No one is arguing against this year's status as "terrible." It very much is and we'll be feeling the effects of what's happened for generations to come. Just want to make that clear before we proceed.
2020 has been rough on innumerable people, all over the country, extending its awful reach over the world. While we can live in the awful of the now, it's still critical to understand everything else we've overcome and bounced back from. This knowledge allows us to comprehend how to move beyond and what next steps to take.
Still, there's been some rough years.
Reddit user, u/child_sized_tequila, wanted to hear if we really have it all that bad when they asked:
Oh Yeah. THAT Year...
The last quarter of 2001 was more intensely miserable. 2020 misery is more spread out and not quite as terrifying.
2001 was akin to living in a beehive just after the rock hits.
Let's Get This Perspective Out Of The Way
None of them. Seriously, I can't remember a year this bad. Not even 9/11 was this bad, we're closing in on the number of daily deaths from Coronavirus being as many or more than that single day in 2001.
But, I'm also relatively young, and I'm also a white man. I'm sure there's been far worse sh-t farther back, especially if you are anything other than white or male.
Killed Over Nothing
Relaying this for my dad and stepdad :
They both basically said during the late 60s/early 70s:
"There were a few years during the Vietnam War, and onward when we didn't know if we would be nuked into oblivion, killed by police, or if racial tensions would bubble over into massacres in the street. If all of these idiots just wore a mask, we would be fine. Otherwise most of our problems haven't changed much" - Dad
"Kids were being murdered by police on campus for protesting, and I came to draft age at a time when it was effectively a death-sentence for an 18-year-old kid. Riots were destroying cities, and we thought we were going to have an atomic bomb dropped on us. You had to live your life in a constant state of panic depending on where you lived. I don't mind watching Netflix all day, but everything else has become exhausting." - Stepdad
My dad and I work from home and my stepdad is retired. We text all day.
At Least There Was Butter
My great-grandfather used to tell me about 1944, when it was the Hunger Winter in the Netherlands. There was almost no food and most Dutch people either died or had to live off tulip bulbs. My great-grandfather was lucky though, he knew how to make butter, so he was able to trade food and was off less terrible than most people. It's truly terrible to hear about it, especially when you realise your very own grandpa was born in this time
When You Become An Adult
As a kid growing up through the last bits of the cold war was pretty terrifying once I learned what nuclear weapons were capable of.
2001 after the attacks...but at least we were more together as a nation.
2008 was scarier for me because it was the first real economic crisis of my adulthood, now I'm old hat at this stuff. Now things are a continuous dumpster fire and I just pull out some gallows humor with that thousand yard stare in my eyes.
I imagine the great depression was a bad time to live. Think about how people from that time still hoard everything they can. It becomes part of you. I had some Dutch relatives in Indonesia who were captured by the Japanese and put into prison camps during WWII. That was probably worse. They had kids, too. I remember reading the letters describing their time (I guess they must have eventually been released) and how they tried to make it fun for the children while the adults feared constantly for their lives.
Rough, But Maybe Not As Bad Yet
The year 1970. People dying or being maimed for life (both mentally and physically) in a stupid, nonsensical war. Richard Nixon President. The government refusing to listen to hundreds of thousands of people protesting the war, and people of all sorts not just college kids and hippies.
I participated in a HUGE protest in DC and walked down Pennsylvania Avenue with a lot of other people, holding the hands of my two kids. "We are speaking to our government. Never forget."
1963 was pretty bad with the Kennedy assassination.
But I don't think anything in my 79 years can compare to this year. It's just horrible in so many ways.
Assassination After Assassination
1968-1969. Started with the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. It was a military disaster for the North Vietnamese, but a big surprise to the American public - they had been told the war was effectively won. And from there it just got worse.
Student riots. City riots. MLK was assassinated in early April. Then in early June, I was on a South Vietnamese hilltop firebase. One of our less English-proficient officers came up to the American advisers in the afternoon. "You know Kennedy, ya? They shoot him!" The three of us looked at him. I said, "Yeah Đại Úy (Captain), back in 1963. So?"
