Sunday, November 26, 2006

THE FOUR FREEDOMS

On January 6, 1941, president Roosevelt gave a speech before congress. The finale of the speech came to be known as the Four Freedoms. January 1941. Western Europe was under the Nazi boot, the Battle of Britain was just over, Hitler and Stalin were eyeing each other over the shattered remains of Poland. It would be nearly a year before the US was officially involved in what would become a world wide war.

FDR gave voice to a dream and Norman Rockwell put it on canvas. The paintings not only graced magazine covers but were used for campaigns supporting the war effort. I've always loved the faces of the people Rockwell used in his paintings.

 I think this might be a New England town meeting or something similar. Flannel shirt, battered jacket, workworn hands; he's just as free to speak and the guys in the suits. Times have changed. Not all the faces would be male and white these days.

Pretty self explanatory, and we're still working on it. The whole world is still working on it.

My grandmother used to wear those little cotton dresses. Probably Thanksgiving and the table isn't nearly as ample as we're used to. Fresh fruit and vegetables weren't nearly as available out of season as they are now.

Instead of working to free us from fear, our elected hired help has done a real number on the American people. Scared to death of the things that probably won't happen to us. While we're convinced that we can't do anything about the fears we should be working on; the war, weapons control, decent medical care, decent wages, uncontaminated food, honest government. I wonder what FDR would have to say now, and what kind of pictures ol' Norman would paint.

3 comments:

mlraminiak said...

Sometimes I think our problems are so much more complex than they were back then...  And sometimes I think it's just that the problems are the same...we just haven't solved any of them yet.  Lisa  :-]

tenyearnap said...

Maybe Rockwell could paint Freedom to Shop at Walmart. It could be a picture of a sweat shop. Freedom of Speech? Not if our current government has their way.

My grandma wore those dresses too. Haha. "House dresses" she called them.

toonguykc said...

Rockwell's "art" has always seemed like propaganda to me.  It's a myth of bounty and harmony that certain adminstrations still exploit while ruining so many REAL families who suffer under their watch.  Grrr.  I'm grumpy tonight.

Russ