Mal’s America; You’ll want to cry……….

good old days

This post is by our buddy/commenter Mal.  Because Mal’s not quite as young as most of us, I asked him to compare/contrast our country’s politics and religion to how things were back in the day.   I was eager to hear his assessment and hope you find it interesting, too:

You asked me recently in one of your blogs if politics in previous elections over the years (since I’m 87!) were similar to today.  I have to say “NO”.  Never have I seen a more divided people than this President has created.  For example, I remember when George Wallace, a Southerner and known Socialist, ran as a third party I believe in the 1960’s, both the GOP and the Dems got together and made sure he didn’t win.  Now we see the Dems actually supporting one.  The biggest difference today is in the attitude of the masses.  We’ve gone from “what can I do to help?” to “what’s in it for ME?”.  We’ve gone from pride to self pity; from ambition to apathy.  We desperately need a new leader who can re-instill the pride and honor of previous generations.  If we don’t, we are doomed.

You have also asked about the differences in the topic of religion in America and how that’s changed.  It has definitely changed…for the worse.   No one objected to saying Merry Christmas at Christmas time anymore than saying God Bless You when you sneezed!  Prayer was not only accepted but encouraged at most venues.  We pledged allegiance to our flag every morning in school.  In games or sports, if we chose up sides the last ones to get selected just sucked it up and accepted they weren’t as good as some of the others.  That was life and we accepted it without feeling self pity, and instead, worked harder to do better at it.    -Mal

Please weigh in on Mal’s thoughts and even add if you think we CAN get back to the America we all knew and loved…….or if you think Mal and I are overboard and things aren’t so bad, tell us;  we’re eager to hear.   And thanks for your terrific input, Mal.   I don’t see how we’ll ever get back to those times, but I SURE do wish we could.


HERE’s a little more from Mal which we think you’ll get a kick out of:

 In the 30’s during the Great Depression Socialism once again reared its ugly head.  Due to the dire conditions of the times it gained popularity and stuck around until WWll when it faded away.  It was called Technocracy.  It touted a government run by technical experts and their insignia could be seen on signs all over the country.  It was a circle with a lazy “S” thru it with one half red, the other half white.  Later, during an economics class I was taking at USC our prof. was covering Technocracy and said people would be paid by the “ergs” instead of the hours they worked.  When someone asked how a ditch digger, for example, could compare to a brain surgeon, the Prof said they had physical ergs and mental ergs, and we all laughed.  Can you blame us? – Mal


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26 Responses to Mal’s America; You’ll want to cry……….

  1. Silverfiddle says:

    Interesting article. I love stuff like this. Senior citizens like Mal who share their eye-witness accounts are a national treasure.


  2. Never have I seen a more divided people than this President has created.

    I’ve heard the same thing from others older than I.

    America did recover — partially, anyway — from the earlier division cited (George Wallace days). I really don’t see how America will recover now, though. Zinn-ism has overtaken our educational system K through Ph.D. Look at all the young people rallying support Bernie.


  3. George Wallace was a Socialist? This 1968 brochure says the opposite.

    I hope that Mal will elaborate on the above.


  4. On the other hand, Tennessee attorney Ray Jenkins stated that Wallace was a socialist:

    RAY JENKINS, Alabama Journal : He had a reputation as something of a quote “socialist.” He, he sponsored all of this, uh, legislation that would bring industry to the state and that sort of thing. Uh, but mainly he was identified with the Jim Folsom wing of politics, the very progressive, liberal faction of, uh, Alabama politics.


  5. Sparky says:

    Mal is a good writer. I appreciate him taking the time to catalog what America was truly like before the current reign of terror.
    I’m nearly 60 and remember America in the same light. It started changing quickly when the schools where integrated. My husband is almost 68. He remembers how some teachers made the students memorize at least one line of Holy Scripture every day. Gee, they didn’t turn out hateful, dangerous, misguided or whiny like the kids nowadays. Instead, the schools taught us to be imbued with a good work ethic, a sense of community and working towards the common good. I blame the schools. Once they where taken over by the Socialists/Communists, it went demonic.


  6. geeez2014 says:

    Mal, I was surprised to hear you say Wallace was a socialist, too…could you elaborate?

    I am SO glad you all found this interesting; I sure did……
    SF is right…Mal is a National Treasure….

    Sparky, how wonderful to hear your husband’s remembrances…what a VERY better world we had at that time.

    I wanted to say one more thing before going off to teach today: I have said MANY TIMES on my blog over the years about how much kinder, gentler, more productive, better, America was in the past. and every single time, the liberals who I allowed to comment until I went to WordPress because they forced me there (and you know who one in particular is) “So you want to go back to Jim Crow? Those better times?”

