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jerryking : golden_age   15

Opinion | The World According to Mad Magazine
July 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By Tim Kreider. Mr. Kreider is an essayist and cartoonist.

The announcement last week that Mad would cease monthly publication of new material made me sad in the far-off way you feel when you hear that a celebrity you didn’t know was still alive has died. I was a regular reader of Mad in the 1970s, when the magazine was at the height of its popularity and influence. I learned many things from Mad: who Spiro Agnew was, the plots of R-rated movies like “Coma” and show tunes like “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’,’” which the writers of Mad evidently assumed would be familiar enough to 10-year-olds of the ’70s to parody — “I Got Plenty of Muslims,” sung by a black militant. I also learned about black militants.

I also learned from Mad that politicians were corrupt and deceitful, that Hollywood and Madison Avenue pushed insulting junk, that religion was more invested in respectability than compassion, that school was mostly about teaching you to obey arbitrary rules and submit to dingbats and martinets — that it was, in short, all BS. Grown-ups who worried that Mad was a subversive influence, undermining the youth of America’s respect for their elders and faith in our hallowed institutions, were 100 percent correct..........By the time most of us hit adolescence and learn that the world is unfair, exploitative and brutal, and that most people in it live in shocking poverty and squalor, and that we’re all somehow implicated in this even though it wasn’t our idea, plus there’s no God and we’re all going to die and the grown-ups have been secretly having sex the whole time, you feel ripped off. You feel lied to.

So you turn to art that rips the facades off everything, exposing adults and their institutions as swinish and rotten. Humor is adolescents’ reflexive defense against all the unpleasantness they’re confronting for the first time. It’s a distinctively adolescent form of humor we now call “snark” — irony, sarcasm, satire and parody — whose agenda is to mock and tear down and caper gleefully upon the grave of everything sacred and respectable.

It’s no coincidence that Mad reached its highest circulation in the era of the Vietnam War, Watergate and the “credibility gap” — the collapse of public faith in the integrity and honesty of our government. It was a healthy antidote to earlier generations’ automatic deference to an authority that too seldom deserved it........Adolescents are also scarily passionate absolutists, and there is, behind all parody and satire, a moral agenda; people like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert aren’t America haters but closet patriots and true believers. Mad’s ethos was essentially conservative: its all-fronts, iconoclastic assault on bigotry and hypocrisy was a tacit appeal to good old-fashioned decency and integrity. Mad made good enemies: The Ku Klux Klan once demanded an apology and threatened to sue over what it considered a libel against its organization.......Mad’s influence is ubiquitous now. The glut of satire and subversive comedy we all now consume daily is created by kids who grew up on Mad or on humor inspired by it: “Saturday Night Live,” “The Simpsons,” “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report” and The Onion are all in one way or another the spawn of Mad. . But in the end, the magazine largely obviated itself as a cultural force by becoming the dominant mode of humor in America.
'70s  anti-Establishment  cartoons  comic-books  farewells  golden_age  humour  magazines  op-ed  parodies  satire  subversion  youth 
11 weeks ago by jerryking
Opinion | The Best Year of Our Lives
April 6, 2019 | The New York Times | By Ross Douthat.

