Vanity Fair: Opinion- Rich Cohen: Why Generation X Might Be Our Last, Best Hope

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Source: Vanity Affair

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

To talk about Generation X (my generation born in 1975) it depends on how you define it. To put it simply we’re the generation that is now in our forties and fifties. The middle adult generation between the Boomers and the Millennial’s. Officially Baby Boomers are Americans born between 1946-64. So after World War II and during the civi rights movement of the mid 1960s. And I’m sure the U.S. Census Bureau does a lot of things very well, but defining generations is not really one of them. And as most Americans (who aren’t a Socialist) know government can get things wrong in this country.

Another way to look at Generation X are the people who went to school and grew up in post-segregated America. If you want to know why so many Americans are both color and race blind is because so many of us (Gen-Xers) went to public schools that were racially and ethnically diverse. So we went to school before we knew what race and ethnicity was. And got to see people as they were as people and not just how they looked. Why they had a certain complexion, why there hair looked a certain way, why they had certain names. Things that come with one’s ethnicity and race.

Which is why affirmative action has been losing support with my generation and in America broadly, because a lot of us now simply don’t judge Americans by their race or ethnicity and therefor don’t believe people should be rewarded or punished simply because of their race or ethnicity. I believe the more accurate way to define Generation X is Americans born between 1960 or 61 and 1979. And I believe a lot of Americans born in the early 1960s would agree with this since they have plenty in common as far as their own personal experiences with Americans born in the mid and late 1960s and even early 1970s, is Americans born between 1960 or 61, and 1979. Than they do with Boomer Americans born in the 1940s and 1950s and even in some cases late 1950s.

So everyone born in 1979 would be the last of the Gen-Xers. Which is what I’ll be talking about in this piece is Americans born in the 1960s and 1970s that are right between the two largest generations in at least modern American history. The Baby Boomers born in the 1940s and 1950s that are the parents of most Gen-Xers. And the Millennial’s born in the 1980s and 1990s who are the children of some Gen-Xers and a lot of Boomers. Even if you stretch out Generation X to let’s say 1961 or even 1960 to 1979, we’re still a small generation. Like North Korea surrounded by China and Russia.

Because a lot of Boomers especially men were vacationing in Vietnam in the 1960s (ha, ha) and the the economy was so depressing in the 1970s that a lot of Boomers weren’t having kids. They were too busy crying about the Vietnam War and the fact they couldn’t find a job, or at least a good job. But that is really for a different topic as far as why my generation is so damn small and we have to look up to the Boomers and Millennial’s as far as numbers.

The main reason why I still have some hope for America even with the oversensitive Millennial’s who can’t take a joke and want to outlaw everything they disagree with and view celebrity culture and new technology as need to know information and current affairs and public policy back page and unimportant, because it requires thinking and intelligence to understand, and history as so old school and yesterday and therefor not worth learning about and being interested in, is because what I laid out early in this article. Gen-Xers are the first post-segregation generation.

If you’re a Boomer or older chances are you went to a segregated school, especially if you grew up in the South or even rural small towns in the North. And therefor didn’t get to or have to socialize and learn with kids of different racial or ethnic backgrounds as yourself, until you probably graduated high school. And then maybe even in college you didn’t go to school with people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds. Unless you were an African-American who is in college on let’s say a scholarship. That is not a problem that most Gen-Xers had and the same thing for the Millennial’s.

So Gen-Xers have got to experience America at it’s best and what we’re supposed to be as this great vast liberal democracy where everyone can succeed if they’re simply just given the opportunity to and then take advantage of those opportunities. Regardless of their ethnicity, race, or gender. And we’ve gotten to learn about America at it’s worst and to some extent experience racial and ethnic bigotry ourselves, especially racial and ethnic minorities, but in most cases not to the same extent as our parents and grandparents.

We know what works about America which is our ability to be individuals and at the same time celebrate what we all share and love about America. Which is the ability for us to be ourselves and not have to fall in line and be some big collection of Americans that all think, talk and act alike. And we know what doesn’t which is denying Americans opportunity and access simply because of their racial or ethnic backgrounds, or their gender. And trying to lump groups of Americans into one group and think they must all think, talk, and act a certain way, because of the group that they’re a member of.

