Monday, July 30, 2007

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Did I go see Poison last night? Why yes, yes I did. I rocked out in an awesome way. And luckily I work in a library, because I have a very quiet voice today. Screaming loudly all night long will do that to you...

It was a great weekend. Poison just put a nice big bow on it. Friday was my golden birthday,* and I treated myself to a day at the salon (I'm rocking a new cut and color. I'll post some pictures later) and then Dan and I went to see the Simpsons movie before meeting up with friends for drinks and dinner.

*True midwesterners will know what this means and will therefore divine how old I now am.

My parents gave me a hammock and so I spent Saturday enjoying that while reading the ever-exciting, yet very insightful, Managing Archival & Manuscript Repositories. I was planning on doing much of the same on Sunday, but it was rainy rainy rainy rainy. Bad for hammocking, good for my dry dry dry lawn and flowers. So I instead hung out on the couch. After awhile, I turned on the TV and guess what was playing? Right on the channel that was on? This Is Spinal Tap! How fitting! Then we saw POISON. Rock on.

Anyway, shall I talk about some books? I think I shall.

This weekend also saw me finishing the very fun Red Scared!: The Commie Menace in Propaganda and Popular Culture by Michael Barson and Steven Heller

This is not a history of communism (although it does offer plenty of that) nor is it pro- or anti- Commie. Instead, this is a light-hearted, but very well-researched, book about communism's role in American pop-culture.

It spends a lot of time looking the movies, books, news coverage, and pamphlets published and distributed during the twentieth century. Starting with reaction to the Russian revolution, and then moving to America's love affair with Russia during WWII and then the cold war proper and the COMMIE MENACE. It touches on the stories that took America by storm-- our love affair with J. Edgar Hoover, the McCarthy trials, and communism in Hollywood. It does not actually examine these issues in-depth but instead looks at how they American public perceived them and what type of news coverage they were getting at the time.

And that's the point of the book, how America perceived communism and what type of treatment it got in the news, as well as in our entertainment. It's a great look at these issues. Especially wonderful are the massive amounts of full-color illustrations of movie posters, book covers, comic books, trading cards and massive amounts of memorabilia and ephemera to illustrate everything...


Lotus Reads said...

What a happy post, you sure sound like you had a wonderful weekend! lol, I have no idea what a golden birthday is, but I know a golden wedding anniversary is 50 years of marriage, so am I warm? :)

Thank you for the write up on "Red Scared", sometimes you can learn a lot about world systems when you view them through cultural icons like this book does.

Jennie said...

Everyone guesses 50 out here on the East Coast, which is funny, because it's rather far from the truth.

I'll spill the beans though. Back where I come from (Wisconsin) your golden birthday is when you turn the age the date of your birthday is, so I turned 27 on the 27th. It was quite a good year though, as I turned 27 on 7/27/07, which is fun to say and numerically nice.