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Ch. 5 - Middlebrow Culture from Noon to Twilight 
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Post Ch. 5 - Middlebrow Culture from Noon to Twilight
Ch. 5 - Middlebrow Culture from Noon to Twilight

Please talk about Chapter 5 here. :crazy:



Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:14 am
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Okay, all you 50- and 60-somethings out there, this chapter should bring you back!

The words middlebrow and highbrow sound antique to me now. Maybe this reinforces Jacoby's point that this sort-of-golden age is just a memory. She is intensely nostalgic about this period in history when Culture (capital C) still had an audience with the middle class. She marvels, also, at the vitality of real culture in some countries not so "blessed" with multiple means of private entertainment.

I can remember the 50s, just barely. I didn't have the same family experience as Jacoby. My parents were not particularly interested in culture, although my father was fanatic about the value of an education. What Jacoby talks about so fondly was just an interlude, I think. The seeds of what we now have culturally were planted back then; the inevitable growth had simply not occurred yet. I don't begrudge her the nostalgia. But it might help to reflect on the other aspects that we're glad not to have around anymore. We don't believe that smoking is good for us, that racial discrimination is not to worry about, and that women need to stay home with the children.



Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:23 pm
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This is one of my favorite chapters. I'm embarrassed to say I hadn't really heard of "middlebrow" culture before, but I now see that's the environment I was raised in. Back in the day of only 3 TV channels, the entire family watched every single Jacques Cousteau special, every National Geographic special, and almost zero news (heh, plus a few Billy Graham crusades). Until we kids were old enough to start buying vinyl records, classical music was the only form heard or discussed in the house and the only concert style that would be attended.

:idea: If you had a middlebrow family, please share a few stories...

:idea: Can middlebrow culture be brought back, or is America too diverse and depraved for this to happen?



Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:22 am
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I said a little about my middlebrow family. On the second question, I think there's little chance of that culture returning. It seemed to me that at that time adult and youth culture were not so split, or rather that youth culture hadn't yet become the culture of power (commercially). Children made the stretch, to a degree, toward the main culture, which was adult.
Just considering movies, most of them today are meant to appeal to adolescents, becuse that is where the money now is.



Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:26 pm
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