There’s a theory of human psychology that holds that the time you enter maturity becomes fixed in your mind as a civilizational peak — with everything since a falling-off that conveniently matches your own stagger toward the grave. Thus it doesn’t matter if you came of age in the Great Depression or some other nadir; because you were 18 then, it must have been a golden age......I’ve been thinking about how good we had it lately because we’re 20 years out from 1999, and the cultural press is thick with reminders that it was a pop-culture annus mirabilis — from the premiere of “The Sopranos” that defined a golden age of television, to the yearlong cascade of brilliant movies .....from a Hollywood not yet captive to the superhero era......Widen the aperture a little, so that the “Xennial” cultural era covers 1995 to 2005, and you get everything from the perfection of the sitcom (late “Seinfeld,” season one of “Friends,” the silver age of “The Simpsons,” “Arrested Development”) to the peak of HBO (when “The Wire” and “The Sopranos” and “Deadwood” and “Sex and the City” were all airing). Oh, and those were also the days when George R.R. Martin could publish three “Game of Thrones” novels in five years, inventing all the good parts of the TV show’s plot in an end-of-millennium rush.....cold hard economic data also suggest that ours was a uniquely blessed coming-of-age: a time of low unemployment, surging productivity, strong working-class wage growth — and all without a huge overhang of public and private debt.......a statement about generational experiences, Alter was basically right. If you were born around 1980, you grew up in a space happily between — between eras of existential threat (Cold War/War on Terror, or Cold War/climate change), between foreign policy debacles (Vietnam/Iraq), between epidemics (crack and AIDS/opioids and suicide), and between two different periods of economic stagnation (the ’70s and early Aughts).
'90s  op-ed  Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez  annus_mirabilis  coming-of-age  cultural_gatekeepers  films  generational_touchstones  golden_age  millennials  movies  noughties  popular_culture  Ross_Douthat  television  shared_consciousness  shared_experiences 
april 2019 by jerryking
The Golden Age of Restaurants in America
JUN 20, 2017 | The Atlantic | DEREK THOMPSON.

.....But then there’s the middle-class of restaurants, also known as “casual dining”—full-service restaurants where the typical check is between $15 and $25, per person. This is where the pain lives. Same-restaurant sales are falling across most of the sector’s largest chains, including Applebees, Chili’s, and Maggiano’s. Traffic at all casual dining spots fell at the fastest rate since the middle of 2009, when unemployment was screaming past 9 percent.

What’s killing casual dining? Theories range from its core customers’ income stagnation to the restaurants’ staid decor. But there’s another, less-obvious threat: Diners are increasingly buying prepared food at places that aren’t restaurants. They’re going to convenience stores with made-to-order food, like Wawa, or grocers with prepared food, like Whole Foods, college stores, corporate cafes, community centers, and food trucks. In fact, one-third of prepared meals this year won’t come from a typical restaurant or fast-food joint. Americans already buy more food and beverages on college campus than at bars, according to the National Restaurant Association. Prepared food is everywhere, now. That’s a killer for restaurants serving the middle class.
restaurants  food  casual_dining  prepared_meals  golden_age 
november 2018 by jerryking
1999 at the movies: The year of living dangerously - The Globe and Mail
BARRY HERTZ
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 1, 2018

it is easy to call 1999 the last great year at the movies.

Or at least that's the (convincing) argument made by Canadian television writer Phillip Iscove and his American colleague Kenny Neibart in the pair's new project, Podcast Like It's 1999. The series, available now on iTunes, aims to dissect all 250 major releases of that wonderful, overwhelming year – before, as the pair put it in their debut episode, reality television, HBO and the internet divided everyone's attention.

"It just feels, and has for a while, like a seminal year for movies. It's undeniable,"

.....Which brings up the question of whether 1999 is a true watershed moment, or perhaps more of a generational touchstone for those currently active and wielding power in the creative industries......Raftery’s book is not satisfied until it delivers the definitive portrait of one astounding year at the movies from those who were there, watching along in the dark.
90s  anniversaries  annus_mirabilis  books  book_reviews  cultural_touchpoints  films  generational_touchstones  golden_age  movies  popular_culture  turning_points 
february 2018 by jerryking
Why Hotel California marked a watershed for rock
Peter Aspden

APRIL 3, 2017

It started, as things did in the heyday of rock music’s golden era, with a few strums of a guitar on a beach sofa in Malibu. Don Felder, guitarist of The Eagles, improvised a chord progression that he recorded on to a cassette, and handed to the rest of the band.
Don Henley started to write a lyric, set in a West Coast hostelry, and addressing the issue of America’s slow implosion into decadence. “Hotel California” was born.

