Friday, February 12, 2010

Spreading 'the Fire'

50 years of history in 3 minutes... Turn your speakers on....

Whether you are a Billy Joel fan or not, you probably remember his great
song, "We Didn't Start the Fire." Here it is, set to pictures.... very,
very cool.. I never did know the words. Turn up volume, sit back and enjoy
a review of 50 years of history in less than 3 minutes! Thanks to Billy
Joel and some guy from the
University of Chicago with a lot of spare time
and Google. Top left gives you full right lets you pause
Bottom left shows the year. The older you are, the more pictures you
will recognize. Anyone over age 50 should remember over 90% of what they
see. But it's great at any age.

This has probably gone totally viral by this point, so at worst I'm just adding to the clutter. Put up with the initial text inserts, its worth it.

I had heard a friend of mine say she had been using 'Start the Fire' as an introduction to 20th Century American history course she was teaching. I've long been a fan of Billy Joel (from the first time round), and this song is one of my favourites of his.

The suggestion that this represents '50 years of history' is a bit dated - and one sided. Maybe history from the period from 1950 through 2000 - for someone from the USA. Notice that the first image, Harry Truman, gives a fixed date in 1949. My own memory (in the form of re-runs!) starts kicking in at the 1955 references. I think the first event listed that I truly remembering as it happened was Kennedy assassinated. The Cold War and the War in Vietnam (although not a direct participant) certainly shaped my life.

It might be interesting for those involved in living history to consider this in light of another commentary I wrote, on Motel of the Mysteries. This video brings things even closer - what do you really remember of what is listed, and what oral history would you be able to pass down about your own 'life and times'...

'been there - saw that'

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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