Monday, January 12, 2009
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!