It embarasses me that I’m an optimist.
Because what this really means I don’t, on some level, believe the world is a bad place, a randomly brutal, horrific place where everyday people are going through the kind of pain and suffering I can barely imagine, where other people are commiting deeply unpleasant abuses.
I’m ashamed of how I seem to believe that the only bad things that happen to good people are things that will make them stronger.
I argue with myself. I say to myself, “It’s hard to know just how bad the world is and I don’t want to find out first hand. Sure, it’s not all sweetness and light, but is it as bad as, for example, Quentin Tarantino seems to think it is? Or various other creative figures whose works I find unpleasant and grim?” It’s certainly hard to tell, hard to see outside myself and the media but I don’t think trusting other people’s imaginations is the answer either.
I live in a very self-centered little universe, really, and it’s easy to interpret almost everything as how it applies to me. I don’t like that, and I don’t ever want that terrible shock and experience that comes when this kind of illusion is shattered, but I also don’t want to walk around pretending that horrible things never happen… But any time I try to lower that illusion, I feel like I must go insane, that there’s no point in living any longer. That nothing I can do will ever be good enough to balance out all that, that everywhere in the world, people are suffering and nobody is saving them, and it’s a terrible terrible disservice to simply dismiss it as background noise.
But I do. I look at things that are undoubtedly true, they happen, and they make me uncomfortable, because I can’t be confident only uncommonly bad people do them, and I say, “I can’t live in a world where these things happen,” and I put it out of my head and I blissfully go on with my life.
I don’t know how people stand it. How people can surround themselves with these things, whether fictional or real, and go on with their lives.
So, anyhow, I’m an optimist, I guess. It’s the only way I can keep on going. By being a poor deluded fool, because I guess in the end my self-interest outweighs anything else.
These thoughts brought to you by 2 large heads of garlic and Kill Bill.