also, seemingly, clutched a time bomb to his bosom but he's enough of a devious, nine-dimensional-chess-playing (didn't say winning, said playing) figure that he might even have reasons for that.

    Your first two words contain multitudes. We'll get to see how much of that is appearances, and how much has real substance.

    That's a savvy take on the "there was plenty of corruption already in the Good Old Days" angle. The New Right is indeed busy building its own counterculture even more intensively than IOTL. We'll get to see more of that in several coming chapters. But they may not gain as many casual users, as it were, as they did IOTL. The ones who dive in believe hard, though.

    Warren's gotta Warren. But also he's getting plenty of practical time with access to the machinery of the McGovern Moment through his stag buddy Gary Hart, and out on the Left Coast too as, in effect, the McGovern administration's field-office man in Beverly Hills. At this very Oscars, to get deeper into the weeds as I should've in the post above, Bob Hope takes an award-announcing moment to crack a joke about the Pinkos in the West Wing and Beatty skewers him neatly two awards down the line for it.


    After their brilliant run in World Cup '74 came up short (including a galling loss in the third-place fixture to Poland's prolific goal-scoring machine) the Dutch have been on the prowl for payback. Here they get it, though fortune denies them a rematch with die Mannschaft that may have worked out better in the end. Yeah Yaz was a keeper. It still galls my father to this day that, when he left for college in the late summer of 1960, his mother threw out his baseball cards. They were originals too: complete 1954 and 1955 Dodgers, some Forties gems, and Tobacco League cards from his father (my grandfather) from the 1910s. That and Dad's kid brother, my uncle, stole his Everly Brothers records too. Not a great transition.

    Willis did great work. That might just happen: sometimes the preturbations are small enough that if one asks one may receive :) There will be more competition from John Alonzo as the MPAA casts about for another award for Chinatown but here, on a wave-election of G2 votes, Willis could come through.

    I'd refer you to @Expat's intelligent reply just above here. Also a reminder of one of Hollywood's true Trends: Cuckoo's Nest has a metric crapton of Serious Acting going on per square inch of screen, and nothing moves the Academy like the chance to reward Serious Acting. Individual awards might vary as butterflies flap but the movie as a whole has a decent shot. We'll see. And there might be some progress on "Shampoo" (it's McGovern's Hollywood bestie after all doing a penetrating character study of a vacuous era on the Left Coast) or TMWWBK (I always say Connery's Untouchables Oscar was compensation for the TMWWBK one he didn't get, but while I am the God Mode of this TLverse I can only meddle so much, or at least only so much in a targeted way, and stay honest. So we'll see.)

    Maybe. There could be a variety of interesting changes at the 49th Awards.

    Cheeky. Or as a consolation prize there's always This Guy:
    [​IMG] ...[/QUOTE]
  12. Expat Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    The San Francisco of Appalachia
    For sure? I followed wiki to this article, which seems to indicate Murdoch was right up in it in 1972 as a Whitlam supporter, taking maximum credit and everything. And depending on your interpretation, either joined the pile-on three years later, or started the pile-on against Whitlam. Either way, how he jumps and what happens after could affect his outlook on meddling. And it seems likely he would jump against Labor and find himself on the losing side.

    As for Kurt's blasphemy to say this, but I don't hate it? Not as bad as Tom Selleck as Indy.
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  13. Yes Safe, Efficient Airship Travel Since 1972

    Aug 8, 2013
    The Shire, somewhere in Cascadia

    This is a fair point. I see it I suppose as a space in which Murdoch pauses to examine the pieces on the board ranged in front of him, keeps his counsel to himself, and wonders just what he can control if he were more manipulative, more ready to throw his resources wherever it would do him maximum good. Where he wonders to himself if he can do more than trade endorsements for favors but in fact become the power behind the throne.

    I dunno about blasphemy. This isn't necessarily a preview/spoiler (more of a gadfly thing to do in among the comments) but it's certainly a Butterfly in a Grey Flannel Suit, i.e. a pretty conservative preturbation in the timestreams. Russell was Lucas' first choice, Russell just had scheduling issues and on reflection Lucas was rightly wowed by Ford's interaction with Lucas' chosen Luke and Leia. A more daring choice would be something like William Katt as Luke: Mark Hamill's a better actor, proven over their respective careers (and I don't just mean Hamill's Joker though that really should count), but Katt is more like Lucas' original vision of Luke, which is probably an indictment of George Lucas.

    It's good that Selleck wasn't Indy. Not because Selleck is inherently bad: he has his moments and he's one of those folks (like fellow Eighties TV heartthrob Gerald McRaney) who has turned in some real quality work in his later years (not comparable fully with McRaney's stuff on Deadwood or Longmire but still some good one-off roles.) Indeed Magnum, the Peter Pan Playboy With Feels, was actually a bit of a stretch from Selleck's own personality so maybe we should give a little more credit there too. But, what emanates from Selleck's core is Certainty: both for good and ill, especially when you get into politics, but it's Certainty. The transformative essence of Indy (as drawn up by the great Larry Kasdan, on a theme Kasdan has spent his career in the exploration thereof) is that sure he has boundless cocksure bravado on the surface, but beneath that is a repressed well of self-doubt and self-reflection that gets opened up again by the plot arc of Raiders and makes him a deeper, fuller, more genuinely grown-up (as opposed to merely "adult") soul, actually makes him far more heroic than when he was just the reckless treasure-hunter who always got his stash. You really need Harrison Ford for that. Selleck could've been a great Allan Quartermain if someone made a serious effort at modern adaptation (hi, Sharon Stone! But really, turn up the period-piece adventure and turn way down the endemic racism.) And High Road to China is one of the best little Eighties movies nobody's seen. But there too in HRTC it's Certainty - wounded Certainty in that case, but still there. Very non-Indy.
  14. Expat Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    The San Francisco of Appalachia
    :( Suddenly he's up on top of the world. It should've been somebody else.

