The Y2K Movie and IRONY! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The Y2K Movie and --- IRONY!

I gave up watching the tube around 30 years ago -- realized it was the Anesthesia of The Ages. And with all the negative previews on our forum had decided DEFINITELY not to waste my time on watching the movie. But the Mrs. flicked the channel on at starting time, just as I was passing thru the den. So what the Hey -- might as well get an idea of what the public will be exposed to by the media hacks -- besides my weary bones need a rest from heavy prepping.

Well I'll be darned --- two big ironies!

1) From 1997-8 thru March of this year, the majority of us Doomers had been predicting that 1/1/00 would bring the entire world as we know it down in one day, IN ONE GIANT FELL SWOOP. Then starting this Spring, with more info at our command, we began to shift our crystal ball output instead, to predictions of a gradually increasing degradation of the infrastructure, over weeks and months. A lot less exciting, a lot less dramatic.

All thru these 3 years of course, the media is blithely dancing by COMPLETELY IGNORING US (Oh, how painful to the ego!) Finally tonight, on NBC, the media 'pays us our due,' and what do they crank out? -- an obsolete version of our consensus -- the equivalent of Ford Motors highlighting an ad for their brand new Mustang --only it's their 1964 version. Ah, sweet irony.

2) For about these same 3 years many of us have been knocking our brains out trying to make inroads into the consciousness of our Polly families, friends, co-workers, & local officials. The tool we have been using in every case IS AN APPEAL TO REASON. Our batting average? Essentially a big fat zero.

Then along comes this typically cheezy made-for-TV flick, using all the dramatic clichis in the book, and classically appealing to all our raw emotions. What effect will this likely have on J.Q. Sixpack? I'll go out on a limb with the following:

A frightening large percentage of our citizenry can hardly any more read, let alone write the English language. Libraries are populated only by h.s. students with assignments. Print media readership is going down, down, down. BUT 'EVERYBODY WATCHES TV.' TV is not only JQ6P's source of entertainment, but also his source of information on how the world works.

Will JQ6P catch the clichis, the technical errors, the incongruities? Are you kidding? Much more likely is that he will, on a level vaguely vacillating betewen subconscious and conscious --- ACTUALLY BE VULNERABLE TO THE POSSIBILITIES OF THE PLOT LINE. Where our rationality has clanked against his heavy armor lo these many months, the movie's emotionality may well slip in between the plates and strike its mark. Let's see if the shortages, bank withdrawals, bulging shopping carts at Sam's and Costco -- finally start their slowly rising crescendo in the next few days, say after Thanksgiving. If so, wouldn't THAT be ironic?!

"You can never reason someone out of something he was never reasoned into." --- Jonathan Swift

Bill, steeped in irony at 11PM.

P.S. You know, I'm ashamed to admit it, but I LIKED THE MOVIE -- brought me back to the Saturdays in the '30s when we saw a whole afternoon of serial movies for a nickel. Nick Cromwell, you're my HERO!! B.

-- William J. Schenker, MD (, November 22, 1999


Just starting here on W. Coast. Thanks for review and insights, Bill!

-- jor-el (jor-el@krypton.uni), November 22, 1999.

Doc, w/all due respect, though I agree w/your point that a lot of Americans will be subject to being drawn into the plot line, many people without a school assignment still go to the library. Have you been to one lately? (And I ask that respectfully, not sarcastically) I am an 8th grade Reading teacher and have been pleasantly surprised at my students enthusiasm for reading and learning, esp given how media-driven our world has become. Their writing skills leave something to be desired, but we are working on that!

As far as what you said about TV goes, total 100% agreement here! If Marx were alive he'd say that TV is the opiate of the masses.

-- preparing (, November 22, 1999.

And since an opiate is a controlled substance, I wonder who is doing the controlling?

-- Lobo (, November 22, 1999.

I agree with you that TV has dumbed down the public in many ways. However, during the 30 years you haven't watched TV or Movies, the emotional level of those medias have shut up tremendously. This perticular "Y2K the movie" was very low in emotional content and special effects to which the general public has become acustomed, IMO.

On the other hand, you could be right about the realistic perception the y2k-uninformed public might get. Maybe I've just been reading this forum too long.

-- Chris (#$%^&, November 22, 1999.

I hate to admit it...But I to enjoyed the movie...But I sure wonder where the SR 71 was tat hehad to have flown in, To get to Seattle so fast (superman maybe ) LOL...Any way, it was a better flick than most action /adventure movies found in the theaters.