"NO!" he said, "They shoot him now!" Then he got frustrated with us and stomped off. Weird. What's up with the Đại Úy? We couldn't get American radio (AFVN) in the daytime, but later that night we found out what he was talking about. Another Kennedy? WTF is going on back home?
I got back on leave in December. America was nuts. I couldn't walk through the airport without starting a fight. I wasn't fighting. Someone would want to yell at me, and someone else would start yelling at him, and eventually they'd forget I was there - because I wasn't. My instructions were to keep walking. The war had come home. Racial justice had graduated to racial war.
It was almost a relief to get back to Vietnam. Seemed saner. Bad year for the USA. 1969 was only better because some of the things people were expecting to happen, didn't. But it wasn't much better.
Bombing of Serbia 1999, NATO was only supposed to bomb military objects, but they bombed hospitals, markets, random populated areas... I was in the hospital with my dad when the sirens came on the whole hospital went to the basement, lucky the hospital wasn't hit, after the danger my dad drove us back he told me not to look out the window, being a kid I did look only to see innocent people dead along the whole street as the flea market was hit on a weekend...
I am 25yo now I still have nightmares about it occasionally. Also NATO used prohibited weapons with uranium which also caused a lot of ppl to get cancer from the radiation years after...
Through The Generations
For my maternal grandfather - 1914, when the crowned heads of Europe and their Ministers thought it would be a good idea to have a great big war.
For my mother - 1946, wandering around as an orphan in a "displaced persons" camp.
For my older cousins - 1962, the Cuban missile crisis was some scary sh-t.
THIS Is The Worst? After All That?
I went through the Viet Nam war, Watergate, a president who was never elected (Ford), a president who had a good heart but was totally ineffective (Carter), hanging chads, the aids crisis, George W. Bush as a puppet president, 9/11, and the 2008 recession where my investments lost half their value.
This is the worst year I've ever lived through.
Quite A Few Off The Top Of Your Head
I'm 63, and have lately been thinking about this very question. For sheer one-thing-after-another craziness, I'd have to say 1968 was a bad time. Assassinations (RFK, MLK), massive riots so much worse than what's currently going on, Vietnam War (My Lai Massacre, Tet Offensive), heroin epidemic, a very divided nation, and more. I was a kid, but I knew things were very bad.
That said, 2020 is the worst year for this country that I've lived through. I'd have to say that if the COVID-19 pandemic had taken place in 1968, people would have masked up and done what it took to get things under control. There was a decent public health system back then and people believed in it and supported it.
I don't lose sight of the fact that, from around 1810-1940, there were lots of awful presidents, many financial scandals and market collapses, and huge injustices for minorities. I just wasn't around then to see it firsthand. Oh, yeah--2001 was not great, not only because of 9/11, but because it set the stage for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. We may have have had business to take care of in Afghanistan, but Iraq was a preventable disaster that we're still dealing with.
This Is Our Nam
I agree Viet Nam and late 60s were violent and there was great unrest. What i see today that makes it worse and potentially more explosive is the income and wealth disparity.
There Has Been A Rough Lead Up To All This, Hasn't There?
2002 the dot-com bubble burst and I lost a cushy job, that was pretty bad.
2008 great recession happened, again was laid off, that was pretty bad too.
2019 was awful. I found out my recently deceased father had an entire other family. I guess technically, we were his other family. Met the ones he abandoned (my new older half siblings) last summer and it was incredibly awkward and for some reason left me hollow and extremely full of guilt.
We're Not Quite That Bad...Yet.
I'm not an oldie but I'd imagine the years between 1939-1945 were pretty rough.
Everytime I feel overwhelmed by Covid, I remember my grandmother lived through the Spanish flu, WW1 and WW2
Remember: We're Not The Only Ones Who Can Suffer
My parents still think the economic crash of 90s that happened in Finland was worse, and in Finland it killed more people in the form of suicides than Corona has thus far.
