The 30th birthday of Purple Rain. It’s no Graffiti Bridge, but every movie can’t be perfect…

Happy Throwback Thursday from nprchives and @nprlibrary!

NPR’s pop culture blog, Monkey See, wishes the Motion Picture Association of America’s PG-13 rating a happy 30th birthday.

In 1984, Alex Kotlowitz asked moviegoers—parents, kids, and theater ticket sellers—what they thought about the new rating. You can tell it’s the ’80s by the comparisons they make between sex and violence in movies versus the same activities on television or…wait for it…CABLE.

PG-13 is pre-internet. How do you think this vox pop might be different if Alex went back in a time machine with clips from Breaking Bad and some select YouTube videos? He’d probably get arrested, first, for the time machine and second, for the YouTube content.

(Found by Kimberly Springer, library intern. Original airdate 07/09/1984 Morning Edition. Photo credit: Runnr1616, Wikimedia Commons.) 

Do you have memories of that time? Has someone shared their memories of the moon landing with you? Follow #apollo45 on Twitter. 

Tags: moon landing

Here’s some excellent archival research by NPR’s Code Switch team (with help from NPR librarian Katie Daugert) on blacks passing as East Indian or using “exotica” to navigate the Jim Crow South. This perspective complicates the conversations trending on the Internet about cultural appropriation. 

"I was Jim Crowed here, Jim Crowed there, Jim Crowed all over the place. And I didn’t like being Jim Crowed." —- Jesse Routté, who pulled off what historian Paul Kramer calls the “turban trick.”

At the time, ideas of race in America were quite literally black and white. But a few meters of cloth changed the way some people of color were treated.

Because historical context is so much better with sound from the era…

And a longer remembrance from NPR’s Bill Chappell and The Two-Way.

Marvel Entertainment made a big announcement about its new Thor series. Debuting in October, Thor—oh, ye of the might hammer—will be female. This editorial decision is way different from introducing a new female character or updating female superheros’ uniforms or hair.

Have a listen to this 1982 interview between All Things Considered’s Susan Stamberg and Marv Wolfman, who edited Wonder Woman and The New Teen Titans.

What does progress mean when it comes to gender politics in comics then and now? 

Photo credit: Alan Light, Flickr

Left to right: Dori Seda (1951-1988), Laurie Sutton, Jan Duursema, Trina Robbins, Carol Kalish, on the Women In Comics panel at the 1982 San Diego Comic Con (today called Comic-Con International). 

(Found by Kimberly Springer, library intern. Original airdate 09/23/1982.)

ATC Senior Editor Alison MacAdam sent us this first sighting (sounding?) of GPS by Deborah Amos reporting from Iraq and Saudi Arabia. 

"It’s a device that’s small enough to be held in the palm of the hand and looks like a calculator. It’s called GPS—-global positioning system." 

Original airdate 05/01/1991. Photo credit: Jimmy_Joe, Flickr

Ad from The New York Times, 1971. (via niemanlab's Josh Benton) 

Ad from The New York Times, 1971. (via niemanlab's Josh Benton

The last of the Ramones, Tommy, died this past weekend

Music critic Milo Miles reviewed the Ramones’ last tour in 1996. He summed up how many fans felt about the band, 

"…they were perfectly dopey, delightful, and defiant to the end…None of it—-the mosh pit, the crowd, the kissers—-would’ve been the same without the Ramones.” 

Found by library intern Kimberly Springer. Original airdate 02/22/1996. Illustration courtesy of Mike Licht, Flickr.