Fallen Walls Open Curtains Episode 2

Is This TomorrowIt’s the second chapter in a podcast miniseries that looks at the fall of the Iron Curtain and the popular culture of the Cold War. To start us off, I look at what happened in Eastern Europe after the wall fell, beginning in November 1989 and ending in February 1990 with a special focus on the revolutions in Czechoslovakia and Romania. Then, Luke Jaconetti (Earth Destruction Directive, Get Back to the Wrestling) joins me to look at 1950s Cold War comics.

You can listen here:

Apple Podcasts:  Pop Culture Affidavit

Direct Download 

Pop Culture Affidavit podcast page

After the cut, here are some extras from this episode …

Luke and I both talked about Comic Book Plus on this episode. It has a ton of public domain comics that you can read and download for free.  Check them out here.

And here’s direct links to the comics

World War III

World War III Comic

Atomic War!

Atomic War Comic

Is This Tomorrow


Pop Culture Affidavit Episode 94: The Day the Music Died

Episode 94 Website CoverSixty years ago today, rock and roll lost three of its earliest stars when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash.  In this episode, I take a look back at that event by focusing on how I learned about it as a kid in the 1980s and teenager in the 1990s. I begin by talking about my history with each of the artists and that era of music and then spend time going through the event via the 1999 episode of VH-1’s Behind the Music.  Finally, I look at the song that gave “The Day the Music Died” its name: Don McLean’s “American Pie”.

You can listen here:

iTunes:  Pop Culture Affidavit

Direct Download 

Pop Culture Affidavit podcast page

Also, here is a playlist I created that consists of the entire Behind the Music episode:

Pedro’s fireworks! Does yours?

South of the Border. Photo by mollypop via cc license on Flickr.

I don’t know if I can consider myself a “well-seasoned” traveler, at least compared to my Facebook friends who always seem to be jetting to some exotic locale and posting pictures of themselves in a bar or on a beach that’s thousands of miles away from my kitchen table.  I’ve only been out of the country a few times myself, and my travels throughout the United States haven’t been too extensive.  So why do I think that I’m a halfway decently traveled person  Well, because I have done quite a bit of traveling in my day and that “travel” has meant driving up and down Interstate 95.

This past weekend, my wife and I drove from our home in Charlottesville to Savannah, Georgia.  She was graduating with her MBA from Georgia Southern University, and while some of our trip involved what I guess William Least Heat-Moon would have termed “Blue Highways,” most of it was downt he main road of the east coast, a road that is not prestigious enough to be called a “mother” road; in fact, I’m sure “motherfucker of a road” would be more appropriate.

Anyway, with this particular trip, I have more or less traversed I-95 all the way from the interchange with I-91 in Connecticut to right around the South Carolina/Georgia border.  This particular trip was my first time through the Carolinas by car and I have to say that I-95 surprised me.  To me, I-95 is a motherfucker.  It’s a sprawling beast of a mega-highway that spans as many as eight lanes across and is often riddled with traffic jams and construction zones.  I-95 is the world’s biggest parking lot in Northern Virginia and it is the definition of time suck in Maryland.  A trip up to my parents’ house on Long Island can sometimes be an epic schlep if not timed correctly, and I have beamed with pride whenever I have been able to take a minimum amount of time getting there.

But the Carolinas were just so … desolate.  We entered North Carolina around 9:00 a.m. and by then the highway had shrunken from what you’d expect from an interstate to a four-lane highway with two lanes on each side that looked like they hadn’t been maintained since I was a toddler (though, funny enough, the signs had been updated because the font used was obviously Calibri and not Helvetica).  Further adding to the oddity was the copious amount of billboards for adult shops and gentlemen’s clubs.  For a region so devoted to conservative politics, they sure advertised a lot of skin.

I had heard of South of the Border years ago, through friends of mine who had driven to places like Disney World (a trip from Long Island that is a solid two days’ worth of driving).  They way they put it, South of the border was some sort of monumental destination.  Their usual description was, “You start seeing signs for it, like 100 miles before you get there.  Then there is another sign, and another one, and another one.  And then, it’s just huge and everyone stops there.”  It had been built up in my mind to be a sort of Vegas in the Carolinas. (more…)