The last day of lameness and random things? Yes and no. A crackerjack Audio Melange, if you ask me. I also found in the To Do folder something I wrote about the upcoming 50s site, and well, here you go.

I’ve mentioned before the upcoming 50s project, and I’m still not sure how to roll it out. At the usual rate of 3 pages per week, it would take at least three years, so that’s not going to happen - and there’s a year at least of updates to the 40s, 60s, and 80s sites already done. It’s just ridiculous.

There’s no reason to base any opinions on the 50s based on the ads, which are always fictions and exaggerations and aspirational statements. But it’s interesting what they’re aspiring to have, to be. It comes down to a nice home, a modern kitchen, a cool car, a smooth smoke, and a cold Coca-Cola. You could say the same about the 30s and 40s as well, but the 50s made a big pitch for everyone to get the American Bounty. This time we can do it. We whipped Old Man Depression and sent Adolf packing down to Hades. We earned this.

In contrast to the ads, the magazines abounded with stories of national anxieties - our suburbs are growing too fast, and it’s a problem; the cities are in trouble; oh crap recession, oh whew it’s over, what’s the deal with these Reds, and the most agonizing one of them all, I think: Juvenile Delinquency. In retrospect it wasn’t the worst problem; that would be race relations, which would blow up in the 60s, but the media of the age was focused on the problems of the almost-middle-aged segment of the dominant demographic, and JDs were a mystery, a baffling rebuke. How, in this land that had overcome so much, did it come to pass that all that work produced such rotten apples?

Like most moral panics, it was overblown. But there was this unspoken note of quiet anger: the ingratitude of these youth. That was smothered by legions of Social Experts, who explained the Troubled Youth’s angst with the new terminology of the day. It was all a dry run for the Boomers turning their back on the tacky-tacky houses and picket-fence modalities, rejecting the conformity the ads enforced.

Enforced, though? Really? I tell you, I look at these ads - again, not a reliable source at all - and I see something close to paradise.

No, not everyone’s definition, and yes, social roles constrained choices for some. Maybe it’s because I’m a guy who liked to keep house and raise a daughter, but I don’t find the role of homemaker to be HELL ON EARTH. I liked cooking for the family, and sending the kid off in the morning, and being home. The office always seemed like prison.

Everyone’s in their mid-thirties and fashionable. and everyone has at least two three kids. America is AWESOME because of steel and electricity and windows that keep you warm in winter but show the big outdoors like a movie screen, and toilets are in color now and big companies are inventing things all the time.

It gets more sophisticated and abstract in the 60s; more hedonism, less dad-coming-home-from-work-to-happy-family. By then the kids in the ads of the 50s were older, and many were convinced that the world where they grew up was the natural state of things, the default setting, and a pretty crappy one at that. Ticky-Tacky houses and all that.

Turns out that living in near-Utopia has the worst possible effect: you decide to strive for a different Utopia altogether.

Come to think of it, though, the roots of it all are in the ads. They’re testaments to happiness, a goal, a mode of living. But it’s not happiness you get because you’ve earned it. It’s happiness that you deserve as an American.

That’s where things started to go sideways. It’s a short hop to thinking you deserve it all because you exist.


So that's not the opening page of the 50s site, but when it appears, you'll know what I was thinking.


Trust me, there will be no repeats next year. I've been scrupulous about arranging everything so it's fresh and new.

That look in panel three is oddly familiar.

Solution is here.




Finishing up with the odds-and-ends, emptying out the folders of one-offs and oddities.






This type of theme is supposed to say "Danger" and "Adventure," but it's not very thrilling.



Another cue from the same show. I'll bet we're trekking across the trackless desert, aren't we


Oh no now the ship is tossed in the waves and surely all will be lost


This is interesting. I always suspect the composers slip pieces of their uncompleted or unplayed symphonies in their work. This seems to be one of these instances, and I want to say "shut up, Joan, I want to hear this."

Is it . . . is it BH?


Another little stinger.


Here we meet our composer, Jeff Alexander. He had a good career.


In later shows they dumped the custom music, and went with some off-the-shelf stuff.


This sounds like a British library music cut. Something you'd find in a Python show.


Finally, this will show you how the writing deteriorated.




For the last entry in the year . . .



What more can I say?


Thanks! See you next week for the actual start of the 2020 bleats.

To end the year, the completion of Recipe Cards - 15 pages! Thanks; it's been my pleasure.




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