Is everything always getting worse, or does it just always feel that way to everyone?

Some days I literally just want to put a gun in my mouth and pull the trigger over how much stupider, more crass, more vapid, etc. every element of our culture seems to be getting. It seems like it’s been a downward slide since I was born 27 years ago, and believe me, I understand that 1980 was no golden age!

I think it was the trailer for that recent Alvin and the Chipmunks movie that just made something snap in my brain, when the one Chipmunk eats his own shit and it’s supposed to be hilarious. I drove home from the theater feeling like some line had finally been crossed, that me and polite, mainstream society had finally just broken off from each other and henceforth would be heading in two different directions.

I don’t even want to explain all the cultural reasons that I feel like everything’s getting exponentially dumber and worse each year - I could write pages on that - but I’m more curious to see if

  1. Anyone else feels that way and

  2. Does everyone just always feel this way because of societal change?

I mean, I wonder sometimes if the guy that saw Casablanca in the theater just thought “holy fuck, society has truly gone to hell” when Star Wars exploded with popularity, just as I go “fuuuck!” when something like Shrek does well in the theater, having grown up on Star Wars.

In short. I don’t think things get worse. I just think we become more aware of how bad things have always been as we mature. You are about the same age as me (I’m 28) so you may be in that period of life where you compare now with when you were a teenager.

eta: 24 hour news doesn’t help. It merely saturates our TV viewing with all the ills of the world.

If things were only 5 percent as bad as they are the 24 hour news would simply show us that remaining 5 percent and make it seem like 100 percent.

If there’s a slow news week then the news will put more emphasis on gun crime, or sexual deviancy, or something else designed to get our attention so we’ll feel we’ve been ‘informed’ by the news people.

If you can strip away your bias towards Star Wars and see it as if it came out at the same time as shrek, you will see it for what it really is, rather than through rose-tinted spectacles of when you were a kid. When you are a kid everything seems cooler and more spectacular.

I have nostalgic thoughts of old computer games such as ‘flashback’ but when I consider what the game actually is about, it’s really not all that better than a modern game… It’s just that I’m seeing modern games through my game-saturated desensitised grown up eyes.

Coprophagia strikes me as a perfectly good metaphor for Alvin and the Chipmunks in any of its iterations. I’ve hated those damn rodents for as long as I can remember.

I can’t say everything is getting worse. The internet is an absolutely amazing phenomenon and I can’t imagine going back to the way things were without it. I have a computer that’s about the same size as a high school yearbook. I can take my telephone wherever I go and turn it off when I don’t want it to ring and it will take messages for me. I wouldn’t want to go back.

Casablanca is a good movie. Star Wars is a good movie. I have the feeling that Alvin and the Chipmunks is nowhere on the same caliber. They made crap movies in the '40’s and '70’s, too.


I’m 35 and I remember complaints about how girls dressed too provocatively when I was in high school.

I was watching a bit on the news about the horrors of how much your kids might be drinking in college. This is news? This just in - college students drink excessively. :rolleyes:

Maybe at 28 you are realizing that people are just as big of jerks as they were as kids?

About ten years I felt that pop culture was really going down the crapper in terms of intelligence. (It was many things that triggered this realization, but Family Guy was probably the main one.) My response was that I stopped paying attention to it, at least as much as I could. It’s definitely improved my life.

When you went to the Chipmunk movie you made it so your life could only get better. I on the other hand am from Detroit and I am watching the Lions get creamed. Try that.

:eek: I hope you misused the word “literally.” If not, you’re scaring me, friend. I heard that folks don’t talk about suicide unless they’re seriously considering it. Go talk to somebody face to face about this. Doctor, preacher, uncle, help hotline, but somebody.

You live in the post 9/11 world, and it took the trailer for the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie to make you question where the world is headed?

Oddly enough, I feel things are getting better.

I’ve given up, or more like given over, the feeling that society has boarded the proverbial handbasket. I can’t change that. What’s more, it’s not my responsibility to change it. Instead, I’m just living my life as well as I can.

