Wednesday, January 02, 2013

A New Understanding

I think I understand my parents' generation's reactions a little better now.

New Year's Eve we watched the PBS Great Performances double-header on the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour which was first shown 45 years ago. The first hour was about the movie- interviews and such- trying to prove how avant-garde and forward thinking the movie really was. (They didn't succeed in my opinion. The Beatles were having lots of fun at the time and just loved to play with all kinds of weirdness.)

The second hour was the movie itself. I had never seen it before since it never did get released in the States in 1967-68; just the album of wonderful music. So we watched- and must admit- had a good time. We laughed at the Beatles' shenanigans as well as the stuff that came across well- namely the musical numbers and their invention of what would become music videos.

For those of us who lived then- and were in our teens to early adulthood (it was my sophomore year in college; my wife's senior year in college)- it made a lot of nostalgic sense. It was a nose-thumb at the establishment and just an attempt to make fun with the music. I don't know how Gen X'ers and Gen Y'ers or Millenials would look at it.

But I now realize in retrospect what our parent's generation was afraid of. It made absolutely no sense to them. None. Nada. Zilch. It probably looked downright silly, stupid, and even, pardon the words, dangerously drug-addled and even revolutionary. It will rot your brain, turn it into mush. It makes you look foolish.

But you know what? It was fun.



Did it change the world? Perhaps in subtle ways as we learned to look at the world differently. But probably not in any way that would make any difference in the long run.

But who cares?!

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