From 9/11 Until Now Has Been One Big Slog Through Hell
That may be a bit hyperbolic, but as someone who remembers life pre 9/11, things just seem to continue to get worse. Obviously things weren’t perfect back then, and we had our own pandemic with AIDS, but since then we have had to struggle through massive crises that decimated us socially, culturally and economically.
Previous generations also had their struggles, but there was a sense of hope that with time and hard work, things will get better. Now I don’t have any hope that life will get better, and that we’re just stuck in this permanent state of devolution where life will continue to be more chaotic, more financially challenging, and with little chance to really succeed.
I hate to sound pessimistic, but I’m. out of optimism. The daily dose of rampant stupidity from political leaders and horrible scandals just makes me depressed and want to give up. There’s nothing left to believe in, including myself. I don’t even have my family, which has been fractured by politics. I call my mom and it’s nothing but her talking about how they still love Trump and medical conspiracy theories. It makes me feel so alone.
Sorry, I know we’ve had one of these threads on the regular, but I’m just tired af.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||October 14, 2021 1:37 PM
Republican Presidents and Congress have worked hard to divert money from average Americans. We can't save because we don't have any money left over.
We're no longer a creative society that looks forward to an interesting future. We've been convinced that consuming cheap crap constantly will make us happy. That and constantly watching TV, movies, theatre, your phone --all drugs--dissociate us from our neighbors.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||October 13, 2021 1:10 PM
People who cling to conspiracy theories are those who have no hope less.
They've been told that everyone brown is working against them and taking their jobs, so instead of seeing the real problem of jobs being sent to cheaper parts of the world (thanks, capitalism!), they are filled with rage about people they encounter every day.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||October 13, 2021 1:12 PM
9/11 also coincides, roughly, with dominance of the internet/social media and eventually smartphones. Obviously, there was still a ways to go (I had a flip phone on 9/11; social media hadn't taken over yet) but the foundation was there and moving rapidly toward our current online/smartphone state.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||October 13, 2021 1:17 PM
Op, you need to start meditating.
It helps clear your mind off all this worries and makes you focus on what really matters to live your life.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||October 13, 2021 1:20 PM
The past 100 years it seems we're headed for some awful climax, like a volcano rumbling and fuming. None of what we know as reality is familiar to our human brains of the last 80,000 years or so. Everything is too fast, too dangerous and too much.
We evolved in villages where we knew everybody and were related to many. We hunted and gathered together, toiled hard. We were connected to nature. Aging and death were a part of life.
The best thing to evolve is a better respect for human lives and differences. But will we even survive to enjoy it?
|by Anonymous||reply 5||October 13, 2021 1:22 PM
Yes, my parents are avid Fox News fans, and all their BS created a years long rift between them and my sister. My mom was diagnosed with cancer so I briefly got them to make up and develop a relationship. But post chemo, my mom’s medical crackpottery and pining for Trump 2024 has them back to the same rift and no communication. I try to stay on good terms with both, but tired of navigating it for years.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||October 13, 2021 1:23 PM
I’m with you OP. I’ve been still watching 9/11 footage since the 20th anniversary began and I still can’t wrap my head around that day which literally changed our lives forever. I wish it never happened to us. Nothing has been the same since. It seems Bin laden has achieved his mission in creating the Dis United States of America.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||October 13, 2021 1:30 PM
I was teaching high school and remember hearing news that a plane had hit the World Trade Center—but assumed it had been a small plane crash. But all day I had to keep trying to shell shocked and scared students. By mid-day we just watched the news footage. That’s how it feels now—perpetual catastrophe that never lets us get back to a sense of normalcy or peace. We’re constantly hyper-vigilant, waiting for the next shoe to drop.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||October 13, 2021 1:38 PM
Americans of every generation could have given in to despair, if they were so inclined – I would deem the Revolutionary War, Civil War, Depression, Vietnam and the looming threat of nuclear war, among other things, as much worse than what we're going through now. We made it through all of them, and we'll make it through this.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||October 13, 2021 1:46 PM
What does "make it through" mean though. Will we survive it? Yes. But, will the collective mental state improve?
|by Anonymous||reply 10||October 13, 2021 1:51 PM
[quote]But, will the collective mental state improve?
