Just got in from a screening of the brilliant film “I, Curmudgeon,” by the equally brilliant Allan Zweig. It’s an examination of curmudgeonly people and their negativity, and the effects that it has on their lives, and all such things.
I’ve wanted to see the film for years. I wanted to see it because it was the follow up to Zweig’s breakout film, Vinyl, one that has inspired and moved me over the years, but also, because I knew that I would relate.
I always knew that I was negative, but I come by it honestly, I think. I suppose I have a predisposition to being difficult and angry. My closest male role model growing up was my grandfather, who was the very definition of a curmudgeon – think Archie Bunker, only angrier. I know that a lot of people found him a miserable SOB, and I suppose that at many times I did as well, but, somehow, I understood it in a way that others didn’t. I actually found him rather hilarious, most of the time, so I started picking up mannerisms at an early age. I was a precocious curmudgeon, you could say.
In later years, I’ve come to recognize how being negative and brutally honest and somewhat intolerance of the general idiocy of society and the world at large have set me apart. I see that somehow I’m the exception to the rule, and most people are uncomfortable with that. Most people don’t like it when someone constantly reminds them that the world is full of stupidity, and that it’s all annoying and unfair. There was a long time where I felt badly about that, as society tells me I should.
But society is totally messed up. I’m sorry, it just is. I mean, how do you explain the phenomenon that is the TV show Glee? How is it that, in a world that is so clearly, visibly, irreparably, honestly screwed up, Glee has become the norm? Seriously? The world is full of sadness and horror and injustice and flat out stupidity, and our society is swept up by the most nauseatingly happy phenomenon since the Monkees. It’s disgusting.
Are we that incapable of dealing with reality that we have to block it out with a heavy dose of Glee? Those annoying, perky, perfect kids with their perfect hair and their dorky clothes, singing peppy versions of songs that were annoying in the first place, only to be made infinitely more annoying by their saccharine sweet and technologically aided delivery?… yuck. But, too often, that’s our way of dealing with reality – go as far in the opposite direction as possible. I guess that’s why the world is, and shall remain, completely messed up.
So I suppose that people like me who stare the brutal, harsh, completely screwy reality in the face all the time, are doomed to be ostracized. Luckily, in the past few years, I’ve been able to embrace being a curmudgeon, instead of being shamed by it. If being brutally honest and pointing out how stupid people and situations are is so bad, then consider me guilty and hand me a life sentence.
It’s much better than a life of Glee.