So here’s my question: What happens when the last hopeful girl on earth to provide cheer, encouragement, optimism and compassionate advice just ain’t feelin’ it no more? When the mood of the country has plunged so deep into the abyss that she can’t muster
the energy to be the ray of sunshine so many people count on? When she’d rather just stay inside the blithe and peaceful home she’s created than get swallowed into the angry, depressing underbelly of the world outside her windows? Because it’s happened, kids. My glass has officially dipped below half-full. The last upbeat optimist has left the building.
If you have any brilliant solutions or advice for me, would you kindly let me know? (Perhaps I should rephrase that for the masses: Hey, if U gots a idea 4 me, get ur hed outta ur a$$ & gimme a friggin heds up, b*tch!) Because for the first time in my life, I am running on empty. I’m at a complete loss. Yes, she who can usually find the silver lining in any situation has run out of silver linings. And there’s no one left for me to turn to. Frankly, it’s a miracle I’ve been able to maintain a cheery disposition for this long, focusing on the good and inspiring stuff that happens under my own roof – all magically without the aid of mood enhancers. But even with everything that I’m grateful for in my life (and that’s a lot), enough cultural sludge has seeped through the fence that it has officially poisoned my perpetually rosy garden.
How can it not, when this is our world:
- There’s not a trace of civility or kindness anywhere. I must’ve missed the memo that said, “Be snippy, be ignorant, be nasty, pay no attention to the humans in the same room as you – and whatever you do, under no circumstances should you ever, ever smile.”
- Language has devolved into an offensive mix of profanity and absurdity. Why even bother to talk to anyone anymore when a snide, misspelled text or tweet will do?
- The prevalence and depth of stupidity is staggering. People speak like idiots, they don’t read, they have no idea what’s going on in the world. They can’t figure out how to do anything without dumbed-down step-by-steps. They take the word of their chosen celebrity idol and don’t bother to think for themselves. Can you say herd mentality?
- Incompetence is ubiquitous. Just walk out your front door and within mere minutes, it’ll smack you upside da head.
- No one gives a rat’s fat keister about anybody, or, really, anything.
- Snarkiness is currency. The more clever-angry you are, the brighter your star shines. A witty insult is a terrible thing to waste.
- Slovenliness is apparently next to godliness, particularly when it comes to style. Pants hang down around the knees, underwear sticks out, teenage girls skank it up like hos, and adults who should know better don’t feel a modicum of obligation to dress appropriately for the venue or occasion.
- Disrespect is rampant. Toward other people. For property. For other people’s time. For our country.
- No one takes responsibility; everyone automatically advances to the lightning round of the blame game.
- It’s totally cool to complain endlessly and not propose a solution. Fill up the time-space continuum with hot air. And if you can manage to inject some biting sarcasm, more power to ya.
- There’s nothing that’s not divisive-including the place we go to worship, which is deeply divided and palpably alienating. There’s not even a spiritual calm in the storm.
- Outrageous behavior is celebrated and rewarded. We’re treated to, what, over 200 channels of 24/7 jackassery? Awesome.
- Controversy is the name of the game.
- There’s no such thing as going “above and beyond.” Why bother when it’s perfectly adequate to get away with doing as little as humanly possible without being called out?
- Anything without edginess or sexiness is scoffed at. Flash over substance any day of the week.
- Got a commitment or obligation that you don’t feel like honoring? Eh, screw it. Just blow it off. Somewhere in the fine print, doesn’t the Constitution say that everybody has the right to abandon anything that doesn’t give them instant gratification?
- You can find manners underneath that manual Smith-Corona and those yellow phone books in the dumpster behind your local Walmart.
- It’s encouraged – rather, championed – to mock or bash people who have a different perspective. If you don’t like someone, start name-calling. “Hypocrite” is always an outstanding choice, followed closely by “liar” and “dumbass.” Get your friends to join in. And you’ll all receive bonus points if you can manage to mainstream someone’s actual given name to imply villainism.
- Sassiness is the new black for tweenage girls. It’s all the rage on the runway this decade.
- No one stops to listen, they just keep yelling incessantly over everybody else. Forget about, “He who rants loudest, rants best.” More like, “He who rants the longest wins.”
- Courtesy and politeness get you nowhere. Being obnoxious and in-your-face is the only way to get things done. Outbursts and tantrums are especially effective.
- There’s no need to be grateful for the things you have; it’s a better use of time to bitch about the stuff you feel entitled to, but don’t have.
- Character? Bwahahahahaha!
Is it any wonder why cynicism has overtaken my cheery optimism? I kept my finger in the dyke as long as I could, but not even my whole hand can keep this flood at bay any longer. I was silly enough to think that the way I run my happy, successful household could possibly be a model for changing the tone and culture of our country for the better. I wanted to be part of the solution. And instead I’m ridiculed and marginalized. Shamelessly disregarded. Because I’m a dork. Not edgy. Out of touch. Mocked by the cool table in the cafeteria. Which is all fine by me, but to quote the Rocket Man, “It’s lonely out in space.”
So, you know what? I throw up my hands. I’m finally joining the rest of the world in not giving a crap anymore. I’m done. Taking no prisoners, baby. I’m sure that will make someone somewhere ecstatic to hear. Now that the last cockeyed optimist has given up, it should lend proof to the 75% of Americans who think the country’s “on the wrong track” that we’re not simply heading in the wrong direction. We’ve officially fallen off the cliff.
And to apply the premise of this post, I’m sure the two of you who have made it all the way to the end don’t give a rodent’s patootie what I think. (But, whew, I feel a lot better putting this “I No Longer Care Manifesto” into words.) Share a comment below or don’t – I really couldn’t care less.