Fifty Five Years Ago Today, The Beatles Came Here to Play

by Kerry Cue

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purple quote 1Those who do not move,

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………………do not notice their chains.

     ………………………..Rosa Luxemburg, Polish Jewish Philosopher, 1871 – 1919.

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Fifty-Five Years Ago and Far, Far Away!

On 12 JUNE 1964, the Beatles landed in Adelaide to begin their month-long Australian tour.

Beatles Melbourne

The Australia of the time was rigidly conservative. In his book, The Lucky Country, published in 1964 author Donald Horne wrote ‘Australia is a lucky country, run by second-rate people who share its luck.’  

Although The Beatles were mobbed on their Aussie tour, more Australians turned out a few years earlier, in 1959, to hear American evangelist, Billy Graham preach the word of the Lord. In fact, 3 million Australians (Aus Pop: 12 million) attended Graham’s sermons.

Billy Graham MCG 1959

Billy Graham Rally MCG 1959

The Beatles music, including the 1964 tour, was simply the pop music fanfare announcing the massive social and political change sweeping through Australia in the 1960s. Australians were, at last, in Rosa Luxemberg’s view (quote above) beginning to move. The changes included the Sexual Revolution (The pill hit the market here in 1961, ironically, that was the year Marriage rates peaked at 62% of Aussie adults.), Civil Rights (All Indigenous Australian adults got the vote in 1962), anti-war protests (Starting around 1962), feminism (Starting with The Female Mystique, Betty Freidman, 1963), environmental protection (Silent Spring, Rachel Carson, 1962), Gay Rights (Groups formed at the end of the 1960s but laws took much longer to change.) and more.

Some changes were slow. In 1963 pubs still closed at 6pm perpetuating the 6 o’clock swill in Qld, Vic, and SA. City centres were dead on Sundays. The shops closed at 12pm Saturday. Then again, there were no credit cards. No credit. You paid cash.(That’s in £sd. $ arrived in 1966) But you could smoke anywhere!

student protest Sydney Uni 1962

Look at these uni students of ’62. They are conservatively dressed. Some are even wearing ties! In the early ‘60s young people dressed like their parents. Boys wore ties. Girls wore suits. The fans that mobbed The Beatles in 1964 dressed like their parents. Even The Beatles wore ties! The Youth Culture, however, was about to begin. ( See 1964 – 1970: When fashion was a social revolution, not just a brand! )

In 1964, conservative Australia was crumbling, but it took time. In June 1964, I watched The Beatles arrive in Melbourne on a Black and White TV set with my friend Lynette screaming ‘Ringo’ and sobbing into a handkerchief. I was in year 8 at the Sacred Heart Convent Kyneton. The nuns didn’t teach maths to girls just arithmetic and needlework! (See Bimbos 4Eva)

My parents let me leave the convent to attend the local high school where they DID teach maths to girls and I went on to study maths at University. But I was fortunate. Girls’ choices were still limited in the 1960s. We were guided into ‘family friendly’ occupations such as hairdressing, nursing, teaching, and secretarial work. These were perfectly fine occupations, but often poorly paid. Meanwhile, married women could not work in the Public Service (until 1966). Equal pay was not ratified until 1974. (Many female occupations were exempt until that date.)

Perhaps, we should have listened more closely when in 1968 The Beatles sang Lady Madonna:

The Beatles Lady Madonna
Who finds the money when you pay the rent

Did you think that money was heaven sent

Despite being taught arithmetic and needlework, finding the money is something we’ve had to deal with ever since the ‘60s.

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Kerry Cue is a humorist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing on her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019)

Photo source: 1. Britishbeatlemania blog, 2. Wheaton College Archive, 3. Wheaaton College Archive, 4. Sydney Uni Archive. 5. Unsourved

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1964 – 1970: When Fashion was a social revolution, not just a brand!

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dark green quote 1Clothes make the man but often imprison the woman.
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………………………….Kerry Cue, Sibylesque (Written for this post).


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This is the story of a Fashion Revolution

1. How our mothers dressed in 1960.

1 Melbourne Cup 1960 island continent blog

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2. How we dressed in 1964.

1a Beatles Concert Brisbane 1964 qsl archive

 

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3. We wore the same clothes as our mothers and the same UNDERWEAR too!

2 panty girdle barbarafalconernewhall

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4. Ads were patronising. This was pre-feminism! Women, apparently, didn’t have brains back then.

3 Berlei Sarong Girdle pinterest

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5. Mothers bought girdles for their girls, but they were a fashion statement!

4 1960s Girdle eBay

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6. Bloomers could be worn over the ‘tarty’ suspender belts!

