“Looks Like It’s Gonna Be A Free Country”: ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’, 1973 – 1976

It’s hard for me to square the aesthetic of these friendly, vivid, hippie-lite cartoons with the messages they convey. The patriotic, even nationalistic approach to American history was nothing if not commonplace in K-8 schools even in the liberal Northeast as late as the 1980s. Plymouth Rock, 1620, taxation without representation, Bunker Hill, Lewis and Clark, Manifest Destiny, Civil War, women’s suffrage: the parade of America’s history presented as a series of easy-to-remember facts and figures…

“One Long Discomfort”: The Legacy and Future of David Lindsay’s ‘A Voyage to Arcturus’

By Ben Schwartz

David Lindsay’s masterpiece A Voyage to Arcturus was first published in London in 1920 by Methuen & Co. It came dressed in a simple red cloth cover; no dust jacket, just the title and author’s name debossed into the front. This first printing sold less than 600 copies, and so Arcturus didn’t come to the US until Macmillan brought it out in 1964…

“I Was Alive and I Waited for This”: Coming of Age at the End of History

By Michael Grasso

I was born in 1975, at the demographic nadir of the 1970s birth trough in America and before the mini Baby Boom of the early ’80s. My birth cohort is small; my grade school classes were the smallest they’d be for the next 30-some odd years. So, as a late Gen-Xer, my oldest pop culture memories are of the late 1970s. I was a kid in the 1980s. But I came of age at the end of history…

Can’t Beat the Real Thing: Pop Will Eat Itself and the Age of Ironic Advertising

By Brother Bill

It was in 1988 that two-year-old English band Pop Will Eat Itself (PWEI) began a transition from guitar-driven pop-rock to electronic dance, a direction inspired by a remix of their cover of Sigue Sigue Sputnik’s “Love Missile F1-11”, embellished for the nightclub with dance beats and turntable techniques by producer Robert Gordon of Fon Studio…