Note — May 23, 2021

The Art of Negativity

Seen in → No.174

Source →

Through the years, I’ve been called negative more than once (¯\(ツ)/¯ ), which is probably why I clicked through on this essay by Enis Yucekoralp. He proposes a number of other ways of seeing negativity not as a curmudgeonly or depressive answer, but as a critical act, working through a struggle, acknowledging emotions, not engaging in performative positivity, and “to represent absence in a more abstract sense – the positive potential of ‘being without’ something. In this case: knowledge or certainty.”

But, at least in passing shades, negative emotions can hold great power. There resides in negativity the seed of critical thought and a beneficial duty to engage with one’s internal feelings. […]

Wellness capitalism is the symptom of a much more corrosive condition; as if more consumption were the answer to healing the wounds of capitalism. In reality, the promises of ‘mindfulness’, ‘positive mental attitude’ and ‘healthy living’ pledged by the industrial wellness complex are exposed as just one more arrow in the quiver of exploitation. […]

When faced with unemployment, poverty, the housing crisis, family issues, the vast mess of life – how could one not express a certain negative attitude to living? And surely the toxically positive should be banned from preaching sermons about ‘looking on the bright side’?