March 11, 2008

Apropos of nothing, REM edition

U2 and REM together. This rocks:

I've been on an REM jag as of late: I think I've played "Green" about four times straight through on the computer while I'm working. There's not a good version of "Turn you inside out" on youtube, for some reason. I don't know why it's in heavy rotation: I hadn't listened to Murmur front to back in ages, but popped that in yesterday.


I've posted this before, but this is sort of the touchstone I think of culturally cool, circa 1983:

One thing I'm working on (Chai-Rista is going to get a hearty laugh out of this) is the outline for a course I'm teaching next fall, GOVT 3XX American Politics and Popular Culture. I had to promise a colleague of mine in the department that I wouldn't show any West Wing, as that's her particular province I guess (not that I was going to, sheesh.) Of course, I've already been referring to it as the "Batman/Red Dawn/Planet of the Apes" course. It's going to be cool: we're going to start with different responses to King Philip's War in the 17th century, and go forward. The first half is going to focus on the themes of nationalism, conquest and frontier, the third quarter on corruption and reform, and the last 3 weeks on issues of security and anxiety. Suggestions will be appreciated. (One of the key books is going to be Richard Slotkin's Gunfighter Nation, which is an awesome book on pop culture mythology in American history.)

UPDATE: Geez, you people are pervs: the XX designation is because the Registrar hasn't given it a number yet. Sheesh.

Posted by Steve-O at March 11, 2008 09:45 AM | TrackBack

corruption and reform - Mr. Smith still rocks. And Steve-O, you've got the Jimmy Stewart voice down cold. Gotta do that one.

Not to take you too far afield, but I saw a 6'4" teenager reading Atlas Shrugged on a plane last week (gotta get an oar in his hands).

Weaving throughout your topics is 'the role of government', but maybe that should be another little section. Govt as economic salvation, Govt as economic dead hand, Govt as Big Brother, Govt as protector, etc.

Posted by: tdp at March 11, 2008 10:16 AM

PS - Given 'Batman/Red Dawn/Planet of the Apes' as your working course title AND the fact that you teach at an all-women's college, perhaps for marketing purposes you should call the course 'Understanding the American Male Psyche' or something. Serve chips and you've pretty much rounded the bases.

Posted by: tdp at March 11, 2008 10:22 AM

Wow. I had almost forgotten that Stipe once had hair!

I HAD conveniently forgotten that Murmur was a 1983 release. And I remember (vaguely) seeing them play the 40 Watt in Athens back in the day. Has it really been that long?

Posted by: ChrisN at March 11, 2008 08:05 PM

1983 - REM came to the University of New Mexico and threw a dance party. It went on for hours...(and yes, he did have hair back then) I do believe it was the same year that MTV was launched. I remember sitting in the student center eating my PB&J/chips and coke and watching Video Killed the Radio Star.
Was I ever that young?

Posted by: Babs at March 12, 2008 12:40 PM

And in 1984 they came to my alma mater, Connecticut College. I have no idea how we got them to play in "ConnCave" a tiny dark little place that always reeked of beer and had a floor that was semi-squishy and springy. Originally intended as a dance studio and later used for all sorts of beer fueled on campus concerts.

Posted by: Sarah G. at March 12, 2008 04:07 PM

Oh and don't forget their foray onto Sesame Street.

Posted by: Sarah G. at March 12, 2008 04:13 PM

Holy crap! I was at that show (I'm assuming they didn't play there twice that year). It would've been winter (Dec 83-feb 84) somewhere in that time frame if memory serves correctly. I went to high school two towns away. Awesome show.

Posted by: Steve-O at March 13, 2008 01:06 PM

I spoke with my husband, who also was there but we didn't know each other... yet (that wouldn't be until 1985). It was indeed late 1983.

And it was an awesome show.

So how did you get in?

Posted by: Sarah G. at March 13, 2008 10:30 PM