Sure, things seem pretty bleak right now. There’s global warming to worry about… terrorists… Donald Trump… How many times in the last 24 hours ALONE have you thought “we’re all fucking doomed”? But that’s really not the case, argues Jim Behrle, a columnist at The Awl. The world is no more or less fucked up than it’s ever been, we’re just more hyper-aware of it. And things are actually pretty chill, if you think about it.
From his column:
I think things are actually pretty OK. There is no black plague going around. We haven’t had a World War in a while. I was pretty sure we were all going to die of Thermonuclear War in the 1980s. That’s been a pleasant surprise that that hasn’t happened yet.
We are certainly more aware of the things that are not OK in the world. Thanks to 24-hour cable news and Twitter and endless political Facebook posts, we know every stupid thing that happens everywhere almost instantaneously.
And, perhaps more than ever, if you want to know how the Political Sausage is made you can watch it as it slowly oozes through the gears. There used to be a glossier package on our bad ideas. American Politics may have gotten a little more brass-knuckled, but there’s just nothing right this moment in the USA that is the worst it has ever been. Except maybe our literacy level.
Some things are downright great. They didn’t have any Games of Thrones back in the day. Harry Potter’s got a new book out. It’s a play, but it’s still Harry Potter. Have you tried Pokemon Go? That is pretty cool, as long as you don’t walk into a telephone pole.
Sure, maybe we have more mass shootings than we’ve ever had. But those are probably a fad. Like planking. Do you remember planking? No, nobody does. And nobody planks any more. We can send naked pictures to each other that disappear after a couple of seconds, put dog faces on our regular faces in photos, share things with thousands of people around the world instantly. My TV is crystal clear. We get to hear all kinds of music instantly, whenever we feel like it. I’m typing this naked on my toilet, not seated at a giant typewriter, pecking away.
So, just settle down. We haven’t been conquered by terrorists, there are no bread lines we have to stand in all day to get like two slices of bread. There’s a new Jason Bourne movie out. Things could be a lot worse. We didn’t get bird flu or ebola, there are no roving bands of radioactive monkeys (unfortunately, yet). What are you complaining about? You feel like you lack connections in the universe? You yearn for a mythical time when everything was simpler? There was no time when everything was simpler.
As you get older you get nostalgic for stupid bullshit, but that’s just because you’re getting soft. Don’t blame the world because you feel like everything is slipping away. Humans live for a while and then die, and before they die they yearn for the good-time comforts of yesteryear. Pull up a rocking chair, grandpop. And enjoy the ride as you bustle towards your own irrelevance. I will probably still be naked on the toilet when you get there.
Now don’t you feel a little better?