I Give Up.

11 Aug

So, it’s been a while since The Earnestness Movement has posted anything. But in all likelihood nobody noticed!

You see, the vast vast VAST majority of people I tell about my dear Movement just don’t get it– Don’t get why I’m so pro-Earnestness/anti-Irony. (“What is Earnestness anyway?” To which I say, “See our F.A.Q. page!” Ha!)

I begged my friends and acquaintances to join my quest to rid the looming, sweaty beasts of Cynicism and Irony from the world I live and work in. So very few stepped up to the plate. Those who did: I cannot thank you enough! Your contributions have so warmed my heart!

Shortly after I made the post below, I began pondering what the next theme-of-the-month should be. And in the midst of my brainstorming, some big things happened in my own life. My partner was offered a job that has taken him to the Caribbean, and he asked me to join him. This raised a lot of questions and ideas and worries for me, obviously(!).

But quite seriously, one thought that kept nagging at me was how my enthusiastic attempts at The Earnestness Movement had resulted in such pathetic uptake… and how in my new home, these things that upset me so much– Irony, Sarcasm, etc– will very likely leave my life in a major way. The Caribbean is not known for its disaffected hipsters.

I may in fact be removing myself from the clutches of Irony. And I may be doing so by saying “YES!” to adventure, love, and playing ukulele on the beach.

And I know you might not believe me, but every day since then, I’ve wondered how to tackle this blog. What to say? What to do? I was paralyzed.

How can I try to dredge my dream of The Earnestness Movement from the muck, when I’ll be too busy being happy and adventurous to bother with petty Sarcasm? Any why should I bother, when so few seem to understand the point of The Movement anyway?

I know that if my plans had unfolded as I had hoped, and I had staged an Official Launch Event of The Movement, there may have been some greater understanding… it might have resulted in more people taking part, which would lead to The Movement being more than me just being sick of Ironic people infecting my life and the lives of folks around me. But now, I won’t be in Canada, which makes it hard to plan an event to welcome new converts to The Movement. And as it is… well… Sigh.

The Movement has not affected change as far as I know. It seems it will not affect change. For now, at least.

I give up.

It’s embarrassing, but true.

Perhaps some day the other sailors on the sea of the Canadian cultural landscape will become sick of the overwhelming currents of Negativity and Snark. And on that day The Earnestness Movement will become relevant.

But for now, I am going to go off and live as Earnest a life as I can, saying a big hearty “YES!” to all things that represent goodness, love, excitement, opportunity, and adventure. I hope you will join me.

As a parting thought: I reached out to Neil Pasricha a while ago. He’s founder of the 1000awesomethings blog and book (a very Earnest endeavour indeed!). I asked him for an Earnestness Tip to add to the stable I was trying to build.

I’ll leave you with what he had to say:

“Whatever you’re thinking about doing one day, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it.”


Earnest Poetry: More Good Stuffs!

28 Jun

It’s another of the poetic contributions from our Earnest Wordsmiths at the UMI Cafe in Ottawa, as rounded up by our dear friend Ian Keteku! Woot!

Tips on Being Earnest
By Brandon Wint

Pray More
Find the roots of the things you fear, or are presenting you the illusion of hatred
Go within yourself until you find the pain from which your negative energy eminates
Cry until you can cry no more
Sit with yourself
Repeat when necessary

Hipster Time Travel

19 Jun

'Hark, A Vagrant' webcomic series by K. Beaton

Oh man, we loves, loves, loves these webcomics by K. Beaton. Normally she makes us giggle at her re-imagined historical pieces, but this one seemed just right for The Earnestness Movement.

Consider this an invitation to join us, ‘Hark, A Vagrant’! Only a truly Earnest soul could dedicate spare time to comic-ifying historical figures. And for that, we salute you.

World Cup: Tournament of the Sincere

17 Jun

Yep, there’s been lots of talk of the “annoying” buzzing bee sounds emitting from the World Cup broadcasts since the tournament kicked off last week.

Via Andrewthecook on Flickr

Not to mention emails to a certain music service of a certain public broadcaster about a certain K’naan track that’s getting a lot of airplay in light of FIFA.

Holy moley, World Cuppers! It certainly is true that these things can be flat out annoying. Buzzing sounds. A song stuck in your head.

But as the lady who edited the many K’naan World Cup travel diaries that wafted that song at you via the various platforms of the CBC, I’m here to tell you that I heard the song more than most people (though, still nowhere near as many as K’naan and his team… Kudos to them for staying sane after playing the same song over and over, in more than 80 countries as they took their world tour before FIFA!). And yes siree, there were nights where it got stuck in my head and kept me up past my bedtime. And yes, hearing endless buzzing out of the FIFA TVs at work does make it hard to be productive from time to time.

