In Memories of the Ford Administration, by John Updike, what does Clayton's objective research on popular culture during the Ford administration turn up?

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the book Memories of the Ford Administration by John Updike, Clayton seems to give Gerald Ford an endorsement as a good president, but he does not give the same glowing endorsement to popular culture.  Clayton seems to believe that the offerings of American popular culture during the 1970's was pretty bland.  The popular music of the day is without variety in terms of content, subject, and style.  This is demonstrated by Clayton in the following passage:

No, wait—”Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” rings a faint bell, I can almost hum it, and the same goes for “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” if it’s not the same song. In fact, all twenty- five titles give me the uneasy sensation of being the same song.

Clayton did not partake in popular movies or novels of the era either.  These did not interest him either.  He was going through a separation with his wife and was not occupied by popular culture during this time.  This is mentioned by Clayton twice, including in this passage.  

As I’ve said, I was preoccupied by personal affairs, and had the radio in my little apartment turned to WADM—all classical, with newsbreaks on the hour of only a minute or two.

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