Give Me Another Year

 

A year and a half ago, I saw this movie:

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A year, 5 months, and 23 hours ago, I attained the following songs:

(for the record, I have very little insight into what these songs are actually saying, beyond “the world through rose-colored glasses.”)

A year and three months ago, I found myself here:

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And consequentially, here:

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And that sequence of events is as surreal to me now as it was to me then.  Me, tromping through Paris graveyards in search of Edith Piaf, who I had seen portrayed by Marion Cotillard months earlier.  Me, watching the Eiffel Tower light up from the damp grass of the green stretching in front of it.  And now me, sitting in a house in Morris, Minnesota, getting ready for dinner with friends that will likely not consist of baguettes and French onion soup, but pizza and burgers.  I wonder where I’ll be if you give me another year?

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Winter is Coming

Although I was born in Minnesota, although at the fragile age of one I braved the Halloween Blizzard of 1991, and although I’ve trudged through and been hardened by twenty-one winters since then, I felt today the way I feel every winter when it first starts to get cold:

I may not survive this one.

Back to the 1950s

When I first came to college, I was a Communications, Media, and Rhetoric major.  I switched to English after taking (and heartily disliking) the intro class.  Probably because most of it was spent memorizing and reciting the definition of rhetoric (short definition: the art of suasory symbol use.  Long definition: I don’t remember).  What I regret, though, is that I didn’t take at least one more CMR class, even if just for fun.  There’s a lot to be learned from the way we communicate, whether it’s via TV, internet, or cell phone.  Further, entire eras can be understood through a study of their advertisements.

Take the 1950s for example:

What initially strikes me about 1950s ads is that they’re all so silly.  Really?  Give a woman a vacuum for Christmas and she’ll be utterly happy.  Put Coca-Cola in your infant’s bottle and he’ll surely grow up to be an investment banker.  But the thing is, that’s the way things were sold; companies made a claim using the right combination of wit, relateability, and idealism.  That’s the way things are still sold today, albeit perhaps more subtly.

We don’t say straight out that every woman should ask for cleaning supplies for Christmas, but we do say it nonetheless, well into the 21st century: