Pessimism is enshrined as a hallmark of worldliness. Compulsive skepticism masquerades as perceptiveness. Mean-spirited irony is chic. Stories about treachery and degradation provoke a visceral thrill in millions of people who think of themselves as reasonable and smart. Beautiful truths are
suspect and ugly truths are readily believed. So it's hard work to be lovers of life -- taboo, against-the-grain work. We've got to be both wrathful insurrectionaries and crafty optimists.
We've got to cultivate cheerful buoyancy even as we resist the temptation to swallow thousands of delusions that have been carefully forged and seductively packaged by those among us who have bravely volunteered to play the role of know-it-all deceivers. We have to learn how to stay in a good yet unruly mood as we overthrow the sour, puckered mass hallucination that is mistakenly referred to as "reality." Maybe most importantly, we have to be dedicated to the cause of beauty and truth and love even as we keep our imaginations wild and hungry and free. We have to be both disciplined and rowdy.