What The Word NORMAL Meant In The 1950s

  • Published on Apr 10, 2019
  • I interviewed James Gilbert in 1989. He grew up in the 1950s and became a passionate observer and analyst and writer focused on that era. He is a Fulbright professor of history at the University of Maryland. He has written 11 books. I found his perspective uniquely fascinating because he grew up as a middle-class white kid in suburbia and continues to analyze his experience and the generation that came from 1950s suburban America. #suburbia #1950s #middleclass
  • Film & AnimationFilm & Animation

Comments • 66

  • bronson
    bronson Month ago

    Normal: 1950s = proper
    Normal: 2010s = synonym for present state

  • Demo Hidu
    Demo Hidu Month ago +1

    Lol I was once told by a girl "It's not normal to not do relationships..." I just looked at her and said "...when did I say I was normal?"

  • Gary Clark
    Gary Clark Month ago +1

    Reminds me of a comic I saw in the early 1970s showing a group of young men that all had long hair, mustaches, mutton chops, , tie died T-shirt’s, bell bottom jeans, and sandals with a caption with one of the characters saying, “I am so glad I am an individual instead of looking like everyone else”.

  • James Francese
    James Francese Month ago

    What an interesting channel this is

  • San D
    San D Month ago

    Yea, who wants to be normal?... bhahahahaha... my mantra. LOL.

  • Kelly Kerr
    Kelly Kerr Month ago

    I have been trying to learn Spanish and am watching a silly Mexican show called La Famila Lavoche. Every episode, someone says to the daughter, why can’t you be normal? They are being ironic because she is the only one who has any sense at all.

  • Michael Irwin
    Michael Irwin Month ago +1

    yah yah yah, everyone has an opinion. Show us, and not this one man's opinion. Normal in the fifties was a little more complicated than this. I was there too.

    • S. Mac
      S. Mac Month ago

      +David Hoffman: Then why did you isolate this particular clip to portray such a narrow and biased definition of "normal" in the 50s? In general, your videos seem to convey a undue amount of contempt for bygone eras, when society placed a higher value on being disciplined enough to possess some social mores.

    • David Hoffman
      David Hoffman  Month ago +1

      look at other clips from that era on my channel, Michael. I show many opinions of that time by people who lived in, including me.
      David Hoffman-filmmaker

  • Avery Banner
    Avery Banner Month ago

    I have a stainless steel Necklace and statue of the pagan goddess Baphomet, I almost wish I could travel back in the day and freak people out with them.

  • Eli W.
    Eli W. Month ago

    I really like your work. I am interested in how people were in just less than a century ago. Your videos teach me as much as asking my grandpa who was born in the late 30s

  • no privacy
    no privacy Month ago

    Abbie Normal

  • Jerome Lund
    Jerome Lund Month ago +1

    Just think about the average...
    What use have they for you?

  • DuendeHr
    DuendeHr Month ago

    Thank you for your effort and work Mr. Hoffman! These videos are golden

  • junior
    junior Month ago +2

    Now if you walk around in a vegetative state they inform you that you are brainwashed. Kinda miss it.

    • junior
      junior 2 days ago

      +Anakin Cloutwalker Being brainwashed earned a bad name it doesn't quite deserve. For example: Charlie Manson was the only individual I ever seen. Everyone else is partially brainwashed. Thank the lord. Get it?

    • junior
      junior 28 days ago

      +Anakin Cloutwalker In the sense that times of societal peace and possibly good cheer was had through more habitual thinking. Like when Nietzche said if you have to think their is something wrong.

    • Anakin Cloutwalker
      Anakin Cloutwalker 28 days ago

      Miss being brainwash ? Smh

  • Limey Figdet
    Limey Figdet Month ago

    So I'm getting that they were using the word normal like we might use the word, "right", rather than normal meaning "something natural". That's one bit of language that I'm glad changed. It comes across as dishonest and ignorant, unless they just said the word natural if they meant natural. Imo, it just doesn't work as well as the definition we have for it now.

    • David Hoffman
      David Hoffman  Month ago +1

      Limey: I think his point was that they didn't just use the word to describe something. They used the word as a judgment and if you were “not normal” you'd better straighten up or you would fall into a group of losers and weirdos and be hurt by that.
      David Hoffman-filmmaker

  • Exirt
    Exirt Month ago +4

    I wish “Normal” was still a thing.

    • Exirt
      Exirt Month ago

      Normal would be not being gay and believing is bs and etc

    • Noctis Nova
      Noctis Nova Month ago +1

      "Normal" would be you outside collecting berries, roots, and throwing sticks at animals.

    • Jerome Lund
      Jerome Lund Month ago +1

      Normal is for clones and pod people.
      Normal doesn't innovate anything.

