Being a Debbie Downer might be funny, but only if you’re on SNL

Rarely have I seen a comedian with an optimistic approach towards life. A dark sense of humour is to comedy what the moth is to the flame. Also, word of mouth conveys the message that only stupid people can be happy, whereas the mentally gifted tend to be constantly challenged by this professional flaw seeker: their own reason.

I can’t say I’m not skeptical. Yes I can. I’m not skeptical, I’m in downright denial, because I have discovered that I’ve been living according to false convictions. Being positive does not mean anticipating something terrific is bound to happen, but rather being open to the good facet of every situation, whereas the negative stands there, pointing out the negative, like a lint roller that instead of removing the lint, it kinda just rolls it up and down the sweater.
Up until recently, I used to believe that if life scratches your back, you eventually scratch back by delivering a positive attitude. I am good comedy, am I not? It goes without saying how much ease of motion you have when you’re constantly waiting for something amazing to lift your mood. That’s not being optimistic, that’s being insane.

Fighting negativity was the hardest thing I ever had to do, because negativity is not the voice of reason, negativity is the voice of Hitler speaking about the jews.

My positive inner speech initially sounded really lame, like a goofy newscaster reading the teleprompter, and, as I stated earlier, negativity was impersonated by Hitler. Who won? Tough call.

Picture the dynamic though: you perpetually cast the first stone because hey, you’re a together young man, not oblivious to the cruelties of life, but you cast it upon yourself, so the stone perpetually hits you in the face like that brick hits Marv in Home Alone 2 (Lost in New York). This is negativity.

I’m not saying that positive thinking attracts positive things nor that negative thinking attracts negative things. What I do suspect is that one’s way of thinking determines one’s state of mind, be it peaceful or restless.

Unless peace of mind is happiness in disguise, I strongly believe it’s the next best thing.

I do have my reservations about whether or not I can identify the appropiate climate to deliver a mood lifting monologue : some are rich, some are poor, some are black, some are white, some are pretty, some are ugly, some are physically disabled, but believe it or not, some are Auschwitz survivors. And truth is, I rarely, if not ever, have to deal with being tied and starved and beaten or with having to hunt a seal to provide food or with life threatening malaria.

Au contraire, I generally have most stuff I need at my disposal, what with my high speed internet connection and wi-fi, grocery stores filled with superflous amounts of goodies, and people I can have perfectly decent conversations with. And yet at times I feel like I’ve reached the winter of my discontent.

Every once in a while, someone who’d been around the block a few times would “trick” me into believing a situation was actually brighter than it appeared. The nerve on that prick, to suggest that I do have the upper hand as to how I choose to look at life.

It usually pays a lot of resemblence with that scene in Scent of a woman when Chris O’Donnell tries to cheer up ol’ blind colonel AL Pacino, and AL Pacino makes a big deal about how Chris O’Donnell doesn’t know anything about pain and whatnot. You know the scene. Of course it stuck. But not because colonel Frank Slade is right but because Al Pacino is a tremendous actor and also because most of us don’t have to be blind to assume it must suck. Nevertheless, Stevie Wonder is also blind but I often forget about it because he seems to be focused on other stuff like playing the piano and making terrific music.

Truth is, I don’t always look for a solution, but for compassion and comprehension and the feeling that one relates to my situation. I often get that, but it’s addictive. People do relate, because we’re not that different and we usually encounter similar setbacks. Be that as it may, we probably all know by now that we’ve never outgrown a situation just because compassionate people agreed we were entitled to feel bad. And I’m not saying that one shouldn’t seek for the proverbial shoulder to cry on every now and then, I know I do.

But I also know that some people get hit very hard yet they manage to squeeze whatever is left of joy, for they know it’s the only way to spend the one life they’ve got, whereas other people go through life waiting for others to acknowledge their bad luck and failures, maybe secretly hoping that they will receive some sort of recognition of any kind.

What I’m getting at: when I find myself lacking bravery and determination, that’s when my mind becomes either my nemesis or my ally. As important as I might think being self-aware is, I have found that many of us mistake being self aware for being totalitarian and tyrannical with ourselves. Sure, the self-esteem movement ( where everybody’s a winner and nobody ever loses) George Carlin rants about might not be the bee’s knees, but the self-deprecating movement ain’t no precious gem either. This is obviously the kind of debate that could easily outlast humanity so I’m not encouraging it.

When I speak to myself like Hitler spoke to the jews I put myself down and I’m not a better person. I’m just down. You know how Dr.Dre ( who is not a real doctor by the way) claims that when he was close to defeat he rose to his feet? Well, I presume it wasn’t by repeatedly telling himself he’s not a real doctor.

To be able to give it a shot you have to be able to give it a shot mentally. That’s why you have to believe the positive, the encouraging and the useful. Who cares it’s not necessarily true? 2+2 = 4 is definitely true but it doesn’t help me when I’m scared. If thinking positive got you to the point of giving it a shot then that’s that.


such depth

There’s more to highschool than being well-liked.
Charlie Bartlett: Like what, specifically?
– Nothing comes to mind.