During Our Lives

I considered several topics for today’s post:

1)    The glorification of violence in Young Adult books.  (overdone)

2)    The effect of the weather on my ability to think creatively.  (again?)

3)    A dystopian YA short story entitled “Detergent”.  (oy)

4)    The absolute cuteness of puppy Chester’s belly button.  (seriously?)

5)    The virgin/whore dichotomy and its impact on YA literature.  (thank you, Oberlin)

Turns out I’m in the mood for a good list.  And you have to help me make it.  I’m stunned by the dramatic world shifts that occurred during my grandma’s lifetime.  She learned to drive on a Model T.  Her husband fought in World War I.  Grandma lived through the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.  Antibiotics and flight became commercially available.  She died in 1989, during the computer explosion.

What are the game-changers that you identify from your lifetime?  Nothing overtly personal (birth, death of your cat, bird pooping on your face during commencement).

Here’s my list, with a five-minute time limit:

*  End of the Vietnam War.  The Cold War.  The Gulf War.  War in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran.

*  Deaths of John Lennon, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Jackson, Sarah Vaughan, Elvis Presley, Nelson Mandela, Pete Seeger, Mother Teresa.

*  In-vitro fertilization.  AIDS.  Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease in the US.  Obesity epidemic.  Global warming.  Roe v. Wade.

*  Computers.  Internet.  Wi-fi.  Cell phones.

*  Gay marriage.

Ack!  That’s it for my five minutes.  Clearly, I need help.  There are two rules:  1) Five minutes ONLY!  2) No internet consultation.  I want what your brain can produce.  I’ll add to this post as comments come in below and on Facebook.


Musical Moment

not-exactly-Musical Moment



From Julie in Minneapolis:  “The ability to answer children’s questions with YouTube videos, the ability to use the phone to find answers at any time, ordering things online, birth control, women in the workplace”

From Michelle in Excelsior:  “You missed phones in most rooms & cordless phones before cell phones. Cable tv, then streaming tv to anywhere. Portable music on a Walkman, then iPod, now pandora & streaming music to places all over your house! Up to date at work. Social media. Evites… Texting!!”

From Angie in Mpls:  “End of the Cold War and Berlin Wall.  9/11.  Election of Obama, a black president.”

From Susan in St. Paul: “Vietnam War. Civil rights movement. Women’s movement. Environmental Movement. Nixon’s impeachment. Hippies. Rock festivals and concerts. End of Vietnam War. Beginning of Saturday Night Live. Beginning of actually funny, relevant comedy, beach culture, women in sports. Punk. Youth protests and movements. Peaceful protests. Huge strides in racial and cultural integration. Election, twice, of an awesome African American president. Berlin Wall comes down. End of Soviet Union. Detante. End of fear of nuclear war…most days. Stoopid terrorism and stoopid American responses to it!!! Plight of disease, starvation and human rights abuses continuing among huge swaths of the world despite some of us being able to live well. The persistence of ignorant and harmful beliefs despite evidence to the contrary. The formation and continuation of the religious right and prejudice. Extension of life expectancy by decades. So many diseasetreatment  breakthroughs.”

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9 Responses to During Our Lives

  1. Gabi Stevens says:

    Here’s my five:
    computer capacity (yes, those are two separate things)
    Color TV with wireless remote (No, I’m not THAT old but my family was poor when I was young and we only had a black and white set for years–where you had to stand up and change the channel by hand–gasp)
    Women’s sports
    And this one is just beginning: Respect for genre fiction (Yes, I actually do believe it’s coming.)

    • anne says:

      Maybe someday people will acknowledge that ROMANCE – not love – makes the world go ’round, to the tune of $10 billion a year in America alone!!!!! (according to the RWA)

  2. Patty Procko says:

    Shifts, changes, and transitions:
    Finally having CENTRAL air-conditioning was like crawling out of the murky swamp and
    breathing fresh
    air for the first
    time. Central AC
    was heaven-sent
    for this Florida
    girl used to
    terrazzo floors, jalousie
    windows, and oscillating fans.

    East and West Germanies becoming Germany; Tupperware and
    zip lock bags; fully
    embracing whole
    wheat bread after
    a childhood of
    white bread; Non-
    (did we really
    used to smoke in
    hospitals?); 8 Tracks-tape casettes-CDs-mp3s;
    Oklahoma bombing, Jeffrey Dahmer, Columbine, 911, Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Katrina, Sandy Hook; Texas Instruments to IBM to MAC and iphones, tablets, and Facebook.

    • anne says:

      Thanks Patty. That’s quite a list. My husband remembers rounding at the old VA hospital – one big room full of patients, everyone smoking, ACK!

  3. KT says:

    1. Game changers of the 1960s political life in the US after the quiet of the 1950s: The groupings of assassinations in the 1960s: assassination of JFK- first assassination since McKinley 62 years earlier. The assassination of Medgar Evens, President Diem (of Vietnam), Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr., Bobbie Kennedy. Then the wars: Vietnam and the constancy of wars since then.

    2. Some advances for women: effective birth control with the pill. In the US : legal abortion. Title IX. lurching forward in economic equality in the US. Glimmer of advances for women world wide.

    3. Some advances in civil rights in the US with less legal discrimination.

    4. Changing superpowers: the rise of China- from Mao to a middle class. United States becoming a debtor nation.

    5. Global warming.

    6. Man on the moon. space exploration.

    7. Technology for the individual- from a corded wall phone to ubiquitous cell phones…cell phones in China and Africa. From huge mainframe computers to personal computers .

    8. Medicine -not just the fancy pants heart transplants but the eradication of small pox world wide and the almost eradication of polio world wide. Watson and Crick DNA double helix. Genome sequencing. Immunizations for killer childhood diseases. Reduction in infant and child mortality world wide.

    9. Our (meaning the US’s) ready willingness to allow the US Constitution to be abridged by the government—the wars, spying on citizens, drones killing citizens, detentions at Guantanamo- all in the name of prevention of terrorism. We gave up what made the United States proud: rule of law.

    10. Twinkies and wonderbread.

  4. Scott Moore says:

    1. Rise of Chna as a world power
    2. The impending minority majority
    3. Demise of unions and a living wage. High school diploma ≠ job for life.
    4. Napster and the disruption of the music industry
    5. Kickstarter and crowdsourced projects
    6. Twitter and the Arab spring
    7. Streaming video on Netflix
    8. Commercially available electronic cars
    9. Rise of industrial agriculture and Coops/CSAs
    10.mappning the human Genome
    13.USA Today
    14.disruptive business models of Silicone Valley
    15.outsourcing to India

    • anne says:

      Remember when everything said “Made in Korea”? So glad you brought up the living wage – a generation ago, one regular job could support a family.

  5. Francesca says:

    Great question! I wrote a long post about this
    There’s so much to choose from! I wrote about
    Internet self-publishing (specifically fan fiction by girls)
    Smoking bans
    Gun Craziness
    Gay marriage

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