I was just born around that time. And lots of people just lost everything. Companies folded left and right. Loan intrests were crushing people.
Then right after that we got dotcom bubble.
Yeah. Finland never recovered from that actually. I don't remember the exact numbers but the percentage of people working has never reached what we had before the 90s crash. Remember reading about that when I was doing some uni work on how bad the subprime crisis was compared to ones before it. Turns out Finland did pretty well during the subprime crash.
Really Makes You Ponder How We All Survived Without Phones
My dad told stories of his childhood that I find horrifying. Probably somewhere around 1940, he was a child in what was then, small town in the rural American south. His dad was a salesman, and would travel for weeks at a time, with no one knowing when he may return. They did not have phones. The only way they could get anywhere was walking. Once, it was winter, and they were down to their last bucket of coal. He and his sisters and his mother had gone out into their yard, and picked up every last scrap they could find. They had a coal burning stove, and that was the only way they could keep warm or cook.
They had no idea when his dad would return, and if he returned, how much money he would have. They had no way to call to ask anyone else for help, even if they did, everybody they knew was so poor back then it would have been very difficult to get help. When they were literally down to the last few pieces of coal, the church that they would frequent when their dad was in town, and able to drive them, Sent a truckload of coal to get dumped in their yard. My dad told me that to this day, he still believes that it is an absolute godsend miracle that that happened.
But, Really, Has It Been Worse Than This In The Last Hundred Years?
Okay a topic I am perfect for.
I'm 67 so I've seen a lot. 1968 was previously the worst year I'd ever seen because of race riots, oppression, my older friends getting killed in Vietnam. I've been through the Dotcom bust and a couple of stock market crashes they seem to recover. Challenger was shocking 9/11 was more shocking, I was only 10 for the Kennedy assassination but I did see Ruby shoot Oswald on live TV.
But they are all squat compared to 2020 and it's not even close.
There's no shortage of excellent horror fiction out there. Recently I read The Terror by Dan Simmons and can't remember the last time I felt that claustrophobic and nervous. But I am also a fan of quite a few classics. Are there any other horror books that capture grief as effectively as Stephen King's Pet Sematary? What other book evokes folk horror as beautifully as Thomas Tryon's Harvest Home? Let's not forget this wonderful classic: The Haunting of Hill House. I could rave about that one (and Shirley Jackson) for days. All of these books left their mark on me and yes, I'd include them on a list (if I were to make one) of some of the scariest books I've read.
People had their own opinions to share––and books to recommend––after Redditor Tylerisdumber asked the online community,
"What's the scariest book you've ever read?"
"Gerald's Game. I've read lots of Stephen King and this one scared me the most. Slept with the lights on for several nights."
Everything about this book is creepy. Don't even get me started on the... degloving. I'm sorry I even typed that word out.
"It's not a long story..."
"The Yellow Wallpaper.
It's not a long story and I'd highly recommend going in knowing little to nothing about it. It's brilliant and terrifying. Published in 1892 as well if that's any interest!"
Few stories make you feel this sad. A pretty stunning piece of work––and yes, unnerving. Can really get under your skin.
"I think it was mainly..."
"For some reason, Salem's Lot by Stephen King.
I think it was mainly because I was on a week-long hiking trip in the Australian bush and it got dark and scary at night. But damn, I had trouble sleeping for a couple of nights. Then the friend I was hiking with read it, and he couldn't sleep either."
This is probably my favorite early King––and for good reason. The sense of atmosphere is impeccable. Those characters are loveable and you genuinely care about what happens to them. Then the book veers from horror into tragedy. It's quite moving.
"Just the knowledge..."
"On The Beach.
It's the most soul-crushing book I've ever read, and there's really nothing scary in it.
Just the knowledge of impending death for everyone that feels so awfully heavy."
This is one of those books that makes you feel hopeless.
