In my house, the correct answer to the question “Beatles or Stones?” is “The Kinks”; the defining event of 1969 is not the moon landing but the Tate-LaBianca murders by the Manson Family. Which is to say, and is probably said so often I might sound like a broken record, I don’t have a whole lot of interest in mainstream culture. Even if it’s from a different era.
For the Boomer generation, who are now well into retirement, the mainstream culture of their youth is what they’re now remembering fondly. Shake-ups, assassinations, fear of war, sure, but as a whole, the weird and wonderful bits of the era tend to be forgotten in favour of a sometimes idealized, sanitized collection of events.
Rick Miller’s BOOM, then, while brilliantly executed, visually breath-taking, and painstakingly researched, is the mainstream version of the Boomer story.
I spent last week not working away diligently on my book but flat on my ass in front of the television. After successfully avoiding every cold, flu and virus for the past 12 months, something finally caught up with me and it was as if all the cooties that I had avoided for the past year were rolled up in one great dose of coughing, hacking and snot. And because my throat seemed to take the worst of it (I swear, every time I get a cold, my speaking voice drops another half octave, and stays that way. I can live with sounding like Kathleen Turner, but eventually I’m going to sound like Barry White, and that’ll suck.), I downed a gallon of iced green tea (yes really, homemade, plenty of honey and lemon) every single day just to keep the coughing fits at bay. (Dudes, I have ALL the anti-oxidants.)
I couldn’t get my eyes to focus long enough to read a book, so for four days I set up camp on the sofa, much to the chagrin of a cranky dog who is used to having the whole thing to herself.
Of course, timing being everything, my cold had chosen the week after we disconnected our cable to hit me. So I couldn’t just sit there and channel surf, I had to actively decide on something to watch instead of passively choosing the least offensive thing I could come up with. (Actually we still had a connection the first day… holy crap, those daytime housewife shows are terrifying, aren’t they?)
I figured it was time to bite the bullet. A few months ago, a friend had lent me the full series of Gilmore Girls on DVD, and I had been meaning to get around to viewing it. I had adored this show when it aired – not only did I love the dialogue and pop culture references, as someone who also left home as a teenager, I felt a weird bond with the lead character of Lorelai, who leaves the home of very rich parents at the age of 17, along with her newborn daughter, to live on her own and work as a maid, rather than deal with her over-bearing mother.