PBS and the fifties.

In the past few weeks, I have rediscovered Public Television. A couple of weeks ago, I tuned in to The American Experience for the first time in ages and got sucked in to something on Arthurian Legend and an episode of Nova on Newton (which was more difficult to watch with historians of science, and thus got axed about halfway through). Last night, I convinced Paul and Miller to watch Alone in the Wilderness with me, and we were transfixed despite pledge drives. Tonight, we stumbled across a special presentation of Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine in The Apartment, which turned out to be a really quality flick, with amazing 1950s-office scenes (Scottoway: picture rows and rows of Steelcase desks, each topped with a typewriter, an adding machine, a telephone, and a Rolodex) and a surprisingly good love story. Plus, it was in widescreen.
Speaking of 1950s-era desk amenities, I will have to post photos of the study carrels in the north stacks of Memorial Library. They are amazing.
Thought it was 50 degrees when I left the house this morning, it feels like snow tonight. I hope to hit the hay soon; but first, some work for 720. I’m leading discussion on Wednesday, and I have a little writing assignment to throw together in preparation.

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16 thoughts on “PBS and the fifties.

  1. If you want an interesting read that’s relative to your field of study, try “Confederacy of Dunces”. It features a great look at late 60s life plus a very cool portrait of New Orleans.

  2. Ah, the 1950’s: Modernist architects are building their masterpieces, Dave Brubeck is on the cover of Time magazine, automobile design reaches the zenith of style, phones ring with a ring, and Eisenhower is out flaunting American nuclear superiority.
    A fine time, I wager!
    I want to see these study carrels.

  3. Ah, the 1950’s: the rise of Red Fascism, the constant spector of global nuclear immolation, schooltime air raid drills, card catalogs, TV dinners and ankle-length skirts.
    I’ll take your wager, Scotticus.
    Aye, Scotticus: within fifty years all your “study carrels” will be virtual.

  4. Do not listen to Sherv, Am! Dunces is pure comedic genius.
    Also, I’m not sure what version jcb read, but I would describe it more along the lines of a hilarious poopfest. He makes it sound like some sort of erudite social commentary.

  5. Wow, I can’t believe there are nine comments on this post. Well, ten now.
    Any reading for pleasure will have to happen over the course of Christmas break, as my reading soul belongs to academia during the rest of the school year. But thanks for the suggestions, even if there isn’t a consensus.
    Scottoway: the next time I’m in Memorial (which will likely be soon, given what the end of term is looking like), I will snap a digital photo.
    I think skirts were mostly mid-calf and just-below-the-knee in the fifties, for what it’s worth.
    Okay, back to reading reactions in the scientific press to Silent Spring.

  6. “I think skirts were mostly mid-calf and just-below-the-knee in the fifties, for what it’s worth.”
    It’s worth a great deal, but the spirit of my point remains.

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