June 15, 2012

"Time Machine: 1951."

The year I was born, so I'm especially interested:


Watch Time Machine: 1951 on PBS. See more from KBDI.

Via David Kopel at Volokh Conspiracy, who explains:

Every year the political roundtable show Colorado Inside Out does a time machine episode.... Our topics for the episode were the firing of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the Korean War, duck and cover training, and the new federal government center in Denver. Characters were the famous singer and actress Ethel Merman, who had recently moved to Denver (played by Westword publisher Patty Calhoun), newspaperman Al Nakula (played by former Rocky Mountain News journalist Kevin Flynn), sociology professor Lois Waddell (played by Dani Newsum), and southern Colorado newspaper editor Cecil Koplowitz (played by me, evoking my father’s first journalism job, in Walsenberg).

26 comments:

LordSomber said...

Everything's coming up roses...

victoria said...

Me too! December 1951. Rock on, Ann.


Vicki from Pasadena

bagoh20 said...

Doesn't work for me. I need to know that there is not rewriting of history or opinion. I don't want my head any more polluted with false facts than it already is.

Right away the term "cult of personality" (origin 1965), threw me out of the fantasy. Then soon after, "six degrees of separation". I don't know how old that phrase is, but it seemed out of place too, as do a lot of the expressions and much of the style.

If I never saw any old television, I wouldn't know any better, but I keep getting reminded that it's fake, while portraying factual events. I'm afraid I'll pick up something wrong and believe it happened that way.

I need it to be colorfully animated - preferably with animal characters - to protect my feeble connection to historical reality.

Michael K said...

I was 13 and had a map of Korea mounted on my bedroom wall.

David said...

Fascinating how little the contemptuous tone of liberal griping has changed so little in 61 years. There's a direct line from the attitudes you see now on CNN and CNBC to this show. The format is similar too. Throw out a question laden with assumptions that support your views to commentators who share the same views. Nod in agreement to the predictable answer. Not exactly a means to lively discussion or clarification of differences.

EMD said...

Right away the term "cult of personality" (origin 1965), threw me out of the fantasy. Then soon after, "six degrees of separation". I don't know how old that phrase is, but it seemed out of place too, as do a lot of the expressions and much of the style.


I agree. Mannerisms felt off, if they were striving for a true period feel.

David said...

Oh, it's a fake. No wonder they have the contemptuous tone of current liberals down so well. They are current liberals.

I watched the show but did not follow the link to the comment at Volkoh.

wyo sis said...

Victoria
I'm another 1951er. It was a very good year.

Portia said...

I was 13 at the time and remember the tremendous crowds that followed MacArthur. He made a grand tour and stopped at various cities, I think San Francisco was one. Everyone (in my world anyway) was furious at Truman for getting rid of the good general.

ricpic said...

No respect for MacArthur on the PBS panel. Surprise surprise. Was he wrong? Absolutely. But he was also a 5 star general. Even more reason for the standard PBS panel to crap on him.

edutcher said...

My sister born 6/1/51, so she'd like it, too.

Portia said...

I was 13 at the time and remember the tremendous crowds that followed MacArthur. He made a grand tour and stopped at various cities, I think San Francisco was one. Everyone (in my world anyway) was furious at Truman for getting rid of the good general.

He disobeyed a direct order so there was no help for it, but the larger issues of, if we're going to fight, don't we owe it to the troops to win, still dogs us.

A very perspicacious man, the general.

John M Auston said...

I was born in 1951, also.

And I agree with the off-putting modern phraseology.

Also, how common would have been a Black female Sociology Professor (serving as, what, the smartest person in the room?)?

I sense manipulation all through this thing.

Great concept, though. Just fumbled.

CWJ said...

If Mr. Rogers were appearing as well, I'm sure he'd say -

"Hi boys and girls, can you say anachronism? I knew you could."

BTW - October 8, '51 here.

Bertram Wooster said...

Get past the set and you can't find much of 1951 here. Not even 1956, which is about the earliest television I can remember. The dialogue is anachronistic. The only non whites on television were Rochester or Amos and Andy in 1951. It would be about as realistic to put an openly gay man on the panel.

Rusty said...

What day Vickie?
I'm the eighth.
1951 of course.

My misspent youth has caused me to look my age.Ms Althouse could barely be 40by her looks however.

EDH said...

Why do libs always conflate Sen McCarthy and the HUAC?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It was jarring to hear the 'six degrees' and 'cult of personality'. Completely not era appropriate. If they want to do this, they might need to have some research done. It feels like someone from another planet attempting to imitate an alien species that they really have no understanding of or connection to.

I kept trying to figure out exactly what is the message that they are trying to convey.

Jan 1950.

ndspinelli said...

My bride is a 1951er. I got the pick of that litter!

Paper Porcupine said...

So far?
Those born in 1951---authentic.
This attempt---not.
But I enjoyed hearing Merman's character say people don't want entertainers to comment on politics.

fleetusa said...

Too fake to worth listening to.

I'm sure on YouTube we could find some real TV clips from the era.

fleetusa said...

here's an interesting program from 1951 - What's my line? Stunning by today's standards.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRNa4f_AMSM

LordSomber said...

Related: Slate's "Lexicon Valley" podcast just had an interesting episode on anachronistic dialogue in Downton Abbey and Mad Men.

Robin said...

Some of his fellow panelists are pretty unreconstructed leftists, but its a good show overall and their flashback show was entertaining.

Sorun said...

I'm in the market for a new TV, so now I'm imagining guys standing around at Sears in 1951 trying to determine if "ultra-fidelity" TV is really worth the extra cost.

gadfly said...

So in 1951 Boulder was a "conservative" town but Ethel and friends, not so much.

Unknown said...

Right away the term "cult of personality" (origin 1965), threw me out of the fantasy. Then soon after, "six degrees of separation".

Listen, windbag, the term "Cult of Personality" goes back thousands and thousands of years; think Julius Caesar or Adolf Hitler. I wouldn't be surprised if "six degrees of separation" is far older than anybody would guess today either.