Second only to the 70's, the penultimate time to be alive and American. Just missed it.
Don't worry, this isn't another list of "87 things my fist-shaking generation had that were better than yours." You can't shake a microchip without hitting millions of those. Atari was rad all right, but you hadda be there. Also my life was very different than most, so pretty much only my brother would be able to relate to my list. And he wouldn't read a blog if you paid him.
Well, you'd have to pay him a lot. In advance. And explain a few words. The whole setup isn't worth the payoff. I can make him laugh as much just by saying the words,
from that scene in "Police Academy 2," where the sound effects dude does all those sound affects. Kills us every time.
If anyone says 'television' or even 'TV' we can't not say:
"I don't even own a television," in a super douchey voice.
No one called us out on this, or judged us, or reported our parents to DCFS or said (out loud) how they were endangering us. Oh they were, but that was a parent's call in the 80's, not society's. If you had children, you didn't let the government tell you whether you should spank them, or shame them, or send them to public school. You thought about what your parents did, and you did the exact opposite.
THAT is how you parented, and you never wondered for one second if you were doing the right thing. The adult knows better, end of story. Parents didn't ask for advice, or read books about parenting, or consult a network of their piers. Oh, hell no. Kids, shut your mouths, do your chores, then finish your homework and watch all the TV your bugged-out eyes can take in.
It wasn't perfect, but everyone did the best they could and didn't waste time and energy arguing with each other about individual decisions. People didn't put each other down for things like their food choices. You bought an apple, you assumed it was good for you. We drank the Kool-Aid. Literally. And felt like it was healthy, because hey, it's better than soda.
|We also drank the crap out of soda. milwaukeemag.com|
We drank water out of the tap and felt good about it. Some smart guy put chlorine in the water, and that killed all the bad stuff. And another smarty pants put fluoride in it, so we would have nice, strong teeth and didn't wind up in the Big Book of British Smiles.
We started to get smarter about things. We read. We read everything, and by that I mean newspapers and magazines and books. Because that is all we had to chose from. There was a long time between some smart person writing a book, and doing actual research first, getting it printed and distributed to the public. Once we read that information, we took at as fact.
We didn't have everyone and their sketchy uncle uploading made up information to eleventy billion web sites, giving their two cents claiming to be an expert. All claiming to know what is best for us. All promising us they have our best interest in mind. All putting down the other media sources, saying those guys are wrong, their data is flawed, only conservative points of view are valid, everything we know about everything is wrong and it's all killing us. Why do we have to do this?
Oh yeah, for clicks.
The way we share information now about what is good for us, and which shit is killing us now, and why, is overwhelming. I don't mean in a "You're world is frightening and confusing" unfrozen caveman lawyer way. Our every day news-watching and information gathering has gone off the rails. We don't know what to believe. I don't believe anything anymore.
Mine was the first generation to play video games and be comfortable with computers, and at this point it may have gone to our heads. Anyone with internet access has their own site full of information, filled with ads to try not to click on. Like this piece of garbage you're reading now, what the hell does she know? Not much, but at least there are no ads here.
I'm not sure if we know too much, or have too much information, or just go about sharing it the wrong way. Everywhere you turn, you get conflicting information. Without any source information for where we get this expert knowledge.
Use sunscreen, sunscreen will give you cancer.
Eat vegetables, but the pesticides will give you cancer.
Don't drink milk anymore, but every other source of calcium will definitely give you cancer.
Drink 8 glasses of water, no you don't need 8 glasses.
Water will save your life, too much will flush out your potassium, we're all dehydrated, but the water from your sink that we've taken great lengths to make healthy contains people's flushed medicine and poisons, and bottled water comes in plastic bottles that will totally give you cancer and fill the ocean with a floating island of garbage that will definitely kill us all horribly.
To use just one, seemingly easy example:
Exercise is good for us.
So simple, right?
We know this. We've always known this.
Now however, we barrage each other with information on the right kind of exercise, you have to stretch first, stretch after, drink water first, no not Smart Water, do you know what kind of poison HFCS is?
