It Won’t Be a Taxi Driver Summer

One of the seminal films of the 20th Century was Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver.” A story of a troubled man (a Vietnam Vet) quite literally driven insane by the insane city around him. The current unrest of a “Long Hot Summer” with outright riots in London and Black “Flash Mobs” in the US is unlikely to produce any reaction other than flight and opt-out from the overwhelming mass of the White middle class public. Because Middle Class people even crazy ones have too much to lose. But opt-out and flight have their own consequences, far more severe than any random act of violence.

Here are a few scenes showing the power of screenwriter Paul Schrader and Director Scorsese’s vision:

In the movie, the sick and dysfunctional city makes Travis Bickle even crazier. Only a quirk of fate leads him to kill people who need killing (the pimps, hustlers, and corrupt cops keeping a 12 year old as a prostitute) instead of the Senatorial candidate. In other words, a Breivik who kills say, vicious pimps instead of school kids on a resort island. Bickle like Breivik is of course quite scary in that his insanity is matched by organizational toughness. A corrupt, lawless city has a thriving black market in guns. Bickle is obsessive about working out. His initial idiotic dry run on the Secret Service leads to a change of plans and a sudden Mohawk (completely changing his appearance). Crazy cities create and nurture crazy people.

But that’s just a movie. And real life is not a movie. In real life, Morgan Freeman is not the voice of God, but a weird guy aiming to marry his (adopted) Grand-daughter. In real life, Woody Allen is not a charmingly neurotic artist but a guy who married his step-daughter. In real life, Whoopi Goldberg is not the Wise Black Woman but a nutty host on “the View.” In real life, we’ve had about fifty plus years of multicultural, PC-driven, “anti-racist” stuff that tolerates the kind of scum that made Bickle wish for a real rain to wash it all away.

And the type of rampages aimed against PC and Multiculturalism amount to just one: Breivik. That’s it. Oh sure there’s the “Beta Male Rampage” (probably not the best word for it) of disturbed guys like Cho, Sodini, and others. The killings of various jihadis, probably including the Beltway Snipers, Lee Boyd Malvo and John Mohammed. But the only guy who even approximates Travis Bickle in the last fifty years is some Norwegian guy who was a Freemason, an organic farmer, and a member of the middle class who spoke another language (English) and could write it as well.

There won’t be any violence against “the Long Hot Summer” of Black Flash Mobs, and various organized lootings/beatings/robberies/arsons (as in London). Because its a LOT easier to simply run away. Opt out. Stay away.

REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) are going to pay a heavy price. All those yuppies wanting to move to city centers to find better mates, are going to re-think and move to the suburbs when their leases are up. New leases and sales will be hard to come by, and heavily discounted, hurting cash flow and rates of return. Thus you’ll see heavy pressure on mayors and such to do what it takes, to suppress the mobs, but likely far after anything effective short of the National Guard remains.

Meanwhile, Amazon looks to reap rewards from people stopping their mall-shopping habits in favor of online shopping. Netflix, Amazon, and other online video folks will benefit as people seek entertainment at home, and online dating places will gain as people shun city centers as mate-market auctions. Bars and restaurants will hurt, and telecom providers win, as the shift to opt-out becomes easier.

No one wants to live in Travis Bickle’s world. Even in the mid 1970’s, it was relatively easy to avoid the hell of NYC for suburban places. Now its even easier. Which has several strategic implications.

First, an opt-out White population is going to want specific subsidies aimed at THEM, and have little patience for the populations that in effect cleansed them out of public spaces. This means no money for Black/Hispanic public schools, and lots of money for online education. The same goes for Welfare, TANF, WIC, and so on. Travis Bickle shooting a pimp and some corrupt cops and johns doesn’t fix a corrupt to the core NYC. But White flight/opt-out changes the funding completely.

Secondly, the “magic” of the First Black President is over. He’s now, Tyrone Willingham. People demand results. A miserable economy, a lost AAA credit rating, a stock market dive, and a “Long Hot Summer” of Black Flash Mobs and possibly, London-style riots/arson/looting won’t cut it. People expect results. Obama had about three years to produce results, and considerable good will, all gone now. Hostility and intimidation is likely to produce, not surrender but opt-out. It is not the 1960’s any more. People are experiencing hard times themselves, have no sympathy for rioters, and are more likely to agree with the basic desires of a Travis Bickle if not the methods.

Third, the impact of Black Flash Mobs has been to harden racial attitudes (basically, the view that Blacks and Hispanics are dead-weight that White America would do well to shed in a desperate economic struggle). A “Long Hot Summer” won’t result in vigilantes, but a ruthless restructuring to regain economic competitiveness and exclusion of non-Whites and non-Asians from most public expenditures and public life. Gone: Affirmative Action (too expensive). Gone: policies investing in urban centers (hostile territory to the White Yuppie/Middle class). Gone: investing in education and in particular physical public schools. Gone: faith in the elite to even tie their own shoelaces, much less order the nation from the food people eat to light bulbs in their homes. Gone: legitimacy or even interest in the media, which has acted to suppress information about the Black Flash Mobs.

