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> Trashing the 1960's
ross
post Nov 7 2005, 03:45 AM
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Trashing the 1960's is not relevant to enjoying Jazz Age music, nor was
it, in my opinion, a decade devoid of political, artistic, architectural or musical advances. It was also a non-violent social and cultural revolution.

Ross

PS. I wasn't a Flower Child so I'm not personally defensive!
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Ian House
post Nov 7 2005, 08:39 AM
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Hi Ross,

I think a discussion about the impact of the "60s scene" is quite relevant and in keeping with the topics found on this message board which is devoted not just to Jazz -but to the entire scope of early 20th century culture. So to discuss the differences between the early and late decades is more than appropriate (and fun too!) I was born in 1961 and, therefore, grew up right in the midst of hippies, acid trips, bell bottoms and the rest of the counterculture mildew that I still strive to scrape off of the bottom of my shoes. I have a very well-developed resentment for flower power. My early education was a JOKE. Some of my teachers were pothead space cases who forced us to reject traditional disciplines and sit around on purple shag carpet listening to folk music instead of properly learning our "New Math" lessons. Most internet surfers have likely stumbled across the following document -it's legendary... It's a summary of a typical exam for eighth graders in 1895:

Eighth Grade Exam 1895

How many of us post-50s students could answer all of these questions in order to graduate from Grade 8? I dare say that a reasonable number of kids educated in the teens and twenties could easily pass it. Maybe I'm wrong..??.. I just know that my own educational experience from the 60s was a psychedelic NIGHTMARE... And worse, my teachers ALWAYS seemed to undermine my personal values with their own new age political philosophies. The greatest event in my life so far was to witness the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing. When we discussed it in school, my teacher started with: "How many of you watched the moon landing? Can you think of better ways to spend the money that it required here on Earth instead?" ...Sigh... :-( The Apollo program was the last great gasp of the Greatest Generation... We should have been on Mars by now -but I think the flower children got bored with scientific discovery and adventure. It was inner space vs. outer space I suppose...

I focus my attention on the educational potholes that still haven't been repaired ... Apart from the sitcoms that I loved as a kid (and still do :-), I can't think of many cultural influences from the 60s that are worth mentioning (noting here that Rosa Parks took her stand in 1955) With all due respect, the 60s/70s counterculture experiment left us with more scars than it did benefits -the worst two decades of the 20th Century IMHO... Not all revolutions prove to be worthwhile.

With my respect...


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Vladimir Berkov
post Nov 10 2005, 06:16 PM
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That 1895 exam is pretty cool, but I don't see it as any more difficult than the stuff I had to do at that school age. The majority of that exam basically tests only memorization, which is probably the easiest and most useless of all educational skills. Where the 1985 exam falls short is in its lack of testing the analysis and critical thinking of the students. After going through high school, college and now being in law school it is more than obvious that knowing something which can be easiliy be looked up in a dictionary or encyclopedia is usually unnecessary. Obviously you need some foundation knowledge but it is only useful as it relates to some higher-level thinking.

For instance, I think it would be far more useful in the history portion of the test to write a well-layed out essay on the Revolutionary War issue then to answer any of the other questions. When you look at the time limits for each section the broadness and vagueness of the questions seems almost laughable. Do you honestly think you can "Show the territorial growth of the United States" in 5.6 minutes? Or relate the causes and effects of the Revolutionary War in that time period?

At best you might get a short paragraph about each question by the student, essentially a "short answer" question which considering the breadth of those topics would not show any amount of actual knowledge but only a recitation of the most important few dates, or terms the student knows.
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gregoryagogo
post Nov 10 2005, 11:28 PM
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Without TV, I guess alls you had to do sit around and learn stuff!

Gregory laugh.gif


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ross
post Nov 11 2005, 04:50 AM
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Hey Vladimir -

Question: Would you update me on current teaching methods at your law school? I graduated long ago from a big-name northeastern law school where I was exquisitely bored for almost all of the 3 years. The school disdained teaching the law of the state where it is located - how gross! - but from a national law perspective. (To my really genuine surprise I did respectably well scholastically and actually passed a tough Bar Exam on the first shot. I could have requested my grade but never had the courage!) My sole complaint is the case-book method of teaching. (For the curious, it is dissecting legal opinions in class 3x a week on subjects such as Contracts, Family Law etc - from a 700-page casebook of significant cases in that field). The first 100 cases can be kinda interesting for judicial reasoning, but, as it escalated into the thousands over the 3 years, boredom just happened. It became an hour of speed reading before I went out to play for the evening. The only memorable recalls I have are the article I did for the law review (on the right of privacy, then an almost unexplored legal subject) and the two magnificent magnolias in front of the school that I watched for 3 springs like a calendar of a prisoner and long afterward, since my apartment was then close by. And oh! yes, the Director of Placement who went out of her way to find me a good law firm that would be agreeable from the outset to the specialty law I wanted to practice - most large law firms around here put fledging lawyers into a "general resource" pool before becoming a specialist. It can "cost" the newbie several years of grunge work.