Another reason why I have hope for America is Generation X in most cases are the sons and daughters of the Baby Boomers. We’ve learned from them about individuality and learned from the so-called Me Generation and that Americans are better off being themselves and taking care of themselves. That we’re only as useful and can help others when we’re doing well ourselves. Which is why I believe Gen-X is an educated generation and successful generation.

We’ve gotten ourselves the tools to do well in America and then have passed our wealth and knowledge down to others and have become a large volunteering generation. And enjoy volunteering for others and helping people out, because we’ve made it in America in most cases. And aren’t drowning in student debt (unlike another generation) and are able to take care of ourselves for the most part. (Unlike another generation)

The last reason why I believe America still has hope and will still be a great country 20 years from now when I’m in my early 60s (knock on wood) is because Generation X is the middle generation. We’re in our 40s and 50s and just had our first President in Barack Obama. (Born in 1961) We’re going to be around and in charge for a long time. And because of that will have the ability to lead and teach others what we’ve know and have experienced.

And hopefully the Millennial’s will grow up and learn that just because they don’t like a joke or criticism, doesn’t necessarily make that joke and criticism bigoted.

Hopefully Millennial’s will learn that just because they don’t approve of this activity or another like what people eat and drink like soft drinks and junk food, or meat because they view eating meat as animal cruelty, doesn’t mean those things are so bad that government should prohibit them.

Hopefully Millennial’s will learn that just because celebrity culture and new technology or are so like totally awesome or whatever, that maybe those things really aren’t as important as how government is spending our tax dollars, or are we going to be at war, or are our civil rights, civil liberties, and constitutional rights, are now in jeopardy, because of some big government action or actions.

These are the reasons why I still have hope for America and my Generation X is a big part of that.

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Source: National Geographic- NBC Nightly News Anchor Jane Pauley

National Geographic: NBC Nightly News With Jane Pauley- Birth Of The Slacker

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Reason Magazine: Nick Gillespie Interviewing Frank Furedi- College Students Think Freedom is Not a Big Deal

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Source: Reason Magazine

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

As someone who didn’t even graduate college I’m probably not the right spokesperson for this, (to say the least) but I’ve always believed that college is supposed to be a place to learn and and even learn news ideas. New ideas and things that people didn’t hear much if anything about in high school or anywhere else and not to automatically take those new ideas and philosophies on face value and automatically, but to learn about them and then decide for themselves on the best available evidence possible on the worth of those ideas and philosophies.

That it’s not the job of college to tell people how to think and what to think, but how to learn and then the students can figure out for themselves the worth of what they’re learned and what it means on the best available evidence possible. Call me naive if you want, but that is what I believe. I think what we’re seeing at college now is sort of the opposite of that. That you have professors who don’t teach their students about ideas and philosophies as much as they try to teach their students what to think. That this is what you should believe because this is what is right and wrong. Instead of giving their students the freedom to learn and experience and figure out what works for them and in society for themselves. Again on the best available evidence possible.

Today what we’re seeing at college with young students like millennial’s and soon to be the so-called Z Generation, is that the opposites are being taught and learned as far as what makes America great and what makes our diverse vast liberal democracy work so well.

According to too many millennial’s freedom and free speech are bad. They seem to believe that free speech is nothing more than the right to offend someone and because of that we should eliminate free speech because someone might be offended by what is heard and believed.

That personal freedom is nothing more than the right to make mistakes and screw up that the rest of society will have to pay for.

That capitalism and property rights are racist and selfish. Because African-Americans and Latino-Americans, haven’t done as well as European and Asian-Americans economically in America and because of that capitalism is racist and unfair. That allowing people to keep what they own and have earned simply by purchasing it with money they’ve earned, that is somehow selfish for people to be able to keep property for themselves. And as a result some people will have to go without because you have these selfish people keeping their own property and not sharing it with people who have little.

That Fidel Castro and Che Guevara were great men because they took on the man (so to speak) and that Tomas Jefferson is evil because he owned African slaves. Even in a time when almost all European men in America with means owned slaves. Forgetting the facts that Fidel and Che were both Marxist-Communists who killed people simply because they disagreed with them politically and would lock people up simply for dissenting.

