A spoiler-free review of Stranger Things Season One. Topics discussed on this episode include: Digital Natives vs. Digital Neanderthals..How a little startup called Netflix killed off the 20th Century…1983: Whose year was it anyway? 1983 was Time’s Year of the Computer, but with shag carpeting, plaid furniture, and breadbox-sized telephones…Freaks and Geeks, Risky Business and WarGames…The Upside Down qualities of water and electricity…The return of Winona Ryder and the return of Matthew Modine…and the timelessness of kids on bikes.
In 1980, album oriented rock was high art, radio was king, and music videos were mere novelty items featured on an obscure cable program called Video Concert Hall. There was no better embodiment of these ideals at the time than Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and their breakthrough album “Damn the Torpedoes,” particularly the single “Here Comes My Girl,” which stands out as a great love song as well as a breakout music video from before there was even MTV.
Sometimes, life imitates art. Sometimes, reality is the most potent drug of all. Steve Jobs understood that. Oscar Goldman understood that.
Before there was Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, there was Oscar Goldman and Rudy Wells. Jobs was the ideas man, and Woz was the technician who could build the personal computer.
Oscar Goldman was the ideas man, and Rudy Wells was the physician who could rebuild Steve Austin.
It’s that special day of summer when Fall abruptly arrives at the doorstep of UC Berkeley. Kate and Allie have stepped out of the line and taken refuge. Kate’s right foot has been stripped of its sandal, and Allie is applying some kind of ointment before bandaging it up like a battle-tested field nurse. The sisterhood of Kate and Allie has already endured the first tribulation of the new year, and classes haven’t even started yet.
Media wars are nothing new. In the 1880s modern journalism began under the auspices of Joseph Pulitzer. By the 1890s, “ratings wars” between Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst pushed newspaper publishers into increasingly reckless territory. This is where our modern media culture begins. Listen in on this episode of the TV Room as we revisit the heyday of Pulitzer’s New York media empire, when he was able to use his newspapers to confront the excesses of the Gilded Age and help usher in the reforms of the Progressive Era that followed. We then set the table for Pulitzer’s feud with William Randolph Hearst, which would expose the dark side of the power of the press.
In 1800, nothing went faster than a sailing ship or a team of horses, not even communiques. Electronics did not exist and machines were unknown. By 1900, you could talk by phone to different cities, take a subway to go see a movie, and drive a car. Millions of people were on the move, leaving the old world behind and going to where the jobs were, in factories with machines that ran around the clock.
Their grandparents lived and died in a world that hadn’t changed much since Medieval times, and their grandchildren would grow up with rock n roll and television. The modern age begins with them, the people of the Nineteenth Century. They are the subject of this episode of the TV Room.