5 witches britches eBay

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7. 1964: The revolution begins ….

6 Anita 1964 Flikr Paul Galesko photostream

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8. 1965: Now hemlines go up, Up, UP!

8a JeanShrimpton Derby Day 1965 The Vine Blog

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9. 1966: Mother cannot wear this new mini-skirt fashion!

7 Mini skirt is born vintageeveryday blog

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10. 1967: The mini-skirt becomes the hottest fashion.

9 Melbourne Cup 1967 pinterest

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11. 1968: The mini-skirt goes mainstream

9a mini 63highlanders blog

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12. 1969: The mini-skirt defines Pop Culture

10 Go Go Dancer Sandy Goretro blog

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13. Don’t forget the boots …

11 Go Go Dancer Boot

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14. 1970: Mama don’t rule no more!

12 Hot Pants dellamoda blog

Kerry Cue is a humorist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing on her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019).

Photo Source: 1. Islandcontinent blog, 2. Queensland State Library Archive, 3. barbarafalconernewhall blog, 4. pinterest, 5.eBay, 6. eBay, 7. Flikr Paul Galesko photostream, 8. The Vine, 9. vintageeveryday blog, 10. pinterest, 11. 63highlanders blog, 12. goretro blog, 13 eBay, 14. dellamoda blog

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Why you should avoid geriatric talk

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I’m not senile… If I burn the house down it will be on purpose.dark red quote 2

…………………………………..Margaret Attwood, The Blind Assassin

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Age makes weary, but words condemn.

senior hippies wrinkleOld age creeps up on us all, but we can stay lively all our lives. Old Age, however, has had a long history of bad press. As a consequence, it is very easy to develop a ‘geriatric’ mindset and start using geriatric language. This is how it works. One day, without realising it, you say ‘I had a fall’ rather than ‘I fell over’, ‘I had a funny turn’ instead of ‘I felt dizzy’ and ‘My mind is going’ or ‘I can’t remember a thing’ in stead of ‘I forgot’.

This is important. Research shows that immersing yourself in ‘debilitating’ language slows you  down. Scientists have actually measured the walking pace of subjects. Young and old. The reverse is also true. Using ‘energetic’ language will speed you up.

What more can I say? Go wild. It’ll do you some good.

Reference: How to Age, Anne Karpf,  The School of Life (2014), p48

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How old is old in Hollywood? You don’t want to know.

by Kerry Cue
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purple quote 1“I wish that other women would let other women age gracefully. Women take it as something personal that they are getting older. They think that they failed somehow by not staying 25. This is crazy to me because my belief is that it’s a privilege to get older – not everybody gets to get older’
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……………………………..Cameron Diaz, actress, 41.

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In the 1967 film, The Graduate, Anne Bancroft played Mrs Robinson, a bored-housewife living in a loveless marriage. When the 21-year-old Ben Braddock played by Dustin Hoffman visits the Robinsons, urged on by his parents (Mr Robinson is a partner in a legal firm with Ben’s father), he is seduced by the much older Mrs Robinson. Ben, however, falls in love with Elaine, the Robinson’s daughter, and in a climactic ending, the young couple run off together.

The Graduate 1967 Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman

The Graduate 1967
Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman

At the time, Anne Bancroft was 36-years-old and, in fact, only 6 years older than Dustin Hoffman. So, historically, in Hollywood, you are branded ‘the older woman’ at 36 years of age.

Forty-five plus years on The Graduate highlights a more disturbing issue. In the film, Mrs. Robinson is a ‘formidable’ character. There is a word you do not hear any more. ‘Formidable’ applied to an older woman in a position of authority. The ‘formidable woman’ was matronly and someone to reckon with. She stood for definite principles. She didn’t tolerate fools and often held the position of Hospital Matron, Head Mistress or, even, the family Matriarch. When we were young girls many ‘formidable women’ – Reverend Mother, for starters –  had our measure. Where are they today? These days, older women, who exercise authority are described as ‘ball breakers’, ‘old dragons’ or, in the case of the matriarch, ‘a Control Freak’. Is it the ‘management team’ and their spin that has replaced the ‘formidable woman in the workplace? Has the mass movement of women out of the home and into the workplace in the 1970s unthroned the matriarch? Curious, isn’t it?

Anne Bancroft, 70, 2001

Anne Bancroft, 70, 2001

At 70 years of age, Anne Bancroft (above) still looked impressive. She won an Oscar in 1962 for her role in The Miracle Worker. She was happily married to her second husband, Mel Brooks, for 45 years. They had one son. Sadly, she died in 2005.

Kerry Cue is a humorist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing on her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019).