As I said the opposites are being taught to young people in and outside of college in America. And one can just say, “hey, look at those stupid young people. Don’t worry, they’l grow up and be forced to go to work in order to support themselves and learn how the real world works, even if they end up bashing the American system that they’ve benefited from their whole lives.” One could say that and perhaps these millennial’s as they reach their forties and fifties at worst will end up being like these fake Hollywood Socialists like the Jane Fonda’s and Mike Moore’s of the world, who end up bashing capitalism and freedom in general, even as they collect their millions and continue to take advantage of a system as they should, that they’ve benefited so much from.

The thing with socialism is that it’s much easier to practice as long as you don’t have to live with it. It’s a much better system hypothetically than in practice and having to live with it. Because at the end of the day whether you’re an Ayn Rand Objectivist-Libertarian, or a Marxist-Socialist, we’re all Americans. And we all tend to want to be successful in life and live comfortably. I believe that is the best hope that we can have for the Millennial Generation at this point.

Reason Magazine: Nick Gillespie Interviewing Frank Fruedi- College Students Think Freedom is Not a Big Deal

The Atlantic: Kurt Anderson- The Cultural Factors Driving America’s Departure From Reality

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Source: The Atlantic- Kurt Anderson

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I don’t want to make this whole piece about Donald Trump and even not most of it and perhaps just a lot of it, but the way I look at America’s Departure From Reality (to paraphrase Kurt Anderson) is way I describe Donald Trump’s approach to politics and broader approach to salesmanship. Which is that it’s not what’s true that’s important to him, but what’s believable. And not what’s believable to most people or intelligent people. But what’s believable to enough people for him to accomplish what he wants.

In 2016 that was the presidency and perhaps now it’s just about what’s believable to his base so his presidency doesn’t completely go under water. Right now President Trump’s approval rating is somewhere between 33-37% depending on what non-Fox News and Rasmussen poll you look at. Even Fox News has him in the low to mid forties right now. And you take President Trump’s base away from him he’s probably in the teens right now and perhaps low teens. Not the Republican Party but just his base in the Republican Party. Which is about 4-10 Republicans.

President Trump believes for him to stay alive and not risk being kicked out of office or asked to resign even with a Republican Congress, he has to have his base with him. And to for hat he has to tell them things that are believable to them even if the rest of the country knows what he’s saying his complete garbage. (To be kind) Millions of Americans perhaps have escaped the real world to break from reality and perhaps live in so-called reality TV because their real world is too scary for them. But so does their own President.

America’s break from reality of course didn’t start with Donald Trump. Right now he’s just the overwhelming benefactor of it. Where he now represents people who believe that Russia had nothing to do with the 2016 elections and didn’t try to interfere in them. Even though President’s own intelligent agencies have told him that Russia tried to hack our elections. Climate change is a hoax, 9/11 was an inside job, Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and I could go on. But America’s break from reality has nothing to do with Donald Trump. Again he’s just the biggest benefactor of it.

We now live in a country where Americans believe reality TV is actually real and the people on these shows are like that in real-life. When in fact we now now (or at least some of us) that the cast members on those shows are encouraged by the producers of those shows to act out and be the biggest jerks they can and get into arguments with other cast members about nothing to draw the biggest ratings. Because conflict is what sells on TV.

Life in America can be tough and stressful and Americans sometimes need a break from that and be able to escape their own reality. Which is why we take vacations and a lot of us watch the tube and get online when we get home from work especially after we’ve completed everything we need to do that day. That’s fine and I do these things myself. But it’s when alternative reality takes over our lives and we start to live in those worlds and start seeing and hearing things that simply don’t exist is where virtual reality becomes a problem and we look stupid as a result. Americans are only as powerful and free as we are educated and intelligent.

The smarter we are the freer and powerful we are because we’ll make the right decisions for ourselves and people who depend on us. But the more virtual reality and so-called reality TV takes over our lives and we actually take those things seriously instead of the mindless entertainment that it is (like pro wrestling) the dumber we become and the less free that we are as a people and country.

The Atlantic: Kurt Anderson- Cultural Factors Driving America’s Departure From Reality

The Atlantic: Derek Thompson- What Makes Things Cool?

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Source: The Atlantic Magazine– Hum, maybe the word should be awesome, now?

Source: The Daily Review

What makes things cool? A very good question especially since America is such a trendy what’s hot now and cool society where everyone who wants to be cool seems to follow whatever the latest trend is even if they look ridiculous, (like wearing cowboy boots and running shorts with a mink coat) talking or looking like that, or could feel like they’re dying when they try to drink the latest drink or eat the latest dish.

