Coloring Enjoyed

As someone whose dour demeanor and seeming lack of charity has caused him to develop a reputation for negativity I decided recently that I would try to approach all new endeavors with a certain generosity of spirit, i.e. I would assume that everything I came across was constructed out of a sense of sincerity, or at least genuine curiosity, rather than obligation or outright cynicism. As you might imagine (and it does me no credit that I was unable to foresee this inevitable result, but I suppose this is what comes of unbridled affirmation) this was an experiment I needed to terminate almost immediately, as it soon became clear that looking at the current climate of creativity through a lens of good intentions results in an even more frightening feeling about what we are offering up to the world, which is to say that so much of the garbage with which we surround ourselves is only tolerable if you convince yourself it originates from a disingenuous place; the idea that these things do not come from bad faith or desperation or a slavish imitation of what is already terrible but instead are conceived by their creators as worthwhile and positive contributions is so distressing as to make one wish the asteroid on its way over to wipe out our species would put on some speed. That said, I want to find at least a little light in life in the time I have left, so my alternate strategy has been to discover at least one hobby or obsession each week about which I in my normally terrible way — and believe me, as bad as everything is (and everything is terrible and only getting worse) I am a hundred times more horrible; part of why I allow myself to judge so harshly is I have higher expectations of everyone else, knowing that they are nowhere as awful as I — would tend to be dismissive and instead see the good in it. So then, adults who like coloring books: I did not know that they existed until now, but in keeping with my commitment to positivity I will just say that in a world where there is unrelenting horror beamed at you from every direction each day and the last time you actually felt somewhat secure was when you were too young to be allowed to make your own decisions (and before you came to the sad realization that each decision you made would not only be bad but would lead you down a path of choices progressively more poor), I can appreciate the comfort and strange sense of freedom these people must have as they experiment with hues and shades in the patterns provided, providing as they do the pleasant memories of a simpler time when a piece of paper and some crayons were the ticket to a world of expression in which even the existing lines were only suggested guidance. In a strange way I almost admire their ability to do this without a shred of self-consciousness. Good for you, grown-up colorers: I wish I were more like you in that regard. On an unrelated note, this is probably the last attempt I will make at this experiment as well.

Like what you read? Give Alex Balk a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.