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Friday, August 1, 2008

The slight pain in the behind re: being good at "dates"

I don't know how many people suffer from this malady, but I happen to be pretty good at historical dates. Usually if you are or were a history major (like I was) this is a good thing. You can easily get your time lines down. HOWEVER - it does have the drawback of somewhat spoiling and distracting you if OTHER people aren't good at dates, or don't mind if they fudge.

A couple weeks back I attended a performance of "The King and I." As Mrs. Anna was singing "Getting to Know You," I happened to notice the map that had been bought for the classroom...and I sighed. Because what's present day Alaska was colored the same as the United States. However, knowing the play was set to take place in a time contemporary with Lincoln's time in office - and "Seward's Folly" wasn't obtained until 1867 - this was just enough to distract me.

A favorite show of mine used to be "American Dreams" set in the early 1960s. That first series was from Nov. of '63 until the summer of '64. You guessed it. I was constantly spotting songs done a few years later. Still a great show, but just enough for me to say "hey...."

On the positive side, the other night a friend of mine and I were watching a Cold Case rerun. The guy who got iced had been a former Vietnam War Prisoner, and it showed his homecoming in 1972, right at the top of the show. And the VERY first thing I said to my friend a nano-second after I saw the date was "Why is this guy home a year earlier than the others? He must have been a fink who took early release." 40 minutes later, one of the older detectives spotted the time lines discrepancy. And this particular bit of information helped unlock the who, what, why of the case.

I took some costume history too for fun about 10 years ago ... enough to mess up entertainment even more if something's not quite in period!


Unknown said...

I always roll my eyes when people start talking about "Les Miserables" being about the French Revolution - not least because in most major productions the dates in which the various scenes in the show take place are projected onto the back wall of the set.

Stephen said...

(Plus, in London, that shows they didn't read the programme)

gemoftheocean said...

Stephen: I don't go to opera very often...but I'm always amused at the people who yell "BraVO" at a soprano. Haha---that's braVA you dolts! :-D

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