A recent Reddit thread asked users to share their keenest observations.
Their hot takes spanned the spectrum from the minutest elements of daily life to grand, sweeping cultural tendencies.
And, refreshingly, the Redditors’ impressions contained both positives and negatives.
Sure, the negatives are easy to anticipate, But some unexpected, optimistic surprises are helpful to read and think about
khopoli asked, "What is the one thing you realized during this pandemic?"
Cutting Out A to B
"How much time is wasted by commuting. Working from home, the '8 hours work, 8 hours sleep, 8 hours play' thing actually works." -- 0xMii
"this!! and getting ready takes way less time, if only because you don't have to pack a lunch. 12-hour workdays don't sound that bad until you realize you actually have no free time at all because 'early is on time' and traffic and showering and making lunch and blah blah blah" -- akiramari
No More Excuses
"Self-improvement, and doing all those hobbies I've sworn that I could only do if I had more free time."
"Apparently time is not the bottleneck I thought it was; my biggest enemy is motivation and a lack of inertia."
Acing the Test
"My wife and I get along very well. We are now living AND working together which means we hardly ever have an hour apart. Been doing this since March and not even an argument."
"We have witnessed many other relationships fall but ours is stronger than ever 15 years later."
Emphasizing an Existing Conclusion
"I became even more certain that politicians are stupid and power hungry f***ers who do not care for their people." -- Luxny
"Like when they decided a pandemic was the perfect time to carry out the largest upward transfer of wealth in American history while throwing $1200 to the rest of us one time and then walking away?" -- ThisCityWantsMeDead
A Love Letter to Working From Home
"I really like teleworking because I get sporadic interruptions from my daughter and I get to see my wife nearly all day." -- hidethemilk
"Working from home is exactly as awesome as I always suspected it was." -- Brisco_Discos
Simple, but Difficult
"I am not as good at being alone as I thought I was" -- an0n_us3r
"Same here. I thought I'd love it, but it just stresses me out." -- selfishbutready
"For me, I've discovered that I'm probably too good at being alone." -- CoronaBlue
Cat’s Out of the Bag
"Doctor's offices have been pepetrating some major bullsh** on us for quite some time. Now you call from the parking lot when you arrive, walk right in, see the doctor, done, not sit in a room with other sick people for a damn hour waiting."
"This should be how it is from now on."
Exposed, All at Once
"How much critical infrastructure in the United States has declined. After decades of cutting budgets and prioritizing profits we have a system that can not handle a pandemic on any level."
"Hospitals are going bankrupt, the CDC is underfunded and ignored, schools are forced to reopen without proper precautions, Universities are on the brink of bankruptcy, the federal government can't agree with the state government that can't agree with the local government."
"It's like we've been running on this delusion of greatness while everything crumbled around us."
Principles vs. Actions
"I grew up in a very rural area and got fed the 'when stuff hits the fan, we county folk stand up for each other' line my whole life."
"After seeing my 100th 'you can't make me wear a mask even if it does protect people' post on Facebook I'm more than a little skeptical."
Laying it All Out
"It brought out the true nature of people. For way too long people were allowed to put on whatever show they wanted, and were able to convince everyone of who they wanted others to believe they were."
"This situation has brought a lot of sunlight out, and the true nature of people has been shown. There have been a lot of people that we never thought in a million years would be so unkind, selfish, and uncouth, but they couldn't hold that lie anymore."
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Nothing lasts forever, unfortunately, and it's not uncommon to long for the things from our past that no longer exist.
Whether it's a snack food from your childhood or a favorite TV show, we all have something that we wish were still around.
Reddit user Aventurion asked the folks over on r/AskReddit:
But old school Discovery channel. The one that you could actually learn something from.
Old school Animal Planet as well! Back when we had the Steve Irwin and Jeff Corwin on the channel just with animals. I always loved that channel as a kid. Man old school Discovery, Animal Planet, and History channels were the best.
Intermissions during really long movies
I don't get why this doesn't come back.
No one likes having to miss part of a movie to use the bathroom. No one likes having to miss 5 minutes of a movie for a popcorn refill. Just do a 5 minute intermission. It would make moviegoing a better experience.
It wouldn't delay the total time for the movie much at all, either. And it would also prevent more people randomly getting up and leaving during the movie.
I guess the only downside is everyone shuffling in at the 5 minute mark
America used to have a widely-used passenger rail system like European countries have. Some cities had popular tram systems, too. Car companies dismantled all of it so that America would become dependent on their products, leading to what we have today.