I agree with you about useless memory stunts though I owe a lot to my early implant of an Intel chip! Today I use Google (and Gurunet) almost daily - earlier this week for basic facts about the 1915 Battle of Gallipoli.

Ross
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Vladimir Berkov
post Nov 11 2005, 05:34 AM
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UT Austin school of law teaches on the "national" method just as you did. The teachers incorporate Texas law into the class as they see fit, but on the whole it is taught using national standards such as the UCC and the MPC and those are what apply on the exams. We still are taught by case law for the most part, although the casebooks usually have a bunch of notes and summaries about different subjects. Some casebooks have more of this than others.

I really don't have a problem with the caselaw method, I guess it is just a byproduct of being a common-law country where cases are so important. Nor do I have a problem with not learning a lot of Texas law, since I am pretty sure I want to start practice outside of Texas.
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Ian House
post Nov 11 2005, 05:50 AM
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Thanks Vladimir,

Those are good points that you are making. I guess I am just sensing that educational standards and civility standards have slipped a little in the past few decades... maybe I'm wrong. (Hopefully I am) -I guess I'll need a time machine to know for sure!


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ross
post Nov 12 2005, 12:47 AM
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Hi Ian -

Since we are both buffs of the joyful Jazz Age music (as is Dismuke who started this thread!) and you and Dismuke are much more knowledgable about that era than I, I will attribute your negative views of the '60s only to a quirk, perhaps resulting from your strange and alarming elementary education you described. Couldn't you have changed schools? I did in my first elementary school since my teachers weren't at all challenging. Z-z-z.

Have you any other quirks that I should know about before I accidentally activate another hot button?

There were 2 mega problems in the 60's here in the U.S.: the sad and futile war in Vietnam and as you noted, the drug culture. But otherwise I think it was a productive decade.

Ross

PS. I would have flunked the 1895 test, then and now!
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Ian House
post Nov 12 2005, 03:40 AM
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Hi Ross,

I don't think that my views of the 60's are just a personal quirk of mine; It's a pretty widely held conviction for many members of my generation who are still living in the dark shadow of the counterculture experiment. ... but, I'll admit that I am guilty of using your post to vent a little. I apologize to the board for such a personal indulgence...


Oh, and I'm chock full of other quirks too. Stay away from the following topics and we'll get along just fine :-)


1. 60's flower power (It's not groovy!)
2. Instant coffee. Coffee is the PERFECT beverage; Take some time with it.
3. Plastic female body parts (fingernails, mammaries, eyelashes, etc)
4. Cracker Jack quality control (What ever happened to the peanuts? It's just caramel corn now)
5. Security labels on ALL THREE edges of a new CD or DVD package.
6. Extreme environmentalism. (For the love of God, please let us drill for some freakin' oil!)
7. I'm not fond of the TV show, "The Flying Nun" with Sally Fields.
8. Ebay sellers who OVER package their stuff. (I just broke a 78 recently while struggling with a package :-(
9. Replacing "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays"
10. Life without Q-Tips (unthinkable!).

And this is just a short list of the things bothering me TONIGHT! ... Hopefully, as I grow older, I will mellow with age -and reduce this list down to just a TOP 5.

_ _ _

Today is Veterans Day. For anyone who has served our country -past or present- please accept my warmest appreciation for your honorable service. You guys are THE BEST! ( Hey Ed: Semper Fidelis )


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Vladimir Berkov
post Nov 15 2005, 03:49 AM
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QUOTE(Ian House @ Nov 11 2005, 09:40 PM)
4. Cracker Jack quality control (What ever happened to the peanuts? It's just caramel corn now)

I am not the only one! The whole theory about Cracker Jack is that you can get peanuts and caramel corn together because they go well together. Caramel corn by itself is entirely uninteresting. Every time I get Cracker Jack now it is usually just a bunch of caramel corn with a few peanuts sitting at the bottom of the box where I can't even get at them until the corn is gone.
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Ian House
post Nov 15 2005, 05:01 AM
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Yes, indeed! ... It's enough to make an honest Cracker Jack fan flirt with the competition -which would be "Poppycock" I guess...? That stuff uses the sugar glaze coating to stick the peanuts to the popcorn. Not a bad idea ...But I still prefer the taste (and history) of Cracker Jack better -so I continue to satisfy myself with the 3 peanuts at the bottom of the box.


