X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Culture House Daily

Three cheers for being miserable

10 July 2014

2:26 PM

10 July 2014

2:26 PM

I prefer the music and lyrics of Pharrell Williams’s Happy to Morrisey’s Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now (because I loathe the smug insincerity of Morrisey more than anything else) but – in case you haven’t noticed – I’m still a miserabilist.

Being a glass-half-full-and-cracked-and-laced-with-poison type of gal, I can’t abide the influx of positivists that appear to have popped up in recent years. A positive attitude is supposed to cure cancer, bring about world peace and end starvation. Being negative, as I am (by way of avoiding chronic, daily disappointment), is treated with distain, disgust and derision. I’m blamed anytime I get ill by fake gurus for bringing it about myself as a result of not actively healing through positive thinking. I once nearly punched an acquaintance who had the arrogant tenacity to practice reiki (described as a ‘method of natural energy healing based on the use of Universal Life Force’).

The practitioner holds a hand over whichever bit of the patient that needs healing, and keeps it there for what feels an eternity. It does no good whatsoever, and the very idea that these folk think they can cure everything, from terminal illness to blindness through to a burn or infection, by holding a magic hand over the area is staggering. Jesus Christ had more humility.

[Alt-Text]


When my reiki session brought about nothing except anger and boredom I was told it could not possibly work because I was not ‘open to it’ and that it was my attitude that blocked its effectiveness. Right. So those antibiotics I took when I had a chest infection recently only worked because I chanted, ‘I believe in you, you will heal me’, as I washed them down?

When I am asked how I am by relative strangers or colleagues I always reply, ‘fine, thank you’, but with friends and intimates it is always the truth – therefore, ‘knackered’, ‘fed up’, ‘full of cold’, ‘desperate for a drink’ or ‘ready to kill’. I lead a stressful life. Why would I feel anything else? I bet you a fake smile that you absolutely HATE it when a friend says that they are ‘marvellous’ unless they’ve recently been through a profound trauma. We are more comfortable with negativity, and balk at those upbeat happy folk who jump around like deranged puppy dogs and insist that all will be well if only you let the sunshine in.

The bullies who badger you into thinking positively are the most judgemental I have ever met. Had they been around during the time of the Holocaust I wonder if they would have spouted karmic shite at those being rounded up onto the trains and suggested that the fascists had popped up to teach the miserable sods a lesson as a result of their negative thinking.

Positive thinking is different from being cheerful. Its proponents peddle the myth that, by focusing on the good, the bad ceases to exist. It is your world-view and attitude that makes you ill or allows bad things to happen to you goes the mad philosophy, handily removing any responsibility from the baddies and placing it firmly on the victim. I would rather be negative and miserable, than positive and smiley any day. It can only get better from there.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close