Andy Rooney Is My Hero


My friends joke that if I don’t learn to chill I’ll wind up old and cranky like Andy Rooney. In fear that I’m headed for a stroke before my 30th birthday, they’ve tried everything from recommending yoga to giving me a weeklong stress retreat for Christmas (thanks mom!).

Nothing works, and one reason is that I want to be like Andy Rooney (minus the eyebrows). I’ve been savoring his bitter wit and observational aptitude since grade school, and I attribute many of my pet peeves to things he opened my eyes to, like how ridiculous it is to have 30 different coffee flavors.

While I found it in myself this past week to get uncharacteristically enthusiastic about an Obama presidency and the progress that this country will hopefully make under his leadership, I’m still an emotionally morbid Neanderthal who is uncomfortable conceding that such things are truly possible. And in situations like these, I turn to pragmatists like Rooney for my cues.

Tonight, he took the week off from complaining about his involuntary acquisition of thousands of paper clips and wire hangers to congratulate America for its most thoughtful collective achievement in decades, if not a century. And in doing so, Rooney truly vindicated the atypical optimism that’s filled my chest since last Tuesday night in Grant Park.

I’ve been searching for words like these to describe my sentiment since Election Day. From one cynical bastard to another: Thank you Andy. Now that you relaxed for long enough to get happy and sappy, I can do the same for at least a few months before Obama gets sworn in. So can you, you, you, and any other eternally paranoid liberal who you forward this clip to. Click here to watch the video. Excerpt from Rooney’s commentary below.  

“I’m a proud American, but I’m often embarrassed by our loud mouthed insistence that we are the greatest nation in the world – even though I think it’s true. The fact that the citizens of this country – 80 percent of whom are white – freely chose to elect a black man as their leader – simply because they thought he was the best choice – makes me think that we have every right to be proud of ourselves.”

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