The worst thing that would happen for the Liberal Welfare State and the associated NGOs (Ford, Pew, Annenberg, and Gates Foundations), talking heads, permanent governing class, and media hangers on would be a “Long Hot Summer” of most American cities burning down in racially motivated riots. Something like that is impossible to ignore, and will harden attitudes of the pressed White middle and working class immediately. It is not 1968. Whites are not likely to react with buy-off appeasement and guilt. Indeed, 1968 is as distant to us in 2011 as 1925 and the Jazz Age was to 1968 and the original “Long Hot Summer.” Flappers and Al Capone were as relevant to the time of the Watts Riots as Martin Luther King’s assassination is to us today.

Margaret Thatcher said that the problem with Welfare States is that they eventually run out of other people’s money. The problem is far worse, and accelerated, when there is a huge economic dead weight of those with far lower wealth. The Wealth Gap per household is $113,000 for Whites, $6,000 for Hispanics, and $5,000 for Blacks (median net household wealth) according to the Pew Foundation.

Hard pressed White households, watching say Cleveland, Detroit, Philly, and Obama’s hometown of Chicago burn, mostly fueled by Black mobs, in a “Long Hot Summer” are likely to conclude that hey, the money would go a LOT further, and be spent on THEM, if say, those people were included out of the disbursements.

People want results. Notre Dame and Washington have not hired another Black coach since Tyrone Willingham. With the great turn-over in college and pro coaches, Willingham is not coaching currently according to Wikipedia. Obama had a long leash to produce results as the First Black President, but even he had to produce results. His likely play of Chicago-style politics (all he knows) of urging the mobs forward, and then posing as “the one man able to turn off the violence” is likely to only further harden attitudes.

It won’t be a Taxi Driver Summer. No matter what sort of riots and mobs happen. Bickle is a sad, crazy figure because he’s totally alone, and the alienating city only makes that worse (by making nearly impossible any social connections the character wants). But he’s just words on a page and a performance by a gifted actor. He wasn’t and isn’t real. He’s just a character. Real life features not White violence in mobs or vigilantes but massive opting out and a reshaping of the social and political and economic life of America. The challenges are just too great.

About whiskeysplace

Conservative blogger focusing on culture, business, technology, and how they intersect.
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16 Responses to It Won’t Be a Taxi Driver Summer

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good. I hope the entire white middle class opts out and goes ghost.Leave Black Run America to its own devices and let it feed on itself.

  2. njartist says:

    "This means no money for Black/Hispanic public schools, and lots of money for online education. The same goes for Welfare, TANF, WIC, and so on."No, this will not happen: as long as we have the progressive elites in charge of the system Black/Hispanic dystopia will be funded: see NJ where hte NJ Supreme Court usurped the power of the purse and dictates that inner city schools receive a disproportionate share of the school funds to the detriment of suburban schools and populations.

  3. Scott says:

    I agree with njartist. This will happen eventually but by the time it changes it might already be too late. Some of these people really can't see the connection. I can show them 8-10 black mobs attacking white people and they'll miss the trend and say "not all black people are like that" (duh? but still a trend)or "it's because we don't invest enough in their education and the white man has kept them down. Upper middle class kids love to believe the diversity is good for us myth. (I'm an upper middle class kid who somehow missed believing this crap)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Whiskey. Thank you for another generous shot of truth!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Civil War is coming.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It won't be civil at all.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am not as sure that there will not be direct confrontations. It depends on the flash mobs not attacking somewhere where someone will defend themselves. One concealed carry holder defending himself, and it may well blow up into the "traditional" race riots. In Denver, groups of blacks with baseball bats are attacking white couples leaving upscale restaurants. These are not in "black" areas of the city; but rather yuppie urban renewal areas. While the City and County of Denver is the most resistant in Colorado to issue of concealed carry permits, they are there, and the permits are statewide once issued.In Chicago, the flash mobs have been hitting the "Miracle Mile". While only criminals and politicians carry concealed legally in Chicago; if someone who is made has to defend himself ….Just like in the London riots, where police retreats emboldens the rioters; a white middle class retreat will only mean that the enemy will follow. The white middle class is where the money is [Willie Sutton theory of bank robbery] and that is where their kicks of robbing and beating them are. Running away may just postpone the inevitable confrontation.Subotai Bahadur

  8. daniel says:

    Watch what happens with the philly mayor's call for hip hop artists to condemn the flash mobs to see the front edge of this. He's being very shrewd and bold with what he's been saying. I would speculate that IF one or two "Young Jeezies" or "TI's" or "L'il Waynes" would respond to the mayor's call their rap careers would be over. Mayor Nutter may get a couple of radio-friendly hip hop or r&b singers to join him, but they lack the street cred to have any effect. Understanding what hip hop culture is about and understanding why it is so appealing to young blacks and whites is key to appreciating all of the interesting angles to this. And it could very well get very, very, interesting. I guarantee every single one of these flash mobbers listens to hard core gangster rap several times per day. I would also speculate that most of them also do a good deal of singing along, dancing along, smoking weed along, and generally acting, as best they can, along with the lyrics as well. Its "just music" but its also a lifestyle.

