Monday, November 19, 2012

A Simplier America

From the LBN - MUSIC INSIDER (courtesy of FH Reader Wild Bill Cody):     

Mick Jagger made a topical David Petraeus joke when he introduced HBO’s new doc "The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane" at the Ziegfeld Theatre last night. "There’s a lot of change in America since we first came here," quipped Jagger, who appeared with his bandmates. "This film . . . takes you back to a younger, perhaps gentler, America. An America where only IBM and the military had computers. Where there [were] no smart phones . . . no e-mails. And a simpler America, where we didn’t read other people’s e-mails, so we didn’t know four-star generals were having affairs."   

Oh, how sadly true this is ... those really were "The Good Old Days", and this old geezer misses a kinder, younger and gentler America!
"Wild" Bill Cody 

I haven't seen this film yet ... I had hoped to catch up with it this weekend but just never had the time to sit for a two hour commitment ... however, I have heard that it's very good.   

What Jagger says is true ... it's sad for me sometimes to watch even my own family miss 70% of what's happening on a TV show that we're all supposedly watching together because their eyes (and attention) are buried in their cell phones texting or focused on the computer screen surfing. 

That's the biggest reason why the media has "dumbed down" as much as it has ... they know that there are very few of us out there that are actually paying attention ... which means instead of being rewarded for investing in their programming, those of us who ARE watching closely are subjected to lesser fare because of the fact that their primary audience is busy doing something else. 

We've seen the same thing happen with radio ... and discussed it at great length. Their highly-paid, expert consultants will tell you that most people only listen for 10-15 minutes ... but I believe people would turn it on ... and LEAVE it on ... all day long if there was something on there worth listening to. Sometimes you have to give us a REASON to pay attention ... and the only way to do that is to offer us something more interesting and captivating than all of these other distractions! (kk)


"A simpler America" reminds me of a piece we ran several years ago (which I just came across again the other day while cleaning up.) FH Reader Clark Besch sent me an original 1967 Weekly Reader (you remember those, don'tcha???) that predicted what the future would look like in the year 2000. It's funny to read now with twelve years of hind-sight when, at the time it was written, they were attempting to predict what the world would look like 33 years in advance!!!   

Here it is again for those who may have missed it the first time around ... I suppose the anticipated expectations would be found somewhere between The Jetsons and reality ... but, from the looks of things, with very little reality!!!    

Check it out:

The Year 2000: Seawood For Breakfast?    

He rises late, dials orange juice, bacon and eggs on his automatic meal-planning range, and drops the Daily Micro-News into a projector to check the weather-election results. After all, man can control the weather now. The citizens of Chipitts have voted for clear skies, mild temperatures and a brief shower at 3:45 pm to water the city's trees and flowers.   

By the time he's put on his disposable ten-button suit, his breakfast is ready. He enjoys his meal, although he knows that the eggs are made out of seaweed and the bacon is shrimp-fed fish. He bids goodbye to a one-eyed robot who hands him his hat and umbrella. Then he hops into his electrically powered Urbmobile and speeds downtown along the three-rail Guideway on this way to work.   

Like others in Chipitts, he works only three days a week. He'll retire when he's 39 and briefly he wonders what he'll do with all the extra time he'll have. But he forgets this problem when he arrives at this subterranean garage. Strolling by the artificially lit tropical jungle just outside his underground office, he thinks about his task for today: pushing a button to activate a robot, then watching the robot assemble another robot.   

Sound like something out of a far-fetched science fiction thriller? Well, it isn't. Instead, it's a description of how some experts predict man may be living 33 years from now ... in the year 2000. And that's important to most of us, since three fourths of the people alive today are expected to be on earth to enjoy it.   

What will the earth be like? Most experts agree it will be crowded, with more than twice the present 3,000,000,000 population. Many of these experts say it will be prosperous, too. Rich nations will be richer than ever, they predict, and even poorer nations will be teeming with new industries. 

Just who are the "experts" who are doing all this predicting? They're known as futurists ... scientists, scholars, writers, and others who study the future full-time.    

How do they operate?  

They start by surveying the past, then charting present trends. They check new inventions and processes. They try to judge what people will want in the future, based on the things that people want now. Using these methods, they hazard "educated guesses" and some of those guesses are startling.   

