The sky is falling

By Jeff Petersen, The Observer April 20, 2012 12:41 pm

Gloom, despair and agony on me

Deep, dark depression, excessive misery

If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all

Gloom, despair and agony on me

— Buck Owens, Roy Clark, from the TV show “Hee-Haw”

Suppose in Sweden there is a woman sitting at the edge of a Super Sven-mart parking lot holding a sign that reads “Praying for a miracle.”

A parallel universe to Island City, except with more blondes.

Before you see this as a shameless plug for socialism, and five weeks of vacation to start, “free” education and health care, and Harry Winston diamond pendant Titanic taxes, let me explain.

Gloom is in the air. The Oregonian editorial was meant to be a celebration of the hot agriculture economy.

And we’re not talking barnyard steamers here.

However, the editorial implied, at least to me, that Eastern Oregon should be renamed Recession Land.

Ever since the early 1980s, apparently, the region has been staggering like an aging boxer about to go down.

OK, so we don’t have much money here. We don’t have much stuff, like what you can find at the closest mall 125 miles away.

What we do have is the freedom of the streams, lakes and mountains. You can’t eat the scenery but ...

Editorials often see the glass as half empty. TV news plays up the fires, crimes and accidents at the expense of deeper issues, and even those are often things we have no control over.

It’s a conundrum.

That’s especially true for those of us in the news business who are paid to whip the public into a frenzy.

We start the conversation.

For whoever joins, the question becomes, am I beating a dead horse? Or if I drop a pebble into this word stream, will the concentric circles reach minds and make a difference?

Sure, some of us are jobless. Life isn’t fair.

Some people get rich for no good reason. That’s America.

Still, it’s hard to stay gloomy when you look out at the federal streams, lakes and mountains, all around us.

OK, access to our one big payback for living here in Recession Land is in jeopardy. It’s time to drop a few more rocks into that word stream.

Whether that will make a difference is anyone’s guess.


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