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Our American Zeitgeist: From Macro to Micro.

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posted on Aug, 28 2018 @ 06:37 PM
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A couple of incidents that I’ve either recently witnessed, or have felt particularly affected by due to their proximity have prompted me to wonder about toll the current neuroses from which most Americans are suffering is taking on our children.

First, I truly believe we are being manipulated; and as far as that goes, our current fractured state of mind isn’t entirely our fault. We are, after all, human, and therefore are subject to certain tendencies and reactions which by now have all been studied and categorized and experimented with for so long, so thoroughly and unscrupulously, that behavioral manipulation must be down to something of a science. Knowing this, we ought to be gentle on ourselves and understand that our current polarized state has been engineered so (whether to some unknown purpose, I can’t say). That said, it’s time for Americans to grow up and start being good role models for our youth. And when I say this, I am speaking to myself because I am the only person I can change (and I hope you are open to the same mindset). I don’t think anyone should be off the hook-- no parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, citizens--in his/her responsibility towards our youth. We are all in this together.


From our conversations at home to the national conversations to the input of the media and online community, our ways, worries, and mannerisms are trickling down to our children. And the results are not pretty. Just this week, in my home state, a 9 year old boy hung himself after being bullied at school (four days into the new school year). He had come out as gay at school and the kids told him to kill himself. The conversation, the response, are not typically kid territory.. But here we are in this brave new world.

A girl in my daughter’s class told her she could beat her up cause she’s white (ironic but my daughter is not “white”-- not that it matters what she “is” but she is a lovely mix of her Mexican mother--I'm her stepmom-- and her Japanese dad). Another conversation that belongs in adult territory conducted by kids who don’t even really understand what they are parroting.

Last week I witnessed a playground fight between an instigating and a surprised/horrified family-- two parents cussing, screaming and threatening to “knock out” a couple who had their adolescent daughters and toddler with them. The thuggish wife was screaming that she’d knock the other lady out, despite the latter holding a baby. From what I could gather the baby (about one and a half years old) had temporarily grabbed the insane couple’s kids’ basketball and the kids had told their parents the family had stolen their ball. This is how the parents thought to handle the situation. When the screaming instigators had left, the two girls burst out crying.

The next day I was leaving my son’s school and I heard a mom scream at what I assume was another parent “Learn how to F####n drive!”. This is a mom with an elementary aged (and my son’s school is K-4) child in the car with her. It was horrifying and embarrassing to hear. Right in front of a school and NO CLASS.
All this in the past week. I hope we can get ourselves under control, and soon. I can’t imagine where the kids growing up in the midst of our diseased national psyche are going to be in a few years, but it doesn’t look good.

Thanks for reading, friends. Hoping to hear your thoughts on the subject.

edit on 28-8-2018 by zosimov because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 28 2018 @ 07:07 PM
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I have a lot of thoughts on this, and they're all conflicted.

On one hand I agree with free speech, and more importantly I agree with the concept of anonymous speech.

On the other hand I believe that society is currently too soft. Not in the fact that people don't work hard, because they do. Soft in the fact that we've adopted the idea that anything is ok as long as it's not harming others. I believe this attitude leads to first complacency, and second devolution.

People need to hold themselves to high standards, and those standards need to get higher over time. These standards should encourage people to have enough self control such that they don't yell at others, or even if they don't approve of gay people, that they have the decency to not tell them they want them to die. That's more radical than even the skinhead churches who just want to run gay people out of town.

I don't know what the remedies are, but I've lost faith in this being something that each individual can fix on their own.

In my personal life, I try to have high standards for myself... but I can't eliminate my own prejudices, only attempt to ignore them. I keep a journal similar to what Ben Franklin did, I rate my conduct each day. Unlike Franklin I punish myself every day my total score falls, and reward myself on the days I do better.

I push myself to not be ignorant, I've made it a daily habit to read daily. Slowly I'm getting faster. The people I compare myself to, could read a 400 page book in 2 hours every day... eventually I'll get there.