It's impeccably written but wow... it's a truly heavy read.
"You never knew..."
It's a classic. I found it to be immensely chilling. You never knew what would happen and the writing instilled a sort of dread. I read it in the dark before I went to bed until I finished it."
A book I can read and re-read over and over again. It's a beautiful horror novel. It's also a really fascinating window into the era and manages to say a lot about social and class mores.
"I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid. Very creepy and unnerving, definitely scared me reading it at night."
I wanted to really like this one––unfortunately, I did not––but there's no denying that the first third or so (especially once the two protagonists get to the house) is pretty unnerving. Shame the payoff wasn't all that.
"It was disturbing and horrifying..."
"Helter Skelter. It's about the Manson murders and goes into quite a bit of detail. It was disturbing and horrifying because, unlike the King novels also mentioned, it's true. What they did to Sharon Tate is so absolutely devastating. Pure evil."
This book is gruesome and not for the faint of heart. The level of detail we dive into learning about the Tate-LaBianca murders is remarkable and also rather nauseating.
"So the book's characters..."
"Bird Box by Josh Malerman.
Forget the Netflix movie. The book's monsters are terrifying, in that you simply just don't know what they are or what they look like. They could be anything. What they are is enough to drive people insane by just being looked at.
So, the book's characters have to navigate a world mostly without one of our most used senses, and what's more terrifying than something you can't see?
This leads to some utterly scary scenes in the book that sent my heart racing and I had to put down for a breather."
It's a shame that movie wasn't all that and a bag of potato chips.
"It's a different kind of scary..."
"It's a different kind of scary, but The Handmaid's Tale. Atwood's dystopian nation feels not that far from reality sometimes, and it absolutely terrifies me."
We're going to go there.
Yes, this book is terrifying.
"I feel like the movie..."
"The Ruins, by Scott Smith, messed me up pretty good. My favorite kind of horror is psychological, and while there is a physical "entity" the real horror is the helplessness of this stranded group trapped by something they don't understand. Their desperate struggle to hold on to their sanity and the slow descent into hopeless desperation just really hit hard.
I feel like the movie was a fairly faithful adaptation, although it's been a while since I've seen it."
I love this book and have read it multiple times over the years. It's slow-going... and then the final one-hundred pages are just horrifying.
Well, if you haven't read any of these... What are you waiting for? Get on that. You won't regret it.
But also... the world is pretty scary right now, so we understand if you need to take a step back.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us in the comments below!
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Have you ever traveled to a city you've always heard good things about, only to be totally let down upon arrival?
When a friend insists we travel to certain cities because we would "just love it," they're setting the bar pretty high.
And a city can also boast a rich history or an attraction that makes us curious enough to find out what makes it so appealing.
But, alas, when we finally reach the destination, it's never exactly what we thought it would be.
Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor tshirtguy2000 asked:
"What city is overrated?"
These are not officially real cities but they do have a rotating population.
It's Always A Party There
"As a former
slave associate at party city. I 100% agree."
"Lego City. There always has to be someone falling into the river."
"Cabot Cove, the murder capital of the world."
"Sure, the murders are all solved, but would you really want to live in a city with that much, easily solved, crime?"
Neighbor To Springfield
Shelbyville. Those f'kers steal trees from neighboring cities.
These were once considered destination cities but their popularity eventually took a nose dive.
"Atlantic City. Venture a few blocks off the boardwalk and it's incredibly depressing. Very clearly an area exploited by the big casinos while the locals have been driven to absolute poverty, while they still force a smile to work the shops that are required for the tourist traffic."
Lots Of Water
"Niagara Falls, Canada. I grew up there. Mayor pumps most of tax $ to casinos and tourism with flashy vegas-esque attractions."
"Myrtle Beach. I'm not even saying that it has a good reputation, I'm just saying that any shred of positive thinking about it makes it overrated."
