24.Nov.2011 Realism vs Pessimism
First off, happy Thanksgiving Beavlettes!
Okay, in the comment area I saw these negative comments (ironic, no?) aimed at this site and its commenters:
1. Man the naysayers come out when they smell blood in the water. It is this kind of pessimistic shit that led to 20+ losing seasons. Support the team during the season, leave your bitching for the offseason. These kids deserve better.
2. Concur, with fans like these, you don’t need enemies.
First off, our players are men, not kids. When men embark on a task and fail, they deserve constructive criticism. It's good for everyone. Empathy is a good trait, but only to a point (think Jim Harbaugh's character with cruelty comment). "Bleeding hearts" prolong problems.
Moving on, the thing is, I am not negative or a pessimist. I don't believe in being negative for the sake of it. Yes, I have a critical eye, but ultimately I'm a realist. If a team is good (e.g. The Ducks) I say so; if a team is bad (e.g. The Beavers) I say that, too. That is a realistic and balanced outlook. A truly negative person would say both the Ducks and Beavers suck. For a realist, every bad has an opposite good.
This doesn't stop with football. Here's another example: I exited the stock market in 2008 because it was clear housing was in a bubble. The optimists (and Herman Cain *hehe*) said it wasn't a bubble, that those people were just negative Nancy's who probably owned put options and thus wished for the end of the world. No, I was just a realist and understood the underlying fundamentals were unsound. Same with the market today. It may irrationally rally to Dow 13,000 on good news out of Europe, but true forward-looking value and underlying fundamentals put fair value at around 8500 and possibly much lower (if interest rates increase), so eventually that's where it's going. Therefore, I am out once again. Does that make me negative? A pessimist? Should I blindly throw money into stocks just to be optimistic, a good American, support the system?? Again, this "negative" outlook has a positive counterpoint: I am going to save myself money, and given that stocks are in a bear market, there is likely a bull market somewhere else (e.g. gold). Balance, see?
I found this paragraph, written by "Phil B", interesting. Sums it up nicely:
I'm often called a pessimist, yet I consider myself a realist. I think real pessimists are very negative and depressed most of the time, so I don't consider myself one. I have high hopes for myself, my family, my friends, and humanity.
However, this leads to the point that realism is much closer to pessimism than it is to optimism. And so what if it does? In my opinion, if realism causes negativity, then so be it. People must face the truth, no matter how awful or depressing it may be. Only when people are fully aware of the facts, can people accept reality. As I stated in a previous article about the advantages of negativity, I believe being realistic and thus more negative has advantages. Specifically, negativity highlights opportunities for people to grow and improve their surroundings. Furthermore, only when people are aware of all possibilities, can people accept these possible outcomes and be the most prepared for even the worse case scenario.
One more thought: if Oregon fans had blindly supported Mike Bellotti, the Ducks most likely wouldn't have made a National Title game; if Auburn fans had blindly supported Tommy Tuberville, they most likely wouldn't have won a National Title; and, if Oregon State fans blindly follow Mike Riley, they'll sow their ultimate destination, too.
Hopefully this clarifies my/our "negative" outlook to the Pollyannas. Now, time to go eat some fantastic turkey with my lady and enjoy this beautiful Central Coast weather. 😀