    I was always stunned and, also, fascinated to see how they’d change the subject and insult when the point was a good one, had tons of validity and needed to be said in hopes we could improve the mess the leftwingers have put us in in contrast. (And no, I don’t think it’s all leftwing influence that’s destroyed the goodness Mal and Sparky’s husband describe, but………..most of it)


  7. The issue of a Technocracy is pivotal.
    That’s why we have all the “Czars”.
    Administrators who are “experts”.
    The socialist goal is an adminutrative state.
    This was best exemplified popularly in the movie and book by HG Wells “Things to Come” where scientists, in their wisdom, rule the world.
    Climate Change, anyone?


  8. John M. Berger says:


    I am, daily, reminded of a book that I read in 1970, FUTURE SHOCK. If you ask me, a significant contribution to our grossly understated unemployment rate is technologies exponential growth and the resultant displacement of human participation. If there is one thing (out of many) that I can’t stand it is to call, usually out of frustration, for assistance and then get confronted by some obnoxious robot. Well I could go on and on but…………………………………….

    On our present trajectory [we] will, at some point, be ruled exclusively by TECHNOCRATS. I, for one, will be glad to NOT be around for that!



  9. FB says:

    My dad sent me this a few weeks ago and applied to a country it makes sense as well

    France is in the death zone for example. I think America is in the aristocratic phase (1%, the Bushes, the Clintons, etc…) and is going towards bureaucracy with the ever increasing centralization of government. So death may be on the way as well. Give it, like France, 30-40 years, after entering the bureaucratic stage (socialism in France in the 80s)


  10. Baysider says:

    That’s good, FB. I’m 62 and we said the pledge, but no God, prayer or bible in our school except at convocations and graduations. We sang real Christmas carols and called them Christmas programs at school. Things turned after that. Hmm…..

    We crave a real leader who models affinity for the American constitution and faith in God. One man CAN have such an influence, but only when he’s backed up by parents and teachers who are teaching and modeling the same message. Then we’d have 300 million people who carried it in their soul, something no leader can do, no matter how good. If he could, he would merely be a master magician in manipulating emotions.


  11. Mal says:

    Thanks for all the kind words above, everyone. To try and clarify my calling Geo. Wallace a Socialist I do remember there being some controversy at that time but don’t remember all that much. I was busy working and supporting a family of 6 so didn’t have the time I have now to study it all. AOW asked, then covered it pretty well above, I believe. Anyway, that was “the word” then.
    (Sorry for the tardiness. I’ve been busy with “to-do” things on my “Honey-Do” list from my wife).


  12. bocopro says:

    The sweetest nostalgia I ever experience deals with two things: one, those marvelous times when Reggie and I were young, strong, flat-bellied, agile, bulletproof, and fearless; the other, those vital, resident, fundamental, delicious images deep-rooted in my teenage years which have filtered everything I’ve become and focused everything I’ve accomplished since.

    Nostalgia comes to me as a taste of Asia when Reggie cooks or when her friends come over to get in their little gaggles and giggle. It roams around in my head kicking up old sensations . . . the oppressive tropical heat like a blanket of warm, aromatic cooking oil all over my body . . . the sting in my nostrils from the old women slowly roasting mysterious bits of goat and dog and cat and monkey over smoky fires and selling it to the sailors as barbecued pig . . . the surprisingly heady, aphrodisiac allure of Lifebuoy soap mixed with sweat and cheap perfume . . . the primal Thump-thump-Thump-thump of overdriven speakers playing “Louie-Louie” and “Black is Black” and “G-L-O-R-I-A” making the walls shake 3 buildings away . . . rain like bathwater coming down from a sky filled with smoke from burning fields and hillsides as farmers cleared their land for new crops . . . white teeth in brown faces smiling, grinning, sometimes genuine, often scheming . . . garlic, onions, pork, chicken, flavored cooking oils, low-quality marijuana . . . outrageously decorated jeeps loaded with passengers careening down narrow, crowded streets for about a penny and a half per ride.

    Japan was unbelievably clean. Okinawa was incredibly filthy. Manila was enormously dangerous. Hong Kong was stiflingly crowded. Saigon was enormously confusing. Bangkok was surprisingly cheap. Singapore was refreshingly organized. Korea was immeasurably cold. Subic was unspeakably carnal. And I loved every minute of every hour I was in every one of those places.