  • Susse Kind
    Susse Kind Month ago +28

    Normal is a setting on a washing machine.

    • Isai Omar
      Isai Omar 12 days ago

      Nice Choice you my friend have misunderstood but I appreciate your comment just as much

    • Nice Choice
      Nice Choice Month ago +3

      I literally do that at work, I'm a security guard for the night shift and I have nowhere to sit but on top of a washing machine lol it's very strange that you've said this XD

  • Randy R
    Randy R Month ago +3

    I have never known what Normal is. Yes, my childhood started in the 50's but i wouldn't think that i had a so called Normal existance. I have never really wanted to conform and just go along with the flow. A rebel with a cause. Normal is a setting on a dryer. I have actually heard those words from my parents.

  • White_Man
    White_Man Month ago

    Hoffman ❤

  • UltraAar
    UltraAar Month ago +2

    Back when girls were girls and boys were boys

    • S. Mac
      S. Mac Month ago

      +Noctis Nova: If that's true, then it's a damn shame you weren't born back then.

    • Noctis Nova
      Noctis Nova Month ago +3

      and run for your life if you step outside that cause they will kill you or treat you like an infection. They will become the demons they say their god hates and fill their lust for blood on the "wicked".

  • Victoria Taylor
    Victoria Taylor Month ago +2

    This was gooood !, He said that brilliantly ! Was there anything that we could , do that, was, normal ?? A vegatative state where nothing happens. Parents definately wanted better behaviour. Thanks again David, love all your videos.

  • Nicole _
    Nicole _ Month ago +15

    As a mid-90s baby (last of the millennials) we were told to be unique and special. Now as adults we're all reconciling with the fact that we are normal. It's so interesting to see how far the pendulum swung. Thanks for posting!

    • Uchiha Hikaku
      Uchiha Hikaku Month ago +1

      The only way to be unique and special is when you are yourself.

  • ArchEnema 67
    ArchEnema 67 Month ago +1

    Normal is a concept that's so vague and fungible that it's virtually impossible to precisely define outside of a very narrow context of time and place. Normative, on the other hand, is a concept that is crystal clear and readily observable.

  • Eileen D
    Eileen D Month ago

    Great cultural commentary, David. What a time capsule ⏰

  • Paddy Maguire
    Paddy Maguire Month ago +4

    Ha, it was kind of an illusion like the "moral majority" wasn't it? Then there was the "Nation Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws", NOMRML. We're not really a normal country, he he! 🤔Thank you!

  • Billy Campbell
    Billy Campbell Month ago +10

    Back in the day normal was knowing what bathroom to use.

    • S. Mac
      S. Mac Month ago

      +Noctis Nova: Been a while since you've checked crime demographics, huh?

    • Noctis Nova
      Noctis Nova Month ago +1

      +Billy Campbell Just like they assumed blacks were criminals and rapists you assume the same of transgendered people.

    • Noctis Nova
      Noctis Nova Month ago +1

      +Billy Campbell They felt it was immoral for blacks to be in the same bathroom as them to.

    • Noctis Nova
      Noctis Nova Month ago +1

      +Billy Campbell Nothing moral or immoral about taking a piss or putting on clothes.

    • Billy Campbell
      Billy Campbell Month ago +2

      No i not talking about discrimination against black people i talking about morality.

  • JudasStarChai
    JudasStarChai Month ago

    Hi David, my name is Matityahu. I am a 26 year Baal Teshuvah from a Persian karaite community where the Rabbis were Charadi "black hatters." I am a diagnosed autistic. I enjoy your insightful uploads.
    Thank you and a fröelechen Pesach.

  • Miss Understood AngelaWalker


  • franco bee
    franco bee Month ago +6

    America was normal before the 1965 immigration act

    • S. Mac
      S. Mac Month ago

      +Noctis Nova: Exactly! On some issues, I don't think we much differ. Of course, immigrants bring their culture and customs with them! Chinatown, Little Italy, etc. are marvelous examples of organic assimilation of cultures within a larger society. But, what makes these examples ideal is that they have boundaries. They do not impose upon the larger society's ability to continue to exist; and, for the most part, these cultural marvels adhere to the laws of the country in which they've evolved. In this way, everyone concerned enjoys the fruits of liberty in the comfort of their own culture. THIS is true "melting-pot" diversity; and not the cesspool of government social engineering, that throws all people and cultures into a blender and hits the puree button.
      Indeed, government social engineering has been a plague on society. I agree, too many government housing projects have attempted (and failed) to contrive a social "ideal" that isn't possible, or even desirable. It may sound trite, but it's true, "birds of a feather, flock together." People should be free to associate, or NOT associate, with whom they wish without government interference.
      Yes, America's government has meddles unceasingly in the affairs of other nations, and it's sickening. To be blunt, I think America (and actually the entire world of governments) has been run by an evil cabal of unseen fuck-stains long before either of us was born. The leaders we see are mere puppets. It's this unseen cabal that causes 95% of the world's trouble. It manifest itself in organizations like the CIA, NSA, FBI, the U.N., NATO, and just about any other acronymic group they've managed to infiltrate. They treat nations and people like chess pieces on some grand global chessboard, and it's pure evil. Full disclosure: I'm Catholic, and I'll be the first to admit the Vatican, and especially the current clown-Pope, has become one of the most infiltrated by evil since Vatican II.
      Sorry, I didn't mean for this to become an essay, but so it has. However, it was refreshing for me to encounter one of your age that seems coy to the machinations of an evil government, and I couldn't resist a more lengthy diatribe. No apology needed for the garbled typing, RU-clip has its faults. Cheers!

