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A Few Joyce Words - No Cause For Alarm


    The economy is in the tank, financial progress is at a stand still and the government is working about as well as my first attempt at driving a stick shift up a steep hill.  The cost of college is up and the odds of landing a good paying job post-graduation are down. One thing is certain however, and that is America is waking up. Well, at least hitting the snooze button a few less times each morning.

    We are getting back to basics though. Our culture of bigger, faster, more-is-better tipped the scale like it was the week after Christmas and our New Years’ resolution was staring us in the toothpaste and turkey splattered bathroom mirror. We’ve got to cut it back a notch.

    Organic foods are replacing, or at least jockeying for position with, the 4,000 assorted synthetic sugar-packed products on our grocery store shelves. Hybrids are no longer just dotting the highways but are clogging up the on-ramps of American thoroughfares and many of us are rolling through fast food drive thru’s one day a week instead of five.  We’re still super-sizing but hey, progress is a process, right?

    Major League Baseball has seen a resurgence of great pitching and less homeruns as performance-enhancing drugs have been screened out and the NFL is testing for HGH. What’s that? Oh, they’re not doing that this year? Oh. Well at least they were thinking about it, which is more than can be said for the last ten or more years.

    Changes are all around us. Government is making laws to squash unions and people are picketing anyway. Troops are being drawn down overseas and maybe the war in Afghanistan will truly end soon…or maybe just shift a country or two to the left but hey, it’s still a process right? Seriously though, gay marriage is here and most of us are ok with that.  Illegal immigrants are still coming in but right-wingers can’t claim that Hispanics are “stealing our jobs” anymore. There aren’t any to be taken! 

    More and more black women are wearing their hair natural these days. Contrarily, more and more Indian women are keeping theirs. Inter-racial dating and marriage are on the upswing, as are Hollywood divorces, no change there. But come on, it’s been a while since a used-to-be famous guy killed a married-to-a-former-famous-guy’s wife. Reality TV and rap music are still the biggest moneymakers but at least nobody believes either are real anymore; and only one athlete has attempted to change his name this year. Ron Artest reportedly has to clean up some traffic warrants before legally becoming Meta World Peace, this after he sashays his way through the new season of Dancing With the Stars without hitting anyone.

    All in all I’d say we are on the path to progress. By slowing down a bit and gorging a tad less at the buffet of American indulgences, we are slowly coming down off the high-fructose corn syrup, strip clubs where it rains dollar bills and gasoline high that we’ve been on. The ten year anniversary of 9/11 is drawing near and while television networks cash in on the tear-jerking retellings of loss and the conspiracy theory driven whodunit docu-dramas, the rest of us will be reflecting on the sacrifices of nearly three thousand American lives that day, as well as the efforts of our troops, firefighters, police officers and port authority personnel. We will watch football games and sing God Bless America. We will eat a few less handfuls of nachos and corn chips and guzzle a few less gallons of cola. And when we bike, train or carpool to work next week we will be thankful for what we have and I will “smh” as I “lmao” at the loser with the Hummer at the fueling station and “tweet” that I’m breaking my addiction to energy drinks and going back to coffee like a real man. Well, maybe after another fifteen minutes. Snooze. 



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