A Home is Made of Feelings

By Bobby Buscher

Objects are inherently meaningless and can also have a proliferation of meanings. Similarly, a home follows the same idea as objects. A home is not just a building with a roof, but a place filled with meaningful objects. The objects are parts of a larger sum, that being the home and its significance. The home and the objects filling it act as an “archive of feelings” and a projection of a constructed social status (Cvetkovich 112 ). The objects allow a glimpse of the composer’s valued mentalities. Examining some of the objects from Bobby Buscher’s home illustrates an appreciation of personal spaces that are modest in appearance but personally significant, and objects that foster contemplation, reflection, emotion reaction, and, overall, a further enrichment of the objects and personal space.

“Bobby’s Buscher’s Bookcase and Couch,” [2014] Courtesy of Austin Buscher.

“Bobby’s Buscher’s Bookcase and Couch,” [2014] Courtesy of Austin Buscher.

Over many years Bobby has accumulated many books quicker than he can read them, as his enjoyment of reading and learning has grown since the eighth grade. Bobby gets enjoyment from owning the books seen above and the many more hidden away in cardboard boxes. Into his college career, Bobby has grown fonder of the exchanges of ideas. For Bobby, the book represent sources of knowledge that he has gained and can reference and reexamine to stay familiar with a text or author. They demonstrate how he wishes to be thought of: as thoughtful and a learner.

The objects in a home serve a purpose beyond their intended application, such as performing a personality or appearance of status. For example, the film The Queen of Versailles captures Jackie and David Siegel’s building of America’s largest home: 90,000 square feet with over a dozen bathrooms and $5 million of Chinese marble.  The house and its contents is one’s ultimate status symbol. “Bobby’s Buscher Bookcase” offers a couch for sitting and reading from the bookcase. Bobby’s constructed status is not of decadence, but of cultural acquisition and reflection on ideas.

“Music Speaker and Music Albums” [2014] Courtesy of Austin Buscher.

“Music Speaker and Music Albums,” [2014] Courtesy of Austin Buscher.

The speakers came from Tom Buscher. Originally the speakers were used in his work office until they were given to Bobby in high school. Interest in The Doors also came from Tom Buscher. The exact date of introduction to The Doors is unknown, but Bobby began to listen to them in the eighth grade, and from that time his interest and studying of the music and band members grew. Discussion of band members and lyrics developed greater appreciation of music, history, and overall, learning.

Cvetkovich notes that “affects–associated with nostalgia, personal memory, fantasy, and trauma–make a document significant,” and the document allows for a study of the individual (Cvetovich 112). Superficially, the speakers and albums tell us some of Bobby’s musical interests. More important is the history Bobby has with music. The speakers were given to him by his father, and The Doors, too, came from his father. Music grounds moments of Bobby’s life and feelings, such as driving to the shore with his father, and a feeling of ease in the car while listening to The Dark Side of the Moon. Music recalls discussion with his father and brother dissecting lyrics and song meaning. Music is more than instruments and lyrics; it is a device to recall the past with all of its pleasures and pains.

“Bobby Buscher’s Bed” [2014] Courtesy of Austin Buscher.

“Bobby Buscher’s Bed,” [2014] Courtesy of Austin Buscher.

For many people the bed is the center of their bedroom, and the same holds for Bobby. This bed has belonged to Bobby since he was three to five years old. For as long as Bobby can remember he has always treated his bed as a place of both rest and work. From high school to college he has spent many hours reading, writing, typing, and sleeping in this bed. It is a place he feels most comfortable and at ease to concentrate on studying without anxiety to find a place that seems conducive to concentration and diligence.

Most people might think of a bed as a place of comfort and sleeping. For Bobby, comfort is found in a place that offers little physical and mental agitation. He feels his bed is that ideal place of comfort that is conducive to working and relaxing. Like the couch near the bookcase, the bed is not cluttered with pillows or elaborately colored and patterned.

The creation of home and domesticity pulls from various materials and capital. Through material and capital consumption the home becomes a place to deposit values, emotions, and constructed status. Thinking about how Bobby has developed spaces in his home, we can see that the objects have depth beyond their superficial appearance and use. The materials offers glimpses of Bobby’s appreciations and how he wants others to think of him.

