Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Knights In White Linen

1959 is not just the past, it is of a different era. 1959 is the Post-War years, and we’re not in those anymore. The past few (ten?) years have been the first little bit of the next era, the one with the internet. Younger Enthusiast, you wouldn’t believe how different it was: there was something called Missile Mail, which is precisely what it sounds like. The Navy tried it, and mostly succeeded, but mostly is an unwelcome adverb in a sentence about missiles. The project was terminated on the grounds of being “unfeasible” and “batshit insane.” But those folks in 1959, in the Post-War years, they believed in the power of technology. That it would save them, and not just create entirely new problems.

Good thing we’re smarter than them.

The very first Xerox machine was introduced in ’59. If you wanted something copied before that, then you needed a typewriter. If you wanted something copied way before that, you needed a monk. And if you wanted to make a whole lot of copies, then you needed a mimeograph machine. Revolutionaries loved mimeograph machines: they’re personal printing presses. Typewriter attached to a stencil; stencil gets washed in ink in a giant barrel against paper; paper comes out with propaganda or advertisements or math tests. There was, Younger Enthusiast, a mimeograph machine in every school in America, and all of your elders right now are smelling that faint, fruity aroma that rose from the dittos–once printed, the paper became called a “ditto”–that were waxy and wanted to roll into a scroll if the teacher had not let the stack sit under a heavy weight for an hour or two. Sometimes you would get them fresh; they would be still warm and you could smear the blue ink if you were not careful.

By the time I got to high school, the ditto machine had been scrapped, and the teachers got into fistfights over the copier, instead. This is the nature of change.

People also put lions on their teevees in 1959.

5 Comments

  1. It’s a jaguar.

  2. Luther Von Baconson

    May 31, 2017 at 9:53 am

    .

  3. Under all that is a black t shirt sprinkled with confectioners sugar

  4. Garcia may have timed things just right.

    To go to prom in 1959 and to die in 1995.

    His 36 or 37 years as an adult are arguably the peak of the human condition. It is downhill after 1995 and it was darkness before 1950.

    Seriously, what looks good about the future? What does a counter-culture free spirited youngster have to look forward to in 2017? The world was wide open for a moment, now it is closed.

  5. I’m still waiting on the life stories of the other two white tuxedo’d gentlemen. It hasn’t been that long, and unless they were smokin’ three packs of unfiltered Pall Malls every day, they may still be with us.

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