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  • Robert Farago

Why Americans Are So Miserable

It isn’t the economy stupid


“Why are Americans so gloomy?” Greg Ip asks at The Wall Street Journal. The economy’s going great guns, yet Americans are bummed AF. Mr. Ip’s explanation…

Lately, there has been a lot to be dissatisfied about: intensifying political and cultural conflict and intolerance, the pandemic, the border, mass shootings, crime, war in Ukraine and now the war in the Middle East.

Great landing, wrong airport!


As Mr. Incredible reminded us, the world is always going to shit (paraphrasing). Or, as Gilda Radner pointed out on Saturday Night Live, it’s always something. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.


In this case, it’s another. Mr. Ip missed the major factors making Americans miserable. Not to bum you out, much, here’s a list of the trends putting people in a miserable mood.


Sugar



Americans eat a metric ton of sugar. Each. Per day. It’s in everything save their socks.

Americans’ high sugar diet puts their bodies on a blood sugar roller coaster that makes Japan’s Steel Dragon 2000 look like a walk in the park. If you think about it, that’s not what you’d call conducive to a mellow mood.


If you can think about it.


Sugar’s associated with small-vessel disease. The condition – affecting some 20 percent of the population – restricts blood flow to the brain, causing cognitive difficulties. I think.

Bonus! Eat enough sugar (and food generally) and BAM! You’re fat! Can I say that?


Obesity is another name for chronic tiredness, a soupçon of self-loathing, social stigma and death.

Not to put too fine a point on it, the road to hell is paved with Domino’s, and it’s a miserable ride.


No Sense of Humor



Speaking of not saying “fat,” you can’t joke about anything these days. Don Rickles’ insult comedy would be a federal hate crime. I’m not kidding! Lest I face ten years in jail and a $250k fine.


Cancel culture has cancelled our ability to laugh at ourselves, other people and the slings and arrow of outrageous fortune. Tell an “off-color” joke to let off steam? Political correctness slammed that pressure release valve shut.


Americans’ inability laugh at stupid shit (e.g., trans-women in male sports) makes them humorless, miserable bastards.


Sleeplessness



More than 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. They’re fucking miserable. ‘Cause they’re fucking tired. (I get my device tomorrow.) In this they are not alone.


According to a study chronicled at nypost.com, Lack of sleep is compromising the mental health of 78% of adults.


Actually, it’s worse than that. “Overall, 91% of adults said they are ‘not rested’ or that they ‘feel tired’ at least some of the time.”


Tired of life? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reckons drowsy driving is a factor in one-in-five fatal car crashes. That’s a lot of misery for a lot of people.


News Media


Once upon a time in America, you got your bad news like a multivitamin: once a day.

Daily newspaper and/or nightly news. Done. Americans spent the majority of their waking hours in blissful (if tired) ignorance.


Thanks to text alerts, 24-hour news and political websites clamoring for attention, Americans are getting minute-by-minute updates on all the horrible shit going down everywhere in the world right now!


Imagine having a “friend” who followed you around all day and never told you anything positive about anything ever. And you couldn’t do a damn thing about anything he said. You’d be miserable AF. Right?


The Internet


Narcissus fell in love with his reflection in a pool of water, couldn’t bear to leave his lover and starved to death. The ancient Greeks new the score: selfies kill!


Seriously. Social media has triggered an alarming rise in eating disorders, depression and suicide. And that’s just the tip of the misery-making internet iceberg.


The Internet has screwed up dating. Made us “friends” with people we’ll never meet who judge us 24/7. Turned our lives into performance art. Cranked-up consumerism to 11. Created jobs where we never leave the house.


And now AI threatens to replace us all. Angst for the memories.


Sure, the Internet’s a godsend for millions. What does that tell you about God? Or those for whom it’s a godsend?


It’s a miserable thought experiment, but in case you didn’t know it or feel it by now, there’s a lot of the m-word going around.


How to Alleviate America’s Misery

The cure for America’s gloominess is simple enough. Ban high-sugar foods, cancel cancel culture, test everyone for apnea and convince Americans to switch off the news and the Internet.

#itaintgonnahappen. Too many people are making too much money and consolidating too much power from Americans’ misery to alleviate it. But don’t worry, be happy. Well, sightly less miserable.


A CDC survey found that some 13 percent of Americans 18 and above swallowed antidepressants in the 30 days before the researcher popped the pill. I mean question.


If American misery machines start to lose money, Uncle Sam will find a way to make the pills “free” for everyone (like COVID vaccine). And then everyone will be happy. Awesome!

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