February 14, 2016

Supreme Court is distraction issue during death of culture wars

Because we're in a period of profound political realignment, we probably ought to be suspicious of the usual suspects having the usual hysterical reactions to the death of a Supreme Court Justice and the vacancy that will be filled. That goes for both conservative and liberal sides.

Having these hysterical reactions, and blindly rallying around the political figureheads, has achieved nothing so far during the culture wars, so why continue with their impotence and irrelevance? The culture wars are finally fading out, so the hysteria will resonate even less broadly and persuade fewer people than before.

Indeed, one crucial aspect of the culture wars has been the over-emphasis on the judiciary branch of the government, as though it issued the ultimate reckoning on any matter. Reminder: in a democracy, the government has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, and that is ultimately what decides which way the nation goes. No men with guns to back up a policy? Then there might as well not be a policy.

Consider one of the most vivid examples of the government changing the way the country works -- desegregation during the 1950s. In school we all learned about the Supreme Court's 1954 decision to overturn legal segregation, but given how hostile people were to the change in the segregated parts of the country, what were the nine gray-haired Justices going to do about it? Nothing -- nothing whatsoever. All they do is render a verdict, an opinion.

What actually desegregated the South was the sending of men with guns to move aside hostile white citizens, and escort the black students into the school building. In 1957 at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, the governor had called out the National Guard to prevent desegregation. He did not bother having state-level judges issue contrary opinions to the Supreme Court -- he called out the state militia. Men with guns have a more persuasive effect on getting what you want.

Did President Eisenhower respond by fighting a legal battle over whether the Arkansas state militia was allowed to forcibly prevent desegregation? He wasn't an idiot, so no -- he escalated by sending in the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. National military vs. state militia -- checkmate. Desegregation followed. A few stark images say more about how things truly changed than reading about the Supreme Court's reasoning:

When President Kennedy faced similar problems, he simply nationalized the state militia and told them to beat it. Sometimes local police served as escorts for the black students, but at any rate it was always men with guns.

Perhaps an even more dramatic example of government-driven societal change was the ending of slavery. Nobody paid any attention to what the Supreme Court thought, one way or another. Armies on one side and the other side lined up, killed each other, and ultimately the side with the stronger military got its way. During the era of Reconstruction afterward, the Northern / Republican policies of enfranchising the freed slaves and giving them jobs was dependent on the presence of the U.S. Army. They could only push through such policies after the Army took control over the Southern states, and when the Army was withdrawn in 1877, those policies fizzled out.

None of that has changed. The local police, state militia, and federal military are still under control of the executive branch of the government. If there is going to be a major showdown over some hot-button political topic, it will be decided when the men with guns are called in to favor one side or the other -- or, what amounts to the same thing, if they are not called in, giving an implicit pass to the situation unfolding as it already was.

Consider abortion, the most popular culture war distraction issue. The Supreme Court has little chance of overturning Roe v. Wade anytime soon. But even assuming they did, you can bet that the abortion clinics would continue to operate, albeit with more caution and security measures taken for both the staff and the patients. If you think the whole abortion sector of the hospital industry is just going to roll over because the Supreme Court said so, you're hopelessly naive.

Rather, it would take the executive branch to send men with guns to apprehend abortion doctors, to block abortion-seeking patients, and so on. Once it escalated to the President sending in the Army, there would be no more discussion or protest.

The same goes for gay marriage. Whether an individual wants to preside over or prevent two homos from getting married, ultimately they will go along with whatever policy that the men with guns have been sent in to enforce.

Ditto for immigration and border security. If the local border patrols want to defy Obama and check immigrants as usual, perhaps the Army would be sent in to hold back the border patrol officers. Then again, perhaps the Army would decide that was crazy and mutiny against the President. On the other hand, if the President (like Trump) wanted to really beef up border patrol, he could send in the Army and not leave it to local officers who might be threatened by local politicians, employers, and the like.

I think conservatives have the most realistic picture about who really makes changes when it comes to the 2nd Amendment. They aren't so afraid of the Supreme Court issuing an opinion that is at odds with owning firearms. What really disturbs them is the prospect of men with guns showing up at their door to forcibly remove whatever firearms they've been sent in to remove, where the individual would either go along with the removal or show down against the police / state militia / U.S. Army and get martyred.

Whether those policies originated as laws passed by Congress, or as executive orders signed by the President, would make no difference. It would still be the executive branch that held ultimate power over the men with guns -- the most central aspect of a democratic form of government. Without that, allowing citizens to vote wouldn't matter, since local strongmen could make things turn out however they wanted.

