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As it happened the first four movies, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Manchurian Candidate, Hud, and Dr. Strangelove are all in black and white, and this fact appeared to cast a spirit of documentary authenticity over our proceedings. The fact that a number of students appeared to never have seen these films or a black and white film of any kind did not surprise mewith a couple of notable exceptions they were all born in the vicinity of 1984. My approach to the films was to send them looking for contemporary reviewsthat is reviews of the films when they were first released. Mockingbird and Hud were acknowledged for their strong performances, several of the female students especially giving Paul Newman as Hud points for hunkitude. But it was The Manchurian Candidate and Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb that grabbed everyone. All of a sudden it was early sixties Cold War time, and everyone got involved in the darkness and paranoia of Candidate and the wild black humor of Strangelove. During the discussion of the latter, I did my best Slim Pickens imitation, in the scene where Pickens as Major King Kong addresses the men on his plane carrying a bomb aimed at Russia: Now look, boys. I ain’t much of a ham at makin’ speeches. But I got a pretty fair idea that somethin’ doggoned important’s going on back there. And I got a fair idea of the kind of personal emotions that some of you fellas may be thinkin.’ Heck, I reckon you wouldn’t even be human beins if you didn’t have some pretty strong personal feelings about nucular combat. What moved the class along were the timelines that outlined political events and the music classes that laid out the hits of the day. My musical message was that what you heard on the radio in the sixties was not necessarily what the rock critics liked. Accordingly, I was as likely to play a cut of Dionne Warwick singing “Walk on By” or “Moon River” from the Breakfast at Tiffany’s soundtrack as I was something by Otis Redding or Buffalo Springfield. We did not forget that the sixties was also a golden decade for country music. One of my smart students who is headed for UT law school seemed to especially appreciate Willie doing the original version of “Funny How Time Slips Away” and Loretta Lynn singing her bellicose anthem “You Ain’t Woman Enough To Take My Man.” I later learned that the student’s boyfriend is the drummer in an alt-country band that plays weekly at the Hole in the Wall. Our big book before spring break was They Walked in Sunlight by David Maraniss, a study set in two locales in October 1967. The first setting is in Vietnam and features an American infantry platoon and their Vietcong enemies; the second locale looks at the University of Wisconsin campus during a week of protests against Dow Chemical. The heaviest assignments before spring break were to analyze this complex group biography. Most of the class, myself included, were especially drawn to the figure of the platoon leader who reluctantly but bravely led his men into an ambush. Sometimes professors give a walk on the last day before Spring Break, to accommodate those taking off early. Not Senior Lecturer HollandI planned a special class for that day elegantly titled: “Who’s Better? The Beatles or the ‘Stones?” To answer this deep question that never really goes away, we assembled two teamsthe format was a mock debatea sixties smack down. The Beatles team was three students plus a guest expert, my friend Bobby Hawthorne, who God help him knows more Beatles trivia than Paul McCartney. I headed the `Stones team. We each had about twenty THE ROLLING STONES 12×5 11111111111MONPINIMMIMIIIII BIG HITS \(HIGH Try_ lGRFJAf GRASS 40111.1118111111 “”ROLLING STONES MAY 27, 2005 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 29