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The Not-so Nifty 50's


sonofspong
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Im so sick of hearing how great the 50's were. The religious right has constantly reminded us how great the the world was back then, and how all of our societal problems would be solved if we just revereted back to that Leave it to Beaver lifestyle; where family values were upheld, and everybody in town was in church on sundays.

 

But the 50's were mearly a Hollywood myth, and far from the "perfect" society that the fundies claim it to be...

 

Needed an abortion? Forget pro-choice. You're only option was shady "doctor" who was more likely to kill you.

 

Don't count on a happy existence if you were gay, oh no. You think being gay is hard now? Gays were bashed at a horrendously alarming rate...yet no one did a damn thing about it.

 

If you were handicapped, you might---. *ahem* sorry. In the 1950's, there was no such thing as "handicapped". You were just a Fucking Freak, to be forever hidden from society.

 

Lets not forget how great life was for a non-white. Segregation, anyone?

 

Politicians, as well as some other officials, would love to revert to the 50's. Back then, they were even more manipulative, and more powerful. Comic book fans, ever heard of that asshole Fredric Wertham? Or how bout good ol' senator McCarthy? There were few people who could challenge them.

 

We always hear how "good ol' decent Americans" were sooo much more moral then than today. But thats bullshit. Humans have always been the same, regardless of what society. The difference today is that we are starting to see through some of these lies.

 

If anything, I think people have generally gotten more moral than they were in the past. Even if its just a little. People constantly bitch and moan about how crime rate has soared, yet they dont realize crime has always been the same. It just isn't reported as much in some places..

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Wertham... *Ack* I read "Seduction of the Innocent", or at least parts of it, in the anthology All in Color for a Dime. Scared the crap outta me that anyone could be that stoopid.

 

Fifties were dark days indeed, although I was only around for the last two and a half years of the decade. Golden Age? No, iron pyrite.

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Yeah, 'cause back in the 50's, you could beat up your wife and kids at home, even if they didn't deserve it, whilst maintaining the public facade of the Traditional Family Values All American Family. Of course, nowadays it's considered a crime, which really sux.

 

(note sarcasm)

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dont forget the ol mood disorder cure....metal hook through the eye into the brain and cutting the prefrontal cortex.

you know the good old days.

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It is informative to know that the "popular culture" or at least the perception of such in and of the 1950's was deliberately manufactured. If you look at American culture in the 1920's, it was very liberal and open. Einsenhower believed that this looseness was a contributing cuase of the depression and subsequent world war. The Eisenhower administration made a deliberate decision to promote "morality" by regulation of TV, radio, etc. The reality is that people still did what people have always done. They had sex, drank, partied, etc. This was also when it was still accepted to discriminate against non-whites, against people with differing political views, etc. The 1950's of popular imagination are just that, they were imaginary.

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Don't forget the lynchings down south - they were still happening in the 50's.

 

I think the biggest objection any rational person has about the 50's is the smug, self-assured beliefs of the ruling class that they were the greatest society in the world and they had everything figured out. In reality, all they did was sweep a lot of problems under the rug.

 

Also, for the record I hate most 50's cars. Way too much gaudy flash. The cars of the 40's were a lot cooler, IMO.

 

Also also, rock music/beatniks/jazz = the 50's only great contributions to society. None of them were mainstream supporters of the establishment.

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Ah, the “Wonderful 50’s”

 

Although I was born in 1960, in many ways I do feel like I experience the 50’s too. I grew up on a cul-de-sac; six houses on each side of a dead-end street in suburban Los Angeles. The houses were all built in 1949 and were bought by returning WWII GIs and their new brides. By the time I was born most of the homes had three to five children each. None of the moms worked, and the street was deserted of cars until dad came home that evening. It was SO 50’s!

 

My life seemed very “Leave It To Beaver” like and to me that program did not seem strange at all; my neighborhood was not quite as affluent, but the actors on that show were reflected in the people I knew. Little did I know that behind all those nicely painted homes and well manicured lawns, hell on Earth was in progress. It was not until my late teens that I learned that about 40% of neighborhood friends were physically abused and the sisters of my best friend (two doors down) were victims of incest!

