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Old 11-07-2013, 02:08 PM
 
10,756 posts, read 10,374,471 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Pretty Jaded attitude but probably not too far off. You forgot a few things.

June lived in constant fear she would have another unplanned pregnancy and wondered where she could go for another backalley abortion which might kill her. She also fretted about how she would pay for it cause it was really hard to save anything from the "Grocery Allowance" Ward so graciously doles out to her weekly.

The preacher's wife had to go to out of town hospitals every time her husband beat the stew out of her for fear the community would cast aspersions on HER (not him of course) because everybody knew the woman had to have done something really bad to deserve such beatings.

The neighborhood would be full of running loose dogs and cats because nobody had their pets "fixed" and many a sick dog just "disappeared" or a good home was found "with a real nice family in the country".

Every morning around 8 and every afternoon around 5 the black uniformed maids would be walking down the streets in the upper middle class neighborhoods to catch city buses home where of course they took the seats in the back of the bus.

June Cleaver worries herself sick about the drinking her husband does. There have been times he has come staggering in the door after drinking with his buddies on the way home from work. One time, the police even brought Ward home. June thinks back on her husband's service in World War II in Patton's Third Army as an infantryman. Ward sometimes talks in his sleep. Other times, he seems very jumpy when doors open or slam. He doesn't like to talk about his experiences much. He did say that his buddies at the VFW believe that the best way to deal with unpleasant experiences in the war is to not talk about them. June wonders if there is a connection between Ward's drinking and his experiences in the war. However, she doesn't think much about it because she has no way of knowing.

June realizes how much drudgery is involved in being a housewife. Endless laundry. Endless cooking. The house is never clean even when spends her whole day tidying up. Worst of all, she never gets a word of thanks from either of her sons or from Ward. Still, she realizes how much better life is for her than it was when she grew up during the Great Depression. She remembers days as a little girl when there was nothing in the house to eat other than bread and onions. Sometimes, her mother would make a meal by frying bread and onions together. She also remembers the rationing and the shortages that occurred later during World War II. There was constant fear that boyfriends and husbands wouldn't be coming home and all the women could do than was just wait. After the war, she and Ward married. For the first years following the war, there was a housing shortage. They lived in tiny apartments in a bad section of their community, Maxfield, Ohio. Wally spent his first years growing up with them in such crowded conditions. Now, they live in their own four bedroom home with a backyard because Ward was able to get a VA mortgage. She has a washing machine, a refrigerator, and an electric stove. Ward likes good wholesome food like a steak dinner and a breakfast every morning with bacon and eggs. Whenever, June starts to feel tired from the exhaustion of being a housewife she realizes how lucky she has it compared to her own mother. The progress she has seen since she was a little girl is quite remarkable.

Ward never admits it to anyone. However, he doesn't like his job. Its the same thing over and over again. Yes, he's well paid. Yes, he doesn't think he'll get fired. However, there is little satisfaction in filling out endless paperwork. What really frustrates him is an inability to talk to people about the things that drive him crazy. Deep down, he doesn't think his wife, his children, or the other people at work understand a thing about him. On another note, his sister has told him that her husband is sometimes abusive and violent. Ward is going to go over to her home on Friday and talk to her husband (his brother-in-law). Ward plans on letting him know that if he ever lays a hand on his sister again that he will put him in the hospital. Hopefully, that will make this problem go away. It doesn't occur to either of them to report him to the police.

Wally is too young to remember the apartment the family first lived in when he was born. However, the truth is he is very happy at Maxfield High School. His life is one of football games, dances, and just "hanging out with Eddie and his friends". Sometimes they go down to the malt shop. When they are there they talk a lot about girls. Some of the girls at Maxfield High "have a reputation". Its a strange thing. Wally wants to date these girls, but he doesn't dare because of things he has been told by his parents. His parents are always saying things like "what will our neighbor's think?". Some of his friends are "going too far" with girls. However, Wally doesn't dare. His father has made it clear that he will "kick the stuffing out of him" if ever hears he's doing something like that. There is also the example of a couple of students who did "go too far" with girls and ended up being forced into shotgun weddings. One is 18 and works at the rubber factory at the end of town. Another works as a garbage collector for Maxfield City. Wally doesn't want to end up like that.