-- Shakey (In_a_bunker@forty.feet), November 22, 1999.

Good News: the US has three experts that can save the day. WOW! Bad News: How many Nuke Plants are there in the US? OOOPS!!

-- Steve Vaughn (, November 22, 1999.

Thanks for the insight William J. Schenker, MD. About two months ago it hit me as well. Until television, not the media in general but television, shows a movie about y2k or honestly explores the ramifications of y2k, people will not get it.

I'ved lived in six states in almost every region of the country in the last 18 years. I have travelled through most others in about 30 years time. I have worked in management positions where I've overseen many 1st generation Americans from Hong Kong, Korea, Central American countries, India, Russia,.. all over the world. I have several friends with money, many with little to none. I grew up a liberal Democrat in a working class neighborhood in Boston and am now more of a conservative Republican, fast becoming a Libertarian. I feel I 'know' America.

And I tell you... Americans must get their information from television in order for it to be real. In the past 2 weeks since the 50 day report was made public _and_ the promos began on NBC, I have seen the preparedness business pick up big time. Today, (Sunday) normally quiet, was an extremely busy day. Most customers stating they had been thinking about preps for some time, but wanted to get their orders in to beat the big rush that the movie would create.

I think tonite will be the start of a sort of awakening. Television started it.

-- Mark (, November 22, 1999.

If this zero star flick makes any significant impact I will have learned more than I wanted to about my brethren Americans. The popular sheeple charges will have a new, worse relevance.

-- Carlos (, November 22, 1999.

I think William is an elitist bastard who assumes most have sub-par intelligence relative to himself. I am a "JQ6P", a cab driver in cinci, and I must totally disagree with this snobbish jerk.

You asked "Will JQ6P catch the clichis, the technical errors, the incongruities?"

Well yes I caught most of them and I, along with most other JQ6P's, would never base decisions "in reality" on a god damned made for tv movie.

Geesh, I can almost guarantee this jerk-off is a die-hard democrat, maybe even a socialist. I am sure he would like to tax as much of my paycheck as possible because he is sure he could spend it much more effectively for me than my dumb ass could.

nuff said......William is egomaniacal, condescending windbag S

-- doug routan (, November 22, 1999.

Best line of the movie:

Nick Cromwell decides to enter the containment building to open coolant tank valves manually-

Nuke plant engineer: At least put on a radiation suit!

Cromwell: It'll only slow me down...

Gawd, what a stud! How many real life Nick Cromwells are out there, just waiting to tackle "The Bug"? I feel somehow safer now....

-- cavscout (50 miles@upwind.of a nuke plant), November 22, 1999.

Doug, I really felt offended by the way you reacted to William. I do not believe this makes a very friendly place for people to visit. We all have our passion about certain things, however, dumping on people is not helpful. If you are as intellegent as you would have us believe, I think you could have expressed yourself more appropriately. We are all in this thing together, time is short, let's try to be productive.

-- Steve Vaughn (, November 22, 1999.

Preparing - it is scary to me that there is such a thing as an 8th grade reading teacher. When I was in school, that wasn't necessary. We had already learned how to read, and use a dictionary by the end of the 5th grade.


-- Jollyprez (, November 22, 1999.

Having researched,talked and written about Y2K 8-14 hours a day, nearly 7 days a week since April, I surprisingly have to say I liked the movie. Sure it was stupid in (a lot of) places, and I wish the actors could have "acted" a little better, and some of the corny lines had been better, and the last hour of the plot had been better, but it for me it served a wonderful, ironic, almost pathetic purpose. One that I did not expect:

Sitting there watching the movie, with all its incidents that one could supply dozens of referenced information about, half from this forum, I finally realized how hungry I was for reinforcement of "reality" about anything Y2K that did not come from typing on a keyboard, online. Even tho it was fiction, and on TV for Gawd's Sake, it was finally an acknowledgment of "Y2K" from a source outside my narrow communication on the Internet. Pretty sad that there is no one within hundreds of miles that I know well enough who is agreeable to talk to in the flesh about Y2K.

It was that isolation that was driving me crazy. And here, all of a sudden, Y2K was in my own living room. All decked out in moving, living color... Got chips?

-- (normally@ease.notnow), November 22, 1999.

Hard time staying awake. But then, sleepy 3 yr old in lap. "Are there any monsters Daddy? Why is it scary?"

We'll see tomorrow, eh? Probably nothing. Probably I'll be surprised, sometime.

-- jor-el (jor-el@krypton.uni), November 22, 1999.


