Thursday, July 08, 2010

"May all your problems be first-world ones."

This post came around just when I needed a pick-me-up:
I’ve wandered out into the living room and seen my Martin guitar, and thought “we live in a world where, via a division of labor economy, craftsmen have specialized in taking trees and bits of metal bearing ore, and turning them into instruments that can be used to play Bach, and Mozart … and the Rolling Stones. Heck, we live in a world with so much peace and leisure time ( even over the last 500 years!) that Bach, Mozart, and the Rolling Stones took time to perfect their crafts, and write incredible works that still resonate today. …and let’s not forget that we’ve got writing, and musical notation, and printing presses, to get those notes from then to now.”
It's natural to wallow in the doom and gloom when you see people at every turn doing their level best to break civilization, but sometimes you just have to look on the bright side, or you'll open a vein. And, you know, compared to some poor fur-clad Cro-Magnon huddling in a cliffside hut and gnawing mammoth jerky, the bright side is pretty gosh-darned bright indeed.

10 comments:

Bram said...

I hate the Old World. I want New World problems - like our President being TOO much of a rugged individualist, or having too much freedom.

Earl said...

I am sure that Civilization is dead, but I am very sure there are very wonderful civil people doing great and important things everywhere - Dirty Jobs especially. But they will never become the idols of the culture. That is okay with me, I once was one of the Dirty Jobs folks and will be again.

Boat Guy said...

Small comment on technique; if it gets really bad, opening an artery rather than a vein will be much more efficient.
We live in an age of wonderful material abundance, even the poor in the USA are better off than the "average inhabitant" in many parts of the world. I REALLY like 21st Century American medicine and dentistry - and I'm really very annoyed at thise folks who seem determined to wreck the system that has provided this bounty to us.

Anonymous said...

First world problems...everything definitely is relative.

I was all ready to say that this positivity, when the standard line is "woe is us", is exactly what I was referencing in my comment at your "Give me a child..." post.

Then I read the two posts that bracket this one above and below, and now I'm not so sure that first-world problems aren't as despairingly depressing and long-term capable of removing that "first world" status.

Them new generations better get crackin' if they're gonna fix this shit before **it all busts loose.

AT

Hypnagogue said...

Sorry to ruin the party, but Cro Magnon, Esq. is no longer with us.

Last year, the county assessor determined that his austere but environmentally conscious cliff-side 1-bedroom home had a market value of $1.2M, and it was seized under a tax lein last spring. The police officers enforcing the eviction order reported that Cro took an "aggressive posture" and responded with repeated taser attacks. When this failed to subdue the assailant, officers drew their duty weapons and fired 168 times, striking him twice, in the elbow and groin. He bled to death 2 hours later, while waiting for an ambulance.

Tam said...

Beats getting your guts torn out by a smilodon, I suppose.

Moriarty said...

Wonderful video.

(I feel a much overdue re-read of Julian Simon coming on.)

Blackwing1 said...

I guess my wife and I are a little weird...we give thanks every day for the benefits of civilization (food, shelter, running water, sewers, no one shooting at us). We also give special thanks at meal times...before digging into a rib-eye, we'll thank somebody new every time.

Last time we thanked the guy who ran the precision machine tool that fabricated the little brass expansion valve that went into the refrigeration system of the truck that hauled the beef from the processor to the butcher...he helped keep our meat fresh in the cold chain from feedlot to table.

I'm not sure how many people appreciate exactly how fragile modern civilization really is, and how little it would take to disrupt it to the point of mass starvation, even in "first-world" countries.

Bubblehead Les. said...

A wise man once told me that being 6 feet above ground and breathing air is a hell of a lot better than being 6 feet underground sucking in dirt. He also told me not to sweat the small stuff, but don't assume that everything that is small can be ignored. Takes awhile to learn what's important and what's not. I thought my fellow Baby Boomers were the most spoiled brats in the world ( no matter their biological ages), but this iPod Gen has me very worried, especially when they gain politcal power in a few years. Soylent Green for dinner again?.

Firehand said...

It's annoyed hell out of me that we've managed to make food so cheap that the poor can get fat, and that's considered such a problem that the nannies want to make food so expensive nobody can eat more than the nannies think they should.

Blackwing beat me to it: sewer systems, as opposed to black widows in the privy. Some of these people- maybe most- have no real idea what they're trying to screw up.