An Editorial: More good things are needed

There are too many bad things in the world and not enough good things. This needs to change.

Even the most casual observer of current events will notice the huge preponderance of bad things. There’s an oil spill off the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. And even before the accident, there was still a Louisiana, a Mississippi and an Alabama. Wars dot the globe. Poverty stalks the land. And famine — don’t even get me started about what famine is up to.

Dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of people are dying worldwide every day. Sure, they’re being replaced by births, and sure, that’s usually a happy event, unless my slutty niece is involved with that loser boyfriend of hers again. Dying, however, is so much more of a bad thing than being born is a good thing. I know lots of people who are going to be dying in the next ten years, and virtually nobody who’s going to be born.

Even when a good thing happens, it’s more likely that it was just a bad thing that didn’t quite work out. Like the attempted bombing in Times Square, for example. Yes, we’re happy that dozens of tourists weren’t maimed by a car bomb (pretty happy, anyway), and yet I think it’s safe to say that it would’ve been better if Nissan had never manufactured the Pathfinder in the first place.

And how about that miraculous emergency landing in the Hudson by a hobbled USAir flight a year or so back? Just this week, an official board of review released its findings on the incident, declaring the fact that 150 passengers and a crew of five didn’t plunge to their death while strewing fiery wreckage all over midtown Manhattan was a “good thing.” Yet overlooked was the reality that deplaning in the middle of an icy river is only marginally better than completing your flight and landing in Charlotte. And in either case, you’re luggage is going to be pretty messed up.

So who is responsible for so many bad things and so few good things? There are several schools of thought.

Some believe that the events of life are random bits of destiny. Fate decides who will get a good parking space and who won’t, and there’s little that Man can do to manage such events, at least without cutting off Another Man. I call these people “fatalists” and I don’t like them.

Some look at the overarching sweep of history as a context that can explain and perhaps even predict events. All civilizations eventually decline, they will note, and so too will the American Empire. Understanding that as a backdrop can help make sense of the fact that the CBS comedy “Big Bang Theory” continues its broadcast run. Similar shows will debut next fall, and before long we’ll be overrun by Mongol hordes. And their idea of what makes a good sitcom will likely be even worse than ours.

Finally, there are those like me who believe that events of this world are choreographed by a supernatural force from the great beyond. These gods go by many names — “Allah,” “Buddha,” “Yahweh”, “President Thomas S. Monson, prophet and revelator of the Mormon Church” — and their followers believe that even the most minor of daily annoyances are part of a divine plan. You were hoping to get a five back in change at the coffee shop but instead they gave you all quarters? Someday, it will be revealed unto you that without this hassle, there was no way that an eternal paradise could ever be attained. All you can do is hope that the cute barista will somehow be involved.

Well, this is an age of accountability, folks, and I think it’s high time we make these big shots explain to the rest of us why there can’t be more good things. I propose we convene a summit of the various Lords and Masters, and require that They come up with a concrete plan that will result in more good things, or else we’re going to stop believing in Them. Reserve a conference room at a nice hotel — maybe a Hilton Garden Inn or that new Hyatt out by the interstate — and keep them locked in until they can brainstorm a list of really good things that can be implemented as soon as they check out. Also, have them promise to implement at least a 50% reduction in bad things.

Only when we attack this problem head on in a spirit of cooperation and compromise can we ever hope to return good things to their rightful place of happening a lot.

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