Sometimes … most times … hell, all the time, we in the media stand in the forest, searching desperately for the next flaming Tree of Trouble off in the distance, and we neglect to notice that the forest itself is really doing pretty darned well. It’s healthy, it’s growing, and overall, it’s good.
This is exactly what our president acknowledged in his recent state of the union speech, when he threw in his quick smirking ad lib, “This is good news, people.” He was absolutely spot on. We are in no wars. Unemployment is below 6 percent. The economy is chugging along nicely, almost completely recovered from that nasty speed bump of recession. Obamacare didn't throw the country into the Dark Ages, disappointing as that is to so many Republicans who still can't believe we're not swirling down the toilet. Gas prices are now beyond friendly, heading towards erotic.
In other words, this is America when it's going well. Take it one step further. This is America going about as well as it's ever going to go. Let's face it, this is a huge country, with 322 million people, many of them flaming assholes. I'm not sure the U.S.A. can do much better than it's doing at this very moment. To call it a Golden Age is a little much, yes. Let's just call it a Very Pleasant Time (VPT). It reminds me of our last war-free, money-makin', happy face VPT, back when the biggest so-called “problem” in the country was the president getting a tad too friendly with a curvy intern. Humph. Some problem.
In retrospect, we didn't know what a problem was. We'd become slothful in the comforts of our abundance. Then Mohammed Atta and his fun bunch showed up. Then Dub, Darth and Rummy got a boner for a guy who was completely boxed up, stymied and impotent. Then the greedheads of Wall Street started selling derivative mortgages of maximum hedgitude at complexified algorithms to the Bank of Mongolia. Then, we had us some problems. Some doozies, as it turned out.
Grudgingly, grindingly and not painlessly, those problems are slowly receding in the national rear view mirror. Which is nice. My recommendation—take a moment to notice this. To acknowledge it. To thank the stars that things are fairly cool right now. Are they perfect? No. Are they ever gonna be perfect? Maybe. When the Space People arrive. But right now, they ain't bad. This is what it feels like when the U.S.A. is doing OK. So savor. Enjoy. Chillax. While you can. Because sooner or later, big buckets of dog poop will begin to rain upon the Earth.
Football Fetish Nation—the amazing pattern of anguish. Check it out. Detroit lost painfully to Dallas. Dallas lost painfully to Green Bay. The Packers lost painfully to Seattle. And the Seahags lost painfully to the Patriots. Wow. How wild is that? Only one explanation is feasible—God is very mad at the NFC.