“Show me somebody who is always smiling, always cheerful, always optimistic, and I will show you somebody who hasn't the faintest idea what the heck is really going on.”
― Mike Royko
― Mike Royko
As a child, I read Mike Royko everyday. In fact, I write here probably because of the influence Royko had on me. I can't imagine what might have happened had Royko (who might have been the greatest smart ass columnist of all time) lived in the days when computers spawned bloggers.
For the record I believe I was born an optimist. In an effort to keep my sanity, I have turned into a cynic. It is my refuge against what is true and if there is anything I hate worse than a flaming liberal wanting to tell me how to live-
It's an optimist denying the truth in favor of his or her own fantasy version- of how things are.
I have known four dyed in the wool optimists. I can tell you with absolute certainty that I have hated all four of them. They are delusional creatures. These people are often seen running around exclaiming, "Oh Happy Day" while smiling after swallowing anti-depressants and pretending to be optimists.
It is all a show you see.
Once in awhile, justice comes on swift wings for these Mr. Rogers type- loons. Such was the case for a cop I used to work with. I will give his initials for the record as DB, but most will not remember who that is. He was one of those annoying bastards who pretended to be happy all of the time with one of those shit eating grins on his face- and for some unknown reason- I always just wanted to kick his ass. Kicking people's asses is one of the quickest ways to lose a job. It's a shame because that was once a very effective tool.
So one morning in the old days, DB the optimist, shows up to work with one eye black and swollen shut. Seems DB got more than a little bit friendly and optimistic about another guy's girlfriend and was jerked out of a hot tub naked and beat on a little bit. I think he told upper management- the Chief- that his injuries were the result of an unfortunate ski accident. I was well acquainted with the situation and I was pretty sure that had the Chief known the actual truth about what happened including the big yarn spun by Mr. Optimist- he would probably would have received a couple of unpaid weeks on the beach- if not fired altogether. But I let it go. I think I was just happy that he got his ass kicked by a private citizen and there wasn't a damn thing he could do about it. Years later, he got canned anyway.
Very often- I come across political writers who think that "We the people" are still in charge of this government. I have to admit, that I once and somewhat recently, numbered among those optimists. I realize now how foolish I was.
Time and time again, I will read these political writers who talk about taking control of the government or (get this) writers who will say something like- we will vote them out! Really?
So let the facts speak for themselves. With a 9% approval rate for Congress- 94% of the incumbents in the 2012 elections- were voted back in. If nothing screams TERM LIMITS more loudly than that- I don't know what does. That level of hopelessness is astounding. I have come to terms with it.
Term limits will never happen. I will die first. But that's just the optimist in me.
Here's the part you will really enjoy. The two remaining optimists that I know refuse to talk about politics. You know why? Get this. They see it as a no win situation. In other words, they are not very optimistic about talking about politics. Isn' that some rich shit? Apparently they pick only subjects that they are optimistic about! Therefore, if I can simply hijack all of the conversations and only talk about what I want to talk about- well I too, can be an optimist. Maybe join an old age nudist colony and sing Que sera, sera- whatever will be, will be- the future's not ours to see- que sera, sera.
God help me. I am thinking of blacking an eye or two. I shall leave this place today with another quote from a non optimist like me.