The song was the title track of an album of the same name, released in December 1976, which represented The Eagles’ finest hour. They started as a wannabe country rock band with great hair and sumptuous harmonies. After Hotel California, they lost their touch. The release of “Hotel California” as a single marked a watershed for the band, but also for the course of popular music.
music  California  '70s  songwriters  country_rock  the_Eagles  rock-'n'-roll  songs  golden_age  turning_points 
january 2018 by jerryking
Vegan Ice Cream Enters a Golden Age
JULY 21, 2017 | The New York Times | By MELISSA CLARK.

Supermarket shelves are now filled with quarts of plant-based milks. Cashew, hazelnut, macadamia, oat, flax, rice, quinoa and hemp varieties have joined the ranks of coconut, soy and almond milks. On a trip to France this summer, I even sampled chestnut milk, and I am still kicking myself for not buying an extra suitcase to haul home containers of the sweet, gentle elixir.

But with so many options, which plant-based milk, or combination of milks, makes the best homemade nondairy ice cream?.....With its high fat content and creamy texture, coconut milk (or, better still, coconut cream) is a great substitute for dairy. The downside is that the coconut milk has a pronounced coconut flavor, even when it is blended with intense ingredients like chocolate, peanut butter or raspberry.If you don’t mind the flavor, coconut cream is a great way to go. GoodPop, a company in Austin, Tex., producing both dairy and nondairy ice cream pops, uses coconut milk and cream in all its bases.
nondairy  ice_cream  vegan  GoodPop  plant-based  golden_age 
august 2017 by jerryking
Back to the future, with the kid - The Globe and Mail
MARGARET WENTE
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015

So what will Prime Minister Trudeau do with all that horsepower? His policy proposals (which many voters are only dimly aware of) are also a blast from the past. Expand the government. Tax breaks for the usual suspects, especially the sacred middle class (on top of the tax breaks they’ve been showered with for the past 10 years). Soak the rich some more and pretend it makes a difference. Deficit spending, whether or not we need it, on infrastructure projects that may or may not help the economy. But no idea of how to get our landlocked oil to markets, or any comprehensive plan to spur innovation and economic growth.

Mr. Trudeau’s foreign policy ideas are naive and nostalgic. They hark back to the golden age of peacekeeping and multilateralism, as if blue berets and good intentions could defeat Islamic State. Those ideas resonate with voters, because they like to think of Canada as a force for good in the world. Unfortunately, the world is a nastier, messier place than it used to be, and niceness does not go very far.
Margaret_Wente  Justin_Trudeau  Federal_Election_2015  Liberals  Brian_Mulroney  golden_age 
october 2015 by jerryking
The Source of New York’s Greatness - NYTimes.com
By RUSSELL SHORTO SEPT. 7, 2014 | NYT |

In founding New Amsterdam in the 1620s, the Dutch planted the seeds for the city’s remarkable flowering. Specifically, the Dutch brought two concepts that became part of New York’s foundation: tolerance of religious differences and an entrepreneurial, free-trading culture.

In the 17th century, when it was universally held elsewhere in Europe that a strong society required intolerance as official policy, the Dutch Republic was a melting pot. The Dutch codified the concept of tolerance of religious differences, built a vast commercial empire and spawned a golden age of science and art in part by turning the “problem” of their mixed society into an advantage. Dutch tolerance was transplanted to Manhattan: They were so welcoming that a reported 18 languages were spoken in New Amsterdam at a time when its population was only about 500....This new economic mind-set likewise got transferred to New Amsterdam, where everyone was a trader, an entrepreneur. The port became so efficient that even archrivals in the English colony of Virginia sent their goods to Europe via what would become the New York harbor. .... The nonaristocratic, egalitarian bent of the Dutch also gave society on Manhattan a uniquely upwardly mobile character, distinct from that of, say, Boston. Who you were mattered less than what you could do....The concepts of tolerance and free trade both related to a new appreciation of the individual. New York was born alongside the world-historic force of liberalism, a philosophy that prized individual freedom above all else. What is little appreciated, though, is the grounding of individualism in collectivism. It was the Dutch agreement to work together for the common good of holding back the sea that allowed for the rise of prosperity and a society based on singular achievement.
history  New_York_City  anniversaries  Dutch  Holland  foundational  tolerance  religious_freedom  liberal_pluralism  melting_pot  golden_age 
september 2014 by jerryking
Humanity takes millions of photos every day. Why are most so forgettable? - The Globe and Mail
Jun. 21 2013 | The Globe and Mail | IAN BROWN.