This is all voluntary though, and disgusting people like being disgusting, they have no desire to improve and that means we can't fix these societal issues unless government steps in and mandates it. That brings us to ideas like China's citizen score. I like the basic premise of that score, but dislike some of their implementation. I think it has potential to encourage people to act better.



posted on Aug, 28 2018 @ 07:08 PM
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There’ve been a few major game changers for the better and the worse in the last couple decades...

A good/bad number of players don’t even know they’re playing yet, and some don’t want to play.

But then again, I’m all confuscious.



posted on Aug, 28 2018 @ 08:03 PM
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a reply to: zosimov


Great thread Zos. To me everything boils down to personal responsibility. If people cannot be civilized in society, then we do not have a civilized society.



posted on Aug, 28 2018 @ 08:08 PM
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Two issues.

We don't know how to be civil to each other any more and act like adults.

And two, we don't know how to stand up for ourselves any more. Assertively or physically if it comes to that.



posted on Aug, 28 2018 @ 09:01 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

That's so sad that this behaviour has trickled down to children. They're emulating what they see from adults, who've become really crappy role models.
It's bad that the adults can't get ahold of their emotions, get some self control. Not very good for the future generations.

Free speech is one thing. Kids telling other kids to kill themselves is unacceptable. Absolutely horrible.



posted on Aug, 28 2018 @ 10:33 PM
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As a society we need to bring back shaming to some degree. I know it sounds totalitarian but to keep a semblance of civility we need understood rules of behavior and pushing those boundaries should be met with public disapproval. If your family and friends will disapprove of something you do you're likely to modify that behavior. If we're just allowed to do "whatever" then we really are allowing each other to drown in our own delusions.

We abandoned religion and it's social implications at some cost. Aggression, anger, crime, abuse, discord - all are on the rise as we feel increasingly isolated and navigating a world with few rules to follow. Some order is beneficial to most people, even artists I've discovered.
edit on 28-8-2018 by Asktheanimals because: (no reason given)

edit on 29-8-2018 by Asktheanimals because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 28 2018 @ 11:54 PM
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Not much else to add to the great ideas in the comments here. Thanks guys for reading and commenting. I really appreciate hearing your perspectives and am in full agreement with what's been said, but it's been a long night and I'm exhausted!

Hope to respond more in detail tomorrow.




posted on Aug, 29 2018 @ 12:27 AM
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You need look no further than ATS for confirmation that the nation has devolved into a spirit of insults and derision. Sadly no one cares. it even seems to be encouraged.

It seems as if "life" itself has become one big me first, win at all costs, competition.

ATS has confirmed for me that I made the right decision when I had a vasectomy at 21 yrs of age.



posted on Aug, 29 2018 @ 06:22 AM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals

I’ve been wrestling with this lately. The idea of order. I am an anarchist at heart. The real anarchy not the burn it all down type that is the public idea of anarchy.

Ideally everyone would be self governed and strive to better themselves and their community which by extension is the entire world and ultimately the universe. Free from a hierarchical government which as we all know always end up being horrible.

But people.

I’m starting to swing to being understanding or even agreeable towards totolitarians, statists, even the Roman Catholic Church. I say this almost tongue in cheek but kind of do understand.

People need boundaries. The masses need to be told what to do.

I think my ideal is still a good goal but we have a very long way to go to get there. And it seems are currently heading in he wrong direction.

I think we are about to shift. Hopefully it’s through enlightenment of the people and not another inquisition or civil war or maybe even a purge type situation. Either way people will be reigned in. This lunacy cannot continue forever.



posted on Aug, 29 2018 @ 06:27 AM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals

I think there's too much anonymity online. Eliminate that and people will readjust their behavior when their names become attached to the groups they're a part of and the things they say online.



posted on Aug, 29 2018 @ 09:33 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

Lovely thoughts.

But I have to wonder, considerng what you have observed, has it not yet occurred to me that as a society overall, the US is a lost cause?

Many have and that is why so many of us have retreated and with our kids, to places where like minded individuals who understand the importance of sound values and civilized behavior live.

This "thing" is crumbling from within and if you want to succeed in raising high minded civilized kids, you cant succeed when living amongst the rot.




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