Spoiled Rotten Brat Syndrome

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The surreal world of electronic media contrasts sharply with my day-to-day concerns.  I wake with the roosters and spend my mornings in semi-quiet contemplation with journal, coffee, and scenes of marsh, trees, and sky outside.  I have no television or cell phone, rarely turn the radio on, and limit computer time to a couple of hours a day.  My biggest concern is how to get rid of chicken mites without using poison.  (The internet says 10% garlic juice spray on feathers and wood ash in chickens’ dust baths, for those who need to know.)

 

My closest contact with Humanland comes through machine noise, including neighbors’ power tools, traffic, or the aircraft overhead.  The military planes from Hunter Army Airfield flying at low altitudes over my house often tell me when the US is deploying yet more troops to our interminable wars.

 

Every couple of days, I venture city-ward, to make sure humanity is still there.  Sure enough, the coffee shops are operational, offering the same things they sold last week, serving the same customers with the same cell phones and lap tops, selling the same newspapers, and playing the same repertoire of loud bad music. I get the two-minute versions of the latest disasters, the hurricanes, shootings, presidential faux pas, North Korea’s intransigence. Everybody’s opinions about the NFL’s knees and the national anthem. The stock market is up but the economy is down, and no one is smiling.  Demands on attention, and predictions of economic collapse, nuclear war, and climate disaster generate chronic static in the atmosphere, and we wonder why we’re so irritable.

 

I think about “Spoiled Rotten Brat Syndrome,” a diagnosis you won’t find in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), because in the United States, this condition passes for normal.  Only foreigners recognize SRBS as a disorder, but Americans seem to think it’s a symbol of superiority.  That we have the debit and credit cards to buy junk food and fatten ourselves on chemically poisoned, genetically mutated, double-and-triple-packaged, processed, and dyed food is a mark of our superior intelligence, as well as our obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.  That’s why we need the government to force us to buy health insurance, whether we want it or not.  Theoretically, this will keep the “economy” from imploding quite so fast.

 

“Projection” is a term used by Sigmund Freud and others to describe the tendency to see in others what we deny or overlook in ourselves.  These can be “positive” or “negative” tendencies.  To characterize another person as “evil,” for instance, shows a judgmentalism based on fear of one’s own destructive impulses. Some people, who may believe they are strong, will project their more tender feelings on another, because they see tenderness as weakness. Violence, whether by individuals, groups, or nations, is a reaction to a sense of powerlessness, not power, despite common belief.

 

On the other hand, “projective identification,” refers to the recipient’s taking on the role projected, thus exhibiting the trait or intensifying it.  In simpler terms, projection and projective identification can refer to expectations and living “up” or “down” to them.  Children or cultural groups who live down to others’ negative expectations may never develop talents that could, in a more supportive environment, grow and flower.  “Why try?” the feeling goes.  “It’s hopeless.”  Or, they may resort to violent or anti-social behavior to prove their “power” to destroy, creating fear in place of the respect they crave.

 

Insidious influences of mass mind are hard to detect, especially when you’re in the thick of them.  And humans, being human, are only human, after all.  While we insist we are more intelligent than animals, we are also susceptible to being misled by intellect. Our imaginations can intensify fearful beliefs, especially when they are so widely, easily, and repeatedly disseminated.

 

The contrast between human and non-human priorities becomes disturbingly clear when confronted by the exaggerated concerns that dominate the airwaves.  Contrast this with the very immediate awareness of hawks and foxes lurking about when my precious chickens are outside.  For these animals, life-and-death issues are close at hand and very real. 

 

The helplessness I feel about man’s inhumanity to man makes me appreciate the animals more and more, their sanity, their moment-to-moment experience of life, their curiosity, their liveliness.  My moods affect them, but theirs affect me, too, and they can brighten my mood just by being themselves, and dispel the heavy oppressiveness of humorless human worry and fear.

 

Alternatively, human spoiled rotten brats are never satisfied.  Rather than appreciating what they have, they are perpetually seeking more, bigger, and better.  Life is all about them, and nobody else matters.  They want to be accommodated, at whatever cost, and it’s your fault, or the fault of the government, the parents, the terrorists, or the latest external target, if they’re not healthy, happy, and rich.

