Why I’m making a YouTube series called ‘Culture Wars’

By most standards, 2017 has been a bad year. Not for me, but for the world.

An Associated Press (AP) poll of the top 5 new stories of the year are as follows:

  1. the whirlwind #MeToo movement and its accompanying allegations
  2. the bull-in-a-democratic-china-shop first year of the Trump administration
  3. the horrific mass shooting at an open-air concert in Las Vegas
  4. the three consecutive hurricanes that battered North America
  5. the increasing volatility of the rogue North Korean state

The news is depressing. And anybody paying attention to the daily news cycle knows full well that the bad news comes thick and fast. The five stories above barely even account for the bad news outside of the United States.

This is not to say that there hasn’t been plenty of good news along the way, but the constant barrage of negativity tends to drive even the sunniest optimists to a glass-half-empty outlook.

Amidst all this cynicism, millennials have another cross to bear. Purely based on this broad generational identity, we find ourselves frequently lumped into a group of people that is at once told (sometimes politely and often impolitely) that they are arrogant, disrespectful, entitled, lazy, narcissistic, soft and… am I missing anything?

This characterization is of course incorrect. Our parents and elders — the baby boomers and baby busters — know this isn’t really true (or at least does not capture the whole story) yet the misleading narrative persists.

Why? Because fact, reason and decency have diminished in value and are increasingly being shut out across the world by demagoguery and finger-pointing. The reasons for this cultural devaluation are manifold but it is worth trying to understand and combat them.

In making this series, I am not on some kind of grand mission to civilize people again. That would be foolish and self-deluded. But I believe an adherence to facts and morals are the foundation stone of a functioning society. It is incumbent upon any person still guided by principles of ethicality, morality and evidence-based decision-making to speak out against and shout down those who would tear such principles down, often for nothing more than short-term personal gain- to win an argument, to win over followers, to win an election.

This is my attempt to speak out and shout down those voices. I hope you’ll tune in.