  9. Interesting take indeed.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Gone: Affirmative Action (too expensive). Gone: policies investing in urban centers (hostile territory to the White Yuppie/Middle class). Gone: investing in education and in particular physical public schools. Gone: faith in the elite to even tie their own shoelaces, much less order the nation from the food people eat to light bulbs in their homes. Gone: legitimacy or even interest in the media, which has acted to suppress information about the Black Flash Mobs. Really? Most of these folks are living with a belief system that will not be switched off over just a few riots. These PC multicultural socialists are devout in their religion. They won't get it until their house is on fire, their wives are raped (and impregnated), and their daughters have been gang banged to death. Even then the power of rationalization will set in – Let the slaughtering of the scapegoat(s) commence.

  11. pdxr13 says:

    I won't go downtown to save the corrupt city center, the hive-apt's, no parking/$34 ticket zone, toy trolley/light rail, City Hall, police stations, etc, but I will defend my neighborhood Asian grocery along with the blocks the house is on. I betcha there are a dozen Chinese or Korean young men who will do the same when their parents explain the consequences of having the shops burned out and gangs going down the blocks. Yes, your late-model Honda/Acura drifting/street-racer will be flipped and burned, with insurance payout value of about 25% of what's into it. It probably won't be too hard to get local merchants to double-up on fire extinguishers and get the high-capacity kind. Local FireSafetySupplyCo. may even offer a good discount on a group buy/refill. A mapping and hiking club might be just the ticket. Cheers.

  12. pdxr13 says:

    *above comment* Anon -August 11, 2011 5:47 AMI didn't get around to what happens to cute young "uncovered meat" (outstanding phrase from the Arabic) in the form of daughters and wives. Females need to become much more lethal to OpFor in addition to being included in support role of group defense.

  13. Quentin says:

    Some really interesting observations in this blog entry. I've watched Taxi Driver a half dozen times over the last 30 years and with every viewing it gets better. I have to disagree with you, though, that Bickle and Breivik are substantially different from Cho, Sodini, and name-any-rampage-killer. Notice in this scene that the man who looks as if he is stalking Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) is Scorsese himself. Travis Bickle is Martin Scorsese, and Taxi Driver is the artistic sublimation of his homicidal rage. He (Bickle, Scorsese) hates hates HATES women who reject him, which is pretty much the entire gender. Bickle wanted to kill the senator because Betsy was attracted to him. Instead, he settles on killing the pimp because he wants to "save" Iris (Jodie Foster) from her pimp, even though she has absolutely no desire to be saved. In the movie's final scene, it's clear that Betsy now finds Travis attractive…after he has killed 3 men! I wouldn't expect you, of all people, to soft peddle the underlying nightmare of Taxi Driver: the horror, THE HORROR of female sexuality!

  14. Whiskey says:

    Quentin, Taxi Driver is first and foremost Paul Schrader's work, and very similar to other things he's done thematically (the ugliness and emptiness of porn, the toxic nature of modern urban life, alienation, and corruption). Scorsese is quite important, but only filmed did not write the scenes.Bickle is not like Cho or Sodini or Breivik, in that he's made ill by the city, very deliberately in the script, and makes several attempts to find things to "keep him busy" — driving the cab, Daisy, and so on. Yes it is Daisy's rejection that leads him to plot to kill the Senatorial Candidate Palatine, and only blind luck leads him to kill the guys holding Iris hostage — but that's a good thing.Iris is a child, only 12, and as such under the sway of pimp "Sport" as the movie shows (Bickle urges her to leave, in a tender father-daughter moment at the diner, but Sport preys upon her, because Sport is a pimp). The movie makes it clear that only cathartic violence can free Iris — the cops are on the pad/take, and nothing else will suffice. No one Bickle kills will be missed, and the script makes clear that that the audience approves.

  15. Whiskey says:

    HOWEVER … the ending of the movie makes it clear that the toxic nature of modern alienating society has not ended, and Bickle is still a ticking time bomb who "next time" won't be the hero that he is as the movie ends. Hence the disturbing thing he sees in the rear view mirror — himself.What is wrong with the NYC of Taxi Driver? Sex and pornography without love, which Bickle himself is subject to. Isolation and loneliness. Corruption, in not just Sport by Easy Andy (the traveling gun salesman). Racial tensions with no end in sight. A disconnected and removed urban White professional elite (Cybil Shephard and Albert Brooks) far distant from the White Blue Collar characters of Bickle and Peter Boyle's character.My point being that Blue collar guys like Boyle's and DeNiro's have basically just ceded the urban landscape, and retreated. Like Dylan they're not there.The movie is not about the "horrors" of female desire which is almost entirely absent — it is about a "rogue male" entirely created by modern pc elite driven society.

  16. Quentin says:

    The movie is not about the "horrors" of female desire which is almost entirely absent —If this scene isn't about female desire, then I've never seen one before. It's also the only scene that is not from Travis Bickle's point of view. The abscence of female desire in the scenes that include Travis is the very point: Women only find him attractive after he kills and becomes famous.

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