Eat protein first, but not meat, NO NOT soy protein, never soy, yogurt, no greek yogurt, no eat fruit first, make your own breakfast fuel but for the love of all that is holy do not put bleached flour into your temple, don't eat anything first, run outside, no cement is bad for your joints, wear the right arch supports, no run barefoot, now use these freaky separated toe running shoes, join a gym, pay a personal trainer because 'Do you even lift, bro?' Weight training burns 147% more calories than cardio alone...
Load up your iPod with the right playlist, no now use your phone with this music app where we can share playlists, no that one is sooo last year, now use iTunes again on the latest device you didn't know you absolutely need to have.
Oh wait you've used more than 5 devices for your purchased music, sorry.
Game over on all that legally purchased info-tainment, Apple fans.
Now buy this Fitness app, it's totally worth it, no not that fitness app you old, outdated geezer.
Be sure to post your workout on social media to keep motivated and motivate others, and uhmawgawd how many times do we need to hear about your workout on Facebook?
SHUTTHEFREAKUP. Shut up so hard.
I can't even take it anymore. I don't even want the latest, or the greatest. I don't care what the new thing is, or what the latest data shows. A recent survey I took show that 100% of people in my brain don't give a shit what you did to lose 10 pounds. I'm never buying a diet pill or a wrap to melt fat, or whatever else is the miracle of the year.
I don't know about anyone else, but personally? I've had enough.
ENOUGH with the contradictory information, conflicting messages, and bi-polar definitions of healthy always comin' at us, Bro. Even when our information isn't conflicting, it still manages to annoy the crap out of us.
I'm just trying to make it through the day without someone calling the authorities and telling them I'm endangering my children because my 2 yr old ate her whole tube of fluoride-free toothpaste and now she has to use the fluoride toothpaste, even though Christ-on-a-gluten-free-CRACKER: she doesn't spit it all out!
My husband is so deaf to my warnings of things that are poison, that if our kids actually ate poison he would smile and nod and say, "It's okay, they're going to be fine."
Things off the top of my head I've told him are poison and would kill us:
Don't even get me started about the environment, the Green movement, and the battle of Capitalism vs. sustainability. Buy American, Consumer Reports says Japan makes superior products for the money, cheap, mass-produced, disposable products are turning us into a disposable society, check for 'imperfections in the glassware proving they were hand-made by the honest, simple hardworking indigenous people of wherever.' (Fight Club.)
I've never had the time or means to figure out which dining set defines me as a person, because most of my adult life I was too busy trying to get through the day without driving into oncoming traffic on my way to jobs I hate to earn barely enough money to feed my son as a single mother.
But you know what? And yes, I know you're not supposed to start a sentence that way, I've read the rules, but here's the secret:
I have learned it's okay to IGNORE all the rules.
*pause for gasping*
Okay, not all the rules. They get really mad if you try to revolt against seat belts by claiming Hipsterism as a religion.
You just have to pick your battles. That's not just a thing with teenagers, but hot damn that IS THEE thing with teenagers, that's also the thing with Life. You can't ever feel like you're always doing the 'right' thing anymore. You can ask 20 people the same question and get 20 answers. You can find 20 articles on different sides of the same subject. The reality is: NOBODY KNOWS what the 'right' thing for you is. Only YOU can know that.
You don't have to become a physician, nutritionist, fitness expert, environmental guru or anything else. You just have to figure out how to get through the day. Because at the end of the day, that is all that matters. Did you make it through the day? Can you make it through another? You're winning.
It's all just too much information to handle. We need to cut the crap already. Our brains are full, but our souls need comfort. We're all trying to either find the right support system, or therapist or the right antidepressant, or hold off on taking them as long as we can because you guessed it, they will also kill us. But not having them? Will kill us sooner. Probably. Who knows, who wants to find out the hard way? Think of the children.
All of this conflicting messaging isn't really helping. It's all bullspit, and by that I mean Marketing. Everything is all just verbal diarrhea to get people to watch their show in order to see the commercials, to click on a place with ads to generate marketing revenue. Do any of those articles or products help? Clearly not.
