One thing I've always had a problem with is the conversation faux pas of discussing horribly screwed up things about the world with a high level of emotion in social situations.
Not all the time. But, sometimes.
One place I particularly remember this not going over well was the Grateful Dead. When everyone is stoned on pot. However, I did meet a very brilliant African dude who was getting a Ph.D. in sociology. And we had a good conversation about the Dead and about what function it might serve in society. He said it was 'an escape valve.'
So I am not sure if it is an American thing or what. We're allowed to talk about immediate current events. But one thing people really don't like to talk about is the wars. We're in two wars. It's like that Steve Martin routine. When you are on trial for not paying your taxes, you just say 'I forgot.'
That is what the war is like, now.
This has to be new. I do remember, in Peru, people did not like to talk about the ongoing war against the (domestic) terrorists The Shining Path (and a few other, more obscure, groups). They were afraid all the time and it just wasn't a good topic to bring up. For one thing, you never really knew for sure who was in the Shining Path. Many people were involved and everyone kept their involvement secret. And they often randomly attacked people they imagined to be their enemies. So best to keep quiet.
But we don't have anything like that going on now, here. So I suppose people simply don't want to be reminded of the wars. They are unpleasant to think about. And there is no need, perhaps? There is nothing we can do about the wars. We can't seem to stop the wars. We vote for a president who says he will stop one of the wars. And then he does not stop that war.
And he also gets us embroiled much more in the other war--the war in Afghanistan.
We aren't genuinely involved in the wars. And that's a good thing. Who wants to be involved in wars? Thank goodness we are not involved. I don't feel bad for not being involved. Do you?
I think this is extremely good evidence that Americans are extremely detached from their own government. Our government is having two wars and it feels as if they are wars of another country.
There are two things that have always made it difficult for me to completely avoid ever talking about the wars--even if I primarily talk about it with my husband. The first thing is just, wars bother me a lot. The people getting killed. It's awful to think about. I don't know why this is. I even remember crying over the Faulkland Island's war that happened when I was in grade school. This makes me laugh now.
The second thing is the sheer stupidity of the two wars we are in. The insane waste, the uselessness and destruction for something completely unnecessary. It's the most infuriating thing I've ever seen in my entire life. It truly drives me batshit crazy to think about how avoidable and pointless these wars are.
That we are in much deeper in Afghanistan than we were is very depressing to me since I voted for Obama and I thought he was smarter than that.
I do think this is the ultimate reason people don't want to talk about these particular wars: This pointless evil mayhem boggles the mind and most of us honestly have absolutely no clue whatsover about what we could do at this point to stop these wars. But there are also people who are in favor of the wars. Which I cannot understand.
These people are in the minority, particularly over Iraq. So that too is odd--to have these wars that so few people genuinely want to fight.