Sunday, July 8, 2012
I am now at Maxwell AFB, Alabama for a few months of AF training. On the way we stopped in Memphis and saw the Rock and Soul Museum among other things.
The interesting thing about the museum is how it highlighted the effect of farmers being displaced by farm machinery after WWII. Millions of people moved to the cities, and they brought their music with them. Memphis was one location that became the new home for a lot of former sharecroppers. They had strong traditions in blues, gospel and country music.
In my last pot I mentioned how the transition away from an agricultural society led to higher rates of high school graduation. It also led to a revolution in American culture during the 1960's. Music was a big part of it.
One thing that is interesting about the new music was that it was often directed toward teens. I think that as long as teenagers were working with adults in the fields they were never able to develop their own culture. As soon as they were all plopped together in high schools and subjected to an artificial discipline, they went crazy trying to rebel against their parents.
I don't really think we have fully adapted to being a non-agrarian society. Think about it. We were mostly farmers for thousands of years. I don't think people realize just how recently it was that all of this changed (about 50-60 years ago). It is hard to overestimate how big of an impact this has had on history.