We just need to be better at tuning it out. I feel like we are becoming a little immune to these messages. I mean, how many people do you know that even use LinkedIn anymore? Despite all of those emails each week.
Someday Americans are going to figure out that there is no ONE answer to anything. In the mean time, if we could just all give each other a break, that would be great.
We will never win the war on Marketing, but we can share information with each other in a kinder, gentler way. We can admit we don't have thee right answer, but saying,
"This is where I read this bit..."
sounds a lot better than pretending to be an expert after reading one article.
We can lend each other an oar of support while trying to row down the Bullshit River of American Life in whatever they're calling these years.
We can all just admit that we're just doing our best. That's all you can do. By definition, that is literally the best you can do. Google it.
Otherwise the more information we get thrown at us, the more confused we become by all the mixed messages. We just mentally throw up our hands, turn off the news, just say 'Fudge it,' and watch Mork and Mindy reruns to just feel goddamned happy again.
I know it's not just me because binge Netflixing* is now a Verb. We need to know other people do this to feel normal. And that's okay. A generation raised by TV needs to be comforted by good old scripted comedy and canned laughter. Brain fuel be damned.
(*In the Urban Dictionary.)
For the record, decaf coffee IS poison.ReplyDelete
Not to mention a big, fat WASTE of time.Delete
Ha. Yes, yes, and 100% yes. I was born in 1983, so I'm only a touch of an 80s child, but it's true. I love how back then I ate so much candy full of sugar (real sugar, not this high fructose corn syrup crap) and all of us were thin. Now we have our "diet" sodas and candies full of awful chemicals that actually make us fatter than the old food that was just made with sugar. Yeah, go figure.ReplyDelete
Hell yes. And it's not even that whole "we played OUTSIDE" because my brother & I hardly ever did. We watched TV and played Atari and build couch forts and drank Ecto cooler. And somehow we're still alive.Delete
I'm giving this post a standing ovation right now (in my head, of course, so I don't scare my coworkers). There's too much uncontrolled information out there & most people can't see that almost all of it's just to get us to buy whatever it is they're selling. When did we become the planet of the sheep?ReplyDelete
Thank you, kind sir. I want to say sometime in the 90's because SO MANY people were freaked out about Y2K. They were convinced the world would just immediately stop revolving. They stocked up on bottled water, generators, batteries, all kinds of crazy Distopian supplies. I didn't do a damn thing. No regrets.Delete
The so called "expert" nutrition advice drives me wild. And colon cleanses - for Pete's sake if people just stopped and used their brains for something other than to keep their ears from flapping together.....ReplyDelete
YES. The "Detox" recipes are hilarious. There are no less than 874 recipes for detox water on Pinterest alone. Uh, you know what ELSE 'flushes the toxins' out your body? Plain old water. From the tap. Also pooping.Delete
Hey, The Big Book Of British Smiles is totally unfair...bloody hilarious and only slightly true, but still unfair. (she says after laughing her arse off)ReplyDelete
Well said Joy.
Isn't it amazing that with all these health experts telling us how to raise our kids right, we now have the highest ratio of obesity ever. I no longer listen to these so-called experts, who tell you that eggs are good for your cholesterol one minute, then "oh my bad, no they're not", only for them to then do a 180 degree turn and tell us that they are in fact, good again. Hooray!
Life is confusing enough, without being scared of what we put in our bodies.
I know, it's a low blow, but I can't HELP IT. It's just sooo funny. I can't hear 'fluoride' without immediately picturing it. I think I've alluded to it, and even showed pictures of it on this blog at least 5 other times.Delete
And EGGS! Yes, I started a big paragraph on eggs alone, but I needed to edit down some of the ranting. It's long enough. And you're right, it's so confusing.
