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Hell Yeah! We're actually watching stranger things right now!

And yes movies in the 80s had a sort of "bigness" to them. That 80s bigness is missing in movies now. The stories are too dumbed down.

Ask yourself, how many times you've been watching a newer movie, and thought to yourself, "Where's the back story?" It’s hard to be drawn into something when there's no story! It's just a video then. You're just watching shit happen. It's like watching a surveillance tape.

I'm not a movie voyeur. I want to experience a story.

And yes, everyone is scared now, and kids can't go outside and ride bikes miles from home, because the parents know that someone will cause trouble for them. Hell, it's like leaving your 10+ year old kid in a locked running car for 5-10 minutes. If you do that you're liable to have some dumbass call the police on you.

People have been trained to fear freedom. That's how I feel about it. People are taught that freedom is dangerous! You need to just stay inside, and let the government deal with what's on the other side of your front door.

I say FUCK THAT! Kids need adventure. Without all the cool stuff I did as a kid, I might have grown up with low self esteem or something. Testing yourself is how you grow. There aren't many "tests" to be had at home.

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I watched the movie It Follows and I was thinking, "where's the backstory?" I couldn't believe the movie would just end without ever explaining how the thing got started. It felt exactly as you described above. It was utterly unfulfilling.

With movies/TV shows (and our reality) not really allowing children to feel like they can be free to explore the world, it engrains in them the fear at a very early age, which might have been part of our downfall.

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Exactly. We live in Alaska and our kids have climbed literal mountains. She's 31, a traveling musician, artist, and massage therapist. He's 25 and works underground in a gold mine. It didn't hurt them at all to have adventures. Both of them point to (separate) miserable hikes in the Alaska wilderness that they feel were pivotal to their development and how they've been shocked to learn people their age never had such tests of courage and resourcefulness. My husband and I were there in case they made a really dumb decision, but we let them work it out and everybody survived.

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Yeah, people need to have a little danger. It's good to be tested and make it through something. That just doesn't happen much nowadays.

Kids are often sheltered from the things that are actually needed to grow up with confidence.

Things are too sterile in some ways, and wide open in other, usually bad ways.

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My daughter says she's never been scared in the wilderness or a huge crowd (loves busking in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, for ex). It's malls that concern her. The sign that says "No guns allowed" signals to her how likely you are to get shot to death there.

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Any "gun free zone" is a zone that is potentially (most likely) free of non-criminal gun owners.

There is no such thing as a "common sense gun law." There are only people with common sense. It's illegal to commit suicide, how's that working out?

People who's children get shot with their gun have no common sense. They either made their gun accessible to small children who don't know what a gun is, and don't know better to leave it alone, or they allow an older kid to handle the gun with zero training.

In any event laws don't protect people from guns. Those same people might allow their car keys to be accessible by small children. They could start a car and run someone over. They could grab a cigarette lighter and burn a house down. The possibilities are endless.

Any attempt to reign in gun ownership is a front for tyranny. Because tyranny is a possibility, and would result in mass killings, the 2nd Amendment surpasses any attempt to limit gun ownership.

I refuse to live my life based on the fears of others.

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You got it. Most of other people's fear is delusional anyway. But I also refuse to live my life based on their false sense of security. It's what you said about people have common sense. Like my son says "It's so rare; why do we call it common?"

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That video was so incredibly nostalgic for me because I was born in 1973. In Canada, we had all the same programming plus some Canadian movies and TV shows as well.

I noticed as the stream of cultural TV moments, one show that popped up in particular. It was Family Ties. It's a family, Mom is an architect and Dad works for PBS. They have three kids, then a fourth at some point. Part of the humour was that their eldest child, played by Michael J. Fox leans conservative in his politics, but his parents obviously do not. The show is funny, the characters are sweet, the family is loving and the show clearly was a show everyone in the family could watch. What I find difficult in today's culture is the inability to be friends with someone who has a different opinion. People are shutting out their friends for different beliefs and I think that is weird. I used to have opposing views from some friends but then we would move on, learning something about the other person's position. So maybe that's where it's gotten serious.

If you want to watch a Canadian Show from the 80s, I recommend Degrassi Junior High. The original one, not the newer ones.

