Openly Curmudgeon

I identify as a curmudgeon and have been openly curmudgeon for as long as I can remember. I have never been a closet curmudgeon, so coming out was not part of my curmudgeon experience. I’m a proud member of the curmudgeon community, not because I came out, but because it was not a choice, but an inevitable consequence of who I am; I was born a curmudgeon. And I was aware of my curmudgeon identity from a very young age and am grateful that my parents still loved me and encouraged me to not be ashamed of who I am. I am even more grateful that they didn’t attempt to have me reprogrammed to be more pleasant.

However, there are people in the curmudgeon community who bravely choose to come out after reaching adulthood, and many people around them celebrate their courage to be a curmudgeon, essentially, their courage to be who they are, albeit with a bit of pressure from their peers. Some curmudgeons can be seen marching in Curmudgeon Pride Day parades. They wear rather drab clothing, but sport very fashionable sneers, these days somewhat hidden by drab masks.

There are some phenomena in the world of curmudgeons that trouble me. One is that of people are actually quite pleasant and agreeable but only pretend to be curmudgeons for the publicity. Some appear in the media here in Japan as commentators on diverse topics that are not at all related to curmudgeon community and the issues we face.

An even more disturbing phenomenon I have noticed recently is that of trans curmudgeons. One day they suddenly declare that they identify as curmudgeon. I wonder if they realize that, while many around them pretend to celebrate them, few are convinced of their curmudgeon identity. They can be seen through for what they are, maladjusted opportunists not worth the time of day. They make a bad name for–and cheapen the cause of–true curmudgeons, who need to continue to fight a continuing battle for truth, justice, and the grumpy way.

And speaking of grumpy, our grumpiness is quite justified. Have you watched a movie featuring a grumpy character recently? How many times do we need to put up with pleasant and agreeable actors pretending that they are grumpy characters? How in the world can they know what we feel from our real curmudgeon experience? What do they think they are, actors?

Author: William Lise

A long-time resident in japan, I have been chiefly involved with Japanese-to-English translation and litigation interpreting for decades. I was an electrical engineer in my previous life.