Can I hug your brain, just for a little while? It's so very good.ReplyDelete
Oh, I wish you would. Someone should.Delete
*hugs your brain*
Thanks, I needed that!Delete
This post did not end up where I thought it was going to go, but it was a fun ride!ReplyDelete
I'm curious where you thought it was going to go.....drinking probably. That will also boost your spirits and flush out the toxins or whatever: Good ole booze!Delete
Booze! Fuck yea!Delete
I miss the 80's! In some ways things might be better now that we have so much "information" at our disposal... but really a lot of that information is just different people's theories and opinions. It could certainly give someone an anxiety attack if they try to do everything correctly. I think it is a good idea to just use your own best judgement, and trial and error, and do your best. Maybe even take advice from one of the other best decades... the sixties! If it feels good, do it! But don't do drugs. Okay, pot is fine, but no other drugs. I better shut up now. Goodbye.ReplyDelete
hahahaha THAT is where I was going about the 70's. I WISH I grew up in that decade like my sisters did! They had a ton of fun, great music, and none of the guilt!Delete
I grew up in the 70s and life did seem far more straightforward then. And your're right: the only person who knows what's best for an individual is that individual, not some self-appointed expert or guru.ReplyDelete
Your generation had it made, great music, new conveniences without the consequences of such, and those clothes. So GROOVY.Delete
I was born a long time ago and the 70's had ugly clothes, but so did the 80's. You know who had awesome clothes? The late 40's and 50's. Big skirts, twin-sets, pony tails, and gowns to die for. But back to the subject of your post, I agree, there is way too much information and being hawked and all of it is in list form. 7 Ways You Know This 9 Ways To Do That.ReplyDelete
I can't picture 40's or 50's specific clothing, I'll have to chat with Google about that, but I've always loved the high-button shoes and flapper girl styles of the 20's and 30's. Why can't THAT stuff come back??Delete
This is great!ReplyDelete
Christ on a gluten-free cracker is my new favorite saying.ReplyDelete
I was born in the 60s and came of age in the 70s, THE GREATEST DECADE. I'll leave the reasons why to your imagination.
I love the clothes from the late-30s and early 40s, although the lack of air conditioning would have killed me.
The 80s did have shoulder pads. For the shoulder-impaired, it was a wonderful time.
The 70's were definitely the greatest, hands down.Delete
I am also grateful for any medical advances, obviously, but things get so much more complicated every decade.
The shoulder impaired, a misunderstood and under-appreciated affliction.
Oh I can't even begin to tell you how much I LOVE this! I agree with everything!! SO SO MUCH!! All of this meaningless crap that is thrown at us is also adding to the on going, never ending "YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH JUST AS YOU ARE" thing that is being shoved down our throats. You must change!!! You are not right!! I for once want to just take a breath and feel like I am okay EXACTLY the way I am! I have so many of those diet and exercise idiots on my Facebook that constantly push their way on everyone.ReplyDelete
That is another angle, I started to talk about those messages but that is probably going to be it's own post. The marketers that make you feel you're not good enough without long, strong lashes, or defined abs or whatever it is they're selling. Especially the diet industry, they are the WORST. Every holiday season we're made to feel guilty for over-indulging, and fat people are the last group of people to ever have their feelings or individual rights considered. I've started posts on that so many times, but it always gets angry. I have a hard time staying focused on that subject.Delete
Oh yes!!! I would love to read a post on that. DO IT!!! It's so ridiculous. Have you ever noticed that when commercials on T.V come on...the first commercial will be some delicious pizza telling you that you need pizza, and then the very next commercial is a weight loss pill and how you need to get fit. It's constant!! The barrage of eat this, and buy this....but don't get fat. The weight loss industry DOES NOT want people to get fit. Because if everyone was thin, they would be out of business. Even the medical industry. They are always saying....it is unhealthy to be overweight, and you need to get healthy! Well...first of all.....I have a lot of trouble believing that the pharma companies really give any amount of shit about anyone;s health, but even aside from that...if everyone all of a sudden was the perfect weight and health that society has said is the "right" way to be....There would be no need for any of those companies. They would be OUT OF BUSINESS!!!! People seem to forget that all the propaganda crap you read is coming from many of these big corp that really only want you to believe their shit so that you will spend ALL of your money on them!!! Okay...Sorry for the rant!! ;) ;) ...I love ya...Delete
