The new lobbies of downtown, refreshed in the last few years for the exciting new world of destination office towers and private spaces for impromptu collaboration, are underoccupied these days. This time I did note someone taking advantace of the space. He was sleeping.

I learned today that I am not a Boomer. Never felt like one, but I figured I was doomed to be lumped in with them. It always seemed a rather large demographic, gathering up people with disparate culture references. The Summer of Love, the anti-war movement, the folkie movement when they were earnest tweens, black-and-white TV, and so on. Turns out I’m Generation Jones. (h/t insty) Not a name I would have chosen, but it’ll do - as long as the distinction between Boomer and Jones becomes generally known and accepted.

Hah! Who am I kidding? No one cares. But we Jones do, because for all our lives we were expected to romanticize Boomer nostalgia, swoon over Crump cartoons, keep on truckin’, and regard The Establishment as something that should be put Up Against the Wall, and so on. No: we were blissfully unaware through the 60s, which meant we had our anchors in overculture, not counterculture. We woke up in the craptacular 70s. We had money - well, some - and freedom in the 80s, which had their own set of anxieties the Boomers in the media saw through their lens.

Today I was driving across the bridge on the first day of the year where I’d rolled back the top and rolled down the window, and I was playing something moody and insistent, and had to laugh: fellows of my demographic will never quite shake the belief that they are in a Miami Vice sequence, driving somewhere with grim purpose, living in a wet-street world where Phil Collins could, at any second, bang out his signature drum riff.

For some reason en route to work the other day I thought of that linbe from "Boys of Summer" - out on the road today I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac. I remember at the time thinking: so? Not that I didn't get the meaning, but it seemed a bit much, as if someone had committed generational treason. 

I think that your generational cohort exists with a three-year span in either direction. Four at the outset. After that, the cultural linqua franca has fewer and fewer words.

Anyway, Friday! Hurrah! Seventy degrees on Saturday! Plus rain and lots of it, but: seventy! Great days await.


Well, switch my britches, they're starting.

An utterly unloved building. I wrote about it in the paper a while back, wondering if we should save ugly unsuccessful buildings as warnings, or in the interest of preserving the ordinary world as well as the exceptional.

I wasn't serious. It was just reminding people that the things we lose are often commonplace and unexceptional. This 70s office building was a sign of rebirth, at the time - nothing was being built on Washington Avenue - but it was a dullard.

The replacement? A twin of the Hennepin Avenue apartment building we saw go up the last two years. It's taller.


Ladies and gentlemen . . . the return of the Weekly Sweep!



This, I think, was one of the first ones we did together.

Yes, it's a repeat. There are only so many. Solution is here.



Jack Benny show, 1947. The golfer has a familiar laugh.


And therein hangs a tale.

Woody's original voice actor, Mel Blanc, stopped performing the character after the first three cartoons to work exclusively for Leon Schlesinger Productions (later renamed Warner Bros. Cartoons), producer of Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies after signing a loyalty contract. At Leon Schlesinger's, Blanc had already established the voices of two other famous "screwball" characters who preceded Woody, Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny.

Ironically, Blanc's characterization of the Woody Woodpecker laugh had originally been applied to Happy Rabbit, a Bugs Bunny predecessor, in shorts such as the aforementioned Elmer's Candid Camera and was later transferred to Woody.

So it's seven years later. Everyone knows the laugh. Blanc just rolls it out because it was his. It was always his.


This year we're counting down the top hits . . . of 1922. Why not?

Ah, Harry. Everyone knows this one. Don't they?


It's Marion Harris, whom we heard last week.


If Monitor didn't want to be known as radio for the aging demographic, maybe they shouldn't have brought back all the old familiar shows.





There: that should do. Have a grand weekend, and we'll met back here on Monday.




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