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David Walsh @DavidAstinWalsh
, 11 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Great article by @jason_tebbe here, though I do want to add one particular bit of nuance that's missing: the power of technology to make nostalgia easier than ever.…
I've taught undergraduate students who are more into the Rolling Stones than I am, despite being born in 1998.

They get it from their Gen X. parents, sure, but it's been made easier by growing up in an all-digital music era.
I don't think you'd get the R&B/soul revival of today without easy digital access to the entirety of the American music tradition.
This extends pretty broadly.

Thanks to digital technology, it has *never* been easier to engage with the past--or rather, a simulacron of the past, as Tebbe notes--than ever before in the history of mass culture.
That's why, for those of us who teach history, it's critical that we have students engage with music and pop culture *as historians,* with an emphasis on context.
Take "Sympathy for the Devil." There's so, so many different ways you could teach this.
It's 1968. The Stones released "Satanic Majesties" last year. There was already a moral panic in the 'States about John Lennon's "bigger than Jesus" comment.

It was *very* provocative to title a track like this.
The lyrics themselves were apparently inspired by Bulgakov's "Master and Margarita," which was written in the 1930s in Russia but only published in English in 1967, which is when Mick Jagger read it.
Jean-Luc Godard, the French New Wave director, filmed the Stones composing and recording the song in the studio, and made an avant-garde film interspersing that footage with, among other things, the Black Panthers reading revolutionary slogans.
There's so, so much going on with just this one song (I haven't even gotten into the Jack Hamilton argument about the Stones and American black music and the politics therein).

None of that will be evident to students who learned the song from their parents or a YouTube shuffle.
Context matters. It's why we have historians.

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