 

It’s possible Spoiled Rotten Brat Syndrome is a predictable consequence of society’s negative expectations.  A child who is given everything he screams for, without having to earn it, may never learn the skills necessary to achieve his own potential.  A society of entitled, immature citizens may have to suffer real hardship to learn how to behave.

Comments

Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 5, 2017 - 4:21pm
Katharine
 
The pharma invents a "psychic disorder" in order to sell drugs. And for justification that BSOD. ADHC OIHBKGHJH whatever exist they grease scientists in order to get them into Pschyrembel, Medical Science and other tabloids using as much latin as possible to be confirmed as genuine. The regular Joe scratches his head and mumbles: Wow. They sure know what they're talking about !
 
Next year another mental illness shows up and other drugs are "invented" to cure them.
 
Reminds me a bit of LGBTQKDGDKASWEP stuff.
 
Actually: Our LIFESTYLE fucks us up. And instead of saying STOP we sell blue and red pills.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 5, 2017 - 4:24pm
BTW:
 
A child who is given everything he screams for, without having to earn it
 
That's probably why African kids are more modest and genuine (yet). Because their parents can't replace affection by cash.
 
Again: Lifestyle, IF you can call it that way...
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 5, 2017 - 4:33pm
BTW: You basically talk of the animalistic nature of us. Since we're animals, we can't change those roots. We can only cover it until our basic existence is threatened.
Dino Manalis Added Oct 5, 2017 - 4:33pm
Spoiled rotten brats are worldwide, there's a need for good parental discipline and raising children with good morals and values.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 5, 2017 - 4:41pm
Dino
 
What are today's good morals and values when the media hails Wall Street crooks as smart guys and pushes gangsta rap and fucking Miley Cyrus ass-licking videos on the net ? And the same happens worldwide - with some delays in the so-called "underdeveloped countries". Hah ! That's a joke !
 
We don't have to get back to religion, we simply have to re-learn that we have a fucking brain ! And PARENTS have to teach the kids. But the street is a lot stronger on that when a kid gets 14 or 15. So the main and only thing is that your kid knows that you're not only the father but also the best friend who was ALSO YOUNG at some stage and understands how a youth feels.
John G Added Oct 5, 2017 - 7:32pm
The economic austerity myths are strong in this one.
Life is getting harder for the many.
People are being strangled economically by the few.
And you would make it worse.
 
Tubularsock Added Oct 5, 2017 - 7:52pm
The great thing about our society is the more we get the more we want and the less we have. Pretty simple really.
 
We are programed to believe that the “things” we have define how important we are and why we have to be “ahead’’ so we don’t fall behind.
 
So Tubularsock “projected” that he was his toaster but got bogged down with his instruction manual. Going to identify with the CD player next, Tubularsock feels a song coming on.
 
Thanks for the chicken mite solution. Tubularsock will try it out next time he is in a fowl mood.
 
Cheers.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 5, 2017 - 7:55pm
Stone-Eater,
You're right about all the new "disorders."  I've been researching that.  It is a sad joke.
 
I didn't go into the "enabling" mentality, but it is connected.  It's hard to say no, so enablers tend to reward unhealthy behavior.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 5, 2017 - 8:00pm
John G.,
Government is an enabler.  You seem to think the nanny state will take care of everyone, but who feeds the nanny state?  The many who are strangled economically, that's who.  
 
By the way, I wasn't referring solely to economics, although you seem to interpret everything that way.  I am referring to the dumb-downers in control of the media, whose primary motivation is to sell trinkets to those who can least afford them.
John G Added Oct 5, 2017 - 8:08pm
You seem to think that providing leds resources to the many will make life easier and better.
This is right up there with neoliberal expansionary contraction theory.
You couldn't make it up.
John G Added Oct 5, 2017 - 8:09pm
Less not leds
John G Added Oct 5, 2017 - 8:11pm
As to economic policy, as a psychiatrist I'd have thought that you'd know that putting people under constant pressure is worse than counterproductive.
George N Romey Added Oct 5, 2017 - 9:15pm
Katharine I wish I had been born in the 30s. Young enough to have lived through America’s salad days but old enough to have been retired when it all began to become undone. I’d be on a rural plot somewhere ignoring this debt greed fueled bubble we are now dying from.
Saint George Added Oct 5, 2017 - 10:14pm
The surreal world of electronic media contrasts sharply with my day-to-day concerns. 
 
