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  • feedwordpress 08:01:48 on 2018/07/17 Permalink
    Tags: 80s, , , Moon Unit, , nostalgia, , Valley Girl, Zappa   

    “In a lot of places, of course, the ’80s had never really come to an end”*… 

     

     

    frankie-goes-to-hollywood

    Frankie Goes to Hollywood: You have woken up under your high school gym teacher.

     

    Simple Minds: You have tasted a scented pen.

    Mike and the Mechanics: You have thrown a Rolodex at a raccoon or skunk.

    Peter Gabriel: You know what Fimo tastes like.

    Roxette: You have injured yourself with a Q-Tip.

    Madonna: Your bedroom smells like Midori.

    Tommy Tutone: You have attempted to use a Polaroid picture as an ID.

    Eurythmics: You have lost a mood ring in a hot tub.

    The Smiths: You have read aloud to a hamster, ferret, or turtle.

    Def Leppard: You have used a package of lunch meat as a pillow.

    Psychedelic Furs: You have worn sunglasses through an entire tooth cleaning…

    Consult a (very complete) list to find out “what your favorite 80s band says about you.”

    * Nick Harkaway, Tigerman

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    As we revisit yesteryear, we might recall that it was on this date in 1082 that “Valley Girl” by Frank Zappa and his then 14-year old daughter Moon Unit, entered the Billboard Pop chart at #75. It peaked at #32 in August.  Written by the dad and daughter and performed by Moon Unit, and intended as a parody, the single popularized the Valley Girl stereotype nationwide; following the song’s release, there was a significant increase in “Valspeak” slang usage, whether ironically spoken or not (not the least of which was the film, Valley Girl).  Indeed, Zappa later sardonically observed that, despite his rich body of work, he was likeliest to be remembered as a novelty artist for “Valley Girl” and “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow.”

    220px-Frank_Zappa_Valley_Girl_single

     

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:55 on 2017/05/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , , nostalgia, , , , ,   

    “We are homesick most for the places we have never known”*… 

     

    It is fascinating to note that from the early modern era to the twentieth century, the word nostalgia primarily indicated a disease, whose causes, symptoms and cures were debated. Nostalgia’s test-case was Swiss soldiers abroad who missed their home and were depressed. (It is not an ancient Greek term at all.) Immanuel Kant in particular was much vexed by the supposition that going home could somehow satisfy the longing for a lost past, which, he insisted, must remain unsatisfied by definition. Nostalgia in those days was a technical term used and discussed primarily by specialists. In the twentieth century, however, the word has become fully demedic­alized. It now means little more than a sentimental attachment to a lost or past era, a fuzzy feeling about a soft-focus earlier time, and is more often used of an advertising campaign, a film or a memory of childhood than with regard to any strong sense of its etymology, “pain about homecoming”. Victorians talked with passion about their feelings for the past, longed for lost ideals, and, as one would expect in an imperial age, often talked about travelling home, in overlapping physical and metaphorical senses. They also theorized such feelings and dramatized them in poetry, art, music and novels. But “nostalgia” is a major term for us, not them. In this sense at least, nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

    I can’t help wondering whether this shift in usage does not betoken a broader shift in politics too, or perhaps in cultural self-understanding…

    Mosey (carefully) down memory lane at “Look back with danger.”

    * Carson McCullers

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    As we agree with Proust that “remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were,” we might send epigrammatic birthday greetings to Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra; he was born on this date in 1925.  Berra played almost his entire 19-year baseball career (1946–1965) for the New York Yankees. Berra is one of only four players to be named the Most Valuable Player of the American League three times; according to  sabermetrician Bill James, he is the greatest catcher of all time and the 52nd greatest non-pitching player in major-league history.  Berra went on to manage the dynasty of which he was a crucial part, the Yankees, and then the New York Mets; he is one of seven managers to lead both American and National League teams to the World Series (as a player, coach, or manager, Berra appeared in 21 Fall Classics). He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

    Berra is also remembered for the “unique”  observations on baseball and life with which he graced reporters during interviews:  e.g., “Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical,” “It’s déjà vu all over again,” “You can observe a lot by watching,” and “The future ain’t what it used to be.”  In The Yogi Book, Berra explained, “I really didn’t say everything I said. […] Then again, I might have said ’em, but you never know.”

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:24 on 2016/09/13 Permalink
    Tags: Emmy, Frasier, , , nostalgia, , , television set, , tv set,   

    “There’s a good deal in common between the mind’s eye and the TV screen”*… 

     

    Not your correspondent… but might have been

    It’s widely suggested these days that we’re in a “Golden Age of Television”… but hasn’t the history of the TV been one long Golden Age?

    In case of fire, 82% of 20th Century Americans surveyed in the pre-Internet era would rescue the TV set. The other 18% would stay still watching the thing and ask, ‘What fire?’ America loved the magic box…

    More glimpses of Americans and their tubes at “Found Photos: Mid-Century People Standing By Modern TVs.” Volume Two here.

    * Ursula K. LeGuin

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    As we tune in, we might recall that it was on this date in 1998 that Frasier set an Emmy record, becoming the first to take top honors for outstanding comedy series five years in a row (a record currently tied by Modern Family).  Frasier won a total of 37 Primetime Emmy Awards during its 11-year run, breaking the record long held by The Mary Tyler Moore Show (29).

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