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May 7, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Mulled Whine With H.G. Beattie

Productive Angst: not just for wilfred owen

As the weather gets colder and darker, people get miffed. My ‘seasonal affected disorder’ is different to theirs. It’s through the roof in summer courtesy of a constant parade of better-looking people in denim cutoffs. The happy winter months welcome the omission of leg shaving without throwing one out of that Koru lounge usually reserved for the young and hairless.

However, I shall proceed as if I were like you, a shimmering beacon of normality. I may actually find it fairly easy to act pissed off, having just received a $400 bill for nicking the wing mirror of a champagne BMW and having spent a tutorial earlier today listening to a regular Casanova talking about how being in third year “makes it so much easier to pull first-years.” (What a sucker. Seventh formers have warmer houses and you never run into them at vicbooks after you’ve severed ties.)

Luxuriating in a good mope requires skill. You are entitled to it. Why else would Nicholas Sparks get up in the morning? (Cultural capital: eat it.) Hear me when I say that moping “makes the good times better.” It is thus not just skillful but productive. I measure my actions in terms of productivity.* There is a real art in moping productively: being able to furrow your brow while pondering the perils of liberalism (I don’t care if it’s ‘all-pervasive’, it’s given too much airtime). Success is smashing out a 2,500 word essay in one night, pausing only for regular crying breaks. Speaking of crying: ladies, it is hard to mope in makeup. Let me see your goddamn undereye circles.

Another matter entirely is “counselling” people that mope at you. Hard to do with a straight face when their problems are crap, and hard to not charge for when your “counsel” is staggeringly good. “So you love him? Have four gins on an empty stomach and go to El Horno, you’ll find a lookalike.” “Don’t forget to make the same mistakes as your parents did; that way you can blame them.” “Aren’t you in a band? Isn’t the idea to be sad all the time, ‘for the music’?”

Catharsis (which is not a fancy word for moping but which, safe in ignorance, I will use as such) refers to a release of strong or repressed emotions. Why would you have them, if not to impose them on other people? It’s the little things. When someone asks you whether you’re okay, reply “to the cruel external world, yes.” Put “it doesn’t matter anyway” as your email signature. Develop an audible sigh, unless you’re an asthmatic that wants to live. If you find yourself happy by accident, think about how Blue Ivy looks like Jay-Z world hunger to rid yourself of that malodorous serotonin. Good luck to you.

* Inexplicably, not “socially okay”. Even if you do pay for the coffee, it doesn’t count as “bonding” if you invoice your friends for billable hours. 

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