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sour grapes, bad whine.

29 January 2010

i was reading around the internet today, and came upon this article in a san francisco paper.  it was a sarcastic (and, to be warned, somewhat caustic) editorial on the state of our attitudes these days.  but it caught my eye.

in short, we all need a big time out and attitude adjustment.

the author ends by saying this, which i thought was poignant (emphasis mine):

“…Not only are we disappointed, we need to express it. Vent it. Hiss it and spit it and hurl it like fistfuls of mental manure at the great wall of hey, screw you.

You have but to take a peek in the comments section below this column, any column, any article on this or any news site whatsoever, to see just how mean and nasty we have become. It does not matter what the piece might be about. Obama’s speech. High speed rail. Popular dog breeds. Your grandmother’s cookies. The anonymous comments section of any major media site or popular blog will be so crammed with bile and bickering, accusation and pule, hatred and sneer you can’t help but feel violently disappointed by the shocking lack of basic human kindness and respect, much less a sense of positivism or perspective.

Maybe this, then, is the ultimate upshot of our endless, self-wrought swirl of sour disappointment, of never having our impossible needs fully met, of constantly being thwarted in our desire to have the world revolve around our exact set of specifications and desires.

Our disappointment begins to curdle, to turn back on itself, poison the heart, turn us nasty and low. It shifts from merely being a national mood or general temperament, into a way of being. A wiring, deep and harmful and permanent. It’s all very disappointing, really.

as i tell my students, in the nicest, loving, i totally understand you and life is hard kind of way…GET OVER IT.  no need to be so sour.  realistic, and honest, but curdled?  the incessant complaining about how life has wronged us today?  no thank you.  when an (ex) talk show host has to tell us to stop being so cynical, it’s telling, no?
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