Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Positive stuff?

I want to write more positive stuff. It's hard! Being negative is easy. Being positive is hard. It's easy to bash people and hard to offer solutions. I'm good at bashing people but I never have the answers.

I used to be more positive than I am now. Then I hit my twenties. Most people are jerks in their twenties. Teenagers believe the world can get better. Twentysomethings believe everything sucks and we're screwed. I know teenagers who are so positive about the world. I fear for them. They'll get out in the real world.

Here's an example: A college student decides he wants to make a difference in the world. He's a political liberal with plenty of money. He's part of a "mainline" Christian denomination, the Presbylutherans or something. He's a straight white guy but he's aware of his privilege. He wants to change the world! He wants to end poverty around the world. And the Democrats will do it! If it wasn't for those Republicans the world would be a better place. He won't consider the Republican view on anything. Despite his middle class background, he identifies with the "working class" and their struggles. He graduates from college having never met more than a few working class people. Then...

The economy sucks so he gets a low-paying part-time job. That's all he can afford. He still lives with his parents. His co-workers, most of whom are "working class", look down on him for being from a well-off family. They think he's a snob, which he may be. He's mad at them for voting Republican, shopping at Wal-Mart, driving gas guzzlers, etc. like Stuff White People Like wrote about. They hate him for being holier-than-thou and not enough of a Real Man. Eventually he realizes he doesn't know jack about the world and stops caring. He gives up all political views and barely holds on to his religion. It's easy to have convictions when they're not tested.

That example was not me, but I based it loosely on my experiences. The people at my jobs have always been nice to me regardless of social class. I grew up with very little money. I was a liberal in college but I grew up super-conservative.

I need to be less prejudiced against the working class. There are lots of awesome working-class people. But working-class culture is anti-intellectual. Something your average college Marxist will never admit, because Working Class = Good and Middle Class = Bad. I grew up "working class". Poor people aren't stupid or inferior but the culture tries to keep them that way.

See? I want to be positive, but when I try, I can't! The world's a horrible place and I'm convinced it won't get better. I'm also convinced it won't get any worse.

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