Monday, April 17, 2006

Born on this date: Nikita Khruschev, Lindsay Anderson
(directed "If...",) Olivia Hussey (actress, Romeo & Juliet movie)
and Senor Wences, pictured above, frequent guest
on the Ed Sullivan show. Posted by Picasa

Also "born" on this date: Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. Posted by Picasa

Died on this date: Felix Pappalardi (Cream), Vinnie Taylor
(Canned Heat, overdose) and Eddie Cochran (car crash, age 21.) Posted by Picasa

Released on this date in 1970: the first solo
album by one of the Beatles: McCartney. Posted by Picasa

Today in Baby Boomer History

1945: Allied bombing of Dresden ( central event in Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut)
1947: Jackie Robinson's first major league hit.
1961: first day of the Bay of Pigs aborted invasion of Cuba.
1964: Ford Mustang is introduced.
1967: Surveyor 3 launched; will land on the moon in 3 days.
1969: Sirhan Sirhan convicted of the murder of Robert Kennedy.
1970: Apollo 13 limps back to Earth.
1970: The first solo album by one of the Beatles is released: "McCartney."
1976: Mike Schmidt hits four consecutive homers in the N.L.'s greatest comeback victory: down 12-1, the Phillies win 18-16 in 10 innings.
1978: Carl Sagan wins Pulitzer Prize for Dragons of Eden.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Getting the 60s Right

We're hitting the 40th anniversary of various 1960s phenomena, so maybe it shouldn't be surprising that a certain kind of uninformed nostalgia pervades the culture these days. I've seen two plays recently that adopt a 60s theme, one worse than the other. The worst one was a thematic production of As You Like It, my favorite of Shakespeare's comedies. Transporting it to the 60s might have worked, if they had any idea of what the 60s were actually like. They didn't even get the clothes right. It makes me wonder if the Roaring Twenties themes have always been as reductionist and inaccurate as the Swinging Sixties.

It's odd that few novels have portrayed that decade well, and even the better movies usually leave out significant elements. More modest recollections have more of the ring of truth, as this one in the San Francisco Chronicle today by Gerald FitzGerald.