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The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

A short history of whining.

by
Frank J. Fleming

Bio

July 17, 2012 - 12:00 am
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But eventually all of America was settled and became a land of riches and opportunities with an unbelievable number of things to whine about.

“Most of the shows on TV aren’t very good.”

“The internet on my phone is too slow.”

“The fuel for my personal transportation vehicle that allows me to travel quickly cross-country whenever I feel like it is too expensive.”

What if early man saw all the things we have now? He’d be filled with awe and wonder. And then he’d hear us whine about all these things and be ashamed that he didn’t see all these horrible flaws as well. And what if a woman from long, long ago who had never heard of health insurance or had access to any contraceptives saw Sandra Fluke whining about how her health insurance wouldn’t pay for her contraceptives? That woman would be filled with chagrin at seeing such advanced whining, compared to her own small complaints of being too cold and too starving.

Yes, griping about all the things we have now isn’t easy, but we do have one group of people that helps us realize how bad things are. What is the main complaint of someone who has access to a worldwide network of information, can each day go to a store and buy cheap food from all over the world, lives in a climate-controlled building, and earns far more than most of humanity throughout history? That the “rich” have so much more. The rich are a great subject for whining, because no matter what we have, we can look to them and see what we don’t have and do deserve and that we need to whine until someone makes things more even by our own standards.

Whining has served man well thus far, and I can hardly wait to see what wondrous things we’ll have to gripe about in the future.

“My intergalactic spaceship doesn’t have enough cup holders.”

“My robot butler is too noisy.”

“My holodeck is too small.”

“Time travel makes me dizzy.”

“My health insurance won’t pay for all of my elective bionic limb replacement.”

However much greater life becomes, the only certainty is that we’ll be sure that we deserve more and that someone else should give it to us.

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Frank J. Fleming is the author of Punch Your Inner Hippie, coming November 11th, and the science fiction novel Superego, coming later this year, blogs at IMAO.us, is a writer for the creative agency Emergent Order, and wants you to buy his book.
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