This post was completed as part of an assignment interpreting the “material culture” of home, and how objects, keepsakes, and ephemera from our domestic lives contribute to our social identities. For additional information on the assignment, please visit: https://americanstudiesmediacultureprogram.wordpress.com/the-concept-of-home-spring-2014-the-archeology-of-home/

 

ASMCP on the Move

“Bus Stop Woes” Courtesy of RU Meme: the Memes of Rutgers University.

In the ASMCP Spring 14 meetings we have been working on compiling research on the issues of transportation here at Rutgers, with more attention on the Rutgers busing system. In relation to the transportation theme project I have primarily focused on finding writings about the busing system and other writings that relate to issues involving the busing system and overall transportation on campus. Most gathered writings have come from The Daily Targum, but other research was taken from an University address by former Rutgers President Richard McCormick. Information was also found, or a lack of attention or information was discovered, in the 2014 University Strategic Plan. The PDF, downloaded by the embedded link, has little written about the current status of transportation on campus, see page 40 of the Plan itself or the 42nd scanned page. Using the Address by McCormick and the University Strategic Plan I hoped to offer some periodization of the transportation concerns from the most recent past University president to the current president. The Daily Targum articles offered thoughts and concerns that have been voiced and can be used to further advance the Rutgers transportation themed project in ASMCP, while simultaneously highlighting the articles’ concerns themselves.

Thinking about the direction of our project for the future more research concerning stated thoughts or opinion by President Barchi; finding if the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) has any opinions or given attention to transportation and the busing system on campus; as well as the transportation’s impact on faculty and staff members of the University from arriving on campus and navigating internally at a campus and among other campuses can be helpful in form and giving depth to the project.

Concerning my own vein and performed researching I have not found any thoughts by President Barchi concerning issues of transportation. Rather than assuming the President has avoided or offered no comments about transportation at the University it necessary to review Addresses and recorded or transcribed meeting to see if he has made or acknowledged concerns involving the buses and transportation. An area worth examining is the Strategic Planing meeting that have pasted in conjugation with the University Strategic Plan.

Second, RUSA is a student body government of the University that concerns themselves with issues at the University. I have not looked into the organization, but it is likely that they  have had some thoughts about transportation and the buses on campus as a student populated organization. If any information is found that was voiced by the RUSA it would be interesting to note when such a thought was voiced, was it acknowledged from a University administration, and if the concern was remedied.

Third, nothing from the faculty and staff’s view point was yet discovered. The buses and issues of parking are a dominating and overt experiences here at Rutgers. Informal remarks are occasionally made in class meetings by faculty, but it would be rewarding for the project to find a more formal comments about the current status of transportation and its impact on University employees. The buses are not exclusive to the students, so concerns and accounts of transportation should include other parties that are effected. Thinking of starting points to perform research might include reviewing Addresses where faculty have posed questions in the question and answer sessions. Other areas include newsletters and opinions written and circulated on campus.

Collectively ASMCP has unearthed great sources of information and research, but more work and research is still  needed. Together we needed to find where holes and gaps are present in our current own research and in the project as a whole. Next we can work together to fill those gaps and support the logical concludes we find ourselves moving towards. Moving towards connecting our research with our compiled storyboard it might be useful to capture live and actual footage of topics raised in our research that are relevant with our storyboard to help ground our project in a physical sensibility rather than detached sense of highlighting concerns with offered solutions that would not actualizing more impressing methods of consciousness raising.

Selling America as the Land of Commodities

By Bobby Buscher

“the night before Christmas put Packard-Bell all through your house,” [1956] Courtesy of Ad*Access, John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History, Duke University.

This advisement for televisions and radios by Packard-Bell appeared in Sunset Magazine in 1956. The spread portrays the typical interior of a suburban home — a stair case leading to a second story, a carpeted floor, modern television and radio set — that is completed with a young son and daughter. During the postwar years, middle-class affluence became more accessible as did the comforts and leisure envisioned with a middle-class social status. The commodity-filled suburban home offered comfort and technological advancement that championed American free-market capitalism over communism.

With the end of the Second World War, America entered the Cold War against the Soviet Union. America’s concern with the spread of communism and radicalism lead former Vice President Richard Nixon to curate a 1959 exhibit of America’s technological advancements in Moscow. Dubbed the Kitchen Debate, Nixon showcased the ideal suburban home filled with the most modern appliances and consumer goods — a house, car, and a television (May, 155). The suburban home and displays of middle-class affluence became weapons against the spread of communism and radicalism. Advertisements and products of the World War years helped foster multiple aims simultaneously: one, the ads supported a free market enterprise; two, they supported suburban and middle-class affluence; three, advertisements associated with technological advancements reduced excreted energy and the amount of time it took to complete a task using the new device; and finally, these advertisements and devices operated as a largely implicit strategy for stigmatizing communism and bolstering American patriotism through offering images and mentalities of comfort and tranquility.

