It used to be better

Among the many evidences of the past on YouTube, you can find documentary films made in 1950-ies in the United States. Underneath a lot of comments from those who are sick of gender equality and respect for “color”. “Ribbon.ru” figured out who they are and why they are so uncomfortable in the present.


“the American housewife — who may be the more important and responsible? Mother, wife, laundress, counselor, governess, purchasing agent,” says the calm voice-over. On the screen a young woman comes into the shop and thoroughly examines the goods on the shelves. The announcer continues to broadcast, but now about how it is important not to make impulse purchases (according to him, doing so usually women).

the Heroes of other video — resilient American family who moved into a new house. Their life is governed by strict principles: the father goes to work, and at home reading a newspaper and Smoking a pipe. The wife is busy with housework. The children are playing. These short documentary films full on the Internet and they all tell about life in the 50-ies of the last century, when, according to many Americans, “America was the real America”. Golden time.

“not Fair! Why do I see things, but can’t test it on their skin?” says one YouTube user. “Those good old days don’t have to stay “old”, we can make them new! WE can do it!” — says the other. “I’m from the generation of baby boomers, born in 1944. I not only remember how it was, but how it FELT. It is difficult to explain. Much has been lost after Kennedy’s assassination. We might be led by the nose… Truman, Eisenhower… That’s what I’m thinking. But if you compare with NASTAYATYEL??? It was heaven on earth. It was,” the ordinary said the third.

Such a howl about the “good old days” is under each video so. Older people talk about how they were good when the grass was greener and the sun shines brighter. Young people lament that they were born “out of time”.

of Course, they have opponents, and a lot of them. They draw attention to the frankly sexist content of such films in which the woman is almost directly saying: your place is at the stove. Modern Americans are unable to ignore the fact that the frame only white people while the colored life was not sweet.

“Why such videos are always a lot of negative comments about sexism? — writes a kind of Kary J. — a history. So life was constructed nearly 70 years ago. They are rigidly divided daily duties, men made money and careers, women worked at home and raised children. Everything was categorized, that was their thinking. And the people who lived according to this pattern, lived a decent life. It’s not the fact that I live right and well, but in many eras, including our citizens are trying to find the perfect model for achieving success in one area, and making mistakes in others. What makes every generation think that it has found the right recipe? Stop watching these videos if they get you hurt”.

But such comments are few. Mostly supporters 50 only sigh: “Ah! It was a time when women were real ladies, and family mattered” or “I want to live! Well, thanks, feminists. Now not only do I have to wash, cook and take care of the children, but also to work all day. This is not progress!” And they all agree that now finally everything will be as it should be, because at the helm of the country — Donald trump, the epitome of American nostalgia.

Many alarmists are comparing the victory of Donald trump with the triumph of Hitler in the 30-ies of the last century. This, of course, complete nonsense — to compare the current President with Hitler is just silly. “Let’s make America great again!” — they say. When it was great? It was in the 50s: ended the Great depression and the Second world war, the country quickly developed, colored, and women “knew their place” and white men receive a decent salary for “honest work”.

of Course, at that time in the United States flourished racism (especially in the South of the country) — Soviet agitation, telling how “where blacks kill,” appeared out of nowhere. But nostalgic conservatives believe that then existed “a true harmony between the races and sexes”, while the natural course of things is not spoiled damned political correctness. Therefore, the allegations of discrimination, they meet not only with irritation, but with a sincere lack of understanding: if the commentators would not know that the lurid world of “real American family” is built on oppression and exploitation of citizens who are not fortunate to be born white males. “Let’s make America white again!” — declares one of the spectators under the next black-and-white clip, not to mention that they said something wrong.

However, the politics of nostalgia are not only radical right-wing politicians. Bernie Sanders in the US and Jimmy Corbin in the UK, also look to the past — not in the 50s and in the 70s. They note that while the opinion of trade Union leaders and ordinary citizens had more weight, existed the institution of granting benefits. The message is the same: it was better, now worse.

and right And left, of course, referring to the past that never was. Politics of nostalgia tend to exaggerate the positive and ignore the negative. Donald trump prefers not to remember that in the 50s blacks were lynched, and Bernie Sanders is about the Patriarchal structure of families. Is the past — an imaginary where people knew and trusted each other, believed in his country and was at the same time.

According to the polling company Pew Research, 81 percent of Americans gathered in 2016 to vote for trump, believed that life in the country changed for the worse. However, they do not mean all — life has become worse for them and those they considered to be the same as they are. The majority of it’s citizens over 50 years old, white, without higher education. The largest group of supporters trump is the Evangelical Christians who now justify all of his actions, including a recently revealed affair with a porn star.

If you look at the profiles excitable commentators documentaries 50 years, it will become obvious that they belong to this category. Among siliconix rollers are prophecies about the end of the world, the financial crisis, conspiracy theories, and definitely at least one sermon of a well-known pastor, in which citizens warn about the moral decay of the nation.

a significant role in maintaining the image of 50 years as the “Golden time” play American conservative media, which flourished in 2000s years. Funny to imagine, but until the mid 90-ies of the conservatives did not have a TV channel became Fox News in 1996. Richard Nixon planned to open another 70 years, but did not — for objective reasons.

Famous conservative leading television and radio shows regularly find a chance to talk to one of those “good old days”. Bill O’reilly, who was recently fired from Fox News due to a sex scandal (the seriousness of which says his departure from the channel on which bonfire of the damned liberals and feminists), was very fond of this subject.

“if we were better then compared to what we have now?” — he asked a question and then agreed: Yes, there were problems related to segregation, but poverty and unemployment were undoubtedly below! And the press is not talking about all kinds of deviance, premarital sex… they call and see, soon people won’t marry!

the Popular conservative radio host rush Limbaugh also loves to nostalgia for the 50-m Women were carrying the household? Well, what of it? Mother Limbaugh was happy to perform this role. And no matter what that’s when American women started to drink alcohol and to get addicted to tranquilizers — or to relieve stress and deal with the meaninglessness of life could not.

Commercials that idealize life in the 1950-ies, came with the arrival of television in homes of those most perfect of white Americans. The first situation comedies, which the whole country watched, showed exceptionally happy people. They did not fight among themselves, with their children was fine, mom and dads truly loved each other and did not show a single hint of sexiness.

Most nostalgic videos that are now watched on YouTube the fans of the “Golden age of the US”, is an advertising movies, paid by producers of food products and household appliances. Of course, ordinary families were shown the same for distilled and perfect, just like in the sitcoms.

Real life in the 50s was very different from this picture. People were fighting, broke up, cheated on each other, suffered the loss. Didn’t know if it is possible to share those emotions with others in a world where a television screen was playing the role of moral compass and did not show anything like that. Including why alcohol and drug abuse in America has grown in that time an incredible pace.

Children in such families, growing up, it was found that a sample plan of life which drew them parents, unenforceable, and what to do in such a situation — they had not been taught. Bad habits helped to somehow cope with the situation. The post-war generation of baby boomers grew up, denying ourselves and forcing your feelings deep down where no one will notice. Not being able to live differently, now they want to go back in the days of his childhood, “when it was good”. If the impossible happened, they, once there, most likely, would come from a bottle. What else is there to do? After all, YouTube in the 50-ies was not.