It did after every other crisis.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||October 13, 2021 1:52 PM
I don’t feel like our country’s collective mental state has improved. If that were the case, Trump would never have been even considered a viable Presidential candidate. He’s a barometer for where this country is—more selfish, more divisive, more hateful.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||October 13, 2021 1:59 PM
The Covid/Trump years double whammy - plus now the uncertainty of "what's next." I don't see collective mental state improving as much as it has in the past, but who knows - hopefully it does. A lot of people comment on how things aren't normal, that there's heightened defensiveness and hostility generally -- there's a certain uneasy "feel" to society. But, people tend to normalize things. So if it continues, and it becomes more normalized, maybe people will chill some just because they're used to it. That's a roundabout way to a "better mental state" but still.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||October 13, 2021 2:05 PM
I think we have weaponized technology like camera phones and the internet against each other, so people are paranoid about doing or saying something that could be misconstrued into something that could ruin them personally or professionally. We are Big Brother. Now people are more reclusive, less comfortable making a joke, and tend to be more paranoid about saying anything that might offend someone if overheard and misunderstood—or conveniently taken out of context. It’s a very hostile environment.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||October 13, 2021 2:16 PM
Yet my doctor seems to want me to live to be a hundred! Is he mad?
|by Anonymous||reply 15||October 13, 2021 2:19 PM
That's a good point R14. All those past fears about government surveillance (which does occur in some form of course), have in some ways become secondary to us willfully and constantly surveilling ourselves. From taking pictures on phones to everyone apparently needing a Ring doorbell and a home security system with 8 cameras that they can keep track of all day so they feel "safe."
|by Anonymous||reply 16||October 13, 2021 2:20 PM
Not to mention keeping track of people and their lives and their posts on social media -- made easy by the fact that a lot of people put so much out there.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||October 13, 2021 2:23 PM
Time to end it all, OP. RIP, cunt.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||October 13, 2021 2:23 PM
Many of us are caught in a tricky gray area between how to stay responsible, engaged citizens who care about others without becoming consumed by social media and cable news infotainment. I ended my cable subscriptions and canceled my Twitter after The Orange Guy left and have been trying to focus on my immediate community—helping my neighbors in person and such. But I do feel guilty for paying less attention to larger world issues.
I’m also concerned that fewer and fewer public service oriented people are going into politics and being replaced with people who dream of reality stardom. Even in my city, the kind of people I’d want to vote for for mayor are announcing “politics isn’t the right choice for my family at this time.” And I can’t blame them! But then who stays in charge?
|by Anonymous||reply 19||October 13, 2021 2:25 PM
Look on the bright side, OP. Democrats are in charge now and as a result things are looking brighter every day. Not just in the federal government, but also in the states and cities where Democrats run things. I'm really looking forward to the next year!
|by Anonymous||reply 20||October 13, 2021 2:26 PM
My mom said the 60s / 70s were a way scarier time than the present— assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK, Chicago riots, racism and misogyny were way more acceptable, Vietnam War, Cold War and ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation, sky-high interest rates and gas shortages, etc. She said the problem is now we have more access to information/misinformation bc of the internet so people think present day is worse but really they just had less access to information in the past.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||October 13, 2021 2:32 PM
OP, some advice: 1) Don't put yourself between your mother and your sister, let them work out their own rifts (though I do appreciate your role as mediator - it's an important role in families, I get that but not to the point that it brings you down - make sure you have your own oxygen mask on first), 2) R4 makes a great suggestion: meditate, it changed my life and 3) focus more on your own life, moving your own individual objectives forward; locate your intent and passion and act out of that, you have to have a satisfying existence in spite of all this.
