What drove you bonkers this morning, so far? A stale three-dollar bagel with half-defrosted cream cheese? Not having a job at all? Did the cretins next door — the ones with the tattoos around their mouths and five kids crawling around pooping in the weeds — stay up all night blasting “Godsmack” and fighting their pit bulls and ripping out the copper piping? Are you oppressed by the banal horror of American architecture? Sickened by the double anus-burger super-size combo you got for lunch yesterday because it’s that or Quizno’s, every day, forever? While you stood at the pump breathing cancer fumes and funding Al Qaeda, did ABC blast you with some teevee promos, at 7:36 a.m.? Do you feel like crying all the time? Experts say your problem may not be exclusively political.
The New York Times has a curious report today suggesting that people have lots of stuff to be bummed out about, but politics isn’t even on the top of the list. It’s just that we lack the vocabulary to articulate everything that’s cheap and awful about life in this horrid slob nation in its Final Days, so we naturally jabber about “the politicians” or “the Muslims” because, lacking a national culture or any personal dignity, we return to the default “issues” that have been completely defined for us by the jabbering content-mill bullshit of talk radio, cable news and (of course!) the Internet.
In fact, very little, if anything, is even mentioned about partisan politics. Instead, the facilitator asks the half-dozen or so voters to invent their own countries and to compare their idealized versions with the country they actually live in.
The focus group that met here in New Jersey on Monday included a bartender, a lawyer and a school bus driver. The dominant theme of the discussion, in which jobs and taxes came up only in passing, seemed to be the larger breakdown of civil society — the disappearance of common courtesy, the relentless stream of data from digital devices, the proliferation of lawsuits and the insidious influence of media on their children.
One woman described a food fight at the middle school that left a mess school employees were obliged to clean up, presumably because the children couldn’t be subjected to physical labor. A man complained about drivers who had grown increasingly hostile and inconsiderate on the roads, which drew nods of assent all around. Another described the Internet as just plain “bad.”
This is your editor’s 6,000th (six-thousandth) post here on Wonkette since joining this illustrious political gossip/satire publication in the summer of 2006. (Even more tragic: That’s not even half of the blog posts to appear under this byline since about 1997.) And to celebrate this dubious achievement, your editor will spend the next week or three typing a daily post about everything that’s awful in the United States of 2010. Teabaggers and other such staples of our Wonkette diet will not be mentioned! If you’ve got a Special Suggestion, please put it in the comments and then run away from the Internet for a while, because it is actually “just plain ‘bad.'” [New York Times]