The Greatest Generation Grows Up: American Childhood in the 1930s

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Please excuse any incoherency that may occur during this blog entry dear readers - I spent way too much time outside today and now I feel like the before scene in a commercial for allergy medicine. And I can't take anything for it at this point of the day because allergy medicine makes me hyper. It always causes me to lose the ability to censor myself. And I'm sure there are at least a few of you who are sitting there thinking And how would that be different from how you normally are? Well, believe it or not, this is actually the censored version of myself. Or maybe it would be more appropriate to say that this blog only represents 50% of my personality, the other 50% rarely makes an appearance (although it will be making slightly more of an appearance in the book version of this years events, which I am currently writing.) But I'm having a bit of problem figuring out where the line is with what to put in the book and what to leave out. After writing a blog for months, and now being on Twitter (last shameless plug, I swear) I've become delusional. I've lost the ability to figure out what parts of my life people actually want to hear about and what stories should never see the light of day.

Today's book, "This latest volume in the American childhood series chronicles the life and times of Americans who grew up during the Great Depression and entered adulthood during World War II." - Okay, so you probably already figured that out from the title of the book anyway, but I can't help but notice that the books that treat the readers like idiots seem to sell really well, so that was my shameless attempt at greater popularity.

I'm very excited to find out that today's book was one of a series - and I should be embarrassed to admit that I didn't realize that until I typed up the book description, but embarrassment seems to elude me when it comes to this blog. I enjoyed today's book. I love history, but sometimes books about historical events can be so dull that I feel like I'm not really reading it but rather forcing myself through it. I didn't feel that way at all today - the book felt like a very quick read, which was a really good thing considering the allergy fog I'm in right now. I also had a little bit of trouble focusing today because reading this book made me want to read Kit's Story and watch the movie. Maybe I'll read that book for the blog some time in the next few weeks. What do you think dear readers, yah or nah (keeping in mind of course that I don't respond well to people telling me what to do, so if you say nah I want you to do so with the understanding that I'm going to disregard your opinion and read it anyway.)

Shallow thoughts:

  • This sentence jumped out at me as soon as I read it, "Throughout their lives the 1930s generation tended to be more frugal than those who followed." Tell us something we don't already know Ms. Author - anyone who has watched their Grandparents rinse and reuse a Ziploc bag, or save two bites of stuffing, or hand out "bottled" water to guests that was in fact bottled in their kitchen two minutes before the guests arrived, already knows that. But you go ahead and state the obvious Ms. Author, maybe you were just making a shameless bid at popularity as well. And I totally respect that.

  • This sentence didn't just jump out at me, it jumped out and horrified me, "For example, the Hastingses used baking soda instead of toothpaste, pages from mail-order catalogues for toilet paper. . . " - Whaaaaat? I didn't make it past the "catalogues for toilet paper" part. How is my brain supposed to compute anything after reading that? Okay, so I've now learned a very important lesson about not romanticizing the past - and tonight, as I'm falling asleep, I'm going to lie there and thank God for toilet paper. Hey why not - God probably needs to laugh every now and then too, after all He spends most of His day listening to people whine.

  • The Every-book-I-read-reminds-me-of-something-I-watched-on-TV phenomenon continues (this syndrome is otherwise known as Angie-needs-to-back-away-from-the-TV). The book mentioned the efforts made between the 20s and 30s to reform adoption laws, and it then went on to tell of an adoption scandal that took place in the mid-30s, involving a woman named Georgia Tann. And while I was reading it I kept thinking how familiar the story sounded - and then it hit me, I watched a really cheesy TV movie that was based on that story. The movie wasn't that great - so naturally, I've watched it about four times. I have no idea why I feel so compelled to watch crappy TV movies over and over again - or why it is that every time I watch I find myself saying things like, This movie is terrible - the acting is awful, the dialogue is a disaster, I already know how it's going to end, and CRAAAAAAAP I forgot to record it. Now I'm not going to be able to watch it again tomorrow. I mean really, sometimes I just can't figure out what's wrong with me.

So, in conclusion dear readers, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes history. I would also recommend that TV movie to anyone who enjoys flushing their spare time down the toilet.