More generally, the '60s were a lot worse. Read/listen to some history and you'll realise more of what R9 is saying - life is chaos. This stuff - power schitruggles, the rise of fascism, racism, economic downturns, fundamentalism - it's all been going on forever and that's just in the U.S. I mean think of all the assassinations that happened in the '60s amidst civil unrest, the fight for civil rights, war, major cultural differences - it's not the first time our country has been divided. There's a great book by Daniel O'Krent called Last Call, all about the advent of prohibition in the '20s and the decades leading up to it. Not only is it fascinating - how superficial the politics were and remain, the chicanery - but it's incredibly well written. I highly recommend that one. It will almost make you smile insofar as how much things remain the same but it documents a great cultural divide, as well.
As far as 9/11 goes - that age is over. As dark as it was, given the event itself and the wars and war crimes and atrocities that came after, at least the country had a sense of shared ideals about what it meant to be American. That no longer exists and will have to be redefined. But the rot in this country really started to set in during the Reagan years - all of that paved the way for where we are now.
Do you part but release yourself from having to solve all the world's problems. Support those who are making a difference, support the young, encourage them to change the world. But you still have to live your own life because politics comes in cycles, it'll always go one way or the other and those of us who believe in democracy will always have to push back and fight harder against fascism. Do your best but make the most of your own consciousness and live your life while you have it. Be a warrior, mate. :)
|by Anonymous||reply 22||October 13, 2021 2:35 PM
She's probably right, R21. But, people are going to act based on how they feel, even if it's not consistent with the actual threat. And information overload can make people more paranoid, unsure, afraid, no matter the actual chance of X or Y happening.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||October 13, 2021 2:36 PM
I agree, 9/11 really fucked us up, in a way that I imagine the Kennedy assassination did as well.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||October 13, 2021 2:36 PM
Thanks, R22 -- I needed to hear that.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||October 13, 2021 2:39 PM
R19, I'm certain you're doing more good by staying engaged locally than you would be by getting worried about every crazy thing Trump or Q loons or ratings-grabby cable news heads say.
What you're doing is commendable and we should all try to help more locally in our own ways, rather than getting bogged down in bigger issues we can't do anything about.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||October 13, 2021 2:41 PM
Look at it this way—there has to be breakdowns and destruction to clear the way for there to be breakthroughs that rebuild better. It’s like cleansing fire.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||October 13, 2021 2:42 PM
have faith. we are going thru a period of renewal. It took us over 200 years to get here and we need to revamp. The reason it just kept getting worse was because it was the only way things could be exposed so that we could change them. We are heading into the upswing and in the next few years lots of things are going to change, all for the better. just hold on.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||October 13, 2021 2:44 PM
9/11 was the end of America as we knew it and everything since then has been an epilogue. There is no question that the Pax Americana is over. An incredibly mean-spirited and weak-hearted nation has replaced it. There’s no question in my mind that our decline will only hasten from here.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||October 13, 2021 2:44 PM
We are living in the descendancy of American civilization. It will get worse before it gets better, but none of us will be around to see it.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||October 13, 2021 2:52 PM
R21 Yes, the 60s/70s had great social turmoil, riots and demonstrations, Watergate, etc. However, the general populace was nowhere near as armed as today, and the weapons they have are combat grade plus.
I abhor Trump, he is a grifter sociopath. The people behind him, Bannon et al, and the dark money of super rich are hard at work laying the groundwork for 2024. They are eliminating anyone in congress that doesn't support the GOP/Trump agenda and pushing his supporters. Gerrymandering, packing courts, state GOP in charge of elections and legislatures, down to town councils and school boards. Dems, and all of us, need to make every election count now and in next years. If it isn't already too late.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||October 13, 2021 2:55 PM
[R11], the difference being we didn't have sociopathic cunts on social media trying to take down Freedom of Speech, and woketards crying over every and any perceived violation of their 'rights.'
