T Nation

A Good Perspective

Regardless of who really write this i think it’s an excellent reminder of how good we really have it;

Jay Leno wrote this; it’s the Jay Leno we don’t often

'As most of you know I am not a President Bush fan, nor
have I ever been, but this is not about Bush, it is
about us, as Americans, and it seems to hit the mark.

The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came
across some Poll data I found rather hard to believe.
It must be true given the source, right? The Newsweek
poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy
with the direction the country is headed and 69
percent of the country is unhappy with the performance
of the President. In essence 2/3 of the citizenry
just ain’t happy and want a change. So being the
knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, ‘What are we
so unhappy about?’

Is it that we have electricity and running
water 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week?

Is our unhappiness the result of having
air conditioning in the summer and heating in the

Could it be that 95.4 percent of these
unhappy folks have a job?

Maybe it is the ability to walk into a
grocery store at any time and see more food in
moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars
and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic
Ocean without having to present identification papers
as we move through each state?

Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe
motels we would find along the way that can provide
temporary shelter?

I guess having thousands of restaurants
with varying cuisine
from around the world is just not good enough either.

Or could it be that when we wreck our car,
emergency workers show up and provide services to help
all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of
Americans who own a home.

You may be upset with knowing that in the
unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained
firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch
equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you,
your family, and your belongings.

Or if, while at home watching one of your
many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes,
an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest
will come to defend you and your family against attack
or loss.

This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood
free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the
residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own
cell phones and computers.

How about the complete religious, social and
political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the

Maybe that is what has 67% of you f olks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful,
spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the
world loves the U.S., yet has a great disdain for its
citizens. They see us for what we are. The most
blessed people in the world who do nothing but
complain about what we don’t have, and what we hate
about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we
live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us
into war and has no plan to get us out? The
president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating?
Is this the same president who guided the nation in
the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut
taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could
this be the same guy who has been called every name in
the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled
ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The
commander-in- chief of an all-volunteer army that is
out there defending you and me?

Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or
talk show?
Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy
you couldn’t take a look around for yourself and see
all the good things and be glad? Think about
it…are you upset at the President because he
actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the
‘Media’ told you he was failing to kiss your sorry
ungrateful behind every day. Make no mistake about it.

The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to
serve, and in many cases may have died for your
freedom. There is currently no draft in this country.
They didn’t have to go. They are able to refuse to go
and end up with either a ’ ‘general’ discharge, an other-than-honorable’
discharge or, worst case scenario, a’dishonorable’ discharge after a few
days in the brig.

So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds
of 69 percent of Americans?

Say what you want b u t I blame it on the media. If it
bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news.
Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts.
How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the
corner? The media knows this and media outlets are
for-profit corporations.

They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to
defend their actions by ‘justifying’ them in one way
or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a
murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how
he didn’t kill his wife, but if he did he would have
done it this way…Insane!

Turn off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York
Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start
being grateful for all we have as country. There is
exponentially more good than bad. We are among the
most blessed people on Earth and should thank God
several times a day, or at least be thankful and
appreciative.’ ‘With hurricanes, tornados, fires out
of control, mud sl id es, flooding, severe thunderstorms
tearing up the country from one end to another, and
with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks,
‘Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of
the Pledge of Allegiance?’’

Jay Leno

Collectivist rhetoric.

Collectivist rhetoric.[/quote]


I’ve read somewhere that if you ask Americans about “collective issues” (this may be lifty’s point) - for example, “the state of US health care” - the answer is overwhelmingly negative.

However, if you ask those same questions but personalize them: “how is your healthcare?” - the answers are invariably positive.

Obviously these two things don’t match.

The high percentage of people who believe the country is going in the wrong direction may be media driven, it may be a a kind of Iraq anger writ large, or whatnot - but probably it does not reflect how they really feel about their own lives.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:

All attempts to answer a question concerning the “collective unhappiness” of the US (represented by a statistic) can only be done rhetorically.

Sure, some of us feel badly but there is no singular reason why.

Besides, it just reads like an email chain that was probably not the work of Leno.

Nice email, but:

We are a fortunate Country , I think we are unhappy with the things that could be better

BostonBarrister wrote:

All attempts to answer a question concerning the “collective unhappiness” of the US (represented by a statistic) can only be done rhetorically.

Sure, some of us feel badly but there is no singular reason why.

Besides, it just reads like an email chain that was probably not the work of Leno.[/quote]

I’m sure it wasn’t Leno either - but I didn’t see any economic collectivism, or the advancement of collectivist points of view, which I thought was your critique.

It’s about perspective - keeping in mind that we’re pretty lucky in the world context, irrespective of daily annoyances.