Give me a reason to be cheerful

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Rorschach
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Give me a reason to be cheerful

Post by Rorschach » Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:57 pm

Seriously. My daughter is now seven. What does the future hold for her? New financial crisis looming. Trump. Conservatives. Refugee crisis. Racism. Terrorism.
Is it as bleak as I feel it is?
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NorthernComfort
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Re: Give me a reason to be cheerful

Post by NorthernComfort » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:09 pm

Every generation goes through financial crises, but the long-term economic trend for humanity is very good.

Trump won't be elected.

Conservatives aren't all bad people and the bad ones can just be avoided.

Refugee crisis... well... it probably won't affect Scotland too badly, eh? Eh? Sorry i can't spin that one positively.

Racists can be avoided and is on a long-trend decline.

The fear of terrorism is visceral but extremely low odds. You should worry more about your daughter riding in cars or eating too much junk food.

Yayyyyy planet Earth!!
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Deacon
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Re: Give me a reason to be cheerful

Post by Deacon » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:32 pm

Pffff, there you go, what with your reason and all.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Give me a reason to be cheerful

Post by NorthernComfort » Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:56 pm

Sorry, can't help it. Living in NYC for too many years makes you so cynical that you become cynical about being cynical and then you transcend it and become an annoyingly optimistic person.
"I guess I have a gift for expressing pedestrian tastes. In a way, it's kind of depressing." -Bill Watterson

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Re: Give me a reason to be cheerful

Post by Deacon » Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:40 pm

Honestly it's difficult for me to be optimistic.

The best case short-term result is that Bernie drops out, so he stops dragging Hillary farther and farther to the left, she gets elected and takes a much more moderate centrist approach than she's been campaigning on, and everything calms down for a while. The Republicans take a good hard look at who they are and who they want to be. There's either a legit split where the religious authoritarians form their own party as the Christian version of a caliphate or else take over the Republicans and a new, much more moderate Libertarian party emerges as a happy medium, big on both classic social liberalism and economic freedom, more classically economically conservative than Bush's legacy of neocon cronyism. For the first time since the nation's infancy a true 3-party balance comes into play, ebbing and flowing of course, but consistent and effective, based more on reason than inflammatory rhetoric.

I mean, I don't think that's likely. It's much more likely the Republican establishment mollifies the fundamentalist religious authoritarians (sometimes euphemistically called "evangelicals") enough to keep them in the fold, and we continue to be a nation of overprivileged and entitled millennials on one side and religious fundamentalists on the other, with minorities continuing to vote for whoever panders hardest to them and promises them the most free stuff ostensibly taken from evil white men, enablers of that culture. This will go on for at least another two 2-term presidents until the Baby Boomers eventually die off, after which the stupid war on drugs will have abated, the Middle East will have been resolved in one way or another--whether religious extremists establish their caliphate to rule by terror and bloodshed or everyone finally decides death sucks too much to keep it going--and as long as China and Russia don't get together and start WW III, the status quo will largely be in place. Millennials will be older and hopefully at least a little wiser and more aware of global realities, and they'll gravitate toward a relatively balanced social and economic freedom set of positions.

Again, even that is a super optimistic view of things. There are lots and lots of flies that can land in that ointment. Religious fundamentalists (evangelicals) aren't getting any less authoritarian and any more reasonable, and they've gotten even more laser focused on cocooning the next generation in their brainwashed little bubble, and would love nothing more than their own caliphate. I know this because that's most of my family. So while their numbers will decrease, their intensity will increase, and their fervor for authoritarianism couched in an Orwellian use of "religious liberty" will only build. The likelihood of more and bigger terrorist attacks in Europe (fucking stupid on the part of Muslims, biting the most guilt-ridden and welcoming hand in the world) and in the US together with an influx of illegals in even greater numbers drawn in by leftist promises of amnesty in exchange for absolute political power will only stoke the xenophobic tendencies of the religious fundamentalists and bring more into the Trump-ish fold. These people already believe Muslims are literally inherently evil, that Islam literally believes political freedom to be a sin that must be destroyed and washed away in blood, and when the other 1.5 billion Muslims in the world do not cry out publicly together to condemn terrorism and ISIS, they simply continue to quietly reinforce that belief. The sad part is, well, as bad as evangelicals are in this country, Muslims throughout the world don't generally disagree that much with the aims of the terrorists, even if they might not prefer the methods. If Israel were destroyed by the Arabs and the Persians, the Jews scattered and ejected from the Middle East, do you think you would see worldwide protests of Muslims? Nope. If the US were to abandon the Middle East and leave the people to their own devices, no matter how horrific and oppressive, would Muslims denounce the move? No.

