The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

What a scoop! A wonderful world?

Lyssa Beyer

In one of my favorite books, “Watchmen” by Alan Moore, the omnipotent character of Dr. Manhattan says, “We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from another’s vantage point, as if new, it may still take the breath away.” I agree wholeheartedly with this statement, so much so I want to use my last column to provide you with a look at all the things that amaze me about our world. Hopefully my positive attitude about what makes our society great will be enough to inspire you to better appreciate some of the everyday occurrences in your life.

First off, the resistance of Americans to crisis is awe-inspiring. Gas prices are a little high, sure. People used to be able to fill up with just a twenty, but now we’re seeing some motorists having to break out the Jackson 5 for a tank of gas. And yeah, the rising oil prices are causing the cost of food to go up – those semis don’t run themselves! – around the world, resulting in food riots in third world countries, but that won’t get us down. At least that means we here in the United States will be able to buy more of that wheat and corn those starving Haitians can’t afford so our cows will continue to be well-fed. That’ll make the next steak you eat taste all the better!

As evidenced of how not-a-big-deal we think this whole gas crisis thing is, we can look at how often we still use our cars. If we thought this was really a problem, don’t you think we Americans would do something about it? Like stop driving around so much? Take her easy, man – if things get really bad, we’ll just have someone make a movie about it like with global warming, which as we know solved that little problem. Those gigantic ice shelves will stop melting off into the ocean soon enough.

I also can’t help but be impressed when I sit down and watch “American Idol” when it’s on nine times a week or whatever it is. As Randy Jackson says “dog” for the 30th time in the first half hour, I think to myself, “wow, 28.7 million other people are watching this at the same time as me. That’s … awesome?” Lucky us, we have this show to help us understand what’s considered good music, that being ballads and country songs. And what a great world we must be living in when a loopy and possibly drunk Paula Abdul can have a national stage multiple times a week.

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There are just so many wonders in this world. What a great society this is where almost every idea or practice, no matter how stupid, is taken into public consideration. Ideas as outlandish as teaching Intelligent Design in science classrooms and the whole 9/11 “truth” movement are given a fair shot, even long after being thoroughly disproved. I mean, people can pray next to their sick daughter hoping God heals her extremely treatable diabetes instead of taking her to the hospital on the basis that their faith doesn’t allow it, as Dale and Leilani Neumann of Weston, did on March 23. And they even got people in their community support them when their daughter died! How great is that?

Our swell racial relations are another element of society to behold. Whenever someone wants to try to discuss race in our society, we hop up on a chair, pull up our dresses and shout “eek!” until that person scurries back under the refrigerator. We made sure to ignore the ranting of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who claimed, among other things, there were still some issues left to iron out concerning race in America. Sen. Barack Obama even called for the nation to have an adult, intelligent discussion on the issue of race back when Wright was starting to spout off, but we politely told Obama “no thank you, that won’t be necessary.” Don’t these guys know we solved that problem a while ago? Nobody discriminates due to skin color any more, silly senator, only whether or not a person wears a flag pin at a political rally. Or if you’re a woman – sorry, a Clinton – or not, we’ll judge you on that too.

Despite all these positive aspects of our world, what I find most wonderful of all is the growing sophistication of our nation’s public discourse. Evidence of this can be found in the reader comments The Spectator Web site. Nary an issue goes by when we don’t have a writer be called an “airhead,” “simpleton” or a “f***in’ idiot.” That’s the kind of constructive criticism I know will lead us to understanding each other’s points of view – great job!

One comment about Incubus here or a remark about Ron Paul there will garner more of a reaction than the point of an entire column is a truly amazing feat indeed. To test, I present the following two statements: 1) Ron Paul is untrustworthy because he has two first names and, 2) Incubus lead singer Brandon Boyd is a second-rate Mike Patton impressionist.

If the pattern holds true, these will be the focal points of this column’s comments. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Sure, it may sound as if we’re running ourselves to economic, environmental and intellectual ruin, but that’s just negative thinking that detracts from the wonders of our world. Things may not be looking too hot for humanity right now, I’ll admit it. But we know it’ll continue in some capacity even if it all comes crashing down as hard as it looks like it will right now, whether we like it or not. We’ll have something to look forward to, which really is the greatest wonder of our world. To quote Dr. Manhattan again, “Nothing ends. Nothing ever ends.”

Well, except for this column. Hope you all have a new appreciation for the wonderful world we live in. It’s been fun, everyone. Take care of each other.

Langton is a senior print journalism major and editorial editor of The Spectator. “What a Scoop!” appears every Thursday.

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What a scoop! A wonderful world?