“We’re all going to die!” update

July 7, 2008

I’d sure hate to be at a meeting of the Pessimist Club:

Even folks in the Optimist Club are having a tough time toeing an upbeat line these days. Eighteen members of the volunteer organization’s Gilbert, Ariz., chapter have gathered, a few days before this nation’s 232nd birthday, to focus on the positive: Their book drive for schoolchildren and an Independence Day project to place American flags along the streets of one neighborhood.

They beam through the Pledge of Allegiance, applaud each other’s good news — a house that recently sold despite Arizona’s down market, and one member’s valiant battle with cancer. “I didn’t die,” she says as the others cheer.

But then talk turns to the state of the Union, and the Optimists become decidedly bleak.

They use words such as “terrified,” “disgusted” and “scary” to describe what one calls “this mess” we Americans find ourselves in. Then comes the list of problems constituting the mess: a protracted war, $4-a-gallon gas, soaring food prices, uncertainty about jobs, an erratic stock market, a tougher housing market, and so on and so forth

I think I’ll bring this up at the next meeting of the Procrastinator Club if, you know, we ever get around to meeting.

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