Too often lately I’ve wanted to tell the world to just shut up and chill out. I’ve had it up to here with all of the dramatic nonsense and everyone looking for someone to blame for everything that distresses them….real or imagined. We’ve become a nation of the perpetually butt sore because we’ve lost perspective. As an irreverent semi-pro humorist it’s my job to provide a little perspective, with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek, but perspective nonetheless.
It just feels like too many of us have been on edge for a while now. So many of my friends, associates and family are severely polarized along political, religious and cultural lines that almost everyone I know is convinced that anyone who has a different opinion is evil and either needs to wake up or leave.
If I had a nickel for every Facebook post I’ve read over the past couple of years telling me to wake up, I’d have a butt load of nickels. Lately I’m been bombarded by people proclaiming if I don’t like the president I should leave the country; shoot, I haven’t really cared for the last several presidents but it’s my country so I’m staying. The really amusing part is the folks telling me to love him or leave him didn’t like the last guy but they stayed…you can’t have it both ways.
Please don’t get me wrong; I have political opinions and a very strong belief system that I have the right to because I’m an American. After living through the Cuban missile crisis, a presidential assassination, Vietnam and the resignation of a president as well as serving a full career in the military I’ve seen enough and done enough to realize we’re spending way too many calories getting worked up over stuff nobody will remember next week.
I actually saw media reports followed by enraged online debate about whether the First Lady slapped away the Presidents hand when they arrived in Israel this week. Really? How is that ever news and why would you get into a heated Twitter exchange over it? Why would you get into a heated Twitter exchange over anything?
There was real news happening, Roger Moore (the second best Bond) passed away this week. The man who showed us you can save the world and get the girl while being a well spoken conservatively fashionable gentleman passed away and I, for one, am more interested in his loss than whether or not the First Couple holds hands at the airport.
They released a new Baywatch movie this week and there hasn’t been a single riot or protest march. Where’s the outrage? The hot chick in the new Baywatch is played by a foreign actress named Priyanka Chopra and no one on my Facebook feed has warned me to wake up to this clear threat to truth, justice and the American way! Pam Anderson only has a quick cameo appearance…there is no justice. Wake up America!
Seriously let’s collectively take a deep breath, sit down, pop open a cold one and relax. Our country has survived invasion, a civil war the Spanish flu, a dustbowl, a great depression and way too may wars and we’re still here. No matter how angry the news makes you, if you read it on your mobile device from the free WiFi at Starbucks, Hooters or The Angry Beaver (my favorite sports bar) things really aren’t that bad. Really.
I’m 60 years old and a have a butt load of stamps on my passport from third-world countries where you have to go through a metal detector to go to church. Most of our anxiety is created by media reports, Facebook posts and Tweets, they just want to go to church without getting blown up. Forgive me if I don’t feel the outrage or sign your online petition because a sitcom got canceled.
I live in a country where a steakhouse will bring my dinner to me in my freakin’ car. It doesn’t suck. Yeah, we have morons who think it makes sense to take down historical statues or make seniors pay more for health insurance but we’ve always had morons. Less than 100 years ago they actually passed a Constitutional Amendment banning booze nationwide! Talk about outrage! We overcame that, we’ll overcome this so relax, open a beer and watch some Baywatch reruns…if you mute the sound it’s still quality entertainment!
Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.