Friday, October 24, 2008

We're in the Money

I. Today's electoral score:
Obama 375
McCain 157
Ties 6
Senate 59 Dems/41 GOP
House 251 Dems/183 GOP/1 tie


II. Pop Culture During Hard Times

When I was completing my doctoral coursework at Temple University, I had the privilege to work with -- and for -- historian David Jacobs (David Michael Jacobs). Though his main specialty is UFO research (starting with The UFO Controversy in America, 1973, and more recently, books on alien abductions), he's a great history teacher, too. As one of his graduate students and then teaching assistants, I was lucky enough to hear his excellent lectures on U.S. history, pop culture, and UFOs. One of many books from then (the early to mid 1990s) that remains with me: Andrew Bergman's We're in the Money: Depression America and Its Films (first published in 1971). It's one of many reminders that movies and radio and other forms of pop culture do help people get through hard times by lifting their spirits and keeping them engaged. Today, we can add the internet, I suppose.

More on Dave Jacobs and related topics at some point, I suspect. Here's a clip from one of the great films made during The Great Depression, Mervyn LeRoy's Gold Diggers of 1933, featuring Ginger Rogers singing partly in Pig Latin (that's right), "We're in the Money:"

By the way, you can translate just about anything into or from Pig Latin via this link:

Oday'stay Uneray: Olenesswhay.


Charles Gramlich said...

Looking good.

the walking man said...

I suppose that "pop" can help people get through to a different day. But I don't think that past generations have been so bombarded by it. We've come to the point now where even supposed news organizations, bastions of impartiality, are weighing in on who/what we should be enamored of.

I just don't see the uber need for glitz right now. Most days the hyperventilation of pop can simply be ignored but to me "pop" looks like a true WMD. But now I doubt the distraction is at all helpful.

*sigh* I suppose my attitude is catching up with my age,

The Social Reformer said...

judgement day coming soon

Bubs said...

That movie was especially optimistic given that they had 6 more years of depression ahead of them.

But boy, those girls were hawt

Anonymous said...

I read where The Grapes Of Wrath was burnt, censored much maligned by a particular group of men. Now we know it is a classic. Truth does rise slowly from the ashes of
deceit, greed and evil.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Itway ookslay ikelay Obamaway ouldshay inway ethay esidencypray
andshay ownday. Ictoryvay onway Ovembernay 4thay!

Erik Donald France said...

Anksthay orfay allway ethay ommentscay, ally'AY! Uchmay
appreciatedway, ouyay etchabay!

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