There was some discussion, earlier this month, of this blog’s “identity”, which led to a new tagline. As one of the underbloggers, I can only speak for myself, and I prefer to discuss my philosophy: I am a committed and lifelong adherent to the School of Eeyore.
Eeyore, as is true of all great philosophers, is generally misunderstood, his life lessons cheapened as much by idiot popularizers as by his natural opponents (many of them the same people, of course). The Grey Donkey of Wisdom is commonly dismissed as a gloomy sad-sack whose unwillingness to get with the Happy Program is a risible failure of imagination. But if we return to the root literature, it’s clear that Eeyore is a clear-eyed Cynic of the purest, one who understands that in “rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, health, and fame… As reasoning creatures, people could gain happiness by rigorous training… the world belonged equally to everyone, and that suffering was caused by false judgments of what was valuable and by the worthless customs and conventions which surrounded society.”
We Eeyorites do not expect the world to be molded exactly to our wishes, but we assume that we can learn to be happy in the world as it is. Eeyore’s friends don’t remember his birthday without prompting — so he reminds them. They end up, as imperfect beings in an imperfect world, giving him rather less glamorous presents than originally intended: an empty pot that used to hold honey, and a red rubber rag that used to be a balloon. He enjoys these humble gifts anyway, rather to the astonishment of his fellows.
It is the mission of Eeyore, and his inspiration to his followers, to find a way to be happy with the poor gifts the world gives us. Even when the gift is only a priceless morsel of snark.
As this is an open thread, I will present a PSA:
If you live in an apartment building, do not run a smoker on your patio and then leave for the night so all of your neighbors wake up in a panic convinced the building is on fire, you fucking asshole.
We got to throw clothes on and stuff the cats into boxes at 2:30 a.m. thanks to this idiot.
Hm. I have always considered myself Eeyore, but I must admit I never thought of this interpretation (which actually fits me better than I care to admit). I have friends who’ve called me an optimist (because I expect the best out of people and am disappointed, though not surprise when they don’t measure up) and a romantic cynic (with essentially the same description).
Anyone else still up/just getting up?
I just read Anne’s reply to my post about the “Southern” Vietnam Monument in Apalachicola. I wonder if she checks in these early mornin threads, we need to chitty chat!
@stuckinred: She checks in from time to time. How you be this morning?
@asiangrrlMN: Swell, the kiddies next behind us had a raging party last night but they brought us brownies as a pre-apology! What up in the north country?
@stuckinred: Brownies! Nice. I would have pre-forgiven them. It’s cooling down here, for which I’m profoundly grateful. I’m eating my dinner and may go to bed in a bit. Or not.
@asiangrrlMN: It wasn’t that bad, I buttoned up the crib and I have a noise machine next to my head in the rack so I got my normal 7. Football starts next week and Athens is pretty crazy during the season. It’s cooled off here as well, more of a humidity drop but still. . . Gotta get Lil Bit and the Bohdisattva ready for their mornin trip to Big City Bread. The have a big patio seating area and they can spend hours scouring the area for crumbs!
Sounds like Rahm cornered Eeyore in the shower.
Eeyore was a little bit too much of a Debbie Downer when I was younger, even for my cynical ass. However, for both my current self and this blog community, he’s a fitting mascot.
Outside of Tunch, that is.
@stuckinred: I have a noise machine, too! Plus, I sleep with a mouthguard, an eye mask, and earplugs. Speaking of sleeping….
@asiangrrlMN: Sweet dreams. . .
Anne Laurie, that was beautiful.
This is wonderful; I have a dear Eeyore friend, who will love this.
My daughter [a grown woman] loves Eeyore and will really enjoy your post about him.
On the other hand, “It probably wouldn’t fit anyway . . . ”
Nixon, reincarnated as a 4 yr old Korean girl!
In the meantime:
Don’t mention it.
DON’T be a gloomy sad sack!
I was yesterday, when both fantasy football leagues filled up before I had even read of their existence! There’s no community I’d rather share a league with than this one.
Therefore, I invite you to participate in Palin/Tebow 2012, a free, 12-team IDP league hosted on the spawn of Disney (ESPN). League link is here http://games.espn.go.com/ffl/leaguesetup/settings?leagueId=791681
Several items to note:
1. Starting positions includes 2 DL, 2LB and 3 DB. Not full blown 11 deep IDP (Individual defensive player) but enough to get a good feel for it. I submit to you that once you play IDP, a mere team defense roster spot seems lame.