Beaver has a problem that no one will help out with. He is frequently the target of bullying. He told his parents about it and Ward's advice was "punch that other kid in the nose". Deep down though, Beaver knows that won't work. He isn't fast and agile. The last time he tried to stand up for himself, he ended up being knocked flat on his back on the wet playground lawn while the other kids laughed at him. The teachers and prinicipal know that bullying goes on, but have the attitude that "boys will be boys" and do nothing about it. Beaver covers it up well. However, he goes through much of his school day absolutely terrified. Beaver also doesn't want his father to think he is a coward. So, these days he is saying nothing about the problem at all. On the bright side, the school curriculum is demanding and most of the teachers are pretty good. On the whole, the kids in this school, including Beaver, are learning a lot and will likely go on to lead very successful lives.

Most importantly, there is a certain excitement to this time (the 1950's). Its hard to put your finger on it. But the parents and kids both believe they live in the greatest country in the world. Since the war ended, everyone has seen economic improvement. There are more jobs, higher salaries, and more opportunity than ever before. Once President Eisenhower got a ceasefire in the Korean War the country was at peace and we were free to focus on our own needs and wants. Even those who saw shortcomings in their personal lives had faith that those problems would eventually be resolved. Why shouldn't they? So much had changed for the better already. Everywhere they turned, there were new automobiles and new houses. Roads were being built everywhere. One common billboard read "A Highway for Your Future".

The Cleavers faced many challenges in the 1950's, but none of them would have chosen to go back to an earlier time. The Cleavers were white and this made living for them much easier than for minorities. Yet, when this period is over they will all look back on it with quite a bit of nostalgia.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,545 posts, read 18,695,623 times
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I think one thing would be a massive relief that the world was still here. They would be amazed that the dark menace of the East, the Soviet Union no longer existed and had collapsed of its own accord. And that China, the other commie menace, was now our economic rival. But they would be profoundly grateful that any of it was still here and we weren't lost in a nuclear winter.

Back then, people were genuinely afraid that the bomb WAS going to drop and the world as they knew it would suddenly vanish. And given that in the fourties they'd seen how those sort of places looked, it was quite real to them.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:57 PM
 
245 posts, read 306,449 times
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The 1950s was a great time economically. Jobs everywhere, a lot of people could become 'self made', and gas was dirt cheap for easy cruising.

However, I struggle to find anything else that was really great about that era. More or less everything else is just as ****ty then as it is now, or way worse.

The entire stigma of the 1950s being this perfect place to live in is obviously propaganda.

People from that era, or people looking back at that era will find little problems, because problems were not reported or glorified like they are today.

I think television and likely the radio molded that society more than most people care to admit. TV was a relatively new medium, and obviously the shows did not have "edgy" issues. So we got a lot of shows that glorified the nuclear family, and essentially told you how a family was "supposed to be" - and this likely gave the impression to people that if their family was not like that then they were ****ed up.

People were obsessed with keeping up with the Joneses and thought it was a bad thing to stick out. It was the era when suburbs were running wild, everyone's house looked exactly the same, if you didn't show up at church on Sundays you gave the impression that you might be a bit of a rebel.


As for actual problems themselves, well, I think some people have already touched upon the social stigmas that greatly affected the 1950s. The woman who shared her experience as growing up as a "tomboy", an ambitious intellectual and someone trying to get a career sums up a lot of the problems there. Yeah, we don't hear about problems with gays like we do today, because there was zero benefit to admitting you were gay in the 1950s, and being gay is not something that shown on television or in movies, so people who were gay had no one to relate to or even talk to. That's 3-7% of the population right there in a pretty awkward situation.

I am black (half black, so I spawned from an interracial relationship), so the idea of me saying that the 1950s was the golden age is laughable. Blacks were what, 10% of the population in the 50s? Maybe a bit more? I don't think I need to elaborate on why blacks were not happy. Hispanics and Asians were not exactly treated well either.

Religion? If you were not Christian (a certain sect of Christianity depending on your region), then you felt like an outsider. Not saying that they were necessarily oppressed or anything, but subconsciously they probably didn't feel like they were apart of the community. Not to mention there was no real Atheist movement like there is today. Most Atheist kept to themselves, and those that tried to spread Atheism did not have much of a platform to do so. If you said you were an Atheist people assumed you did not have good morales (a stigma still around in most parts of the country).

The 50s were a time of control. I study film history, and I'll tell you flat out, movies in the 1950s were censored very heavily. Movies prior to the 50s covered more controversial issues and stories could be told in more graphic ways, in the 50s - director's were heavily boggled down by their producers.

