jan’s thoughts


Everybody knows Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” That simple sentence could be the condensed Pessimist Manifesto. Bad luck by default. I can identify with it. I’m from Germany, so I’m naturally pessimistic.

Right now I’m thinking, will I ever finish this post? Will it be any good? Probably not. But, like by some miracle, I keep hammering away on my thought-ridden keyboard. Is there a tiny bit of optimism left in me? And if, what’s hidden in its pockets?

Some believe pessimism is “Germany’s secret to success”. Somewhere else they say that for Germans, pessimism is a sign of “depth, critical thinking and a certain intelligent caution.

Maybe we should rename Murphy to Otto or Wolfgang? Anglo-Saxons are masters of self-deprecation, not self-loathing. Leave one cool thing to “us” if you will! Please?

When others see blue sky, you check the weather report to make sure there’s no rain coming your way. Or pack an umbrella anyway.

When your friends can’t stop talking about their shiny new thing, you start a rant about planned obsolescence and Western consumerism.

Being a pessimist means being a real pain in the ass, sometimes. You pull yourself down and become dead weight for the people you love.

Maintaining that negative outlook on all things life is utterly time-consuming.

It’s like you keep begging your brain to come up with new horror scenarios because you’re constantly at risk of being happy.

It’s work. It’s less heroic than it sounds.

Being the sad guy or gal in the corner of the room stops being cool when you hit 30…40…?

Real scientists, wearing white lab coats and such, say that “defensive pessimism is a strategy that people who are anxious use to help them manage their anxiety.”

Expect you won’t get hired, so over-prepare for that once in a lifetime interview to reduce the likelihood that they’ll forcefully remove you from the premises.

Do everything in your power to avoid that it’ll all go to shit. Be rational, realistic, work with care, find loop-holes. Spot mistakes, use the neon Sharpie.

To me, life is a punnet of rotten grapes you picked up in the discount section of your local Waitrose, because it was the only thing you could afford.

But every now and then, in the midst of that mushy goo, I find a sweet sweet raisin.