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Sunday, August 8, 2010

All Life Now Googleable

I reckon all you guys who ever use Google Images know that the Life magazine photo archives are available thataway.  Today, I just happened to discover that the complete archive of every Life issue from the main run, 1936 to 1972, is also on Google.  Pretty cool.  Brings back memories of a time when the world in all its dizzying, glamorous, frightening, amusing complexity arrived at your house in the mailbox every week - in some ways more intriguing than television because you could sit and pore over the text and photographs, some of them quite large, for as long as you wanted, pondering the immensity of the world you were growing up into.

Below, three covers from May, August, and September 1970, respectively.  I remember that summer well, I was 15:  no longer quite a boy but not yet quite a man.  Already aware quite definitely that I was a homosexual - that word is starting to have a bit of an archaic ring, isn't it? - and beginning the long, dark journey through years of isolation, guilt and depression, while my contemporaries were loving life and finding their places in the world.

That was forty years ago - where did the time go?


Sebastian said...

Where did the time go indeed? It went in common actions: waiting for the toast to pop, waiting for the light to turn green, waiting for wars to end and peace to begin, waiting to fall in love, waiting of the touch of God ............

Russ Manley said...

I suppose so buddy - all the little waits and pops and turns of our life added up to a big stretch of time. Although looking backwards now, I see clearly that it was not nearly so long as it seemed looking ahead.

And here we are in 2010 - which was, my God, practically inconceivable to us in 1970, when we could barely imagine the far-off year of 2000, remember?

One comes to realize that one human lifetime is, sub specie aeternitatis, a very small thing indeed.

dave said...

The twinkling of an eye.

Mareczku said...

I can't believe the 1970 was 40 years ago. I started a journal in 1970 so I know a little bit of what I thought then. I read through it a while ago. In one entry I told of how my best friend got mad at me because I called him twice in one day. "He called me a few obscene names and told me I should kill myself." It was sobering to read that. Sometimes it isn't easy being a teenager.

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