The truth is, there's no real reasoning with deeply religious people, whether Christian or Muslim. Like other True Believers in whatever (e.g. the anti-gun culture), their world view is not based on reason, on perspective, and they will suffer no compromise, seeking to continually chip away at or straight up obliterate whatever isn't them. It's heavily colored by the continual brainwashing of their families and their religious leaders. And neither side offers the other much opening for tolerance, much less mutual understanding. And while I hope and believe the evangelicals will wane in America and for the good of everyone never see their Christian Caliphate established here, I believe the Muslims will neither wane nor experience their own renaissance like existed hundreds of years ago for a little while when Muslims and Christians and Jews lived peacefully alongside each other, making major mathematical and scientific leaps, because the Muslims ruled things and were content. And all while the threat of authoritarian statism from Russia and China looms much larger and more menacing from the dark corner, hands busy on their own designs, happy to let the west be distracted with their petty politics and scrabbling with the hopelessly Muslim Middle East.

So no, while I can daydream acceptable outcomes, I cannot be optimistic that any such outcome will actually unfold.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Give me a reason to be cheerful

Post by The Cid » Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:36 pm

Some things to keep you positive:

-Think about technology when you were born. Think about technology right now. It's not all positive--technology is quite the mixed bag of good and bad--but when your daughter wants to learn, as long as the internet stays the way it is (which is a thing people are going to have to work to protect), there is nobody in the world that can stop her.

-Every day medical technology progresses. Your daughter will grow up in a world with more and more breakthroughs in that field. In fact, let's keep on science for a second. Science is awesome, isn't it? She could live to see man set foot on Mars. And who knows what else.

-The world has seen a lot of crises come and go. In the short relative time human beings have existed, all sorts of horrible people have had seats of power. Well, problems beget solutions. People weren't going to wake up to the state of American politics until something like Trump happened. Well, now it's happening. Wait a year and see what happens next, because that's going to be when the interesting stuff happens. Never have so many outsider candidates gained such a following. So there's no telling what happens when it's all over. And frankly, on our side of the pond, America gets complacent about how we deal with race and class issues sometimes, it's not the worst thing in the world that we're reminded we still have to shake a certain kind of asshole on the wrong side of history. Progress will be made. Incremental, but it will be progress.

Because progress, much like math and science, is undefeated throughout history. We don't need to much worry about those who impede it, they all meet the same end.
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Re: Give me a reason to be cheerful

Post by FirebirdNC » Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:33 pm

I think every parent has this or several moments like it. You wonder what you have done by having them and what will their future be. Our parents had the same moments and while things can be crumby at times there is also a lot of good. Hopefully she will be happy and healthy and that will bring you true joy when you see her succeed.

My daughter is getting ready to move into her first apartment and starts her first real post college job. I am so ridiculously proud of her. Her starting salary is more than I make now and her future is bright. All we can do is give them the tools to think for themselves and make good choices and hope for the best.
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Re: Give me a reason to be cheerful

Post by Rorschach » Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:24 am

Some good advice here, although the timing of my post was poor.
People weren't going to wake up to the state of American politics until something like Trump happened. Well, now it's happening. Wait a year and see what happens next, because that's going to be when the interesting stuff happens.
That's an excellent point and I think applies to a lot of global attitudes. The inexorable rise of social media means that all our politicians are under more scrutiny and comment than any point in the past. Whether or not that just leads to more obvious impotence on our part remains to be seen. I sometimes think some of the policy decisions of the British government are like staring down a guy in a bar, just to let him know he's beaten already.
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Re: Give me a reason to be cheerful

Post by Arres » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:40 am

Bit of a Necro, but one last thing. You're raising your daughter in a world where there will be a Star Wars movie...EVERY....YEAR...until it stops making money. So....forever. REJOICE, MY FRIEND.
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Re: Give me a reason to be cheerful

Post by Deacon » Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:00 am

:D

Good point.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Give me a reason to be cheerful

Post by FirebirdNC » Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:19 am

Arres wrote:Bit of a Necro, but one last thing. You're raising your daughter in a world where there will be a Star Wars movie...EVERY....YEAR...until it stops making money. So....forever. REJOICE, MY FRIEND.
or will it lose it's appeal when it is no longer held above us like a carrot we can't reach? Don't we ultimately get bored when our need is sated too often?
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Deacon
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Re: Give me a reason to be cheerful

Post by Deacon » Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:49 pm

Not if it's sated with excellence...
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Give me a reason to be cheerful

Post by FirebirdNC » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:18 pm

Deacon wrote:Not if it's sated with excellence...
And what do you think the chances of that happening every time are?
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Re: Give me a reason to be cheerful

Post by Deacon » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:10 pm

More often than not, probably. There are no guarantees in life, but Disney seems to be taking it seriously.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Give me a reason to be cheerful

Post by NorthernComfort » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:28 pm

So they will grow up where a new Star Wars movie is as predictably expected as a new Alvin and Chimpmunks or Tyler Perry movie? Grrrreeeeeaaaaat. :/
"I guess I have a gift for expressing pedestrian tastes. In a way, it's kind of depressing." -Bill Watterson

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