Americans by enlarge and there some exceptions of people who have a healthy degree of self-confidence and are very comfortable being themselves even if their best friends are following their favorite celebrities like cult followers follow their leaders. And even with some Americans who are simply cool, because they are themselves even if that makes them different, but by enlarge feel the need to be like everyone else who is considered cool at the time.

With Jim Morrison of The Doors from the late 1960s being a perfect example of an exception to this rule. Marilyn Monroe from the 1950s would be another great example of that. Sean Connery at any point of his career has always been Mr. Cool, or is that Steve McQueen, but both of these men were always themselves. With the personal attributes, looks, intelligence, charm, humor. These two men were always themselves and if anything drove other men to be like them. Instead of these two guys trying to be like some other hot celebrity of that time.

Pop culture and what’s seen as cool drives Americans more than just about anything else. We have a lot of Americans especially young Americans who rather be seen as stupid, instead of intelligent and willing to step out on the ledge (in pop culture, not in actuality) and risk not looking and sounding cool. And young adults and even teenagers if they’re into something, than people who are just older than them and even much older than them try to get into the same things. And what drives young people today in pop culture is new technology, because it makes their lives much easier and the ability to communicate so much easier than it was even more my Generation X when I was growing up in the 1980s and early 1990s. And the other thing being celebrity culture including talentless celebrities whose only ability has to do with cursing people out and expressing deep anger in public.

Derek Thompson in his video gives you the more scientific explanation of why things are cool and things become trends. But when it comes to Americans it’s about trends and faddism. What are the cool people doing meaning the popular people in pop culture and that is who people who are not famous, but perhaps want to be or just want to be part of the cool and party scene in their local community and where they work and so-forth.

And most pop culture today has to do with new technology and people feeling this need that they may die if they don’t get the latest iPhone the day that it comes out, watch the last episode of their favorite reality show or drama on cable, or what have you. And keeping up with the pop culture tends and having this feeling of coolness and being in is what drives the happiness of a lot of Americans. Way too many from my point of view.

The Atlantic: Derek Thompson- What Makes Things Cool?

Emi Music: Tom Cochrane- Life is a Highway

48fafa63-c003-4be0-a21f-9476b4afa107This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily View

“Life is a highway, I want to ride it all night long! Tom Cochrane is really on to something with those lyrics. To use a cliche, “life is a marathon and not a sprint.” Meaning you’re going to around a long time, you might as well enjoy it and not try to accomplish everything at once, or let one setback and negative thing destroy you. So you should make out of life as much as you can and live your own life instead of trying to live someone else’s, or trying to live like someone. You your favorite celebrity (if you have to have one) should be just that. The famous person you like and admire most. But remember they have your life and you have yours. And not everything they do in how they live their life will work for you. And in many cases work against you and get you into trouble. So we should all be ourselves and be the person we can be and make ourselves happy, but not try to be something we’re not simply because we think that would make us cool or awesome or whatever, at that time.

Associated Press: Today in History For September 11th- Remembering 9/11, 2001

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Just to give you a personal reflection about 9/11. I was working at a movie theater and not happy about it and working the nightshift and disliked that even more. Except for the people I worked with and for and met. I believe I closed the night before and slept in that morning knowing I would be closing again on that Tuesday night the night of 9/11. I woke up early that afternoon and turned on the news and saw I believe ABC News breaking in from their afternoon soap operas to cover these explosions that were happening in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. And to paraphrase what Jack Buck said during the 1988 World Series, “I don’t believe what my eyes just saw.” I can’t believe what I just saw on TV. It must have felt like the way people in Hawaii felt during Pearl Harbor in 1941. That the nation was under attack and what’s the next horrible attack that we’ll be doing with. I get ready for work and get there I guess about 4 o’clock that afternoon and find out that the theater is close because of the attacks and I had the night off.

