Seattle Courant

Stand Up and Holler

By John Tetpon
June 2, 2009 01:06PM

Songs about Yellow Brick Roads and Strawberry Fields Forever aren’t sung anymore. Hippie slogans like Far Out!, Outta Sight!, Groovy!, and I Can Dig It! are no longer uttered. Gone too are tie-dyed T-shirts and Volkswagen buses blazoned with hand-painted flowers.

The world has changed. Used to be that we only had a couple of things to worry about. Those were fear of communists and the Soviet Union. That longstanding and silent Cold War with them was good for the American economy. That alone built the much-maligned military-industrial complex. We were in a race to make and keep the best weapons of mass destruction ever devised by man.

A winner hasn’t been declared. Yet.

Now wanna-be nuclear players like North Korea and Pakistan are making and testing short and long range missiles, Iran is threatening the total annihilation of Israel, the stock market has been going up and down like a yo-yo, gas prices are going up, there’s been a total implosion of real estate, and politicians keep saying the same thing so many times all of it sounds good and true.

But I don’t believe half of what I hear and see.

While the big boys at the United Nations are trying to determine what to do with small guys like Somalia and Yemen, former fishermen from both countries have resorted to piracy on the high seas. Like feral cats on the prowl, they’ll take whatever is at hand; any ship from anywhere; a giant oil tanker, for million of dollars in ransom money.

And we would never have guessed that a primitive tribal people in a remote region in Pakistan would become the number one challenge for the world’s best war generals.

Change can be our friend, and our enemy. Experts say, however, that the 21st century isn’t starting out good at all. Nearly half of us Americans are walking around in a drug-induced state.

A recent drug-use study also blamed Americans for the escalation of the Mexican drug cartel wars. They say America is ripe and rife with addicts. Billions of illicit drug dollars from this side of the border are at stake. Mexican cartels know where the money is and they’re going after it with a vengeance. If that doesn’t make you wanna holler, I don’t know what will.

Now that we’ve listed a few of the biggies, let’s get down to where the rubber meets the road. I’m a cigarette smoker. You can holler now if you want. I wanna holler every time I buy a pack. Six bucks a pack is too much to pay for my bad habit. But it’s my habit. I own it. Maybe when it goes up to $8 a pack, I just might stand up and holler for real.

Here’s more of the small stuff. Every time I see former president George W. Bush on television, I wanna holler: Please no more! Haven’t we had enough of the most inept leader America has had to suffer? He got us in the biggest messes of our time. He needs a T-shirt that says: Blame Me, Everybody Else Does!

Another one that makes me wanna holler is watching people watching two heavy-weight women fighting over a tore-up from the floor-up man on Jerry Springer. That’s good entertainment on a boring slow day. Sometimes I watch it myself and laugh along with the rest of them. That’s almost as bad as a bunch of adults watching the Simpsons.

Sometimes you just gotta stand up and holler.