You've just posted to a blog on the World Wide Web; two supreme examples of "the surreal world of electronic media."
 
Anyone else see something hypocritical in this?
John G Added Oct 5, 2017 - 11:41pm
 but who feeds the nanny state?  The many who are strangled economically, that's who.  
It's beyond me why you continue to believe that. It is the opposite of reality. 
Saint George Added Oct 6, 2017 - 3:27am
Tell that to those being economically strangled in Venezuela, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. Yeah, they're doing great.
 
Self-involved, morally narcissistic arse-wipe. You should be ashamed of yourself for pormoting policies that have brought so many innocent people to misery.
 
I guess you would feel ashamed . . . if you actually had a conscience.
John G Added Oct 6, 2017 - 3:49am
I guess you're the link with the CSIS.
They need better trolls.
Saint George Added Oct 6, 2017 - 4:15am
Perhaps.
 
It's better than being a link to Russia Today and TeleSur. You're an excellent troll for them.
Obvious, but excellent.
wsucram15 Added Oct 6, 2017 - 6:08am
SEF.. I agree with that in some instances.  The things they did to my brother in the 70s over Hyperactivity were later dispelled as inhumane and the disease was labeled as ADD or ADHD and multiple others.  The primary focus is the different drugs used.
 
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 6, 2017 - 7:49am
Jeanne
 
I was a very alert child in the Sixties, and learned reading and writing at 4 through my father. He came home for dinner (unlike today's general habitude where fast food in-between is common), we ate with the family, and then he read the newspaper on the couch. I joined him every day, and at that occasion he taught me reading.
 
At 7 I started school, could already read and write and was bored and unruly.
 
Our family doctor calmed me down with Valium 2 for half a year until my mother noticed that something was wrong.
 
I can't remember clearly, but she told me later that she intervened, and from then on I seemed to be getting back to normal. And in the meantime the rest of the class was also able to read and write.
Leroy Added Oct 6, 2017 - 7:58am
"You've just posted to a blog on the World Wide Web; two supreme examples of "the surreal world of electronic media."
 
Anyone else see something hypocritical in this? "
 
Yes.  I also see projection.  It is similar to Wendell criticizing others for not being critical thinkers.  He doesn't see it in himself.  Likewise, Katharine assumes her lifestyle is superior and criticizes others yet doesn't realize that she is just as guilty.  We all have our way to cope with change.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 6, 2017 - 7:59am
Conclusion: NEVER give your kid ANY drugs. They will grow out of anything by themselves when they are properly led and have the understanding of the parents.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 6, 2017 - 8:07am
BTW: Spoiled Brats ? It's not the brat's fault. It's the parents who are already spoiled.
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 6, 2017 - 9:03am
A nice piece Katherine. There was a particular point that put me in mind of some thoughts I'd had concerning another article I read on WB a couple of months ago. I apologize for being unable to identify the author (perhaps someone in the discussion will know). The gist of this article was wrestling to find some understanding of how "thought" was formed before the development of speech.....
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 6, 2017 - 9:04am
bear with me, I'll draw the connection in a moment...
George N Romey Added Oct 6, 2017 - 9:06am
We give handouts in this country when what people really need is a handup. But handups are much harder and requires more of an upfront investment.
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 6, 2017 - 9:30am
While we insist we are more intelligent than animals, we are also susceptible to being misled by intellect. Our imaginations can intensify fearful beliefs, especially when they are so widely, easily, and repeatedly disseminated.
 
Animals other than humans do not have speech. Their primary means of communication is delivered via their olfactory organs. Part of the brain, even human brains, is comprised of what is called the olfactory bulb. The olfactory organ is the receptor, the bulb is the processor of "information" received in the form of pheromones. 
 
