One hundred years ago the US had become an economic power. The beginning of the Roaring 20's featured new rights for women, including the right to vote, daring "flapper" outfits and cigarette smoking. It also featured Prohibition which led to the rise of Al Capone and the Mafia. People should have realized that attempts by the government to regulate human behavior would result in an epic fail. And yet here we are 100 years later with states approving marijuana use and the federal government at odds with this decision. You'd think given the track record of the federal government to tax everything they would ultimately come to the conclusion that a lot of taxable income is going up in smoke.
The Roaring 20's got their name from the period of economic prosperity giving rise to the consumer society and the rise of "self awareness". This age is also known as the "Jazz Age" (a new affinity for driving horn and rhythm sections accompanied by crooners) and the birth of our "Consumer Society". People from coast to coast bought the same goods (thanks to nationwide advertising and the spread of chain stores), listened to the same music, did the same dances, and even used the same slang!
For many the 20's brought more conflict than celebration. Americans were uncomfortable with this new urban, sometimes racy "Mass Culture". Remember the 1920's was the migration of many from the farm to the cities. This also brought about a change in attitudes and direction of those that were seeking their fame and fortune. The cities could provide what the farms could not... better wages through the prospect of manufacturing jobs and union protection for its workers.
The 1920's featured many notable historic events, non more famous than the Tea Pot Dome scandal. Convicted of accepting bribes from the oil companies Albert Fall, Secretary of the Interior went to prison. No one was convicted of taking bribes and up until the Watergate scandal, Tea Pot Dome was considered the most egregious political event in US history. Of course as amazing as the decade began it ended with the stock crash of '29. No one saw that coming!
This is immortalized in a Steely Dan song, "Black Friday".
"When Black Friday comes
I stand down by the door
And catch the grey men when they
Dive from the fourteenth floor"
The beginning of the 1920's the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 108... today it's over 28,000. We can look at our abundance and the technological advances over the course of the last thirty years and be amazed at where we were and where we are. This advancement in technology which is not limited to but includes: the internet, the cell phone, computer advancement, self driving cars, and robotics. All of this plus other technological advancements will eventually realize unprecedented events not to mention significant social change.
The one thing that hasn't changed in the past 100 years is human nature. One can change clothing or hair, transportation, even politicians, but human nature never changes. Greed, lust, and the quest for power are embedded in our nature but through the process of personal growth we hopefully can detect these flaws like a Witcher finds water. Through this "Dowsing" we can surround ourselves with the people that possess the important characteristics we honor and celebrate no matter what the economics or self appointed social station they reside in.
To be clear...as we move into the New Roaring 20's lets concentrate on the most important aspect of human behavior, that of connection through the lost art of communication. Listening is a gift that immortalizes the spoken word into a thought that becomes a bridge illuminating the possibility that all of us have more in common then we ever thought possible.
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