The shortening leash on American children: We heard a lot about sneaking out, petty theft, amateur arson, drugs, and sexual experimentation from our older respondents. But as time passes, the picture of childhood looks a lot less wild and reckless and a lot more monitored. We asked parents how they would react if they caught their kids doing what they had done as kids. A typical response: "I'd probably freak out and turn my home into a prison."
posted by scody
on Aug 6, 2014 -
Hundreds of newsreel and publicity films from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s -- the golden era of instructional, scientific, government, and industry films -- are now available on YouTube via users like Ella's Archive
(focusing on transport and technology), Val73TV4
(British Council portraits of English towns & more), NuclearVault
(war and diplomacy) and others.
How about starting with The Big Delivery Wagon
(1951) a Heinz-sponsored spot about nationwide food distribution? Or Native Foods: Commandments For Health
(1945), a U.S. Navy animated training film featuring Private McGillicuddy, who neither likes Vienna sausage nor seems to know that local foods are full of "poison more treacherous than a Jap warlord." Maybe Choosing For Happiness
(1950) has some choice dating tips for even today's women? Or show your kid Defense Against Invasion
(1943) in which a doctor explains to a fearful child exactly why he ought to get immunized.
posted by spamandkimchi
on Feb 15, 2014 -
About fifty years ago, the governor of Indiana received a letter complaining about obscenity in the lyrics of a rock'n'roll song, and passed that letter on to the FBI. For the following two years, FBI agents examined potential lyrics of the song (which were incomprehensible on the recording, partly due to the singer's braces) to find grounds for an obscenity prosecution. They ultimately failed, but produced a 140-page report, listing numerous possible obscene readings of what the lyrics could be, and in doing so, turned Louie Louie by The Kingsmen from a footnote into a bona fide rock'n'roll rebel anthem
. [more inside]
posted by acb
on Jan 23, 2014 -
The first thing we learned about war re-enactment is that it's fucking terrifying having guns fired at you, even ones loaded with blanks. The second thing we learned is a common re-enactor's dilemma called "The G.I. Effect", which is basically that people playing Americans don't like to die. So sometimes they just don't.It's Like Vietnam All Over Again, pt 1
. Part 2
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey
on Jan 4, 2013 -
"The Big Train"
and other classic 1950s and 60s publicity reels from the New York Central Railroad. Lots of footage of trains, railroad infrastructure, well-dressed office minions, teletypes, punchcard machines, men in white lab coats, bubbling beakers, and even an "atomic signal light." [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048
on Jun 19, 2012 -
Quincy Jones sat in the Tenafly, New Jersey den of 16-year-old vocal student Lesley Gore, playing demo after demo
, looking for the right song to cut for her first record. Out of over 200 tapes, Jones and Gore had moved only one to the "maybe" pile, and so that song, It's My Party
, was recorded on March 30, 1963 in a Manhattan studio. After the session Mercury president Irving Green warned Gore not to get her hopes up, but Gore gratefully told him that it had been a great experience anyway, and it was okay if he didn't want to release it. However, later that evening Jones learned that Phil Spector had just recorded
"It's My Party" for The Crystals
, so Jones rushed back to the studio to press 100 test copies of the single and immediately mailed them to key radio stations across the country. [more inside]
posted by swift
on Sep 13, 2011 -
Summer of Love: 40 Years Later
, a series of articles appearing this week in the San Francisco Chronicle, revisits the fabled, far-out, semi-spontaneous happening of 1967 in the Haight-Ashbury
neighborhood of San Francisco. Videos and oral history interviews help tell the story of a utopian vision which created a pivot point for American social values, before going a bit rancid around the edges. For more consciousness expansion, see PBS' The American Experience
episode on the same topic. Check out that summer's San Francisco Oracle
. Oh, and the Diggers
are still around.
posted by Miko
on May 23, 2007 -