One of the most common "lost" items in this household is the ordinary umbrella. For the record, it is not me who loses them -- it is She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed. For as long as I've known her she has had a variety of umbrellas, and almost all of them have been lost, mislaid, stolen, forgotten, left behind, disappeared, beamed up by aliens, etc.
And me? Of course I can't lose one because I don't carry one. For people of my age and older, the umbrella is the very symbol of "appeasement".
For those who were homeschooled, that's the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain being greeted by Adolph Hitler at the 1938 Munich Conference that led to Hitler invading the Sudetenland, sealed the fate of Czechoslovakia and led to charges of "appeasement" against Neville Chamberlain, who gave in to Hitler's demands for "liebensraum" and secured, in Chamberlain's own words when he arrived back in the UK, clutching that umbrella firmly in hand, "peace in our time".
We all know how that turned out.
Note the umbrella in the picture. BTW, also note the physical placement of the two world leaders. Chamberlain is two steps below Hitler in that photograph, so it appears that he is trying to supplicate to Der Führer. I don't even have to be told to be sure that it was taken by a photographer from the Third Reich. Hitler and his Nazis were nothing if not cognizant of the propaganda value of ... well, everything.
And this, in short, is why people of a certain generation and older see the umbrella as the symbol of appeasement.
And Neville Chamberlain, meanwhile, has recently become, long after his death, a ridiculous obsession of the Right Wing in this country, because of that umbrella ... appeasement!
Even if they don't always know what appeasement means:
"Appeasement" has become become a dirty word, rightfully so, and no red-blooded Amurrican would be seen dead with its symbol, the umbrella. And that's why Obama needs to just stop it with the umbrellas already!
But that's all Monday-morning quarterbacking. Without that time machine, there's really no way to know.Sidebar: There is a school of thought which holds that Chamberlain's actions, while they did result in the invasion of Czechoslovakia, bought some valuable time for England (and England Jr., aka the United States) to build up her forces and prepare for the war that everyone knew was inevitable.
The after-the-action analysis indicated that Hitler was all bluff and if, at any time during his initial blusters -- marching into the demilitarized-after-WWI Rhineland, for example -- he had met any resistance he would have backed off.
And, even though I live in one of the wettest corners of the country, I still won't carry an umbrella...