Where A Creek Is An Exciting Attraction
"Lamb's Grove, Iowa. It's not the paradise on earth that people always say it is. Don't get me wrong, it's got great Chinese food but the motel 6 is meh at best."
Impressions for these cities fell far below expectation.
"Dubai. It's the clickbait of the world. 'We have the biggest/tallest/most expensive YOU WON'T BELIEVE when you see THIS...' It's hot as f*k, everything's a man-made tourist trap; labor exploitation and racism are rampant, and they try so hard to prove to the world how modern and Westernized they are. Really, it's just government propaganda."
"Miami. Horrible place filled with horrible people."
Truth be told, many cities can be overrated.
It just depends on a person's experience, or a resident's perspective about what it is about the location they live in that is nothing worth writing home about.
If I had to choose, I would say Las Vegas is overrated, but that's because there is nothing in Sin City that is of personal interest to me.
I may be severely judged for my opinion, but that is a gamble I'm willing to take.
The opposite sex can be a bit of a mystery sometimes. Our brains work differently just like our bodies and this can lead to certain sensitive questions. Guys tend to be a little less open but today it's time for the ladies to ask away. Even wondered what they really think or feel about their body, yours? Today's the day to get the answers you didn't know you needed.
Redditor William84000 asked:
“Women of reddit, what question do you have of men that you'd really like an answer to?"
His question started an informative thread for women to ask men the questions they've been wondering and receive honest, real-life answers.
“How long does it take to recover if you've been hit in the balls?” Snowy-avocado
“Anywhere from 5 minutes to literally turning to dust like we were Thanos snapped.” secondhand_organsdust whirls GIFGiphy
“The Big Dumb Object...”
“I've always wanted to know: why do you like loud machinery so much? For older men it's mowers, leaf blowers and such. For younger men, it's modified cars and motorbikes. What's the deal with the loud machines?” marshmellow_bunnyx
“Power and tools. Tools are a thing that gets stuff done, and they are loud because they contain the
natural essence power of violent explosions and fire. Most men like powerful things, instead of powerful people.”
“In sci-fi, this is called 'The Big Dumb Object', and is pretty much a trademark of sci fi books written by men” Connect-Zebra7173
To shave or not to shave?
“Does body hair on a woman bother you that much?" reillydean28
“Leg/arm hair? Don't even notice. Armpit hair? Not my thing but not my choice/decision. Pubic hair? I'd prefer not, but it's not going to stop me from getting the job done." wHUT_fun
It’s a power and control thing...
“Why send a d*ck pic?" stavinlawrence
“I think for most men it's a power dynamic thing. Either it gets them off or it just makes them feel in control."
“Then I assume there's the added bonus of if she likes it she might send a nude back. But these losers have a greater chance of buying a "get bigger penis pills" that actually work before a girl appreciates an unsolicited nude." InertialEclipse
"Do you notice the little things?”
“Do you notice the little things about women like a new hair cut, when they wear makeup or a nice outfit?” xforeverlove22
“I can't speak for everyone but for me, nope. Not at all. My uncle had a moustache for like 20 years and one day decided to shave it off. I didn't notice it. I noticed there was a weird atmosphere around me like ‘come on, say something’, so I small talked with him.”
“A few hours later after he left they asked me if I seriously didn't notice that his moustache was gone. My answer was ‘What moustache?‘ And makeup would definitly fly over my head.” PleaseTakeThisName
Lets just not touch people without permission...
“What things have women done that make you uncomfortable?" charloget
“Had a few grab my junk at random. Even had a couple that just forced a kiss on me. I don't usually experience women trying to pick me up, but the few times I did was never great. It was either negging, overly sexually aggressive and always in a group." bahamabanana
On today's episode of sink of float...
“Do penis' float like a buoy? I heard they do but have never been able to verify it.” TheFantasticV
“I mean it's buoyant but it can't really do much besides lazily sorta half float there. Still amused the f**k out of my wife to learn.” secondhand_organsGiphy
Everyone just wants to be loved...
