THE FORGOTTEN MAN
This is what the veterans of World War 1, now out of work, some living homeless in the streets, at the heights of the depression were called. To make the times even worse, the dust storms hit the mid west rendering many farms and towns unlivable.
The Madjewess and I just watched a movie called Gold Diggers of 1933. It’s a pre Hays Code film about putting on a show during the depths of the depression. Since its pre Hays Code, the movie speaks often of the depression and the women are not only suggestive but sometimes scantily clad, all of which were not allowed after the Code (1934). The Code also destroyed Betty Boop.
The movie stars Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, Joan Blondell, Ginger Rodgers, William Warren and Ned Sparks, the typical Warner Brothers musical cast of the 1930s. The final number is called The Forgotten Man, with Joan Blondell as a woman forced by the terrible times to be a street walker. She speaks in pitch about the forgotten man while the cut away scenes show the doughboys marching off to war in the trenches while others, wounded march back and now they are mostly all out of work, destitute and forgotten. The scene comes back to Joan Blondell and you notice a homeless man sleeping in back of her. A beat policeman comes along to roust the sleeping ‘bum’ but Blondell opens his collar to reveal that he was a Congressional Medal of Honor soldier. The police man is taken aback and leaves him alone. If that scene doesn’t break you up, nothing will.
If you watch the next movie, Gold Diggers of 1935, two years later, the depression is still in its heights (or depths) and if you watch the next one Gold Diggers of 1937, two years later still, its still depression time. Three years after that those men marched off into another world war. What a great generation they were, the greatest ever. There will never be another like them.
Today’s spoiled on entitlements America could never withstand what the people of the 1930’s went through. They can’t even take what is going on now. America, in a spiral down, is weak, fat, dumb and happy—well not so happy any more as many finally wake up, albeit far too late.