If we go back a century we can look at an America just coming off of a major event, WWI, and ready to throw off shackles and have a grand time. Until 1929, that is.
Well, we will soon be over Covid, as the Biden administration takes all the credit for the vaccines and the pop culture and press herald the new golden age under Uncle Joe.
In 1920 America elected the nice and normal Warren Harding, Republican Senator of Ohio. 1n 2020 we didn’t go that way. We elected a senile chowderheaded former veep. Which, interestingly enough, could make our Roaring Twenties that much more fun. In 1920, they were also just getting over the Spanish flu, a worldwide pandemic. Then, not now, the world didn’t stop and play Chicken Little because of a bad flu. And that virus had a much higher mortality rate than this one.
In a Skype interview with this publication, social critic and writer Elizabeth Fortunato talked about the seeds of the coming rebellion. “In New York state, given Covid regulations, private bottle clubs are opening up away from the gaze of the state’s Covid regulations. You can call them ‘bottle clubs’ all you want. They’re really speakeasies.”
She’s right. Though this rebellion won’t be led by flappers and returning WWI vets like Jay Gatsby. Our youth are conformists and wouldn’t dare violate government lifestyle diktats. It will be led by the older versions of the last actually rebellious generation in American history, the late boomers, or early Gen X types, who came of age in the late 70s.
As opposed to our parrot-like kids, we’re not wearing masks outside in the fresh air, in our homes, or while driving alone. We’re not going to cancel Christmas because of a virus with a 99.5 recovery rate. We’re not going to kowtow to every hypocritical regulation while we watch politicians ignore them. This spirit of middle-aged rebellion may carry on to all the nasty little regs dealing with all facets of life that may soon eminate from the Biden administration.
They want our guns? Come and get them. No bars or restaurants open? Well, only if you don’t know the password to give to the guy behind the slit in the door. They want to stop us smoking tobacco like they tried to stop booze in the 20s with Prohibition? You better have millions of Tobacco Police on hand. You want absurd green policies on cars and energy? Welcome to underground car mechanics, garages, and other technicians who will modify your car or other machines, for a black market price.
If, by the grace of God, Biden or Harris loses in 2024 to a Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, or the president in his next run, then a Roaring Twenties, with the ghost of Cal Coolidge looking down beneficently upon us, can really take off. Ah yes, a decade of cultural rebellion, alcoholism, great writing, and hot jazz? Count me in. Though the 1929 part, yeah, it would be nice to skip that.