One of the cool things about gmail is that they have little snips of news stories, recipes, sometimes even quotations on the page above your emails. You can scroll back in case you missed one, or forward if you find that one more story on the Subprime meltdown will send you to the looney bin.
Yesterday, my gmail displayed the following quote from Paul Harvey, "I've never seen a monument erected to a pessimist."
I thought about that for a second. Almost immediately I came to the conclusion that Paul Harvey is an idiot. He's wrong, of course, because thousands of monuments exist paying homage to pessimism in many forms.
Here are the monuments I’ve seen that were erected to pessimists:
Joey S., "You know who else I don't like?"Speaking of paranoid pessimists, how about the monuments erected to Kim Jong il and his dad, or Saddam Hussein?
Mao, "Who? Intellectuals?"
Joey S., "Totally. Intellectuals suck. Also, everyone else."
Just about every paranoid, pessimistic despot in the history of time has had a monument erected to them at some point. At this point, I'm wondering if you can have a monument that isn't erected to a paranoid pessimist?
Lord Nelson wasn't a paranoid pessimist, was he?
In the Austrian town where we lived there was a monument to the black plague in the center square. I’m pretty sure that if you were to personify the plague, you’d get a pessimistic guy. At the very least, the black plague is a downer (like feline AIDS.)
On Sunday, when Other Half woke up on the wrong side of the bed and stayed there, I was cheerful to the point of mania. I was not going to ruin our Sunday feelings by giving into his grump-master routine. I even growled at him through a big smile during the passing of the Sacrament to "Lay off the attitude." Yet, I remained happiness personified even as I walked the halls with the baby and the preschooler. I probably deserved a monument after that day.
I think to be a pessimist you have to remain down and out even during the best of times. I like to think that I am hopeful, even optimistic, at least 50% of the time. Every once in a while, it is fun to be a little pessimistic. Lewis Black is a self-acknowledged pessimist and he's hilarious. I could step up the pessimism and become a roaring success, don't you think?
Then again, how can I be an affirmed pessimist when there are cats out there named Chairman Meow?
Now, who was uncomfortable that I said "erected" so many times?
Mao, "Want to hang out this weekend?"
Joey S., "Sure. I might have to finish up a couple five year plans, but I should be done by Friday."
Mao,"Five Year plans? I have a couple of those hanging over my head, haha! What do you want to do?"
Joey S., "Let's collectivize some farms and shoddily industrialize manufacturing."
Mao, "Sounds wicked-cool."