The Laughing Flapper

A vintage girl stuck in the 21st Century

Archive for the tag “United States”

The Only Difference Between a Derelict and a Man Is a Job

Have you ever seen the 1936 film My Man Godfrey, starring William Powell as Godfrey and his real life ex-wife Carole Lombard as Irene Bullock?  If not, I suggest that you find it and watch it.  It’s a glorious film.

My Man Godfrey 2

"Forgotten Man" Godfrey (Powell) and spoiled rich girl Irene (Lombard) in My Man Godfrey (1936)

One of the best lines in the flick occurs when Godfrey gives his old chum Tommy a tour of the city dump he lived in before Irene took him under her wing and gave him the job as the Bullock family’s butler.  While Godfrey and Tommy sat among the piles of rubbish, Godfrey said, “The only difference between a derelict and a man is a job.”

There is a lot of wisdom in those twelve little words.  Think about it.  To this day some of us see a person living on the streets in tattered clothes and automatically assume they’re a bum, someone who is less than a respectable human being.  But if we take that “bum” off the streets, clean him up and give him a job, suddenly he is a real man with opinions that matter.

My Man Godfrey was a charming screwball comedy, but it was also able to expose the differences between the lowest class of people and the highest class.  It also showed that a homeless person isn’t necessarily an uneducated bum, and a rich person isn’t necessarily unfeeling and heartless.

There has always been a class war in the US.  Admit it.  Someone somewhere decided that it was a good idea to pit the impoverished and the wealthy against each other, and it worked.  There is a certain animosity on both sides.  And the only real difference between the rich and poor is money.  That’s it.  Other than that, they are exactly the same.  Both classes are human; both classes have thoughts and emotions, and both classes are born and eventually die.

If You Don’t Vote, Then You Don’t Have the Right To Complain

English: Ballot Box showing preferential voting

Image via Wikipedia

Voting is one of the things we Americans take rather seriously most of the time, especially when it comes to national elections, such as the upcoming Presidential election in 2012.   When this nation was in its infancy, the right to vote was only given to property-owning white men.  Eventually we eliminated the property requirements, then black men got the vote, and then nearly 150 years after the United States of America declared its independence from Great Britain, women finally had a say when it came to elections.

When you go out to vote, do you feel a sense of pride?  Are you one of those folks who say, “If you don’t vote, you don’t have a right to complain about what happens in this country…”?  Do you really feel that your voice is being heard by the powers-that-be in Washington every time you go to your polling place?

Many people in the United States agree that the current government is not working for us.  Both houses of Congress are working against us by even considering, let alone passing, horrible legislation like NDAA and SOPA.  Can you honestly say that Congress is looking out for the best interest of their constituents?  It seems to me that they are looking out for the best interest of the people who really put them in office—the donors with deep pockets.  If you are someone who fully believes your vote counts, then perhaps you are unfamiliar with the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case.  If the regular Joe’s vote meant anything before, it probably won’t anymore.  Corporations have won the right to buy our elections.

The act of suppressing certain rights in this country isn’t really anything new.  We had the Sedition Act of 1918, which was an amendment to the Espionage Act of 1917, and gave government the right to suppress any type of speech that they felt was critical of them.  Then we had Jim Crow, which limited the rights of African-Americans and similar anti-miscegenation laws that prohibited interracial marriages in many states.

So what good is voting when people who vote constantly put people in office who don’t really represent us, but represent the best interest of entities that want to work against the common man and woman?  If we refuse to take part in a system like that, do we really lose the right to complain about what happens when government ignores our collective voice?

I have all but given up on voting for politicians because it seems that no matter who we put in office, we will have to deal with the same old politics as usual runaround.  However, I might stay on the active voters list so I can vote on issues.

What are your thoughts on this issue?  Please let me know by commenting below.

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