Another demograph I'd like to touch is the mentally ill. They sure as hell didn't have a good time. The mentally ill were treated like animals. They were lab rats to a bunch of "doctors". It was a great era if you liked to be lobotomized for having a social anxiety. Of course this problem stuck around longer than the 50s, as did a few of these other issues.

The cold war...well that obviously started in the 50s. Don't think that needs alot of explanation. If the 1950s could be called the age of paranoia - it would make sense that it was also an age filtered with propaganda. Not to mention if people thought Americans are ignorant to other cultures now, imagine how they were before the internet. Hell, my parents still call Japanese people Chinese and what not.


To finish up my really long post (my first post no less ), the 1950s was not an era of individualism. The 1950s was about fitting in and blending in. It was bad to be different. Today's society is much different.

While at younger ages kids will always try to be sheep instead of a Sheppard, there is much more emphasize of trying to be yourself. There are mantras, for good or worse like "haters gonna hate", "yolo", "do u" that run rampant. This is why people are significantly more flamboyant now than even just 2 or 3 decades ago. There is a drive to show who you really are, no matter how bizarre it is. If anything the more strange an entertainer the more popular they become, things like these are embraced. You can be openly gay, because there are groups of openly gay people now. You can be an atheist, because there are atheist there for you. It isn't like the 50s, there was none of this. There were not many alternative crowds. You had white people who liked colored music, that was about as raunchy as it got.


One more thing, to people who praise up the 50s and slander the 60s - I think that is very hypocritical. You can't say that the people in the 60s were wreckless and ruining the nation, and then go on about how great it is to raise your kids in the 50s - because those loud and rebellious hippies in the 60s who were ruining the nation grew up in the 50s. So apparently, the perfect nuclear family that was shown on TV isn't as great for raising a family as one might think. Come to think of it, the constant suppression of social issues in the 1950s is probably what lead to such rebellious explosions years later.

Last edited by violent by design; 11-08-2013 at 03:08 PM..
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,854,569 times
Reputation: 13779
Quote:
Originally Posted by violent by design View Post
The 1950s was a great time economically. Jobs everywhere, a lot of people could become 'self made', and gas was dirt cheap for easy cruising.

However, I struggle to find anything else that was really great about that era. More or less everything else is just as ****ty then as it is now, or way worse.

The entire stigma of the 1950s being this perfect place to live in is obviously propaganda.

People from that era, or people looking back at that era will find little problems, because problems were not reported or glorified like they are today.

I think television and likely the radio molded that society more than most people care to admit. TV was a relatively new medium, and obviously the shows did not have "edgy" issues. So we got a lot of shows that glorified the nuclear family, and essentially told you how a family was "supposed to be" - and this likely gave the impression to people that if their family was not like that then they were ****ed up.

People were obsessed with keeping up with the Joneses and thought it was a bad thing to stick out. It was the era when suburbs were running wild, everyone's house looked exactly the same, if you didn't show up at church on Sundays you gave the impression that you might be a bit of a rebel.


As for actual problems themselves, well, I think some people have already touched upon the social stigmas that greatly affected the 1950s. The woman who shared her experience as growing up as a "tomboy", an ambitious intellectual and someone trying to get a career sums up a lot of the problems there. Yeah, we don't hear about problems with gays like we do today, because there was zero benefit to admitting you were gay in the 1950s, and being gay is not something that shown on television or in movies, so people who were gay had no one to relate to or even talk to. That's 3-7% of the population right there in a pretty awkward situation.

I am black (half black, so I spawned from an interracial relationship), so the idea of me saying that the 1950s was the golden age is laughable. Blacks were what, 10% of the population in the 50s? Maybe a bit more? I don't think I need to elaborate on why blacks were not happy. Hispanics and Asians were not exactly treated well either.

Religion? If you were not Christian (a certain sect of Christianity depending on your region), then you felt like an outsider. Not saying that they were necessarily oppressed or anything, but subconsciously they probably didn't feel like they were apart of the community. Not to mention there was no real Atheist movement like there is today. Most Atheist kept to themselves, and those that tried to spread Atheism did not have much of a platform to do so. If you said you were an Atheist people assumed you did not have good morales (a stigma still around in most parts of the country).

