I was not alive during the decade of the 1950s. I was negative 30 or so. Don’t let that make you feel old if you were alive then. Let that make you feel wise and proud that you’re so ancient that you still have the ability to read.
I don’t have much knowledge of the decade. Both my parents were born then. A guy named Dwight actually managed to become president. I Love Lucy was the only thing on television. Black people didn’t yet exist. Like I said, my knowledge of the decade isn’t that correct.
There are a few things from the decade that I wish still existed. No, not Jim Crowe laws you silly goose. I’m talking about fun things like malted milkshakes. What even is a malted milkshake? I’ve heard of malted milk balls. I like those! I also like milkshakes. A malted milkshake would be even better. I don’t get it though. Back then, in the 1950s, everyone was always drinking milkshakes and eating whoopee pies. Yet, you never saw a fat person. What the hell? Were the 1950s all a lie?
The answer is simple. Yes. Everything people like me who did not grow up in the 1950s knows about the decade has been fed lies. It was the decade of purity. Where the average family was a mom, a dad, a son, a daughter, and a puppy. Everything was in black and white. The milk man would come by around noon with some hilarious jokes. Cops could be drunks and not accidentally load off a magazine into a parked car. Things were perfect. Things were not that way.
(Jimmy McNulty, Baltimore PD. A throwback to a simpler time when cops carried beers instead of badges)
Let me mention a few evil things we forgot about the 1950s. The first being the Korean War. You never hear people talk about this war. Maybe it’s because it was sandwiched (now I’m hungry) between WWII and Vietnam. Elvis fought in the Korean War. So did one of my friend’s dads. I remember we would pick on that friend. We’d say his dad didn’t fight in a real war and to stop making shit up. We’d throw rocks at him. All of our grandpas had killed Japs and Krauts in WWII. He came from an inferior blood line than we did. That’s why he deserved the stoning. The Korean War was bad because well, it was a war, and also nothing was really accomplished with it. North Korea is one of the most awful places in the world to live. Not that Kim Jong-Il is dead, maybe things will turn around. I hope so. They make me nervous. Koreans are typically so peaceful and then you piss them off and their faces explode with anger. I blame the 1950s for this fear I live with every day.
(The Asian Terrorist from Die Hard enjoying some product placement)
Sticking with something quite similar, the Red Scare occurred during the decade of “Good Times.” I know the show Good Times didn’t come out until the 1970s. Really, if you watch closely enough to the television show Good Times, you’ll see they weren’t always good times. They had family members die. They were poor. It should have been called “Finally, A Black Family on TV” or something more accurate to the meaning behind it all. The Red Scare was when Joseph McCarthy went around claiming that everyone he didn’t like was a Communist. It’s funny how things like that change. A political view that wasn’t necessarily violent could have you blacklisted. Now we’re all about being different and accepting. We’re not allowed to discriminate against people of other creeds. We still shit on each other for having bad views politically, but it’s mostly gentle ribbing. Political opinions mean so little. We all want the same thing. We want to be happy, healthy, safe, and sexy. Trust me, sexy is very important in politics. Why else do you think it took Richard Nixon 10 years before he won an election?
(Dick Nixon; ugly man, lousy president, amazing exit)
Most of the popular actors or entertainers from the era were real pricks. Bing Crosby beat his kids, the guy who played Ricky Ricardo beat his wife, Joe Dimaggio beat his kids, wife, and the Dodgers pitching staff. It was an awful time. Everybody was beating up everybody else. And there was no one to help you. That was something they used to have called “tough love.” Now tough love is getting ice cream without warm hot fudge. Sure, you can have hot fudge, but it can’t be hot. There has to be a happy medium. One where you don’t beat your kids, but also one where parents don’t completely pussy out in discipline. Maybe you can buy your child the hot fudge sundae then smash it in front of them. Beat up the ice cream. You get out your rage and your kids don’t have to lie about getting hit by baseballs or walking into doors.
That’s really all I know about the most boring decade ever. There were also poodle skirts, greasers, Johnny B. Goode, Johnny Unitas, Alfred Hitchcock, sexual harassment in the work place, coloreds only bathrooms, and haircuts named bobs. Other than having a lot of great people born in those 10 years, the 1950s stunk. It was everyone trying to be nice and happy when really they were miserable and in desperate need of anti-depressants. Then Kennedy came along to start the 1960s. He was going to save the day. He got shot in the back of the face almost immediately. That ushered in a decade of rebellion and bra burning. I’m all for women taking off their bras, but fire disturbs me. I’m terribly afraid of matches. Blame it on the 1950s. I think matches were invented then as were barbecue potato chips. How do I know that?