Changes

Twenty-first century America is a country vastly different than it was, say 40 years ago. It’s different, not in terms of geography—all fifty states are still in the same place. Granted, the population has increased. But the whole political scene has changed. Not only that, people’s attitudes are substantially modified from where things used to be in the year of Ronald Reagan’s electoral victory.

With today’s social media and the internet, people consume their news and information on a much more immediate basis. It is also much easier for misinformation and disinformation to spread. It is nearly impossible to trust at face value anything you see on the internet. Graphics can be easily photoshopped to look legitimate. Even video can be doctored to seem authentic. Videos called “deepfakes” can make it look like someone is saying something, when in reality, it is completely computer-generated and false.

People’s attitudes have changed dramatically. Jokes easily shared in the 1980s are now the subject of offense and often returned with threats. Years ago, you could tell a joke demeaning of a certain European country, the country to the south of the US, or even women of a certain hair color. Normally those jokes portrayed those people as stupid, ignorant or lacking in hygiene. An example of one of these jokes is: person A, B and C are in line for execution. Person A, thinking quickly, yells “Tornado!” The gunmen turn to look, and they escape. Person B yells “Tidal wave!” and manages to escape. Person C, desperate, shouts “Fire!” Only in the case of the actual joke, the persons were identified by their countries of origin.

Seemingly anything gets one person or group or another offended and wringing their hands. Even something completely innocent can be twisted and misconstrued as an offensive statement. I don’t know when everything changed. I can’t pinpoint the year or moment when everything got turned onto its ass and became weird, but in the words of George Carlin, it’s part of the “pussification” of the country, where seemingly boys can’t play like boys anymore, and every male quality is becoming demonized and feminized.

You can’t use certain words anymore, either. The dreaded “n-word” (which rhymes with trigger) is classified way up there with the “c-word” (one of Carlin’s original 7 words you can’t say on TV). Calling someone a “retard” is frowned upon; no one is “fat” anymore—obese is the euphemism. “Stupid” is disliked. Hell, you can’t even mention “that black guy over there.” The PC way of speaking is “African-American” or “person of color”.

Participation trophies have replaced first, second or third place. The school valedictorian is gone; no one person can be called the best. Competition and striving for your best have gone away like the dodo bird. Mediocrity is acceptable, so that no one’s feelings will be hurt, and no one will be disappointed. Until these “special things” get out into the real world and find out that life ain’t fair and that yes, you are a fucking loser. I’m glad I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s. I learned early that life wasn’t fair and I wasn’t anything special. I don’t get offended by a joke and know I’m a “cracker”. There is one thing that offends me: everyone getting offended and butt-hurt over absolutely everything, thinking everything needs to be perfect, nice, and gentle. Are you a part of this country’s bourgeoisie? No? Then you’re a fucking loser. We all are.

Now, the quote of the day:

“I think you have to judge everything based on your personal taste. And if that means being critical, so be it. I hate political correctness. I absolutely loathe it.”

Simon Cowell

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