Thursday, February 28, 2008

Giving My Inner Cynic a Time-Out

(Originally posted by Michelle on Jan 30, 2008)

Giving My Inner-Cynic a Time Out

"It's hard to argue against cynics - they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side"
Molly Ivins

"The opposite of creativity is cynicism"
Esa Saarinen

As a born and raised New Yorker, born to and raised by other New Yorkers, I would have to guess that cynicism is in my DNA. It's in the water there. In fact, the reason we moved out of the city when I was 11, was that my parents realized I had already become way too jaded. ("Ugh, Lincoln Center AGAIN!?!?")

I've been thinking about the nature of cynicism a lot lately, because I've actually found myself feeling... um, what do you call it? Hopeful?!? (Full disclosure here: I have an eight month old baby, and it's HARD to be cynical around a baby... even for me!) I'm starting to feel like maybe it's time to lose the "been there, done that" attitude and maybe look forward to some things for a change...

I think Saarinen is right. As an artist of any kind, you have to be hopeful in SOME way. I mean, if I felt cynical every time I sat down to write a song, I wonder how many songs I would ever get written? So this is a song I wrote with my friends Kay Hanley and Kara DioGuardi for our band The Dilettantes, which kinda sums up what I'm trying to impart here.

The Dilettantes: "What’s To Come" (MP3, 4:19)

Now I'm not know... "drink the Kool-aid." I'm just saying, let's be open to the possibility that things can change for the better. Yes, I'm talking about the upcoming election. But I'm also talking about the Green movement, which seems to moving out of Vermont and Santa Monica and into the rest of the country. I'm talking about music, and film and television... which we now have the power to say yes or no to. ( I mean, look at what Jill has done with her website for her next record! That wouldn't have happened 5 years ago! ) Oh, the economy is rotten and we're still in Iraq and the healthcare system is completely, utterly f**ked. There's a litany of reasons to be bummed out. But let's not!

Who's with me?

addendum: after the other night's State of the Union address, I am no longer with me. But I'm going to post this anyway, because maybe you readers can tell me why you think things may be looking up (other than "cuz it can't get any worse." I've already thought of that one.

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