    • Noctis Nova
      Noctis Nova Month ago

      +S. Mac If my writings a bit muddled you'll have to forgive me. RU-clip keeps causing the tab to close.

    • Noctis Nova
      Noctis Nova Month ago

      +S. Mac You all was anyone who thinks that immigration stopped america from being "Normal". Which seeing how I was born in 87 I take as a personal jab at the country I love.
      Suburbs were often subsidies by the government for WW2 vets (Levit town I belive is a fairly famous one). Though this only applied to white soldiers. They were marketed and sold as a way for white people to work in the city with out having to live around black people. To defend them is ludicris it was a racist tactic to along with jim crow have a racial class system in America. With the white christian on top and everyone else below. So if you see the 50s as Idyllic you have a twisted sense of the word. Seing how 1950s post war america was a propaganda machine trying to socially engineer its people. Which caused a response of the counter culture movement of the 60s with the philosophys of peace, love, and freedom of self expression.
      As for immgration you will find people bringing pieces of their life from home everywhere, china town, little italy, Ukranine village, etc. The people who leave these countries don't do it becaue "YAY ROAD TRIP" its is often matters of life and death. Not to mention that half of the countries that people have to leave we helped destabalize in central and south america as well as the middle east and Africa.

    • S. Mac
      S. Mac Month ago

      +Noctis Nova: I think "you all" pretty much encompasses anyone who grew up in the 50s; and if was plenty real for those who lived it. No apologies need to be made for anyone who treasures the time of their youth, regardless of what era it was lived.
      Suburbs were an natural, organic result of those who wanted to escape the turmoil of cities for a better, more tranquil life. You can define "turmoil" however it suits you.
      The country may change, for better or worse, but human nature does not. People of any society are more content living among those who share common values, laws, customs, beliefs, heritage, etc. It's a proven sociological fact. Immigration is fine, as long as it's legal, and those immigrating are willing to assimilate into the society of the country to which they're immigrating. All peoples have a right to maintain their own way of life and have it respected. But, if you're immigrating to another country, either respect its culture and laws by assimilating, or don't bother to immigrate at all. Those who immigrate elsewhere, then arrogantly attempt to recreate the culture they've left behind, and expect the host country to abandon its own culture, in order to pander to them...well, all I can wonder is, if they treasure the culture of the country that they've left behind so much as to recreate it, then why did they even bother leaving it? It makes no sense, unless perhaps you consider an ulterior motive for immigrating. Personally, I don't desire to live around their culture, or have it forced upon me. If I did, I'd immigrate to their country and assimilate into it. It shouldn't take a PhD in sociology to understand that.

    • Noctis Nova
      Noctis Nova Month ago

      ​+S. Mac No I didn't say an entire generation. I said "you all" as in you all who can't get out of your 1950s fake paradise that never really existed. You can't just build suburbs away from the city so you don't have to live by them. You can't keep the country from changing its what we always do. We always get more immigrants then they just become Americans.

  • Matthew Lee
    Matthew Lee Month ago +2

    Well that is unusual isn't it?

  • Kush FPV
    Kush FPV Month ago +2

    Love from Kush. ❤

    • Kush FPV
      Kush FPV Month ago

      +ArchEnema 67 Google Kush and two things come up. A strain of marijuana and a Mountain range...yeah Papaya means a furit or pussy in Spanish but I don't think that's what the grocery store translates when I ask for one. Well troll I love you and hope you have a great day.

    • ArchEnema 67
      ArchEnema 67 Month ago +1

      Your username means "grass" in Hindi, and "to kill" in Old Persian. What does it mean to you?

    YEEHAWW Month ago +14

    Wow I love these bro keep posting these amazing vids

  • R9 b1t
    R9 b1t Month ago +13

    I heard this before, unless this is a brief cut of an older video of yours.