As we approach our 1,200th post, I suppose it’s inevitable that we start recycling things every once in a while. It offers those of us who’ve been here all along to revisit certain topics (I’m certainly at the stage where I’ve forgotten half the stuff on here), while giving new readers the chance to see things they might have missed.
This post originally ran in May of 2009, and came up in conversation the other day with friend and colleague Bruce Boyer, mostly apropos of college mating rituals. Given that it’s springtime I thought it worth reposting, and the contrast in music from then (highbrow avant-garde) to now (twerking lowbrow) still fascinates. — CC
* * *
As a follow-up to our previous post on George Hamilton, Ivy-Style looks at 1960’s “Where the Boys Are,” in which Hamilton plays a rich college boy on Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale at the dawn of the Sexual Revolution.
As thousands of students arrive from around the country, husband-hunting coeds begin comparing the boys and their schools as if weighing the merits of designer handbags. Hamilton, who plays a yacht-sailing student from Brown, is deemed a catch:
Below, two ways to stand with your hands in your pockets. Can you tell by their posture the trust funder from the jazz hipster?
By 1960 the jazz-campus connection was already ripe for parody, and one of the film’s subplots involves a “dialectic jazz” quintet in buttondown collars. Discouraging applause in order to keep things “as cerebral as possible,” the band reveals even more than the should-we-or-shouldn’t-we sexual tension just how much things have changed since 1960. Then: avant-garde jazz and valiantly guarded chastity. Now: hip-hop and flavored condoms.
Of course, things weren’t really so simple, especially with revolution in the air. As we explored previously, soft shoulders and buttondown collars may confer respectability, but can often hide salacious intentions. — CC