Here's a sampling:

By the year 2000, many people will be living in megalopolises (giant cities). Half the people in the US will live in three megalopolises: Boswash, sprawling down the Atlantic coast from Boston to washing, D.C.; Chipitts from Chicago to Pittsburgh; and Sansan, from San Francisco to San Diego. Most of the people in Japan will live in the Osaka-Tokyo megalopolis, perhaps called Ostok. And, according to one expert, all of Britain will be one big megalopolis.
Many other people may live in New Towns, entire small cities planned from scratch. Some futurists say that offices, factories, garages and stores in most New Towns will be tunneled underground. Houses will be built far from the town's center. The object: to make room at the center for giant parks for picnickers, sports enthusiastsand just plain strollers.

By the year 2000, the earth's cities and farms may spill over into the sea. Experts predict that small cities will be built inside giant bathyspheres (huge plastic bubbles), with temperature and climate strictly controlled. Farmers may tend crops of seaweed and algae, or herd fish into watery pens and raise them for food.
Sea Dwellers would be able to view some of the world's most exquisite scenery, from coral reefs to underwater volcanoes, right from their windows. And when they have a yen to travel, residents of Algae Acres may visit there friends in Shark Surf via the four-times-a-day submarine. For vacations, they could spend a few weeks on land ... if it isn't too dull for them.

Back on land, say most futurists, people will still be driving automobiles. But cars may be guided by electric tracks.  Some scientists say it doesn't matter much what fuel cars will use, for motorists will drive their cars onto electronic highways, then turn off their engines. The highways, like giant escalators, will move the cars along. Other scientists predict cars will be like today's hovercrafts, gliding on a thin layer of air.    
Public transportation? According to some "educated guessers", there will be several new kinds of it. VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft will pick up passengers at an airport, fly them almost straight up into the air, then zoom them to their destinations at 300 miles per hour. Those who don't fly may take a Glideway, a caterpillar-shaped combination of electric bus and hovercraft.

Need rain?   
By the year 2000, scientists say they'll regularly be shooting electric currents through clouds or "seeding" them with dry ice, salt, or silver iodide to release the moisture within.   And what if there are no clouds? They'll be blown over from an area which has more clouds than it needs. 
Out on now-barren deserts, crops may crow. In 33 years, say scientists, it will be easy and inexpensive to desalinate (take the salt out of) saltwater. Thus, there will be plenty of water to irrigate all the deserts on earth.

Scientists believe they'll find cures for almost every disease now known to man, from the common cold to cancer. They'll be able to transplant human, animal, or artificial organs ... hearts, kidneys, lungs, even stomachs ... as commonly as they remove tonsils today. But some doctors warn they may uncover a host of brand-new ... and equally fatal ... diseases once they learn how to conquer or control today's killers.   
Ever hear of a smart pill? Some laboratory animals have taken them and turned suddenly "smarter". In 33 years, people may be able to take them, too.    

The smart pill is just one prediction which has already begun to come true. In fact, perhaps the most surprising news from the futurists is that many of their predictions already exist in some form.

For Example:

More than 130 robots now work in factories

Scientists have turned seaweed and algae into tasteless but nourishing food. The next step: adding tasty, tempting flavors.

Weather men are already "seeding" clouds where they can find them.

Aquanauts have already spent months under the sea, submerged in small bathyspheres containing many of the comforts of home.

Not all of today's futurists will live long enough to see whether their predictions are fully realized. But chances are most of the readers of JS will be around then. What do you think life will be like in the year 2000?


Since we're talking 1967 today, here are five of my favorites from my all-time favorite year in music ... each and every one of them a bona fide Top 20 Hit ... and each and every one of them seemingly forgotten by radio today.

This one actually came by suggestion from one of our readers the other day ... it's Parade doing their only Top 20 Hit "Sunshine Girl":

Next up, how about this #9 Hit for Donovan ... "There Is A Mountain":

Talk about your "forgotten hits" ... here's one of my all-time favorite Paul Revere and the Raiders songs ... that even THEY don't perform live in concert anymore.  It's "I Had A Dream" ... and it went all the way to #13 in the Fall of '67.

Ditto for The Turtles' #12 Hit "You Know What I Mean".  They haven't performed this one in YEARS ... yet it's one of my all-time favorites.   

And finally, one of my favorite Simon and Garfunkel tunes, "At The Zoo."  (This one climbed all the way to #13 ... but when's the last time you heard it anywhere else other than here???)

Just got this suggestion from FH Reader Clark Besch ... actually, he may be on to something here!!!
Hey Furv ... how fast can you guys get this down on wax?!?!?  (kk)

A new chance for the Fifth Estate to ruin their garage rock reputation again with a re-do of their massive bubblegum hit. 

"Ding dong, the ding dong is Dead!"