Yes it still is hard times in America. Of course hard times is a relative thing, there are many places around the planet where being down to your last twenty dollars is not all that bad. Places where an adult can work all week and being paid the equivalent of twenty dollars is the first step towards financial security.What always surprises me is no matter how destitute people are, they maintain a need for beauty, creativity and experiencing the pure pleasure of living. To destroy the human urge to create, the need to be happy, you pretty much have to beat it out a person -oppress them in the most inhuman and even then as an act of defiance people hold on. Lucky for me I've never been tested like that.
I did come of age during the last "Great Rescission". In a lot of ways this one is worse. During that economic down turn I spent a lot of time on the road and found out you can be happy with very little money. Back then one of my old cohorts, Cheap John, would give the Vulcan salute and say "live cheap and prosper". It's difficult to advocate the human right to pleasure when so much of the world is locked in bone crushing poverty and brutally ruled by people who's only talents are rooted in fear, pain and hatred. But everyone does have a right to be happy and maybe if we recognize that we would not tolerate so much of the other bullshit that's out there hurting the majority of the world.
I have always wondered if humanity is doomed to replay it greatest tragedies over and over again. This is a good book to read, it suggests that class hierarchies are genetically ingrained. We share more behavior with Baboons than would think.
There was another study about Chimpanzees that comes to mind (unfortunately I can't remember the the title or author). It was a series of experiments comparing the problem solving abilities of chimps and three year old children. Both have about the same intellectual capacity but the three year old children did better because they were able to cooperate, share and work towards a common goal.
From a Darwinian viewpoint maybe our softer side is what makes us superior -or at least we have the chance to transcend our darker heritage of violence and exploitation solely for personal gratification for a better future.
"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life"
- Pablo Picasso
I have to admire Picasso for one thing, back in 1962 when he and several of his fellow artists tried to take over ab ICBM missile base and protest for world peace. Doesn't anyone remember the Cubist Missile Crisis?
Why does a dog enjoy having his head out thew car window? I say be a dog, take in the zen of being a dog. Wander, explore and take time to wag your tail. How you live your life is really your greatest work of art.