America Looks Like It Could Use Some Cheering UpCommentary • patriotism • Opinion • human interest • culture • self-improvement • ISSUE 46•26 ISSUE 43•47 • Nov 21, 2007 By Tammy Jurgensen Something is amiss in these United States. A pall cast over the land that forebodes a looming sense of dread. The laughter of average Americans is no more than a thin mask that barely conceals the anxiety we all feel. But to this, the greatest nation on Earth, I say: Why do you look so down in the mouth? Don't you know that tomorrow is another day? You're acting like there's a war on, for Pete's sake! And even if there is, you know what? That's something you just can't do anything about. So why dwell in Dumpsville when you can take a trolley to Happytown?I know, I know. You're worried about global warming, aren't you? That's okay. If you live in a low-lying coastal area, like 53 percent of our population does, then you are in danger of having everything you love lost to flooding. Well, roll up your pants and wade right in is what I say, because if life gives you water, it's time to go swimming!Speaking of water, you know what I do when I'm feeling blue about a sharp spike in crime and drug use? When seven local kids overdose and die a painful death because they didn't understand the ramifications of their actions? I draw myself a bubble bath and slip into a good book. After a while, you'll be saying, "What OxyContin epidemic?"Buck up, America. Yes, with a fluctuating market hinging on nothing more than the whims of Fed Chief Ben Bernanke, it sure does seem like economic disaster is on the horizon. But it's not the end of the world. Why, just the other day, I lost $10 at the supermarket. All that means is clipping more coupons—for me and for everyone!By golly, why can't you be more like Hawaii? They're all hula dancing like nobody's business. They don't seem to mind that the deflating dollar is keeping American tourists away, no sir. They're eating poi and having luaus like they're going out of style. Now, we may not all have coconuts, but some of you sure do have the same sunny weather to enjoy while you sit in your uninsurable homes.You know who I'm talking about, Florida.Who's a crabby democracy? Huh? Maybe some cookies would make you feel better, Iowa. Sure, subsidized corn prices have made you Washington's escort, but that's no reason to be a sour puss. Take the day by the horns and give it a good old-fashioned how-do-you-do! Instead of thinking about the imminent threat of another terrorist attack, just think of sunflowers and let a smile be your umbrella.What's this I hear from African Americans about institutional racism continuing to rear its ugly head and tear the country apart? With that attitude, it's no wonder. If you're going to let the systematic disenfranchisement of your people bring you down, then get ready for a long haul. Honestly, the only thing worse than a Grumpy Gus is a Grumpy Tyrone.Cleveland! Pull yourself out of Bluesville. I don't want to hear any sass about how your entire industrial infrastructure is crumbling around you, creating a new class of suburban slum. Turn that frown upside down! Things can't stay bad forever. This old world, she keeps on turning, so why not enjoy the ride?You know, I've been a booster for six years now. Day in and day out, without so much as a hrrumph or a tsk-tsk for anyone. When the economy was sliding and millions of jobs were being lost or replaced with lower-paying ones, I just grabbed the spirit stick and shook it for all I was worth. I shook it and shook it and shook it! I shook until my hands bled and my arms ached and I was out of breath and couldn't shake it any more! But if America's not even going to try, then why should I? Go on, Texas Panhandle, get yourself all worked up about the immigrant crisis. See if I care! I've got problems of my own to deal with. My car needs a new alternator, and my kids don't mind me like they should.So if you can't stand up straight, button your collar, and stare down the coming Apocalypse with a wink and a smile, then I'm just going in to watch TV and eat some Ben and Jerry's. That's A-okay with little old me.