Feb 172009
Authors: Brian Lancaster

Ladies and gentlemen, I have some instructions for you. If you would follow along, I would greatly appreciate it. Ready?

I want you to go ahead and just lightly brush off that big chip on your shoulder.

After that, if you could all reach around and firmly grab hold of that stick that seems to be stuck in everyone’s posterior.

Take a deep breath – this could sting – and pull that stick right out.

Doesn’t it feel so much better? Well, I mean, after the initial shock, of course.

I think the good majority of people in America could really do with a good medical treatment that surgically removes the stick that is firmly lodged up their butts.

Does the new stimulus have medical coverage for that?

Seriously, we, as a people, need to learn to relax and take everything a lot less seriously. Every time someone does something, says something, or writes something that could be potentially controversial, we, as a people, lose our collective minds.

Do you remember when Roy Moore, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama refused to remove the Ten Commandments from the rotunda of the state justice building? Do you remember when Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed on national television? Remember when Howard Dean made his infamous scream of excitement during a speech in Iowa that effectively killed his campaign?

Oh yeah, and some Olympic swimmer recently got caught smoking the reefer.

Do you remember how America reacted to these situations? I do. It went a little something like this: “Oh my God! How could they do something like that? What an awful, irresponsible, terrible thing! I cannot let this stand.”

Seriously, America? Worse things have happened, and yet we choose to run around in a complete panic about these mild events. A justice made a decision based on his personal beliefs, an accident happened on television, a governor got a little excited, a young adult got caught doing — and let’s be honest here – what a lot of young adults do.

This is the kind of over-sensitive behavior that seems to lead into absurd politically correct terms that no one understands and seem to be less descriptive than the usual terms.

For example, I’ve heard of ugly people being called “under-attractive,” poor people being called “economically marginalized,” and old people being called “chronologically gifted.”

What on earth does any of that mean?

If we as people keep getting more and more serious about everything, this world is not going to be a very fun place to live.

And at the rate we’re going, that could happen any day now.

So, citizens of America, just like at the beginning of this column, I have some very simple instructions that even you will have no problem following.

Don’t take things so seriously. Laugh more. Complain less. Argue less. Stop worrying about offending everyone with the words you use if you don’t mean to offend them. It won’t be that bad, I swear. You might even learn to enjoy life.

And hey, on the bright side, we won’t have to hear about any more people having heated debates about whether the words “under God” should be in the Pledge of Allegiance anymore, or whether or not to teach creationism alongside evolution in public schools.

Thank God.

Brian Lancaster is a senior English major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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