The 50s were a time of control. I study film history, and I'll tell you flat out, movies in the 1950s were censored very heavily. Movies prior to the 50s covered more controversial issues and stories could be told in more graphic ways, in the 50s - director's were heavily boggled down by their producers.

Another demograph I'd like to touch is the mentally ill. They sure as hell didn't have a good time. The mentally ill were treated like animals. They were lab rats to a bunch of "doctors". It was a great era if you liked to be lobotomized for having a social anxiety. Of course this problem stuck around longer than the 50s, as did a few of these other issues.

The cold war...well that obviously started in the 50s. Don't think that needs alot of explanation. If the 1950s could be called the age of paranoia - it would make sense that it was also an age filtered with propaganda. Not to mention if people thought Americans are ignorant to other cultures now, imagine how they were before the internet. Hell, my parents still call Japanese people Chinese and what not.


To finish up my really long post (my first post no less ), the 1950s was not an era of individualism. The 1950s was about fitting in and blending in. It was bad to be different. Today's society is much different.

While at younger ages kids will always try to be sheep instead of a Sheppard, there is much more emphasize of trying to be yourself. There are mantras, for good or worse like "haters gonna hate", "yolo", "do u" that run rampant. This is why people are significantly more flamboyant now than even just 2 or 3 decades ago. There is a drive to show who you really are, no matter how bizarre it is. If anything the more strange an entertainer the more popular they become, things like these are embraced. You can be openly gay, because there are groups of openly gay people now. You can be an atheist, because there are atheist there for you. It isn't like the 50s, there was none of this. There were not many alternative crowds. You had white people who liked colored music, that was about as raunchy as it got.


One more thing, to people who praise up the 50s and slander the 60s - I think that is very hypocritical. You can't say that the people in the 60s were wreckless and ruining the nation, and then go on about how great it is to raise your kids in the 50s - because those loud and rebellious hippies in the 60s who were ruining the nation grew up in the 50s. So apparently, the perfect nuclear family that was shown on TV isn't as great for raising a family as one might think. Come to think of it, the constant suppression of social issues in the 1950s is probably what lead to such rebellious explosions years later.
What an excellent, excellent post, violent by design!!!
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:06 PM
 
645 posts, read 1,153,036 times
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I find it interesting how many people raised by central public schooling run by the federal government think that today things are better for women and blacks than they were in 1950. This will be the only part of the comparison I will address.

I don't see how black people have it so much better today than they did in 1950. Just because a few token blacks make it into mainstream society (dominated by whites) does not mean they all have it better. The government's Civil Rights movement does not mean blacks are freer, safer, and have more options collectively than they did in 1950. For example, there is more black poverty today than there was in 1950. Divorce rates are exponentially higher and this discounts people who don't even bother to get married. Black men have absolutely no incentive to marry or have children, therefore no reason to work. On top of this, America has shipped most of its unskilled and semi skilled jobs overseas, so many seeking employment find all but impossible to find, and for them, most jobs do not pay a living wage.

The printing of money to pay debt for bad social programs causing all of these problems is the root of massive inflation that's outstripped wages. The unemployment rate for black men during 1950 to 2010 has skyrocketed. Many blacks often have no choice but to go on the dole, live in subsidized low income housing, and have been far removed to the worst parts of cities, so where exactly has segregation ended? Where is all the opportunity?

Since many blacks face poverty on a daily basis, they do not receive a decent primary k-12 education, many of them drop out of school, and since few jobs exist today for high school drop outs like they did in 1950, are many blacks not unfairly discriminated against in the workforce by exclusionary tactics and or lack of jobs befitting their skills? Today, blacks are murdered or incarcerated at a saddening exponentially higher rate than they were in 1950, and most have been involuntarily exiled into the most dangerous run down parts of the America. A black male is far more likely to be killed by police today than in 1950. Not just "nonviolent criminals," but the average Joe black engaged in lawful activity because he's been profiled, matches the description, and is forced to live in the bottom of the bottom this country has to offer, so he's often misidentified as a violent criminal suspect.

In 1950, roughly 6% of all families with children were headed by a single mother, and that included World War II wives & children who were receiving a widow's pension. Today, almost 25% of families with children are headed by a single mother. There are more women living in poverty today than in 1950.

