Sunday, March 25, 2012

25 March 1933 “Contemplation and a Movie”

I seem to be all apologies and excuses of late. Here it has been four days since my last post and I stand penitent before you. The excuses good be many, the fine weather of late, the pull of the garden, the endless need to prepare to sell our home, continued research in 1930’s. In fact, it is an amalgam of all those.

I find myself faced daily with the amazing amount and quality of news and politics from 1933. I think to myself, “I shall not address politics or history today, simply the home” and then innocently follow a seemingly innocent path. Yet, here in 1933, each road seems set with traps of discovery. And sometimes, I am not sure I can handle any more discovery.

While I began to see just how much the post WWII years really formulated the current post modern world, I am beginning to see how 1930’s were still ripe enough for change. We had only come out of one World War and now a huge crash in the financial system that began to run the world at the turn of the century. People were angry and mistrusting of many things and rightly so. Though I love the 1950’s and may find myself settling there again some day, I feel that the average feeling and attitude of even a simple homemaker was much more aware than her 50’s counterpart.

I don’t mean this in a mean way or that she was smarter, but that the way the world was run was still new enough that the older generations still around could recall the older ways. The time before income taxes and speculation. When the country wasn’t as heavily controlled by Wall Street and crashes happening on them. When those in charge there with power and money weren’t peopling the government as was increasingly happening. A time when something like the Glass Steagal  and the Banking Act of 1933 could be put in place to try and stop up the very cause of so much grief for so many by so few. To control such speculation between commercial banks and speculation. The very cause of the ‘29 crash.

By the 1950’s the rampant push to fine things to own and better living outweighed the voice of the older and dying generations. In a way the ‘youth is better’ atitude really began then and we didn’t want to hear any warnings or foolish talk from the old set. This was ramped up by the 1960’s. And after President Eisenhower warned, in an almost tearful speech, at the end of his long term to look out for the military industrial complex and the new President Kennedy was set to try and suppress such movements he was sadly shot. After that the Glass Stegal act began to erode until completely removed by 1999. And today, our current financial woes, much like the crash of ‘29, are mainly due to the allowance and unfettered actions of a few in speculation that affects us all en mass.

When one begins to see that our current woes were being set to not happen back in the 1930’s and to see now, from the vantage point of today, that it mattered little as it simply repeated itself, it is hard to remain up beat. When I consider all the advantage a 1930’s person had in their ability to use their own mind and make their own decisions I really wonder at we modern people. No TV, minimal radio, 1/16 of the magazines and publications available today. People were not bombarded with ‘what to think’ or ‘what side to pick’. It was a hard time in the Depression, surely, but people had resilience not only of fortitude and physical strength, but strength of mind and character. They knew to stand up for one another, to help the person being accused because maybe, just maybe, they were wrongfully so.

But, here again I find myself even in my explanation for trying to not be so focuses on the political and historical aspect of the 1930’s having so much to say. I will discuss the Glass Stegal and banking act of 1933 sometime in the future. Today, however, on this fine Sunday, let’s have some simply enjoyment.

Here is a great movie from this year, 1933, staring Buster Keaton. A well known silent film star, he made the transition into ‘talkies’. This is the sort of Depression era romp that toyed with money and having it all as an escape from the hardship and grind of the Depression years for so many. It is here in its entirety. Enjoy your Sunday afternoon and as always, Happy Homemaking.

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