Another rant for the road, before I pass out. I think social control optimism is just despair with a happy face. I like to make up names for things, that's why I call it social control optimism instead of some perfectly fine word that I'm sure people would use. Social Control Optimism means the whole put on a happy face, stay in your place ideology people are fed. From writing down affirmations to people who think we all create our own reality(as if death would go away if we didn't think about it) to trying to get people not to think any non positive thoughts, keeping everyone running around in circles is popular.
The people who like to use this tell you not to 'whine' (don't be ashamed to whine- who are these people to say they have more power than you? The whole 'whining' thing is a power relationship- I think I have the power to say whether you can express your opinions or not), tell you you need to 'try happiness' (as if one couldn't think and be happy at the same time) or try to pretend that everyone whose life isn't one mass of crazy happiness is this terrible person. (it's another power thing- if a poor person falls on hard times, people bleat about personal responsibility, but a rich person never has to take responsibility for anything it seems)
However, real optimism is different. It sees that there are problems, but believes that change is possible. The problem is that you have to think non positive thoughts about things. Like if you see a bunch of drugged out kids on the corner, instead of thinking "They brought it on themselves, those lazy bums!", you might have to have some empathy for them, and think about ways to keep kids from getting to the point where the only pleasure they have in contained in a needle. It takes a lot more work than just thinking happy thoughts. You have to face reality to change it.
Well, the reason that I am so jazzed lately is that I see everyone around me, and they are all excited about their plans and dreams for their lives. I see some professors excited about their life's work. Today I saw a woman speak about Black classicist and I was in wonder as this women seemed to be in love with a man years and years dead. I hear about these heroes- these men and women who gave their whole lives to something, and I simply can not turn away and feel despair and just shit on life and other people all the time like I see these people do. I can't anaesthetize the wounds with platitudes or say 'life sucks' and go on to ruin other lives. I want to be like the people I see full of hope and vigor. There are people out there who truly enjoy their lives- for real, not just in daydreams.
I may not be optimistic all the time, but I don't try to fuck up anyone else's life because of it, and that makes all the difference. Also, here's a fun 'crazy' rant, which rings pretty true to me. See the interview for some fun actual optimism.