I’ve decided that pessimism has been given a bad name by Big Fucking Whiners. Now, I’m sure that pessimists like me indeed die younger than our optimist friends. We’re not as happy either, as I think objective evidence like frowning and the compulsion to create unnecessary spreadsheets demonstrates. But the joy of pessimism has been ruined by all those people who cry about every little thing like they were piglets with their foot caught in a fence.
The traditional pessimist/optimist analogy involves the half full glass. As you know, the optimist sees the glass half full, and the pessimist sees it half empty. Big Fucking Whiners jump up and down and moan on Facebook because there probably won’t be any enchanted fairy nectar in the glass. Then they want a hug and somebody to waste part of their precious life playing Farmville with them, just to keep them from whining any more. Yet they get lumped in with pessimists.
By the way, optimists have the same problem on the other end. Optimism has been almost ruined by an infestation of Human Cocker Spaniels. Going back to the glass analogy, Human Cocker Spaniels bounce around and send a barrage of tweets about how they’ll never be thirsty again and how the glass might hold magic water that would let them turn into a well-endowed vampire mermaid with wings. But that’s the optimists’ problem, so to hell with them.
I’d like to see Big Fucking Whiners split off from pessimists into their own category, much like the Emmy Awards have grouped reality shows into separate categories so they won’t pollute the other TV programs. I don’t mind being seen as cynical, doubtful, and suspicious, because that comes along with almost always being right—or at least more right than the optimists. I do mind being labeled as a self-centered, hectoring cry baby. That just sucks. Come on, who’s going to get laid more: cynical, suspicious Han Solo, or self-centered, whiny C3PO? If your answer is C3PO, this may not be the right blog for you.
In the end, I realize that only pessimists care about this distinction, and as a pessimist, I acknowledge that not even pessimists care enough to do a damn thing about it. Changing the way people think about this would take a lot of effort, and not that many people would buy into it anyway, and then they’d get distracted by a video of frolicking goats that’s not as cute as the video of frolicking giraffes, and heck, all that effort would be better spent on something like promoting home gardening anyway, right? So, to hell with it. I’ll eat another cookie and update my retirement planning spreadsheet.
Sometimes being a pessimist is so easy. No matter what the Big Fucking Whiners say.
Photo by Nik Frey.