Monday, January 12, 2009

Woe there.


Okay, so it can get a bit ridiculous sometimes, but as a coping method, the American dedication to optimism has got to be applauded. If you're Irish, it's always a bit of a shock when a stranger tells you to have a "great day", a "wonderful New Year" or a "fantastic evening", but you get so used to hearing it and even (shock, horror!) saying it that when it's gone, you miss it.

It was okay for a few weeks in December, but here, the Christmas spirit melted faster than a chocolate Jesus. From newsreaders to taxi drivers, the Irish are hell-bent on gloom and misery and lamentation. And they fucking love every second of it. Since I landed back in Cork, people have been lining up to regale me with stories of job losses and dismal outlooks and dole queues. Irish people get a weird kind of satisfaction from spreading bad news. It's a negative, kind of hushed monotone, but if you look at the person's face, their eyes are dancing with pure, unadulterated glee.

It's amazing that the Germans are the ones to have come up with the word 'schadenfreude' ("largely unanticipated delight in the suffering of another") when you can almost be guaranteed it originated in Ireland 9,000 years ago when the lid fell off someone's Dolmen or somebody's wild berries turned out to have a laxative effect.

Why can't we report the news without the entire dramatic meltdown lecture?

There's a recession, people are losing their jobs, it's sad and scary and you can't get quality champagne in Aldi. I know, I get it, but do we have to keep flogging this dead, dead horse?

The Americans might be overly gung-ho about the 'Yes We Can', but why we have to be utterly fanatical about 'No we bloody can't, so there's no point trying' is beyond me.

Rant over. Have an absolutely fantastic day!

8 comments:

Laura said...

It's good to have rant! Hope you feel better for it.

On a completely different subject I managed to create something nice with the slow cooker this weekend. I made sure I didn't even glance in its direction for 6 hours! Perfect

The Sexy Pedestrian said...

Yay, see? It's not all doom and gloom, there's dinner to think about. Whatcha make?

Today is the first day I've left mine on while I'm at work, every fifteen minutes I get panicky about it and have to talk myself down.

lovelydisco said...

Ah! I totally agree! We know we're in a recession, we know people are losing their jobs etc etc but what the hell are we going to do about it? People should be talking about how to make it better and talking about nice, happy, shiny things that are still going well.

Jesus, stop wallowing like.

Laura said...

chicken, leek, mushroom, white wine, potatoes.

Was lovely.

Annmarie said...

i love the dolmen quote. i can't stop laughing. it's soooo true! we're a miserable lot. someone was bitching to me the other day about the cold and i said (being half american) 'at least it's not raining', to which they replied 'i'd prefer if it were.'

unbelievable!

:)

a x

Jane said...

I can't say it myself (being born elsewhere) but you are spot on sister!

sineadkeogh said...

You're spot on there. I had occassion to be on the phone to Americay a lot before Christmas and I felt genuinely better after the many exuberant 'Happy Holidays!' burbles down the line. That American lot are good at the cheer.

CronoCloud said...

Oh, the whole "doom n' gloom" thing as a kind of bragging point exists in America too At least amongst those Scots-Irish who eventually became "hillbillies", like my father's folk on his mother's side. Their mindset was kind of like "if you're successful you're a bad person, so let's discourage education and stay poor sharecroppers because that makes us more pure than those edumacated big shots"

Wacky.

Came to your blog via Sabrina Dent, who I know from her Second Life fashionista days, so I looooove the fashion.