Monday, November 16, 2009

40th Anniversaries in Pop Culture 2009

The Apollo Moon Landings. I was just a fetus when this momentous event occurred. On the 25th anniversary I remember watching some commemorative programs while staying at a youth hostel in Ireland. Those astronauts may have literally been a million miles from home, whereas for me being in Ireland, felt much the same. I only wish I had gotten around to visiting the Giant’s Causeway (in Northern Ireland) since it’s supposed to very much resemble the moon’s surface.

Woodstock. Besides the commemorative concert held in Bethel this year, there were events all across the country. Here in Cow town, the Shadowbox Cabaret did a production called “Woodstock: Back to the Garden.” It was absolutely brilliant!!! My husband and I joined a crowded room to see it the second weekend after it opened (in September). Even the dinner menu was specially tailored around the production. I sampled some of the “funky Kool-Aid” and for dessert had a “special” brownie. Too bad it was lacking that one “special” ingredient, but at least it still hit the spot!. I read that Country Joe Macdonald was in the audience during the closing weekend.

“The Brady Bunch.” Although I am too young to have seen the episodes when they were on for the first time, I am old enough to remember seeing them when they started airing in syndication. Apparently “The Brady Bunch” has never been off the air, which is a valid bragging point. To celebrate, has been showing complete (commercial free!) episodes. Someday I’d like to own them all on dvd (so I don’t have to channel surf to try and find the reruns), especially the fifth season when they went to King’s Island (since that’s only a two hour drive from Columbus). My neighbor was working at the park when they were there. I would have killed to have met my favorite childhood stars, but at the time I was only 4 years old (and not quite a fan yet).

"Sesame Street." Unlike a lot of American children, I didn’t actually grow up watching the program since most of the time we were unable to tune in to PBS (the closest affiliate being 60 miles away in Cleveland). Hence, the only times we ever really got to see it was when we were visiting my grandparents in Parma (a suburb of Cleveland).

It’s probably been about ten years since I’ve seen it and like the song goes, “the times they are a changin’!” This weekend I watched the season premiere that aired on Tuesday. The first thing I missed was the classic opening theme song. I also miss the old set (where was Oscar the Grouch?). I heard that Sesame Street has been gentrified, and you sure can tell, but what was wrong with the old neighborhood?

I can totally understand the move towards utilizing green screen and animation, but I still miss seeing actual puppets and real people most of the time. I also wish they would get rid of Elmo. Not only is his laugh annoying, but the way he always refers to himself in the third person is grating. At the end of the day, “Sesame Street” still has a lot more to recommend it than “Barney.”

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