As a Humanities professor I have had the opportunity to teach psychology and social psychology for more than 20 years. Occasionally the knowledge obtained in these areas allows me analyze and understand social behavior and certain cultural trends. This is one those occasions.
If one is able to observe American society in an objective manner (granted no easy task) it becomes clear that the country is suffering from an epidemic of arrested emotional development (AED). This particular illness is characterized by some combination of: addiction, greed, immaturity, fear, blame, shame, resentments, anger, confusion and suffering. What it means is that the vast majority of Americans are stuck in adolescence exhibiting behavior like lying, negative attitudes, disobedience and disrespect, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, and issues of sexuality.
One has only to watch American movies or television shows to get a snapshot of juvenile, puerile, and base comedy characteristic of adolescent humor. It’s no accident that 42 year old Jimmy Fallon is essentially the “eternal teenager” performing comedy that mostly includes bathroom humor and gags that are based on and appeal to a silly sense of immaturity. The other darling of late-night shows in America is Stephen Colbert who specializes in insulting public figues in an overtly adolescent display of negative attitude and disrespect.
Another hallmark of AED is to evade responsibility and blame others for failure. One has only to observe the millions of Hillary supporters to understand this phenomenon. Also common for AED sufferers is to show disrespect in sophomoric ways usually by damaging property as we see with monuments being defaced and destroyed.
Teenagers, of course, tend to have identity issues often involving sexuality which is another phenomenon all too apparent in contemporary America. It’s almost uncool not to be LGBT or confused about your gender nowadays. Soon there will be as many genders as ice-cream flavors for it’s all just a matter of taste!
In terms of cognitive activity AED is characterized by exaggeration and over-simplification. If you are angry with one of your parents you might refer to them as a Nazi or Fascist.
This negative attitude now is extended to anyone who disagrees with you and can be seen in slogans such as “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA”. Adults are an endangered species. The cognitive effect of exaggeration and over-simplification leads to irrationality and confusion. Witness the millions of people who think they are being anti-racist by opposing “White Supremacy”. No anthropologist on earth would claim that “White” is a race (although a Neo- Nazi would) It’s not even a primary color. The Irish were discriminated against for more than a hundred years in America due to Anglo-Saxon racism yet the Irish are considered “white”. There are millions of Americans of German, Polish, and Scandinavian extraction who have been working-class and lower for a very long time. Are these “white people” guilty of supremacy? Against whom? Themselves?
Of course, what the protestors should be focusing on is class and not race which is really an arbitrary term. Unfortunately. the progressive movement in America has gone from “Occupy Wall street” to “occupy the public bathroom”. Lenin would be turning over in his grave – if he had one. With regard to alcohol and drug addiction in America, the statistics are startling. Opiod addiction alone is becoming a national health issue as is depression. Alcohol abuse, of course, is also quite high. Lying is also becoming commonplace. It used to be just politicians and lawyers who were known to “play with the truth”. Nowadays the mainstream media is widely seen as a mainstream of lies with CNN now wearing the title of FAKE NEWS.
The teenage attempt to rebel and show disobedience is often manifested through the use of profanity intended to shock the older generation. Gratuitous profanity is pervasive in American culture and has replaced the imagination as a form of creativity. It is not an accident that Pussy Riot – a group of “performance artists” using profanity in a Cathedral considered sacred to “shock” the Russian public and “disobey” authorities – has found a home in the United States and been befriended by Madonna, another symbol of eternal adolescence. Her AED was on full display last year when she publicly offered all men fellatio if they voted for Hillary Clinton. And as any rebellious teenager attempting to shock the “older generation” she had to announce that she “swallows”. Stay classy, Madonna. Keep in mind we’re talking about a 59 year old mother of six.
You see…if everyone is a teenager there is no adult supervision. That is the problem. After an autopsy is conducted years from now to ascertain how and why the American Empire expired, the obituary will include multiple causes of death and AED will be listed prominently. Perhaps a precocious teenager will be allowed to write the epitaph that will read…”When extended, the bridge between adolescence and adulthood can take a heavy toll”.
Census 2022 – what difference does it make?
Next Sunday, April 3rd, is Census night. Millions of people in homes countrywide will fill in page after page of questions, some of which are deeply personal and many of which might be unfamiliar.
But what it is it all about?
At a basic level, Census 2022 will be used to inform planning of public policy and services in the years ahead, according to the Central Statistics Office.
The questions will cover a range of environmental, employment and lifestyle issues, including the use of renewable energy sources in homes.
The questions will help inform policy development in the areas of energy and climate action, and the prevalence of internet access, to understand the availability of and need for internet connections and range of devices used to access the internet.
Questions also focus on changes in work patterns and will include the trend of working from home and childcare issues, while questions are also asked about the times individuals usually leave work, education or childcare, to help identify and plan for transport pattern needs locally and nationally.
Other topics covered include volunteering and the type of organisations volunteers choose to support, tobacco usage and the prevalence of smoke alarms in the home.
And of course there is a time capsule – the chance to write something which will be sealed for the next 100 years.