There are only two moments during the George W. Bush presidency where I was proud of President Bush and I don’t say that lightly or proudly. It’s just the way I feel about this President as President. The first one is where President Bush goes to New York City to look at the destruction caused by the attacks and he’s giving a speech there and talking to firefighters there. And some people in the audience yell out essentially how angry they are at the people of these attacks. And President Bush literally breaks in with a megaphone and says, “we hear you, the Americans people hear you and the people responsible for knocking down these buildings will hear from all of us very shortly.” It was the perfect thing to be said at that point and I believe reflected how most Americans were feeling at that very moment regardless of their politics and party affiliation. Those last four months of 2001 starting unfortunately with 9/11, you could argue was the last time America was united as a country. And President Bush deserves credit for that. Regardless of what you think of him.

I don’t live in New York City and I never had. So I can’t give you an eyewitness account of what happened in New York during those horrific attacks. But what I can do as an American is tell you how I feel about people responsible for attacking one of America’s great cities and one of the great cities in the world. America felt under attack during 9/11. Before that we felt invincible as a country and believe no one would attack us period. Even if they could, because we would destroy them if they did and they knew that. 9/11 changed and changed the national makeup of this country. What goes on in the Middle East and South Asia, can now happen here. Not from another country sending in a plane and hitting us with missiles and bombs, because they would get shot down. But from terrorist hijackers so warped out of their mind and hating America and our foreign policy, that they would hijack a private plane and use it as their suicide attack. Even with innocent passengers on board simply flying to New York, with no say in the matter. And America has never gotten back to pre-9/11 and the few months after that when we were one country even for that short period.

ABC News: World News Tonight-Colin Kaepernick Refuses to Stand During National Anthem: Opportunism at it’s Worst

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

In life there are followers and there are leaders. There are trend-setters who would be leaders and there are people who follow whatever the latest trend is who would be faddists. Celebrity culture and pro sports is no different, is a very accurate reflection of this. Celebrities feel the need to be cool to the point they’ll follow things and claim to support things that in many cases they don’t even seem to understand. Ben Affleck, from a couple years ago where he essentially accused Bill Maher of being a racist, because Maher made critical, but accurate statements about Islam, is a perfect example of this. Even though Islam is not a race, but a religion and Muslims can be anyone of any race, since Islam is not a race, but a religion. With today’s social media and broader media culture, things can become hot and go or go viral, in an instant. And when that happens, many celebrities feel the need to be associated with it even if they don’t understand what they’re associating with. Colin Kaepernick, to me at least seems like the latest celebrity faddist and getting on the Black Lives Matter train.

This is not a debate about whether there’s racism and bigotry, as well as oppression in America. Because of course there is and we’ve had as a nation more that two-hundred years of it. This to me is a debate about whether a multi-millionaire San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, is the right spokesperson to address this issue. Who’ll be paid eleven-million-dollars by the 49ers this season to be there starting QB. A man who has taken advantage of every opportunity he’s had in America as an individual to live in freedom and become filthy rich. Oppression in America, again goes back more than two-hundred years starting with American-Indians. And then Africans being kidnapped from Africa and brought over to be the slaves of European-Americans who the land of the American-Indians. To women of all races not having the right to vote in America until a hundred-years ago. To Jewish and other European immigrants, being denied access in America by Anglo-Saxons, simply because their ethnicity and religion was different from English-Americans. To Latinos and Asians as well. With the Japanese, as well as German and Italian-Americans, being kidnapped and forced into concentration camps. Because the U.S. Government saw them as traitors during World War II.

Colin Kaepernick, has been in the NFL since 2012 and has been a millionaire his whole career. America didn’t wake up to oppression when the Black Lives Matter moment started in 2014. We’ve known about it for over two-hundred-years. That is anyone who took and passed American history in high school. Mr. Kaepernick has had all this time to let his thoughts and views be known about racism and oppression in America. And waits till now when the Black Lives Matter becomes popular and not only that, but isn’t putting himself at risk here at all. The 49ers won’t cut him over this, because standing for the national anthem is voluntary. And the City of San Francisco is a capital of fads and trends and pop culture and leftist hippies who applaud anyone who takes on anyone they see as ‘The Man.’ If Mr. Kaepernick loses his job this season, it will have nothing to do with the fact that he supposedly took a stand against oppression. But that he once again failed to perform, and the 49ers have another mediocre or bad season. And head coach Chip Kelly decides to go in a different direction as a result.

