As you could probably tell from my Supreme Court posting, I’m very frustrated with the liberal non-profit world these days. (Yes, I still work in it myself because I haven’t quite figured out how else to earn a living.) Today, my partner wrote an email that really captured something I’ve felt, so I decided to share it with you. I took out any identifying information; after all, we do need that non-profit to keep paying his salary!
“This morning, I watched an intern tell a co-worker some relatively unimportant piece of news that I suppose could have been interpreted as a very mildly positive development on whatever the both of them are working on, and I then had the privilege of being a witness to that dorky 10-second dance that my co-worker does when she is given a piece of "good news" (complete with finger-snapping) that totally does not warrant such a physical display of joy.
“And then it hit me: I thought about ol' Alan Greenspan and his comments about "irrational exuberance" - this is totally what half the people here do. We get excited about bullshit, and convince ourselves that the bullshit is in fact very significant and real, like overzealous cheerleaders at a high school pep rally, and then we sweep very substantial and meaningful bad news under the rug and put our own delusional spin on it. Whether this is done consciously to keep morale high or the troops focused on their tasks, or unconsciously as a defense mechanism to prevent us from having a complete nervous breakdown, I dunno. But in any case, it blows my mind, increasingly so since last November.
“It's certainly not in my view a simple case of "positive attitude" or "necessary optimism". No offense to the real hard work all these folks do, but the delusional state of mind (especially after the last presidential election) sometimes borders, in my view, on mental disorder.”