Hope you enjoy this quick little nugget — an amuse-bouche — from my “to post” file on a quiet U.S. Labor Day. Kids react to the Beatles clips and songs for eight minutes; simple as that, and charming.
Upon this second viewing, it joggled an interesting thought: are teachers more likely to be Beatles fans? Is it teachers who are driving the cross-generational Beatles-love? I know I had one of these Beatle fans: Mrs. Palmer, my social studies teacher at Wydown Junior High. She also had a big Milton Glaser Dylan poster up in her classroom, some Peter Max stuff…
The Jesuits famously placed the cut-off date at seven, but I call bullshit on that; my history teachers shaped my character mightily. It was my privilege to be taught history by a lot of ex-hippies (Mrs. Palmer, Michael Averbach at Oak Park River Forest High School). Hearing their perspectives (and personal experiences) made me a much better, more sensitive, more accurate student of history — and more prepared for the buttoned-up, Panglossian narratives that were so often ladled my way at Yale. So God bless, Mrs. Palmer, Mr. Averbach, and all the others, wherever you are. You helped me build a bullshit detector still paying dividends today.
Getting back to “Kids React to the Beatles”: What struck me immediately was how clearly each kid’s reaction revealed their personality — angry or playful, flexible or rigid, concerned with what the interviewer thought…or not. “Baby Einstein might be a little better for me, but I don’t want you to stop, because it’s your head and you get to think.”
Fair enough, kid; Mrs. Palmer and Mr. Averbach couldn’t’ve have said it better themselves.