I know, right?
What is wrong with the world, yeah?
How about way too many assoles talking about what’s wrong with the world. How about that?
You know this. This is the longest we’ve gone without a catastrophic war; we have fewer deadly diseases; longer life-spans; and a standard of freedom previously unknown—I mean, this essay is about shitting on people shitting on people. Welcome to the Metaverse I guess.
You know you have entered the most peaceful time in human history when rappers drop the words gucci and versace more times than they do Bitch and Hoe.
Yeah, we have problems, but to spread an aerosol of dread across the world is a pretty shitty way to deal with them. We have chosen the back-light of whatever you are reading this on to move through the world. At least the blind know they cannot see.
We are in an abusive relationship with the planet. It’s why we have taken so long to have a serious conversation about climate change. We spent most time thrashing climate change deniers than we did talking about climate change itself. And we would have taken it more seriously if the documentaries on climate change had the same production budget as those set aside for serial killers.
Remember the positive thinking movement? Where, when you fell into a lake of horseshit, you looked for a horse? I miss that. It nourished my delusions and did a decent job of helping me fake my happiness. What self-help did was create a sense of hope, however sleazy the route it took.
The premise of the what’s-wrong-with-the-world movement is fake cynicism. Ironic contempt. Moralistic hopelessness. Learned helplessness. You can’t feel happy without frantically feeling like shit—because!—I mean!—weren’t you listening!—the world’s falling apart!
You can tell people who call Facebook a threat to civilization just didn’t get enough likes or do nothing interesting with their lives. Tech and social media have become diaper bags for politics and religion. Social media got the model right: whoever is best at fooling everyone about whatever’s wrong with the world has the most power and makes the most money. Influencers are the 21st-century priests.
So the perenniality of our lives has been reduced to playing catch with emotion. You react. I react. You react to my reaction and I react to your reaction of my reaction and then one of us writes a blog post about how the world sucks.
Can we just go a day without talking about what is wrong with the world?
Because I am forgetting what it was like to feel normal. Nothing feels like progress anymore. It’s all chaos. Nothing’s a mistake. It’s b-broken. Nothing’s change. Everything’s a movement. People aren’t ignorant anymore. They are damaged. We don’t accept or forgive each other. We go through a healing process. All of which begs the question: What is wrong with the world?
I hate to be the one to break it to you—a la positive thinking.
We are doing all right. Things are mostly okay. Not everything, but most things. Yeah, we have screwed up the planet no shit, but, too, we also did a ton of awesome stuff. Clean water. No Polio. Barack Obama. How sad to look back and only see suffering.
The way we look at the world says more about our lives than it does about the world. Something about suffering makes us rationalize it by saying we lived a good life. Something about a broken world seems to give us a sense of purpose. Something about all of that makes me want to look for bats (you know, because batshit).
It’ll be shallow to say everything is just fine, be grateful or die. That’s not the point. Not the solution, not at least for everyone. There are problems, but not everything is a problem. Does everything have to be something the world needs to hear from you on? Don’t even bother answering; the correct answer is No.
We should stop picking sides over everything—no one gives a shit about your Tweets/blog/whatever medium you are using to polystyrene your emptiness. If you think you sound deep, you may just be empty.
We need to stop and look at the wonder that is the world.
And the first wonder about the world is its paradox.
It’s this mystery about the world which gave us a sense of purpose.
If we need to save the world, some of us should shut up.
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