I was reading this post on Denver’s subreddit asking why Denver felt worse.
“Is Denver becoming worse and worse or am I just getting older?
Ok, I’ve lived here seven years and I realize it could just be me aging and getting more jaded but I’m not trying to just shit on the city, I’m hoping to start a dialogue. Here are my observations/opinions
housing is simply too expensive for what you’re getting. We’re nearing NYC prices and this is no New York
it’s getting increasingly dangerous, I barely feel comfortable going to public events anymore (and I’m from a much more stereotypically dangerous city)
the people are really mean? Everyone is nice on a surface level but I’ve found that people don’t have much regard for the people around them, no manners, etc. I’ve traveled to nearly every major US city and there’s just a lot less consideration for one another here in Denver
the traffic just seems to get worse every 6 months and the roads themselves are a mess
public transportation is inaccessible and unrealistic to use consistently
the food is so bad!!? In any other comparable city you can walk into most restaurants and get something really delicious. I feel like here you have to search and search for the gems and even those are shifty (and stupid expensive)
the buildings are increasingly cheap and ugly looking, so the city has no charm or personality
Again, maybe I’m old and cranky, but would love to hear other people’s opinions. I’m really sad I feel this way, but I think it’s getting close to time to say goodbye…”
Most of the comments were about covid, homelessness. And the omnipresent low-level but very-real and heartbreaking threat of gun violence, of course. But what’s at the root of so much of this aggression, uncaring, inequality, and enjoyment of hate?
…but somewhat buried in the comments was this Gold, Jerry, Gold! comment: (I’ve left in a few others in response to this gold comment):
“My perspective is that it wasn’t covid, it was squarely Trump, Fox, and company.
In some other times of crisis there has been talk of “pulling together”, steady calm voices of reason and patience, and a clearly articulated path through or at least a reassuring message that “we will get through this trying time”.
Instead we got years and years of the opposite. Blame shifting, bewilderingly chaotic and unreliable, off-point messages with no acknowledgment of what the problem was (is covid even real? Are refrigerated semi-trucks even serving as overload morgues? Is vaccine technology that ended polio, measles, and many other diseases even real?). An undoing of democracy itself, and the distillation of attack-your-neighbor-for-driving-an-efficient-car-or-being-agreeable politics.
How did the Fox-Trump-NRA group make it “patriotic” to both shoot American protesters against police violence and beat capitol police officers while physically attacking our congress? It took years of effort.
And it worked. Neighbors now trust neighbors less. Many people literally do not trust simple science. Many people are now proud to threaten someone who passes through their neighborhood – with loaded semi-automatic rifles – in broad daylight – in a suburb. And somehow it is “unpatriotic” to point this out.
It’s a newly pervasive combative attitude, and it’s not just Denver.
Fortunately it is still a relatively low simmer, but sadly it is pretty pervasive.”
Most of us just want to be happy, and serve our community in some way, love our family, eat good food, and have a roof over our heads.
Some of us enjoy hating on others. It’s entertainment, perhaps founded on religion or a mistaken view of religion. It’s habit. It’s pre-judging, prejudice, based on how we were raised. But it’s extra, It’s unhelpful, and it’s toxic.
Like a little bit of food coloring in water, even a little bit of this extra hate colors all the water in the bowl.
During Covid, studies were done looking at the top misinformers globally. This is the food coloring—Murdoch, Trump, RFK and the like enjoy, feed off of, and profit off of pushing such hate.
The good news is that most of us are water: clear, loving, we’d rather be at the Dead concert or on a hike than sitting at our keyboard hating on trans or immigrants or any other “others” we’ve othered.
The good news is that most of us—however good or hard or both that our life is—just want to love, and be loved. ~ Waylon
May we ease back into everyday wholesome boredom (as opposed to toxic drama) and sanity and healing and joy!
A few more comments, in reply to that comment, above:
“This is it right here. My family and I moved here about a year and half ago from Texas. I have gay kids and we are very liberal. It honestly just felt like it was getting dangerous. I’ve been back a couple of times now and I can honestly just feel the hostility as soon as I get there. Everyone is on edge. Compared to where we came from, Austin, Denver is an absolute paradise.”
“I’m glad you feel safer here. Recent visits back to Houston have ended up in fights because even my “liberal” friends there make terrible trans and gay comments, and I don’t condone that talk. Seemed like all they did was talk shit about anyone who was different.”
“Nailed it! As someone who moved here from the South I know that this “newly pervasive combative attitude” has been simmering up in the South especially since Obama was elected. I am so glad to be away from the South because Denver seems like stardust in comparison.
I agree that Covid made things worse but Trump, Fox, etc. compounded that. I have hope for Denver’s new mayor to make some positive changes but unfortunately a lot of the problems are happening nationwide (crime, real estate/ home prices skyrocketing, homelessness, drug addictions, etc.).”
“…for real. this whole shit is Rupert Murdoch’s fault. like the whole past thirty fucking years. im sick of people even searching for other explanations when its clear as day.”
“Spot on. Most aggressive, narcissistic [folks] I encounter in the area have Trump/flag/thin line [stuff] posted in the back of their pickup. Not everyone, of course, but it’s absolutely the majority. As you mentioned…it’s increasing. Scary times.”
“I don’t think I’ve read someone describe the situation in better words.”