OK, I was an honors student in High School. Even passed the American History AP test. I have a BA in Social Science, which involved history courses. I’m almost done with my MA in Liberal Arts. Yet, I remain a dunce when it comes to modern American history.
As I said before, how do I know about the Korean war? TV. We never discussed that. How do I know about the Depression? We read the Grapes of Wrath in English, watched the movie in History. Never took a class in college that discussed it though. So, where does most of my knowledge come from? Some knowldge comes from Hollywood – lots of rich people in fancy clothes sang and danced, right? But actually, it comes from one of my own personal gods Woody Guthrie. His music, his autobiography. And, yes Steinbeck did give me some great insight and not just from Grapes.
I want to make a timeline of the 20th century, take an important event and match it with the popular culture medium that taught me about it. Or, for the more current event what kept me abreast of it or helped shape my opinion.
And we need to discuss journalism. This is our pop culture phenomenon of the decade. Its crazy! Twenty years from now are we going to be studying, discussing the starlets or others followed by the paparazzi? No. We are going to be talking about the paparazzi – they are the pop culture marvel right now. Along with 24 hour cable news and news cycle. Can you imagine what William Randolph Hearst would do with this?