We went backward as a nation so that the executives of a few companies could profit.
Actual quality products. And I'm not talking about cheap Walmart brand crap being nicer. I fully believe you get what you pay for. Like there's things that I wish I could buy, and I would pay the commensurate high price, that are just high-quality and would last. For a lot of things that option literally doesn't exist anymore.
The US pandemic response team.
I don't know whether this is a cringy opinion to have, but I believe a unique art form was lost when Vine died. That 6-second limit forced people to use creative ways to rapidly tell a story and a lot of hilarious stuff came out of it.
There are a few videos on TikTok that sort of recapture the Vine feel, but I still feel like I'm watching a hollow ghost of something once-great when I watch TikToks.
I'm just glad that people managed to save a ton of the classic Vines in youtube format. Sad that we won't be seeing any new ones unless a 'Vine 2' launches, and even then, I'm not sure it's going to feel the same.
President Carter sold his peanut farm to avoid any conflict of interest before he took office of the US Presidency.
Thylacines. Dodos. Quaggas. Passenger pigeons. Stellar's sea cows. Dusky seaside sparrows. The list goes on.
Technically Blockbuster still has ONE remaining store open somewhere in Alaska I think, but, I miss Blockbuster. Like back when it was poppin. I miss strolling on over there on Friday, renting a game or two and a movie, get some popcorn and candy. It was always a good experience. I still have my blockbuster card in my wallet tbh. No joke. They demolished the building our local one was in last year finally and built a Walgreens in its place.
RIP Blockbuster, you will forever be missed. ❤️
Saturday morning cartoons. Fox Kids, 1 Saturday Morning, Kids WB, BKN...
I remember watching the CW4Kids block after it replaced Kids WB when I was in my early 20s, and I knew the writing was on the wall. It became Vortexx for a bit, and even that ended by 2014.
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "🤐" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk him about it.
Washington D.C. is honestly pretty sketchy.
It's the "land of the free", but it seems like politicians take that literally and just do whatever they want. Especially if a dirty deed will line their pockets with money. It can be difficult to find a handful of American politicians with clear morals and boundaries, and that goes for any political party.
Redditor u/BEnnETT103 asked for people's opinions on "What's the most ****ed up thing the US government has done?" and the answers were a history lesson on borderline (if not legitimate) crimes that the United States government has gotten away with.
10. Makes you rethink every outbreak...
"Back in the 50's and 60's, the US military tested several different biological weapons on and unbeknownst to the public. They specifically targeted low income and poverty-stricken areas. They tested things from chemicals to viruses. It wasn't declassified till 10 years ago."
9. The Ludlow Massacre
"I mean, there was the time the national guard shot and killed coal miners and their families who were being horribly exploited by coal companies so they were striking. See also: the Ludlow massacre"
8. The effects of Agent Orange are unfathomable
"Agent Orange , depleted uranium Arms that polluted battlefields (people's homelands) and left generations of people with birth defects after the war was 'done'"
7. Gary Webb's death
"The silencing, embarrassing, and killing of Gary Webb.
Gary Webb was an investigative journalist who proved that the CIA was selling massive amounts of drugs (particularly cocaine) to (typically black) poor neighborhoods all over the US. This was in order to fund an overthrow of the Nicaraguan government by US-friendly terrorists during the 90's.
He was forced to resign, disgraced, blacklisted, divorced, and found dead with two bullets through his head in 2004. It was ruled a suicide despite the facts he owned no guns, and it being two bullets through the head in a suicide."
6. Having the idea is bad enough
"Well this probably isn't the worst thing America has done since it didn't happen, but Operation Northwoods. This was a proposed false flag attack on US soil that would justify going to war with Cuba. It was rejected by Kennedy, but approved by every man before him. It's stuff like this that makes the whole 9/11 inside job conspiracy sound a little less wacky, because this was essentially the same thing."
5. Messing with other governments
"The incessant need to overthrow democratically elected socialist leaders and/or assassinating them and then planting fascist dictators in their place
- Salvador Allende (Murdered by US backed coup in Chile)
- Patrice Lumumba (Assasinated by CIA in DRC)
- Thomas Sankara (Murdered by US & French backed coup in Burkina Faso)
- Jean Bertrand Aristide (Ousted by US backed coup in Haiti)
.... anyone care to add to the list? There's lost more I'm sure.