There was more of a collective concern for the whole instead of a sick and self absorbed psychopathic obsession with ME ME ME ME ME ME ME.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||October 13, 2021 2:59 PM
9-11 was the day the music died for America but it coinciding with the smartphone years sealed its fate. Americans are not equipped to handle social media. Maybe humans in general but definitely not Americans. Im so over it but I don’t know how the train will shift its tracks.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||October 13, 2021 3:20 PM
The annoying thing are family members who just don't get it, who claim to still vote Republican for "tax reasons." So fucking clueless.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||October 13, 2021 3:20 PM
To be a young adult in the years prior to 9/11 only to have to adjust, as an adult, to how life became after is still a mindfuck. I almost would have rather not experienced life before because having a point of reference to how life and people were compared to now depresses me to this day. Thats pretty MARY! but its true. Theres just so much anger at the proverbial shit we have to eat. It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||October 13, 2021 3:29 PM
Life started to suck when they hired Radhika Jones turned Vanity Fair into a ghetto woke mag.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||October 13, 2021 3:32 PM
[quote]From 9/11 Until Now Has Been One Big Slog Through Hell
Try "The Constitution," OP. Or long before.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||October 13, 2021 3:34 PM
'I hate to sound pessimistic, but I’m. out of optimism.'
This has been the fate of most of human beings from the beginning of our existence. We are not special. If you can live your life with optimism you are impossibly lucky.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||October 13, 2021 3:39 PM
I think that’s a big part of it—knowing how it was and how it is. Of course there were tragedies and economic downturns in the decades before 9/11, but nothing that rivaled the constant barrage of devastating events that undermine or destabilize our way of life and keep everything so precarious. Just the other day I remembered the Las Vegas shooting where that idiot opened fire on concert goers from a hotel room above. It’s bizarre how something that horrific has become so common that it barely stands out and is just replaced by a similar horror. How much more are we going to grow accustomed to? We’re like the frog in the proverbial pot saying, “This is fine”.
Remember when we thought or talked about more than politics—and the average day wasn’t completely exhausting? My company talks endlessly about the importance of our physical and mental health, but then figures out how to make us responsible for even more work, and rolls out more tools to gauge and monitor our minute by minute productivity. It’s so insane. Downloading a meditation app doesn’t help after eight hours of non-stop stress, day after day.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||October 13, 2021 4:13 PM
[quote] I’m with you OP. I’ve been still watching 9/11 footage since the 20th anniversary began and I still can’t wrap my head around that day which literally changed our lives forever. I wish it never happened to us. Nothing has been the same since. It seems Bin laden has achieved his mission in creating the Dis United States of America.
It really, truly was not 9/11 that ruined things. It was technology and the Internet.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||October 13, 2021 4:23 PM
[quote]There was more of a collective concern for the whole instead of a sick and self absorbed psychopathic obsession with ME ME ME ME ME ME ME.
There is certainly more narcissism today. One of the many ways it manifests itself is the conviction that because it's happening to me, it's the worst that's ever happened. All evidence to the contrary.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||October 13, 2021 4:26 PM
[quote] have faith. we are going thru a period of renewal. […] We are heading into the upswing and in the next few years lots of things are going to change, all for the better. just hold on.
