Sunday, May 24

Throwback Thursday: Perusing Daily Bruin’s 1957 magazine ‘The New Pacific’

"The New Pacific" featured bombastic language and a glaring amount of Ivy League collegiate influence. (Daily Bruin archives)

When you’re stressed about work, school or the impending abyss that is the post-graduation “real world,” some light-hearted literature helps take the edge off. Between Buzzfeed quizzes, lifestyle sites and the vast array of random but entertaining websites, there’s no shortage of ways for today’s students to unwind for an hour or two. I myself frequent Thought Catalog as a guilty pleasure (and often send my favorite articles to my assistant editors).

But Bruins didn’t have any of that 60 years ago. Instead of watching silly cats on Youtube, they had to read something called a “magazine”. Yes, before social media and the internet, teens flipped through the glossy pages of magazines to get their pop culture fix.

And the Daily Bruin was no stranger to the allure of fun lifestyle articles and humorous wisecracks. The paper’s Jan. 29, 1957 issue featured its magazine “The New Pacific,” which aimed to “take a fresh interest in this awesome life” – at least according to its official creed.

The variety magazine featured a wide range of content, from fashion analyses to book reviews to semi-satirical musings on daily life at UCLA. The front page greeted readers with a sardonically wide-eyed take on the sights they could encounter in Westwood, including “leg-in-the-air girls,” “screwy girls,” “dancing girls,” “girls talking to each other,” “girls talking to boys,” “more screwy girls,” “phony girls,” and “almost anything else” – which is where I presume the campus’ entire male population was categorized.

One writer contributed his scholarly wisdom in a bullet-pointed list, complete with nuggets like, “Ten or 20 meaningless words should be memorized for use in essay tests,” and, “Never argue a point with a philosophy teaching assistant.” It just goes to show that some advice is truly timeless.

One regular magazine segment called “Fashion Corner” analyzed the latest styles and trends of the day. In early 1957, students were evidently rocking preppy Ivy League styles – pleated skirts for the girls, and plaid dress shirts for the guys.

And much like the pop-ups of the Information Age, there was no shortage of advertisements throughout the page. Local church invitations appealed to students’ better angels while Winston cigarette ads tempted their demons.

But some things never change, and to this day the Daily Bruin continues to break new ground in the world of magazine spreads. Prime, our quarterly culture and lifestyle magazine, is hitting newsstands in just a few weeks, so be sure to pick up a copy, dress up in your favorite preppy plaid shirt and read up on the latest trends of 2017.

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