The economy has officially entered recession (though I guess the pencil pushers say it started a year ago), today's temperature failed to top freezing and my comrades in the newspaper business took another devastating hit today as the Tribune Company filed for bankruptcy. There are ample reasons to be utterly bitter these days and from this writer's perspective that might not be awful news.
Over the years, I've found that a general snark in my tone works for me. After all, my high school class voted me Most Sarcastic and I like my writing best when it's acerbic, biting, maybe even a touch angry.
Rage is an excellent motivator. So too its close cousin angst, which has an impotent connotation that often leaks into artistic outputs. Just look at the Smiths, the Cure, the entire Punk, Grunge and Emo movements. Huge proof for why bitter is the better worldview when you're trying to put out a record, poetry, a movie or even a blog.
So what to do when by some twist of fate you find yourself downright happy with at least part of your life? When all those cheery holiday wishes happen to fall on receptive ears and for once you don't want to throttle a Salvation Army bell-ringer, how can you write a Grinchy rant about another agonizing Christmas season as the lonely Jew?
Believe me, in this winter of our collective discontent, I am eternally grateful for a little sunshine, a few bright spots. The Heineken-inspired hijinks at a Chinese-Vietnamese wedding I attended this past weekend, complete with new friends and great pictures, make it damn hard to bitch and moan today.
But it all begs the question; in the face of overwhelming gloom when our nation needs a zaftig, fressing supersnark, has Shtetl Fabulous turned optimist? Or worse, a dreamy-eyed hack? Could a little happiness be my creative cryptonite? Probably not, but if you've got some good post ideas brewing or an item of general outrage festering in your pretty little head, please please send it along.