I was researching a project last night which led me to this 1930s-40s in Color (Set) on Flickr. The photo below wasn’t really germane to what I was looking for, but like so many other stream-of-consciousness digressions on the web, it does enjoy an odd synchronicity with so many year-end blog entries I’ve been reading lately. Namely, how most of us view this first decade of the new millenium as something of a bust. And no, that’s not my opinion; according to the Pew Research people, that’s a fact (details here).
Of course, the events of the day will always effect how you view things and this Downhill Decade has been lousy with fear. We kicked off with the Y2K hysteria then quickly plowed into the wrenching impact of 9/11 which cast a long shadow across the national psyche. On and on, the news presented a steady drumbeat of negativity, from Hurricane Katrina to Islamic fundamentalism to Wall Street venality and even my beloved Irish’ ongoing ineptitude on the gridiron: it’s been a decade rife with fear.
But, to quote John Goodman’s character Gale Snoats in the imminently quotable Raising Arizona, “I would rather light a candle then curse your darkness.” And so, take a moment and look at this railcar from long ago, snapped by a true American treasure, photographer Jack Delano. This was just one of a 50-car railroad carnival that traveled the Eastern Seaboard for three decades, starting in 1933. Delano spotted it at the Vermont State Fair of 1941. Take a moment and read that strong, confident typeface promising a better experience. And let’s all take a moment to keep that in mind as a sort-of mental motto as we tumble into this millenium’s second decade.
We can choose to make this a World of Mirth, even should some boneheaded Nigerian try to make it a world of evil and needless brutality. Mirth can prevail if we will it so. Joy is a choice. I choose joy.
And hope this Kelly fella can do something about Notre Dame football.
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79