April 2018

Sunday, January 18, 2015

You are what you read…and see and hear...

I've listed down the cultural memories of my life. Not all of them, but the ones that came to mind. I didn’t try to rank them or categorize them. I just wrote down what occurred to me. It was an interesting experiment. As I recorded my earliest memories in film, poems, music, and political events, I see how my earliest memories shape--or reflected--my political and cultural beliefs then and now in my 50s. Many of my earliest memories connect to Civil Rights, feminist, and even GLBT movements. Recently, more of my readings and films seem to focus on my quest for peace with a world that often saddens me. I recommend you try this experiment if you feel like it.

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T” Aretha Franklin (1967)
Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar”
“All in the Family” TV series (started: 1st grade)
Harriet the Spy (2nd grade)
Political memory: Watergate (2nd grade)
“Ben” Michael Jackson (2nd grade)
M*A*S*H TV show (started: 2nd grade)
Aesop’s Fables (from Auntie Myra—3rd grade)
“The Streak” (4th grade)
Island of the Blue Dolphins (4th grade)
“The Ransom of Red Chief (4th grade)
Nancy Drew and the Old Clock
Nancy Drew and the Secret in the Attic
Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl
Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo (7th)
Roots TV Series (7th)
Emily Dickinson: Collected Poems
Grease (movie—8th grade)
Political memory: The Oil Crisis (9th grade)
Political memory: The Hostage Crisis (9th grade)
“Another Brick in the Wall” (Pink Floyd song--9th)
“Flowers Never Bend in the Rainfall” (Simon and Garfunkel—10th)
“Diamonds and Rust” (Joan Baez—12th)
Pere Goriot (12th)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (movie—12th)
The King James version of The Bible
Moby Dick (college)
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (college)
The Color Purple (book and movie—college)
Sophie’s Choice (movie—college)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (college)
Shakespeare’s Hamlet (college)
Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (college)
Cane by Jean Toomer (poetry—college)
News: Space Shuttle Challenger disaster (college)
Annie Dillard’s An American Childhood (20s)
Frank Herbert’s Dune (20s)
Bhagavad Gita (20s)
Political memory: Fall of the Berlin Wall (20s)
Arthur (movie—20s)
Garp (movie—20s)
“Macneil Lehrer Newshour” on TV (20s)
Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (poetry—20s)
The Dixie Chicks (20s-40s)
Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees, The Poisonwood Bible, and the Lacuna (30s-40s)
Keri Hulme’s The Bone People (30s)
Katerine Dunn’s Geek Love (30s)
David James Duncan’s Brothers K (30s)
Political memory: Sept. 11, 2001 (30s)
Voces Inocentes (film—40s)
Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies (40s)
Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow (40s)
Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air (40s)
“The West Wing” TV series (40s)
“Modern Family” TV series (40s)
Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River (50)
Cheryl Strayed’s Wild (50)

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