“”Eveready” Radio Batteries visit Eddie Cantor and the Mad Russian,” [1948] Courtesy of Ad*Access, John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History, Duke University.

The U.S. involvement in World War II ended in 1945, but immediately after, the U.S. enter a second war–the Cold War with Soviet Russia. Analogously referred to as a race between the U.S. and Russia, the Cold War was a technological race between the two superpowers: an arms race and a commodity race. In the advertisement from Time Magazine, “’Eveready’ Radio Batteries visit Eddie Cantor and the Mad Russian,” the “Mad” Russian is satirized for resorting to conducting electricity through the friction between his boots and a rug to charge a radio. The technological and savvy American Eddie Carter advises the crazy Russian scientist about the long lasting sustainability of “Eveready” batteries. The Soviet Union’s quick industrialization and technological advances are still far away from America’s scientific and technological advancements in the ad. From the advertisement’s vantage point, Americans have master electricity, and made it portable through long lasting batteries while Russians apparently have yet to master the principles of electricity and must use friction to charge their portable radios. The American free market has produced technological advancements while the Soviet Union under communism is shuffling its feet to catch up in technological achievements and scientific research.

During the postwar years, popular images of the American family consisted of a nuclear family–mother, father, and a son or daughter. The popular images of the American family were a   middle-class suburban home with a green lawn. The appearance of the lawn was just as important as the appearance of the house or the interior and furniture and appliance found indoors. The lawn was a maker of social status as much as anything else found in the suburban home. The lawns of Levittown, an early suburban residence, were composed of Kentucky bluegrass, and became part of the growing commodity culture of the postwar years (Steinberg, 66).  Many suburbanites vigilantly watched over their lawn, fertilizing, seeding, and water it to maintain the rich and lush dark green appearance. Americans obsessed over the look of their lawns. Companies developed ways to care for lawns that heavily fertilized them to ensure the appearance of a healthy and green looking front lawn. Ted Steinberg quotes Antony Giordano that “People want their lawns to look good so their neighbors will see it. I’ve written $350 contracts in living rooms that didn’t even have furniture–people would rather have a good lawn than a couch” (Steinberg, 75). Americans’ front lawns were so important to the image of affluence and vision of domestic, suburban tranquility that large investments were made to upkeep an appearance of middle-class affluence even if the home was not furnished.

While the American lawn was an exterior beacon of the achievements under an American free-market enterprise, the interior of the home had to be equally dazzling with the latest time-saving devices. Many ideas were proposed to reduce the stress of laundry and cooking dinner. When people formed cooperative groups to ease the work involved in preparing meals and clean clothes, they were condemned as un-American practices. In the early twentieth century, such cooperative enterprises were accused of being “red,” or communist operations. This stigma on cooperative over commercialized work reinforced the “quintessentially American solution to the problem of housework [through] commercialization. Thus the commercialization moved in the home in the form of appliances. In the first five postwar years consumer spending increased 60 percent and home furniture and appliances increased 240 percent” (May, 157). The time and energy saving appliances had “tremendous propaganda value, for it was the affluent homes…that provided evidence of the superiority of the American way of life” (May, 159). The home appliance championed the American free market by offering the American family  their own autonomy and luxury in choosing appliances and domestic technological advancements simultaneously.

The postwar commodity culture offered labor saving appliances, images of tranquility, and a bulwark against the spread of communism and radicalism. America’s technological advancements offered a championing ring for the American free market. The 1959 Kitchen Debate positioned the suburban and middle class consumer culture of the postwar years as the weapon of America against Soviet Russia and communism while simultaneously championing the American free market.  The American suburban home was sold to fellow Americans as the American way and overall goal of Americans.

“American Kitchens,” [1951] Courtesy of Adflip.

