What the hell is wrong with you? Are you really going to wear that? Why aren't you right now cooking me a nice meal and wearing those hot boy shorts you know I love and saying those words you know I want to hear at exactly the moment I like to hear them, to make me feel better about everything, even though I probably won't?
What happened to my bonus? What happened to my job? What happened to my country? Why can't it all go the way it's supposed to go? You mean having a kid won't solve my marriage problems? Why don't these drugs make me feel better? Where's that goddamn waiter with my salad? Have you seen the stupid weather today? Is this really all there is?
These are, from what I can glean, the most important questions of the day, of the month, of modern life itself. Hell, what with the economy and job situation, the housing market and the overall feel and texture of the nation right now, it's no wonder Americans are, by and large, a goddamn miserable bunch. We don't like anything right now. No politician, no decision, no situation, no inhale, no exhale. We are sick to death of all of it, including ourselves.
Can you blame us? Have you seen how many things there to be disappointed about these days? Love. Sex. Marriage. Stock market. God. Gas mileage. Death. Air travel. 5/9ths of the Supreme Court. It's all just a big goddamn letdown. The list is endless. And getting endlesser.
The evidence is everywhere. I calculate it took about seven minutes, give or take, after Steve Jobs finished introducing the shinypretty iPad before the whiny attacks on the wondergizmo began flooding in, how it didn't have this or that expected feature, how it can't do live video chat, doesn't have Flash, the bezel is too big and it won't double as a meat thermometer, how it doesn't really revolutionize much of anything despite how it's, you know, this gorgeous 1.5-pound slab of aluminum and glass that works flawlessly and can perform roughly one thousand tasks in a more fluid and astonishing way than any device of its kind in history.
Big f--ing deal. We just do not care. It's all a big disappointment. Hey, I was expecting to be blown away. I was expecting miracles and transformations and multiple twitching orgasms on sight. Do not come at me with tantalizing promises only to reveal that you can fulfill most of them to a fairly good degree, and not far exceed all of them in every imaginable way. We're Americans, goddammit. Ye shall know us by the tang of our bitter and untenable jadedness.
Also, global warming? Total effing letdown. Americans are no longer believing in it. Do you know why? Not because the mountains of scientific proof aren't there. Not because it's not happening. But because it's not yet happening to us like they said it would in the movies and those worst-case scenario books. Where are the zombies? The ice forests? Where's the tidal wave crashing over the Himalayas? I want my goddamn apocalypse, and I want it now.
Hey, you annoying gay people? Ditto, to you. All this uproar about rights and gender, all this talk about how gay marriage is now legal in a handful of states, and still the very fabric of whinysad 50-percent divorce rate Christian society has yet to unravel and cause riots and induce all white Midwestern children to spontaneously combust. I mean, WTF? So disappointing.
My God, did you hear that pathetic State of the Union? That guy, that President Obama? Disappointing times a thousand, am I right? What the hell happened to him? Why is he so weak and ineffectual? Why the hell can't he step up and fix the entire planet in under 400 days like he promised he would, in my dreams and fantasies and impossible liberal grass-fed organic tofu greengasms? Doesn't he know I put a goddamn bumper sticker on my Subaru for him? I've never done that for anyone. Bastard.
He's only accomplished what, about 100 of the things I expected him to accomplish by now? Big deal. I have, like, 5,000 more. Health care reform has failed. Guantanamo is still open. Wars are still warring. Jobs are still sucking. Gays are still unhappy because the entire human understanding of love and gender in this nation has not completely transformed within a year. Infuriating!
But the biggest disappointment of all? Turns out one calm n' brilliant Barack Obama isn't enough to solve the problem of 535 vile n' slothful congressional jackals who aren't Barack Obama. Go figure.
Shall we recall just how violently disappointed those fundamentalists were when Bush bumbled off the stage, the single greatest disaster as president we will ever know? They were, of course, mostly disappointed Bush wasn't able to do far more repellant damage than he did. They wanted nothing less than full-scale war on Islam, death to all abortion doctors, creationism in schools, homosexuality banned outright, all you scary women to please stop it with your needy n' terrifying vaginas. You know, the usual.
And now it's the hardcore Dems' turn, in reverse. Obama cannot do enough good, fast enough. He is failing as our personal SuperJesus. Not because he's not accomplishing volumes and making all sorts of history, but because we were expecting total mindblowing revolution. Hey, it's his own fault, right? He's the one that set out one of the most ambitious agendas in presidential history to go along with the million-mile hole he has to dig us out of first. Can you blame us for whining?
But we don't stop there. Not only are we disappointed, we need to express it. Vent it. Hiss it and spit it and hurl it like fistfuls of mental manure at the great wall of hey, screw you.
You have but to take a peek in the comments section below this column, any column, any article on this or any news site whatsoever, to see just how mean and nasty we have become. It does not matter what the piece might be about. Obama's speech. High speed rail. Popular dog breeds. Your grandmother's cookies. The anonymous comments section of any major media site or popular blog will be so crammed with bile and bickering, accusation and pule, hatred and sneer you can't help but feel violently disappointed by the shocking lack of basic human kindness and respect, much less a sense of positivism or perspective.
Maybe this, then, is the ultimate upshot of our endless, self-wrought swirl of sour disappointment, of never having our impossible needs fully met, of constantly being thwarted in our desire to have the world revolve around our exact set of specifications and desires.
Our disappointment begins to curdle, to turn back on itself, poison the heart, turn us nasty and low. It shifts from merely being a national mood or general temperament, into a way of being. A wiring, deep and harmful and permanent. It's all very disappointing, really.