Optimism 2

All very well to place published work on some optimism…   pessimism spectrum. What about personal feelings?  These seem to vary (mine at any rate), according to mood, last news item read, even day of the week. And they can be consistently complex.

I was talking the other week to a very senior government-advising type scientist – let him be nameless, but not the soon to depart chief UK scientific adviser if you’re guessing.  Well, he said, if he considered prospects for  the immediately upcoming decades from a professional point of view, it was hard to be anything but pessimistic. But then, when he thought about his daughters, he was always compelled to muster some kind of optimism.

As one who has daughters – I guess any children would do! – that struck a chord.

It wasn’t quite the old Gramscian slogan, pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will, but somewhere in that neighbourhood.

I wonder how many people feel this split in their feeling about the future just now?

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6 Comments on “Optimism 2”

  1. alice Says:

    I’ll forward you my paper on kids and futures/ pasts when the revisions are done. The bibliography might be useful. You should probably look at Edelman, Lee (2004) “No Future” – queer critique of optimistic futures and children. Famous for the line “Fuck Annie” (as in little orphan Annie – “the sun’ll come out…”). Controversial, and I don’t recomend it as an arguement you’ll necessarily like or I personally ascribe to, but it is a critique which has its own fame and currency in places and is interesting enough to think through.

    I’ll also try to stop wordpress from automatically sending people to my knitblog, which I realised it did on my last comment…

  2. jonturney Says:

    hmm, the invitation to Annie to refer to the instructions on the home cloning kit certainly sounds like an understandable temptation. Thanks for the reference.

  3. Oliver Says:

    Off topic — but tangentially related through obscenity — did you hear that on the latest recut of Blade Runner the line you used so brilliantly is bowdlerised to “more life, rather”

  4. jonturney Says:

    surely not! that’s really terrible…

  5. Oliver Says:

    actually, I mistyped — “more life, father”, according to a review I read

    More life, rather, would have a certain drones club charm

  6. jonturney Says:

    ah well, if father/fucker are interchangeable we’re back to Larkin, I suppose…


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