Tuesday, 29 January 2019

What Made the 1920s Different?

Most history professors and journalists prefer to avoid long discussions on the era.  If you do go and research the period....it's probably best nine years of American society (up until 1929 and the fall of Wall Street) of the past century.

What made the era different? I lay the change that occurred over seven key things.

1.  WW I and the survivors of the war came back and lived remarkable lives.  Whether it was boot-camp, the itself, or the comradery.....guys changed.

2.  Prohibition.  Saloons were the norm until 1919.  After that point, speak-easy operations and hidden clubs became the norm.  It should be noted that with the prohibition era.....came women drinking more.

3.  Cars and roads went to make society mobile.

4.  Movies started to get made, and people were introduced to a new form of entertainment.

5.  Radios started to become reality.

6.  Baseball went to become a national sport, and was often discussed by the working-class.

7.  A housing boom started to take place in this era.

Life changed in this era, and in some ways.....we laid the path to 1929 and the depression that followed. 

What the Howard 'Starbucks' Schultz Candidacy Does

As he came out yesterday and announced he's running an independent campaign in 2020 to be President, it has several themes and scenarios attached to it.  If you haven't noticed, he's leveled criticism across the board toward both parties.  Even I would admit that there is much frustration over both the Democrats and the GOP.

So what is the real strategy here?  Let's go back to 1992 and examine Ross Perot's end-result....roughly 19-percent of the vote, and 19.7-million votes.  I think Schultz could easily attain 24-million votes, with a decent social media campaign, and aim simply at five topics that most people feel frustration over.

But here's the interesting thing.....if he just concentrated the bulk of his time and effort on Michigan, Penn, and Wisconsin.....he'd likely win against Trump and the Democratic contender.  By taking those 46 electoral votes.....there would be NO ONE to hold 270 or more votes.  So the Electoral College would pass, with no winner.

Then in 2021, the House would be given the job of the vote, and it'd go state by state.  Right now today.....the GOP barely holds an edge, with 26 states being 'GOP-control', and 22 states being Democratic-control.  The rest are 'even'.  This differs from 2016's election where the GOP held control over 32 states.  So there would have to be at least two states where things would change drastically, and bring the GOP-control down to 24. 

This could be a situation where the Democrat....possibly with less than 55-million votes....would end up as the winner.

So this is a Electoral College gimmick?  Yes, I think so.  But a lot depends on the House elections in 2020, and if they can manage to hold some control.  If Schultz does all of this, and the GOP ends up controlling the House state votes?  Then all of this was for nothing.

'Rube' Comes Back Around?

'Rube' as a word, got used in the past month by a Washington Post journalist....to describe the people voting for President Trump in 2016.  This was a chatter episode which was supposed to explain to naive or innocent folks.....how so many folks got stupid and voted that way. 

For those who aren't familiar with 'Rube'....a little history lesson.

To be honest, it hasn't been used to any significant degree since the 1930s (that was probably the peak). 'Rube' Waddell is where most folks remember the word.  Waddell was one of the premier pitchers of the American League,  Pitching from 1897 to 1910....he was probably one of the five best pitchers in the league, and was washed-up by age 33.  Roughly four years later, he'd pass away.  In simple terms, Waddell was a nutcase.  Everytime a fire truck would pass a stadium in the midst of a game that he was pitching.....it was a 50-50 possibility that he'd take off after the fire truck and leave the game.

The term 'Rube' was supposed to be a county guy with no real recognition of the big world, and bound with 'innocence'. 

Generally, it's said that Rube came from the early 1800s, and was supposed to be slang to identify a guy without class, or one with no sophistication....in simple terms.....a non-intellectual.

But here's the funny thing about the term, it's not really been used for almost eighty years.  In terms of slang-value, it's been dead since the 1950s.  You could bring up the term with folks who are over sixty, and they have a basic idea of the term.  Someone who was 20 to 30 years old?  There might be one person out a dozen who has heard of the word or has some idea of the meaning.

So where did the journalist dig the term up?  Unknown.

Does this mean we are reverting back to some 1920s slangs?  Let's talk about some of these:

1.  'Giggle Water'.  That's something with an alcoholic punch to it. 

2.  'Hay Burner'.  That's a car that gets exceptionally poor mileage.....like less than ten miles to the gallon.

3.  'Ms Grundy'.  A 'dame' who has an exceptional number of personal rules, and questions anything related to fun.

4.  'Sheba'.  A 'dame' who is exceptionally fit, in loose clothing, and dangles a cigarette from her lips....suggesting to 'blow this joint' (to leave the bar), and do unimaginable things in a hay-barn down the road.

5.  'Bearcat'.  A 'dame' who is fairly dangerous when 'juiced-up' (drinking), who might show fits of rage or assault, if a guy wasn't careful. 

You have to wonder if this journalist is trying to lead folks back around to three-hundred-odd phrases which died in the 1930s.