[imagesource: POLITICO illustration / Photo by iStock]
Nothing sums up the so-called ‘roaring 20s’ like the parties detailed in The Great Gatsby.
You’ve probably read it, or at least read the summary, because it seems to be an English setwork book at many schools.
The 1920s earned the nickname due to America’s post-World War I economic prosperity, as well as changing social norms, daring artistic movements, and a get-rich-quick mentality.
We haven’t survived a World War in recent times, but social norms have certainly changed over the past 18 or so months.
Enter VICE, with an article welcoming us all “to the New Roaring 20s”. It’s very much America-centric, but here we go:
…everything feels fresh and new and the decade contains the number two, prompting pundits to herald the arrival of the “New Roaring 20s.”
Coronavirus cases are down, meme stocks and crypto markets are up. It has been nearly two fiscal quarters since Donald Trump left the White House, the sun is out, and I, personally, am ready to party.
There is an exuberance in the air, as though we’ve emerged from a year spent getting poorer and sadder, alone, ready to get richer and happier, together—not through organizing and collective action, but by getting so irrationally excited about some random bullshit that it magically becomes worth money.
Cryptocurrencies, meme stocks, NFTs, trading rare Pokemon cards – there’s money to be made, if you get it right, in ways that would have seemed unimaginable a decade ago.
In terms of daring artistic movements, one of defining characteristics of the 1920s (before it all came crashing down in 1929), here’s the thinking regarding the 2020s:
In the case of the specific cultural turn we’re living through right now, we get something like this: mass unemployment causes us to scrounge around the house for shit that might be worth money, leading to Pokemon card prices skyrocketing, leading to the rapper Logic dropping $183,000 on a holographic Charizard.
Months later, this culminates in Logan Paul wearing his own holographic, first-edition Charizard on a big-ass chain as he enters the ring to fight Floyd Mayweather in a $49.99 pay-per-view boxing exhibition…
Just as the “Roaring 20s” referred more to a collective perception of the decade than a genuine shift in the way people lived, one could argue that the cultural giddiness playing out today is merely the frenetic culmination of a number of long-gestating processes.
Look, I don’t really feel like fleshing this out any further.
You should know that if you dive into the full article, there will be mentions of Millennials, OnlyFans, DJ Khaled, DogeCoin, Elon Musk, and more.
So, if that tickles your fancy, off you go.
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