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View Diary: Wasted Lives & Wasted Potential (56 comments)

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  •  "Slow to catch on" (5+ / 0-)

    That is what I have been thinking about myself.

    I really resonated with what the diarist said about "the American Dream as taught to me in elementary school among other places." I don't know how old she is… I'm 47. But I got a heavy dose of idealism from elementary school and I believed it. Those moments of hope and the triumph of humanity that my teachers believed in are at my core, and they are what motivate me to care politically. And in that time and place, those things motivated us culturally.

    But I'm starting to suspect that they just don't motivate us culturally. Yes, individually we still hold the dream. Collectively though, it's looking like we care more about greedy and selfish pursuits.

    I wonder sometimes if the 60's backlash against the conformity of the 50's contributed at all to this sad state of affairs . Individuality is really important. But I wish it could be tempered by an understanding that each person is worthy from the beginning of their lives and not just if they grow up and make something of themselves.

    Poverty = politics.

    by Renee on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 11:36:08 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  It was the backlash to the 1960s that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Renee

      contributed to this and not the 1960s.  Blaming the DFH is, however, what those that were too young, too old, or too racist/sexist/etc. to be there have conformed to in the elevation of the 1950s as some idyllic period.

      •  I would categorize what I wrote more as (0+ / 0-)

        speculating than blaming. I don't engage in DFH blaming and though I did not live through the 50's I despise everything they stood for.

        Poverty = politics.

        by Renee on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 07:55:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I know the backlash to the 60's by the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marie

        "oppressed law and order types" is causing a lot of our trouble.

        But something about the me generation rhetoric seems like it might have broken the strong we ethic that was part of the American Dream I didn't realize was just a fashionable cause. Honestly I can't trace it down. It's  more of a feeling than anything else.

        But many of the hippies were visionary and also really committed to a group ethic (I mean, IMO) so I'm really not trying to hate on them.

        Poverty = politics.

        by Renee on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 08:04:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Some serious confustion wrt "me generation" -- (0+ / 0-)

          a quick google search verified my recollection:

          Baby Boomers were sometimes called the "Me Generation" in the 1970s, but this was a premature and brief label: Boomers did not discover the self until young adulthood, and even then did everything in groups, from protests to seminars like est. ...
          IOW there was no "me generation."  The narcissism and materialism that some associate with the 1960s is a fiction.  That came later and was more pronounced in the late Boomers than early ones but as a nation, we've all participated in it.  
      •  I think that it is more complicated than (0+ / 0-)

        that and that there are a lot of different contributing factors that brought us to the place where we are now.  DFHs are not at all the center of the controversy although they are part of the picture and like everyone else their contributions were good and bad.  There were some who were looking for the common good and some who were riding a wave that allowed them freedom and opportunities for opportunism.  But they were by no means the only group that yielded mixed results especially during that tumultuous and polarized era.

        In any case, it was what happened in the 70's that I think really set us on the precarious path that we are all on now.  And for my money that was all about cynicism and detachment.  It is a natural response after a decade like the 60s when people were basically not able to avoid the conflicts around them between the war, the civil rights battle, the societal shifts, the cultural changes and the political turmoil - it is not surprising that people experienced fatigue.

        The truth is that that is one reason that I wrote this diary.  I am so exhausted that I am of a mind to just go read People Magazine and watch E! and forget about all of this bullshit.  I won't because I am not that way for a long list of reasons, but if I am tempted, I can only imagine what people who aren't inclined to engage in our political system are thinking.  On the other hand, my Mother is dying and I am not able to really devote my attention to a bunch of crazy people at the moment.  My mother who spent her whole life helping people is dying and all of these fuckers are trying to undo what she and my father did during the course of their lives.  I think that part of the reason that I resent the Democrats of this era so much is that my parents are watching what they achieved be undone, bastardized and otherwise destroyed.  It is insulting and it pisses me off.

        So, here we all are.  Trying to stop the crazy train and I don't really care on some level how the crazy train was fueled as much as I care about it being stopped.

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