An Acid Comment

Student, to me:

Dude, my generation’s acid is like your generation’s acid…on acid!

And you thought “OK, boomer” was a cutting generational comment. The comment came up (in case you were wondering) during a discussion of Martin Seligman’s critique of psychopharmacology in his book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being (pp. 47-48). I don’t remember the exact route by which we went from anti-depressants to acid, but whatever it was, it had a well-conceived pedagogical purpose. “Two drugs diverged in a wood,” etc.

The same student described Seligman as “what happens when you cross Bob Ross with Gene Simmons.”* Frankly, I’m impressed that college students of the current generation know who Gene Simmons is. Contrary to common complaints, they do know their history. Though I don’t remember whether the student was referring to Seligman’s appearance or his theory, it strikes me as an astute (if hard to unpack) comment on the theory.


*Second student: “Don’t drag Bob Ross into this! I love Bob!”

2 thoughts on “An Acid Comment

    • I’m tempted to email Seligman and ask him which comparison he prefers. He opens the book by inviting email queries:

      I rarely answer phone calls, and I never do snail mail any more, but because there is a twenty-four-hour-a-day bridge game on the Internet, I answer my email swiftly and diligently…(I am seligman@psych.upenn.edu, and you should feel free to email me if you don’t mind one-sentence answers.)

      But I’m not sure Gene vs. Jean Simmons is what he had in mind.

      Like

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