Reading a collection of Edward Abbey's writing, and of course, he being a world class curmudgeon,I thought about it a bit. Why are they as a stereotypical group grumpy in the first place? There is a nucleus of truth in stereotypes. As I slowly transition in to that certain age, I am definitely feeling the curmudgeon facet of my personality grow and express itself. And here is what I'm thinking so far.
There is good damn reason for EVERYONE to be pissed, but as we age, several realizations occur. First, with longer residence on this earth, the perspective changes. There is more ability to see long term trends, particularly of degradation. You haven't been fooled by the moving baseline like younger folk. Second, anger at oneself for being (however small) a part of the problem for possibly a long time. Third, frustration in seeing that most people are caught up in the rush of survival, and even when they wake up, look around, and see what is happening, realize that there is almost nothing that can be done about "our predicament". And fourth, with proximity to the grave, all the paths not taken and life not lived and wrongs not righted come to the front.
The price of wisdom is steep. Wisdom that evolves in to acceptance and inner peace is fine for some, for others of us, being a curmudgeon is the way to go.
Here is a quote from Edward Abbey, especially for engineers, technicians and scientists out there.
"........engineers and technicians have no interest in our personal preferences except as data to be tabulated and attitudes to be manipulated. They love us no more than we love them; and they certainly have no love for the earth. What is perhaps most sinister of all is the fact that in this worldwide drive to reduce life, human and otherwise, to the limits of a technotronic system, there is not even a mind at work. Many brains, but no mind. Nor heart nor soul. There is no intelligence directing this enormous and enormously complex process; merely the cumulative efforts of thousands of specialists, experts, each sequestered in his tiny niche in the technological apparatus, each unaware or indifferent to the investigations of all but his closest colleagues, each man in his way an innocent. How can we think of a man who spends years studying the behavior of hamsters in an electrified maze as anything but a harmless idiot? Yet the results of his study, combined with the studies of other similar harmless idiots, may result in knowledge useful, let us say, to a central police agency concerned with the problem of controlling an urban populace in revolt."
BOOM- right in our face. How do you think of that man. How do you think of yourself? Listen to the curmudgeons. Become one.
News on the move to the farm later.