Think you missed Bill there. If his rendition of JQ6P doesn't fit you, chill.

Beer lovin....

-- Carlos (, November 22, 1999.

Wasn't Mr 30-something just a wee bit radioactive. When he rushed down to the hospital, shouldn't it have been for radiation sickness, not just a kiss for the missus???

-- Incredulous (, November 22, 1999.


i've been reading posts by Dr William for about 2 years now, and you have him pegged wrong

i have always found him to be very friendly.......and helpful to the max, and i think you have taken offense where none was intended

you really should apologize

-- andrea (, November 22, 1999.

Hey Doc. No need to be ashamed. I live and work in the Hollywood industry. I liked the movie too. I have a pretty good idea of how the industry works, and I'd say it was a good end-run...I mean, as far as network plays go. It wasn't Bresson, of course, But hell, NBC deserves credit for even running that puppy. The moobie got into the hero action formula, and couldn't climb back up once it fell down that rabbit hole. But otherwise, it was okay.

Doc, you may say you don't like TV, but the reality is...if you are writing and reading posts, you're still in front of a screen.

-- (resignedNOmore@this.point), November 22, 1999.

>TV...public's source of how the world works

Well, then there is nothing to worry about. You see, the movie didn't explain exactly what goods should be purchased for Y2K so the average idiot still won't have a clue! (Did you see any people eating from cans in the movie? Not!)

-- cgbg jr (, November 22, 1999.

Irony is watching that whole movie just to see the Nike commercial everyone is talking about. Guess they had the good taste not to put it there. As for McDonalds, never liked their fries anyway.

-- Can You Hear Me (CallingYou@Silent.Running), November 22, 1999.


but.........I managed to see half. Correct me if i am wrong--but i thought it seemed more like a documentary.

rationing; $ limits at banks; problems with planes, nukes, electricity, medical devices.....i thought all those things were a possibility? so where was the sensationalism? other than maybe that command center seemed a bit much--but hey, for $50 million maybe we have a screen like that. OH plus all the communications stayed up!!!

-- tt (, November 22, 1999.

I was actually kind of surprised that the movie was as dark as it turned out to least the first hour or so. I have to agree with some of the comments on other threads I've read: they REALLY blew it in the 2nd 1/2 hour. It's a shame really. The movie started out with an almost X-Files level of writing and degenerated into the typical made-for-TV schlock. Given that JQ6P has the attention span of the average mosquito, I kind of doubt that the results will be more that a small spike in grocery sales at the most, but at least it's SOMETHING! Better now than the 1st week of January.

Oh yes, in defense of Dr. Schenker: He is absolutely correct in his view of the Great Unwashed, IMHO. In a culture where Howard Stern, Snoop Dogg, MTV, and Pro-Wrestling rule the mass mind, I can find little hope for the rational thinking and behavior of the commonweal. The name calling and vitriolic response by Doug only serve to illustrate Dr. Schenker's point.

-- Ludi (, November 22, 1999.

Great movie!

Amused Regards,
Andy Ray

-- Andy Ray (, November 22, 1999.

Movie seemed plenty stupid, but I don't turn on the cathode death ray too much. Surprised by the scenes left out: after the East Coast goes dark (nice little image, actually), where were the obligatory scenes of families in suburbia in the dark, the plaintive cries of "daddy, it's getting cold in our house," the traffic accidents caused by darkened stoplights, as well as more specific prods about the nature of drunken mobs in the dark. All left out, although normally any M-grade director would have tossed in a couple. The movie may have been concocted simply as a yawnfest. Question, though--I turned it off after the first uhr--did the lights go back on in the end? Was it all huggy-huggy and golden pans? Tell me, I'm bored enough to care...

-- Spidey (in@jam.snore), November 22, 1999.

No, actually, just as the TV station was going to go on the air to report that the Nuke Plant was safe, the power went out in the studio. What irony!

-- just wondering (, November 22, 1999.

Read your history, Pro. try the last two East Coast Black-outs for starters.

Night train

-- hes a history-ish footballer (nighttr@in.lane), November 22, 1999.

There's Y2k Pro talking about masturbating again. He sure has a fetish about that. Guess he just can't get it out of his mind. He should have listened to his Mom when she told him what that would do to his brain if he kept it "up" all the time. The lack of blood in the brain eventually kills the logic cells. His Mom knew that, but would Pro pay attention? No, no, no. Tunnel vision rules his every day life.

-- Gordon (, November 22, 1999.