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I remember watching Family Ties a bit, not regularly, but a bit. Mike was the best part of it. I also had that belief that different political beliefs should not be a deal breaker for relationships. But, today, many are involved in the drama triangle and believe that the "opposite" party is a "persecutor" and they are the "victims" of it. They see it as a life-and-death situation struggle now. And it actually became one! I'm talking about COVID, and our reaction to it. People would not care that wearing a mask can lead to more falls or that the vaccines could cause harmful side effects. So many forced their own family members to potentially hurt themselves just to stay in a relationship and have people over for meals. It's a sad state of affairs today. It's difficult to have relationships with people who won't apologize for behavior like that. I do hope our society learns and repents so we can get along in the future. We won't get along so long as no one sees what they did as wrong though.

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If the show were done today, the parents would have Mike in therapy for his aggressive, racist, homophobic tendencies, even though the 1980s character wasn't any of those things.

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Dec 21, 2023·edited Dec 21, 2023Liked by Barbara Wegner

I was born in 1960 and I think you're right. Right around 1990, the world started to get sick. I lived in a very remote middle-sized town (Fairbanks Alaska) and my college years are known for the serial killer who was grabbing girls off the streets. My mom said "Be careful...be aware." When the fourth girl, a high-school classmate of mine, disappeared, she said "Here, conceal carry my pistol and fight like hell to kill the guy if he tries to grab you."

She never thought to say "Hide in the house." That kind of fear just never occurred to the Greatest Generation and frankly, it never occurred to me. The guy confessed my sophomore year and I interviewed the cop who brought him to justice. He asked me if I was ever scared during the four years they were trying to catch him. Yeah. I paid a lot more attention to strangers getting close, I concealed carried (illegally, at the time), I was situationally aware. But I never stopped living my life.

So imagine my shock in the 2000-aughts when other parents would say I shouldn't let my children go the park on their own, even among a gang of other kids. A serial killer might grab them. I resisted the fear (because I knew what a real threat was compared to an imaginary one) and my kids grew up adventurous and independent while some of their kids are 25-30 years old and still living in their parents' basements.

If I had to pick something pivotal -- it was 1991 and the TV show Sisters was all the rage. While it did dare to poke some fun at political correctness, it was clear it was an apologetic for PC culture. We were supposed to be understanding and not offend and Swoosie Kurtz was so old-fashioned to refuse to comply, and the character felt guilty for not understanding it.

Last night, I told my 25-year-old renter (who is also my son's best friend) that he and my son (and the infinitesimally small fraction of people in their generation who think like them) will someday save the world. He thanked me for that because mostly he's told he's on the wrong side of history for wanting to own his own business and forge his own path. Then he asked me a kind of scary question. "How will we know when's the right time to act and what the right action is?" And all I could say is "You just will. And given how really passive most of the rest of your generation is, whatever they say is impossible will probably be the right action...or at least an action that's better than what they think is possible. Trust yourself."

You know the saying - hard times make tough people, tough people make good times, good times makes soft people, soft people make hard times, hard times make tough people." The Gen Zers are soft people living in soft times about to tip over into a bobsled ride through a brier patch. A few of them will emerge as strong people. The ones who survive with their lazy, soft attitudes intact will think those tough people are horrible, but the tough ones will become the heroes the children of those softies admire.

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Nov 5, 2023Liked by Barbara Wegner

Great article! Thank you for reminding me to be grateful I had the opportunity to bear witness to a much more simple, fun and carefree time instead of lamenting knocking on 50. 🥳

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Glad you enjoyed it. It was great and we can still have those feelings when we remember those times.

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Nov 5, 2023Liked by Barbara Wegner

Fantastic!

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Excellent article. Yes, times have changed. I grew up in the 1960s and 70s, so the 80s was "young adult time" for me. Our culture has changed. You have made several excellent points.

In the 60s and 70s children did have adventures. Our parents didn't know where we were most of the time. Yes, if we were gone too long they wondered where we disappeared to and eventually started searching for us, but nothing like today.

Fear, the past four years certainly has ramped up the "fear factor" in the world. Why do people allow themselves to be scared? We seem to lack the courage to say "no" to the actors that are creating more fear. However, fear is not new. Even in the sixties there was fear of evil people tampering with Halloween candy and injuring children.

We do have progress though. The technical quality (resolution) of our video (TV) entertainment is staggeringly better! Our entertainment choices are far greater now. We can play games with people around the world. We have massive amounts of information available at our fingertips (even if we can't trust it). We can communicate long distance with people for "free". Digital photography allows us to document our travels and lives in stunning quality!

Censorship! Wow, censorship and propaganda just weren't a thing fifty years ago. I'm sure they existed, but not outright and overt! (maybe I just wasn't looking?)

