SATURDAY, 1/21/12, Issue 20
Don’t call it ‘Jax’: Your Jan. 19th edition carried this headline: “Jaxonpool a stressed-out place to be.” A CNBC.com / Sperling’s Best Places poll named Jax the 4th most stressed-out U.S. metropolitan area. Some Jaxonpudlians responded by affirming our laid-back character, noting the city’s high rate of OxyContin addiction.
However, I believe 4th represents a milestone. Instead of bemoaning, we should be figuring out ways to overtake Miami (3rd) and Tampa (1st). Jacksonville a stressed-out place to be, according to poll
Jaxonpudlians should be proud: we have gone from being the land that time forgot (but could smell) to being a place the rest of America actually worries about. Already messages are pouring in advising us to slow down, take a deep breath, and stock up on Diazepam at one of Deleónsylvania’s many pain clinics. Some within the city suggest we make changes to relieve tension, such as replacing the Downtown Ambassadors with surveillance drones. Others question the poll sample: did CNBC/Sterling not notice that the teenagers are more fried than the food? And others explain our city’s rise in the stress standings by attributing it to having acquired an African-American mayor and a Muslim owner the NFL franchise. One disgruntled Jaxonpudlian mumbled “I can’t sleep at night” as he packed up for Maccclennny.
Some Jaxonpudlians say we should affirm what is good and relaxed about our city by refusing anymore to truncate its title to “Jax.” This is the “Don’t call it Jax” movement. Jax, they say, fails to capture our metropolis’ dignified tranquility. They say the monosyllabic “Jax” gives the impression we are too much in a hurry, unable to take the time to utter three syllables. Gotta rush off! Pronouncing all three syllables, Jax – on – pool, they maintain, suggests we have time to linger, perhaps all afternoon, or at least until the OxyContin wears off. This movement parallels one that occurred in our sister city across the continent and that was pushed by that city’s equivalent of our columnist, Mark Woods:
But then, we all know what happened to our sister city.
Similarly, putting the “-onpool” back in Jaxonpool somewhat resembles the Christian effort to put the “Christ” back in Christmas. Sometimes there is strong reason, even from an atheist’s point of view, for putting it back:
Of course, this “Putting the Christ back . . .” crusade can be implemented with too much enthusiasm:
(Would Jesus get a discount?)
All indications are the folks in the “Don’t Call It Jax” movement are very far from resorting to such rash measures. I doubt we will be pronouncing the second and third syllabus at the point of a gun. However, therein may lie the problem. I reject the flower-power, spongey thinking of this movement. Extreme stress, I affirm, is good. Stress is all about survival. And we need to survive. President Richard Nixon was all for stress. He said he did his best thinking when he was under stress. Do you recall the wonderful things it did for him?
With Jaxonpool on Miami’s heels, and Tampa a little ahead of them, number one is now within view. At last our city may become number one. Nationally. Yeah! No. 1. IN SOMETHING! (besides being the murder capital) To become #1, Jaxonpudlians will need to redouble their efforts.
So, here’s the pep talk. Reject bodily needs and desires. Eschew hedonism. Deny sensual pleasure and enjoyment of the fruits of your labor. Work incessantly. Worry. Be serious all the time, but never more so than when stuck in traffic on Butler, the Fuller-Warren, or on Interstate Ten.
Don’t breathe deeply; breath hard and fast instead until stress becomes an unconscious process. And when we have truly internalized extreme stress and become enlightened with it, we will seek the answer to what all this striving and stress was for.
In the meantime, wear your stress on your sleeve, breath fast and hard, keep calling it Jax, and don’t forget to honk your horn.
August’s List: Recently published music videos, edited by Farinelli. Watch & listen