In moving out of the culture war period, we ought to worry a lot less about what opinions the Supreme Court may or may not deliver. Ultimate authority rests with the President, so we need only worry about getting Trump elected, and not be distracted by who he would or would not consider for the Supreme Court. Cruz already tried to play that hand last night at the debate, warning that Trump would nominate liberal Justices -- a lie, but also irrelevant. Thankfully that appeal to culture war fervor has failed just as pathetically as his attempted attack about "New York values".

Now that the culture war is evaporating, we can all wake up from our collective delusion that the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice is akin to the birth of a god who will divinely intervene in all aspects of society for the rest of their godly existence.


  1. Boomers seem to have done the most to roast the judicial branch alive. G.I. and Silent lawyers and judges were on the receiving end of much, much Boomer abuse in the 60's and beyond. Anti-court screeds have filled entire books, riddled with accusations that no-goodnik judges and lawyers have been spoiling society for decades.

    The meme that the legal system is hopelessly corrupt, coddling the powerful, meddling in the affairs of "honest" entrepreneurs and small businessmen, and doing oh so little to stop psycho criminals is a constant fixture of Boomer culture.

    I suppose Roe V Wade plays into this. Acting as though laws have such a huge effect on how conscientious people happen to be. Even a relatively insightful guy like S. Sailer is blinded by an out-dated and arbitrary hostility to the "system". We get it, you think that aging robed dudes somehow persuaded criminals to go hog wild in the 60's/70's by not locking said criminals up for decades. When we did adopt draconian sentencing in the 80's, what happened? We eventually got the highest or near highest prison population in the world. Yet crime didn't abate until the later 90's.

    Instead of childishly lashing out at the "man", we ought to accept that we are going to have cycles and trends no matter our attempts to police people. And we should get off our duffs and realize our goals and ideas instead of whining that the rules aren't fair. If we get an ass kicker and we give him due support, we can turn the tide. Screw the cynics who say that "nothing" will ever work the way it is "supposed" to. It's not 1972 anymore.

  2. I agree with this, and would add that the late Silent / early Boomer Supreme Court justices have been behaving in a nakedly political manner. When the Supreme Court regularly splits 5-4 on ideological grounds, that's a disgrace. It is behaving like an unelected, unaccountable legislature, not like a court. This decreases the legitimacy of the courts in the public's eyes. The uncivil tone doesn't help either. Any decent judge can write a dissent that is both blistering and dignified, they don't have to take potshots at one another.

    Also, IMO the law reflects the rest of society. If the people are immoral and decadent, the courts will be, too. American judges are honest and do not take bribes -- our society still hasn't decayed that much -- but in today's society our elites are out of touch and have moral beliefs that are very different from those of the common person. That is why the Supreme Court forced gay "marriage" on the rest of us, it's because the elites believe in it even if the people don't. The justices who gave us gay "marriage" were doing so out of a perverted idealism -- they believe that gay rights are the "next chapter in the civil rights revolution" -- but the point is that they believe that it is perfectly OK for elites like themselves to re-write a fundamental societal institutional like marriage, one that is thousands of years old. The elites are THAT out of touch. It goes without saying that if our elites were religious, they would be a little leery of transforming the moral foundations of our society; they'd feel unqualified to do so, because they're not religious leaders, and they'd feel that they'd be overstepping their authority, which is only secular. But our elites aren't the least bit religious, and that's sad.

  3. "It is behaving like an unelected, unaccountable legislature, not like a court."

    "IMO the law reflects the rest of society."

    These two statements conflict with each other. If the SC is just reflecting the rest of the society, it's not functioning as an autonomous entity with interests possibly hostile / contrary to those of the citizenry.

    Your second statement is the correct one -- the SC just gives its stamp of approval on some change that has been long underway. They don't stamp it right away -- they are conservative in that sense.

    So it's not initiating laws like a legislature does, or enforcing them like the executive. It's just giving approval to one side of a dispute. That's all that adjudication amounts to. Being more conservative than other stamps of approval, people react to it more seriously.

    For example, condoning homosexuality was well underway during the '90s, but in 2003 acceptance of sodomy became SCOTUS-official, where before it had been only Hollywood-official.

    Once something becomes formally approved by the Supreme Court, it can get even further out of hand. But that will only be the culmination of a long process of societal unraveling that had begun well before the nine Justices heard a case on the matter.

