A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
1925 – Gore Vidal, one of the bunch of authors and commentators who rolled out of the 50s to dominate the 60s. They wrote with a flair for the dramatic, analyzing rather that simply reporting, sometimes reflecting the turbulent times, sometimes dictating them. With Capote and Mailer, Vidal became the “old guard” of the New Journalism after about 1968 when they were generally replaced by newer, younger voices like Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion and Hunter S. Thompson.
1962 – Tommy Lee, a pretty good drummer when he was with Motley Crue. He has made a name for himself by being mad, bad, and dangerous to know. His celebrity skyrocketed when he and Pamela Anderson released their “Made for the Internet” movie, What We Did on our Summer Vacation.
1990 – die Wende, which is commonly known as the Reunification of Germany. Starting with the fall of the Berlin Wall, die Wende (the Turning Point), marked the end of the End of the Cold War. Strangely, at the time, both France and Great Britain opposed the treaty. They weren’t particularly keen on seeing a new giant economic power in the middle of their continent, especially not this one. Popular sentiments prevailed, however, and both countries finally supported the treaty.
1995 – O. J. Simpson was found NOT guilty of murder. WTF?
1999 – Akio Morita, the guy who co-founded Sony with Masaru Ibuka in 1946. It is still one of the most successful corporations is history. In the 50s, Sony was the first company to realize the consumer value of Bell Lab’s transistors. Sony’s transistor radios dominated the world for years. In 1979, they introduced the Walkman, a portable cassette player. In 1994, it was Playstation, followed by Playstation 2, 3 and Portable. In 2006, Sony launched the Blu-ray disc, which, after a 2 year struggle with HD-DVD, has finally become the industry standard. In their 50 plus year history, Sony has only made one horrendous mistake – Betamax. All this from two little guys fixing radios!
2004 – Janet Leigh, the actress who played Marion Crane in the movies. If you don’t know who Marion Crane is, that’s okay. Marion Crane is an ordinary woman from Phoenix who, in 1960, steals $40,000, and, on her way to share the loot with her boyfriend, stops at the Bates Motel. Are we getting warmer? She decided to take a shower after a long day. Still don’t know? Google it! By the way, Janet Leigh did a few other things besides take a shower, but none of them was ever quite as good.