During the course of human evolution the olfactory bulb in our brains has diminished. It is in physiological terms heading the direction of the appendix, destined to be a vestigial appendage with no practical function. We do still transmit and receive pheromones and these do still influence our behavior, but with that part of our brains having regressed this is something which occurs at the subconscious level. We are unaware of it.
 
Animals behave the way that they do because in their brains the olfactory bulb is still prominent in the frontal lobe, "hard wired" to the sense of smell. Where humans can detect scent molecules at a rate of one ppm most of the animal kingdom detects these at a rate of one part per b-b-billion, with a b. Pheromones send signals that take the place of speech to transmit critical survival information. As an example one class of pheromone is the warning or alarm pheromone. When an animal encounters danger they release this class of pheromone to "mark" the location, thus warning others of their species of the hazard. With our use of speech we have replaced this with the warning or danger sign. Its the same information, simply delivered to and processed in a different part of the brain.
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 6, 2017 - 9:35am
So it's little surprise that we so often do that which seems in conflict with our better interests. Perhaps there is something more to the old maxim "follow your nose"
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 6, 2017 - 9:58am
TBH
 
Thanks !
Katharine Otto Added Oct 6, 2017 - 11:15am
From the comments above, it appears I tried to cover too much ground in a single article.  First, I was trying to convey that we could learn a lot from animals.  They are like gurus, in their way, but it's difficult interpret their behavior without projecting.  Also, I know chickens have an amazing range of vocalizations, so they may have developed more language than we know.
 
Burghal,
It's hard to generalize about animals, because each species is unique.  It's true that the sense of smell is primitive, and crucial to survival in many species.  However, you don't mention that in humans, the olfactory sense is directly linked to the emotional (limbic) system, so that we may react to smells without being fully conscious of them.  Little is known about pheromones, and they may do more than we know.  We say dogs can "smell fear," and the "chemistry" people can sometimes detect with certain others may be related to pheromones.  The olfactory network responds to smells other than pheromones, including food, and contributes to the sense of taste.
 
As always, thanks for your thoughtful input.
 
Katharine Otto Added Oct 6, 2017 - 11:18am
Dino,
I'm sure the US has no monopoly on "spoiled," but I live here and can't speak for other countries.  My point is that the US seems to have elevated it to a point of national pride.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 6, 2017 - 11:34am
St. George, John G., and Leroy,
I see nothing hypocritical in my attempt to find balance between the world wide web and my life apart from the media.  It is a constant struggle.  I'm also trying to become more aware of my own projections,as well as my tendency to be provoked by projective identification.  When I feel people are baiting me, I avoid (usually, but not always) taking the bait, realizing it is a manipulation based on their projections.  
 
Leroy, 
I would caution you not to second guess other people.  I do not think my life is "superior."  For one thing, being a love slave to animals keeps me humble.  Also, I'm still recovering from having everything I've ever believed in turn to shit.  I'm trying to find meaning and purpose in a chaotic world that has turned my values upside down.  
 
One of the best ways to recognize my own projections is to state my thoughts and risk being busted by others.  I also get a chance to point out how projections, such as stereotypes, work.
 
Katharine Otto Added Oct 6, 2017 - 11:50am
Stone-Eater and Jeanne,
You both affirm my horror over the drug-pushing frenzy of our current world.  The primary reason I retired was due to the virtual mandate to prescribe.  There's also the general idea, re-enforced by the laws, that psychiatrists are supposed by be mind-readers and fortune-tellers.  Psychiatrists don't like it when I suggest it's the modern corollary to witchcraft, but the superstition surrounding the profession (and within it) took me completely by surprise.
 
I've done some blogging about this, especially regarding the hypocrisy over drug laws.  Jeanne, the amphetamines used in ADHD, are especially offensive, because diagnosed kids are required to take them in school but it's a felony to take them on the street.  Now, as of the DSM-V, we have a new diagnosis, "Adult ADHD," so we can keep people addicted to amphetamines forever.
 