“What makes you feel loved?” linedizzy
“A compliment, a hug or a kiss we don't have to initiate.” Nuitari8
“Do guys care if women get cosmetic procedures done?” dookieconductor
“I don't necessarily care about the work itself, I'd be more concerned about understanding why she felt like she wanted to get it done and help her feel body positive for whatever work has been done or if she feels like she needs work.” -notjosh-
Math will kill a mood everytime...
“What does it feel like when you're having sex and you're trying not to 'get there'? Is it frustrating? What do you do/think about to keep it from happening?" uhohoreolas
“I sometimes do math like 333*3... But often I am fine with just controlling things to focus mostly on her pleasure instead of mine. Tho sometimes she is excited and ends up moving in unaccounted ways while I am a hair away and there is no stopping it. I definitely don't find it frustrating. It is still very enjoyable." Fkire
Some of these Q&A's were unexpected but now we know! This important thing here though is knowing it's ok to ask questions sometimes.
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Everyone's got their own favorite food.
What are two foods that actually taste great together......even though most people don't eat them that way?
Breakfast is the most wonderful meal of the day. As the wise Leslie Knope once said, "Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?" So mixing it up can feel blasphemous, but what if it's tasty?
Jam It On
"When I was growing up, it was standard procedure for us to put grape jelly on scrambled eggs. I did it when I went to college and everyone at the table stared at me. I still like it."
"That sounds gross af, but not too gross that I don't still want to try it. Haha"
Bringing People Together
"Peanut butter and maple syrup."
"My husband and I both grew up eating PB and syrup on our waffles. We took that as a sign it was meant to be."
"Peanut butter and syrup on waffles is one of the single best things I have ever had, also growing up with it"
Mustard?! Don't Let's Be Silly.
"Mustard with scrambled eggs. Actually I haven't had it in a while but from what I remember its really good"
"Mustard with eggs period"
Sauces and dips are critical to enjoying some foods. Mess with it too much and you risk ruining the delicacy. So that's why it's reassuring to see these people offering up their new spins on dip combinations.
Only For The Elegant Dining Experience
"Hummus and salsa mixed together with tortilla chips."
"Fancy bean dip."
Peanut Butter With Everything!
"Peanut butter and cheddar cheese (like the proper brick kind, not kraft cheese slices). When I was a kid I sometimes made myself pb and cheese sandwiches. They're very filling but delicious!"
"Toasted English muffin, butter, peanut butter, raspberry jam and marble cheddar on top. Lord have mercy on me."
"Add a litte hot sauce on the peanut butter."
Better Than Garlic Sauce?
"I already posted but I'm eating pizza with my friend right now and he likes his pizza with hummus."
"Hummus is good with so many things."
"So I make spaghetti noodles, but break up the raw noodles into smaller pieces. Once they're done I put in a an egg or two (mix it around) and let it cook. I swear it's not that bad. My Nonna always makes it for me when I go back to the Midwest to visit. It's good with parmesan cheese too."
And then there's these taste combinations. Mixtures so strange, you might just be willing to walk away from your phone or computer and try one now.
Sweet And Savory?
"Watermelon and feta cheese."
"With red onion and balsamic vinegar."
"Thats like the most basic summer thing in Greece, Balkans, Turkey together with some Uzo or Raki"
Who Lives In A Cheddar Under The Sea?
"Pineapple and cheddar."
"A guy at work introduced me to dipping a peanut butter and honey sandwich into chili. That was surprisingly great."
A Creative Spin On An Old Favorite
"Root beer float except with cherry Coke and chocolate ice cream. I was in middle school on a field trip, last in line at the cream shop, and ordered this after everyone else had done the standard root beer and vanilla. One of the cool girls who had never spoken my name before gave me this piercing look and asked if I would switch with her. I instinctively knew I would get zero benefit from this deal, so I said "Nope, ya gotta just remember it next time." That felt good."
Keep an open mind. Don't do this for every meal, sure, but always be ready to try something new.
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