What a Wonderful World
Louis Armstrong, London, 1968.
Isn’t it fun the way you can look at old footage from foreign television online and get a sense of what aspects of your own national culture have been exported and how they’ve been received?
This is how I remember the little bit of the 1960s that I can remember. Being a little child, I had a limited exposure to riots and demonstrations. There were instead windows on the culture–hippy fashion, television, pop music–that combined Louis Armstrong’s brand of traditionalism and optimism with a pervasive sense of doom (see previous post). That optimism seems to be mostly gone from those kinds of traditional media. Pop tunes aren’t about much of anything for the most part, and television is just a completely different thing than it was then–huge and diffuse and less meaningful program by program. But there’s a great optimism online, I think, as if people think that now that they’re in charge of disseminating information, things will hopefully turn out right in the end. Best of luck to them. Us.