    The other kind comes at night when the room is cold, when I’ve pulled the blankets up over my head and formed that little tunnel to breathe through; when I’ve snuggled that extra pillow up against my chest and put my mind on autopilot. Instantly I’m transported back to a time when I could run effortlessly, for hours, in leather-soled shoes with hard rubber heels. I could do at least 100 situps and 40 or so pullups and enough pushups to burn off three cheeseburgers dripping with animal fat and smothered with salt and cheese and barely break a sweat. I remember the girls – the Debbies and Sallies and Judies and Charlottes and Kays – and how slender they were, how seductive they could make themselves without Oscar de la Renta or Lancombe or Estee Lauder, how mysterious their smiles and their innocent but all-important secrets, how they could slink and strut and completely destroy teenage boys without even knowing about Liz Clairborne or Maggie Sweet or J. R. Crew. The aroma of not-particularly-good perfume and spearmint gum together with inexpensive but effective shampoo was a lethal combination, elevating my blood pressure to dangerous peaks, causing various organs in my chest to attempt escapes, and putting those jungle-rhythm tom-toms to work in my head.

    I live again the outrageous boasts, the preposterous plans, the insane antics I pulled with the Bills and Steves and Alans and Roys and Everetts, draining the hoses at gas stations after they had closed so we could cruise a few more times past the girls’ houses, saving our precious coins for sodas and burgers and fries at the Sugar Bowl or the Town & Country drive-in restaurant on the edge of town where we circled like young Apache renegades, trying to make those ancient engines pop the tires and seriously impress everyone in earshot. I grew up in a little place exactly like all the ones thousands of other kids grew up in during the 50s, the genesis of the American Graffiti subculture. Those little towns were interchangeable, indistinguishable, and absolutely unique to Middle America. Unimaginable freedom linked inextricably to unfathomable angst. Memories I never want to lose and where I’ll live when my eyes and knees give out.


  13. Baysider says:

    Isn’t it wonderful when memories enhance life? That’s poetry bocopro!


  14. bocopro says:

    Merci. Love bumpin nouns & verbs together, makin ’em march sometimes, waltz sometimes, and occasionally jitterbug or boogaloo. Throw a lotta stuff out to my e-mail addee group . . . some of it sticks, and some comes flyin back.

    But . . . as I’ve often said, some guys build boats in their basements that’ll never get wet. I write poems and stories in my spare time that’ll never get read.

    Birdhouses that no birds ever come to live in. Stupid birds!


  15. Mal says:

    You wax poetic, Bocopro. You also rang a bell with me when you mentioned draining gas hoses. During WW ll we had gas rationing which limited me to 3 gallons per week, if memory serves me correctly. This was noted by A, B, C & D stickers on our windshields and as high school students we got the minimum allowed. We got a book of stamps with the designated letter on them which was surrendered to the station attendant when filling. My best buddy worked at a station on some evenings and we would drain the hoses into a gas can after each customer left, giving us the necessary fuel to cruise Hollywood Blvd. or the Sunset Strip. I’d all but forgotten about that. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.


  16. bocopro says:

    I’m just barely old enough to remember the paper and rubber and metal drives during WWII . . . barely a year old when Nagumo snuk up on Pearl.


  17. geeez2014 says:

    I am SO grateful for my amazing memories of living in years in Munich and Paris, singing around town (and there, too), my family, friends, faith walk, education. It’s true; memories enhance life; it’s my hope to constantly be making even more wonderful memories!
    Thanks, bocopro

    Mal, what a great post, thanks so much for having contributed it……….


  18. Bob says:

    Thanks for the article, Mal. I, too, was surprised to hear that G Wallace was a socialist. He was a traditional democrat that didn’t mind running on race when I was coming up in Tennessee. I remember Wallace fulfilling his promise to stand in the school house door at Univ of Alabama if blacks were admitted there, and I was in the 11th grade when the riots broke out at Univ of Mississippi. Those were interesting days.

    I was not around for the WWII rationing, but I was a first grader when my brother was killed in Korea.

    The politics now are a bit more contentious, but I remember just despising Lyndon Johnson. Dems despised Barry Goldwater the guy I supported. Even though I couldn’t vote, I was a Goldwater poll worker.


