The Fifties created by Sha Na Na. No! Really!

Sha Na Na and the Invention of The Fifties

Like most academic articles, it starts a bit dry, but it’s really a fascinating look at how easy it is to create a meme / idea virus that infects everyone…even people who experienced the actual reality in contradiction to the meme. ¬†Philosophically and linguistically, it’s an amazing theory.

Most of the material in the article is taken from the book by Goucher professor Daniel Marcus, Happy Days and Wonder Years: The Fifties and Sixties in Contemporary Cultural Politics, which I haven’t read yet, but just got added to the “to read” list.

But, think of it…when people say “the 50’s”, most people don’t think of the constant nuclear threats and drills, the Communism scares and blacklists, the Beatniks, McCarthy, the poverty, the bigotry, the inherent unfairness of the system towards women and people of color.

Ever since the rise of Fifties “recreationism”, people view the era as one of poodle skirts and harmless hoodlums, and it’s a very white and happy place.¬† It’s like a cultural decision to, pardon the phrase, whitewash history.

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