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Friday, April 4, 2003

I'm gullible, and na´ve and inclined to take a romantic view of life. This is probably a defect in some people's eyes, and it does get me into trouble once in a while. I believe what I want to believe, and I've had occasion to regret suppressing my cynical side. But overall, I think I'm happier being a little stupid than I would be if I went around with a sneer on my face and a chip on my shoulder.

It doesn't come naturally, not to me anyway. I'm also an inveterate worrier. My instinct tells me to believe that in any situation the worst will always happen, unless I sweat and fret and lose massive amounts of sleep over it. Then there's a chance things will work out. Only a chance, and an imperfect one. Instead of the roof caving in, maybe there'll just be a few cracks in the ceiling.

This apparent contradiction only proves that I'm smart enough to realize how dumb I am. That makes me a whole lot smarter than some really dumb people, and probably a lot happier than some smart folks. I fight against the cynicism for the simple reason that it makes me kind of miserable to have to be on guard against unseen enemies all the time.

Besides, after years of worrying about every little thing, I never found any advantage in it. It didn't make things turn out better to obsess about how badly they might turn out. So I force a cheery smile and accept people at their word. Even people I know are lying to my face get the benefit of the doubt, and with great pleasure.

People don't usually take advantage of this gullibility I wear so proudly. For one thing, an easy mark isn't much fun to fool. For another, I don't hang around people a lot. I suppose if I were a more social person, I'd be thrown into situations that would rob me of my self-imposed innocence. Also, who cares? If people want to lie to me, all I ask is that no one gets hurt. That's how it seems to work out most of the time anyway.

This revelation applies mostly to personal relationships, but my political philosophy tends to have a rosy tint to it as well. I figure I can always find someone to back me up, no matter what I choose to believe, so I choose to believe that peace and justice will prevail in the long run. If I act as if that's true, it makes it a whole lot easier to face the world the way it is now. It makes it possible to believe that the small part I try to do to make the world better is worth the effort.


Life and death, from behind the garden shrubs.

Yes, in fact there is a real story behind this, but it's much less interesting than the philosophy that allows me to accept a minor betrayal here and there. I'll just say it's a work-related unkept promise, and leave it at that. If I told the story, the other person would come out much worse than I would, although you might think less of me for believing the promise in the first place. As long as I don't beat myself up over it, I don't feel any need to get hammered by anyone else for my na´vetÚ. So I'll just admit my weakness and withdraw as gracefully as possible.

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If you enjoy movies about unlikable characters doing inexcusable things while prattling on interminably, check out Roger Dodger. Even if you do like that kind of movie, it's hard to see this one through all the washed-out cinematography, done in herky-jerk style with a camera that never stops vibrating. I'm sure this is considered an edgy, intellectual film by the critics, but I found it a wee bit tedious, except when it was pissing me off. Not exactly what I look for in a movie.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Games
"It helps to have something to focus on other than oppression, destruction, car bombs and tanks. If we ever needed a distraction, it's now."

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If you'd have been there,
If you'd have seen it,
I betcha you would have done the same!