  4. "Violence works."

    Or rather, the threat of violence. When Trump sends out the deportation force, they aren't going to have to kill anyone -- illegals just came here for the money, not to become martyrs. Other than the Muslims, perhaps -- that could get into actual use of violence. And gang members, but we're already expecting that.

  5. "Boomers seem to have done the most to roast the judicial branch alive."

    Doesn't seem like it. Otherwise they wouldn't have wanted to join it so bad, a la the Clintons and their cohorts who kicked off the law school boom circa 1970. And they wouldn't have been obsessed with getting the right individuals onto the Supreme Court, whether as voters, as Presidents, or as Justices themselves.

    I think the Boomers are the most overly obsessed about the judiciary branch because they view it as the final arbiter in a great big popularity contest, only at the group or team level. They're the most hyper-competitive generation ever, and the most important goal for them is being on a winning team (often dressed up as "being on the right side of history").

    So the pro-choicers and pro-lifers aren't just individual Boomers with this or that opinion -- they think, feel, and act like Team Choice and Team Life. They do mostly empty ritualistic battle, with some regulated contact allowed, and then it's thrown to the judges' panel to decide the winning team.

    When one side senses that the 9-judge panel may shift ever so subtly against favoring their team, they flip out. When there's a vacancy and the balance is up in the air, they won't be able to sleep until they at least know for certain what kind of judges' panel they'll be up against for the next judicial Super Bowl.

    Gen X-ers are far less invested in politics as an empty symbolic and ritualistic team sport. It's one of the main things that turned them off to politics to begin with -- that it's all a great big put-on, except for the real matters that the common man seems to have no influence over (trade policies, immigration, etc.).

    Millennials seem like they care even less who's on the SC. They want their student loan debts forgiven -- that's a matter of getting down to brass tacks, not airy-fairy ideological combat sports.

  6. When in doubt, analyze Boomer behavior as though it were a Super Bowl. It's surprisingly accurate even as a knee-jerk response.

  7. And of course we should mention that the culture wars are primarily fought among the elites, and that blue-collar Boomers don't give a shit about the composition of the Supreme Court because regardless of their individual beliefs, they aren't part of Team Choice or Team Life in an empty symbolic culture war.

    Those are the Uncle Shitlord folks who are turning out in droves to Trump rallies, and now to the actual voting booths.

    They're also the ones who are the most turned off and disgusted by what pro sports has degraded into. Gen X-ers and Millennials are more numb and didn't care much to begin with. Blue-collar Boomers are viscerally disgusted when they see what football has been corrupted into.

    Make the NFL great again!

  8. Simple prediction: Trump won't play up the Supreme Court issue that much. Maybe pro forma responses to put a conservative in Scalia's place, but no longer discussion of culture war crap that Cruz and the rest will use the occasion for. And Trump will stop talking about it altogether once the initial shock of a Supreme Court nomination has worn off.

    His predominantly blue-collar base doesn't want to hear about it. Neither do his noblesse oblige supporters in the upper and middle classes.

    The elitist audience for everyone *but* Trump will want to hear about this Supreme Court stuff through the rest of the primary season.

    Hopefully it doesn't hold up more than a single round of responses at the next debate.

    By the same token, expect Hillary to focus on the matter way more than Bernie.

  9. A.B. Prosper2/15/16, 5:26 AM

    I think you put too much faith in one man. No one can do much in an end cycle for a nation like the US is in

    I suspect Trump will not be sending out any deportation force of any kind. Assuming somehow he gets the nod as the Republican nominee than stops the fraud than legitimately beats whoever the Democrats appoint, he won't be allowed to do anything.

    The people that actually run things, the vested interests will find plenty of ways to stymie him since they don't want deportation of any kind. He might get a symbolic gesture or two while they continue looting and turning the US into a Banana Republic but beyond that, nothing.

    After this term, a new candidate to support the looters will be put in.

    What Trump is for is to buy time to prepare and to teach people that the system cannot be repaired, can never work and how to find out what they actually want and most important, they'll have to take it.

    That ends the culture war since the thing they are fighting over is no more

    Of course I might be wrong here and I do tend to pessimism and cynicism which is characteristic of us in Gen X

  10. Abortion has ruined Western demographics, leading to population replacement by Muslims and Mexicans.

    The decline of the family has made the schools into child rearing daycare until age 23 (at the earliest, these days), and they no longer feel any need to teach marketable jobs skills.

