It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these columns. Truth be told, I’ve been busy with other writing related projects. That, and Showtime keeps playing Air Bud whenever I sit down to work. What can I say, I’m a sucker for any movie in which the lead poops on the floor in real life. (I’m looking at you, Clooney) Anyway, I’d like to say that I’m coming back swinging, firing on all comedic cylinders, but I’m not gonna do that. Not right now at least.
I recently attended a film screening, a rough cut of a yet-to-be-titled movie about Boyscout leaders. It was a comedy. As such, its desired result was that I laughed. I did. Good job, movie. You win. Or do you? See, after the screening there was a Q & A session. Everyone in attendance was able to voice their opinion on the aforementioned viewing. Being that I lack the ability to shut up, I went first. I had some well-constructed feedback, all of which pointed out the positives of what I just watched. The producers seemed genuinely psyched to hear that the fruits of their labor went well received. Then, well, the next viewer spoke. That’s when the dam of negativity broke. Everyone in that screening room, EVERYONE, had something bad to say. These were people who just minutes earlier I heard laughing their asses off, and now I was hearing them rip the source of that laughter apart. That’s when a sad fact dawned on me: everybody hates everything.
Read your Facebook news feed. Go on Twitter. Listen to strangers in subways or in elevators. Hell, sadly, listen to some of your own friends. Our culture has become one which breeds negativity. I can’t help but to notice this lately. Everyone seems to WANT to hate things. I’ve realized that far too many people enter new situations, be it a new movie, book, bar, band, hell, sometimes even meeting a new human being, with a guilty until proven innocent mentality. That, plain and simple, sucks.
Now some of you may be thinking, “Hey, bozo, the basis for 90% of your Antenna columns is you ripping something apart!” True. You got me. The pot calling the kettle hypocritical? Not really. See, I write these columns, in my own weird, roundabout way, for the soul purpose of positivity. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve appreciated laughter. Making people laugh is, as cheesy as it may sound, an intoxicating feeling. I absolutely love it. I mean, think about it. It’s literally impossible to laugh without smiling. And smiling is, by definition, the body’s representation of happiness. Laughter and sex are the two most enjoyable activities I can think of in life. And while, sadly, I can’t rock all your worlds (Full disclosure: I’ve probably never rocked anyones anything), I can try and put a string of words together to make you laugh. So do I genuinely get angry that Snooki released a perfume or that Kim Kardashian is all over the news? No. truth be told, I give not one shit about either of those things. But if I feel like writing about those situations in the way that I do might make a person or two laugh, then that’s what I’ll do.
So if you’re making a negative joke, I’ll give you a mulligan. That’s where the roots of some of the best comedy lay. But if you’re actively looking for ways to put things down, searching for reasons why you won’t like something new, going out of your way to knock something that you don’t actually know anything about, I implore you to rethink your ways. Now I’m not saying I ride to work on a fucking unicorn and eat dinner on a rainbow. I don’t live life with R.E.M’s “Shiny Happy People” looping internally. That’s not what I’m trying to say. My life is far from perfect, trust me. What I am trying to say is that living life with a glass is half empty attitude is like a fighter going into a boxing match thinking to himself, “I’m not gonna win. Why even try?” So if life is a boxing match, and make no mistake about it, in so many ways it is, I want to win. To me, if you’re smiling, you’re winning. And if you allow yourself to shake the negativity, you’ll give yourself a chance to win a whole hell of a lot more of life’s little battles, some of the big ones too. In the immortal words of Joe Dirt: Life’s a garden. Dig it.
You think you hate something? Give yourself the opportunity to be proven wrong. It feels good.
Think about this. When we’re old and gray, something that, God willing, we’ll all be one day, it’s the times in which you were smiling and laughing that you’ll sit back and look fondly upon, not the times when you were saying that something sucked.