Photo Source: Film Promotion Pic and Salon.com

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Dating for Grown Ups

by Kerry Cue

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When virtual reality gets cheaper than dating, society is doomed. 

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………………..Dogbert, Scott Adams Dilbert Cartoon

 

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Sibylesque Online Dating

Kerry Cue is a humorist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing on her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019).

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Hey! Older women take off the Invisibility Cloak

by Kerry Cue

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Navy quote 1When I am an old woman I shall wear purple

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With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me

………….Jenny Joseph, Warning, Poem, 1961

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Do dull clothes make you dull?

Red Hat Society

Red Hat Society

Jenny Joseph’s poem has gained something of a cult following. Today there are Red Hat Societies that encourage members to go out in public wearing purple dresses and red hats. They have a lot of fun and raise money for charity – insert applause here – and, of course, the Red Hat ladies don’t go unnoticed in public.

Such societies, however, rather defeat the idea of the older woman as a respected individual by turning her into a red hat, purple dress-wearing stereotype. Jenny Joseph aptly expressed her unique eccentricities in her poem, but why turn yourself into a Jenny Joseph clone?

There is, however, a more insidious problem concerning fashion for older women.

In her book FASHION AND AGE: Dress, the body and later life, (Review: Cheryl Buckley, Times Higher Education, 19 SEP 2014) Julia Twigg insists that as women age they become estranged to fashion and begin to wear “rectangles and squares” in sombre colours with little ornamentation, instead of choosing clothes that fashionably drape and shape our older selves.

Sibylline fashion classicIt is the curse of the ‘chunky ¾ length pants and polo fleece tops’, the uniform worn by older women on bus trips! This garb is the real world equivalent to Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak.

Fashion is fun but it’s not for everyone. Moreover, older women can wear what they bloody well like. They’ve earned this right. But fashion also serves a purpose. Dowdy or dull outfits scream ‘I’ve given up’. If you are not interested in yourself, who else will be?

Yes! You do get more respect if you dress smartly in public. You needn’t stop there. Some older women don amazingly zany outfits and they are, indeed, an inspiration for all ages. Here they are, women from the Advanced Style Blog. Ari Seth Cohen wanders the streets of New York taking pictures of fashionable women in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. And they look fabulous, darling!

Beatrix Ost Fashion Diva

Beatrix Ost Fashion Diva

Fab Fashionista

Fab Fashionista

Joyce

Joyce

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Kerry Cue is a humorist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing on her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019).

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Anti-Wrinkle Creams: When Hope Conquers Experience

by Kerry Cue

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Most men running the major beauty corporations,

where you undoubtedly have spent

a lot of money,

think you’ve lost it at 50.

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– Andrea Robinson, Toss the Gloss: Beauty Tips, Tricks & Truths for Women 50+

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Apply daily and avoid gravity for the next 40 years?

“Toss the Gloss- Beauty Tips, Tricks & Truths for Women 50+” CropIn the New York Times this week Bea Shipiro interviews Andrea Robinson, who worked in the cosmetic industry developing products for Revlon (Ultima II Naked collection ) and L’Oreal. The cosmetic industry veteran has just published a book titled “Toss the Gloss: Beauty Tips, Tricks & Truths for Women 50+

Her book, according to Robinson, intends to “unconfuse” older women whom the industry has already dismissed. (We’re well aware of being dismissed by the industry.)

The person to ‘unconfuse’ 50+ women is Bobbi Brown, 56, the author of “Living Beauty”. According to Bobbi Brown, whose book has remained in print since 2007:

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“There is no cream that is ‘anti-aging’ ……. There is no cream that fixes wrinkles.”

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Sibylesque 1920s Flapper

In fact, in Australia it is illegal to claim that a cream can reduce wrinkles. If an anti-wrinkle cream can do anything it is not a cosmetic.

It is a pharmaceutical product and must be tested. As a result, ads for cosmetic creams have developed a convoluted language to convince women that they do something that, legally, they are not allowed to do.  A Multi Revitalifting Visage Night Creme will provide ‘hydradiance’ or ’luminescence’. Obviously, such creams do not reduce wrinkles, but you get to glow in the dark.

If you pay big money for an ‘anti-aging’ cream remember it doesn’t do anything, but at least you can be comforted in the knowledge that, philosophically speaking, it is opposed to the concept of aging.

Kerry Cue is a humorist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing on her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019)

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At my age, doctor, John Glen was an astronaut!

by Kerry Cue

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dark red quote 1 The United States contains more people aged 65 and older than the total population of Canada.dark red quote 2

…………………………….The Demographics of Aging Report

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At your age, what do you expect?


