Thursday, March 26, 2009

Optimistic Correctness

A significant evolution in Danspeak 9.0 is that patriotic correctness has been replaced with optimistic correctness. It is no longer enough that everyone support the state. It is no longer sufficient that no one speak up or challenge the regime. It's not even enough to stand united behind the leader.

No, the demands of your nation do not stop there. Now the fatherland expects total optimism. Isn't waving the pink-white-and-green (and hauling down the maple leaf) enough? Isn't crushing all opposition enough? Isn't a goose egg enough? Isn't conducting foreign policy enough? No, it's never, never enough.

Why? According to the Speech from the Throne, "In no other region of the western world is optimism greater than it is right here in Newfoundland and Labrador, and this optimism fuels our confidence that we can meet any challenge." [bold in original].

Without optimism, there's no confidence. Without confidence, there's no unity. Without unity, there's no bold and brilliant leadership. Without bold and brilliant leadership, the state would be just an ordinary state, like any other western government.

Thus it is not enough to be very optimistic. You must be the most optimistic in the history of optimism.

Why the obsession with optimism? Well, optimism is a state of mind as much as a behaviour. It's as much about how you feel as what you do. It entails both emotion and action.

Unlike obedience or loyalty, which often require only tacit consent, optimism demands active involvement. You cannot just go along; you must display specific emotion. And not just any display will do: it has to be the strongest show of optimism in the western world.

Such megalomania is worthy of literature. Oh's already been done by some guy named Eric Blair, who wrote how a servant of the state "set his features into the expression of quiet optimism which it was advisable to wear when facing the telescreen." See:

But there is a real difference between politics and literature. In Newfoundland in 2009, the optimism is never quiet.

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