4 Behaviors the Modern World Is Only Making Worse

Are you familiar with the acronym "SMH"? My initial thought was "suck my hoagie," but it turns out I'm just a bad person and it means "shake my head." It's a thing people use in texts and on Twitter to express a diluted version of the exasperation you convey when you literally shake your head. And what makes us shake our heads? The disgust and bafflement and shame and disbelief we feel when confronted with that which should not be -- the foolish and stupid and appalling. We feel a helplessness because the world is unfolding in a way that ought to bring shame, and often we can do nothing about it except acknowledge that it's all kinds of fucking fucked. It's wrong. And this is how it's wrong. Everything that's wrong with the world.

#4. Entitlement

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For reasons that maybe psychologists who drink too much could explain after some pestering, as a society we're ever so slowly slouching toward a culture of people who feel like they're owed things. We want things without earning them because we're taught that we get something for nothing. And it's no longer an isolated incident; it's saturated into all we do with kids.

Schools actively resist failing students, which in turn means that a kid who never tries never faces consequences. That teaches kids to expect to get by for no reason whatsoever. A teacher in Edmonton was reprimanded for actually giving out zeroes to students -- what kind of message does that give to kids? Not only do they not deserve a zero, but it's wrong. It's so wrong that even an authority figure must be punished if it happens. Can you imagine a worse message to send that doesn't involve dildos or Duck Dynasty?

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"Seriously, fuck those guys."

Kids who participate in sports are given trophies and ribbons just for showing up as part of an active plan to make sure no one feels like a loser. The problem with that is that when you lose, you lost, and now no one knows that. Fifty-nine percent of high school athletes believe they're going to get athletic scholarships, but 98 percent of all high school athletes will never play anything in college. Only 3 kids in 100,000 who play basketball make it to the NBA. They're conditioned to believe they're awesome at their sport until they get to a level of competition where feelings don't matter anymore and it's all about money, business, and actual talent, not the smoke that got blown up junior's ass because someone was afraid that if he found out he sucks at playing third base he'd spiral into a depression and never leave the World of Warcraft ever again.

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"In Azeroth, no one dares call me Droopy Dick."

We're now a society of people who believe they deserve anything and everything, because that's how we're brought up. Half the people on TV now didn't even do anything to merit their position in life -- the Kardashians were born into a rich family, Honey Boo Boo is the result of genetic slapdashery and proximity to livestock, the Real Housewives of Bumblequat are the dregs of humanity that couldn't find anywhere else to exist. And people want to emulate them and be famous like them, get rich or die not trying, because they feel it's their right. That's fucked up.

#3. Willful Ignorance and Disinformation

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Go look at Donald Trump's Twitter feed and you'll see, every few days, especially this winter, about how global warming clearly doesn't exist. He even calls it bullshit. Global warming angers Donald Trump so much, it makes him swear. Two things about this are important for you to know. One is that global warming (or climate change, if you dislike the word "warm" in the winter) is real. Please leap to the comments now to argue if you like; it's a good place to put your opinions where they can be mocked and then forgotten, because they really have no merit. More on that later. The second thing that is important to know about this is that, while you may think Donald Trump is a loudmouth, blowhard ignoramus, he once had a nine-point lead over other candidates to lead the Republican Party when he was last playing with the idea of running for president. This means Donald Trump actually influences real people in the real world. His dumbass opinions become other people's dumbass opinions.

Now, whether Trump is a troll, whether he's got some kind of vested interest in supporting climate denial, or whether he's straight up stupid doesn't matter. All of those are equally destructive to the world at large.

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"Know the difference between me and shit? Shit goes away when you flush."

Thousands of schools across the U.S. still teach creationism, and they're not private dumbass schools, they're schools funded by tax dollars. Schools supported by elected officials. All four candidates for lieutenant governor in Texas support the teaching of creationism in public schools, a testament to people's love affair with ignoring science in favor of what feels or sounds nice at the time.

Those who support something like creationism will, of course, try to back their stance with religious arguments, creating some kind of ignorance hypercube. Most vociferous evolution opponents tend to be the same people who probably ignore the sections of the Bible than ban eating shellfish, wearing clothes with holes or made from mixed fabrics, shaving your beard, mixing seeds in a garden, or gossiping. We pick and choose what to believe and never stop to appreciate the total lack of logic in doing such a thing.

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Look at these fuckin' sinners.

Worse, the media understand this and cherry-pick the info they share with you, doctoring it to fit an agenda and every so often not even checking sources to find out if the story is factual or even true. Remember when the news covered that Asiana Air crash and listed the pilots as Sum Ting Wong, Ho Lee Fuk, Bang Ding Ow, and Wi Tu Low? The news, the goddamn news, didn't even take the time to weed out an obvious-as-hell joke; how can we expect stories that don't have punchlines from a vaudeville act to be reliable? We can't, and what's worse, we don't. We've come to accept that some people say things and do things that have no basis in fact, because we literally have no way to stop it. And they don't want to be corrected, because of ...

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