The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

A roaring obsession


Lately, I’ve developed a mild obsession with “The Great Gatsby.” I read the book a long time ago, but from what I remember, the movie is a fairly accurate portrayal. This infatuation is partially due to my love of Leonardo Di Caprio, but also because of a question I always ask new people to gage their interests.

I can’t remember where I picked this up from, but I love asking people, “If you could spend your late teens and early twenties in any other decade, which one would you pick?” You can tell so much about a person from their response.

My answer has always been the same—the 20s. I’ve always been fascinated by women breaking tradition by embodying the flapper lifestyle—not just their clothes—and the craftiness of people to sneak lavish parties during prohibition. They didn’t nickname the decade “the roaring 20s” for nothing. Seeing the Gatsby party scene and hearing the jazz and big band music, along with the way every character was dressed and acting only further affirmed my permanent answer.

I’m not saying that I dislike this era, or that everyone in that one could afford lavish parties, only that I think the human race has in some manner devolved. Sure, the technological advances are wonderful, but they inhibit our ability to interact with people. I hate being in contact all the time and it’s extremely irritating to be talking to someone and see them on their phone, clearly not listening.

Because of the Internet, people know your every move and can figure out your past just by looking far enough back on Facebook. There’s no mystery to people and men don’t try to sweep women off their feet anymore. No wonder relationships run such short courses in this day and age.

Gatsby built his entire life around loving a woman he hadn’t seen for many years. That kind of commitment gives me goose bumps because it’s so unheard of today.

Today’s society puts significantly less effort in to almost every facet of life—social interactions, dating and even the way they dress. In the 20s, men left the house wearing three-piece suits, pocket watches and newsboy caps or boaters, and women in ornate dresses and headbands. I wish so badly that these outfits were still popular because I don’t get the opportunity to tell someone they look dapper often enough.

Since the 20s, the way we speak has gotten lazy. The English language is riddled with beautiful words to describe feelings, situations, give compliments, etc. Using strong wording has become taboo. We should seriously put a little more effort into daily life to restore some of the beauty our culture was founded upon.

So, on your next trip to the local movie rental spot, rent “The Great Gatsby”--even if you’ve already seen it. Pay attention to the way they speak, dress, act and treat each other. The way of life in the 20s is so much more glamorous than the one we live in.


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