~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Elvis: The anti-Hitler?

It's true, says professor Glenn Reynolds.

Hitler was aided by a new technological innovation: the radio. Nazism's totalitarian sibling, communism, spread largely by print and took decades to gain a foothold. But radio allowed Hitler to manipulate emotions wholesale, in a way that had never been possible before. And the masses - starved for entertainment and desperate for catharsis, and a sense of purpose - ate it up.

But now it's all different, and Elvis deserves a lot of the credit. Oh, there were big stars before Elvis: Bing Crosby's appeal is now nearly forgotten, but it was once huge, and Frank Sinatra was, in a way, a sort of proto-rock star. But after Elvis, the world was different.

I think Glenn has his cause and effect backwards. It wasn't the advent of rock and roll that protected Western freedoms, but Western freedoms that allowed for the advent of rock. But then again, that may well be his point after all. In either case, long live the King!

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