At the exhibit in Moscow which showcased America’s technological advancements, Nixon chose to use the American kitchen as the case study for America’s technological superiority. Nixon touted that the modern kitchen with all of the newest appliances will save women and housewives time and energy from the drudgery of preparing and cooking meals as well as reduce the time and effort involved in cleaning. As the advertisement reads, turning one’s old, ugly kitchen in the new, modern kitchen will be “step-saving.” The markers of modern technological advancements are the appliances’ ability to cut down the quality of time and energy needed and exerted.

This post was completed as an assignment for the American Studies course, “The Concept of Home.”  A list of the readings that informed this assignment can be found here

 

When She Leaves for America She Won’t Come Back the Same

When She Leaves for America She Won’t Come Back the Same

By Bobby Buscher

“Americanization Through Homemaking,” 1929. Courtesy of the Library of Congress: American Memory: Immigration, American Expansion.

The visual Americanization Through Homemaking, written by Pearl Idelia Ellis , offers assimilation to Mexican women into the American imagination through domestic labor and gendered roles. Courses include methods of food preparation, child rearing, and monetary budgeting. The instructional guide offers an American identity by instructing Mexican immigrants in gender and domestic practices of American women. Mexican immigrant women that moved to the U.S. were absorbed into American paradigms of domestic conquest.

In Manifest Domesticity, Amy Kaplan writes that the home is often imagined as a microcosm of the nation (Kaplan, 582). The home then fosters national policy and customs as well as educates the unfamiliar with the customs, values, and expectations of the nation. The home is often positioned as the natural or proper place of women and mothers. Women and mothers become civic servants to advance national policy, cultural expectations, and methods of inclusion and assimilation into the nation through domestic practices. For many migrants and immigrants, the U.S. sought to incorporate them into national culture and sovereignty by removing them from their original home, Americanizing them,  and having the women return to their families and export the new American customs, values, and expectations to their families for the purpose of duplication.

In the latter half of the 19th century, American Indians were removed from their homes to be made American by stripping them of their traditional cultural practices and replacing them with U.S. cultural expectations via boarding school education. Many of the boarding schools are marked with an arch dividing savagery from civilization (Archuleta, 24). Through traveling under the arch the American Indian leaves her home and is “detribalized, [made] fluent and literate in English, economically self-sufficient, hardworking, and self-disciplined (Archuleta, 56). At the schools, the American Indian women are introduced to methods of housekeeping, dress making, child rearing, and culinary arts (Archuleta, 116).  The school transmitted images and beliefs of a modern and civilized domestic setting for women to occupy and cultivate. It also exposed the “‘civilized’ standards of familial affection and love” to their parents (Archuleta, 58-59).

The process of Americanization is tied to notions of domesticity and often rails on women, in particular mothers, as the pillars supporting the nation because in women’s homes are the nation’s future citizens. The nation’s well being is the responsibility of the mother because

SHE is responsible for the cleanliness of her house.

SHE is responsible for the wholesomeness of the food.

SHE is responsible for the children’s health.

SHE, above all, is responsible for their morals, for their sense of truth, of honesty and decency, for what they turn out to be.

Excerpt from “Women in the Home: National American Woman Suffrage Association,” 1910. Courtesy of the Library of Congress: American Memory: Immigration, American Expansion.

The quote is taken from a National American Woman Suffrage Association pamphlet. The pamphlet is dated 1910 and is from the organization’s headquarters in New York. The pamphlet argues for women’s right to vote so that mothers can better ensure the health and safety of their children as well as amend the failings of husbands and men that have negatively impacted homes and the nation as a whole. In the claim for equal voting rights, there is a position of women as defenders of the home. With the power to vote, women can ensure the well being of their children by combating poor regulations that impact the meats and produce fed to her family. It is the duty of women to be care providers that are naturally disposed to be protective and morally aware.

Americanization through domesticity follows some paternalistic tropes and ideas. Organizations that teach domestic practices control the person’s behavior by imposing rules on the person to mold them into a predetermined design (Crawford). The YWCA organizations are “moral oases” for young women that have left their home (Matt, 142). There, the young are showed the “amenities of idealized middle-class home: a piano, a parlor, a library, a sewing room” (Matt, 142). Not all immigrants stayed in he U.S., but upon returning home some built American houses (Matt, 161). Part of Americanization through domesticity is to spread ideal notions of the home.

MOTHERS need the ballot to regulate the moral conditions under which their children must be brought up.

Excerpt from “Why women want to vote. Women are citizens, and wish to do their civic duty.,” 1910. Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress: American Memory: Immigration, American Expansion.