    The welfare state has ruined the average working class male's ability to attract a mate with his paycheck. Women prefer hipsters and thugs and even refugees over a typical blue collar factory man. They would even prefer being single moms than being loyal to a working class stiff, and their bastard kids become the next generation of criminal gangsters.

    Pollution and urban sprawl happen because the underclass of the cities drives off the middle class.

    Medical costs are exploding out of control because of disease spreading sexual degeneracy. Drug abuse further encourages this, because drugs are always associated with sex because sex on drugs feels really good.

    Free trade with atheist, communist countries with no human rights is ruining the economic bargaining power of the proles. Immigrants are exploited without shame.

    You need to wake up and figure out that "culture war" issues have very real consequences on society and standards of living. A tiny minority of eloi bourgeois aristocrats is amusing themselves with these experiments, while they are devastating to everyone else.

  11. I don't think there's much that can be done about the availability of contraceptives. Millennials are basically sexless anyway: the explosion in illegitimacy, STD's, etc. was over by the mid-90s.

  12. "The people that actually run things, the vested interests will find plenty of ways to stymie him since they don't want deportation of any kind."

    Your vocabulary does not describe reality.

    The people who want to stymie Trump are those who generally stay as far away as possible from 'running' things and being a 'vested' (better word would be 'rooted') interest. They're people who make 'growth' profits and totally-not-insider deals. About all they might be vested in is their local monopolies, but even those lose market share and effectiveness as they get slowly squeezed out of every marginal cent.

  13. "I think you put too much faith in one man."

    He's not just one man -- it's the entire Trump army that is riled up. And it includes blue-collar types who aren't afraid to go to jail, as well as noblesse oblige types who want to see the country made great again.

    "Assuming somehow he gets the nod as the Republican nominee"

    The GOP nomination is determined by the voters. Not many superdelegates like the Democrats. There is no secret anointment ceremony. If he gets enough votes, he's in. Ditto for the general.

    The so-called Powers That Be only control things secretly when the public is sufficiently apathetic and disengaged. We're not anymore, and they won't anymore.

    "he won't be allowed to do anything."

    Allowed by who? Look at how impotent and uncoordinated the Establishment is, just within the GOP -- they can't even consolidate their side into a single candidate who would score competitively against Trump in the vote tallies.

    Which is easier and better for them -- to consolidate their side into a single candidate, or to remain divided and low-scoring and then try to upstage the entire democratic process at the end?

    The Establishment has been so insulated from reality that they have proven pathetically easy to knock right over. Saint George W Bush? BOOM. Muh true conservatism? BOOM. LARP-ing as Reagan? BOOM. Reaching out to Hispanics? BOOM. The Trump-dozer has cleared out more than half of the ruins of the decadent GOP Establishment, and he's only two primaries in.

    "What Trump is for is to buy time to prepare and to teach people that the system cannot be repaired, can never work and how to find out what they actually want and most important, they'll have to take it."

    Nihilist masturbation. Sound off like you got a pair. McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, and the rest turned the nation around after the looting laissez-faire Gilded Age, and slammed the doors shut on immigration. We've done it before, and we're doing it again.

    "Of course I might be wrong here and I do tend to pessimism and cynicism which is characteristic of us in Gen X"

    It's not generational, it's geographical -- typical out-West paranoia about Big Guv conspiracies, nihilistic views about the future, and wanting to use elections only as a suicide bombing mission on Washington, rather than taking it over for ourselves.

    Like I keep saying, you paranoid depressives out West just need to stay out of the way and keep quiet. Don't be a Debbie Downer, don't concern troll, and don't disrupt the Trump train. If you still want to affect nihilistic chic, go ahead -- but don't do it in public.

  14. "Abortion has ruined Western demographics, leading to population replacement by Muslims and Mexicans."

    Abortion plays no role in demographic change. It's waiting longer to get married, and having smaller families once married.

    Contraceptives were widespread back in Ancient Rome -- but there was absolutely no effect on their age pyramid or marriage and family patterns. There was one census done, I forget when, but if you make an age pyramid, it looks exactly like any other high-fertility pre-modern society.

    Older marriages and smaller families has been going on since the end of the 18th century, abortion obviously playing no role.

    BTW, abortion rates have been falling for a couple decades now. Has it given us the new Baby Boom? No. Fertility rates are a little higher, but no huge boom, and no recovery of demographic majorities for whites. We're waiting even longer to get married, and having even smaller families than before -- with falling abortion rates, that must mean Millennials and late X-ers are simply having a lot less extra-marital sex, at least unprotected.

