1956–Elvis gyrates on Ed Sullivan’s tv show (and is shown only from the waist up)–This opened up the world of music for me, rock and roll, in particular. From that point on, I wanted to be a singer-musician and began to collect records and listen to the top 40 on AM radio. Elvis was also a rebel and the first ‘cool’ person I was ever aware of. My nonconformist-rebel phase starts somewhere here. (For an interesting twist on Elvis’s influence, research his influence on the late great Phil Ochs.)
1962–the Cuban missile crisis. I have written about this one earlier on my blog. If not for JFK, none of us–I repeat–none of us on the planet might still be here today. He managed an impossible situation to avert potential all-out world war.
1963–JFK is assassinated. Which is why his death, in retrospect, seems so tragic and meaningless. The most important assassination in history other than the murder of Jesus Christ perhaps. The beginning of an awareness of corruption and evil and the start of conspiracy theories in modern times as in Oliver Stone’s JFK movie. The murders of King and Bobby–two other bright American lights– were soon to follow. School and work got cancelled in North America for many. The first major tragedy televised for days nonstop. The only game-changer to rival this event would happen 48 years later and, again in the U.S.
1969–Neil Armstrong is the first man on the moon. Earth was no longer isolated and disconnected from the universe. Science was capable of great things. This event got a bigger rush than John Glenn’s first U.S. space flight in that Glenn ‘only’ flew around the Earth and stayed up for a while–slipping the surly bonds of earth. The amazing thing about the Armstrong event was watching it happen on tv, and then going outside on Xmas holidays to look at the moon to see if we could see him ‘up there’. Just a major change in consciousness and a step forward in civilization’s (not just man’s) reach and possibilities.
1981–PCs are introduced by IBM. Bit of a delay effect on this one for me, but eventually I gave up ye olde electric typewriter for a word processor and starting writing ‘files’ for my publishers. This blog is some kind of final testament of how far the e-media and e-technology has changed my life and communication possibilities. PCs led to the Internet’s development and the current Information Age.
2001– 9/11 and the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Technology used by evil forces against the innocent and good. security and travel would never be the same again as we entered a more stringently patrolled world which we see reflected by cameras on roads, in malls, schools, arenas, airports, et al. Orwell’s age of ‘Big Brother is watching you’ arrived with a vengeance and nothing would be private or safe anymore.