links for 2009-08-07

  • Whether we hail noise as a boon, a perquisite of freedom, as did Molly and her neighbors, or rue it as a problem, a defect of modern America, as did Rice and her confreres, we would do well to remember that noise is as much a social construct as it is a physical phenomenon. “The Goldbergs” idealized and romanticized it; the real-life Rice sought to diminish and control it. That the show endured for as long as it did suggests that we are most likely to embrace the past when it is sugarcoated. While we are not about to yoo-hoo out of our windows anytime soon, it’s nice to think that we once could.
  • Much has been made of late of the yoo-hooing Molly Goldberg, the eponymous subject of Aviva Kempner’s warmhearted documentary about Gertrude Berg, the hugely successful actress and producer of the interwar years who created the long-running fictional character on radio and television. Framed by an open window and a cheery flower pot, Molly announces her presence to the world; she’s hard to miss.
    Related Articles

    * A Filmmaker’s Intimate Portrait of ‘Molly Goldberg’
    * Mrs. Goldberg: 'The Oprah of Her Day.'
    * Filmmaker Cries, ‘Yoo-hoo!’
    * Mad About Molly

    Chastened or charmed, either way we are held captive to a particular vision of the immigrant experience that owes more to sentiment than to history. “The Goldbergs” glosses the not-too-distant past, offering a steadying hand in place of instability. Consider the aural scape, the ambient noise that characterized the urban places that Molly and her friends called home. Noise was inescapable; it was everywhere, from the cr

    (tags: noise)
  • My, wouldnt it be fun to go and gawk at all those tall buildings and see the sights that weve all heard about. Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge await.

    And so you find a way to make the dream a reality. And for a week or so, youre in heaven.

    Then it slowly dawns on you. How do these people get by in a place where you cant afford a car and wouldnt want to try to negotiate the crazy streets anyway? How do they live with the constant noise? And dont they get tired of all the walking and relying on a dingy subway system to get around?

    (tags: subway noise)

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