  19. Kid says:

    Well let’s see. Off the top of my head…

    50’s 60’s 70’s 80’s 90’s:

    The news wasn’t filled with every deviant human condition known to man or beast.
    I enjoyed watching TV, albeit much of it was boring. Much of it was funnny though too.
    Male-female social events.
    Drive-in movies. (Comedy movies were very funny and had no profainity. Same with comedians. Folks took us to Mad Mad Mad Mad world when were still single digts and we howled the entire movie)
    Laugh in. SNL prime time players. Stood the test of time. Most since have not.
    The freaks stayed behind the woodwork.
    We were a poor family. This is hindsight, but poverty taught me many valuable things I would not have in me today. We were happy with pretty mundane presents at Christmas or Birthday. We learned how to make our own presents and fun.
    Boy Scouts
    Fights were done with fists and when they were over they were over. Nobody ran home got a gun and came back spitting lead.
    Girls were girls and sheep were sheep and you didn’t mess with the sheep.
    I paid zero attention to politics
    We grew up near some very rough areas around Pittsburgh like the North Side. People weren’t getting shot everyday. Nor every month, nor every 6 months.
    We had TONs of black friends. Never an issue, though you never went into the projects. Especially like my little brother and his friend did once in his friends 60-something Cadillac with my little brother shouting I Hate N—-s out the window at 11 PM. They were lucky to come out alive.
    People didn’t dress like bums and clowns and no one had tattoos or peircings.
    Cops cut you a lot of slack except the occasional Barney Fife doofus local.
    Street racing.
    People helped each other.
    Observation decks at the airport.
    Women and girls were defended
    No commercials on TV about feminine hygeine, ED products or drugs to treat medium consequence conditions but that could kill you or make you limbs fall off. Commercials that didn’t make you want to pound the mute button.
    It was an ignorance wazs bliss for me for much of it.


    The exact opposite.


  20. Mal says:

    Yes. We saved rubber and metal, and had paper drives at school to aid in the war effort. Plastic was developed as an alternative to metal because metal was all being used for the war. Plastic was almost totally made from vegetables. Margarine is one element short of being plastic. Or maybe I should say plastic has one extra element over margarine. Despite all the bad from war, it also advances technology. Plastic, Jet engines (Germany), power steering (Chrysler developed for tanks), and penicillin just to name a few. AND…………. lets not forget the ever-popular Jeep!


  21. Imp says:

    I feel blessed and so grateful and nostalgic over Mal’s and Boco’s posts…that my eyes swelled…and then with laughter at the some of the same memories. Thanks.


  22. geeez2014 says:

    Kid, your list sounded so sweet that I nearly wept reading it…Oh, for those days..
    Imp; I’m with you! Tearful, isn’t it?
    Even worse is that most kids don’t even KNOW the feelings of loving this country, people doing such good for each other, etc…

    I have some REALLY REALLY sweet kids at my high school, but worry for them SO much…

    Mal, Grandma (Dad’s Mom, Dorothy) used to keep tin foil, folding it, etc….and they were always financially comfortable…but the Depression and War did make for frugality.
    I had a wonderful friend who died last year at 90….she was a Depression baby from TX and had no financial worries her WHOLE LIFE…but she’d take the rolls home from expensive restaurants …AND when I giggled about that with a mutual friend, the friend said “Dotty DID do that but she always sometimes BUTTERED the rolls and THEN took them home!” I laugh every time I think of it, and her house was worth Five Million bucks! 🙂


  23. Kid says:

    Z, Well, If I’d have spent some more time on it 😉


  24. geeez2014 says:

    HA!! You mean THEN I’d have REALLY CRIED!? Probably!! 🙂


  25. geeez2014 says:

    Talk about no commercials with feminine hygiene products and how degraded we’ve become:
    I had REBA on the other day, just because the show I was watching was over and I’d left the TV on…I glanced over at the TV and there is her daughter getting married and the photog’s asking for a family photo and the new groom says to Reba (MacIntyre) “Don’t worry, Mrs. (whatever)…I have a lot of condoms for the honeymoon!”: WHAT KIND OF TALK ON TV???

    It’s so disgusting…….

    This made me really laugh “with my little brother shouting I Hate N—-s out the window at 11 PM.” Imagine? And he didn’t, did he.
    Today in Vocabulary, one of the synonyms for PARSIMONIOUS was NIGGARDLY…You should have seen the kids start tittering and giggling…I said “I know you’re laughing at one of the synonym choices; That’s a word that used to be perfectly okay…I’ll admit you had to pronounce it carefully and pretty much nobody used it…but let’s move on…Number 14..!” 🙂


  26. Kid says:

    Z, Really cried? Maybe. But I’m humbled aready. Thank you. Maybe a future post and we’ll so how it plays. It’s a good subject for one.

    And screaming out the window driving through the projects? Oh yea. Real deal. The Caddy got banged up on the escape too as the owner will readily testify to.

    I like numba 13 🙂 I’ve always been a contrarian.


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