This is a series of blogs, later.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 6, 2017 - 11:53am
Katharine
 
*Thumps up*
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 6, 2017 - 11:57am
"Adult ADHD," so we can keep people addicted to amphetamines forever.
 
LOL: haNG oin ia have ane idea on areh i nezeut that its gralb to portain s dose og Ritalin ofer als l 10 weks.
 
Hang on I need my meds I overspeed !
Katharine Otto Added Oct 6, 2017 - 12:06pm
Stone-Eater,
I was hoping to bring some levity to our moans and groans in describing this "Spoiled Rotten Brat Syndrome."  We in the West seem to take the things we do have for granted.  Your mention of African children suggests that those who have less do appreciate what they have more.
 
I think we need to get past the blame game to evolve into greater understanding.  For me, it isn't a matter of "whose fault" but a recognition that anyone could have done it and how do we fix it?  Children may be most susceptible to negative expectations, because they absorb from their families ideas about themselves at a young and impressionable age.  To become aware of them is to defuse them, maybe.  
Katharine Otto Added Oct 6, 2017 - 12:17pm
George,
A "handup" is a nice idea, but there are many who will pull you down with them.  The "need to be needed" crowd (including the highly profitable "helping professions") is growing, but I see it as enabling dependency.  
Katharine Otto Added Oct 6, 2017 - 12:50pm
Tubularsock,
Have you tried mind-melding with your toaster?  I need to mind-meld with my outside air conditioner, which the Irma flood seems to have toasted.  Either that or explore the surreality of the internet to find Humanland solutions to human problems.  
 
I haven't mastered the art of mind-melding but suspect it's easier than trying to decipher the manuals.
George N Romey Added Oct 6, 2017 - 1:58pm
Katharine I’ve been recently hired as a contract manager with FEMA here in So. Florida. In the past week I’ve seen the good and the bad. When my 100 hours weeks stop I’ll write an article about it.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 6, 2017 - 2:27pm
George,
Good for you.  Good chance, maybe, to see how the "handup" philosophy works.  It seems that good bosses act as mentors for their employees, which is the best example I know of "handup."  Work sites seem to be safer, employees happier, and  work flows smoothly.  
 
I believe the tone of any organization is set at the top.  I don't know about FEMA, but the contractors you work with might provide evidence about whether this is true.  Let us on WB know what you find out.
Michael Cikraji Added Oct 6, 2017 - 3:27pm
Hey Katherine,
You ever travel? Sounds like you're in a tad bit of an existential slump. Travel heals that up, helps put things in perspective. The further away the better.
Ever been to Thailand? Nice place to get away to, long plane ride, but worth it!
John G Added Oct 6, 2017 - 5:42pm
A hand up would be a job. A position which our libertarian friends abhor.
George N Romey Added Oct 6, 2017 - 5:48pm
Katharine FEMA is a disaster unto itself. The contracts and subcontractors are all low bid. So as usual the rank and file and site managers like me are taking it up the you know what, along with taxpayers, while those at the top are skimming the cream. Business as usual.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 7, 2017 - 11:13am
George,
I suspected that about FEMA.  Micromanagers?  Still, your attitude on site can make a difference.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 7, 2017 - 11:16am
Michael,
I did my travelling when I was younger and could afford it.  As long as I have pets, I feel rooted here, but you're right.  Travel is soul-expanding.  Long-term, I'm thinking to sell everything here and travel the rest of my life.  
Saint George Added Oct 8, 2017 - 1:35am
A hand up would be a job. A position which our libertarian friends abhor.
 
