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On the other hand, if the baseline future scenario would be inevitably gloomy (compared to now), how useful is it to stay discontented? The Americans have an interesting gloom observation history:

No other writer of his generation had seen as much of the young nation's early sorrow, or become as familiar with its commonplace scenes of human depravity and squalor. As a boy on the Missouri frontier in the 1830s he attended the flogging and lynching of fugitive slaves; in the California gold fields in the 1860s he kept company with underage murderers and overage whores; in New York City in the 1870s he supped at the Gilded Age banquets of financial swindle and political fraud, learning from his travels that "the hard and sordid things of life are too hard and too sordid and too cruel for us to know and touch them year after year without some mitigating influence." Twain bottled the influence under whatever label drummed up a crowd - as comedy, burlesque, satire, parody, sarcasm, ridicule, wit - any or all of it presented as "the solid nonpareil," guaranteed to fortify the blood and restore the spirit. Humor for Twain was the hero with a thousand faces.
by das monde on Sat Dec 28th, 2013 at 11:47:52 PM EST
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