CGBG JR-- Although you didn't see anyone eating canned foods, if you'll remember when the grandkids of SuperTech arrived at the grandfather's house...there were boxes of canned goods on the floor. He almost apologetically stated that he'd promised his son (our hero) that he'd stock up in case things went bad. You must have blinked when they showed the canned goods...grin.


-- beej (, November 22, 1999.

Y2K Pro - Lets hope you work at home because I predict someone is going to take you out in a classic piece or road rage. That's based on lack of courtesy here so I'll extrapolate and say you're probably a prick on the road too. Yes, I believe that would make a nice image also!

-- Guy Daley (, November 22, 1999.

"good end-run" was the best review from our insider. easy to watch and dismiss. "Hell, even *I* know there's no nuke plant next to Seattle!"

TV at its finest! I have a ways to go to catch up with Bill's 30 years away from the tube, but it was fun watching with my kid.

y2kPro! Missed you bro -- couldn't remember your name the other day when I was telling someone about trolls, "and our most Super-Troll of all time was... was, uh..." Yeah! Whats-'is'-name. Guess I've had this other screen off for too long, about since August, how time flies! 3 months to forget you... now I'm gettin' senitimental. Even you were part of my good ol' days around here.

"Just wondering" -- I think the movie's last words when the TV studio blacked out were "I think something's wrong in LA." And that's the way it is, today, November 22, 1999.

-- jor-el (jor-el@krypton.uni), November 22, 1999.


Your comment about Dr. Bill Schenker could not be further from the truth than to say Bill Klinton did not have sex with that woman. I know Bill personally by way of Wyoming to Tennessee and on to Alabama.

Bill has probably given more helpful information to others on various forums than anyone. We participated on the original Gary North forum beginning in July of 1997 before most people knew what Y2K was.

You wouldn't have to go to the library for information on preparations if you had all of his knowledge on it. He is a walking library.

-- Joe Stout (, November 22, 1999.

Hey Jollyprez: Just some FYI stuff on Reading. Reading, as a course, stops in the 8th grade (at least in the Lone Star State). These kids *do* know how to use the dictionary by the 4th or 5th grade. They *do* already know how to read, of course. Kids are actually more well-informed than the general public thinks. Or maybe it is just Texan kids. When I taught high school in Georgia, I had 11th graders who had never had to speak before a class, who had never been taught ANYTHING about public speaking skills, how to summarize what they just read, how to make a generalization from the reading, how to place events in the order they occurred, etc. I found it appalling.

Now I am teaching 8th grade Reading somewhere around Dallas and have been quite impressed. This suburb is not exactly rich--pretty low socioeconomically. But these kids start learning in the 4th grade how to make a presentation. On Thursday and Friday, my students presented their Author Research Projects to the class and every single one had the proper posture, only a few needed to speak more loudly, and one or two needed to work on their enunciation. A few needed more work on eye contact.

We tell them that reading is not an academic course, but a set of skills that can be learned like anything else. Those skills, PLUS (I think more importantly) a love of reading is what I teach. I have a HUGE in-class library and they have time every day to read on their own. We read short stories, poems, novels, we discuss what we have read, they are required to read at home for 60 minutes a week and log their reading time w/a summary of what they read, etc. We also supplement the English class with a lot of writing, though I don't teach the mechanics of learning to write well, since the English teacher focuses on that so much. I encourage them to write for pleasure. We keep a daily journal. They learn basic, then advanced research skills using both the Internet and the traditional printed media. (Did you know how to use the Reader's Guide To Periodical Literature in the 5th grade? These kids learn that in the 6th grade.)

Things have changed. B/c Reading is a class as high as the 8th grade is no reflection on the ability level of the students. Yes, they all already know how to read, quite well. But we take it beyond the mechanics of learning to read and into appreciation, interpretation, and the myriad skills that make a good reader a good reader. They LOVE their Reading class!

-- preparing (, November 22, 1999.

Well said, Bill. (Saturday afternoon at the movies was 25 cents when I was a kid during the war.) I think you nailed the mental capacity of JQ6P right on the head. It's frightening. Ask a high school kid today what a "Constitution" or "Bill of Rights" is. Give him/her a newspaper and ask him/her to read one paragraph without an error, then explain the content. Ask him/her to add three two-digit numbers without using a calculator, pencil and paper OK. Unfortunately, the kids' teachers don't seem to be much more accomplished. About six months ago there was a newspaper item about the percentage of applicants who failed the Massachusetts test for teaching credentials...somewhere in the range of 40-60 percent couldn't pass the test. The result? Major pressures to "dumb-down" the test so that they could fill their quota for teachers. Geez!

