Is it always wise to figure out a way of being grateful, to look on the bright side no matter what the circumstances? This reminds me of the end of The Life of Brian, where the downtrodden are singing, “Always look on the bright side of life,” while being crucified by the Roman Empire. Sure, it’s a good idea to learn whatever you can. But this strikes me as wrongheaded, possibly even deranged if we turn this into a principle. It’s like the pseudoscience of positive thinking or like the mantra of “Serenity now!” from Seinfeld.

Instead of scraping the bottom of the barrel, looking for a way to be grateful for Trump, this might just be the time for patriotic Americans to get mad. As in really, really mad, like the folks from the 1976 movie Network. As Anand Giridharadas says, it’s quite bizarre that there haven’t been daily mass protests throughout the Trump “presidency.” In many other countries, there would already have been a coup against such a parody of a government, or at least mass protests to stop such a monstrosity in its tracks.

If most Americans are too apathetic to be mad, even when faced with the monumental insult and embarrassment of a President Trump, what’s the point of their straining to be grateful? What good would a positive emotional reaction do when nothing positive would result from it, because most Americans evidently couldn’t care less about politics?

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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