We have to be careful though when we look back on the "good old days". Much of the difference is simply that we have lived longer and our outlook has changed! I'm reading a book currently that was written in 1971 about the state of our culture and if you didn't know when it was written it could have been written yesterday! No change! The same concerns are being voiced! Only in 1971 it's a book read by relatively few people, now we have the Internet to engage and discuss everything with everyone!

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Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It is definitely good to get the perspectives from different generations.

I did mention that there were examples of people being offended in the past, and, of course, there was some fear in the past too. It's just that it's just gotten exponentially worse since then.

I agree that a lot of progress has been made. Part of what keeps me more optimistic than others is my focus on gratitude and appreciating what is going well. I love the technical advances for sure. We even got fiber optic internet out in rural South Dakota now, so my downloads and streaming are much faster/better. But, our progress there wasn't really the point of the article. The point is our culture not feeling free and optimistic any longer.

The best way to not get caught up in the "good old days" is to read/watch and study the past to see how various people experienced it. It's always good to ask people who were alive then what it was like too!

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Yes, a very key point is that our culture is not feeling free and optimistic. The public has been bombarded with "doom and gloom". And it would appear the American Empire peaked decades ago so "looking forward" to the decline is not very cheerful!

I'd love to see some Kennedy optimism again and something like the "space race" to give humanity a goal to achieve instead of focusing on "how can we slow down killing ourselves". How about a healthy food revolution instead of a shift from factory food to laboratory food?

How about focusing on health instead of giving our children so many preventative shots that they are virtually bound to have some side effects!

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The problem with a lot of "content" produced in the mainstream these days is that the people making them don't believe in heroes and they don't think you should either. Further, they don't believe in any of the ideals a hero would have (and, again, don't believe you should either). They wish to continue using the same basic archetypes character wise and story wise they know people are attracted to (and also because from a story telling perspective almost all stories rely on a central hero or group of heroes going through their arcs, it's difficult to get away from this, so the only option for someone who actually hates them would be to pervert and degrade them) but the heart has been thoroughly cut out because that heart is something their ideology can't accept as being good. The most concrete belief they have is the contempt for whatever came before. I think it's way nostalgia (and 2nd or 3rd hand nostalgia) for the 80s has lasted for so long in such a tangible way. It was sort of the last time that we, on a society based level, were "allowed" to feel good about ourselves. It's steadily declined since then, I believe. I wasn't alive for the 80s, I was born mid-90s and only have reliable memories of the early 2000s. But I think it's noticeable too. The stories of the time were about shared ideals. Not a condemnation of them or being berated for having them. The ones these days are propaganda about why you shouldn't have them, almost. It seemingly pervades everything. (And I'm also not entirely convinced it's not a purposeful demoralization tactic. I don't think everyone in the "system" thinks consciously of it that way but I'm not naive enough to think that number is zero.)

I think the seeds for all of these was planted long ago. But the rot hasn't begun to show in a very obvious way until recently for the majority of people.

It's strange that these days that people are obsessed with keeping The Youth away from physical danger but mentally they're subjected to such trash constantly. To say the very least of it.

I've been trying to curate a list of old TV and movies I'd like to watch. They're not nostalgic for me because I wasn't alive during the time and I never saw most of them. But I think the quality is undeniable. The relief of it not being a thinly disguised act of contempt against western culture vaguely and American culture specifically. The way the actors and actresses are touched up but not manufactured. Even the sets and costumes are better (it's true that a lot of costuming looks incredibly cheap even in productions that have high budgets, it's odd). And I think the "lower" quality filming actually helps with the atmosphere. All stories are purposefully crafted experiences. To this end there's always something "unauthentic" to them. But they're genuine to themselves and meant to give the audience a good time. Whatever feelings they give you are meant to be good for you to have had. Happiness, fun, a cathartic sadness, something to think about, etc. With new(er) stuff there is this constant, deep hesitance to be genuine, a self-loathing projection, and a suffocating self-consciousness.

A messy dump of a post. But I do genuinely think there is a lot more to all this than just nostalgia bias that a lot of people have previously written stuff like this off as. And I wonder sometimes if a part of it is because a lot of the new-blood in the industry hasn't really...lived? Like they don't know how to write or portray characters who are really living because they themselves don't understand what that is, what is looks like. It's hollow cynicism all the way through. There is a shit ton of people who do a lot of thinking about this living thing but they don't understand it. Because it's not a strictly concrete idea. It's a feeling, an experience, and you have to just know it because you've done it, because you've seen it in others. All they've got to substitute that with is hedonism.

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The worst fear we face today is fear of other people, the flesh-and-blood family members and people in our physical environment who would be shocked and shun us if we told them what we really think of Wokeness.

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