-- Norm Harrold (, November 22, 1999.


My HEAVENS, can EYE join your class? --- it sounds wonderful -- never experienced anything like that until my last year in college (after returning from WWII) -- and that was only because we had an oddball, eccentric young teacher (ostracized by the rest of the faculty 'cause he & his wife refused to attend the trendy Sunday afternoon faculty teas) -- tried to teach me what Joseph Conrad was saying in 'The Heart of Darkness' -- almost succeeded, too.)

Another reason I'd like to join your class: for the first time in maybe the last decade I finally read someone using the word, 'myriad' properly. Bravo!

So here's a thumbs up for the lucky kids in your section of Dallas (Do they still call that town The Big D, as we did on our weekend passes in WWII?)

-------- But accolades apart I still have to ask: do you really believe those kids of yours can balance out the, say, 50 million other American kids who'll be taking over our nation's leadership with skills a bit less than they're learning in your class?


Yah, I've got a 42-year-old starving actor son in North Hollywood. Listening to him describe the biznez of playrighting, moviemaking, TV producing, etc., was an experience for me -- why it was -- almost like -- doing a (yawn) routine minor surgical procedure. But when it's all packaged up & on the Big (or little) screen it comes on sort of like magic for the naive like me. (Hey, Mom, can I have a nickel so's I can go down the RKO Keith this afternoon? They're showing the latest chapter of Buck Rogers, AND Orphan Annie, AND The Lone Ranger, AND Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy!!)


-- William J. Schenker, MD (, November 22, 1999.

Ready for some more irony, Bill? Here's an article about a Vermont teachers union's reaction to the unwanted presence of a real teacher in their midst. I'll try to cut-and-paste it:

Teacher's free services opposed

Updated 2:26 PM ET November 22, 1999

WILLIAMSTOWN, Vt., Nov. 22 (UPI) In a tiny Vermont town where there are scarcely enough teachers to go around, the local union stands ready to fire one of Williamstown's most popular teachers, the Boston Globe reported Monday. Bill Corrow's offense is that he's volunteering his services to the local high school. His supporters say they are ready to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

Corrow, a former teacher and retired Air Force colonel, teaches a history course, "Conflict in the 20th Century," at Williamstown Middle High School. The course has become an attraction to the brightest students, and an anathema to the local union, and to some teachers in particular, English teacher Kevin Lawrence.

Lawrence filed a complaint the local union, arguing that Corrow violates the rules by teaching for free and for not being properly certified. Lawrence is particularly upset because Corrow's elective does not come under the district's curriculum. He also complains that sometimes when he introduces a subject to his students, they tell him they've already learned about it in Corrow's class.

The union suggested it would permit Corrow to continue teaching for free if he agreed to work under the supervision of another teacher, and that his course no longer carry credit.

But the school principal, the school board, and the district superintendent rejected the proposal.

The school district is expected to hear arguments this week, and then the dispute goes to an arbiter. After that it is referred to the state labor board.

One of Corrow's staunchest supporters, School Superintendent Clif Randolph, said in Monday's Boston Globe that he is prepared to take the fight "all the way to the Supreme Court."

Corrow has aroused antagonism from some because he has been critical of sloppy teaching. He said that some students were being graduated even though they had difficulty reading.

In addition, Corrow has been a tough and demanding teacher while remaining well-liked among his students. He gives his home telephone number to students so they may call him with a problem.

Along with the students and the superintendent, parents remain solidly in Corrow's corner. They say they will sign petitions and do everything they can to keep him in the classroom.

One parent said, "We should be thanking him, not putting him in hot water."

-- Norm Harrold (, November 23, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

...offense is that he's volunteering his services to the local high school...

As much as the teachers' union says that they want parents to be involved in their childrens' educations, the fact is that they want this effort to be confined to fundraising, room mothering (making snacks), field trip chaperoning, and being available to have the kids dumped back at incredibly often, seemingly random dates for so-called "in service" days.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), November 23, 1999.


Tnx for the backup. All of that kind of stuff, and more, is part of the reason I QUIT (NOT retired) in '87: in order to come home and homeschool my younger son fulltime.

Hope this case, if it reaches the Supreme Court gets a better hearing than the cases we were familiar with back in the '80s.

(Slight caveat to the above: ----- IF the Supreme Court still has electric lights after Y2K.)


-- William J. Schenker, MD (, November 23, 1999.

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