Oh, and the US literally invaded the tiny island of Grenada in the Caribbean to take down a socialist government... sad."
4. Refusing to protect African American citizens (and many other minority groups)
"I'm gonna go with not doing anything to stop the brutal lynching, rape and murder of African Americans up until the 60s"
3. Now the government is itching to take it away..."The CIA testing birth control on unsuspecting women in Puerto Rico"
2. Taking advantage of the pandemic crisis
"Currently, they are abusing the fact that the whole population is tunnel-visioning on the Corona pandemic to pass a highly controversial bill, that will grant them access to every single phone call or message passed/sent/received on American soil, WITHOUT warrant or court order..."
1. Can you imagine what we don't know?
"The things they haven't been caught for."
The world's governments have done some horrifying things, both during war and peace times.
Many of the worst of these didn't come to light until the documents about them were declassified.
Reddit user GayDarknessSpirit asked:
*Content Warning: This article contains mention of suicide, murder, war crimes, and other unsavory subjects.*
The Pentagon papers and the Afghan Papers.
The former show that President Johnson deliberately lied to the American people and Congress about the Vietnam war and conducted an illegal, secret bombing campaign in Cambodia. A country we were not at war with. To this day unexploded ordinance still kills and maims Cambodians.
The Afghan papers show that: "U.S. policy under presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump failed to bring peace and modernization to Afghanistan, but also that policymakers were aware that such an outcome was unlikely — all while emphasizing progress in public."
Take a look at a bunch of nuclear accidents. We have lost bombs, left security for launching them so lax that pizza delivery guys have shown up and nearly bombed ourselves...
The Katyn Forrest Massacre. After the joint invasion of Poland by Germany and the USSR, the Russians executed 22,000 Polish officers and buried their remain in mass graves in the Katyn Forrest. Years later, some of the bodies were discovered. The Soviets decided to cover up the atrocity by claiming it was the Germans that did it, based on a German pistol found in the area. Many people had their doubts but this was the Soviet Union, you couldn't just openly question the state. Just before the collapse, the truth was finally revealed.
15 file cabinet drawers were filled with paperwork detailing the FBI spying operation on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. Detailing just how far the FBI is willing to go to discredit a single man simply because the director doesn't like his politics. Similar, yet more refined, harassment has been used on others since then - usually resulting in people losing jobs, homes, family, friends and sometimes even requiring they flee the country in order to escape FBI harassment.
COINTELPRO was a series of covert and, at times, illegal projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting American political organizations. FBI records show that COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed subversive, including feminist organizations, the Communist Party USA, anti–Vietnam War organizers, activists of the civil rights movement or Black Power movement (e.g. Martin Luther King Jr., the Nation of Islam, and the Black Panther Party), environmentalist and animal rights organizations, the American Indian Movement (AIM), independence movements (such as Puerto Rican independence groups like the Young Lords), and a variety of organizations that were part of the broader New Left.
The story of how this became known to the public is absolutely fascinating! Four or five people basically walked into an FBI office, and looked important enough that no one cared, and then snuck in at night and just stole all the s*** they could fit in a bag. They kept seeing this weird word "COINTELPRO" and they were like "coin telpro?. Then, they sent it to a journalist, where shit got wild, and the FBI had a meltdown. They wrote a book about it, but (I wanna say the NYT mad it?) there's a really good video on YouTube with interviews from the people who actually got the documents.
not a clue if it were declassified, terrifying? maybe, disgusting? yes
Unit-731 - Japanese testing on people, kidnapping, amputations and reattaching limbs to different parts without any anesthetic to name some stuff they did.
The Japanese colonel in charge traded his research results (which were largely useless) with the Americans for amnesty. He died without any form of punishment.
Operation Northwoods; A plan for a false flag operation that came from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Department of Defense in 1962 and given to JFK who turned it down. The plan called for the CIA to commit terrorist actions against US Civilians across the United States and frame Cuba, allowing us the right to invade and depose Castro and the communist government there. It was declassified and can be found online at the JFK Library. Terrifying that no one knows or seems to care that this was suggested by our government to the President.
Project Sunshine, where the US Government bought remains of dead infants, to test for radiation. When they took limbs from them, the parents were never told. One mother wasn't allowed to dress her daughter for her funeral, because doctors had removed her legs, and didn't want her to find out.