My job’s good; the pay is sufficient. My son is well and growing up nicely. I have all of what I need and most of what I want, and the time to enjoy it. In less than 8 years I’ll be retired…with enough to live on.

Life is good.

You can’t blame yourself for that which you can’t control. Take care of what you can. Let others do the fretting for you. Worry rarely helps.

Or, you might want to try the short version of the Serenity Prayer:

“Fuck it.”

Perhaps you can improve the situation you face by improving what you let into your mind, your heart, and your soul.

I have long ago given up on so much of the crap that is out there in the media. Mostly it is a brain drain and not worth my time. I censor what comes in so that I can stay current with current events by reading magazines. I nourish my intellect with reading non-fiction that is enriching and requires me to think for myself. Sometimes when I am in the mood for a good story, I will read fiction. But, whatever I let into my brain is done so with thought and reason.

I used to be a news junkie and finally had to go cold turkey. The TV is in the basement and mostly I read or listen to my favourite music. My overall outlook is much more positive and I love learning. I spend my time thinking about things that have puzzled many great thinkers or I spend my time learning to cook (this is new and very exciting).

The saying “Life is what you make it” truly applies to our own lives.

My hope for you is that you can begin to bring into your life some enriching forms of entertainment and enlightenment because at your young age, you have so much to look forward to. It would be a shame to let a shit-eating cartoon chipmunk send you over the edge.

Hang in there!

I started pretty low on the toem pole, but to me it (life) gets better and better and…

I find that life does improve at a steady rate, but the brain moves the goalposts and the same rate, so that I never really quite feel better.

I guess it’s a design feature… if we were truly happy where we were we would not strive to improve things.

To give you a perspective, listen to old radio programs. You know, those made about 50 years ago. See what was happening 2 generation ago. You know what? Characters had the same complaints. Hell, they even made crappy shows. Stay away from “Baby Snooks.” Pee yew!!! “The Judy Canova Show” wasn’t exactly a shining example of Golden Era radio, I can tell you that.

As others have noted, it’s probably a perspective thing. You’ve now lived enough to actually have forgotten crap from the past.

I believe this would be considered ‘confirmation bias’ – you think things are getting worse, so you only notice examples where things are getting worse.

Take those films you mentioned: Casablanca was just one of the 50 films Warner Brothers churned out that year; most of the other 49 have been forgotten (deservedly). And it was not all that commercially successful; 6 of those other films made more money that year. And Casablanca lost in twice as many Oscar categories as it won. It was many years before this film was recognized.

Similar for Star Wars – there were a whole lot of really bad movies made in 1977. You just don’t remember them. But you do remember the many bad movies of recent years, so it seems that movies are getting worse.

In some days i also felt the same.But becomes happy after few days.If something happened not well then i felt bad .But after 2 or 3 days i am ok.I think it is the nature of human beings.

I think the best response to a mainstream culture that you don’t like is to create your own culture and surround yourself with likeminded people. It’s not that hard to do.

Well, personally, I think the world is getting worse. I think the current generation of kids growing up and entering the workforce is the first to be less cool than their parents. Statistically, drug use and binge drinking is down. Smoking is down. Kids are fatter and more out of shape. They are more into stuff like computers, videogames and anime and whatnot. Shit, I’m worried that when I have kids, I will be telling them things like “you better flame that cyberbully back or you’ll get flamed twice as bad when you log on at home” or “shouldn’t you kids be out getting drunk and knocking up some high school slut up or something?”
Seriously though, there have always been young people (usually teenagers and twentysomethings) who are disatisfied by the world around them. Sometimes this pushes them into idealistic activism where they join impotent Save the Whales groups or go on can drives. Other kids take on this vaguely pathetic mopy persona, dress like Goths and whine about how the world isn’t perfect (like it ever was).

If you’re biggest problem in the world is Alvin the Chipmunk eating his own shit, you have NO problems. If you have that much time to complain about stuff that doesn’t matter, go volunteer in a soup kitchen or something.

This has been a Get Your Head Out of Your Ass Moment…