We are amazed but not amused
By all the things you say that you'll do
Though much concerned but not involved
With decisions that are made by you
But we are sick and tired of hearing your song
Telling how you are gonna change right from wrong
Cause if you really want to hear our views
You haven't done nothing
"We are not amused."
Back in the day, Queen Victoria found a joke told by a groom-in-waiting to a German visitor to be too vulgar for her court, especially the ladies, and she made it known. (There are other versions of the story.) These days, it seems popular amusement is so much more vulgar than anything the Queen could have imagined. The common denominator involves ignorance, stupidity and base conflict.
But, reality television mostly mirrors the nation rather than dictates its direction. There are more dangerous influences.
Joe Biden, I'm not amused, but the comment that Republicans are "gonna put ya' all back in chains" is the most insidious possible by an elected official. When your economic record is trash, you start a race war. Sadly, people are eating it up in this new America, where everyone is a victim.
I'm not amused with Hollywood, which gets to have all the cake and eat it, too. Anne Hathaway gets to blast the 1% in character, but head their ranks in real life. Of course, the music industry is even more hypocritical, with Russell Simmons pushing a debit card on the poorest Americans after making millions selling music that more often than not promoted anything but civilized behavior, and yet he champions Occupy Wall Street.
It's not amusing, although a reason America is great is that almost half the entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley were born outside of this nation. I don't begrudge them; on the contrary, they should be applauded. But, where are homegrown visionaries? It's not a high tech phenomenon either. From local delis (bodegas) to nail salons, America is still the land of milk and honey and endless possibilities for financial freedom.
The millions still living in their own personal economic hell can't be amused when economists gush over a retail sales number that beat consensus. If we have one good number for every three awful numbers and still pop the champagne, then there is a new paradigm in economics.
The economy isn't dead but I'm not amused by all the hype when we should expect and demand more from all aspects of the economy.
Despite the fact we've plummeted down to the pits of hell on the Queen Victoria risqué scale, and that mediocrity is cheered from the rafters, the country is still holding up enough to resume its great run. We are being pitched the idea that we can live in a land where we all get awards, like those little tiny trophies handed out in pee-wee league, whether earned or not.
As much as I love Stevie Wonder for his music and his efforts towards humanity, he doesn't hold President Obama to the same scrutiny as the lyrics in "You Haven't Done Nothing" -- and that is not only not amusing, but the great threat to the nation. Some rich people get a free pass and others are greedy. Some politicians get a free pass while others are incompetent. Organizations that spend every nickel taken in and often have nothing to show for the effort are angelic while those that hire thousands of people and try to earn a profit are evil.
Anyone looking to persevere America's greatness will have to do more than scowl, smirk and cry. I don't want to settle for less.