Plenty of "hand-up jobs" in skid-mark-g's model socialist Utopia of Venezuela. Begging for food, for example. There's a remunerative job! All hail the great accomplishments of socialism!
John G Added Oct 8, 2017 - 2:08am
Scat boy and his faeces fetish.
opher goodwin Added Oct 8, 2017 - 7:09am
Katharine - I too would savour that retreat from the madness of humanity. Nature, or what is left of it, operates on a whole other level. Engagement with the madness of humanity is not good for the balance of ones being.
Ari Silverstein Added Oct 8, 2017 - 11:09am
Americans believe in freedom and we despise the nanny state. It has nothing to do with being a spoiled rotten brat or superiority, that just your anti-Americanism speaking. Based on what I read in this article, you love government control and the nanny state and you're full of arrogance that your way is the right way.  QED 
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2017 - 2:15pm
Opher,
I don't want to retreat completely, but to bring balance, recognizing the natural world can teach us a lot about humility. I'm fortunate to have access to more-or-less untrammeled nature at my doorstep.  I wonder how many city dwellers have ever seen a live chicken, for instance, not to mention the wildlife that comes to my door.
 
I love nature's primal integrity.  Maybe if people did more primal screaming, like my roosters, we would have less violence.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2017 - 2:15pm
Opher,
By the way, thanks for reading and commenting.  I always enjoy your perspective.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2017 - 2:26pm
Ari,
I'm not sure what article you read, but it wasn't mine.  I'm the most freedom-loving person I know and have railed against the nanny state for years.  And while Americans may be free compared to other countries, we are economic slaves to our government(s), from local to federal levels. 
 
And you know what?  I don't think Americans want to be free, because that carries responsibility and the requirement for self-governance.  No, we are babies, stuck in the anal phase of psychosocial development, overly controlled, overly repressed, and overly self-important, with no sense of humor about ourselves and little appreciation for what we have. 
 
You call me arrogant?  Big bully America is currently bombing at least seven countries, and has military bases in 77 countries.  Our hubris is making enemies around the world, and if we don't start practicing a little self-restraint, we shouldn't surprised if all our enemies start ganging up on us.
 
At least roosters don't travel the world fighting other roosters' battles, nor do other animals.  
 
Despite the above, I appreciate your reading and commenting.  It gives me a chance to expound.
John G Added Oct 8, 2017 - 4:09pm
I love the way the extreme right wingers like Silverstein, who viscerally hate the majority of people in their country, claim to speak for all the people in their country.
Total cognitive dissonance.
Saint George Added Oct 8, 2017 - 5:12pm
I love the way towel-head-Marxist shills for Russia have contempt for a private individual's ability — and desire — to take care of himself and his family without handouts or "hand ups". For such pathetic chuckleheaded shills, only public-sector bureaucrats are educated, wise, and competent; private citizens are all congenitally inept, crying out for public subsidies for their daily bread and healthcare needs.
 
There are only two reasons shills like that spread such propaganda: either they themselves are inept nebbishes unable to do anything productive to earn a living for themselves, or they're simple power-lusters dreaming of the day they're appointed a position like "Minister of Public Underwear Distribution" in to lord it over private citizens.
 
Pathetic.
John G Added Oct 8, 2017 - 6:42pm
towel-head-Marxist shills for Russia 
Pathetic.
Saint George Added Oct 8, 2017 - 6:46pm
Pathetic
 
But true nonetheless.
Michael Cikraji Added Oct 9, 2017 - 9:57am
Hey Katherine,
Don't take Ari's rants too seriously. If you don't believe exactly what he does then you're anti-American in his eyes... Sad that he tries to speak for all of us though. 
No, I think it's cool you love the outdoors and roosters and all. The whole agricultural/agrarian thing is great and beautiful, but I've known some people that own/operate farms. Oh Lord, so much work! Makes me tired just thinking about it.... 
Katharine Otto Added Oct 9, 2017 - 12:14pm
Michael,
Thanks for the supportive comments.  Ari is not unique in his tendency to pigeonhole people with labels.  I plan to post a blog more or less about that today.
 
Like you, I've realized how hard and unpredictable farming is.  I admire farmers more than ever and am sorry they get so little appreciation.  From what I can tell, though, the "farming industry" works against the independent farmers and is squeezing them out.  
 
