Julie Bindel Julie Bindel

Three cheers for being miserable

I prefer the music and lyrics of Pharrell Williams’s Happy to Morrisey’s Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now (because I loathe the smug insincerity of Morrisey more than anything else) but – in case you haven’t noticed – I’m still a miserabilist.

Being a glass-half-full-and-cracked-and-laced-with-poison type of gal, I can’t abide the influx of positivists that appear to have popped up in recent years. A positive attitude is supposed to cure cancer, bring about world peace and end starvation. Being negative, as I am (by way of avoiding chronic, daily disappointment), is treated with distain, disgust and derision. I’m blamed anytime I get ill by fake gurus for bringing it about myself as a result of not actively healing through positive thinking. I once nearly punched an acquaintance who had the arrogant tenacity to practice reiki (described as a ‘method of natural energy healing based on the use of Universal Life Force’).

The practitioner holds a hand over whichever bit of the patient that needs healing, and keeps it there for what feels an eternity. It does no good whatsoever, and the very idea that these folk think they can cure everything, from terminal illness to blindness through to a burn or infection, by holding a magic hand over the area is staggering. Jesus Christ had more humility.

When my reiki session brought about nothing except anger and boredom I was told it could not possibly work because I was not ‘open to it’ and that it was my attitude that blocked its effectiveness. Right. So those antibiotics I took when I had a chest infection recently only worked because I chanted, ‘I believe in you, you will heal me’, as I washed them down?

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in