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gregoryagogo
post Nov 15 2005, 06:27 PM
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I think you should advocate for the peanuts!

Contact Frito Lay @ Consumer.Affairs@fritolay.com


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gregoryagogo
post Nov 15 2005, 06:29 PM
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I think you should advocate for the peanuts!

Contact Frito Lay @ Consumer.Affairs@fritolay.com

By the way, here is the link to the er Jack Website: http://www.crackerjack.com/home.htm



Love,
Gregory rolleyes.gif


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gregoryagogo
post Nov 15 2005, 06:42 PM
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QUOTE(Ian House @ Nov 11 2005, 08:40 PM)
"...Extreme environmentalism. (For the love of God, please let us drill for some freakin' oil!)..."

Personally, I think we need to focus on more environmentally friendly recourses.

We really can't continue to deplete all the oil. Eventually we will have to "Face the Music and Dance"!!! ohmy.gif

Gregory wink.gif


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dismuke
post Nov 16 2005, 06:45 AM
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I want to step in and nip something in the bud before it has a chance to get started.

Let's try and keep our conversations on this board away from the realm of current events, politics and such. A few years ago, I pretty much stopped following the 78-L discussion group because of the number of threads, some of them quite heated, devoted to such subjects. There is, of course, nothing wrong with discussing such issues. I happen to be a very opinionated person and enjoy debating politics and philosophy as much as anyone. But everything has its proper place. There are LOTS of places and forums online where one can debate controversial issues from any viewpoint imaginable. There aren't nearly as many places where one can go to find people who enjoy the music and popular culture from the early 1900s.

When I am listening to music or am spending time with people who share my love for that era, the LAST thing I want to do is worry about all of the various serious issues and problems that the world is facing today (and, of course, the world always has and always will be confronted with serious issues and challenges). When I am listening to music or watching a vintage movie, I want to step back from all of that and enjoy the moment as I would if all the serious problems in life were solved and a non-issue. And when I am around a person who shares my love for that era - well, if he or she happens to hold political viewpoints that I strongly disagree with, I would rather not know it, or if I do happen to know it, I would rather just focus on the areas in which we DO have shared values. Besides, the success or failure of my side in social and political debates is not going to rise or fall on whether or not any given individual happens to agree with me.

My station and website are linked to by blogs and websites from all over the political/social spectrum - and I welcome every one of them. I want people to be able to visit and enjoy this website and the radio station without worrying about having to witness their values (whatever they may be) outside the realm early 1900s music and popular culture being attacked.

That is not to say that people need to refrain from expressing strong opinions on the board. Nor am I one of those people who is bothered by threads going off topic. I actually enjoy a lot of the threads on the board with light-hearted, off topic banter. I just ask that, if things do go off topic, please keep it friendly and light hearted and try to avoid unnecessary and distracting controversy. Because we are relatively few in number, let's focus on the things we have in common and not the great many things that undoubtedly many of us do NOT have in common.

I consider the topic of this message board to be primarily about the music and popular culture of the early 1900s in general and anything in particular having to do with my website and radio station. Feel free to express strong opinions about music and musical genres all you like. And if you wish to trash today's so-called popular "music" - well, I might very well join in. As for issues relating to popular culture - well, those can be tricky because controversial subjects such as politics, religion and social philosophies have a very strong interaction with and influence on the popular culture of any age. When I say that this message board is about "popular culture" I generally mean topics such as movies, fashion, architecture, the sort of cars people drive, how they live their day-to-day lives, etc. And since this board deals with the popular culture of the early 1900s decades, I think it is appropriate to discuss the popular culture of subsequent decades, so long as is done so in the context of a comparison or contrast with the early 1900s. Thus discussions about what life was like during the Great Depression and the various pleasures and hardships people experienced is very much on-topic. Discussions about whether the New Deal was a good thing is something I would very much like to see avoided. I don't have a problem with someone making negative comments about the popular culture of the 1960s or any other decade if it is done so in the context of suggesting that the trends of that decade had a negative effect on the things that we all value about the early 1900s. But I sure don't want things to degenerate into a debate over, let's say, whether the war in Viet Nam was a good idea or was executed correctly. I certainly do not see any need to discuss environmentalism here - there are plenty of other places where one can debate that.

This message board has been up for a few years now and I have been very pleased that it has been so friendly and civil and that I have only rarely had to put on my hat as "moderator." Let's not mess that up by opening unnecessary cans of worms.
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