The Wheel of Outlook

In the 1950s, my mother taught me that the United States was the true shining city on the hill, that we had defeated Evil once and for all, that within a few more years we would have righted all our wrongs, corrected all our mistakes, stamped out poverty and discrimination, and achieved universal enlightenment… that everything was going to be OK!

In the 1960s, I grew up… and concluded that, based on the evidence, it might take a little more time and effort.

In the 1970s, I became cynical and pessimistic… until I realized that the world view you sustain with your expectations tends to become the world you view.

In the 1980s and 1990s, I got busy building a family and a life… deliberately and determinedly behaving as if I believed my mother was right after all.

In the 2000s, I grew up again… and regressed again… and experimented with a superposition of cynicism and optimism, because why not?

In the 2010s, well… see 1960s.

In the 2020s, see 1970s.  Except when I hear Biden express optimism and hope, I’m reminded of my mother.

4 Commentsto The Wheel of Outlook

  1. Tut says:

    When I hear Biden, I’m NOT reminded of my mother who was sharp as a tack at 79 but rather of a neighbor babbling with early onset dementia at 60. I find no comfort in his hollow words, only more anxiety about who is actually in charge.

    It actually feels more like the depths of the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Carter’s Gas Shortage. Not being sure whether I’ll run out of money, die of Covid, or get nuked first, I say the only solution is “Party on, Garth!”

    • Jess says:

      I still find it astonishing that anyone who actually voted for Trump can have the audacity to complain about Biden. Yes, he’s old. Yes, he’s an “old guard” Democrat politician (which is why Pelosi had him nominated when the people obviously wanted Bernie instead). But for God’s sake, at least he’s not an unprincipled crime boss or an insurrectionist traitor to his country! The damage Trump did to democracy will probably never be repaired. I don’t expect the United States to exist in 4 years.

      • Mitchell says:

        Were you serious that Pelosi had him nominated? There were primary elections in every state. I voted for Bernie in AZ, but, IIRC, Bernie did not win in AZ. In any case Bernie did not win the primary elections nationwide. You and I like Bernie, but I don’t think that the U.S. Democratic majority agrees with us.

        • Jess says:

          Are you kidding? Right after Bernie forged ahead of Biden, Pelosi handed Biden the nomination by giving him the endorsement of the DNC and a bunch of the party’s money for his campaign. The timing was also perfect to torpedo Bernie. Mind you, I understand her logic: if Bernie were the candidate, Trump might get another term, which would be the end. No sane person would argue that Biden is not a brazillion times better than Trump, but to effect real change we need someone like Bernie. Probably now AOC is the only remaining hope.

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