February 22, 2019

10 Cultural Milestones Turning 30 In 2019

“The Simpsons: The Simpsons is America’s longest running sitcom. The dysfunctional but still lovable family of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie had first debuted on television on April 19, 1987 as an animated sketch that was part of The Tracey Ullman Show. After three seasons, the sketch was developed into a full-length, half-hour prime time show that debuted mid-season in 1989. It soon became the fledgling Fox Network’s first hit show as The Simpsons broke into the top 30 ratings for shows airing during the 1989 to 1990 season. Currently, more than 650 episodes of The Simpsons have aired.

The Berlin Wall Comes Down: The Berlin Wall stood for almost 30 years before folks began to chip away at it in the fall of 1989. Since its erection, more than 100,000 people had tried to escape to the West from East Germany, but only 5,000 made it. Between 130 and 200 people died trying to climb the wall. Both East and West Germany open the wall in November of 1989, and although folks immediately began to chip away at at the stone structure, it wasn’t until the following summer that the wall officially began to be demolished. By 1992, the demolition was complete.

Nintendo Game Boy Is Released:The Nintendo Switch has this original handheld gaming device to thank for its popularity. In 1989, way back before e-sports and Twitch, gamers got a taste of the future of gaming when Nintendo released their first-ever hand-held gaming device: the Game Boy. Before it was discontinued in 2003, the Game Boy sold over 118 million units and spawned the Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Pocket. 40,000 Game Boys were sold in the United States the day it came out. In Japan, Nintendo sold 300,000 consoles during the first two weeks on the market.”

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"Political leaders from all French parties, including former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, joined Jews and non-Jews in Paris’s Place de la Republique to condemn antisemitic acts."

"Eighty years ago tonight, thousands of Americans gathered in New York to rally behind the Nazi Party and its ideals. An Oscar-nominated short documentary retrieves footage of the event, but leaves out the context that gives it meaning."

"The PM has persuaded the religious-Zionist Jewish Home to partner with the Kahanists of Otzma Yehudit. It makes cynical political sense for his interests, but what of Israel’s?"

"IFC’s series Documentary Now! began as an affectionately parodic tribute to the classics of nonfiction cinema. Its first episode, “Sandy Passage,” was a note-perfect evocation of the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens..."

"Making our choices count is, however, far from straightforward, and this is the subject of Martin Hägglund’s book This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom."

"Teens in the United States are coming of age at a time when digital technology is truly ubiquitous, where smartphones are all of our “constant companions.”"

"...the Smollett story, if the “trajectory” leads to evidence of fakery, would actually reveal something else modern America is about: victimhood chic."

"Cool in the humanities isn’t that different from cool in other areas of cultural life, like planking, hotdog-legs photography, mason jar rehabilitation, and novels whose main character is a city."

"It’s true that high-octane, hardworking child-rearing has some pointless excesses, and it doesn’t spark joy for parents. But done right, it works for kids..."

"Cape Town in South Africa is a foodie destination. Some people in its renowned restaurant industry are trying to spread the food wealth citywide."

"...for many “space expansionists,” escaping Earth is about much more than dodging the bullet of extinction: it’s about realizing astronomical amounts of value by exploiting the universe’s vast resources to create something resembling utopia. "

"After facing persecution in the former Soviet Union and a new wave of antisemitism in the United States, Marya Zilberberg decides to put her Jewishness on display."