Past decade brings change to U.S., but individuals have to decide extent

As the decade comes to a close, the end of a year and a semester can get a person thinking.

These thoughts can be philosophical, like why am I going to graduate school when Alaska has free gold? Or it can be more grounded in everyday life, like why are Gears of War and Halo exclusive to the Xbox 360? Do I want to spend the money just to get an Xbox? Don’t I have enough video games? And FOX kept canceling good science fiction series. That was really annoying. I digress, but when you start looking back that can be easy.

Going beyond the individual, a lot happened this decade. Wars were declared. Oil was spilled. Historic elections took place. Health care reform was put on the books officially, for better or for worse. The world seems an oddly crueler place. It also seems a smaller place a place where events on the other side of the planet have repercussions that stretch across the entire world, whether we realize it or not.

Nationally the Tea Party movement and Patriot Act reshaped domestic politics. Politics has shifted into gridlock, and that seems to have gained everyone’s attention, perhaps due to the 24 – hour news.

Longtime readers of my inane ramblings might have noticed I’ve become more cynical and caustic in my writing. This has spilled over into my personal life too, but politics now seems to bring out the worst in people from the worst people, rather than being about governing the country.

Change took place. But change is not always necessarily a good thing. After 10 years, is America a better place, a worse place, or simply a different place? That question is best left to the individual. Things are certainly more complicated than they were a decade ago.

Or at least they seem so, but that might be the viewpoint of age talking. Maybe things are just different. Instead of simple, optimistic, and hopeful. Things are dreary, complicated and difficult. Sometimes it’s hard to believe there is hope for the future.

Sometimes of course hope is all we have. It stubbornly refuses to leave you even when you know that it should go away. Maybe things aren’t too much worse, or any worse at all. Life will find a way, and after a decade of political and economic change, things seem more or less the same.

Yes, there’s more unemployment. Yes, the crime rate seems to have gone through the roof. Yes, politics are a mess. But people still go to work. People still fall in love. People still gripe about “Firefly” getting canceled. After a decade of turmoil and strife, life goes on. What the next decade holds is impossible to truly predict, but one thing is clear. Well, three. Life will find a way, and FOX will cancel something good.

And our football team will still be terrible.

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