Houston is supposed to be in the 40's tonight, and Miss G is SOOOOO excited- she just LOVES the 40's!
Really, it's the TEMPERATURE that's going to be in the 40's, and Miss G loves that- it's the most comfortable time of year in South Texas! But it got her thinking about how much she loves the era of the 40's as well- I guess because Momma G always made it seem so gosh darn FABULOUS!!
And it's really no wonder: the 40's is when Momma G married the Handsomest Soldier EVAH and began to create the family that created yours truly! It's kinda funny, really, the way Momma G used to talk about "the War", years after the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam had ended. When Momma G said "the War", she always meant WWII, and she truly believed it was the worst and best thing that ever happened to this country. It always seemed so strange to me that she seemed so enamored of war, and she would always hasten to add "oh, I hated the war, but I loved what it did for this country!" It didn't make a lick of sense to me as a child, but I kind of think I get it now!
Momma G was a republican at heart, I'm afraid, and I don't think she had a lot of faith in FDR's "New Deal". When FDR proposed a "New Deal" for the American people, she, like many others, thought it smacked of socialism, and while she liked the idea of putting Americans to work, she was dubious that the government spending at that level would resurrect the American economy. How her tune changed after the bombing of Pearl Harbor! Now, instead of spending to build roads and dams and ditches, we are going to spend to defend our country- our homeland- our way of life! Momma G, like so many other Americans, saved the money she made working at the drugstore to buy war bonds. She used ration coupons. She rolled rags into bandages. And she never felt like the government was "making" her do it- she did it because she felt it needed to be done!
For Miss Ginger, the turning point in her "thought process" about America was her visit to the World War II Museum in her beloved New Orleans, and a diorama they have at the very beginning that depicts the relative size of armies at the beginning of WWII.
Growing up in post-war, atomic age America, Miss G just sort of assumed that the US had always been a superpower of the world, but those 5 piddly rows of plastic soldiers made her realize that it was not always the case! The mobilization of America in response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, as taught by Momma Ginger, and the WW2 Museum, was what rescued America from the depths of the great depression.
It makes sense when one thinks about the cause of the depression: excess manufacturing capacity. After the industrial revolution, with modern processes and equipment, factories could crank out products at unprecedented speed. They were so efficient at meeting the demand for manufactured products that, before they knew it, the demand was fulfilled, and the products they created were no longer needed! With the demand for goods met, factories were shuttered, workers were laid off, and entire towns went dark as the industries that provided their existence shrank to meet the satiated demand! Sound familiar, Detroit?
So, Miss G, what does all of your babble have to do with me, today? Well, let me tell you, fellow revolutionaries! We are experiencing a revolution not at all unlike the industrial revolution our forefathers faced! Today's computer revolution has enabled single workers in one day to generate individualized letters that would have taken a pool of typists days to complete! Spreadsheet programs allow one person to sift through piles of data that would have taken a team of analysts weeks to interpret. Wired and wireless networks allow instant transmission of reams of information that would have once taken months of time and countless people to generate, print, collate, bind, and deliver. Our computer revolution has created the exact same "excess capacity" problem that caused the great depression, and just like that catastrophe, it is only going to get worse!
Now, don't think Miss G has gone all "warmonger" on you, and has decided that a war is the only way to end this terrible economy! That's not where she's going with this, at all! Because if you go back to the WW2 situation, it WASN'T the war that ended the great depression! What ended the great depression was the coming together of the American people, to face a common enemy, and to reach a common goal! The sad truth of the situation is that the human suffering of depression, hunger, starvation, and death was not enough to invoke the spirit and compassion of the American people to set aside their differences and fight for the right of every American to live with food, health, and a hopeful outlook! It took the drama of bombs on American soil to get Americans to come together, prioritize the survival of our democracy above all else, and commit as individuals to doing the things that need to be done to ensure the survival of our precious way of life!
What's it going to take this time, America? Who will have to bomb us this time in order for us to get our shit together?