I don’t know why, but I’m convinced some people enjoy being miserable. Everything new and good is destined to fail, every dollar spent is a waste and each smile on a child’s face is caused by something morally destitute.
After I wrote a story about a license finally being awarded that will allow the construction of a race track with gaming facilities and a hotel in Oak Grove, I knew those people were just wringing their hands. They probably had to fight each other to be the first to crawl out from under the rock and announce that it’s not really coming “just like that movie theater.” Seriously, that was the first comment on that story on social media.
I’m thick-skinned, I kind of have to be. I write about my personal life for everyone to read and my face and name are out there to show I’m not hiding.
I can take personal criticism like a boulder caught in a breeze. I can handle it on the rare occasion when someone finds some mistake in my writing and is the first in line to type “Kentucky New Error haw haw” on their Facebook page. (No one has come up with a clever moniker for The Eagle Post yet.) My biggest criticism with the “New Error” thing is that it’s kind of low-hanging fruit. Y’all gotta get more creative.
What really gets under my skin though are these lazy critiques of every new thing that comes or happens to the southern Pennyrile.
I still remember the fiasco that was the sportsplex in Hopkinsville. I’ve never seen so many people bash a thing just because it was going to exist while simultaneously knowing almost nothing about it.
Oh wait, yes I have, because the exact same thing happened when the rail trail was announced. It was a waste of money, no one is going to move here just because you make the town better, businesses aren’t going to come for this and, my personal favorite, there are just going to be so, so many assaults because it’s located near “the hood.”
And lord, don’t get me started on the water park.
I thought jealousy was a thing that only happened when someone you know got something you wanted. I thought bitterness only sprung up from being denied things that would make your life better.
But that was before I saw how bitter people could be about receiving improvements, about things getting a little better. That was prior to seeing people still jealous of lifestyle improvements in Tennessee while deriding similar improvements here.
While this kind of behavior gets on my nerves, I don’t hate the people expressing these feelings. I just feel sorry for them. It takes effort to go out of your way to be miserable, takes trying to take something positive and make it a negative thing, to find ways of being unhappy when there is nothing to be sad about.
At the same time, can the rest of us have something, please? Can we be allowed to enjoy these things without people butting in to tell us that it sucks, it’s bad, and it will never work? Can y’all maybe, I don’t know, keep your misery to yourself?
Even better, can you just try and enjoy something without having to be dragged along for each step? I can tell people like this care about the community. They clearly want things to be better. They’re just going about it in the worst possible way and holding the rest of us back in the process.
There are ways to show you think something is a bad idea without being a Debbie downer. I thought the water park was a bad idea, so did a lot of others. If you’re passionate, if you care, show up at public meetings (almost no one does), vote in local elections and if you must express criticism on social media as is your right, at least do a little background research. Show us why a thing is bad, empirically, instead of just bashing it because you don’t like it.
For the rest of us, and maybe specifically for myself, you don’t have to write a whole column expressing your irritation at these people, just ignore them from now on, OK?
(JESSE JONES is the editor of The Eagle Post, a member of the Kentucky New Era Media Group. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or find “Small Victories” on Facebook.)