When we talk about employment, we don't think about truly useful and portable occupations such as farming and animal husbandry.  It needs to be included in the mix of employment options.  We can probably never have too many farmers.
opher goodwin Added Oct 9, 2017 - 2:04pm
Katharine - nature is where it is at. I think this process of being shut together in cities in such close proximity leads to the type of aggression we see around us. It's the same reaction in rats. Pack 'em in too tightly and they become aggressive.
Seemingly your approach for harmony with nature is un-American. I reckon it's good to be in-American.
Edward Miessner Added Oct 9, 2017 - 5:58pm
Your Spoiled Rotten Brat Syndrome seems to describe America to a T, and it's been this way ever since the close of the Second World War--back in the early 1980s I saw old Life magazines from the Wartime 40s and there were ads therein hinting at that once the war was over, Americas weren't going to deny themselves a thing because life was going to be on Easy Street. And so Americans didn't.
 
But the seeds goes back to the founding of this country, actually that of the first colonies, in a land of plenty where everyone can get a piece. And it was a huge country out there, ripe for the taking (from the Indians). So the hustle was on, and everyone was and still is obliged to compete with each other. And so, with a culture based on hustling, it was inevitable we would get to this point.
 
And here we are. A nation of 320 million spoiled rotten brats, 177 Wafers (http://morrisberman.blogspot.com), and a smattering of other contrarians.
 
"A society of entitled, immature citizens may have to suffer real hardship to learn how to behave."
 
Or it may go the way that some active alcoholics do: they perish before they hit bottom.
Edward Miessner Added Oct 9, 2017 - 5:59pm
Stone-Eater, "Reminds me a bit of LGBTQKDGDKASWEP stuff."
 
Why the LGBTQ advocates didn't pick the perfectly good English word "queer" is totally beyond me: formerly an anti-gay slur, it was rehabilitated by a group called Queer Nation back in the early 90s. But I guess there were some who were still offended by it and PC ruled the day, so "queer" was out as an umbrella term.
George N Romey Added Oct 9, 2017 - 8:50pm
Somehow we’ve come to think that people who push around Excel spreadsheets are real value. We don’t make anything of value anymore. More and more service sector jobs that do nothing for society. We are now paying the price of a low value, low pay economy.
 
Farming is actually intellectually challenging work but don’t try to tell that to yuppies with their $15 cocktails.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 11, 2017 - 3:50pm
Opher,
I've read of animal studies to that effect.  When animals begin to outgrow their food supply, they get more hostile, become susceptible to disease, there is more homosexual behavior and sometimes outright cannibalism.  Mothers let their offspring starve.  All these factors tend to keep population within limits.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 11, 2017 - 4:03pm
Edward,
That, and more.  The US was founded on English attitudes and law, with imperialism and empire-building expectations built in.  Mostly, it was built as an export economy, which is why slavery was introduced. 
 
The passion for plunder took over early, only it was called "freedom" and "democracy."  Maybe, at that time, it was the closest to freedom people could imagine, but we are now seeing the toxic output of the economic machine that the government has become, and that we serve.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 11, 2017 - 4:09pm
George,
I've begun to wonder what real value many of our professions hold.  I wonder if psychiatry should be a separate specialty.   We could do with fewer lawyers, too.  
 
How many people are talking about job quality?  It all seems to be about "jobs" but not people.  Who benefits from this vibe-suck?
B.E. Ladin Added Oct 11, 2017 - 11:24pm
You may be interested in reading my post, "Customer Service and Grace" about the YOM generation.  
Edward Miessner Added Oct 12, 2017 - 4:45pm
Katharine,
Indeed, and it's not just the government but a huge portion of the so-called "private" sector as well.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 13, 2017 - 3:46pm
Edward,
There do seem to be a lot of "make work" jobs out there.  Maybe we need to re-think what constitutes valuable work.  "Jobs" that can be replaced with robots do seem an insult to human dignity.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Oct 14, 2017 - 8:13am
I don't think Americans want to be free, because that carries responsibility and the requirement for self-governance.
 
Damn Skippy!
 
Edward Miessner Added Oct 14, 2017 - 3:25pm
Katherine, 
"There do seem to be a lot of 'make work' jobs out there.  Maybe we need to re-think what constitutes valuable work.  'Jobs' that can be replaced with robots do seem an insult to human dignity."
 
Exactly!