While 1962 continued the trend in global politics towards civil war, skirmishes and upheaval, it also marked a time where vassal nations were achieving their independence. America felt the world getting just a little bit smaller with the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis yet still managed to look to the stars with their nascent space programme and the launch of the first commercial communications satellite able to transmit a Trans-Atlantic television signal. Youth were also starting to expand their horizons with Andy Warhol exhibiting the now infamous Campbell’s Soup Can, 007 getting a hit film with Dr. No and the Beatles recording Love Me Do – 3 convicts figured they could ride the tide of firsts and successfully escaped from Alcatraz. Many of the ideas and trends put forward in that year have become embedded in our reservoir of cultural consciousness – 50 years later, Booker T. & the M.G.’s crossover hit single shows us exactly how relevant they still are…
Tensions at home and abroad seemed to be the order of the year as the Cold War continued throughout 1961 – turmoil in Africa, South Korea and the Middle East left no doubt that a new world order was in its infancy. While Freedom Riders rode the bus to racial awareness in the US and the European Social Charter forged a guarantee of positive civil and political rights, Etta James crossed the barrier to bring lovers together in one fluid slow dance.
We always laugh about how one thing leads to another and today is a classic example where a comment sparked a post that segued into the Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap: “What does the Occupy movement mean to you?”- although not providing an exact answer to or an opinion about said topic, it does deal with the larger issue of expression and our freedom to do so.
Communication is de rigeur these days, from blogs and press articles to facebook conversations bringing up the subject of how we interact with each other. Many of us seek to root out the causes of our lack of connection whether it be technological or social while others propose solid, common sense solutions for a problem that seems to be getting worse rather than better. The amount of information available about almost everything is staggering and it leaves one wondering what deserves discussion, what do we pass along or ask for answers to and, is anyone actually listening?
For the most part, our daily discourse with friends, family and followers is not that hard. Dealing with big business and governments that really don’t care or listen to their constituents is another story. One of the latest furors in our circle arises from the intent of Bell Canada to purchase Astral and become a media monopoly which can basically do whatever, whenever it likes in its control of communication and then charge us for it. Now we could sit back and watch how it plays out, or we can protest – “saying no” by signing a petition or letting others know what is going on. Here, Big Business seems to have our government as its role model – its many actions and legislations a “mockery of democracy” that only a small percentage of the public is even interested in talking about. Some of us pronounce our displeasure in short blasts of invective or wax long and eloquent like Allan Gregg in his article “1984 in 2012 – The Assault on Reason”. In either case, food for thought and a little more than polite dinner conversation. There are those who choose to manifest their disapproval for a whole slew of 21st century global problems through the Occupy movements: it could be said they are a new breed of communicators, for they are attempting to get a message across, trying to be heard in the cacophony of everyday life.
Which brings everything round to the comment which got this whole thing started in the first place: the wondrous Miss Z laughing and telling a friend who was unable to text her due to technical difficulties – “You know, there is this really great app on your phone where we can actually TALK to each other…”