As long-time readers know, I suffer from enthusiasm.
It’s the happy gene, I think.
All the happier when the enthusiasm proves justified:
Remember Honest Tea? Its co-founder took a prototype bottle out of his briefcase and asked me to try it. It was awful (who drinks room-temperature “iced” tea out of a briefcase?) but I invested anyway. It’s now everywhere! Coke bought it! Moroccan Mint, in their glass bottle, served really, really cold, is the best.
Remember Google? I’ve been super-enthusiastic about Google. Although in that case, far from investing, I led a bunch of us off a cliff buying puts. “Google is just the most wonderful company that ever was,” I wrote a decade ago, arguing that its stock was, nonetheless, potentially ripe for a fall. Wrong about the stock, right about the company.
Remember silt? I’ve been enthusiastic about Great Lakes Dredge & Dock because it — silt — just continues to accumulate and GLDD seems to be in a good position to proifit form that. So far, it’s been neither a big winner or a loser, but this Seeking Alpha analysis yesterday helps to keep me hopeful.
I’ve been enthusiastic about beets.
Yesterday I was enthusiastic about the best jukebox EVER. (And free!)
And for months now, I’ve been enthusiastic about my pal Seth, who was more than a little nervous when he debuted at 54 Below last year — which showed — but boy has he ever found his stride. Among the many reviews of his most recent encore was this one from the New York Arts Review. (“Sikes may well be one of the saviors of the Great American Songbook as we continue into the 21st century. … I can’t wait to see what [he] does next. I’ll certainly be there and so should you!”)
Is he the next Frank Sinatra? No. Am I having fun reading his reviews? Yes.
Of rather more consequence is my enthusiasm for Democrats. And this reason to be optimistic, from the National Journal:
. . . But what has to be deeply unsettling to Republicans is what has happened with party affiliation over the past seven years. . . . From 1990, when Pew began aggregating its monthly surveys each year, through 2006, an average of 29 percent of adults identified themselves as Republicans, 4 percentage points below the Democrats’ 33 percent. From 2007 through the end of last year, the average for Republican identification was 5 points lower at 24 percent. Democrats, by contrast, held steady at 33 percent. That means Republicans have gone from 4 points behind during that 1990–2006 period to 9 points behind in the years since.
Reason to be cautiously optimistic. I will never get over the lost opportunity I think we had in 2014 to up-end the truism that “turn-out is always terrible in a mid-term.” But 2016 is no mid-term: 2016 is going to be the mother (or possibly the grandmother) of all presidential elections, where turnout works in our favor.
And speaking of optimism, I love this upbeat excerpt from Brian Grazer’s A Curious Mind:
Being determined in the face of obstacles is vital. Theodor Geisel, Dr. Seuss, is a great example of that himself. Many of his forty-four books remain wild bestsellers. . . . selling 11,000 Dr. Seuss books every day of the year, in the United States alone, twenty-four years after he died. He has sold 600 million books worldwide since his first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was . . . rejected by twenty-seven publishers before being accepted by Vanguard Press. . . .
Geisel says he was walking home, stinging from [that] twenty-seventh rejection, with the manuscript and drawings for Mulberry Street under his arm, when an acquaintance from his student days at Dartmouth College bumped into him on the sidewalk on Madison Avenue in New York City. Mike McClintock asked what Geisel was carrying. “That’s a book no one will publish,” said Geisel. “I’m lugging it home to burn.” McClintock had just that morning been made editor of children’s books at Vanguard; he invited Geisel up to his office, and McClintock and his publisher bought Mulberry Street that day. When the book came out, the legendary book reviewer for the New Yorker, Clifton Fadiman, captured it in a single sentence: “They say it’s for children, but better get a copy for yourself and marvel at the good Dr. Seuss’s impossible pictures and the moral tale of the little boy who exaggerated not wisely but too well.” Geisel would later say of meeting McClintock on the street, “[I]f I’d been going down the other side of Madison Avenue, I’d be in the dry-cleaning business today. …”