RT Cunningham


This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

nice things The phrase, “this is why we can’t have nice things”, uttered by many people, in many places and for many years, is a standard catchphrase.

No one knows the exact origin of the phrase and the origin isn’t important. If you search for it on Wikipedia, you’ll be redirected to Reputation, an article about an album by Taylor Swift. It’s the title of one of the tracks.

All I can do is offer some insights about what type of people would use such a phrase.

Nice Things and the Home

Some time between 1992 and 1994, my older son (Joe) and some friends were playing a Nintendo video game using the Power Pad in our living room. We lived in an apartment with a wooden floor. I must have been at work because I never would have allowed it.

The vibration knocked a very nice unicorn figurine (nicer than the one in the picture) off the top of the console-style TV. My wife, Josie, was very upset because the horn broke off. Luckily, it was a clean break, and I was able to fix it without even a crack line showing. Somewhere along the line, I scolded Joe and used that phrase or a variation of it.

Nice Things and the Internet

I’m sure more people than I can possibly imagine have used that phrase of a variation of it when talking about the Internet.

E-mail spam started about the same time as the Internet, long before it became a commercial entity. Comment and forum spam came later.

Internet trolls thrive on the Internet, anywhere they can post their vitriol.

If you add all that to the malware and viruses spread through various Internet activities, you can understand that the Internet isn’t a nice thing, even if it should be.

Nice Things and Political Protests

Shortly after Donald Trump was elected as the president, the liberal left started staging protests. Never mind that the protests wouldn’t result in any changes. They were protesting his election.

Some of the protests turned violent, causing thousands of dollars in property damage. I don’t know how many, but some of them were paid to protest.

People who spent hard-earned money for nice things had their nice things destroyed in days.

This is why we can’t have nice things

It doesn’t matter who said it first. The phrase seems to cover society well, at least in the United States. Moms, computer users and people in general have to put up with other people who won’t use common sense and still other people with ill intentions.

The secret to combating all of this is not to accumulate nice things.

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By RT Cunningham
April 12, 2017
House and Home