It's even worse than it appears.
Thursday February 28, 2019; 3:53 PM EST
  • I remember as a college student in New Orleans I felt lost. I was pretty unhappy. I had a pain in my stomach most of the time. New Orleans was not a great choice for a kid from the northeast in the early 70s. New Orleans, partly an international city and partly the Deep South, was a really strange culture for a Queens kid, a culture that I never really adjusted to.#
  • Even so, when I called home every week from a pay phone in the student union, I'd always put on a happy face. I'd tell stories of how great everything was, even though the grades I was getting pretty much proved it wasn't. I was unhappy. Lonely. #
  • But if I ever said anything about not being happy, my parents would explode, maybe they thought I was holding them responsible or something. I never could get them to explain why they reacted so explosively, if I tried to ask that they would really explode. They'd deny any wrong-doing, thinking I was accusing them of something. They'd probably turn it back on me, talk about something I did that was wrong. I learned it was easier to just make everything sound great. And that made my stomach ache even more. #
  • It wasn't just my family. I was visiting a friend in another part of the US a few years ago, on my way through his home town to visit another friend in another town down the road. I was really drifting. I didn't have a job, nothing to do every day. What friends I had were generally pretty busy, and my family, well they were still as I described above, even though by then most of them were gone. So my friend asked me to tell him how was great everything was for me. An invitation to impersonal conversation. I thought for a moment and decided to tell the truth. Everything is kind of nothing, I said. He seemed to have no idea what to do. We're about the same age, in full adulthood, we had both dealt with considerable pain and struggle in our lives. But I broke protocol and told the truth. I'm pretty aimless. Could use some structure in my life. Not sure what I'm doing. No it's not great. #
  • I think we're also dealing with that approach in our political culture. Sarah Kendzior explains it this way. "People have normalcy bias. They thought: 'If Manafort is really such a criminal, clearly someone would do something.' Well guess what? No one did anything and now we have a Russian asset as POTUS backed up by a transnational crime syndicate!"#
  • In other words everything must be okay because it's always okay because we wouldn't know what to do if it's not. Not a good way to run a family, or friendships, or the world. Shit is always falling apart. It'd be better if we were truthful about that, imho.#

© 1994-2019 Dave Winer.

Last update: Thursday February 28, 2019; 4:40 PM EST.