Colin Kaepernick, showed no more courage in not standing for a national anthem for a country that has given him no much opportunity as someone who is African-American, to be very successful, than millions of teenagers who bought and wore Malcolm X hats in the early 1990s when the Malcolm X movie came out. Claiming to support a man they probably never even heard of before that movie came out. And perhaps don’t have much knowledge about who Minister Malcolm is today. Someone who I have a lot of respect for an learned a lot about. What Mr. Kaepernick has done here instead is make a fashion statement. And use the national anthem of a country that’s given him so much opportunity to be as successful as he had, has his target and launching point. Which makes him not different from people who eat whatever the latest hit dish is, or where whatever outfit, or claim to be behind whatever the latest movement or celebrity is. So of course he has the Freedom of Speech (even in the NFL) to do what he did. But he’s nothing more than an opportunist when it comes to oppression and fashion statements.

The New Yorker: Mary Norris- Comma Queen: “Awesome” Is the New “Massive”: How Real Words Lose Their Real Meaning

Comma Queen

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: The New Yorker: Mary Norris- Comma Queen: “Awesome” Is the New “Massive”: How Real Words Lose Their Real Meaning

Just a quick note and a bit of a warning. Valley people both girls, but valley guys, are not going to like this piece. Because this is all about them and how they talk and dominate pop culture in America. Where now every news shows sound like MTV or Bravo in some cases. Instead of professional news shows. But the genius’ at these networks feel the greedy need to sound like this crowd so they can actually understand what’s being reported and will bother to watch. And I’m thinking of Erin Burnett and Brooke Baldwin, specifically over at CNN. As well as Rachel Maddow at MSNBC and Megyn Kelly at FNC.

I’m not familiar with the over usage of the word massive and maybe that’s because I can’t even find Australia on a map, yet alone actually been to it. Maybe because Australia is too small or too unimportant. Just kidding. I can find Australia on a map. But living in the Washington area in Bethesda, Maryland my whole life I’m very familiar with the over usage of the word awesome. I can’t go anywhere without hearing the word and in many cases I hear the word accidentally. Because I get stuck listening to someone else’s cell phone conversation, because that person couldn’t wait five minutes before they got out of the grocery store to call that person or call them back. That would be a typical Washingtonian for you. Someone who thinks they’re too important to have to wait for anything or anyone.

The actual definition of the word awesome is something that is ‘extremely impressive or daunting. Inspiring great admiration, apprehension or fear.’ So that cup of coffee that you had at Starbucks yesterday that was the exact same cup of coffee that you had the last five days, because you feel the need to go to Starbucks every single day, is not awesome. Now if the four previous cups of coffee you had there were average, well maybe you should find somewhere else to get your coffee, or find something better to do with your time. But if you went back to Starbucks and got a great cup of coffee on your fifth trip there after the four previous cups of coffee were average, then maybe that fifth cup of coffee would be awesome. Awesome has become the early 21st Century word for cool. I guess Millennial’s got tired of sounding like their parents and felt they needed their own hip word.

Cool and awesome are completely different words. Cool has multiple meanings of course. You can use cool to describe one’s personality and demeanor. ‘Joe is so cool. Nothing never bothers him. He always looks great and knows what to say. And even knows the real meaning of the word awesome. Which makes him smart and cool.’ Or you could use the word cool to describe the weather. Your food to say that was a cool meal or that was a cool meal. One could be a way to say that was a great meal and the other could be a way to say the potatoes and soup were cool and undercooked. Or maybe you just had a salad which in that case could go either way. Or you can use the word cool to describe something or someone as hip. Meaning someone whose in on the latest trends, if not sets them and perhaps actually leads the pack. Instead of like a cult follower who always follows the pack even when the pack goes off a hill at a hundred miles and hour, or jumps off a bridge.

Anyone who writes or blogs for a living, you’re not only be interested in language, but also protective of it. Because without words we would be like race car drivers without cars. Doctors without patients. Comedians without jokes and hopefully you get the point by now. When words lose their meaning it makes our jobs harder to communicate for a couple of reasons. We run out of words, but also we’re talking to people who simply don’t get the American English language, because they’ve beaten the hell out of it and no longer get it. Not everything that’s positive for you is awesome. And not only that but awesome is not always a positive thing. A car crash could be awesome, just because of how devastating it was to the people involved. A massive pile up with cars being totaled. A severe weather storm could be awesome because simply of the amount of damage that it did to that community or region. World War II was awesome in a horrible sense because of all the destruction that came as a result of property. But the millions of lives lost as well.