When consulting with your doctor about some illness or injury, you may hear the words, “Well, at your age, what do you expect?” In other words, your illness is ‘your age’. You may want to respond, “At my age, Doctor, John Glen was an astronaut”. John Glen went into space at 77 years of age! Unfortunately, your health provider would more than likely mumble [under their breath], “You’re no John Glen”.

Pelvic Floor Exercises on Beach Now imagine you are a 70-year -old American with a painful knee. What does it actually mean if your doctor glibly comments ‘Well, at your age, what do you expect?’ According to the statisticians there are 18 million Americans in your 65 – 74-year-old age group. As there are 18 million Americans ‘your age’ does that mean they are all limping about the place because of painful knees? The flaw in this logic is simple. You cannot make assumptions about the health of one person from group statistics. When the sample size is 18 million, such assumptions become a joke.

If your doctor thinks YOUR AGE is the disease, he or she might miss a more specific diagnosis. How do you respond to this type of comment by a medical practitioner? One 70-year-old had the answer. In her book, [published over 30 years ago!], ‘Mirror, Mirror, The Terror of Not Being Young’, author, Elissa Melamed, tells the story of a 70-year-old who visited her doctor with a painful right knee. “You’re 70 years old, what do you expect?” he insisted. “My left knee is 70 too”, she replied, “and it’s fine”.

Kerry Cue is a humourist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing at her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019)

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I’m not senile … if I burn the house down it will be on purpose!

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I’m not senile… If I burn the house down it will be on purpose.dark red quote 2

…………………………………..Margaret Attwood, The Blind Assassin

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Age makes weary, but words condemn.

senior hippies wrinkleOld age creeps up on us all, but we can stay lively all our lives. Old Age, however, has had a long history of bad press. As a consequence, it is very easy to develop a ‘geriatric’ mindset and start using geriatric language. This is how it works. One day, without realising it, you say ‘I had a fall’ rather than ‘I fell over’, ‘I had a funny turn’ instead of ‘I felt dizzy’ and ‘My mind is going’ or ‘I can’t remember a thing’ in stead of ‘I forgot’.

This is important. Research shows that immersing yourself in ‘debilitating’ language slows you  down. Scientists have actually measured the walking pace of subjects. Young and old. The reverse is also true. Using ‘energetic’ language will speed you up.

What more can I say? Go wild. It’ll do you some good.

Reference: How to Age, Anne Karpf,  The School of Life (2014), p48

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Don’t call me ‘Grandma’

by Kerry Cue

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 purple quote 1   “The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.”purple quote 2

……………………… Sam Levenson, American Humourist, 1911-1980

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Baby Boomers Find the ‘Grandma’ Tag Doesn’t Fit

Baby Boomers, apparently, are terrified of being labelled ‘old’. We’re in denial and we refuse to be called grandma. Susan Sarandon (b. 1946), for instance, wants to be called ‘Honey’.

Susan Sarandon B&W

This is not a straightforward issue. Firstly, today a kid can have 4 grandmas, 2 biological grannies and 2 step-grandmamas. Who gets the naming rights? Often, it is first in, first served. So the first-time-grandma may be  competing with an established  grandma-of-3. To avoid the granny wars, she has to find another name.

If both grandmothers opt for the same ‘nanna’ tag, the kid will soon sort you out. I know a little tyke who called his nannas ‘Chippie Nanna’ and ‘Chocie Nanna’. Obviously, they specialised in crisps and chocolate.

May Procession c 1950s Communigate UK

May Procession c 1950s  UK


Secondly, women of my generation have fought to be recognised as individuals. Otherwise, our entire identity is dished out as  stereotypes: girlfriend, fiancee, wife, mother, grandmother…. Are we expected to revert to a generic brand name in our senior years?

Some will be happy with this option but some won’t. I’m one and I’m not even a grandmother. Our grandmothers, much like my grandma and nanna, were stern, hat-wearing, church-going matrons (see left), who often tut-tutted at, well, every fun thing that happened at family gatherings. I don’t care about being a grandmother, but the name would feel like a millstone around my aging-neck.

What are the options?

Nan: My friend Nan says she’s just growing into her own name!!

Mimi: Kim, called Kimmie by the family, said ‘Let the child decide’. He started calling  her ‘Mimi’. She loves it.

Lola: Surprisingly, ‘lola’ is grandma in Filipino (Tagalog). ‘Lolo’ is grandpa. My nephew married the gorgeous, Regina, who is Filipino. His mum gets called ‘Lola Liz’. Now that sounds like a grandma, who is having a damn good time!

Any other suggestions?

Kerry Cue is a humourist, journalist, mathematician and author. You can find more of her writing at her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019)