It is a dark time. The few remaining American people of kind heart and mind on the political left have lost nearly all common sense and credibility (if they had any to begin with) and we are unable to come together for similar values and goals. How did we get here?
Cognitive dissonance within certain political groups drives a certain collective ignorance when people don’t see that they buy into the nonsense because the nonsense is fed to them 24/7 through every aspect of media. Then, when they are presented with new facts, alternative facts, or varying degrees of thoughtful challenges, these people shut down those ideas—even and especially if they feel that their opinions are already settled science fact.
I’m shocked when I see something funny or fair or balanced by the indulgent myopic talk show hosts or comedic actors.
But then every time I do, it’s attacked for being too offensive, or some other excuse for not falling into line with the subservient mob of mindless zombies.
Take Dave Chapelle or Shane Gillis or any number of non-perverse normie liberals who dared to speak their mind in a comedic environment. Surely their careers weren’t ruined, but the cancel culture builds an exceptionally high border wall for those looking to move to the next level by doing what they do best: entertain.
It seems most adults in the silent majority remain in an 80s-90s cultural mindset that they’ve developed throughout their formative years, and that Gen Z is desperate to reclaim that mindset. The Pre-9/11 mindset, as I like to call it, was still sensitive to values like the poor, minorities, the environment and accepting social deviance. But there remained a classically liberal point of view that your speech and opinions, as controversial as they may be, and no matter how much value they had, were ubiquitous for a free society in love with the concept of discourse.
Gen-Z, for the most part, seeks to reclaim an environment of being offensive for the sake of being offensive, comedy, irreverence, etc. And it clearly resonates. It’s why shows like Seinfeld, Friends, and The Office are so popular amongst the younger generation while all three get panned by Millennials, who used to be fans, for being outdated and cruel. Outspoken Millennials who may have been wronged by any number of experiences when they were young are now trying to erase all of the freedoms and activities they were afraid to partake in as young academics.
It’s why anonymity and social apps have gotten increasingly popular (not Facebook and Twitter, mind you. Both are failing miserably). People want an outlet in this media age and are now forced to be terrified to utilize the most prominent ones, at least as a way to speak freely.
Make no mistake, kiddos. We still live in the freest country in the world. And despite all of the negativity involving politics and climate and violence, things are getting better every day. Emissions in the Western World are at dramatic lows, crime and violence are on a national downward slope, and child mortality rates get lower as the 3rd world industrializes.
But the small group of young academics and frightened actors create a sense of panic in everyone that drives this insanity which inevitably will ensure a downward spiral of intellectual and social degeneracy. We need to be less serious, to paraphrase Heath Ledger’s Joker.
That small group is desperate to be either back in the 60s or recreate an impression of the 60s with their perceptual turmoil and inflammatory wartime rhetoric. They need it. In a society that is without identity, they need to manufacture one. So they pull it from the textbooks.
“We are allies fighting Nazis!”
“We are genderless hippies fighting illegitimate wars!”
“We are rebels fighting the empire!”
None of which are true, of course. Everyone has been so co-opted by ImaginationLand that no one has the intellectual honesty to say what they truly mean. It’s all comic book villains and Scrooge McDucks. They envision all business leaders and financial 1% as greedy industrialists hoarding money and diving headfirst into pools full of coin.
They don’t take into account that these villainous entrepreneurs and money-makers are precisely the individuals responsible for economic boosts and job creation. They don’t understand that “trickle down” economics doesn’t mean that thousand dollar bills will fall out of the pockets of the wealthy so that inner city youth can gather it up and no longer be forced to commit crimes. What trickles down is opportunity to generate more wealth for those individuals legitimately.
The real issues we face today have changed dramatically since the 1980s even though the rhetoric and political actors seem to remain the same.
We are torn between big ideas and a lack of small ideas. Local governments can’t keep their streets free of filth and crime, yet they promise to clean the world of filth and crime. We fail to maintain our own sense of civic decency and family values, yet we will be the first in line to lecture the country about what their values should be.
The country will never be unified, honestly. There will always be a gap in morals and values, and the way we perceive the best way forward. But it is united by the vast majority of the population saying “We want to be free.”
We all just have different opinions on what being “free” truly means.