A pamphlet from the National American Woman Suffrage Association in New York dated 1910. The pamphlet shares the same request for women’s right to vote as the previous pamphlet. The quote above continues the gendered notion that mothers are responsible for the morality of their children and the environmental factors that influence the child’s moral development.  The similar argumentative framework, that mothers need the ability to vote to endorse policies that ensure the health and welling of their children, is reproduced and creates power in numbers for asserting a gendered discourse pertaining to women and mothers. The more often an argument is asserted in multiple articulations, even in quite similar modes, the more the argument is held to be true. Here the repetition continues the notion that mothers are responsible for the moral upbringing of their children, more so than the father.

When leaving home to come to the U.S., women were Americanized through domestic practices that included them in an American imagination with a hope of exporting the domestic and gendered practices to others during a return to their original homes. Immigration and internal migrants distanced women from their home and traditional activities. When away from home, the import and adoption of new practices became easier, and it replaced old ideas. Women that left their home for the U.S. did not return to their home they left as they were, but as Americanized and spreading their new customs.

“Two Phases Of Emigration,” 1878. Courtesy of North America Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories.

This visual is from Harper’s Magazine dated 1878. The caption on the right read “Europe’s Contribution to America,” suggesting that European immigration to America brought undisciplined and refined settlers. On the left the caption reads “America’s Contribution to Europe,” suggesting that America has refined and cultivated the settlers, and are bringing their civil American customs to share with Europe. The return to native lands is to demonstrate superior behavior and methods of living.

This post was completed as an assignment for the American Studies course, “The Concept of Home.”  A list of the readings that informed this assignment can be found here.  

Break on Through to the Other Side of Taste

In 1967 The Doors released their self titled debut album to positive reviews with a review calling The Doorsan album of magnitude.The album reached No.2 on the billboard 200 chart, staying there for two week. The album holding the No.1 position was The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band The album reached its No.2 chart position with the assistance of a billboard on the Sunset Strip urging drivers and pedestrians to “break on through with an electrifying album.” This endeavor was the first of its kind and led to large album sales.

doors_billboard_[1967]

To match the billboard advisement the band released the single “Break On Through (To The Other Side). Besides being the first single and track from the album the song is steeped in complexities in its, musical composition, lyrical message and time of release. A thorough analysis of the song provides deep understanding and appreciation of its composition, message, artist, and textures all involved in contributing to the song.

John Densmore, percussionist for the band, began the song  with an interesting stylistic choice. Densmore, a jazz style percussionist, provided a backbone to the song with a Brazilian bossa nova beat. Densmore adopted the bossa nova style by replacing the stick and brush technique with two sticks to stiffen the sound making it more appropriate for rock and roll. The Latino influence continued with Ray Manzarek’s keyboard an organ playing and progressed to the sound of Ray Charles. Not innocent of appropriation any more than the other musicians’ contribution to the song, the guitar riff by Robby Krieger was derived from “Shake Your Money Maker” by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Krieger shifted the beat in “Shake Your Money Maker” to create the riff in “Break On Through.”  The instrumental composition drew from a wide breathe of musicians and musical styles to make something new.

Just as important to the composition and understanding of the song are the lyrics and where they pull meaning from. Jim Morrison, the singer of The Doors and lyricist for “Break On Through,” mixes poetics with philosophical concern. It is necessary to state some historical context to ground the lyrics. The 1960s atmosphere shifted from a quiet, unquestioning following of authority to a pandemoniac questioning of authority and taboos. The lyrics urged the listener to exert their own determination by shaking off “arms that chain us” and “eyes that lie.” Such restrictive controls could have been interpreted as parental authority as many young people moved to San Francisco in unprecedented numbers in the 1960s.

Another method of rebellion from authority and its controlling parameters was through the use of drugs. Marijuana  and LSD became increasing popular in the 1960s. The Haight-Ashbury district of  San Francisco became synonymous with hallucinogens like LSD and its distribution by Owsley Stanley, an underground LSD manufacturer and the Grateful Dead’s sound engineer. Jim Morrison was a participant of the drug culture, and believed in the expansion of the consciousness. Morrison was a reader of the Romantic poet William Blake, and Blake’s quote “the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom” resonates in the song lyrics. In the original lyrics of the song was intended to be sung “she gets high/ she gets high/ she gets high/ she gets high yeah,” but due to censorship the use of “high” was removed. It would not till the 40th anniversary release of the album that the song would be distributed with the original lyrics in the recording. Drug use was a popular method to transcend what many young people believed were oppressive norms and mores.

