Signpostings

Relationships in a World of Individualism

  • rWorld

    The rWorld is about more than Dale Kuehne's book Sex and the iWorld.
    The rWorld is a New England based, non-profit (in formation), that is composed of a growing number of people and organizations from many faith and ideological backgrounds worldwide. We believe that much of the fulfillment for which women and men are looking can be found by enhancing the quality of our relationships. While the individual freedom we enjoy in the West is a gift, the love and intimacy for which humans yearn will not be found in self-serving materialism or hedonism, but in a variety of healthy relationships.

    Contact us if you'd like get involved:
    scr.im/rwld

  • Dale Kuehne

    Sex & the iWorld

    Professor of Politics and The Richard L. Bready Chair for Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good at Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH.

    In this blog I'm highlighting signposts of the world in which we presently reside as a means of helping promote a civil, and meaningful dialogue about what kind of world in which we wish to live. I am particularly interested in exploring how might we reconcile the individual good and the common good, and where reconciliation isn’t possible, which should take precedence and why.

    I also blog at Sharewik.com

    [Content Caution]

Baby Boomers Killing Us Softly With Their Song

Posted by Dale Kuehne on September 20, 2010

Apparently, thanks to the Baby Boomers, we’ve got a values problem on our hands.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/12/opinion/12friedman.html?_r=1

When I was young
It seemed that life was so wonderful
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical
And all the birds in the trees
Well they´d be singing so happily
Oh joyfully, oh playfully watching me
But then they sent me away
To teach me how to be sensible
Logical, oh responsible, practical
And they showed me a world
Where i could be so dependable
Oh clinical, oh intellectual, cynical

There are times when all the world´s asleep
The questions run too deep
For such a simple man
Won´t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd
But please tell me who i am

Now watch what you say
Or they´ll be calling you a radical
A liberal, oh fanatical, criminal
Oh won´t you sign up your name
We´d like to feel you´re
Acceptable, respectable, oh presentable, a vegetable!

At night when all the world´s asleep
The questions run too deep
For such a simple man
Won´t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd
But please tell me who i am, who i am ,who i am.

The Logical Song by Roger Hogdson on Supertramp’s Breakfast in America (1979)

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2 Responses to “Baby Boomers Killing Us Softly With Their Song”

  1. It’s a far jump from “student apathy” to “get rich quickism.” People have warned of the dangers of wealth to the individual for, oh, 20 centuries, anyway. And they should. But complaints about whole societies being too rich have been much less common. It’s much less common in the Bible as well. But there has been a sudden increase in a variation of this theme lately.

    I don’t find it coincidental that just as it becomes clear that Obama’s rescues of the economy aren’t working that the people who supported him are suddenly saying “Hey maybe it will be good for us to not be so well off. Yeah, that’s it! Why, some hardship is actually going to fix things. Give us moral fiber again.” Perhaps so. But in practice it seems to turn on frustration that the Wrong People have gotten wealthy.

    Well, that looks like a leap as well. There are a lot of steps I’ve left out in the reasoning, because it gets tedious to read. We certainly all see money spent foolishly and wastefully by others, and by ourselves as well. But that single fact creates a confirmation bias for a whole framework of viewing a culture and an economy – a framework that owes more to cultural than to moral factors. The words wealth, prosperity, sufficiency, plenty, and adequacy all have shades of meaning we react to very differently. We have strong emotional reactions and use the words as clubs, but clarity on what we mean for society as a whole is elusive. There is more impression than intellectual rigor.

    Folks don’t have jobs. People lose houses, and slowly sink beneath the waves. Those aren’t good things. Certainty that our cultural notions of how to fix that are not only effective, but the only morally just way to improve things, can be a as dangerous as wealth, to individuals and society.

  2. Chris said

    Maybe the current 20 somethings song might be “You’ve got the love” by Florence and the Machine… Great song

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