Home > Daily life, United States > Can it get any worse?

Can it get any worse?

The other day, my pessimist friend was whining, “It can’t get any worse, it can’t get any worse!” My optimist friend responded with a wide grin, “Sure it can.”

So it can.

I may be the least gifted of students when it comes to learning, including from experience, but I guess I’m beginning to draw some lessons from our world. Such as understanding that we should enjoy what we have, that some months or years from now, we’ll look back and be nostalgic for what may seem unpleasant or even unbearable today. I’m not saying that we’ll look back fondly on the awful Assad’s willful murder of 19,000 Syrians, or on the sweet kids in Aurora, Colorado, thrilled to be among the first to see the new Batman movie and ending up in a morgue, mowed down by yet another deranged cretin (good job, NRA!) or upon our own dim prospects as we teeter daily on the brink of utter moral, financial, and professional ruin.No, a hundred times no!

Yet, playing the used-to-be game, we do see that although pre-September 11 travel was a hassle, my, wasn’t it a breeze compared to now! If financial institutions were playing their dirty games before 2008, things seemed to be working, on the surface at least, and, more importantly, we felt a certain degree of trust that is now beyond retrieval. And yes, politics was the dirty game it has always been but belonging to different parties did not make you enemies and some cordiality remained. Opponents could hurl mud at each other in the afternoon and have dinner together in the evening to laugh it off. No more. On a different note, entire parts of the world that have been invaded—think Iraq—or where people have revolted—think Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, with more to come—lived under brutal and corrupt regimes but will they have a brighter future with religious ideology gaining ground every day? To varying degrees, they have lost secularism and not gained democracy, unless democratic principles in their entirety can be reduced to elections.

Does all this mean that I support the status quo, that I want things to remain as they are? Do I want thugs to continue to abuse and vandalize their own people, Glock-wielding mass murderers to stalk their next victims, campaign finances to spin out of control, and all of us to turn into unseeing, unhearing, mute little monkeys? No, obviously not. I’m just saying, along with my optimist friend, that we ain’t seen nothing yet.

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  1. bobbietroy
    July 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Right on, as we used to say in the sixties.

  2. July 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I totally agree. Nothing makes me appreciate the present like the future.

  3. July 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Well said Saideh. The future looks darker than at any time during the past century, except possibly just before the start of the 2 world wars. It is bleak not because of foreign powers but of greed. Corporations and individuals’ profits are viewed as far more important than justice or relative equality. Our Republican neighbors too agree with the view that the future looks worse than the past but they are using fear to convince people of the “good old days” going back to the 50’s. They however omit the fact that one major reason for the growth and power of the middle class at that time were effective unions. In 20 years, 1 % will be super rich (mainly from untaxed inheritance) and 10 to 15% will be well off as managers of corporations or by serving the 1% in some capacity. The rest, well, they will have to manage without much help from the bankrupt states. Oh, and democracy will allow anyone who’d like to have guns for protection/extortion/murder as they chose.

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