f/k/a . . . the archives

October 8, 2003

Making the World Safe for Curmudgeons

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 6:25 pm

        I don’t usually see or read AARP Magazine, but Lauren Hutton’s on the cover of the current edition, and got my attention — until I noticed the tease for an article inside that tells us why America needs curmudgeons more than ever.  A Few Good Grumps, by Jon Winokur (Nov.-Dec. 2003) is enjoyable reading, and can be found online by clicking here (after finishing this posting, please).
        You’ll even find a quiz to discover whether you are a crank. The Results section of the quiz is classic:

If you refused to take this quiz because it’s a damn fool waste of time—and then wrote a lengthy, self-righteous letter explaining precisely why it was a damn fool waste of time—congratulations: You are officially a curmudgeon.

     Winokur has literally written the book on the topic, and here are a few of his insights about curmudgeons:

  1. They refuse to see life through the filter of wishful thinking and are outspoken in their devotion to the harsh realities of life.
  2. [T]hese are tough times for curmudgeons. In an age of fast-food intellect, when crudity is mistaken for cleverness, the articulate, witty curmudgeon seems out of place.
  3. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, our nation is becoming curmudgeon intolerant. It’s as though our American ears, like our American bellies, have gone soft. Look around and you’ll see the triumph of the mindless happy.
  4. Curmudgeons aren’t just funny or just mean. Part of what makes a curmudgeon is an almost allergic reaction to injustice.  
  5. “Curmudgeons are idealists at heart,” insists 60 Minutes commentator Andy Rooney.
  6. Curmudgeons thrive at both ends of the political spectrum.  [from Gore Vidal to Ann Coulter]
  7. Political correctness—denying or softening obvious truths in the interest of good will and harmony—is an elephant-size target for any good curmudgeon.
     It seems to this cranky idealist, that the legal profession (like any good bar) needs a lot more curmudgeons.  Now, go read the rest of that article, if you know what’s good for you!

1 Comment

  1. I am a curmudgeon and proud to be one. I write letters to blogs, papers and politicians. I am tired of politely letting the greedy and the stupid roll over a polite bunch of people they call apathetic. If you let it happen it will happen and I will not let it happen without saying – you idiot, you crook, you indifferent ignorant pathetic piece of humanity. You can’t do that.

    Comment by Janet Chafe — July 2, 2007 @ 10:11 pm

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