Pop culture, celebrity culture, tabloid culture and valley culture even, all have their places in America. But not to the point where they abuse the American English dictionary to the point that real words no longer have real meaning. When a real word like awesome becomes the way to describe any positive moment in one’s life like being able to leave work a half-hour earlier, or something as simple as that, then we have a real problem. Because what word would be use to describe your favorite team winning the Super Bowl that season when they weren’t even expected to make the playoffs. I mean isn’t that a hell of a lot more impressive than getting off work early on a Tuesday in Cleveland in February. All of these things have real relevance in America, but not to the point that it dumbs down our culture to the point that people no longer know how to talk to each other. Because they’re so worried about always looking and sounding cool.

AEI: Arthur Brooks- Narcissism is Increasing. So You’re Not so Special

Narcissist
Source: The Daily Review Plus– One thing that Donald Trump, keeps in his pocket, LOL!

Source: The Daily Review

The internet and even the social media revolution by in large have been great things. I’m not a blogger without it, but with every new way of people expressing themselves comes more ways of people showing more of themselves than others would like to see. And to think more of themselves than they actually are. With social media and internet wave has also come with an increase in how others live and how they present themselves. And of course I’m talking celebrity culture and tabloid news. Or what I like to call tabloid TV which is called reality TV. But anyone who is actually familiar with so-called reality TV and how it operates knows that there isn’t much that is real about. Participants are actually encouraged to act out, not be themselves which if different.

We now live in a world where not everybody, but everyone who thinks they’re awesome or whatever and with pop culture has to have whatever is new and has to have it as soon as it’s new. Because if they don’t, they believe they’re so not awesome or hot or whatever. Because even though they just got a new i-phone (to use as an example) it’s not the latest i-phone. And their friends who perhaps they just met on Facebook will think they so yesterday or whatever. So we have a culture that is now dominated by celebrities and new technology and a young generation that for the most part is only interested in those things. When they’re not protesting against the Washington Redskins or what people wear for Halloween or whatever the latest political correctness fad is.

We live in a world where people want to be like whoever their latest favorite celebrity is, who also happens to be a narcissist in many cases. And they think they’re as awesome as that celebrity and live their lives as if they’re trying out for the latest reality/tabloid TV show. So of course they’re going to live like the whole world revolves around them with a giant size mirror for walls in their parent’s basement where they currently live. And that is another thing. We have a generation of narcissists who aren’t do very well economically right now and they present themselves as if they’re the hottest celebrity in Hollywood. Even if they’re currently living in their parent’s basement in Canton, Ohio. (No offense to Canton) With a college degree worth nothing, or having to drop out of college, because they could no longer afford their student loans.

Once someone thinks they’re the center of the world, they lose touch with reality and Planet Earth. And are so far out-of-touch that they couldn’t get back in touch with a Star Trek cell phone. The most important tool that Americans will ever have in life is the truth. Especially about themselves and always know exactly who you are. Your weakness’ and yes your strengths. So you know where you’re solid and where you need self-improvement. So you never are out-of-touch with reality. And you take things for what they are. You don’t view reaching a thousand followers on Twitter or Instagram as a major life achievement. Especially if you’re currently unemployed or can’t pay your own bills. Which might be why you have so many social media followers, because you have too much free time. Self-confidence generally speaking is a good thing. But only when it’s justified.
Claudia Guevara Borges: Me, Me, Me: Social Media and The Rise of Narcissism

The Daily Review: The Week in Review: 2015 Holiday Season

Port Ludlow

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: The Week in Review: 2015 Holiday Season

My 2015 holiday season other than not seeing the sun at all until really my last day in Port Ludlow, Washington which is about an hour or so outside of Seattle in Kitsap County just off of Bainbridge Island, was by in large positive. I don’t see my family other than my parents that much to begin with. My family for the most part is now in California, while I’m in Maryland just outside of Washington. So we’re three-thousand miles apart physically, as well as miles apart personally as far as being very different people. I’m talking about my two brothers really. Who both are now married with their own families. So I don’t go out-of-my-way to stay in touch with them.

