As I write this, 2021 is about to draw to a close. Or if you are reading this, perhaps it is already 2022 for you.
New Year’s Eve traditionally has been an event for many people to celebrate. Out with the old, in with the new. Leaving behind the hindrances of one year and having a fresh start of sorts. Clichés like that. Of course, this is both a mental and symbolic view, rather than an innate inability to do this at any given point.
Over the years, it has meant less and less to me, and by now it is perhaps the least festive day in December to me. Perhaps I had only one year that I remember where it meant something positive to me, and did not merely feel like I was engaging in a performance so as not to concern or dampen the spirit of others. It’s not that I would feel particularly morose on this day, simply that it means nothing special to me any longer.
Anyway, those are simply my own experiences. It’s an observation in myself and there is no purpose in attempting to project such a thing on others. Personally, I have made improvements in certain areas, but in some regards, I feel as though I’m right back where I started or not budged an inch since the beginning of the year.
What I have noticed more widely though, is that with this particular year, there seems to be much more pessimism overall. Or, at the very least, there is more preoccupation with immediate happenings, while the future might as well not exist, unless there is abstract appeals to an imminent climate crisis. Its severity and alleged imminent destruction of the global ecosystem and civilization depends on who you ask. Or, how they are convinced that the Fourth Reich is coming, because someone got called a slur by BasedIdolLover88 for acting insufferable online. Most people’s attitudes, regardless of their political or social beliefs, tend to be a lot more pessimistic than not so long ago. Whether one still has trust in their government and heeds what they are told, or is an extreme cynic as I am, does not seem to play much of a part in this either.
Have you noticed that those people who formerly engaged in nihilistic black comedy are now afraid to joke about a disease wiping out mankind? They have probably become germophobic hypochondriacs. There is a lot of fear of anything that could possibly be associated with Malthusianism, even as peoples lifestyles worsen and they become much worse than they did before, having a worsening quality of life, while their lifespan is likely not drastically affected.
There are quite a few people who no longer care to play charades, but “I don’t care” is not a dominant strategy when it comes to power. Thus, they will be increasingly sidelined, even moreso if they do nothing with their discontent. Though, not wanting to participate in society is becoming its own reward.
They may blame different factors and circumstance for why the way things are, and what should be done. But the sentiment that there will be a better situation, and soon, is quite uncommon. It may sound like this in particular is about COVID, but this goes much beyond that, and I predict that a similar mindset will linger even after it is no longer the focus that it once was.
This is reflected in the attitudes of governments and various institutions who preach about unity, and how people need to do their part to do ____ for the good of society. Around the turn of the millennium, there was much more optimism along with this so-called consciousness. In North America and in the US in particular, that sort of optimism waned soon after the election of Barack Obama, waning in the early 2010s with the Occupy Wall Street movement, which had largely completely subverted from its original intentions.
In Europe, this period has happened much earlier, soon after the fall of the Iron Curtain. There was a sense of adventure and possibility for a short while.
In both cases, there was a ray of hope for many and something to look forward too. Regardless what ones beliefs are about either of those circumstances or their ramifications, it would be hard to argue against that for a time, there was more hope for far more people than there is now. I think there are increasingly less people now who can look forward to many things, particularly younger adults such as myself. It is ironic, then, that with a less spiritual and more materialistic priority in the lives of many, they now seem to be lacking in both.
Wherever someone is from across the world, it is difficult to find someone with a particularly optimistic or positive outlook: this is from just a sentiment shared by whites.
I am not a defeatist, but I do not think there is much too look forward to myself. Since I mostly focus on what is within my control, and not let the extraneous interfere with this too much, I see myself as more resilient than those who hinge on the words of various authorities – whether it be their government, a particular institution, or strangers on the internet who they see as reputable.
Stay principled, but keep your nose down and don’t stick your neck out for things that mean nothing. If you obey others unquestioningly and attach yourself emotionally to them, that may give you some level of emotional and physical security. But that is not the relationship one might have with a friend or spouse, or someone intimately close to you.
Many families have suffered and been rent apart over the past couple of years. There is a growing chasm between those who have trust in smaller units versus those who primarily listen to larger organization. There is much strain on the former. With larger organizations, they are often designed to easily replace though they dismiss due to finding them no longer useful or not as complaint as they like. In most places, it is not that strong of a band (Japan is one exception to this, when it comes to work).
It follows that there is less optimism, because there is less worth being optimistic about. Even with “optimists”, it is often all about griping about how things would be instantly good if it were not for (group) and shifting blame to anyone but themselves. This is an ongoing pattern which goes over the heads of others.
I doubt that anyone can convince me anything particularly good is going on or how something amazing will happen soon, just how X or Y thing is a problem. Not materialistically, which is both decadence and decay, and not divine aid to this Earth, simply punishment.
Listening and obeying rhetoric about how things will be normal if just this and that happens, is that of dog a obeying its abusive master. A dog like me who does not obey and refuses to performs tricks for its master will be punished, but so will the other dogs, even if they get some temporary scraps for doing those tricks until the master tires of them. It is the master who is the one who is playing tricks.
Perhaps this is a very extreme sounding attitude, and to some of those reading this, I am looking at things with black tinted glasses on. But I do not feel as if I am discernibly wrong from observing these patterns and watching a world wither. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Godspeed in 2022.