    Agreed on all counts. Unfortunately Ford's got such a butterfly-prone journey. It's so easy to imagine him just drifting away to carpentry. Oh well. Come on, Dirk Benedict, step up and let's see what you got. Brightest timeline my eye...
  15. Yes Safe, Efficient Airship Travel Since 1972

    Aug 8, 2013
    The Shire, somewhere in Cascadia
    I guess that would be walking on sky, not just air...

    What you did there. It was seen. :p:cool:

    Ford truly is King of the Butterflies or rather, like the biblical King David, they all gathered around his head to crown him. We do seem to be living in his best-of-all-possible-TLs. Fun fact! Lucas got a recommendation about Ford (who'd been back and forth to the Philippines long enough for his bit part in Apocalypse Now) from Sergio Mendes based on the work Ford's little carpentry crew had done on Mendes' house in, IIRC, Santa Monica. So since Ford was also an actor (he has an almost-substantive part in the criminally underappreciated The Conversation from a couple years earlier) Lucas had Ford read the Han Solo part for his Luke and Leia screen-testers so they'd have someone to play off of.

    So the whole karmic daisy chain comes back to my lifelong passion for Brazilian music :p With significantly earlier meaningful steps toward Brazilian democratization in the McGoverningverse, Sergio Mendes might decide it's politic to move back home and remove that whole connection. Of course myriad butterflies will have affected each of them between May '72 and a Star Wars POD: casting and production for The Conversation started not impossibly long after the POD so maybe Ford does get more of a speaking part and that helps him string along a while until something turns up. Or maybe it doesn't. But he is absolutely one of those huge, huge people from OTL who could disappear completely from the culture with heartbreaking ease just running a flourishing artisanal-home-repair racket for the Hollywood rich and doing some local theatre. The mirror image of folks who could've been huge but weren't.
  16. wolverinethad InfoSec for America

    May 27, 2014
    So, Bradshaw is going to be less revered in this TL, but could end up with a longer career because he's not playing as much as he did otherwise. Perhaps a certain hometown hero gets drafted with the Steelers more ready to move on? :cool:
    Yes likes this.
  17. Yes Safe, Efficient Airship Travel Since 1972

    Aug 8, 2013
    The Shire, somewhere in Cascadia
    Well, maybe differently revered, there's still time and potential ahead for some heroics. But yes at least in the early going he's subjected to fewer opportunities for physical damage and, back when QBs held on a bit longer (pace Tom Brady) that could have ripple effects. Also, with the surprising empathy he's always had in there along with that good-ole-boy simplicity, Bradshaw was always the first to say just how good Gilliam was when he was on form and how sad it is things turned out as they did IOTL. But it's funny you mention that about favorite sons :p...
  18. Kaiser Julius Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2017
    Midterms up next?
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  19. Yes Safe, Efficient Airship Travel Since 1972

    Aug 8, 2013
    The Shire, somewhere in Cascadia
    Soon. A little touch of national security in the night, and then at the end of the chapter after that we get a fulsome review of the midterms straight from the Greek chorus of McGovern's political fixers.
  20. Yes Safe, Efficient Airship Travel Since 1972

    Aug 8, 2013
    The Shire, somewhere in Cascadia
    For your delectation, a little alternate history from OTL thanks to that inimitable resource NFL Films:

    Fun to think of all of them as rookies (and there's a touchdown thrown to Frank Lewis IRL!) in that same timeframe together. You can see a little of what Bradshaw later averred in these snippets. Gilliam had what you could call an intelligent agility in the pocket and God those passes are just pretty. It's old school long-ball game sure, not west-coast precision routes or a rambling run-and-shoot barrage. But Gilliam had a beautiful and when he was on quite precise touch. Very different and complementary style from Bradshaw's: Terry was mostly a sweetheart, had physical guts all day long, and an absolute cannon (I remember being sincerely shocked as a kid at just how far Bradshaw could chuck that thing in his prime, truly a mad bomber.) But marrying receivers of Swann and Stallworth's Hall of Fame worth to Gilliam's sweet, sweet touch with his delivery is quite a thing. Also different yet complementary: for a QB when he had to tuck and go Bradshaw was a runner who liked to barrel right at people. Picked up a few of his breaks and dings that way. Gilliam was a scrambler, like a Tarkenton or a Cunningham, who knew how to make guys miss. It's a damn tragedy Gilliam got hurt young and fell down a line of coke in the wake of that. As a dynamic duo, boy they were a thing.
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