As we collectively marvel, mouths agape, at the wonder passing over New York City—the space shuttle, the space shuttle!—we are reminded of how rare these moments of wonder truly are in today's cynical world of snarky blog posts and curmudgeonly, ennui-filled responses to anything remotely fun or good or precious. How sad we are as a people that, in response to an icon of American engineering and space exploration swooping past overhead, this writer's response was to call attention to the fact that obviously it's a much bigger deal that people are wearing shorts in SoHo right now. (It is only 50-some degrees, people!). Meanwhile, better humans than us were sobbing on nearby rooftops over the joys wrought by this magical moment. But I am a part of the problem, not the solution, and my response was a defense mechanism, a posturing of judgy 21st-century proportions. The first step is admitting it, right? To admit it and then to do a better job at being earnest, honest, authentically joyful, less guarded. Basically, to be less of a snarky pain in the butt. Here are some ways to foster that.
If you see a celebrity. Instead of pretending that celebrity is "no one," and why would you care anyway about some random person who got paid way too much money to appear in a decidedly non-intellectual pursuit like a Hollywood blockbuster, which, frankly, you never see anyway—you don't even own a TV!—politely ask him or her for an autograph and say you loved them in Saving Private Ryan. Fight urge to sell autograph on eBay and spend all the money you've made on booze. Or, maybe you really don't care who said celebrity is. Get an autograph anyway! Then you've got something to sell to the salivating masses who spend their hard-earned money on such things. Wait, we're being cynical. Do that thing with your mouth that makes the corners go up, slightly, slightly, and now more so. Smile. Yes, smile! That's it, you're doing great.