Peggy Noonan, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan (Challenger explosion, most memorable, “slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God”) writes for the Wall Street Journal and a week ago wrote about a type of depression and anxiety she senses in the country that doesn’t have an appropriate pharmaceutical as a remedy.
People are buying more guns, she reports–going to church more and increasingly reporting to at least one mental health provider that they are depressed and anxious.
She talked to bankers, psychiatrists, writers, friends and hears fear. Not the white knuckle variety of last Fall she observes but the drip drip drip of realizing that an era has ended and is not coming back.
After listening to a psychiatrist talk about how when we move into a new home we always realize the importance of our previous environment, Ms. Noonan called our present home, “PostPosterity” and our old home, “Abundance”. The psychiatrist called it a “psychological pandemic of fear”.
Yikes. I was feeling…well, fearful before I read that but now? I’ve got to rewrite my series on fear to “Fear, The Pandemic”? Wait a moment while I try to beat back the pandemic. I’m going to go and reread the Challenger speech.
(cue Jeopardy music)
Ok. I’m back. So, before you go out and buy a gun, or go to church (god forbid) or steal my little blue pills, let me point out that Peggy might want to do two things.
One: reread her old speeches.
“The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.”
And, I’d just add this one little addition: it belongs to the brave and to those with a sense of humor. (I’ve only got the latter going for me)
Then, Ms. Noonan, I’d suggest one more thing: watch Obama on Leno.
The President is cleary not fainthearted AND he’s got a sense of humor.
Two for two.
RX for Pandemic: Watch tape of this show once a day with meals until further notice.
Or, if your readers don’t care for Leno (clearing throat sound) then how about suggesting that they might want to think about a photo of Mrs. Obama planting herbs and veggies on the White House lawn on their frig. She’s better looking than that one of Bernie Madoff with a target on his forehead and it makes us ol’ fear’d up girls and boys calm down.
Who knows, maybe these prescriptions could reduce overall faintheartedness, Smith and Wesson’s sales, and save our arthritic knees from too much of that church kneelin’ and swayin’.
©Pat Coakley 2009
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