From the December, 2006 issue of Touchstone
Mere Cheer by Thomas C. Reeves

Mere Cheer

Thomas C. Reeves on the Unbearable Gravity of Being a Curmudgeon

Throughout my rather long life I have never been attracted to cheery people. Especially those who read the evening news, sell cars or insurance, and work as college administrators or preachers. I have usually dismissed the cheerfulness of such people as either mindless or insincere.

Often, of course, it is both. The inevitably perky, young, and physically attractive woman who smiles through a televised account of world horror called “the news,” evokes growls from this professor. The sight of Pat Robertson’s smile can send me out of a room sputtering fulminations. The works of Dale Carnegie and Norman Vincent Peale have a . . .


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