  15. "Women prefer hipsters and thugs and even refugees over a typical blue collar factory man."

    You don't know many blue-collar men these days. They're not exactly the high-earning and dependable type compared to before.

    The first part is due to good-paying jobs vanishing -- through LACK of regulation of the economy by Big Guv, which has sent jobs overseas and brought in hordes of foreign scabs to do the jobs still left here.

    The second part is part of the me-first orientation that most people are in right now. Men mostly want to indulge themselves, so why would lower-class women hitch their wagon to them?

    The "welfare state" provides almost nothing, compared to the 1950s. I can't think of a more retarded argument than "welfare payments have replaced paternal investment" -- I guess that's why lower-class women are just as well off now as in the 1950s, but only relying on the state rather than a husband to be the provider.

    ""culture war" issues have very real consequences on society and standards of living"

    No they don't, unless you start including non-cultural matters under the "culture war" label. These changes are due to economic and political causes, and culture is downstream.

    If it were otherwise, with culture being upstream of these economic and political changes, then why has nearly 40 years of the culture war accomplished nothing at all for the conservative side? Because they are downstream of the real political/economic changes, and are distraction issues to make sure conservatives don't try to change anything for real. They just get to masturbate to their nihilist apocalyptic porn, before kicking the bucket.

    We're going to change the government and economy like they did back in the Progressive Era (1890-1930, mostly under Republican Presidents), and the wholesome Midcentury culture will follow.

  16. A.B. Prosper2/15/16, 3:16 PM

    Well ouch Agnostic I've just got schooled.

    Scald Re: Abortion. It has had no effect on White demography in decades a. 75% of abortions are non White. "Young Scared White Girl." hasn't been the default I dunno since the early 90's id than

    Also with fertility rates. The only thing shocking is the rate of level of decline. 3.5 to 2.5 to 1.8 in 3 decades crawling back to 2.0 is steeper and faster than I would have expected.

    Still the high levels of fertility of the baby boom was a couple of anomalous decades. Without going into massive detail, it was a convergence of several unique events that won't be repeated.

    Even the Mormons in Utah these days have a TfR of around 3 lower nationally and they are a highly fertile bunch.

    My personal guess is the natural US TfR if the countries economy was healthy and people were sane is 2.1 these days or so rather than the crazy 3.7-2.5 of the entire boom.

    If feminism is reduced in the Midcentury and it is as wholesome as our host suspects and the economy is made to work better, we should go back up to 2 and change and might have a slightly higher rate depending on suppressed baby demand and culture.

    TV and computers will still have an effect, this seems to happen everywhere but it is possible the future USA might have a far healthier social dynamic rather than families.

    The real issue is massive immigration and demographic shift.

    That we are going to see if President Trump can handle it. I do have a Western paranoid doomer thing going (from the East, grew up in Rocky Mountain West) though so I am going to say "I sure hope so"

  17. What about automation? This seems to be elephant in the room

  18. A.B. Prosper2/15/16, 6:00 PM

    Automation is a big chunk of the problem of income and employment especially since automation includes software solutions.

    A good example is Craigslist. Its employs 30 or so people but probably cost 30,000 jobs.

    Heck even the media industry has suffered from automation . It took a lot of people make say a CD in 1992, drivers, artists, stockers and so on. Now music can be released by a band with a PC,

    Its good in that the gatekeepers no longer have anywhere near the influence they once did but bad in that the lower cost of entry means a lot more product competing for the same demand

    A healthy functions system would deal with it they way the did in the past, a lower work week, a stable retirement system and would not have allowed much immigration

    This however didn't happen. My guess is that US culture is largely made up of economic refugees and migrants and in the early days, people who were tax cranks and borderline grifters,

    The demand for labor and the fear of being conquered by Communism kind of forced reforms but well, now we are basically stuck.

    Moar Kommunism ! is being pushed by Bernie Sanders but its not that simple, 40% of the GDP is already government and it can only get to a certain point before failure.

    Building a real market state where trade and immigration are controlled , regulations contained and winners win and losers lose will be a real challenge for Trump or anyone else.

