Lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living

Our other 1950s

Why the new 1950s-themed threads? Recently, I’ve been finding something strangely fascinating about the 1950s. Perhaps a picture will help explain.

Kotula\'s 1960 poster shows American road construction in the heroic style, reminiscent of socialist realism. To me, at least, this version of commercial design as a neon-inflected industrial heroic is bizarre, but also oddly inspiring. Now, the 1930s were also a time of inspiring aesthetic and political movements: but perhaps too inspiring. The inter-war years had a level of radicalism I find difficult to imagine, and so it seems to me that any left-wing enthusiasm for the 30s runs a real risk of being nostalgic in a paralyzing way. What’s so interesting about the 1950s is that many of the things that appear so radical in the 1930s—technological progress, social democracy, modernist design—reappear in the 1950s as banal. Read more↴