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Remembering the Twentieth Century:
here's what I'd put in my time capsule

By Diannek


Clever remembers the best and the brightest, the funniest and the bleakest events, moments, things and people of this soon-to-be-late, great century.

Events:
Best Decade: the Nineties, and we predict that the Clinton Era will go down in history as one of our best.
Second Best: a tie between the Twenties and the Fifties
Worst Decade: the Thirties

Our finest Moment: World War II Normandy Invasion and V-E Day,
followed closely by our worst moment: the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

People:
Dead before their time: Prince Di, JFK, MLK, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean
Smartest: Albert Einstein
Worst person of the century: a tie between Hitler and Stalin
Scariest: Freddie Kruger, the Boogie Man
Most amazing Athletes: Jessie Owens, Babe Dedrickson
Most beloved Actors: Spencer Tracy and Kathryn Hepburn
Greatest voices: Enrico Caruso, Frank Sinatra, Maria Callas, and Barbra Streisand
Dancer of the century: Fred Astaire
Funniest: Bob Hope, Jack Benny, 3 stooges, Fanny Brice, George Carlin
Saddest: Emit Kelly

Lost:
People:  Amelia Ehrheart, D. B. Cooper
Lost & Found: Livingston, the Titanic, the Hope Diamond
Still Lost: The check that's in the mail, luggage, my umbrella, reading glasses, City of Atlantis

Movies:
All time greatest: Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, Wizard of Oz
Best thrillers: Day the Earth Stood Still, Deliverance
Best movies with a social conscience: Schindler's List, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, El Norte
Bleeding-edge movies: the 3-D Movies, Rocky Horror Picture Show, 2001-A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Best girl-friend movies:  Grease, Dirty Dancing, Annie Hall
Best kid movie: ET, any Disney animated movie
Funniest movies: the Charlie Chaplin movies, the Abbot & Costello movies, the Marx Brothers movies, Animal House, Fish Called Wanda, Full Monte
Best movie Directors: Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg
Most famous food fight: Animal House, the Cheers Thanksgiving

Music:
Most romantic era: the Forties wartime music

Followed in the late forties by the music that killed the era, represented by such examples as How Much is that Doggie in the Window and Mockingbird Hill (Tra-la-la Twiddly-de-de). The voices most responsible for this music: Patti Page, Snooky Lanson, Gisele Mackenzie, and the orchestra, of course, was Lawrence Welk.

This sugar-coated Baroque period of trite music was probably responsible for ushering in the rock'n'roll revolution. After listening to Down By the Station Early in the Morning, it's no wonder the teenagers of the early fifties went nuts for ShaBoom, Rock Around the Clock and Heartbreak Hotel. When Elvis came on the scene there was no turning back, no matter how much the adults howled and condemned him.

Post rock and roll, music becomes edgier, nastier, louder. Does our music reflect our culture, or what?

Writing: (the editor's personal favorites)

Books: Grapes of Wrath, Gone With the Wind, Alice in Wonderland, Feminine Mystique, Cider House Rules

Authors-Novelists: John Steinbeck, John Irving 
Mystery writers: Sue Grafton, Graham Greene
Thrillers: John Grisham
Travel Essay: Paul Theroux, Jan Morris
Intellectuals (dead): C. Wright Mills, Simone de Beauvoir

Artists: Pablo Picasso, Andy Worhall, Georgia O'Keefe

TV
Most Unforgettable moments: JFK's funeral, the Moon Walk, the Ed Sullivan Elvis & Beetles Shows, the sixties riots, the Vietnam body counts on the nightly news, Rodney King, CNN's Baghdad bombing broadcast, OJ, Diana's Funeral
Best TV drama: Twilight Zone, Gunsmoke, The Law and Order Series
Best Comedy Series: I Love Lucy, All in the Family, M*A*S*H, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cheers, Saturday Night Live, Are You Being Served
Best Comedy Shows: Milton Berle Show, Jackie Gleason
Talk: Oprah
Mini Series: Roots
News Broadcaster: Walter Cronkite
Comedy Host: Johnny Carson
Voice: Rod Serling, Mike Wallace
Magazine: 60 Minutes
Talent Show: Ed Sullivan
Game Show: Jeopardy
Kid show: Sesame Street

Worst moments: the endless commercials, the gratuitous violence, and the fact that there's not enough of the good stuff to watch, even though TV has proven itself capable of presenting the very finest entertainment the world has known, and despite the fact that the actors are ready and willing to work and people are writing like mad, and there are plenty of stations in desperate need of something to fill up the broadcast waves. What are you waiting for?

Medicine:
Greatest Achievements: Penicillin, the Salk Polio Vaccine, Transplants
Biggest problems: AIDS, Cancer, the so-called Health-care costs

The stupidest things we do:
Environmental damage
Smoking
Taking illegal drugs
Shooting each other
Hurting our women and children
Discriminating against people of color, women, children, the aged, those with disabilities
Covering up the bad stuff
Believing conspiracy theories
Making war

The best things we do:
Exercise, Laugh, Volunteer, Give money to charity, Keep Trying to Get Along, Working on our country's problems using the democratic process, education, reforms and social protests, appreciating good or even bad humor

And Finally, in this century our country produced the most amazing agricultural, mechanical, industrial and technological miracles ever in the history of the world, from the horseless carriage to the computer. And I believe it is the computer that is poised to produce the most astonishing and revolutionary changes during the next century. The usual suspects have already been mentioned and honored whenever computers are honored.  But let us not overlook the inventions and the concepts that were created and jammed altogether into these boxes that we call computers. Who would know what to do with those transistors, wafers, microprocessors, hard drives and all the rest of that geeky stuff if it weren't for the following:

First and foremost is the Content: Our culture, our history, and the need to store, retrieve and share it.

Technology:
Pony Express: for giving us the first notion of fast mail delivery
Edison for the light bulb and photography and moving pictures
Alexander Graham Bell for the telephone.  Hello?
Underwood & Smith-Corona for keyboards and QUERTY for the key arrangement
Base Two mathematics, the foundation I/O Technology
And you put it all together and Viola! Le Computer! Bravo!

Well done, Everybody. Now, let's all get back to work.  I just can't wait to see what comes next!  Happy New 2000!


 
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