We live great lives. May 7, 2012 5:04 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a comment from within the past couple of years, comment describes how in our current Western societies we live better than kings ever could have dreamed of, books on our shelves, good food easily found, tons of entertainment easily available at the click of a button, climate controlled homes, cars and bicycles and trains and planes, etc and etc.
posted by dancestoblue to MetaFilter-Related at 5:04 PM (22 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Pretty sure it was on the sideblog a few months ago, but we've been reworking the back end so I can't peek in the archives. I do remember what you're talking about though, hopefully someone else can track it down.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:08 PM on May 7, 2012

That's it, scody -- thank you!
posted by dancestoblue at 5:24 PM on May 7, 2012

Were I to pick up one of these books, I would find pages filled with words in clear, uniform type on smooth, machine-pressed paper. Their spines are sturdily bound and some of the covers have absolutely beautiful art or photographs printed on them. I could read it on my sofa while an electric fan controlled the temperature in my apartment and better see the pages by way of an electric light if I found the sunlight streaming in through my double-paned windows wanting. Fucking. Awesome.
We are so, so lucky.
posted by dancestoblue at 5:31 PM on May 7, 2012

Wow, the "moneyless" guy is still at it.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:57 PM on May 7, 2012

We are so, so lucky.

*Downloads alien space porn*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:29 PM on May 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

... but where are my servants? I don't even have one.
posted by philip-random at 6:33 PM on May 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

See also louis ck from a few months before that thread.

What the hell, I'll insist on some (dubious) credit there.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:36 PM on May 7, 2012

Jesus Christ, there are some people on metafilter who do not get jokes.
posted by empath at 7:52 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I fucking love that comment. It's probably the only thing I've ever favorited as an upvote instead of a bookmark, but it's probably the favorited thing that I come back to most often, even though that's not why I favorited it in the first place.

When first world problems start to niggle at me, I can read that comment and remember that my life is fucking awesome even when it -- relatively speaking -- sucks.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:57 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Eattheweak is an asset to the site and the world. Someone give him a high five.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 9:04 PM on May 7, 2012

Sure he mentions all the surface comforts, but he seems to be ignoring the significantly reduced chance of violent death at any moment in the modern world, which was apparently quite possible, if game of thrones is the picture perfect depiction of medieval life it claims to be.
posted by Chekhovian at 9:40 PM on May 7, 2012

Thanks for the spoiler, Chekhovian!
posted by joe lisboa at 10:10 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

After reading the comment again tonight and considering it, I realized that EatTheWeak didn't even mention computers.

Today, I have used this computer to:
--- Watch a couple of behind the scenes videos about the movie The Artist, and watch interviews of the stars and director of that same movie
--- read part (so far) of a story about a man who vanished into the Montana wilderness
--- send and receive many texts to/from friends (Google Voice), check my voicemail, block a number from an advertiser (and I will never hear from that number again, one of my favorite things about GVoice)
--- send and receive email from friends
--- read probably upwards of 50 comments here (including three very long ones which I dug up because of the MeTa post from earlier today, a gripping, very sad comment written by batmonkey, a fun, funny, and interesting one by sonascope, a thoughtful, interesting as always comment by grumblebee) and I have two more long comments queued up in tabs to be read, one by nickyskye and the other a re-read of a bleak, heart-wrenching comment by Nattie
--- research a laptop puter which is on sale (it's a dog) for a friend of mine who is looking
--- read a scary article about CISPA on Lifehacker
--- submit this post and now this comment.

Computers bring so much of the world to about 22 inches from my face. I am sure that there are people who would otherwise be locked into the world in their head (I'm one of them, much of the time), maybe in rehab communities or just wherever, who now feel more connected because of puters -- in one chat community I belong to (was there a lot more before I found this place), a young Auspie woman "came in" to that chat one day and for the first time in her life was able to "talk" with people without looking them in the eye, and she bloomed, we all loved her and she loved us, due to the trust she built in relationships online and then on the telephone, she visited many people both in the US and in Canada (she's Canadian, from Guelph), pretty much she found a way to be with people. Isn't that the best?
posted by dancestoblue at 11:06 PM on May 7, 2012

A DVD player built in Taiwan streamed images of a sitcom filmed in New York, built around the act of a guitar-playing folk-satire duo from New Zealand into a cathode ray device built in China, all for my amusement.

Cathode ray device? What kind of peasant is he?

Seriously, that is a great comment and well worth reading anytime I feel like whining about some trivial problem.
posted by TedW at 5:14 AM on May 8, 2012

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations tells the story of how Nathan Rothschild, probably the richest man in the world, died in 1836 of an infected abscess.

"The man who could buy anything died of a routine infection easily cured today for anyone who could find his way to a doctor or a hospital or even a pharmacy."

Of course all kinds of things were available to him that aren't available to most of us today, but there are also plenty of important ways in which we are better of than he was too.
posted by philipy at 9:20 AM on May 8, 2012

One of the "ads" from the back of an Acme Novelty Library collection, by Chris Ware:
You can make more money than your grandparents did. You can also drive really fast, and you can change your sex. You can find friends without having to go to church, and you can see movies in your own house. You can get pictures of naked people almost anywhere, and you can curse out loud freely. You can buy dinner in a box and not have to wash anything after you eat it. You can fly to any city you want and meet a sexual partner, or you can talk to them on the phone. You can have bright light twenty-four hours a day without having to clean soot off the walls, and you can listen to any music you want anytime, anywhere. You can find people everywhere who like exactly the same things you do, and you can print your own books. You can buy vegetables from the other side of the earth, and you can build a house in a day. You can be perfectly warm or cool at every moment, and you can stay in school all your life. You can have sex fourteen thousand times and not have a baby. You can write with pens that don't dry out, or leak, or have to be plucked from a bird, and you can hear about people being hacked to death thousands of miles away. You can see pictures through telescopes almost to the end of space and from the beginning of time, and you can keep milk fresher longer than ever before. You can shit in a bowl and then whisk it away, and you can visit caged wild animals in the middle of a city. You can buy things to make you see and hear better, and you can live anywhere you want. You can get your face stretched tight like when it was new, and you can be sick and not die for a really really long time. You can even wash your clothes in a machine so why can't you figure out a way to be happy all the time?
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:21 AM on May 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

so why can't you figure out a way to be happy all the time?

I'll just leave this here.
posted by Lexica at 10:42 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

The other day I was reading a novel written in 1919 where characters discuss the ideal house of the future, with such ideas as built-in cupboards, a vacuum cleaner you can work with one hand, a system for delivering hot water throughout a house that doesn't involve lighting a boiler, electric fans and washing machines, electric plugs in every room, and cheap electricity. Little things I have access to and take utterly for granted.
posted by andraste at 8:35 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'll be honest, that comment depresses the hell out of me and I wish I hadn't seen it again. It's right of course, we do live like kings, sitting comfortably on the backs of millions (billions?) of other people's labour, while we ignore them and surround ourselves with entertainment.

Modern western life is basically better than ever, okay, but at what cost to everyone else?
posted by knapah at 6:40 AM on May 9, 2012

Looking at the favouriting on that post, interesting to see that mercredi read it and favourited it four days ago.
posted by wilful at 7:46 PM on May 10, 2012

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