Sir Grumpsalot: In Praise of Grumpiness (and Grumpy Cat)

I’ve been incredibly grumpy the last few days. The reason? I know not. But it struck me that this might make for a fruitful blog post, perhaps through discussion of grumpy artists, grumpy looking people in art, and so on. Because at the end of the day, much as we dislike other people being short and irritable with us, we love to be so ourselves. There’s nothing like that ‘letting off steam’ feeling you get when you snap at your other half for not answering the phone or (this is true) for not freezing the overripe bananas for smoothies but leaving them to the mercy of the fruit flies. Let’s face it, whilst the news, movies, etc. like to present us with extremes of good and evil, the closest most of us get to going “mwu-hah-hah” is in our own heads a few seconds after we momentarily lose it. We berate ourselves for being grumpy; we apologize for our behavior. Rightly so, I guess. But at the same time, sometimes you’ve just got to release the safety valve a little bit and cut yourself some slack about it. We usually get grumpy because we’re going through something stressful or anxiety-inducing. Best to put the guilt aside and consider the ‘why’ of grumpiness, not the ‘badness’ of our behavior. In my view, grumpiness is just assertiveness gone a bit wrong, and thus it happens when we’re feeling powerless about something. Figure out what that something is and we might be able to channel that misdirected assertiveness in a much more productive way. Of course, if you’re a cat, there’s no way you can do this…

Like I said, I thought I could tie this to some great masterpiece or discuss some famously grumpy artists (Bernini, I hear, could hold his own- Carravaggio and Michelangelo too, I believe). But then I discovered that Lowe Mill ARTS and Entertainment Center (in Huntsville, Alabama) have already celebrated ‘grumpiness through art’ with a Grumpy-Cat Art show!!  How did I miss hearing about this? Below are three of the more delightful offerings, all celebrating the popular – some might say ubiquitous- internet meme. You can see all of the art and artists at http://www.lowemill.net/grumpyart/

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