Oscars 2022: Will Smith makes Oscar history after slapping Chris Rock over joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith | Culture
Will Smith took the Oscar for Best Actor at last night’s 94th Academy Awards, but he also became the protagonist of the ceremony for other reasons. The night was following the script, until Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on the stage after the latter made a joke about the shaved head of the former’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Rock had quipped that he was “looking forward to GI Jane 2,” in reference to her look. Pinkett Smith has revealed publicly that she has alopecia. It looked as if the moment had been planned, until Smith went back to his seat and shouted: “Get my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”
The moment, which immediately became Oscar history but for all the wrong reasons, left the attendees with frozen smiles, and asking themselves whether it was possible that a veteran such as Smith could have lost his cool in front of tens of millions of people. After taking the prize for Best Actor, the superstar actor made a tearful apology, saying that he hoped the Academy “will invite me back.” Later on, actor Anthony Hopkins called for “peace and love,” but it was already too late. The incident overshadowed the success of CODA, which took the Oscar for Best Picture. Just like the time when Warren Beatty mistakenly named La La Land as the big winner of the night, no one will speak about anything else from last night’s awards.
At first sight, Smith’s actions looked as if they were scripted. When he first heard Rock’s joke, he laughed. But his wife was seen on camera rolling her eyes, and it was then that the actor got up onto the stage and hit Rock. When he returned to his seat he raised his voice twice to shout “Get my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth,” sending a wave of unease and shock through the attending audience. The fact that he used the f-word, which is prohibited on US television, set alarm bells ringing that this was real and not a planned moment. In fact, the curse word was censored by the broadcaster, ABC, in the United States.
During a break, Smith’s PR manager approached him to speak. In the press room, which the actor skipped after collecting his prize, instructions were given to the journalists not to ask questions about the incident, Luis Pablo Beauregard reports. The next presenter, Sean “Diddy” Combs, tried to calm the situation. “Will and Chris, we’re going to solve this – but right now we’re moving on with love,” the rapper said.
When Smith took to the stage to collect his Best Actor award for his role as Richard Williams – the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena – in King Richard, he referred to the character as “a fierce defender of his family.” He continued: “I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do you’ve got to be able to take abuse, and have people talk crazy about you and have people disrespecting you and you’ve got to smile and pretend it’s OK.”
He explained that fellow actor Denzel Washington, who also spoke to Smith during a break, had told him: “At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.”
“I want to be a vessel for love,” Smith continued. “I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern. I want to apologize to the Academy and all my fellow nominees. […] I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams, but love will make you do crazy things,” he said. He then joked about his mother, who had not wanted to come to the ceremony because she had a date with her crochet group.
During the commercial break, Will Smith is pulled aside and comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, who motion for him to brush it off. Will appears to wipe tears from his eyes as he sits back down with Jada, with Denzel comforting Jada and Will’s rep by his side. pic.twitter.com/uDGVnWrSS2
— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) March 28, 2022
The Los Angeles Police Department released a statement last night saying that Chris Rock would not be filing any charges for assault against Smith. “LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the statement read. “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”
On December 28, Pinkett Smith spoke on social media about her problems with alopecia. She stated that she would be keeping her head shaved and would be dealing with the condition with humor. “Me and this alopecia are going to be friends… Period!” she wrote on Instagram.
House-price inflation set to stay double digit for much of 2022
House-price inflation is expected to remain at double-digit levels for much of 2022 as the mismatch between what is for sale and what buyers want continues.
Two new reports on the housing market paint a picture of a sector under strain due to a lack of supply and increased demand driven by Covid-related factors such as remote working.
The two quarterly reports, one each from rival property websites myhome.ie and daft.ie, suggest asking prices accelerated again in the first quarter of 2022 as the stock of homes available for sale slumped to a new record low.
Myhome, which is owned by The Irish Times, said annual asking-price inflation was now running at 12.3 per cent.
This put the median or typical asking price for a home nationally at €295,000, and at €385,000 in Dublin.
MyHome said the number of available properties for sale on its website fell to a record low of 11,200 in March, down from a pre-pandemic level of 19,000. The squeeze on supply, it said, was most acute outside Dublin, with the number of properties listed for sale down almost 50 per cent compared with pre-pandemic levels.
It said impaired supply and robust demand meant double-digit inflation is likely until at least mid-2022.
“Housing market conditions have continued to tighten,” said author of the myhome report, Davy chief economist Conall Mac Coille.
“The broad picture of the market in early 2022 remains similar to last year: impaired supply coupled with robust demand due to Ireland’s strong labour market,” he said.
“One chink of light is that new instructions to sell of 7,500 in the first 11 weeks of 2022 are well up from 4,800 in 2021, albeit still below the 9,250 in 2019. The flow of new properties therefore remains impaired,” said Mr Mac Coille.
“Whatever new supply is emerging is being met by more than ample demand. Hence, transaction volumes in January and February were up 13 per cent on the year but pushed the market into ever tighter territory,” he said.
He said Davy was now predicting property-price inflation to average 7 per cent this year, up from a previous forecast of 4.5 per cent, buoyed strong employment growth.
Daft, meanwhile, said house asking prices indicated the average listed price nationwide in the first quarter of 2022 was €299,093, up 8.4 per cent on the same period in 2021 and and just 19 per cent below the Celtic Tiger peak, while noting increases remain smaller in urban areas, compared to rural.
Just 10,000 homes were listed for sale on its website as of March 1st, an all-time low. In Dublin, Cork and Galway cities, prices in the first quarter of 2022 were roughly 4 per cent higher on average than a year previously, while in Limerick and Waterford cities the increases were 7.6 per cent and 9.3 per cent respectively.
The report’s author, Trinity College Dublin economist Ronan Lyons, said: “Inflation in housing prices remains stubbornly high – with Covid-19 disturbing an equilibrium of sorts that had emerged, with prices largely stable in 2019 but increasing since.
“As has been the case consistently over the last decade, increasing prices – initially in Dublin and then elsewhere – reflect a combination of strong demand and very weak supply.”
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