CreateSpace Publishing: 1/5/16
trade paperback; 346 pages
Newspaper Boys Always Deliver by Joseph Gulesserian is a very highly recommended look at cultural and historical changes since the 1960's. He organizes his commentary similar to how newspapers are organized into sections. The book includes photographs, and notes for each chapter are found at the end of the book. Major sections include: Front Page News; People; Arts and Entertainment; News; Sports; Lifestyle; Business and Technology; Editorial and Comment. This is the story of some of the cultural events and vast changes that have occurred in the last fifty years.
Front Page News cover why our lives are organized like sections of a newspaper. The People section starts in 1966 and the swinging sixties, when major social upheaval and changes were happening. Then we reach Arts and Entertainment where Gulesserian undertakes an in-depth humorous discussion of what the 1965 Batman TV show was really about, looking back at it as an adult in their midlife, with some comparison to present day gangbangers and more on each of the villains.
The News section examines the July 22, 1969 moon landing and the events that led up to it. The Sports section first talks about hockey (after all, Gulesserian is Canadian) and the 1972 game where Canada defeated the Russians. After that lessons learned from pro-wrestling are shared.
The Lifestyle section is a treatise about the music of the times, but especially disco. Yup, disco. It was the swan song of the baby boomers and, according to Gulesserian, allowed the democratization of glamour. This means that disco allowed people with little means to join a fabulous lifestyle and participate. In this discussion of music, he also mentions the cultural impact of the Ed Sullivan Show.
The Business and Technology section is a exposition about the innumerable advances in technology and social media in our daily lives over the last fifty years. The changes from our lives in the 1960's to today are so numerous and varied that unless you have lived during all these years you simply won't/can't understand the differences. You will understand what Gulesserian is writing about if you've lived life without a calculator, only had a land-line phone with a cord and no answering machine, wrote letters, remember when the first home computers were out, had a car with a starter, and remember a time before there was the internet and Google.
Finally, the Editorial and Comment section thoughtfully considers the changes that have occurred over the last fifty years.
I really enjoyed reading Newspaper Boys Always Deliver. Much of my appreciation for it and enjoyment is firmly based on my age and that Gulesserian and I are contemporaries, therefore many of his experiences and memories closely resembled my own. When you've lived the history and the changes it is very different from reading about them. Even the way I use a cell phone/smart phone is exceedingly different from how those who are younger than me use theirs. I am not as tied to it, as dependent upon it. I can easily set it aside and check messages/texts when I have time.
I laughed about the whole Batman discourse. I remember watching the show mostly for the action and the "POW" "BAM" fights. Perhaps I'd look at it differently where I to watch any episodes today. Additionally, while the disco section was wildly entertaining, I'll have to correct Gulesserian in that not all of us were able or had a place to actively participate in the glamorous disco lifestyle. There was no outlet or place to experience disco dancing in my neck of the woods in the late 1970's.
It is true that some strong opinions are stated in the book, but nothing outlandish or unconventional. There should always be room for people to express their opinions and point of view. I found it refreshing to read Gulesserian's assessment of the current PC movement. Because of this, I simply had to include a couple of great quotes from the Business and Technology section:
"The world seems to be turning many of the social media tools into some type of digital supermarket tabloid, where rhyme and reason and critical thinking are being tossed aside to make room for innuendo, groupthink, and diluted rhetoric since.... various other sites provide hashish for the mind in a spiralling debacle of idleness." (page 267-268)
"And the intellectual immaturity of the politically correct lacks the ability to credibly attack one's ideas and as a result degrades themselves by attacking the person, with cheapened media cliches." (page 268)
So as opposed to debating someone's ideas, the politically correct smear a person's character, while hypocritically espousing the values of democratic thinking, and this is what makes them so dangerous. And by manipulating all the multiple media outlets into fear, they can conduct a witch hunt against anyone who does not think like them, like some type of digitally enhanced renaissance of McCarthyism. So, in many respects, the politically correct and their clan of social architects are the new McCarthyism."(page 269)
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author for review purposes.
Tour Schedule and giveaway link