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marnixR
Post  Post subject: cultural continuity / discontinuity  |  Posted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:30 pm
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the following article

Resistance is futile. ‘Monty Python’ is part of a 60s cultural hegemony that grips us to this day

about Monty Python's plans for a one-off comeback performance contains the following snippet that i found very insightful :

Quote:
Try a little thought experiment. How would people in 1969 have regarded the popular culture of 1925, the same distance away as 1969 is from us? That year’s landmarks certainly had cult status as the Sixties closed: Bessie Smith singing the “St Louis Blues”; Louis Armstrong forming his first Hot Five; Sergei Eisenstein (if he counts) filming Battleship Potemkin. Fans of the musical comedy would still have appreciated No, No Nanette (top number? “Tea for Two”).

However much they enjoyed the entertainment of 44 years back, no one in 1969 would have viewed these as contemporary works. They remained the domain of nostalgists, aficionados and revivalists.


so what has changed that we view the late 60s as part of current culture, whereas a similar time difference brings you to a totally different era ?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: cultural continuity / discontinuity  |  Posted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:49 pm
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Could it be as simple as the fact that televisions became so much more popularized in the 60s so each new generation could experience the acts directly... new people each day encountering it for the first time... whereas in the past the entertainment from the 20s was not so readily available or accessible on-demand, so it died and lost resonance and fewer and fewer people could claim the enjoyment of the first encounter with the material. It aired and ended, wasn't rebroadcast, and wasn't immediately searchable like today's Youtube.

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Prometheus
Post  Post subject: Re: cultural continuity / discontinuity  |  Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:25 am
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More people are living longer.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: cultural continuity / discontinuity  |  Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:13 pm
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true, the availability of the material must play a part, but longevity, especially being able to keep up the pretense of not yet being past it by older people must play a part too

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: cultural continuity / discontinuity  |  Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:42 pm
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I think it's more complicated than that. Between the twenties and the sixties there was this slight social dislocation called World War II. The war created a more egalitarian society in which people demanded, and got, a bigger slice of the pie and as a result had more free time, more spending money and more market clout. Music and entertainment were aimed at a different and much bigger audience than before the war.

Regarding the Pythons comeback show, I slightly cringe at the idea of a group of seventy_sometings trying to recreate what they did in their twenties. I'm afraid it will be an embarrassment. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: cultural continuity / discontinuity  |  Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:46 pm
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I don't know. I think Python could definitely be an exception. I tend to agree that come-backs from 70-somethings are often really awful, and we have countless examples from rock and roll to evidence that, but these guys are genuinely funny. There is perhaps a slight risk with the overall group chemistry between them, but as individuals they still make me laugh often and I'm optimistic such a show will put a smile on my face.

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: cultural continuity / discontinuity  |  Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:16 pm
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I hope you're right.

Then there's Doctor Who! 50 years without a significant break and bigger than ever. This is actual continuity, by changing actors and incorporating technology.

Another example: last night we went to see John Mceuen of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fame. He was instrumental (no pun intended) in bringing bluegrass music to a wider audience back in the early sixties and is still touring and playing today. Bluegrass is thriving possibly thanks to his efforts. Mceuen is not singing so well though, and talked his way through a few songs. For this show he was accompanied by a classical pianist who frankly stole the show.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: cultural continuity / discontinuity  |  Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:54 pm
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there was (in my opinion, at least) already a cringeworthy moment during the press conference, when a spanish journalist posed a question, only for Michael Palin to reply "i didn't expect the spanish inquisition" - not funny

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: cultural continuity / discontinuity  |  Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:07 pm
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Indeed. Perhaps they should all retire to their comfy chairs.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: cultural continuity / discontinuity  |  Posted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:51 am
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bunbury wrote:
Then there's Doctor Who! 50 years without a significant break and bigger than ever.

Indeed, and I think the 50th anniversary special that aired yesterday was spectacular, too... The pre-show, however? Not so much.

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