In what should be a golden age of photography, our preoccupation with technical brilliance, technique, and technological advances is overwhelming our ability to collectively use our cameras to tell the simplest of stories...As a result, Ian and his fellow judges at the 2013 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival photography competition to tell a visual story--a photo essay--about wildlife or wilderness, declined to identify a winner--or even a runner-up--from 500 entries....none of them managed to tell the simplest of stories.

A story is a cohesive account of events in which something is at stake – a beginning, middle and end tied together with characters, scenes and details (long shots, mid-shots, closeups) that lead to a climax and resolution (or not). A story is content.

Even the entries that were remotely in the neighbourhood of telling a story – and most were hopelessly lost – were edited incomprehensibly. (Not experimentally. Incomprehensibly.) In other words, if photographic sequences evoke no perceptible story, they have no significance.

* Don't try to compensate for a lack of vision with a bag of technological tricks.
* Don't take photographs because you can. First, determine if you should (i.e. will there be story?). Think--pretend the resource you're consuming is finite.
* Don't sit down awaiting to be entertained, go out and seek a story.

We crave the instant gratification and collective approval that the Internet deals out to us and photograbs are the fastest way to get it, the visual equivalent of a hypodermic drip....The Online Photographer, the blog of Mike Johnston, a digital photographer who writes about his attempts – his successes, but more often his failures – to tell cogent and moving stories in pictures. It’s the struggle that makes visual work interesting....“Time changes the image.” allowing photos that didn't like to become favourites and vice versa....Good pictures that tell a story, he said, are always about other people. But when “everybody with a phone thinks they’re a photographer,” the result is “the autobiographical and the narcissistic.”

Ian fears for organizations such as the Chicago Sun-Times, which last month laid off all of its camera pros in favour of cheaper, crowd-sourced iPhonography. They will get what they pay for.
storytelling  photography  contests  digital_media  information_overload  curation  narcissism  Banff  failure  visual_culture  finite_resources  instant_gratification  constraints  problem_framing  golden_age 
june 2013 by jerryking
We must restore our diplomatic core - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 08, 2011 |G&M |ALLAN GOTLIEB & COLIN ROBERTSON.
Mr. Harper seems to foresee a highly active foreign policy, & a very
independent one. “We also have a purpose,” he said.“And that purpose is
no longer just to go along and get along with everyone else’s
agenda.”..Negotiating a new accord with the US to reverse the hardening
of our border, protecting the access of energy exports to US mkts,
creating new mkts for our oil sands, negotiating a free-trade deal with
the EU & India, strengthening relations with China, protecting Cdn.
interests in the Arctic ...In this age of the Internet & WikiLeaks,
the role of diplomacy needs to be assessed & understood. The PM
should commission a task force on the foreign service, as he did for
Afghan. It’s been > 30 yrs. since the McDougall Commission looked at
our diplomats. There will be no new golden age of Canadian foreign
policy w/o investing in the HR that, in the PM’s words, are necessary
“to making Canada a meaningful contributor in the world.”
Stephen_Harper  Canada  Canadian  foreign_policy  globalization  diplomacy  rebuilding  WikiLeaks  golden_age 
august 2011 by jerryking
Spreading the Love
October 7, 2010 | BusinessWeek | By David Sax. During the recession, the golden age of condiments has dawned
condiments  spices  David_Sax  golden_age 
october 2010 by jerryking

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