We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A review of John McWhorter's book of the above title begins thus:
For the past forty years and more, a fraud has been perpetrated on the Western world. Since at least the appearance of the first issue of Rolling Stone in 1967, it has been a common assumption that popular music, particularly rock and roll, is about social change. The story has become an Ur-text for any child growing up in America -- or England or the rest of the world for that matter. It is a pop culture creation myth: In the beginning the world was void, without sound, thought or feeling, when Elvis Presley descended, Prometheus-like, to bring eroticism, fun and rebellion to the dull gray world. And as the Church Fathers followed Jesus, others came to carry the message of social revolution forward: the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Who, even the Grateful Dead.
McWhorter is quite brilliant on linguistics, so I imagine he'll tackle this well. I just put the book on my wish list.
There is another subtle element that I believe had profound effect: the switch from black-and-white photography to color. In a few rapid years, the old world of the 1950's and before was perceived as boring and cartoonish because our record of it was. We were now bright, lively, colorful people. Note that even in McWhorter's paragraph above he naturally gravitates to the idea of a dull, gray world. It is not at all accidental that we refer to it as a time of black-and-white morality as well. It wasn't, but it is comfortable for us to think so, as it makes us seem so much more intelligent and sophisticated now. But it's all just advances in film technology, which we take moral credit for.
As evidence I submit the explosion of garish color in popular culture in the 60's - 70's: psychedelic, day-glo, Carnaby St. We wanted to show that we weren't those awful old-fashioned people.
It is still used in film and art today, portraying the 1950's as black-and-white, rigid, and dull by filming them in B&W.
Assistant Village Idiot
Whenever I think back on the 50's my memories are in B&W. The world was colorful, but our technological perceptions of that world were in B&W. Even my dreams during that time were in B&W. I find AVI's theory of the 60's overuse of color as a reaction to the 50's lack of color as sounding reasonably true.