MKUltra. Partially illegal, forced mind control experiments utilizing psychoactive drugs, conducted by the CIA in 1950s/60s.
Project 100,000. In the early years of Vietnam, Robert McNamara, created Project 100,000 as a way to draft those who previously failed to meet military mental and medical standards. This included a lot of Americans with an IQ below 70. Majority of these men didnt have above a 9th grade education and were, in a sense, a lot like Forrest Gump and Gomer Pyle. Because of obvious learning disabilities and difficulty understanding these "Morons" were mostly given jobs on the front lines of the war.
It was worded as a service project and they were told it would help them gain skills needed to live a better life after the service. In reality they were cannon fodder for the DOD, and died at a much higher rate than their nondisabled counterparts. These men largely couldn't read, wrote, or understand why they were in Vietnam or what they were there to do. They suffered more cases of Post Traumatic Stress, lower unemployment rates, and higher rates of divorce and suicide than non NSM veterans. Very sad story of the government taking advantage of it's own citizens
Every single group has the friend: wildly adept at the far reaches of the internet, clearly doesn't consider that texted links are time stamped so we know they were freaking out at 3:37am, and refuses to trust photographs.
But the wild, outlier, believe-every-conspiracy types are not the focus here. There are plenty of people that, for some reason they can't quite put their finger on, believe one very specific conspiracy theory.
And it's often the bizarre, almost trivial ones that take hold in these cases. A Reddit thread dedicated to plumbing the depths of those flashes of paranoia did not disappoint.
u/ComprehensiveMenu1 asked, "What conspiracy theory do you believe is true?"
The Long Con
Every so often, big sock companies make subtle changes to their design, so that when you buy new socks, they'll never match your old ones.Giphy
Explaining Crazy Away
The majority of celebrity Scientologist joined for networking purposes but then found themselves in over their head.
No More Vacations For Me. Ever.
Crime in big tourist cities like Las Vegas is systematically underreported in order not to hurt businessGiphy
Toothpaste advertisements show way too much toothpaste on the toothbrush so that you'll use more toothpaste than you need therefore causing you to buy toothpaste more often.Giphy
And Here I Thought It Was Just To Make Us All Look Dumb in Airpods
That the phasing out of the audio jack on mobile phones is to force customers to keep Bluetooth enabled as often as possible to enhance Bluetooth tracking in stores/malls so they can sell that data on to advertisers
Michael Jordan's first "retirement" was an unofficial suspension for betting on basketball.Giphy
The Ol' False Throwback
New Coke was purposely shi**y in order to drive up demand for classic Coke.
Otherwise It's Just Straight Sexist
Women clothes don't have pockets so that they'll buy a purse.
On Shore Tax Havens
High art galleries are just a way for organized crime to launder money through high priced art pieces and "charitable donations." That's the reason you see pieces like 2 solid colored canvases side-by-side make $43 million.Giphy
The queen is only still alive out of spite to outlive her son.
Zero Chill On This One
FRUIT OF THE LOOM HAD A CORNUCOPIA ON THEIR LOGO. THEY NO LONGER HAVE A CORNUCOPIA ON THEIR LOGO. BIG UNDERWEAR WANTS YOU TO BELIEVE IT WAS NEVER THERE.
Flat earth websites were started as a practice arena for online manipulation. If they were able to convince people of such an absurdity, then people could be convinced of anything.
A One-Man Conspiracy
I believe that my husband only drinks Diet Dr Pepper bc he knows I don't like it, therefore won't take a sip of his when he gets one at the gas station.Giphy
Stevie Wonder isn't blind.
The Propaganda Machine
The US army have a bigger influence on Hollywood action movies than you think in order for people to be influenced at a younger age to join the army.Giphy
Why Elders Are Important
FDR killed himself, and this was initially reported by media (including to soldiers abroad via radio). Hours later, story changes to brain hemorrhage and is continued to this day.
Grandmother and other relatives remember going through department stores and hearing first announcement about suicide
Leave it to Conspiracy Theorists to Get Extremely Meta About Everything
Conspiracy theories are actually deliberately diffused to keep the people busy thinking about stupid conspiracy theories rather than thinking about what is actually going on.Giphy
Biggest Bust in Sci Fi History
Jar Jar Binks was intended to be a Sith lord. However he was so hated from episode 1, George Lucas scrapped the idea.
Britney Spears is bring held captive by her dad's legal hold on her mental stability.