Sunday, September 24, 2006



40 years ago
• The Beatles’ Revolver was the No. 1 album. They’d just stopped touring, their last concert in San Francisco, and were still usually pictured in matching outfits and marketed as cute. In the free-for-all charts their and other rock songs competed head-on with the older generation’s crooners, and there still was a big, shared popular culture with no narrowcasting like today. People still played fragile things called ‘records’ on ‘turntables’ or ‘stereos’.
• Mainstream and even hip style were still like a more interesting version of the 1950s... in the States you still saw lots of crewcuts, Malcolm X glasses, narrow ties, huge cars with fins and even a few fedoras. The hippy thing was barely beginning and nowhere near mainstream... that wouldn’t happen until ‘the ’60s’ were about over.
• Politicians’ utopian visions were still as abstract as 1950s architecture: Messrs Johnson’s Great Society (and the Vietnam War) and Wilson’s white-hot technological revolution were under way. People really thought the future was going to be like ‘The Jetsons’ or that new show, ‘Star Trek’.
• ARPAnet, the US military project that became the Internet and made narrowcasting what it is today, just got started.
• England won the World Cup.
• God was in heaven, the Missal on the altar and the Prayer Book in the pews, and there still literally were 20 shillings to the pound.
• Things were starting to fall apart though. James Pike got away with apostasy — barely — but had the integrity to quit. But the damage was done as Vatican II was starting to do to the Roman Church.
• Today I first saw the light of day.
We all know sometimes life’s hates and troubles
Can make you wish you were born in another time and space
But you can bet your life times that and twice its double
That God knew exactly where he wanted you to be placed
So make sure when you say you’re in it but not of it
You’re not helping to make this earth a place sometimes called hell
Change your words into truths and then change that truth into love
And maybe our children’s grandchildren
And their great-great-grandchildren will tell
- Stevie Wonder, ‘As’

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