2. This league has a live auction draft, not a snake. Again, if you haven’t tried an auction, you’ve missed out. Want Chris Johnson and Aaron Rodgers both? They’re yours, for a price. You can practise an auction draft here:
Email me at [email protected] if you’re interested. I’ll send you an invite. Draft is next Sunday, 9/5, at 1 pm CDT.
Hope to have you with us, Sheldon
Dennis Hartley over at Digby’s Place writes:
And I thought it was only me.
The sound of cicadas always triggers that dread, because I know summer is dying, and school is coming.
I like the way that reporting in the “liberal” NY Times of Beckteapatriotfest2010, which all yesterday had attendance at the event (accuately) pegged in the tens of thousands, has now morphed into a Beck love piece readily accepting 300K-500K as a baseline estimate. It really makes me wonder who put the call into the editor demanding that the coverage be ginned up in this way. (Don’t read the story. It will only make you throw up.)
Keep your will in harmony with nature. It’s more Stoic than cynical. Accept what the world is and don’t make yourself upset that it’s not perfect.
Actually, living “virtuously in accordance with nature” begins with the Cynics, and the Stoics inherit it from them. It’s pretty clear that Zeno of Kition, the founder of the Stoa, was a Cynic for a period of time. His teacher was the (in)famous Krates of Thebes.
And Target will be infested with teenagers wobbling around with their carts while trying to look cool, hip and disdainful, in their acne-garnished way. It is a terrible time of year.
(Eeyore has found out his tail is missing.)
“Someone must have taken it,” said Eeyore.
“How like them,” he added thoughtfully.
I was tagged with the nick name Eeyore by a friend in Jr High School. Poo was not a popular story at that time or place so it didn’t mean anything to me. As I learned about him I can see the gloomy gus point they were making
Thanks for pointing out why we eeyores should be proud.
Another liberal conspiracy: Google Maps Misplaces Lincoln Memorial ahead of Beck Rally.
Also, whoever this Eeyore is, he and his followers can fuck off.
Good job Eeyore didn’t find out his country was missing.. or his honor! Can you imagine a small, grey donkey among the teabaggers?
zounds! he’s a firebagger!
@wilfred: but, but, Iraq! errrrr.
Austin throws Eeyore a heckuva birthday party every year. Lots of “special” brownies consumed.
I was deemed “Eeyore” for some blog postings, and took it as a kind of compliment to my lack of “Tiggerness”. Old post about this: Eeyores vs. Tiggers. As Eeyore says:
Anne Laurie, I have nothing useful to add except that I love this post and your interpretation of Eeyore.
And, as a bonus: in animation, Eeyore was voiced by the legendary Peter Cullen.
licensed to kill time
♫♪ This blog is a very very very fine blog ♫♪
with many pets in the yard
life used to be so hard
now everything is easy ‘cuz of you
♫♪ (And Eeyore, too) ♪♫
@licensed to kill time:
Hmmm. I think this blog is the type of Eeyore that exhibits Rabbit tendencies from time to time.
licensed to kill time
I’ll light the fire, while you place the flowers in the vase
that you bought today
Muchas gracias :)
…best thing you’ve ever written. Awesome.
As they were growing up (and in the Pooh period of childhood), my kids would all call me Eeyore. In a way for me, it reinforced the association and I now assume it with pride. Or as close as I can get to feeling “proud”.
This reminded me of a quote by Bertrand Russell:
This helps to stop me from being disappointed when the world lets me down, and helps me rejoice every time it proves me wrong.
But did Eeyore have a birth certificate?
Eeyore was always my favorite Pooh character. So much so that I named my first car Eeyore (my dad once had CB radio and so we got in the habit of naming our cars).
I take it that Anne and the other Eeyores here have all read, if not memorized, The Pooh Perplex? Among its several essays pursuing different schools of literary thought, the one by the Christian symbolist stands out, with its search for the allegorical Christ figure. Need I tell you who was sufficiently meek and lowly at heart to be the obvious choice?
(Oh, and btw it’s by Frederic Crews, the same UC perfesser who did the serious debunking of Freud, and it’s funny as hell if noticeably dated in the 60s, and if that’s not ok, get the postmodern sequel.) (In which the cover has no actual Pooh art work because the current copyright holders wouldn’t allow it. O tempora! O mores!) (Oops, that would be Winnie Ille Pu, also a fine book.)
All that philosophy aside, I can’t think of Eeyore without hearing Liberman. Sorry.