I am trying to figure out why I am so jaded. Is it because I was born under the reign of Richard M. Nixon? Is it because of the ending of St. Elsewhere? One look at all the JOY! and OPTIMISM! that other people are feeling (see every single other Facebook status update), and I wonder why I don’t see signs of hope where everyone else does.
Take for example the love fest over Jennifer Lawrence. It’s not that I don’t love her and her excellent performance in Silver Linings Playbook. My issue? She’s being praised (rightfully so) for her anti-anorexia comments and has vowed that she will never diet or become a skinny minny for Hollywood. (See here). So how come I am the only one who doesn’t believe her? I want to, but I just don’t.
And it’s not that I think she is lying. I’ve been burned before by actresses (usually in their early 20′s) who swear they love themselves as they are with all their curves and promise that they won’t succumb to the siren call of starvation, and then BOOM! I am standing in the check-out line and there they are looking emaciated. I’m not naming names but *cough* *cough* Christina Ricci *cough* Michelle Lea *cough*. Of course in the attached interview, they simply tout their “new vegan diet” and thrice weekly Bikram yoga plan. So, please forgive me if I think it’s a little soon to be worshiping at the altar of Jennifer Lawrence’s curves.
And what about this hullaballoo over the new Pope? Yes, Pope Francis seems like a nice enough guy. But the Argentines interviewed on NPR this morning were gushing with pride and praise over the newly-elected pontiff because “he’s a man of the people” and he will bring the church back to some semblance of glory and divine mission. I hope that’s true. Again, you will have to forgive my skepticism. I am a little nervous about his record during Argentina’s Dirty Wars. Moreover, I don’t know how one pontiff can correct the problems with the Catholic Church. As I heard the cheers (and saw them on my Facebook feed), I wondered why I was so damn grouchy and refusing to celebrate along with everyone else, even if Pope Francis can’t fix it all.
What is this deep cynicism and where did it come from? And those are my most relevant examples, but believe me my list of “NOT LIKE” is longer than your list of “LIKE”s.
Do I think the Today Show will ever recover from the Ann Curry debacle and regain ground from Good Morning America? No.
Do I think our country can address our relationship to guns and violence soon so that the deaths can stop already? Nope.
Do I think that recycling and hybrid cars can save the Earth? Not so much.
Do I think that Jessica and Justin will go the distance? Not really.
Do you think the people from TED are going to call me to give a presentation on hope any time soon? No chance in hell.
Do I think the glass ceiling can be destroyed? Yeah, right.
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This burst of cheer and good energy is brought to you by a mother who ran out of chocolate while her husband was away and her kids weren’t willing to sleep alone in their beds and whose fat jeans felt tight.