Take a deep breath

June 23, 2008

Everybody panic! We’re all going to die!!

Is everything spinning out of control? Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.

The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country’s sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance.

Get a grip, people. Good lord. Know how a lynch mob loses all rationality as anger feeds anger until anything can happen? This is like that, but with fear instead of anger. How did we get to the point where there is such a disconnect between perception and reality?


4 Responses to “Take a deep breath”

  1. Doug Says:

    I blame WMDs.

  2. Harl Delos Says:

    I understand that the floods are resulting in food shortages in Iowa, and FEMA is responding by sending those folk 20 semi trailers of tomatoes….

  3. gadfly Says:

    Shame! This is the silliest, most obnoxious, political commentary ever written.

    The unbiased reporting includes: “Democrat Barack Obama promises bright and shiny change, and his large crowds believe his exhortation, ‘Yes, we can.’ “

  4. Harl Delos Says:

    That commentary is far from silliest, or the most obnoxious ever written, gadfly. The truth is sufficient: that it is sloppy writing, bad enough to make you think silly season arrived two months early this year.

    The line you select for criticism, though, is one of the few that is well grounded.

    Is Barack Obama not a democrat?
    Is he not promising bright and shiny change?
    Are the crowds not large?
    Do the crowds not seem to believe him?
    Is his exhortation not “Yes, we can”?

    It’d be a lot easier to challenge one that’s factually incorrect, such as Alger, the dime-novel author whose heroes overcame adversity to gain riches and fame, played to similar anxieties when the U.S. was becoming an industrial society in the late 1800s.

    Alger’s books were best-sellers, but they weren’t dime novels, they were hardbound.

    Moreover, they came along a little later than that; a third of them weren’t even published until the 20th century. His books didn’t actually reached the peak of their popularity about 1915 or 1920, and they were still pretty available in libraries until the 1950s and 1960s. When I was growing up, I must have read 20 or 30 of them.

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