Happy Moon Day!
I just love old magazines, especially significant issues such as this July 25, 1969 Time Magazine that I got from my mom's house. Of course, the first moon walk wasn't the only thing that happened during that eventful summer of 1969. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but below are some pictures of a few thousand words that give a glimpse of what was going on. (Clicking on any of the images will take you to an enlarged view.)
Along with the moon walk, Chappaquiddick was very much in the news. Forty years later, this story is still haunting.
The next page continues a piece on Ralph Nader that began on the previous page. Nader – who had already gained fame and lots of enemies by going after auto manufacturers, unions, and banks – was now setting his sights on the food industry. Say what you will about the ludicrousness of his presidential candidacy in more recent years, but he did play a huge role in making things better for consumers. (Did you know there used to be MSG in baby food?)
And then there's "Doctors' Dilemma," a piece that highlights an event that was a turning point of sorts for the medical profession in the U.S. Protesters disrupted the American Medical Association's semi-annual convention in Manhattan, chanting, "Hip, hip Hippocrates, up with service, down with fees!" The predominantly white, male, middle-aged membership had convened to chew over their "usual bag of proposals to block 'socialized medicine,'" but the protesters reflected some of the criticisms – voiced from both within and without the medical profession – of the A.M.A.'s "ultra-conservative influence on national policies." (The A.M.A. had fought relentlessly against Medicare and Medicaid; had vehemently opposed group practice; and had lobbied to limit medical-school enrollment. A.MA. lobbyists also often teamed with other pressure groups, particularly the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association (big surprise there, eh?)).
The conclusion of the article is particularly revealing:
Nonetheless, there was an unprecedented tone of moderation among the delegates, who wound up by endorsing the concept that medical care "is a basic right of every citizen." In the past, such care had been called "a privilege."What a difference a few decades make...
And finally I offer you page 24, where, with perfect 20/20 hindsight, one can see shades of the political scandal that many say officially ended the 1960s, even though it didn't happen until the 1970s.
Of course there were several pages in that same issue about a topic not specific to 1969: the war in Vietnam, which by the late '60s was seriously dividing the country. Not mentioned in this issue of Time: Charles Manson or Woodstock. The gods of predestination were saving all of that for August.
Okay, enough nostalgia. Now, here's what I want you to do to celebrate Moon Day. Go out and howl at that heavenly body as soon as it becomes visible in your skies. Pay no attention if it makes your dog look at you weirdly. You will get used to it after a while. If you don't feel like howling (or even if you do), go out and buy, borrow or rent the 1999 flick A Walk On The Moon, which humorously and poignantly captures the spirit of '69 without getting too corny or cliched, and without either romanticizing or vilifying hippie culture. There's also a terrific sound track and a sexy Diane Lane, who ends up "shtupping the blouse man!" (Viggo Mortensen in his pre-Aragorn days). Oh, yeah, and there's an amusing voice role by Julie Kavner (aka Brenda Morgenstern, aka the voice of Marge Simpson). Go watch it now. Or at least watch the trailer.
Have a good one, and I'll be back to snarking soon. I've got some howling to do first, and there's a whole kennel of fox hounds next door, just waiting to join me.
PS ~ Lest you think I've strayed too far away from my original purpose, here is something else from 1969 that is marginally relevant to the usual subject matter of my Whirled. Let the sunshine in!