I have no idea where this optimism is coming from.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||October 13, 2021 4:29 PM
R41 the power of positive thinking only gets you so far.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||October 13, 2021 4:43 PM
R14 The thing with the ubiquity of camera phones is that no one seems to be willing to let things blow over. Someone sees a dispute in a shopping line and the first thing everyone does is pull out their cameras. Thus escalating it to a Major YouTube Moment. Whatever happened to minding your own business? Not every minor altercation needs to be taped and posted online.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||October 13, 2021 4:56 PM
As someone who was 12 years old when 9/11 happened, I do find myself returning to a lot of the things that brought me joy as a child in the 90's when things seemed so much simpler. There's a great need for nostalgia in my generation. Perhaps I just had parents who shielded me from any of the world's horrors during my childhood, but that time did seem to be less frightening and more relaxed. Most people seemed to get along better. Once again, it could just be the rose colored glasses of youth talking, but I do think we changed forever after 9/11 in ways I couldn't even comprehend when it happened. It's only 20 years later that I can see how it's grown and mutated into the cancer it's become to our society.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||October 13, 2021 4:56 PM
R40 I’d say both if you think about it.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||October 13, 2021 5:02 PM
R45, I’ve been doing the same. I was 22 on 9/11, but the past couple years I’ve been hitting the nostalgia pipe HARD. Not because of 9/11 at all, more because of the way things suck now because of social media and the Internet in general, and just how shitty culture is.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||October 13, 2021 5:06 PM
I think it’s easier to be divisive when you don’t have to try to socialize with the people you live with or next to, because you can always be connected to your curated online social network 24/7. There’s less motivation to get along—or think about civic duties or the common good. Other people irl are just seen as a necessary evil.
I had a friend whose housemate was a gamer and spent almost every waking moment online. Ultimately she stopped trying to interact with him because you could tell he was only thinking abort getting back online. On the times he did feel like socializing, she either was busy or not interested anymore. She could see he just expected her to be like some video game that was ready to socialize when he felt like playing.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||October 13, 2021 5:10 PM
Remember 1995 when we all had jobs and food to eat? Now it’s MAGTS, trannies, refugees, BLM, viruses, global warming and China. Turned off the news and staying at home more often.
|by Anonymous||reply 49||October 13, 2021 5:15 PM
I usually end up deciding there wouldn't have been 9/11 if Uncle Tony hadn't given Georgie the presidency.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||October 13, 2021 5:21 PM
You can turn off the news and leave the house, R49. They shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. It’s not like the world outside is really as bad as it looks online. The Internet distorts and ruins everything.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||October 13, 2021 5:21 PM
[quote] Remember 1995 when we all had jobs and food to eat? Now it’s MAGTS, trannies, refugees, BLM, viruses, global warming and China.
This is hilarious to me ^^
|by Anonymous||reply 52||October 13, 2021 5:22 PM
It is interesting to me that on a gay website so many people long for the past. I remember in the early 80s a teacher in my school district was fired for being openly gay. Another teacher of mine was fired in the early 90s after starting a GLAAD chapter at our school and incorporating famous gay people in our history lessons. The pair of openly gay girls in my school in the early 90s were bullied so badly they would have had a million dollar lawsuit if it happened today.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||October 13, 2021 5:42 PM
^ I also remember working a temp job in a Massachusetts tax office in 2005 where a married gay couple were told they wouldnt be able to file jointly because even though the state recognized their marriage as legal the IRS didnt
|by Anonymous||reply 54||October 13, 2021 5:45 PM
It's so pathetic that America went through 9/11 and it didn't translate into empathy for people all around the world who face this level of destruction constantly, often at the hands of the US.
Our invasion of Iraq led to the deaths of nearly 1 million people, and no one gives a hoot. We keep pining about how horrible 9/11 was. We matter and no one else does.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||October 13, 2021 5:46 PM
Born with a sense of entitlement.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||October 13, 2021 5:56 PM
[quote]I hate to sound pessimistic, but I’m. out of optimism. The daily dose of rampant stupidity from political leaders and horrible scandals just makes me depressed and want to give up. There’s nothing left to believe in, including myself.
Why don't you believe in yourself? I don't understand.
[quote]I call my mom and it’s nothing but her talking about how they still love Trump and medical conspiracy theories. It makes me feel so alone.
Tell her not to. Grow up...be a man.
