The Nightmare on Elm Street, 45 Years Ago POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, NOVEMBER 23, 2008
A few readers wrote me over the weekend regarding the 45th anniversary of president John F. Kennedy's assassination, which happened November 22, 1963. The anniversary was yesterday as I'm writing this, and I fully intended to post at that time. In my defense, I can tell you I spent the entire day in bed very ill and was barely on the computer at all. I'm much better now, however, and would like to comment on this bloody awful occasion.
I was in the third grade. Right about lunchtime that fateful day, Nov. 22, 1963, one of the administrators of the Catholic school I attended got on the intercom to announce that the President had been killed. We were all to assemble in church for grief counciling.
Even at that age I knew this was a pretty big deal. The "duck and cover" excercises we practiced in class during the Cuban Missle Crisis (to, you know, take cover in event of a nuclear holocaust!), were still fresh in my mind. I didn't follow the news all that much at 8 years old, but I definitely remember being a fan of Kennedy and the gravity of this situation. I also remember the conspiracy theories started virtually immediately.
I do not intend to debate here and now whether the Kennedy presidency was all it was cracked up to be, and I know there are factions on both sides who wrestle with that question constantly. Side-stepping Lee Harvey Oswald, the Warren Commission Report, "Camelot", and the Zapruder Film for the moment (and not intending to trivialize same), I simply want to reflect what happened in America afterwards regarding pop culture.
I've said it many times before, but to me, the cultural revolution of the 1960s, truly started with the Kennedy assassination, for better or for worse. With the necessary inclusion of television as a catalyst, the pop culture landscape would change irrevocably after this date, starting with the British Invasion and The Beatles. If Kennedy had lived, it may not have happened at all, or would be vastly different. Society's shock ("loss of innocence" as it were) was mollified by taking refuge in pop culture media. The WWII generation's culture seemed suddenly hopelessly obsolete as the coming-of-age Baby Boomer generation steered the ship. Suddenly, there were no taboos. There were no limits. There was no looking back.
Ironically, it is that very hope for change and a brighter tomorrow that's usually associated with Kennedy's "Camelot" administration that helped fuel the revolution. We went to the Moon in 1969 because Kennedy said it was possible and we were going to do it.
Anyone who grew up during that time shares a common memory of political turmoil (Vietnam), radical change, envelope-pushing/taboo-breaking (pop music, TV, movies), and conspiracy theories (you name it). It's like was not repeated again, nor is it likely to, at least in my lifetime.
Of course, a sitting president being martyred at a tragically young age would cement his place in history anyway, but that JFK remains to this day the standard icon for hope and change is a testament to his standing the test of time.
Updates and More POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, NOVEMBER 21, 2008
Well, things are slowly coming back under control. This week's Tampa Film Review for November has been updated and corrected. La Floridiana (a surprise, I wasn't expecting one this week, and certainly not this big!) and Retrorama are up and loaded. A few more reviews got posted to Schlockarama: Grindhouse while I was asleep (thanks guys!) and the Message Board, as always, is hoppin'.
I'm planning at least two more fairly major commentaries before year's end, and I hope that I can get to 'em in between all the chaos. One will speculate on the future of video, the other, on the Tampa Indie Film scene, and where it seems to stand now.
Hard to believe I'm already talking about the end of the year issues. Seems like only yesterday I was struggling to complete the 2008 site upgrade -- which I finally got done about the third issue into the year! -- and now we're knocking at the door of 2009.
For those of you who may be out of town next week, I'll take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. To everyone else, I'll see you next week, right here!
Let's Try That Again POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, NOVEMBER 20, 2008
OK, I'll start out by apologizing for what was most probably the lamest homepage update for a Wednesday ever, but I appreciate the comments posted for The Tampa Film Review, the only column ready in time.
Today's (Thursday's) homepage update isn't much better since I thought I'd get home from work sooner, but I wanted to put something here to let you know I'm still in the game.
If Chris Woods' Growing Up Fanboy column isn't up by the time you read this, it soon will be. FANGRRL is on a brief hiatus while Lisa Ciurro takes care of some pressing personal business, and Sports Talk is...well....I don't know exactly what it is. Writer Chris Munger has had some computer problems, but keeps reassuring me the next column is on the way. Keep your fingers crossed.
A new Retrorama and a new La Floridiana will likely be up sometime Friday!
Stressed POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, NOVEMBER 19, 2008
An indescribably bad work schedule has stymied all attempts at a decent update for today, save for the Tampa Film Review for November.
I will be back first thing tomorrow morning (Thur) with something more substantial. ---Nolan