Remember when we all thought it would be so cool that we’re soon going to live in the Roaring 20s again? We’ve started off much the same way the 1920s did: a global rise in misinformation, political insurgencies, and a surge of racially-focused nationalistic fascism. Conspiracy theories are the new news, just like 1920. A world we thought was unstoppable is being held to ransom by a pandemic we just can’t seem to get on top of. The NAACP were marching in cities from 1917, just like BLM are doing now – we’ve had any number of Doctor Ossian Sweets. The Ku Klux Klan became a major political power – although I don’t think the President called them “very fine people.” We’re not recovering from a World War – that’s one departure we can be thankful for – but World War One didn’t go on for nineteen years either, unlike the Middle Eastern conflicts our beloved leaders keep us involved in.
If we’re going to remain consistent, I have a few notes for the Powers That Be.
- Ruth Bader Ginsberg is gone, but somewhere very soon there should be a Carrie Chapman Catt about to put in an appearance. Please don’t delay this any further.
- There’s a Virginia Woolf composing A Womb of One’s Own right now as we speak, right?
- We mentioned Doctor Ossian Sweet. How about a few Clarence Darrow’s?
- The Australian Government set up a response to the Kimberley Massacre in 1928 and acknowledged that maybe Indigenous Australians weren’t quite being treated fairly, given it was legal to murder them and all. We’ve since moved to protect their lives (1960s, by the way) can we maybe see a move to protect their dignity and at least not actively destroy things that are important to their culture, such as the sacred Djab Wurrung trees we bulldozed last weekend? And not take forty years to actually do something about it this time round?
- The United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia managed not to get involved in any major wars the whole decade – although we’ll strike three from the US for their colonialist occupations of Hawai’i, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic in the 1920’s – let’s do that again! Without the colonialism though. We’re not off to a good start at this.
- Cole Porter, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemmingway, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, Albert Einstein – we’ll have all them again, please.
We can do without the Volstead Act, but maybe the US can make something like that for animal vivisection and live export trading?
Let’s talk, Roaring 20s.