Friday, May 20, 2005

Oh, Say, Can You Spin?

Dropped by The Anchoress to check in on that very thoughtful introvert, as is my wont, and idly followed this link. Her Anchoressness was amused that the pollsters were surprised to find Americans optimistic. I was struck, however, by the last couple of paragraphs. "Dr. Louria, meanwhile," we are told, "is urging politicians, public officials, teachers and others concerned with public morale to take the reassuring findings seriously." Which I initially took to mean that people who have been worried about public morale should relax and chill a bit. But that was just my irrepressible naivete...it turns out the Dr. Louria wants the people who have been worried to worry even more because this is, you see, bad news. For the article continues -- apparently giving what the reporter believes to be Dr. Louria's own views:

A drop in personal optimism could be "a harbinger" of all sorts of societal ills, from substance abuse to reckless driving, he said.

"Those in leadership positions in our society, as well as educators, should pay close attention," Dr. Louria said, adding that all this public positivity should not be taken for granted.

"We believe this personal optimism is sort of a last barricade," he said, and could prove "shaky."


So the obvious question: um, what possible outcome of the poll, Dr. Louria, could have had the effect of changing your own preconceived notions?

By the way, I haven't been blogging much on Newsweek and so forth just because we're moving this weekend and I haven't had time...silliness and human folly don't require a lot of thought but the Newsweek thing deserves more effort. I haven't been terribly impressed with the conservatives on this one...there's you a teaser, eh? Will get back to you after the weekend.

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