 

I totally lucked out and had parents who never abused me emotionally or physically. In many respects it feels like my childhood was a television program edited by Christian fundys. I was never allowed to see the truth, and the truth was never allowed to interfere with my viewing pleasure. Everyone must have assumed that everyone else was doing fine and they were the only ones in crisis. This is the world the fundys want back. They want to put their blinders on again and ‘pretend’ that everything is just fine.

 

IBF

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I so know what you mean. I came across a book called "How America Lost it's Innocence" on abstance site for boys. It's even came with a sickingly cute cover pic of two whitebread 50's-era teens sharing a shake. I just wanted to vomit.

 

Just ask my grandma on my mother's side of the family and my Aunt Donna about how 50's family values really worked. Let's not forget about how a lot of people who had ancestory in some of those eastern European countries (Italy, Poland, etc) were treated because they didn't fit the WASP ideal of what a human being should be. And the rampart paranoia and hatrid towards anything that was different.

 

I would sudjest the game Destroy All Human, which does a brilliant satire on the 50's and all it's hypocrasy and paranoia.

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But the 50's were mearly a Hollywood myth, and far from the "perfect" society that the fundies claim it to be...

 

Don't forget about that fun lil' ol Korean War.

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Ok, some of the cars of the 50's were pretty nice. Thats about it.
*cough*Rock'n Roll*cough*

 

Name me one good rock song from the 50s sung by anyone white.

 

"Good" is pretty subjective, in the ear of the beholder & all that stuff, but Elvis recorded a ditty or two in the 50s. Or maybe that's considered rockabilly or country, or hell, I don't know. I'm not a music historian.

 

Another good thing about the 50s was television. If the weather conditions were just right, you could pick up two or maybe even three stations. Far superior to our 500+ station choices of today.

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What was so great about the 50's? I wasn't alive then, but I always thought the 50's were the era of the cold war and McCarthyism and people constantly living in fear of Russia dropping bombs on the US. Maybe the whole "Leave it to Beaver" thing was a reaction to communism, and to delude people into believing that even though they might be vaporized at any time, everything is A-ok in Mayberry!

 

Honestly, I think if it wasn't for McCarthyism there never would the whole morality thing in the 50's I think it was a reaction to communism, not that people were actually any more moral than they are now. People were scared and they didn't know what else to do, that's what I think anyway.

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I like a lot of those old shows. I know life was not like Andy in Mayberry, but the tv shows were fun.

 

The Beach Boys and Elvis were two of the greatest things about the '50s. You can't be down when you hear either of them :58:

 

The cars were rather cool, but they were mostly too spaceshippy for me. I ceased to appreciate automotive design from the 40s till the mid 60s or so, with the advent of the muscle cars.

 

The sheer fact the Soviet Union existed with the power and influence it had back then is reason enough to dislike the 50s. Many technological advancements came about during the stress of the Cold War, but I still despise the Soviets for what they did to Europe and will never forgive FDR and Churchill for selling out Eastern Europe to Stalin at Yalta, the fucks.

 

I am fine with the era in which I live. When I was a Traditionalist Catholic, I really admired the 50s and similar periods for the strength the Church had in Catholic neighborhoods. Where I grew up in Trenton, NJ, the echoes of that time were still very observable in my old Catholic school and church. To think on that period still brings forth a weird nostalgia, but it is sobered considerably by the facts of Xianity's fallacies as well as the truth that those times were not nearly as perfect as others would have us think.

 

I'm happy with now. It could be much better, and really sucks in a lot of ways, but living in the past just isn't for me anymore.

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"Good" is pretty subjective, in the ear of the beholder & all that stuff, but Elvis recorded a ditty or two in the 50s. Or maybe that's considered rockabilly or country, or hell, I don't know.

 

Yes, I know. I was just teasing. In any case, I'm not a big Elvis or Beach Boys fan. I would much rather listen to the blues musicians that Elvis got his inspiration from. There was some pretty cool music from the big band era prior to the 50s, but IMO the 50s was a dark spot in music history, much like the disco era of the 70s. Perhaps my opinions are tainted by the garbage my father likes to listen to though. :shrug:

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Ah, the “Wonderful 50’s”

 

Although I was born in 1960, in many ways I do feel like I experience the 50’s too. I grew up on a cul-de-sac; six houses on each side of a dead-end street in suburban Los Angeles. The houses were all built in 1949 and were bought by returning WWII GIs and their new brides. By the time I was born most of the homes had three to five children each. None of the moms worked, and the street was deserted of cars until dad came home that evening. It was SO 50’s!

