New Year, New Nothing.

So that was Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Now, of course, it isn’t new any more, it’s partly used. Not used a lot, but enough so that calling it new is, frankly, a bare faced lie. It was a little bit presumptuous to assume it would be happy anyway, you have nothing whatsoever to base that on, and I resent the suggestion that you know more about my upcoming year – and the mood of it – than I do. Still, it is the general consensus that one should look out at what is to be with a sparkly, simpering jolliness, a naive hope that this is the year, this is your time. A belief that for the next 365 days (or this year, 366 days, due to the leap year status) everything will be awesome, or at least amazing with the one negative being exhaustion through sheer awesomeness. So an optimistic outlook is favoured, because optimism is best, yeah? Optimism is the way forward, it is in fact the only way, the right way. Any other way of thinking is wrong, incorrect, stupid. Isn’t it?

Take an ickle, wickle baby. Not literally because that will end badly. Figuratively and metaphorically then. When born, a child is filled with optimism, overflowing irritatingly with the misguided idea that everything will swing their way. Stupid, yes, but they are only ickle, and as previously stated, wickle. Through infancy a child expects to get what it wants, when it wants it, and if that doesn’t happen it screams and kicks and spits. It’s bloody lucky they’re so small and feeble or it would be a real problem. That is optimism in its purest, ugliest form, and remains untempered until repeated disappointment and defeat reign it in. You may think that this is all nonsense, but think about anyone you have met throughout your life who has never been told ‘no’, someone who has always got what they wanted, who never had to work particularly hard at anything in order to succeed. Think about someone who has had every lucky break, for whom failure was never very likely. Thinking about them? They’re a wanker aren’t they? You hate them, don’t you? And they run the country.
There is also the very simple fact that sometimes, things do go awry. Occasionally, or often, things happen that are very, very bad and if, throughout the entirety of your life everything has always gone your way, right up to the point something very, very bad happens, you aren’t very likely to deal with it very well. That’s a lot of verys, I know, but they were necessary. Very necessary. Point is that a bit of negativity is a good shield against the negative elements in life. Knowing that everything might not work out as planned is a good defence against the depression that can follow when it doesn’t. Preparation for both outcomes is key, a deeper knowledge that it might well ‘come up Milhouse’, but that if it doesn’t it’s not the end of the world. Unless its the end of the world, and then you’re pretty fucked.
As a prime example of poorly thought out optimism, I give you the London Olympics: 2012. Not sure why I’ve decided to include ‘2012’ in the title ‘London Olympics: 2012’, but I have now, so I’ll go with it. It’s going to be wonderful, isn’t it, the London Olympics: 2012. It’s going to be historical, a once in a lifetime event. Stirring instances of athleticism, bravery, determination and, um, athleticism which will, well, I guess, stir the nation. How proud we should be, how lucky we are, how unified by this glory are we. How much has it cost again? Sure, it’s gonna be an event, there’s no getting round that, because the London Olympics: 2012, is by the very nature of its construction, an event. An event made up of a series of events, each with its own potential for disappointment, failure, pain, regret and hindsight, that render the larger event increasingly likely to be a catastrophe. Not a certain one, but come on, it’s a statistical possibility. Crime will be at a peak, if not in London then everywhere else, because their police forces will be protecting the London Olympics: 2012. Ticket confusion has already left a bad taste in the general publics mouth, though to be fair, knowing the general public they could have put anything in that mouth. All that before you even consider the fact that the London Olympics: 2012, will be to a terrorist as a plate of freshly baked cookies placed just within reach after being explicitly told not to eat them is to a child. You remember children, we talked about them earlier.
Now, I’m not saying that it’s better to be pessimistic. I’m not saying that. The London Olympics: 2012 will have amazing moments, I’m sure. It may well pass without major problems or disturbance, leaving me looking like a right gloomy shit. So I’m not saying pessimism is the best, safest, most sensible mindset. It might be. I’m not suggesting it. All I’m saying is that when people tell me that negativity and pessimism are dangerous, worthless or destructive, they are idiots. That I am saying. As it happens, I don’t actually think I am a pessimist, not by the dictionary definition at least. There are many things that I look forward to, there are future events I expect to go well. There are even things that, through historical evidence and experienced repitition, I should assume will go wrong, but that I still insist might not. But I’m prepared for the badness, possibly over prepared, but prepared nevertheless. And incidentally, if it was originally full and someone drank half, it’s half empty, thusly if it was originally empty and is only 50% filled, it is half full.

And so, after a lengthy festive break, I am back. Refreshed, prepared, ready. Ready to tell people things they were probably already thinking, but were too positive to externalise. You’re welcome.

Post a Comment