At lunch with friends we talked of Patti Page, whose obit in the NY Times dripped with sarcasm. So much for nil nisi. I argued that the '50s were hipper than the '80s, that Mitt Romney's playlist was cooler than that of Paul Ryan. Here's my proof: a cover of the old Dean Martin standard "Sway," by the Puppini Sisters:
Besides, people back then were not so antiseptic as the NYT made out. A friend of mine, now sadly deceased, had a great crush on Doris Day, back in the '50s. One day he heard that she was coming to his college, and his frat brother insisted they drive out to the airport to greet her. Which they did. They saw her in a limo at the airport, just parked, and after much prodding from his friends, he went up to her car to say hello. She didn't look at him. Her car window stayed down. He didn't know what to do, but was embarrassed to go back to his friends, so he just stayed at her window. Finally, she rolled it down, looked him in the eye, and said "F____ off, sonny."