 

My life seemed very “Leave It To Beaver” like and to me that program did not seem strange at all; my neighborhood was not quite as affluent, but the actors on that show were reflected in the people I knew. Little did I know that behind all those nicely painted homes and well manicured lawns, hell on Earth was in progress. It was not until my late teens that I learned that about 40% of neighborhood friends were physically abused and the sisters of my best friend (two doors down) were victims of incest!

 

I totally lucked out and had parents who never abused me emotionally or physically. In many respects it feels like my childhood was a television program edited by Christian fundys. I was never allowed to see the truth, and the truth was never allowed to interfere with my viewing pleasure. Everyone must have assumed that everyone else was doing fine and they were the only ones in crisis. This is the world the fundys want back. They want to put their blinders on again and ‘pretend’ that everything is just fine.

 

IBF

 

That is very insightful IBF and rings true.

 

Taph

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"Good" is pretty subjective, in the ear of the beholder & all that stuff, but Elvis recorded a ditty or two in the 50s. Or maybe that's considered rockabilly or country, or hell, I don't know.

 

Yes, I know. I was just teasing. In any case, I'm not a big Elvis or Beach Boys fan. I would much rather listen to the blues musicians that Elvis got his inspiration from. There was some pretty cool music from the big band era prior to the 50s, but IMO the 50s was a dark spot in music history, much like the disco era of the 70s. Perhaps my opinions are tainted by the garbage my father likes to listen to though. :shrug:

 

 

Personally I think of The Beach Boys as a more 60's thing. Good, 50's and white? Buddy Holly. IMHO

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Good, 50's and white? Buddy Holly. IMHO

 

I forgot about Roy Orbison. I like his music a lot. He was also more 60s, but I just saw a special on him and his first hit was something like 1956.

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Yeah, 'cause back in the 50's, you could beat up your wife and kids at home, even if they didn't deserve it, whilst maintaining the public facade of the Traditional Family Values All American Family. Of course, nowadays it's considered a crime, which really sux.

 

(note sarcasm)

 

 

Um, excuse me Narcissist, but kids and wives ALWAYS deserve it.

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Yeah, 'cause back in the 50's, you could beat up your wife and kids at home, even if they didn't deserve it, whilst maintaining the public facade of the Traditional Family Values All American Family. Of course, nowadays it's considered a crime, which really sux.

 

(note sarcasm)

 

 

Um, excuse me Narcissist, but kids and wives ALWAYS deserve it.

 

Just like Jews and Black people!

 

:eek:

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People constantly bitch and moan about how crime rate has soared, yet they dont realize crime has always been the same. It just isn't reported as much in some places..

 

Actually, the crime rate has lowered. Have you ever heard of "moral panic"? I remember some bored housewife writing in to the local newspaper. Some of the school buses were refusing to make a stop every 2 houses. This woman complained because she wanted to be able to see her kid from the front window to make sure no black homeless criminals from hurricane Katrina would come and abduct/rape/stab/kill her kid. What a freak. Need a life, anyone?

 

The reason everybody is in such paranoia about the (actually lowered) crime rate is because of the media. Sometime in the 70's, the media discovered that people weren't interested in reassurances that their world was perfect; things sold better if they promoted widespread panic. So throughout the 80's and 90's and today, the media message has revolved about the simple idea of spreading the lie that the sky is falling and there's little to nothing you can do about it but keep watching the news for updates to make sure a piece of the comet doesn't fall on you. :ugh:

 

I think the biggest objection any rational person has about the 50's is the smug, self-assured beliefs of the ruling class that they were the greatest society in the world and they had everything figured out. In reality, all they did was sweep a lot of problems under the rug.

 

Indeed, Americans in the 1950's had the same idea that Romans had in the first century: Everyone who is not one of us is a barbarian. Only by becoming like us can anyone truly be civilized. Why else do you think the US Army handed over control of the Korean people to the missionaries? Not only were they people who already spoke Korean, but since Christianity is the only way to become a clean-cut, civilized person, those nasty cannibal dog-eating Buddhists were going to be like little American people in no time.

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