2020 is around four months away. With that, it means not only a new decade, but also a century since the Roaring Twenties – the decade of Prohibition, jazz music, and the flapper girl craze.
Cheers to the Second Roaring Twenties
It’s a crazy claim, but we should bring it back. Maybe not the banning of alcohol (history shows that would be a massive mistake), but dapper looks and often-wild music could be a fun tribute.
Here are a few reasons why.
Jazz music is an underrated genre
Musical trends come and go, and eventually, one style becomes the prevailing genre. It used to be rock, but – even though there is still a ton of good rock music being made – it has been superseded by rap and electronic music. Before rock, jazz and rhythm-n-blues were the predominant sounds.
Like everything else, nothing in pop culture truly dies. You still have your die-hard jazz fans, just as you have your devotees of art films and wrestling.
As a result, we should bring back jazz music. Everything is cyclical (the 90s, for example, saw a resurgence of a trend from the sixties), and it’s high-time we pass the torch to jazz music.
Flapper girls deserve their day, too.
As I said, fashion and other trends are cyclical. Just because it seems like nobody enjoys them, doesn’t mean you need to throw out your favourite articles of clothing or shelve a pastime you love. Just wait, and they’ll come back.
But unlike long hair and bell-bottoms, the flapper style hasn’t made much of a comeback. In case you aren’t aware, flappers were women who kept their hair short, went to jazz clubs, wore lengthy fur coats, and swore off high heels. The trend was a backlash to the prim-and-proper femininity of the time.
Unless I’m wrong, the look hasn’t returned. That’s really a sin. I guess perhaps it has been overtaken by the short, androgynous styles of recent years – but then, hippie looks haven’t faded since the sixties ended, so I don’t know how true this is.
We could create a new Roaring Twenties.
Let’s face it. Prohibition failed miraculously. The Constitutional effort to ban drinking (later repealed by the 21st Amendment, which undid the 18th Amendment that created Prohibition) didn’t ban it at all. Instead, it just drove legal boozers underground.
We’ve seen it happen with drug prohibition. People who use illegal intoxicants face threats of imprisonment in essentially the same ways as alcoholics a hundred years ago did. Cartels and gangs murder innocent people just as their Mafia forebears did.
We could change all of this in the next decade. We could create a new Roaring Twenties to replace the old one. And as an afterthought, please no stock market crash.
All the slang.
The Twenties had such cool slang. There are entire dictionaries you can Google. Some of the more popular examples include “bread” (money), “dig” (if you like something you “dig it”), and “cat” (guy/dude). “Cool” also originated during this time, I believe.
We should bring back all this slang. No Roaring Twenties would be complete without it. Even if you don’t like jazz and you don’t care about the flapper girl aesthetic, you have to admit that the slang was neat.
Some might argue we have no use for it since times change, but I think we would have a much hipper culture if we utilized what’s already available to us. Can never have too much slang.
So there we have it. Four reasons we should bring back the Roaring Twenties next year. More than likely, we won’t – but I still think it would be neat if we did. Wouldn’t you agree?
Stephanie Knarr recently moved to Pittsburgh, PA from the Harrisburg, PA area. Her writing appears in Harrisburg’s local magazine, The Burg, and her work will soon appear in Unwinnable and Five:2: One. Her favourite drink is RC Cola, and her favourite band is probably Animal Collective.