Memes and Dreams, Obsessions and Abuse

Do people really not want to work? Why do people have anxiety dreams about school long after graduating? Plus items and politics and religion.


Things people think are true but aren’t. I guess this would be called an urban myth, a version of fake news but far less aggressive.

Snopes, via Facebook, 25 Jul 2022: ‘Nobody Wants to Work Anymore’ Meme Cites Real Newspaper Articles

The point is that this meme has been around for over a century; there’s nothing new to it. Sorta like saying “Kids these days,” as if the current younger generation is especially incompetent or misguided. But people have said that for decades too.



BoingBoing, Mark Frauenfelder, 27 Sep 2022: Why do adults have anxiety dreams about school long after graduation?

I have certain kinds of these dreams all the time, even now, 40 years away from university. Mine are typically of the form of not remembering which classes I’ve signed up for, or when I need to attend my next class, or finding my way around a confusing, unfamiliar campus.

The BB piece refers to this piece in The Atlantic: Why Adults Still Dream About School, subtitled “Long after graduation, anxiety in waking life often drags dreamers back into the classroom.” by Kelly Conaboy.

Who in turn talks to Harvard dream researcher Deirdre Barrett.

Barrett explained that these dreams tend to pop up when the dreamer is anxious in waking life, particularly about being evaluated by an authority figure. She’s found that people who wanted to act or play music at an early age tend to experience anxiety dreams not about school, but about auditions—in their youth, that was where they interacted with the authority figures who could most easily crush them. In each of these dream scenarios, we revisit the space where we first experienced success or failure based on our performance.

Mm, I don’t know. I’m no longer anxious about being evaluated by authority figures, though I am dismayed that my reputation in the science fiction field seems to have evaporated. I do think I wasted much of my college experience, not knowing what I wanted to do, and doing the least possible in terms of attended classes to get by. When I did figure out what I wanted to do, and went to grad school at Cal State Northridge, I had a straight A average and got a job.


Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin, 28 Sep 2022: Opinion | Forget ‘polarization.’ The problem is right-wing extremism.

It’s not polarization when one party recognizes the results of a democratic election and the other does not. That’s radicalization of the GOP. Nor is it polarization when the GOP reverts to positions it has not held for decades (e.g., banning abortion nationwide, ending the protected status of entitlements) while the Democratic Party accommodates its most conservative members as it crafts popular legislation (e.g., paring back proposals to allow the government to negotiate prices for pharmaceutical drugs).

Consider also the parties’ different treatment of abortion. Republicans are furiously scrubbing from their websites their extreme positions in favor of forcing women to give birth. Meanwhile, Democrats are loudly touting their support for Roe v. Wade, which more than 60 percent of the public favors. One party is trying to conceal its extremism; the other is advertising its mainstream views.

“Polarization” is an easy dodge for those in the mainstream media who remain addicted to false balance and moral equivalence. Instead of pointing to one party’s descent into delusions and radicalism, they advance the false idea that both parties are becoming extreme. Perhaps the media should level with voters: We have only one mainstream, pro-democratic national party.


Salon, Samaa Khullar, 28 Sep 2022: New book exposes Trump’s shocking private anti-LGBTQ comments — and obsession with aides’ sexuality, subtitled “Trump advisers were stunned as he ranted about trans students and used horrific slurs”

This too has been true of conservatives since forever: they are overly obsessed with topics like other peoples’ sex lives.


Slate, Annie Abrams, 28 Sep 2022: The AP Program Is Broken. You Can Tell, Because Ron DeSantis Loves It., subtitled “Advanced Placement is thriving in Florida. That’s not a good thing.”

So what is this about? I took AP tests decades ago but haven’t kept up with changes to them. The gist of the article is that, as Florida’s standards for high school education of tightened, restricting many topics, the state has also forced its public colleges and universities to accept AP credits, which indirectly restricts educational opportunities there.



OnlySky, Hemant Mehta, 23 Sep 2022: Louisiana students were tricked into going to church instead of a college fair, subtitled “The high school seniors believed they were attending a college fair. Instead, they had to listen to Christian propaganda.”

Washington Post, Kate Cohen, 26 Sep 2022: Opinion | I don’t want your god in charge of my health care

CNN, 27 Sep 2022: For some Christians, ‘rapture anxiety’ can take a lifetime to heal

From the moment they are old enough to understand, millions of people raised in certain Christian communities are taught that the rapture is something that can happen at any time. Though there are different schools of thought as to how such an event would go, the basic idea is the same: Righteous Christians ascend into heaven, while the rest are left behind to suffer. However it happens, it is something to be both feared and welcomed, to be prayed about and prepared for every moment of a believer’s life.

Isn’t this child abuse? Jesus hasn’t come back, and the Rapture will never happen.

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