I haven’t seen my brothers and sister in-laws, their wives for three years before we saw each other last week. My choice really. I’m fine with my older brother who generally speaking is a great guy with a great and really cute and friendly wife, my older sister in-law. And they have three great kids. My nephew and two of my nieces. But he rarely speaks unless spoken to. He’s pretty aloof, at least in my experience with him. How his wife communicates with him I may never know. Perhaps they just talk about what’s for dinner and whose picking up the kids, some weather we’re having and that sort of thing. But I had a great time with them and the two days I had with them last week. Especially my nephew Nicholas, who reminds me of me as far as his interest in sports and history.

My little brother, is sort of the opposite of Alex, but we don’t get along very well. He’s got an opinion about everything and we’re almost complete opposites when it comes to personality. He can be bit a judgemental prick and that might be an off day for him. As a Liberal, I’m a live and let live person. My attitude on life is basically, “its your life pal, as long as you’re not hurting someone.” And I could care less how someone eats their spaghetti and how they comb their hair. Plus, he can be very stupid, but in an insulting way. Ask really dumb questions as if they’re legitimate, or state the obvious as if he’s being informative. Our father, is very similar, but Kit is much worst and at least Dad won’t be really sensitive when I call him out on his insulting stupidity. Kit, will act like he’s completely not at fault. He and his wife, are perfect for San Francisco and that yuppie snobby universe.

But, it’s not as if I don’t love my family, including my in-laws. It’s just that I don’t feel the need to see and talk to them on a regular basis. But it was three-years and my little brother and his wife, just had their first baby in late 2014, so I was thinking this would be a good opportunity to meet my new niece. And catch up with my other nieces and nephew, as well as my brothers and sister in-laws. Even if it meant spending a week in the Seattle area, where you have a better chance of drowning in a flood, than ever seeing the sun while you are there. Which is why I went out there to hang out with them and see if I could get along with my little brother and little sister in-law. Perhaps hear my baby niece’s first words and try to have a good time.

Another reason why I don’t go to Seattle where my parents have a second home in Port Ludlow, is because it’s basically like flying to Alaska from the East Coast. You literally spend the whole first day traveling, or waiting for your plane, ferry, or ride. I tend to leave early in the morning East Coast time and finally get to the house late at night ECT. So that tends to wear me out. But the first three days that I had with my parents, little bother, sister in-law and brand new niece, were fairly positive. We saw Goodfellas together as a family. A movie the whole family likes. One of my parents friends from that area joined us for Christmas and she’s great and we had a good time with her. We managed to not get on each others nerves. Which is a hell of an accomplishment for the Schneider Family when we’re all together. I took a couple of hikes in between rain storms up there.

The next two days were with my older brother Alex and his wife my older sister in-law Sandra. Had dinner with them their first night in town. Played basketball, hung out with them at their second home in Port Townsend. Threw the football with my nephew Nicholas and talked NFL history. Think about that for a minute. I’m talking about NFL history and the history of the San Francisco 49ers, with a nine-year old boy. Hanging out with him was not like hanging out with a kid. We played basketball together. he knocked down a couple of three-pointers, we played pool together, threw the football around and talked football history. This is a nine-year old boy, who lives in the San Francisco area, that might know more about the Washington Redskins than a lot of Redskins fans. Hanging out with Nick, was like hanging out with myself, or grown man. He’s just a lot more advanced than a lot of kids his age. This coming from his uncle, but its true.

Coming back from Seattle, is really a blog in itself. Seattle, a little more than half the size of the Washington, DC area, is a fairly large community with a lot of tourist attractions, but they only have one big city airport, which is SeaTac. Which might be the worst big city airport in America. The Washington area in contrast, has three great major airports. So getting through SeaTac, plus dealing with TSA, is not fun. And by the time I get to my gate to go to Minneapolis, my stop before Washington, I find out my flight has not only been delayed, but by two-hours. So no I know my trip home has been screwed and what do I do once I get to Minneapolis. Delta, whatever you think of them, are very customer friendly and don’t like losing customers. They put me up for one night at the Raddison in Bloomington, Minnesota. Which is near their airport.

By in large, this was a very positive trip. Still not crazy about going to Seattle especially during their rainy season, which is only twelve months a year and every time I go out there the weather is Washington tends to be warm and beautiful, which makes the experience even worst getting local weather reports back home. But I will make bigger effort in the future to see my brothers and their beautiful families more often and would like to go to San Francisco to visit them. Where they all live now and perhaps avoid Seattle instead.