As the Memory Hole Goes By

Yesterday, Terry Teachout flashed back to a post he wrote in 2004, which noted:

I was channel-surfing the other day and stumbled across Woody Allen’s Play It Again, Sam, which opens with the last scene from Casablanca. The camera pulls back to reveal Allen watching the film in a small art house–the kind of theater of which Manhattan once had many, but now has only a few.

As I watched, I thought, I wonder how many people under the age of 45 saw Casablanca for the first time in a theater? I’m 47, and I first saw it in a Kansas City revival house a quarter-century ago, just prior to the introduction of home video recorders. Back then, seeing Casablanca anywhere was still a big deal: it didn’t get shown all that often on local TV stations, and there weren’t yet any cable networks devoted exclusively to old movies. Come to think of it, there weren’t any cable networks, period.

All of which led me to ask myself yet another unnerving question: how many people under the age of 45 have seen Casablanca at all?


Today, the Pew organization goes Teachout one better: “Pew: Majority of 18-to-29-year-olds don’t know which issue Roe v. Wade dealt with.” As Allahpundit quips, “From the people who brought you Barack Obama’s second term.”

Ah, life in “Present-Tense Culture,” where history began yesterday — or perhaps, never at all.

Which dovetails nicely with this Red State post on “The Postmodern Vision – Burning Down The House We Live In.” But isn’t “The Butter Dance” video* that the author links to merely a one-woman recreation — presumably unintentionally, since even the history pop culture is so quickly forgotten — of Monty Python’s Battle for Pearl Harbor, as performed by the Batley Townswomen’s Guild?

* Which is just begging for NEA funding, isn’t it?


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