January 25, 2013 at 7:06 am #606330
Is it just me, or does there seem to be a lot of whining about trivial things lately in the comments? I hate to use the cliche “first world problems”, but people seem to have a lot of time to worry about things that aren’t that big of a deal. Examples: “someone moved my favorite tree stump to a different park!” and “the horses that come around once a year or so left their poop on the street!”, or “the company making the noisy hum is having a specially-built damper made that is more than just a quick fix but a permanent solution, but it isn’t fast enough for me!” and “That public art is just fine, just don’t put it THERE in that public space that is my favoritist public space ever.” (ARGH, NIMBY!!)
Just sit back for a second and think about how great your life is that a moved tree stump is worthy of your time to complain about.
(PS I fully realize the irony that I’m whining about whiny people. :D )January 25, 2013 at 7:19 am #783451January 25, 2013 at 8:08 am #783452January 25, 2013 at 8:40 am #783453January 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm #783454January 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm #783455January 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm #783456January 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm #783457January 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm #783458
There’s no such thing as a “First World problem,” and anyone who’s actually spent time outside of the First World knows that.
What? Did you think people in the rural villages of India kvetch about global income distribution or something?
They kvetch about local government.
They kvetch about the neighbors.
They kvetch about [cow] poop.
Just like us.
Carry on, whiners!January 25, 2013 at 5:18 pm #783459
…mind you, some of them also kvetch about foreign companies opening resort hotels and taking tourist dollars out of the country…
Maybe that was just my guide who did that.January 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm #783460
WARNING: This note may (ok, DOES) contain unvetted and anecdotal supporting data!
I think some of it is tied to the prevailing zeitgeist of the “it’s all about me, 24/7”. Like we’re all the stars of our own reality show and are expected to have SOME drama to post/rant/entertain our fellow citizenry – or should I say, competing stars?
Feel free to tear this out-of-my-you-know-where theory to pieces. ;-)January 25, 2013 at 5:31 pm #783461
And yes, it’s not lost on me that I posted my “theory” on a social media site. ;-) Mirrors, reflecting mirrors, reflecting mirrors…January 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm #783462
Organized tourism has a distorting effect on culture, dat, as I’m sure you know. Its actual purpose is not to expose people to a different reality but rather to shield them from it, and it does this by turning anything it touches into a bizarre, Disney-fied parody of the real thing.
Thus any “local” who complains that they’re not getting their fair share of the tourist dollars has probably already ceased to be a local.
[Spoken like a true Ad Buster, DBP.]January 25, 2013 at 6:17 pm #783463
Not to derail the topic, DBP, but have you been to Cambodia? They’ve got a loooong way to go before it looks like Disney.
(I don’t know what you mean by “ceased to be a local”, anyway. To me that statement makes no sense.)January 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm #783464
My sister went to the non-urbanized areas of South Africa last summer on a photo-safari. Several different little camps/tents set up for this type of thing several hundred miles apart. The “international airport” was a patch of bare dirt with an old rusty staircase for boarding/deplaning. Amenities were sparse (generous) and a significant percentage of the cost went to the locals trying to preserve the majestic critters.
Not saying that the Disney model isn’t prevalent because it most certainly is, but other tourist options that have some mutual benefit do exist. If you’re looking for them, anyway.January 25, 2013 at 9:44 pm #783465
I should probably add that our tour was arranged for us by my brother’s mother-in-law, who took care to book us with Khmer-owned businesses. For what that’s worth.
Anyway, to get meta about the original topic for a minute, the biggest arguments/complaints often seem to be over edge cases: i.e., over things that people don’t generally agree are problems (see, for example, the Great Dog Poop in Trash Cans Debate of Early 2013). As the thread on peeves indicates, we’ve all got things that have that nails-on-a-chalkboard effect (one reason I’m glad whiteboards have largely replaced chalkboards: I find that sound excruciating).
If you’d rather be confronted with life or death situations, I understand that Amnesty International can always use volunteers. (That sounds snarky. It’s not really intended to be. I might also point out, though, that just cause somebody complains about trash at bus stops on the blog doesn’t mean they’re not out trying to solve world hunger the rest of the time, you know?)January 25, 2013 at 9:48 pm #783466
Back to the phrase “first world problems”, I do beg to differ. I have visited/traveled/lived in underdeveloped nations such as India, and in places like Mexico which have extreme differences between development and underdevelopment. I also lived in Europe for a while, and spent a lot of time with Africans, Latinos, and others who had immigrated there looking for a better life. Some of them found it and some of them hadn’t yet. And yes, Virginia, there is a big difference between ‘first’ and ‘third’ world problems. One of the most glaring: clean, drinkable, usable water in your house, at your work, on the street, wherever you are. Not a problem here. HUGE problem in most underdeveloped places.January 26, 2013 at 1:08 am #783467
OK. Third World = Unsafe Water
But is unsafe water as much a part of their consciousness as dog poop is a part of ours?
In my wife’s village in Cambodia, they drink water that’s chock-full of mosquito larvae and other critters. But if you tell them to treat the water before drinking it because they could get sick, they’re like . . . Meh!
They will chew your ear off about whose husband is the laziest and who’s cheating on who though.
For our purposes, in order for a problem to count as a problem it has to be something people actually whine about. Because that’s what we’re talking about here: whiners.
The well at my sister-in-law’s house in the Cambodian outback:
It’s a dug well about 15 feet deep, and was put in by a UN-funded program. It’s a real improvement over what they had before, but the water’s still not safe, since the water table is very high as you can see, and is susceptible to contamination from the cow and buffalo manure they use to fertilize the crops.
Washing dishes at the well.
Wells are centers of cultural life in rural Cambodia. People spend lots of time playing and working around them.January 26, 2013 at 4:27 am #783468
I suppose that answers the question about DBP ever being in Cambodia :->
And then I sat here and wondered…do I whine? Yeah, I’m betting I do…January 26, 2013 at 6:31 am #783469January 26, 2013 at 7:05 am #783470
First world problem: The majority of adults forget how to squat as they get older.
In the 3rd world squatting is done by most with ease throughout their lives.January 26, 2013 at 7:23 am #783471
tjbplumber…no, I’m just admitting that I whine at times…as do all of us on here…January 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm #783472
Could we perhaps agree that life in the First World is absurd? I think whining/venting is healthy. I sometimes feel like Kafka’s cockroach alienated in weird situations. We have busy, complicated lives – some of our own making and some, just the times in which we live. People aren’t talking about acting on their peeves — just that they exist. Part of being human. Down with thought police. Power to the Peeves.
Cool photos, dbp.January 26, 2013 at 4:45 pm #783473
This is a neighborhood blog, a neighborhood located in the First World. While some discussions on the WSB do center on more worldly issues, that’s not really the focus here. And sometimes it feels good to bitch about the small stuff, just because everything else feels so overwhelming. In the end, our lives are about the small stuff anyway.January 26, 2013 at 6:01 pm #783474
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