It’s easy to take our modern life for granted, but there was once a time, not too long ago, when things in our world appeared to be very different.

There were some memes getting posted recently on social media titled, Comments Made in 1957. I did some research and found many of the comments are actually older than 1957, and some were later. Regardless, I thought they were quite funny because they put our modern lives into perspective. I’m not sure where these comments originated, but I wanted to share a few of them here.

“I’m afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying ‘damn’ in Gone With The Wind, it seems every new movie has either hell or damn in it…”

Gone With The Wind was released in 1939. The Motion Picture Association of America fined the producers nearly $85,000 for their blatant use of profanity. Did people not use profanity before that? They did, and movies as far back as the 1920’s said hell and damn too. One movie, Hell’s Angels, in 1930, even went so far as to say SON OF A BITCH. Can you imagine a modern movie, or even a TV show for that matter, without profanity in it? You can’t even watch a Christian show now because they say hell and damn too. That’s why I don’t go to church. I can’t stand the vulgar language…

“If they raise the minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.”

Sound familiar? The minimum wage was raised to $1.00 an hour in 1961. Now we have people complaining about not making a $15 hourly minimum wage. I made $3.75 per hour at my first job. It sucked, but I got free ice cream too, so it all worked out. Maybe that’s what we need to do today.

“When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon.”

Gas was 29 cents a gallon in 1961. When I got my first car, gas was 89 cents per gallon. Then, that crazy Gulf War happened in 1990 where we invaded Iraq and liberated Kuwait (two of the largest oil producers in the world). One would think gas prices would have went down after saving the region from tyranny, but we see where we’re at now. Funny how that works.

“If they think people will pay 50 cents for a hair cut, forget it.”

I don’t really have anything to say on this one, because look at my picture at the end of this post. I haven’t paid for a haircut in probably 20 years, but if I DID have hair, I wouldn’t want to pay 50 cents. For that price they better shave my back hair too.

“Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn’t surprise me if someday they’ll be making more than the president.”

In 1949, Joe DiMaggio was the first baseball player to earn a salary of $100,000. In contrast that same year, US President Harry S. Truman made $75,000 per year before getting a raise to $100,000. Baseball salaries steadily rose until 1980 when Nolan Ryan was the first player to make $1,000,000 per year. In 1994, baseball players went on strike in the US because they felt they were under paid, with salaries ranging from a minimum of $109,000 to a maximum of 1,168,263. Just in case you care, the average baseball player salary in 2019 was $4.36 million. The presidential salary in 2019 was $400,000 (though Trump chose not to accept it). For the record, I stopped caring about baseball after 1994 because the strike devalued my baseball card collection. Interesting facts you never knew.

“It’s too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet.”

There is no way America could have won World War 2 without the help of women in the workforce, but it wasn’t until the 1960’s when the US saw a major increase in women entering the workforce in more professional roles beyond occupations like secretarial, teachers, and nurses. This leads to the next comment…

“It won’t be long before young couples have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work.”

Once upon a time, parents actually raised their own kids. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 63% of families in the US had both parents working in 2018. In 1950, only 33.9% of women were employed. I personally have no issue with women working, especially if they make more than me. That way I can stay home and write more. I’m not necessarily  looking for a sugar mama, but if anyone has some extra money laying around… (hint hint)

“I’m just afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business.” 

Volkswagen first introduced their cars to the US market in 1949. They sold two (yes, 2) that year. It wasn’t until 1955 that the company really tried to expand in the US. Some rich people had been importing foreign cars such as Ferrari and Mercedes models, but it’s wasn’t until the 1960’s and 70’s that average Americans truly saw an expansion of foreign influence. During that same time, the average number of defects in US made vehicles coming off the assembly line was 24, many of which were safety related. Over the following years, foreign vehicles were becoming seemingly more reliable. In 2019, more than half of the vehicles sold in the US were foreign. Coincidence?

“No one can afford to be sick anymore; $35 a day in the hospital is too rich for my blood.”

Out of everything, this is probably the worst. $35 might buy you a tissue during a hospital stay in the US today.  For my readers around the world, you have no clue how bad, and how expensive, health care is in the US. It’s beyond sad that the cost of medical care has gotten to the point where even a minor accident or illness could literally bankrupt someone. People need to buy into my health care plan: Purchase some duct tape and crazy glue to fix yourself. It’s much cheaper.

Surprisingly, these old complaints are not much different than things we complain about today. It makes me wonder what will people say about our complaints and problems in the future. Whatever the era, we’re always going to have complaints. The difference will come with how we respond to these issues. We can sit back and do nothing, or make a difference to truly try to make our lives better.

As I always say, be the change you want to see…

~ Marty ~


Marty Augustine - Writer, Author, Entetrtainer

Marty is a writer and entertainer based in Kansas City.

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