Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It’s ok to be an optimist, full of non-specific can-do elan, gazing rapturously at misty vision of the better tomorrow our manifest destiny will finally deliver us into, ok to be a pessimist, a bit of a downer, perhaps, but a speaker of ugly and necessary truths and cautionary tales. Best of all to be a realist, third-way, middle path, nodding sagely and raising your eyebrows in amused contemplation of the excesses of the other two as they flank you on either side.

What you mustn’t be is any kind of idealist. What you mustn’t imagine is any kind of permanent, large scale transformation of social relations for the better or waste time dreaming of worlds as yet unmade and unimaginable: that particular adolescent yearning, fluttering away in your chest, should be stamped out a.s.a.p. Don’t embarrass yourself at your age, even if it’s still there, hide it away, lock it up and ignore it. Never publically acknowledge it. Get on with the loud, sour, self-harming business of living.

But for all that, we both know how strongly it is in you, don’t we?