Who made who?

Excerpted from Maureen Dowd’s  column in The New York Times, Sunday July 8, 2018:

Trump has certainly made political discourse more crude and belligerent. But is he making the whole country meaner, coarser, and less empathetic? Or was the pump primed for a political figure like him because the internet had already made America meaner, coarser and less empathetic?

Putting the blame on The Internet would seem to imply that we were always a vicious, self-centered people just waiting for the means to unleash our vitriol on the world.

I don’t believe that.

I don’t know what changed.

And I don’t know how to change it back.

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“We stoked each other’s anger. And it felt good.”

Via Humans of New York:

“I felt humiliated and suicidal in college. It seemed like my personal failings were on display for everyone to see. I’m not all that attractive. I have a speech impediment. I’m not good socially. I saw other guys having romantic success and I felt a lot of envy. I concluded that women owed me something. They owed me a chance. And I was angry they weren’t giving it to me. I’m ashamed of it now, but during that time I formed a lot of bad and hateful opinions. I joined ‘incel’ communities on 4chan and Reddit. I found a lot of men there who felt just like me. The community provided this pseudoscientific justification for hating women. It let us feel like it wasn’t our fault. We stoked each other’s anger. And it felt good. Honestly, anger is just very addictive. You want to feel angry when you’re suffering. It gives you adrenaline. It gets your endorphins going. It’s a release. It’s a substitute for what you’re missing.”

He’s not really so unusual.

Outrage is America’s drug of choice- and there’s a dealer on every news channel.

Human Rights

The UN Declaration of Human Rights, of which the United States is a signatory, was one of Eleanor Roosevelt’s proudest achievements.  It was ratified seventy years ago.

It’s depressing how many of these we are currently not only in violation of, but proudly in violation of.

You can visit the UN’s web page on this topic HERE, where you can also download a copy.

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What if?

“People died and it’s a horrible tragedy. My feelings move from shock and disbelief to going to the ‘what-ifs.’  What if I tried to reach out to him that last time I saw him? ‘Hey Mark, how are you doing?'”  ~Mark Roessler, neighbor of Austin bomber Mark Conditt (source)

1934

It’s 84 years later.  Things should be a lot different.

They aren’t.

“God invited us all to come and eat and drink all we wanted. He smiled on our land and we grew crops of plenty to eat and wear. He showed us in the earth the iron and other things to make everything we wanted. He unfolded to us the secrets of science so that our work might be easy. God called: ‘Come to my feast.’ Then what happened? Rockefeller, Morgan, and their crowd stepped up and took enough for 120 million people and left only enough for 5 million for all the other 125 million to eat. And so many millions must go hungry and without these good things God gave us unless we call on them to put some of it back.”  ~Huey Long (source)

Unhealthy

I can remember a time that this image was everywhere; on patches, posters, stickers, graffiti.

It’s hard now to remember a time when war without end was considered an aberration, a time before a daily body count was just part of the background noise, like crickets in the country.