The Pathological State of America!


I think America has forgotten how to be entertained.  In many ways, the current overall state of the collective American conscious is in an almost pathological one.  I shuttered when I read online that Lady Gaga was going to politicize the half-time show at the Super Bowl this year.  It reminded me of the message packed half time show last year with complete overt references to gay marriage and numerous other special interest themes.  This year the commercials were even worse.  Not only were they not very entertaining, but so many of them wanted to make political statements it just bored me.  The 84 Lumber commercial in particular made me just want to get up and eat another wing.

Before you judge me as anti-immigration (and I’m not, my mother is an immigrant) or anti anything stop!  This is not about any political stance or moral high ground.  This is the observation of a psychologist who fears the collective conscious of America is now in a complete pathological state and has forgotten how to have fun!  What happened to the commercials that made us laugh like some of the Dorito commercials from last year?  How about those horses playing football, anyone miss those guys?  We laughed, we sat around and joked about them, we even got to the point we were rating them to see which commercial was the best.  Now what do we do?  We watch commercials that perpetuate our gloomy brooding national conscience to the point we’re numb to any emotion other than depression.  We ‘ve become a collective conscious akin to an angry teenager.  We’re dark, overly serious, intense, and believe every cause in the world is ours to challenge and take upon our shoulders carrying this heavy weight everywhere we go.  It seems like the only mood America wants to experience is one of subtle depression.  Clinically, we’re a collective diagnosis of “Dysthymia.”

There was a time when America watched football because they just wanted to be entertained.  There was a time where gay, lesbian, Christian, straight, immigrant, native born, as well as strangers and friends got together to simply watch football so that even if it was just for a short period of the year, they could be distracted.  Dwelling constantly on your gender, sexual preference, legal status, and whatever deep heavy issue you claim as your own is never healthy.  It’s downright pathological.

So, I know some of you reading this will label me as one thing or another; we seem to enjoy doing that these days.  However, instead of finding things wrong with me, let my message challenge you to find some joy in life.  Have some fun and allow yourself to be entertained (and to the entertainers of the world, entertain us!)  In the end, it’s the best thing for us during these intense times.  Psychological research demonstrates laughter and savoring good things in life reduces our stress hormones and reverses many of the effects high stress intense situations cause.  Come on America, find some time to have fun.  All these other deep, dark, troublesome, intense issues will be there for you in the morning.  Life is short.  Before you know it the things you think are so important won’t be that important when you breathe your last breath.   Rather these “important” things that consumed so much of your mental energy will be remembered as the missed opportunities you had in life to just have fun.  What a sad way to live in a country that has so much beauty for us to enjoy.


2 thoughts on “The Pathological State of America!

  1. I didn’t really think about the issues you discussed, although I “felt” them. When politics and polarization become an everyday occurrence, we’re in trouble. Thanks Dr. Hankle; this really made me think.


  2. Hello Dr. Hankle,

    I agree with you and am concerned that our children are not developing a conscience and becoming empathic, well-adjusted adults. Even those who I thought were well-adjusted are losing it over this election.
    Please continue to share your valuable insight and wisdom. It’s refreshing and much needed in our society today.

    Best regards,


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