Sounds like you're being blown all over the place. Stop looking outside of yourself to feel secure inside.
|by Anonymous||reply 57||October 13, 2021 6:00 PM
America is collapsing. we have become an uneducated and childish country. China will take over as the world power. I think social media was our final downfall.
|by Anonymous||reply 58||October 13, 2021 6:06 PM
r55 is right. After 9/11 we had the entire world minus a few countries united with us. We could have done great things with that. It started well. Bush announced we were going to end terrorism around the world. I remember the IRA decided to stop soon after that and I thought maybe this will work. But then Cheney decided he didn't have enough oil or money so we invaded Iraq and we blew it. It destroyed everything but then doesn't greed and power always do that?
|by Anonymous||reply 59||October 13, 2021 6:28 PM
Destroyed what, R59? How do you define “everything”? It is THE INTERNET and social media that have destroyed American life. Well, that and Wal-Mart.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||October 13, 2021 8:25 PM
The internet was Pandora's Box and the iphone was what opened it, unleashing the current plagues onto the world.
|by Anonymous||reply 61||October 13, 2021 8:58 PM
Agree about the internet. It has undermined reality. It’s like The Matrix but in reverse.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||October 13, 2021 10:08 PM
For those of you who still haven't figured out 9/11 after 20 years, let's play Pin the Tail on the Donkey!
|by Anonymous||reply 63||October 14, 2021 5:06 AM
I sometimes force myself to finding a silver lining in all of this shit we are going through. The silver lining must be a seriously possible unintended side effect or consequence that could stand a good chance of happening.
Take COVID-19: It just may bust up the disaster and destruction of our highly-lauded global economy. Who(m) has reaped the most benefit from it? It’s definitely not your average Joe. We shipped away our jobs so we could buy needless items that we never really wanted at an ever cheaper price. It’s a race to the bottom and has caused the accelerated destruction of our planet. Now we are screwed because of this miraculous invention of the just-in-time supply chain model.
I believe COVID may have forced people to re-examine their priorities. It’s one of the few events that has united the human race merely in its awareness, if nothing else. Perhaps it will dampen our lust for money if it means going to work could have deadly consequences. Perhaps the US will be more willing to accept socialism/free stuff from the government if it needs to FEED and provide shelter for its citizens to survive. What’s the loss of a few defense contracts? Do really need another $3 billion air craft carrier?
Try hard to find a plausible silver lining. It’s a way to change your focus on just the bad stuff.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||October 14, 2021 10:16 AM
[quote]Try hard to find a plausible silver lining.
I think the silver lining of COVID -- and it's a huge one -- is going to be an unprecedented and rapid wave of medical advances:
This year, a team at Yale patented a similar RNA-based technology to vaccinate against malaria, perhaps the world’s most devastating disease. Pfizer is planning to use it against seasonal flu, which mutates constantly and kills hundreds of thousands of people around the world every year. BioNTech is developing individualized therapies that would create on-demand proteins associated with specific tumors to teach the body to fight off advanced cancer. In mouse trials, synthetic-mRNA therapies have been shown to slow and reverse the effects of multiple sclerosis.
“I’m fully convinced now even more than before that mRNA can be broadly transformational,” says Özlem Türeci, BioNTech’s chief medical officer.
|by Anonymous||reply 66||October 14, 2021 12:30 PM
The silver lining of Covid is exposing the amount of wasteful spending I did in an effort to stay sane while working at the office. Lunches, coffees, clothes, alcohol, even movies and music- all because I was looking for a dopamine boost. Keeping workers miserable stimulates the economy.
|by Anonymous||reply 67||October 14, 2021 12:36 PM
Agree—it’s amazing how much I was invested in shit that absolutely did not matter. Once you realize how much is BS and opt out, things are easier.
|by Anonymous||reply 68||October 14, 2021 12:41 PM
R67 r68 Many workers seem to prefer working from home. It was pretty eye roll inducing seeing all the corporate media propaganda articles over the last year or so claiming that employees were practically suicidal due to withdrawal from office life.
|by Anonymous||reply 69||October 14, 2021 1:04 PM
9-11 was an inside job. That's why the right is so big on conspiracies. Because they are one.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||October 14, 2021 1:37 PM