One of the biggest challenges I’ve been facing with this project is how to structure it. I did a lot of experimenting in my journal. Here’s a sample.
A lot of us cast our eyes back to prohibition only to view it romantically. Maybe that’s because it’s so hard to break the habit of thinking about our interactions in terms of television shows and Hollywood films. The Capitol Theater throws a “Repeal Day” party every year, where people dress as flappers (even though prohibition ended in 1933 and austerity had already come back into fashion with the stock market crash) and drinks gin cocktails to “honor the past”. Film versions of The Great Gatsby and cheap Halloween costumes contribute to our perceptions of the past just as much as anything that actually happened.
It’s a weird appropriation of history, to drink cocktails from cheap plastic cups and pretend to dance the Lindy.
I suppose it’s romantic revisionism that leads us to believe that all the booze was taken away by boring religious fanatics. I mean, it was, but there’s more to it than that, I’m coming to find. There’s a bunch of factors at play- attitudes about sex (women hate it, but the men gotta release it somewhere!) So prostitution is legal in the West for way longer than a modern person would expect. But then the men are getting wasted and bringing home “V.D.” and beating their wives. So the wives and sympathetic men-folk suppose it’s about time to outlaw booze. If I was a booze-beaten wife in 1910 Olympia I’d probably call for it to be restricted, too.
Will I stick to this structure or try something else? What does prohibition have to do with this class? All these questions, and more, answered in my final project (hopefully!)