What is Optimism?

Taylor Swift is the living embodiment of Voltaire’s tragic hero, Candide, as surely as Selena Gomez is the incurably optimistic Pangloss[1]. Just as Candide begins his life in a castle so did Swift begin hers on a Christmas tree farm equally believing that this indeed was the “best of all possible worlds”. We know Swift was as brutally ejected from this paradise as Candide was conscripted by the Bulgars, evidenced by the painful journey she takes us on in “White Horse”.

Just as Candide loses everyone he loves in hellish, nightmarish ways (syphilis, war, enslavement, rape, shipwreck, etc.) so did Taylor Swift date John Mayer. Just as Candide had to murder, lie, steal, and starve to survive his tribulations, so did Taylor Swift endure Kanye at the 2009 VMAs.

We are going to a new world, and no doubt it is there that everything is for the best; for it must be admitted that one might lament a little over the physical and moral happenings of our own world.

We are going to a new world, and no doubt it is there that everything is for the best; for it must be admitted that one might lament a little over the physical and moral happenings of our own world.

Just as Candide had to journey to the lands of his enemies to pursue a love who had forsaken him, so did Taylor Swift survive that not super well-reviewed cameo in Valentine’s Day. Just as Candide finds pessimism-spewing, shade-throwing philosopher, Martin, so has Taylor Swift befriended Suri Cruise.

Man is bound to live either in convulsions of misery or in the lethargy of boredom.

Man is bound to live either in convulsions of misery or in the lethargy of boredom.

And now we find ourselves on the other side of Swift’s exhausting journey with the masterful “Shake It Off”. Because indeed, the “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate” for it is declared thusly in their name as it is with the players, heartbreakers, and the fakers. But at last with only the backbreaking work of her farm to occupy her time, Taylor has realized that she’s “lightening on [her] feet”, though others cannot see it. Just as Candide learns that toil is man’s only way to find true joy so has Taylor Swift declared that she “can’t stop, won’t stop grooving”. Worry not, people, that Taylor Swift stays out too late or goes on too many dates. Be not like, “oh my god”, Taylor Swift’s ex man’s new girlfriend. Think not about the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats of this world, person listening to “Shake It Off”. Taylor Swift has made it through countless trials and tribulations, recorded for posterity in the ballads born of her pain, but at last has learned, whether this is the best of all possible worlds or otherwise, it’s best that Taylor Swift cultivate her own garden.

 

[1] Just as Pangloss retains his optimism through syphilis, losing an eye, nose tip, and an ear, countless enslavements, a hanging, and boredom on a farm, so has Selena Gomez gotten back with Justin Bieber, like, a lot of times.

Troubles are just the shadows in a beautiful picture.

Troubles are just the shadows in a beautiful picture.

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