Sorry for that title. But, as you’ll see, it is appropriate.
I’ve accumulated far too many open tabs in my browser. So, I will offload them to you. Some you’ve probably already seen, some are kinda stale. But they all were important to me, and I cherish them.
- Several from Zero Hedge, which is your one stop shop for economic sturm und drang. Prepare for the Hyperinflationary Great Depression – this tickles my disaster funny bone. I’ve been reading a lot of Vox Day over the last few months, and this article is more or less in line. And here are two possible responses to that problem: leave, or mooch.
- Grerp talks about the fourth turning. Parts 1, 3 and 4 are certainly worth reading. But part 2 hit me.
I read Strauss and Howe’s 5-page description of the built-in craziness of childhood in the 1960s and 70s nodding the whole time. Someone is finally saying it: Gen X had a shortened, unsettled, unstable childhood and it permanently affected the way we see the world. Permanently. Affected. Permanently. Latchkey kids were left unsupervised daily and many of the rest of us were allowed to do adult things far too early. Illegitimacy got a good running start, and
“[i]n the middle 1970s, the distinction of occupying America’s most poverty-prone age bracket passed directly from the (elder) Lost to the (child) 13th without ever touching the three generations in between. By the late 1970s, the child suicide rate broke the Lost’s previous turn-of-the-century record. Through the Awakening, the homicide rate for infants and small children rose by half, and the number of reported cases of child abuse jumped four-fold.”
Does anyone remember this? You’d think, from the coverage in the media, that teen suicide was just discovered in youth. Oh, no. Gen Xers broke the record back there, but it’s all just lost in the ether. Reading all of this I realized for perhaps the first time that other generations hadn’t had this experience. I mean, I knew that divorce and illegitimacy climbed and climbed through the 60s, 70s and 80s and that families fragmented and got poorer in general. What I never considered was that for the first time in history, that fragmentation was largely an optional choice that the generations before us could and did make.
Families have always broken up. Death was an ever present companion in human society, and it was not at all uncommon for one or the other parent to die and then remarry to keep the family solvent and functional. These arrangements sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t, people being people. There have always been kids who were raised by their grandparents or aunts and uncles. Because their parents died. As in, keeled over, went 10 toes up. But with the advent of modern medicine and especially drugs like penicillin, the incidence of parental death was drastically reduced. Boomer kids feared polio, not smallpox or typhoid or tuberculosis. The kids in Gen X experienced family breakdown, then, because their parents flaked, because they put themselves first, because the kids in our generation weren’t “worth the parental sacrifice of prolonging an unhappy marriage.”
Wow. Thanks. The adults around us preferred to deal with the divorce epidemic by producing after-school specials and writing stuff like It’s Not the End of the World rather than pressure Silent and Boomer parents to stick it out for the kids.
… Gen X is made up of kids who were told by word and action that the happiness and well-being of the adults in their lives was more important than their happiness or well-being. And many of us are tired of the unhappy housewife meme. We are tired of being told to be grateful for the freedom, to be glad we didn’t grow up in the oppressive climate of the 1950s. Plenty of Gen Xers (and Gen Ys) would have traded the “liberation” given them for Mom and Dad living in the same house and dinner being on the table regularly at 6 PM. We can’t appreciate rebellion against security and authority because security and authority were scarce resources in our childhood.
I’ll continue this series with other thoughts gleaned from The Fourth Turning, but just for the above, the explanation for Gen X’s anger, apathy and cynicism, I am grateful to the authors. We don’t feel the way the Boomers feel because we didn’t grow up the way the Boomers did. Even those of us growing up in stable homes could feel society splintering all around us, and we wondered if and when our parents would decide to chuck it and go find themselves.
Growing up in the 70s, for me and most of my friends, that’s what it was.
- Government policies may have had something to do with the recent unpleasantness. I try not to be overly conspiratorial. If you look at it one way, an incompetent or clueless government merely enabled certain elements in the financial sector to run hog wild and break shit. But if you look at it another way, those elements probably had a large effect on how those regulations were written and enforced in the first place. Which means they got the laws they wanted, and then ran hog wild.
- Alt Right on Monarchism, and on Monarchism.
- A few good Whiskeys. I’ve added him to my feed.
- Taleb excerpt – AntiFragility.
- Naught for Your Comfort. I had never read Ballad of the White Horse before.
- The Disadvantages of an Elite Education. Interesting.
- Karl Rove is by no means my hero. Scott at powerline sums it up: “Rove explains the vicious strategy at the heart of Obamacare: pass terrible legislation, and then collect a toll by exempting your friends–those who pay you lots of money–from that legislation, while your enemies have to live with it. We have had various forms of corruption over the years, but I don’t believe we have had, within memory, anything quite this disgusting. The worst malefactor here, besides President Obama himself, is AARP.” It is disgusting. And not at all surprising that the cold, deathlike hand of the AARP is involved. Reference the link on boomers and the fourth turning, above.
I started this post yesterday, but was sidetracked by a sudden shopping emergency. So much for that resolution. But the key is to jump right back on the wagon, right? So I will do, for my conscience and your edification, two (2!) posts in penance.