humor, Psychology

The Misanthrope

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In philosophy and literature, a “misanthrope” is described as a person who is very cynical of humankind and society, and tends to be a loner. He or she is often considered rude and doesn’t receive many invitations to parties and the like. (Not that they’d actually show up to the parties, anyway…)

On stage and in written fiction, misanthropes are often portrayed as an Ebenezer Scrooge type (or think Edmund Blackadder in the BBC series, for fellow Anglophiles). They’re frequently the punchline, the joke being that there must be something inherently wrong with them for them to develop such pessimistic views.

Well, guess what? Some of us identify more with the Blackadders of the world than the Lizzie Bennets or Anne Shirleys.

That’s me.

I’m not exactly a misanthrope. I still have hope for humanity. Personally, though, I prefer not to be around too many of them at once. I love my family — just sometimes I wish they’d be more quiet (okay, a lot of the time). My favorite way to pass the day involves more books than other breathing humans in the vicinity.

Does this mean I actually hate my own species? No! I love the writers, musicians, artists, dancers, librarians, and cat owners. Am I picky about who I choose to be around? Yes. Is there anything wrong with that? I really don’t think so.

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When I look at photographs of amazing architecture, fireworks, Christmas lights (or happen to see any of this in person), I am so awed at what beauty mankind can create. Humans have invented some of my favorite things — tea, air conditioning, fluffy slippers, to-your-door-delivery of bookmail, jewelry, wine.

Which is why it also boggles my mind that they’ve come up with so many things I just can’t understand the point of — sports, climbing mountains for fun, shark diving, bungee jumping, reality TV, filing your own income taxes.

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Part of the reason I love reading is because I can often find a book where the characters get what they deserve (good or bad), behave according to a minority point of view (that I relate to much more than a majority perspective), and are actually nice to other people who are “different” or “unpopular.”

My real problem is not with humanity itself. It’s with the ones who are in charge of deciding what’s “in” and what’s “out” — and the ones who strive to follow this to “fit in” at any cost.

There are some very good reasons that I’m a little cynical, a little pessimistic, and a little concerned about civilization as a whole.

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It’s why I’d usually rather spend much of my life around fictional people and my cat.

Who’s with me on this?

No offense meant to real (nice) humans.

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4 thoughts on “The Misanthrope”

  1. One of the biggest reasons I shut down my FaceBook page is that it constantly reminded me of everything I hated and despised about humanity. And the media is out of control. Nine out of ten movies are insanely violent. Just a few days ago I watched a trailer about two women lowered down in a cage to view sharks,,,of course the cage wire breaks. All I could think about is this movie will give the idiots more reason to go out and kill sharks. After the 1975 movie, Jaws, the Great White Shark population was decimated. Because of a movie. Humans are horrible creatures. I could go on and on, but it’s too depressing, but it’s good to hear someone else feels the same way.

    Some positive news: I posted a review of “Masters and Beginners” on Goodreads. :-). Finally!

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    1. Yeah, my husband doesn’t like Facebook, either, because most of the people he knows who use it do so only to promote their own egos. I only use social media to keep in touch with family and friends and promote my work. In the last year, I’ve made a rule of no more R-rated movies (for myself, not just White Fang). Even some PG-13 movies contain elements that I think are unnecessary and I choose to avoid them. Ha — personally I hate sharks — I am terrified of the big ones — but I also feel that going and taking out an entire species will most likely not protect us more. Not making stupid movies probably would.

      Humans are capable of terrible things. But we are also capable of beautiful, amazing things, and I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet. After all, someone invented the internet, which led to so many of us being able to connect with people around the world who make our lives better, so we can’t be all bad. 😉 I’m trying my best to hang in there and pray for the redemption we hopefully will get (and not worry myself too much over whether God really knows what he’s doing — I’m going to pray for my own faith, too, quite honestly).

      Thank you very much for your review! I am very glad that you enjoyed Volume 1! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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