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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

When it comes to the Band Wagon - I'm a Hopper!

When I can't find anything worthy of a post from the tag sale trail, I have to resort to my "vast" stores of stuff that I have kept for some reason or another.  My tastes in stuff are simple: old paper - gadgets, whose purpose is a mystery - electronics I drooled over as a kid but couldn't squeeze a tear at the right time to provoke a parental purchase - and other items of nostalgia, and/or curiosity.

While cleaning up the garage (notice, I said "up" and not "out") I came across a TIME magazine from 1969. Space exploration and science fiction are among my favorite topics, but mostly with the anniversary of man's first steps on the moon just 6 weeks away, I thought I should put this aside for a post topic. Then I thought, "Nah!" Why wait?

A truly classic cover, but then again, so were all the others commemorating this event. However, this is the only one I have. It is typical of the time, trying to make as clear a picture for the reader what had happened, and what it was like for the astronauts and their families. Then it goes into the politics, like who owns the moon? Can we colonize it and claim it because we touched it first? No, a 1966 treaty between Washington and Moscow labeled the Moon as  "No man's Land" and available to all countries to explore and exploit. I most enjoyed the speculations that  presents a future that could see colonies on Mars by 1982!  Whoops! Not so fast, we are only now enjoying the magic of the viso-phone that Ma bell promised so long ago (and never delivered - thanks for nothing Ma!). Anyway, when it comes to Mars,: never send a man to do a robots work!

I would like to go on and on about the in-depth articles on the moon and the ability to make good on a dead president's promise, but as I flipped through the pages I found a more intersting connection to current pop culture in the movie reviews.
 Dennis Hopper dies and just a week later, in and old magazine, I am reading a review of the movie that was possibly his defining moment. Well, I wanted something for my blog that would dovetail serendipitously in to the present and here it was.  I never saw "Easy Rider" maybe parts of it, but because it reflected a period in history that I was too young to grasp (I barely remember my parents trying to wake me up to watch a fuzzy image on the screen of the stay-puft marshmallow man bouncing around on the Moon). I tried to watch it in college and it didn't grab me.  Dennis Hopper has always had an intensity that he brings to his characters, unfortunately, he didn't pick the kind of scripts that would fully endear many of the portrayals to me.  Blue Velvet - Nope. The Rivers Edge - good, but nope.  Evil leader in Waterworld - ugh! Booby-trapper/bomber in "Speed" - Nope. Though I really enjoyed his characters in "Apocalypse Now!"
and "True Romance". If you have a favorite Hopper film, place it in the comments.  I am sorry he is gone, but I am even sorrier that I jumped on the same band wagon as most other bloggers by reporting on his death.

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