When Optimism Gets Irritating

Posted: February 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

Went to the all-island young speakers’ contest last night, like I do every year.
And man, the standard has officially dropped.

Of course, the contestants have mastered the art of speaking in itself very nicely.
Good posture, great gestures and articulation of the words, blah blah.

But the content of most of their speeches…
What ganja have these guys been smoking and where can I get some?

Suddenly, it’s become trendy to repetitively use the words free, happiness, hope, love, family, friends, enjoy life, join the hippy movement!
Ok, maybe not that last one but you get the message.

And then repetitively quote and mention Gandhi, Thomas Edison, Franklin, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Mummy Teresa, oh and lately, Obama.

Optimism is a nice thing, yes, and those people are great and all, but this is overkill, dahling.

This is pretty much an example, albeit exaggerated, of one of these newage speeches:

You can climb mount Everest! Become president! Become the richest man in the world! Invent a cure for AIDS!

You can do anything, literally, anything. Really, anything at all. Just close your eyes and open your heart, and love love love! Open up your soul and fill it up with hope! Fill everything up with love and hope and.. and love and stuff. And care for people! Spread the love! Don’t wage war, it’s bad! Hold hands and care for people and be happy, man. Peace.

Oh and I love puppies and kittens.

Come, let us sing a song by Bob Marley, and then read a John Lennon poem!
Then let’s get naked and dance in a daisy patch and sing about the sunshine and the butterflies, and love will save us all!

Now I shall walk off the stage after saying something real catchy like ‘enjoy life!’ or ‘the powah is yours!’ with a squinty look on my face that makes me look like I’m a wise old man who has achieved nirvana, or just someone who’s been smoking shitloads of some really good weed.

Chokka Bunnis sitting next to me was just as horrified, voicing a dramatic ‘What is happening to our youth, man?’

Blind unconditional cliché positivism like that has already been hackneyed by grade school kids, boys and girls.
Optimism appeals to the masses, but only when handled with a firm hand of realism. Wearing a theatrically wide-eyed hopeful look on the face and singing about how love is the answer to all our problems, only works in a theatre. When you’re playing the role of a hippy.

I was bored by most of the event, needless to say.
What served as entertainment for the night was a 7 year old who applauded at all the wrong times, the man’s chair in front of me making a hilarious fart noise (I kid you not!) whenever he shifted positions (yes I am sure it was the chair!), and some guy’s gorgeous converse shoes (I waaaant!).

The winner of this year’s contest definitely had close to nil competition. Delivered optimism with some real credibility and intelligence.

Hats off to all speakers, for the courage to get onstage when a thousand eyes are scrutinizing your every word and move, and still be able to speak, let alone speak well.

But please. No cheese and corn next time kay?
Got enough last night to last me a lifetime.

  1. PseudoRandom says:

    Oh but it’s so fashionable to quote Obama these days. And to change your Facebook profile pic to an Obama-esque one. And to shout ‘yes we can!’ at every given opportunity. It’s not that I don’t appreciate his oratory skills…I’m just not blind to the fact that he is a politician, and politicians are meant to pull the wool over our eyes…that’s their job.I guess what these kids show is how powerful words can be. They’d rather regurgitate rhetoric from some dead people (great people, but dead nonetheless) than proactively address the reality we live in. Coming up with rhetoric of their own is far too difficult and depressing.Oh and about the converse…they look cool! But my friend has a pair and she said they’re not that easy to walk in :SP.S.- sorry for the ramble…I’m spending the night in the lab again 😛

  2. TheWhacksteR says:

    rhetoric sometimes has equal power and credibility as plain fact. but overkill is a demon alright. and i hardly think drugs in itself is the reason behind the hippy philosphy. rather i believe it was a converse effect. i.e. their philosophy is so far removed from the reality of the world that some form of escapism is needed for the fantasy to seem more real get it?:Dpoeple are people after all! and hey man! let ME know next time drs some interesting shit like this going down alright!!

  3. Makuluwo says:

    Your ramblings are always welcome here, PR! :DI dun care about how comfy they are, man.. so gorgeous that I’d be hugging them to sleep every night. Yes I’m obsessed. They’re smoking something, Whacko, I'M SURE OFFIT! >.< But you wanna come to one of these things? A tad masochistic aren’t we? 😛

  4. DeeCee says:

    “hilarious fart noise” wheeheheh…reminded me of this time a gentleman sneezed REALLY loudly at the back of me head, at a kathak dancing recital once.

  5. Aamina says:

    ohh u’re makulowo…lol..had no ideathanx anyhow..love ur blog too!ill be back in SL in 3 weeks…let’s meet up k..v shud so totally hav a bloggers meet..i’m sure i kno half u guys!

  6. Broken Metal Madman says:

    haha totally true spidy i mean god how many times can you sit there and think love can do it all =P even though in some ways it can =P

  7. Anonymous says:

    how come you tuk chokka bunis and not me??sob,sob…..thats why the thing u went to was so horrible!!!!

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