Just because a few token blacks and or women are permitted to play the game that's being run by the federal government, does not mean things are magically better today. Go into rural environments to see just how many white women with children are living in trailer park squalor on the dole. I implore you to visit the urban low income housing projects to witness firsthand what the destruction of the economy, family, war on drugs, poverty, and equality for everybody has done to the country. Just because they have a 50" tv, computer, and cell phone, many quip how they have it so much better than some bushman living in a mud hut. Is that how one tells themselves the lies their public school education indoctrinated them to do? Is that how one ignores the obvious? It's my opinion that the bushman in the dirt hut has it better because at least he's free, has a community, and a nuclear family.

Due to the fact that we no longer hang discriminatory signs outside of shops does not mean that there isn't any prejudice going on. Today, we're witnessing a lot of racially motivated crimes where blacks target non blacks. That's something that largely never happened in 1950. Many children today are living in poverty with one or both parents completely or partially absent. Grandparents are often raising their children's children. All too often, most kids are left unsupervised, are latchkey children or put in daycare/public school where they are watched by the state with 30 or more children per adult, so a lot of these children grow up on peer to peer supervision rather than adult supervision of a nuclear family, friends, and safe close knit communities.

This peer to peer raising of children causes them to become angry young men/women raised in a dangerous environment with no love, role models to look up to, and with little or no opportunity to escape, so is it any wonder why we have a lot of violence in the inner cities? Businesses, safe communities, and opportunity move outside the reach of inner city blacks and poor white women, so it appears as though discriminatory practices have worsened significantly and just become more surreptitious since 1950.

This also happens to white men and Hispanics, but to a lesser degree. However, even when discounting what's going on with women and blacks, the dilemma of war against both white and Hispanic males is startling as well.

It's my contention that things are significantly worse, and we've only lightly touched the evils the feds, banks, and corporate America are perpetrating against all of American society. I feel that the lies of the state are quite obvious throughout this thread as minions parrot the propaganda their public educations. Public schooling is nothing but socialism and welfare state tactics. As long as we're dependent upon the sate in record numbers year after year, there can be no free society for anybody just enslavement.

I'm not sorry I see it differently.

Thanks for reading,
bolillo

48 year old German American from Pennsylvania, yea you know, Pennsylvania Dutch.

Last edited by bolillo_loco; 11-14-2013 at 09:48 PM.. Reason: No Rhodes scholar here
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:58 AM
 
24,137 posts, read 16,710,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
Women also didn't get married and leave the workforce. They often worked until they were pregnant -- hiding the pregnancy as long as they could. And because women were looked at as baby makers, when they didn't produce it was sorrowful.... and there was no choice in the matter -- you were supposed to have kids. It took my mom five years to get pregnant and she remembered the whispers and looks of pity...

Life wasn't that easy, either. I was born in 1959, and I can remember helping my mother and sisters with laundry. She had an old wringer washer, so she'd braid our hair so it wouldn't get caught in the wringer and she'd feed the clothing through the wringer into the rinse tub and we'd agitate by hand and then we'd feed the laundry through the wringer into the second rinse and agitate by hand and one more wring and mom would hang out the laundry.

Every time I see a wringer wash tub lovingly changed into a wonderful retro planter I am SO freaking happy that one more wringer has bit the dust.

No thanks -- I'm glad I get to be married to a wonderful guy, choose to not have children, and live today where life is a LOT better for us girls.
You also have to remember it was perfectly legal in the 1950's for employers to discharge a female in the family way, worse if she were unmarried. It didn't matter what you did for a living from nurse to secretary, once you were up the duff and started to show you got handed your cards.

To avoid showing for as long as possible (or not all) some resorted to girdles, even those Playtex rubber versions.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:25 AM
 
24,137 posts, read 16,710,802 times
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One thing to remember is little that exists today didn't in the 1950's society wise. As other posters have stated things were just swept under the rug or simply ignored.

Gays of course were around and while things were bad for them, many did find a way to live together and remain so for decades to come. Proof of this are the couples in their seventies or older that make it down to various city halls in states where "gay marriage" has become legal. In some cases ceremonies have been held in nursing homes.

The secret about Rock Hudson turns out not to have been so well kept after all. Many seemed to have known from all over the United States, but again appearances must be kept. The really sad cases were gay men like Van Johnson who lived horrible closeted lives because their fame or what not trapped them into being "straight". Mr. Johnson ended his days alone and largely forgotten in a NY nursing home.

Dennis Quaid played a 1950's successful married businessman coming to grips (evolving) with his sexual preference in the film "Far From Heaven" Far from Heaven (2002) - IMDb
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