On The Bright Side.....
Not everything is horrible: there is greater knowledge, there is beauty, there is art, there is friendship
I often get criticized for coming across as too pessimistic (the young kids call it ‘blackpilling’), too negative, and lacking in ideas on how to make things better. This is a very fair criticism, but I will still try to mitigate it by explaining myself as follows:
It took me a very long time to realize that when I write, I am writing for myself, to myself, to help me understand the world around me. This might come across as selfish, but it is not intended to be so. The amount of information that the normal person is bombarded with daily would seem unreal to his or her own great-grandfather. For those of us who are terminally online new junkies, it becomes exponential.
Writing allows me to work out not just how to process this deluge of information, but also how to categorize it mentally, how to spot patterns in it, and how to anticipate what will come next. If I can make sense of something during this effort, it is a success.
Over the years I have learned to take a more ‘big picture’ view of the world around me, and not to get too lost in the details, even though “details can kill you”, as an ex-boss of mine in my consulting days hammered into my head. It’s this big picture approach that allows me to somewhat detach myself from the ups and downs of the news cycle. I credit Oswald Spengler for this, along with the fatalism that I have inherited from my own cultural upbringing. “Optimism is cowardice!”, insisted Spengler.1
Many of you have thanked me for doing a not bad job in attempting to objectively analyze events from time to time on this Substack. Unfortunately, many others feel a sense of dejection thanks to these analyses. It is not my intention to demoralize, and I myself am not at all demoralized either.
Being Catholic, I expect things to be bad as I know that utopia is impossible in this world, even if I am commanded by God to try and make this place a bit better every day by living my best Christian life and leading by example. Add this my Spenglerian approach to history and politics and you will now understand why I am not as down as you might be.
Even though I have written a lot over these past two years, I never want to tell readers what to think nor how to act. I do not think that it would be proper to do that. If I persuade readers while working things out in my head for myself, it serves as a data point that I am not TOTALLY insane. I am certain that many of you long-time readers have been able to detect that my essays include elements where I am testing thoughts out to see if they have merit and/or validity. This is the main reason why my essays on Substack should never be treated as a final version.
With this in mind, I want to communicate to you that it is not all doom and gloom out there, and that we do live in a world of beauty and opportunity despite being engulfed in a permanent negative feedback loop. I apologize to those who think that I aim to demoralize with my writing, as nothing could be further from the truth.