UNITED STATES OF AMERICA — Fans and enthusiasts of the 1930s celebrated Monday, following the World Health Organization’s announcement that polio, long thought to be all but eradicated, has risen to “a public health emergency of international concern.”
“We heartily applaud the resurgence of polio virus,” said Americans for a Return to the 1930s Committee President Robert Etchberg in an interview. “As a key feature of life in the 1930s, the return of polio can only mean good things for our organization’s efforts to reintroduce the aesthetics and way of life of Depression-era America.”
It’s been a good year so far for people who wish they could live in the America of Herbert Hoover. In addition to the polio announcement, Etchberg and his supporters applauded revelations that inequality in the United States has reached levels unseen since the 1920s, as well as recent polls which indicate that Americans are rejecting the involvement in international affairs which has characterized post-World War II American diplomacy.
“What we’re seeing is encouraging, but we could do so much more,” Etchberg insisted. There are 68 confirmed cases of polio so far this year, more than the 24 recorded in all of 2013, but this is still far less than the hundreds of thousands of people who suffered from polio in the 1930s. “Although the wealth gap is widening,” noted Etchberg, “the working-class Americans have far safer working conditions and have far nicer possessions than their counterparts in the 1930s.”
“And the new isolationism appears to be based off of world-weariness and concern about the national debt rather than xenophobia, but we’ll take it,” Etchberg added.
“With Depression-level inequality in the United States, an uptick in polio cases, and the return of isolationism, there really is no better time for a ‘30s revival,” said Etchberg. “At the rate things are going, we’re also going to have a militaristic loon take over half of Europe shortly after hosting the Olympics. The ‘30s are back, baby.”
Although hopeful about promoting a return to the values and lifestyles of the 1930s, Etchberg and the Americans for a Return to the 1930s Committee admit that, certain aspects of life from their favorite decade are unlikely to return.
“Wearing a suit every day, well, that bird has flown the coop, if you get my meaning,” Etchberg said. “And civil rights for minorities and women are not the sort of thing that disappears overnight. But there’s always a chance jazz will make a comeback.”