Optimism has been all over the news, recently. First of all, we're supposed to think positively at all times. But then, apparently, that's what got us into the mess with the economy. Plus, it doesn't help us beat cancer. Also, the perky mindset of the Americans who wish us all a nice day hasn't saved them from being heavily reliant on anti-depressants.
Perhaps just being realistic is the answer? Barbara Ehrenreich's latest book Smile or Die seems to offer a lot of sensible if dour analysis on the optimism crisis. But if that's a bit hardgoing, tune into a lecture on the subject live from the RSA at 1pm today and hear what some humorous European writer types (Laurence Shorter, Ariel Leve and Lucy Mangan) have got to say on the subject.
[Picture by the truly brilliant Roadside Pictures.]