Monday, August 15, 2011

That 70s Show

Those of you who may be a bit perplexed by the current global econonomic and political developments would do well to read these two landmark books. They're probably available at your local public library.

I know they're both on! I've included links (something I rarely do) because there is no way in a short blog post I can adequately enumerate all the reasons you owe it to yourself to own or at least read both of these works.

Unless you have access to a time-machine, there is no way you can fully appreciate life in the period from 1963 through 1973, ten of the most amazing years of the last 60. The ba-boom that began with the murder of US President John F. Kennedy and ended at the dawn of the disco era became the foundation for all that is now. By reading Videofreex and Janny Scott's A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of barack Obama's Mother the way I did, you really get a picture of what was happening. And clarification of some rather foggy issues.

I believe that 2011 and the 1970s have a "connection in spirit" - over the weekend I was reading two books, a few pages of one, a chapter of another - as the telly broadcast the riots in the streets of London. I could have well been back in 1968 through 197x: a weird kind of history repeating itself - well, not exactly repeating itself. But if you combine the back story in Parry Teasdale's Videofreex with the saga of Barack Obama's Momma (sorry, couldn't resist tossing that in)- you may just begin to get a smidgen of understanding why things are the way they are today.

By reading both books you get a sense of the tapestry of the times: you begin to understand why that "community organizer spirit" is such an integral part of Barack Obama. You realize what a marvelous tool your little smartphone is, in that it can record video and sound as well as communicate globally instantaneously. You get a feel for the late 60s/early 70s counterculture and get a glimpse of the eloquently angry social networker slash Amerikan Revolutionary, Abbie Hoffman, who personified the "Haves vs. Have-Nots" in his larger-than-life persona. All there, in hardcover and paperback: and both books feature black and white photos to boot!

I think VIDEOFREEX should be on the summer reading lists of high-school students, especially those in the Northeastern US, as the book is set in upstate New York's Catskill Mountains, nestled between NYC and Albany. There is SO MUCH culturally relevant material there, as well as an entertaining narrative and an educational look at the way experimental television proceeded, free from government intervention.

Another "landmark" that permeates (at least for me) this historical cloud: New York State recently finally officially outlawed pirate radio stations. Apparently, there is a need for such broadcasting, and the government is out to ensure that need goes unfulfilled. I wonder if there any pirate TV stations in existence nowadays?

Look at what's happening in London ::: the fires of violence are being fanned by social networking. Organizers of protest events now use Facebook and twitter to co-ordinate and communicate. The rebellious American youths who rioted during the 1960s didn't have that digital glue holding their movement together. Does that mean theirs was stronger than those that exist now? Perhaps yes. The modern London rioters and the democracy-seekers in Arab lands (in my opinion) derive some of their COURAGE from organizing via social media. The numbers are there: they just need to unify. This they use twitter and facebook to accomplish.
The taste of the times given us via Videofreex and that "driver" that was part of it is the same driver that was pushing Stanley to do all the things she did. She was part of that ideology, that movement, that chunk of young American thought, dream and desire.

If you visit John Hogue's website, be sure to read his post entitled"S&P Downgrade and the Second Recession" and find the link that bridges back to Hogue's predictions for Barack Obama. If Hogue is correct, Obama's Presidential run may indeed be "out of sync" and could be partly to blame for what's happened up to this point. Many times I've thought how relieved Hillary Clinton might be feeling, that she didn't get the Democratic Presidential nomination. But (by way of Hogue's reasoning - and mine) if she HAD gotten the nod, and selected Obama as her VP, regardless of whether the economy and political climate rolled along the same path, the time for Barack may well have been 2012 or 2016. But, as bad as things look right now, Obama hasn't crashed into the trees yet, so he may still be able to rendezvous with his "lucky star." (I always like to hold out hope!) After all, we can't go back and change the timeline.

If you think you've just read a lot of nothing here, you may be right. I've been typing random thoughts, trying to weave together a little tapestry of the times for you... just get the books and read 'em concurrently... you'll understand,or at least begin to!

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  1. Just toss in a little Cat Stevens and Jefferson Airplane tunes while reading! 4 that FULL SIXTIES effect!!!


  3. Hey - FYI -
    We are making a Videofreex documentary! follow the progress on our facebook page!


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