    Despite his support of US v. Kelso I don't think anyone running is better suited to such a challenge than Trump


  19. Good articles that sums up the seismic shift underway (though with some libertarian bitching) : http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/02/15/we-now-join-the-us-class-war-already-in-progress.html

    "Class as the New Defining Issue

    We are now experiencing a growth in class-based politics not seen since the New Deal. During the long period of generally sustained prosperity from the ’50s to 2007, class issues remained, but were increasingly subsumed by social issues—civil and gay rights, feminism, environment—that often cut across class lines. Democrats employed liberal social issues to build a wide-ranging coalition that spanned the ghettos and barrios as well as the elite neighborhoods of the big cities. Similarly, Republicans cobbled together their coalition by stressing conservative social ideas, free-market economics, and a focus on national defense; this cemented the country club wing with the culturally conservative suburban and exurban masses.

    The chaos and constant surprises of this campaign represent the beginning of a new political era shaped largely by class. In November Trump hopes to ride the concerns of the white working class to victory in the Rust Belt to overcome Hillary Clinton’s coastal edge. Close to 20 percent of Democrats, according to Mercury Analytics surveys, plan to support Trump as their champion. In the coming months, the donor class, politicians, and pundits will be forced to address the needs of Trump’s supporters, as well as those of Sanders’s youth precariat in ways mainstream politicians have avoided for years.

    As class politics reshape American politics, we are entering territory not explored for at least a half-century. Our political culture is being rocked in ways few would have anticipated just a few months ago."

  20. "I think the Boomers are the most overly obsessed about the judiciary branch because they view it as the final arbiter in a great big popularity contest, only at the group or team level. They're the most hyper-competitive generation ever, and the most important goal for them is being on a winning team (often dressed up as "being on the right side of history")."

    There's an insecurity here, too. Boomers are always anxious to present in the best possible light, whether it's the "success" of their opinions or their home decor. Or the prestige of their children. They tend to feel that if they are industrious and passionate enough, then, dammit, I'm entitled to get my way. And damned if they have absolutely no self-awareness of their vanity.

    One of the starkest examples of generational differences is the way that meek Silents and unpretentious X-ers sigh in embarrassment at Boomer grandiosity. Sheesh, we're all gonna die someday, just chill out. Fortunately, that grandiosity can be channeled for good; Trump is making a stand that goes some way to redeeming the Boomer driven excesses of the last 30-40 years.

  21. Forrest Gump is a great example of the boomer self-image

  22. I wonder if Forrest Gump is an (unintentional?) caricature of Boomer privilege and sentiment. A well-meaning doofus earnestly goes with flow and always comes out on top. Perhaps a goof on Boomers having no self-awareness or humility, fittingly, the Boomer creators may not have even realized just what they were doing.

    Oh, and it totally exposes the mother fixation of Boomers. The g.f.'s dad is abusive, naturally, while Forrest's mother is portrayed as a saint. In reality, Boomers were rarely abused (what few offenses occurred were embellished by drama queen Boomers). It was Gen X-ers who endured the most neglect and abuse, yet they rarely complain about it. A great way to tell the generation of a creator is by the portrayal of dads and moms. A Silent like Wes Craven has no qualms about making Nancy's mom a pathetic drunk in a Nightmare on Elm Street.

    Who got this Mother Earth crap rolling? The Boomers, who else? Women create, men destroy. Anybody who grew up with 80's and 90's culture will have no problem recalling the constant trashing of men in the Boomer era.

  23. "the constant trashing of men in the Boomer era."

    Also known as "why Robin Williams could always get work." Hook was probably the ur-example of the tendency.

  24. "It was Gen X-ers who endured the most neglect and abuse, yet they rarely complain about it."

    We got it out of our system age-appropriately as teenagers, whether it was heavy metal in the '80s or grunge in the '90s. It was cathartic, so we don't need to keep rehashing our (relatively) abandoned and neglected childhoods.

    In fairness to the Boomers, their portrayal of family dysfunction came more from a place of empathy and wanting to help heal what seemed to be coming undone at the seams in the '80s and '90s. They felt fortunate to have had normal loving childhoods, and why shouldn't today's children?

    Sure, some were self-righteous. But overall I think their portrayal of broken homes was more to draw attention to the problem and urge that the grown-ups do something to solve it.

    For every self-righteous teacher going on about a "burst of cleansing synchronicity," there was a song about child abuse that was thoughtful, caring, and toned-down:


  25. OT, but I found this interesting: suicides piling up in the heart of striver Asian/SWPL country https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/02/16/cdc-investigates-why-so-many-high-school-students-in-wealthy-palo-alto-have-committed-suicide/?tid=pm_national_pop_b


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