That's a lot of what I have so far. And you're right, you think Dr. Oz really wants everyone to be healthy? Then who is he going to talk to about POO, and sell diet pills to? The weight loss industry are the modern-day snake oil salesmen. Trying to convince everyone they feel bad, they're doing it wrong and they're miserable, but if you buy this ONE PILL, or this one shake, or whatever, everything will fall perfectly into place. BULLSPIT.Delete
I wholeheartedly agree with everything in this blog. Except when it's not good for me, or someone else points out a different viewpoint that might be better.ReplyDelete
Way to stay strong, Starr.Delete
LOL!! Another child of the '80s and you're so right about it being so completely confusing! I finally just made my own rules - do whatever I feel like....in moderation!!ReplyDelete
Everything in moderation is certainly a more logical approach than never drinking tap water, or bottled water, or all of myriad of things that are poison.Delete
I love it! I love the whole message! Especially since I feel the exact same way.ReplyDelete
Thanks. Glad it's not just me.Delete
Oh crap on a salt-free, gluten-free, taste-free cracker. Don't even get me started on the annoying BS we have to put up with these days. I say just live and let live and to hell with all the conflicting information. Is what you are doing or eating making you happy? Good. Then screw everyone else. Not literally of course.ReplyDelete
So true. I don't mind so much people trying to sell their wares, it's the shady tactics, human-shaming, and manipulation of information that gets to me. Their "studies/polls" conducted, they never tell you the whole story on those. Frustrating.Delete
Big Book of British Smiles?!? I RESENT THAT!!! [Checks out teeth in mirror...] Actually, no, fair enough. You got us ;)ReplyDelete
In terms of everything else though, spot on, Joy! I think it applies to pretty much everything on the net, not just stuff that gives you cancer. I try to read a lot of productivity and life-hack stuff (funnily enough, I do this to PUT OFF actually doing shit) and it's all completely conflicting! 'Do you're most important stuff in the morning' vs. 'Do the thing you don't want to do first'. 'Have a plan for your day' vs 'Don't waste time with day planners'. ARGHHH!!!
I can't take full credit for the BBoBS, that is from The Simpsons. I do know some British people that make it true, though. And plenty who do NOT make it true, but growing up a woman who is Polish, Irish, raised Roman Catholic with a father who was a Cubs fan, I've learned it's best to just laugh at stereotypes and not think about what is true or not, just what is FUNNY. I know, I'll never be president. Of anything.Delete
I agree about the conflicting information, and take everything from LifeHack with a grain of salt. Those writers are no experts, and even if there WERE an expert on there, they are not an expert on YOUR life.
You nailed this! I loved the 80's---I was a young adult then and life was freaking AWESOME. We never worried about cancers and pesticides. Now my adult children are like, "HOW COULD YOU FEED US HOTDOGS AT BIRTHDAY PARTIES?!? THEY'RE FULL OF CANCER-CAUSING TOXINS!!!" My kids will only eat organic stuff and constantly get on my case about using the microwave so much. I don't have the heart to tell them that when they were little, they ALL lived by the five second rule when it came to food!ReplyDelete
hahahaha that is hilarious! My mother nearly rolled her eyes right out of her head when I had the NERVE to not even OWN a microwave for a couple years. She spent all her time trying to find me one, finally forcing me to take my Grandmother's old dial-knob version, which is still the only one we have. The thing is SO OLD that it's impossible to tell if you're putting something in for ONE minute or TWENTY minutes, we just have to use the timer on the oven. I try not to use it, but my teenager doesn't buy into the fact that "Microwave popcorn WILL KILL YOU." He is anti-organic. He has no fear. He loves chemical-tasting food, he's a smoker. He's totally Team Cancer. It's not even his most annoying character trait :)Delete
So yes. I had not realized how bad it was until we fell pregnant (who came up with that phrase btw?) and I made the mistake of looking online about what to expect. 101 different answers to everything - none of which were nice - and then like a fool I made the mistake of looking again after we had the babyReplyDelete
There is no right answer. Stop trying to scare me marketing people I'm going to try and do what I hope is the right thing - and if not I will learn.