Saturday, June 02, 2007

Living Memory

I've found a site online that is endlessly fascinating:

Their own explanation is best - "Shorpy is a photo blog about what life a hundred years ago was like: How people looked and what they did for a living, back when not having a job usually meant not eating."

There are photos both more and less old than 100 years, and together they create an amazing narrative of pre-WWI America.

The big push of the Rethuglicans right now is to destroy the New Deal built under FDR. In practical terms, this means that anyone who is not a white, Protestant upper-class male has no defensible rights to life, liberty or property. Everyone else lives at the whim and pleasure of this elite group.

This sounds incendiary, even insane, in this day and age. We look around at the wide-spread prosperity of the nation, and shake our heads at those who make such ridiculous claims.

What Shorpy does through its images is show us that Amerca WAS that kind of nation less than a hundred years ago, where the majority of the population - even the white population - lived hand-to-mouth, and where poverty reigned across wide swaths of the land.

This is what George W. Bush and all the fucktards who support him want America to look like. The fact that the majority of the people who voted for him had grandparents living in this kind of poverty and are on the way to returning to this kind of desparate life is little solace. They pat themselves on the back and congratulate themselves for their "strong morals" (hating blacks, hating gays, hating non-Xtians, hating women who have sex, etc. Anti-morality, in short) and their "patriotism" (Let's gut the Constitution!) and their "faith" (rampant nihilism wrapped up in the blanket of lil' Baby Jeezus), all the while hacking away at the social and economic structures that keep them out of dirt-floored one-room shanties.

Why do they do this? I think in part it's because they have no idea of what it was like and why people so strongly supported FDR for bringing them out of it. The US was a better nation for all after the New Deal. Shorpy helps to remind us how far we've come.


1 comment:

Celandine said...

Neat. That's going on the feeds...