“Break on Through” is indivisible from the  culture  it is made in, and only by probing the layers of the song: musical composition, lyrical message, and time  and environment in which it was created can the listener have a complete understanding and appreciation of the song.

Here is a documentary no only on the song “Break On Through,” but the whole album, The Doors.

Expanding the Humanities Beyond the Classroom

happy computer crowd

The Digital Humanities provides new and extended scope to the composition of scholarship in the humanities with incorporating electronic technologies to preserve, document, further develop disciplinary methodologies, and overall challenge traditional means of studies.

Digital Humanities extends access to learning and the liberal arts to anyone with an internet connection.

The Data narratives and structural histories: Melville, Maury, and American whaling page illustrates the use of online technology’s ability to widen access to scholarship, through online media, such as videos, that not only provide interpretations, but different methods of academic work other than the typical academic paper. Digital Humanities, illustrated in the Data narratives and structural histories: Melville, Maury, and American whaling, supports the idea that the humanities and academia share a goal to provide personal growth and improvement. The best way to reach these aims in a digital age is through online media. The Digital Humanities offers growth and improvement to those that don’t have the access to the humanities through a university or college. The Digital Humanities requires a computer, an internet connection, and an interest to learn.

The access to learning and exchanging information through electronic, digital, and online technologies offers fresh thinking that advances beyond stagnant learning and teaching methods. One of the biggest online means of information exchange is YouTube.  The online site gives people the platform to  share their opinions, music, and projects. YouTube provides an avenue to promote education and expand the methods of teaching.

Crash course logo

The YouTube channel CrashCourse is an educational formatted video series that touch on areas of science, history, and literature. In the videos, either John Green or, his brother, Hank Green discuss, in an animated manner, topics like the importance of literature, the Roaring Twenties, and various scientific workings.

In a media soaked culture, attention spans are shrinking, and it becomes necessary to be able be advance ideas quickly. The CrashCourse videos condense lesson to roughly 10 to 14 minute videos. John or Hank Green achieve exchanging large amounts of information in short videos by rapid speaking. The rapid speech is an direct reaction to brevity in the digital age. It is necessary to express as much information as possible in as little time as possible. The rapid fire pace of the videos make the videos initially hard to internalize, but the viewer has the ability to rewind the video as much as the viewer wants.

Not only is it important to discuss ideas concisely, but to be creative and engaging. The video continues to hold the viewer’s interest through cartoon imaginary. The videos splice entertainment and eduction with cartoon animation. Cartoon characters are used to visually explain or highlight aspects of the video. The visual stimulus works to further secure the viewer’s attention. A new stimulus is introduced to the viewer, but a cartoon visual that is recognizable and palatable to a teen age demographic, but the intellectual endeavor of the video make the videos attention grabbing just as well.

Examining the CrashCourse video The Roaring 20’s: Crash Course US History #32 John Green discusses the 1920s through verbal and visual means. John Greens begins the videos with highlighting the topics of discuss such as jazz, the automobile, new methods of courtship, consumer culture to mention a few. The introduction of the topics are as quickly raised as they are followed with visuals to punctuate the topic, and process continues throughout video.  He moves throughout out the video quickly and easily to different topics with brevity and humor. The decade involved an increased public access to automobile that changed courtship. John Green jokes that automobile were nicknamed “skoodilypooping chariots” before stating they were actually nicknamed “brothels on wheels.” The combination of humor with learning makes the video fun and engaging, removing notions that learning has to be dull or dry and disconnecting. The video continues to provide a layer learning experience through cartoon animation to enhance the audio. Cartoon animation gives a visual underscore to the unequal spread of prosperity of the decade that followed the expansion of industry while simultaneously making the videos palatable to young viewers, but not alienating anyone interested in  serious historical learning. Overall the video captures the challenges the Digital Humanities proposes to tradition academies: how scholarship is presented and document, methods of engaging the audience, and how learning is made accessible to people.

CrashCourse presents a more enjoyable learning experience than sitting in front of a textbook and reading academic speak for hours about the implications of buying goods and services on credit for the U.S. economy. The videos mix the lessons of the classroom with the visual stimulus of smart and funny narration and illustration.