Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Will Miss #453 - shiny happy people

My shiny, happy bit of Japan that travels with me, debu neko in the San Juan Islands.

One of the things about America that seems to have happened since the 60's is that being positive and happy is seen as a negative thing. People enjoy bursting bubbles and being cynical and sarcastic is elevated above being peppy and positive. It's just not cool to be happy and anyone who overtly displays it is seen as covering something up, having a mental health issue, or just being plain too dumb to realize the awfulness of life. Newspaper articles and blog posts remind you constantly that whatever you feel good about doing is actually bad for you and, incidentally, that good news you just heard isn't really all that good. Frankly, relentlessly positive people annoy me, but the negative nature of many Americans is just as much if not more annoying. Generally speaking, in Japan, being "cheerful" and positive is seen as a good thing and sarcasm is not considered a good form of communication.

I miss the overall focus on people trying to be more positive than negative that I experienced in Japan. It created a different energy when you were around people and was pleasant to be around.