Free love, jazz, an arts renaissance, and reckless abandon were the norm after the conclusion of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. It earned the 1920s it’s signature era of mass consumerism and debauchery. There’s little reason to think history won’t repeat itself in this year and the years to come. Though 2021 isn’t quite in it’s ‘roaring’ phase, that won’t stop us at KCP from coming up with a few cultural predictions this year.
- Masks are fashion staples for now and ever
The 1920s had flirty flapper girl dresses and we have soul gazing behind face masks. Pretty soon looking too long at someone’s eye slits on the subway will basically be a marriage proposal. Besides the fact that even if you don’t need one, it’s still kind of cool to walk around looking like a ninja on vacation.
- The next Black Renaissance
Maybe the future will see all those super powers Black people received on December 21, 2020, manifest through art, movies, and songs for years to come. I mean Cardi B and Megan Thee ‘Knees’ Stallion already dropped “WAP” on the world and had everyone across the globe pretend clubbing at home and on Tik tok. If that’s not a superpower then I don’t know what is.
- Another Culture War
The Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance gave birth to unprecedented works that showcased talents from all walks of life within the African diaspora, specifically the massive amount of people that moved from the rural south to settle in northern cities. These Black artists, writers, musicians, composers, poets, essayists, actors, and playwrights funneled the aftereffects slavery and pain of Jim Crow culture into art. Some white Americans were so disturbed by the increase in the popularity of Black culture, arts, and music that “millions of people in places like Indiana and Illinois joined the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s. To them, the Klan represented a return to all the ‘values’ that the fast-paced, city-slicker Roaring Twenties were trampling,” said History.com.
This is similar to the months since the initial stages of COVID lockdown and George Floyd’s death, and the years leading up to 2020. We’ve experienced the same explosion of artistry during the Black Lives Matter movement that has created murals and representations of Black life and fallen heroes. Systemic racism still persists, and 2020 has no shortage of racists hiding behind polite values while simultaneously screaming that Black lives don’t matter.
People have been betting on the eventual bloody fallout between Democrats and Republicans, or whites and non-whites and immigrants, in the country’s next civil war. However, maybe the wars can be banished to the intangibility of the internet and neither side will suffer loss of human life. So, Twitter wars? Then we can all block each other and log off like God intended. No guns. No bombs. No more names.
- Trump returns to reality TV
He’s got to recoup the money he lost in running for president somewhere, might as well go back to his roots for the next four years.
- The Simpsons will keep predicting the future
This show has been on for the entirety of my life. Not to be dramatic but, should the dysfunctional Simpsons family ever cease to exist then I’ll take that as the second sign of the apocalypse, right before the coming of the anti-Christ. The plague from last year being the first sign of end times.