Honestly– to those who are annoyed: I hear you!


In the spirit of our theme this month– The Examined Life– perhaps we should try and scratch away at that annoyance for a second.

Why do we feel annoyed? What is annoyance, anyway? And should our irritation take precedence over the amazingly enthusiastic joy represented by those blaring vuvuzelas, and the beautiful sentiment of that K’naan tune?

I’m not saying I have the answers. I’m just saying we should be asking the questions. And appreciating the World Cup as an event full of exuberance, joy, passion, and fun… touchstones of Sincerity.

The World Cup: A true Festival of Earnestness!

Agree? Disagree? Go Brazil?

Tomorrow: More Earnest poems on the way!

“The Science of Being Earnest”

15 Jun

One of my most favourite of our Earnestness Soldiers, Ian Keteku— the artist, poet, journalist, musician, everything extraordinaire– is to thank for the poetry windfall I mentioned yesterday.

A few days ago he sent along this message: “Hi Brianna. So every Wednesday my poetry group and I facilitate spoken word and writing workshops at UMI cafe. You inspired the session on Wednesday in the first half we tackled the literary device of irony, sarcasm etc. Then we talked about earnestness and we all wrote a poem about it. So the following are a couple of the poems. I have more coming in.”

Let’s kick it off with the man who got us hip to the poetic delicacies. Here’s Ian’s poem… which, can I just say one more time, makes me so happy. Enjoy. Be Earnest. Get involved!

The Science of Being Earnest

There are a few parts in the human body that connect and act simultaneously
Any scientist, physician or neurologist would tell you that the sensation of a prick on your finger is not felt the moment the prick happened
A series of synapses, all over the body
Communicate not simultaneously but sequentially

Except for these few parts on the human body!
Lets call them earnest receptors.
As I see it, there are four of these receptors
One in the head
One in the heart
One in the gut
And one, well no one really knows where this last one is

But here is how they work

Say you are watching the news and you hear about a bunch of soldiers taking over an unarmed ship
With a load of goods and supplies
People are killed

Your earnest receptors activate immediately
There is a visceral reaction in your gut – quivering, pushing you to tears
The one in your heart forces it to beat harder, faster
It sympathizes for the dead and injured
The one in your head analyzes the situation
And grades it against the moral fiber of your soul
It tells you this is wrong

I am not sure what the last one does but it plays a part in connecting all the receptors

Either way to ensure you are being earnest you must?
Turn on your receptors
Listen to your receptors
Act on them!

Dost Thou Like Poetry?

14 Jun

We sure do. It’s one of the most Earnest things we can think of. So imagine our delight when we heard that one of our Earnie friends hosted an Earnestness-themed poetry night!

We were so excited, we weren’t sure exactly what to do. How could we give these poems the biggest bang– The big grateful kablooie they truly deserve? Should we write a press release? Should we write this as a news story? Should we make them into some sort of video?

But sometimes you just have to let the words speak for themselves.

So you: Hang in there, and check in with us tomorrow to see the first Earnestness Movement poetic submission!

In the meantime, enjoy this super awesome poetry animation… perhaps it will inspire YOU to send an Earnie poem, too!

[Youtube= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Upojbi-6dbM%5D

*Editor’s Note: You know, this whole idea brings a little tear to my eye, as it was my single hope when I first started this movement to inspire a few people in the world to be more Sincere. I know this Movement is very small. It is in its early days, and a lot of people still don’t understand. I often get frustrated that it isn’t resounding with folks the way I thought it should/hoped it would. But the fact that these poems exist is a testament to the potential of Sincerity to MOVE people. To remind us to be more truthful, more artful, more genuine in our lives. And that is really all I could have asked for. Sigh!*

The Examined Life: Our THEME OF THE MONTH for JUNE!

1 Jun


Because by asking that one little question, we uncover the motivation behind the things we do and say– we can more clearly see the things we “stand for.”  And that takes us one step closer to Earnest Living!

See, once you scratch the surface of Cynicism by asking that little “why,” often you’ll find that Snarky things are in fact rooted in fear or sadness.

Wouldn’t it be more accurate, truthful, authentic, and Earnest to just express those root feelings instead of spewing Irony or Sarcasm to mask our true motivations? Yes! Yes! Yes!

And so, we gotta ask, “WHY? ”

And we gotta all the time. But since The Examined Life is our Theme Of The Month, we’ll ask it with a special flare this June!

Thank you to the Examined Life (a co-production of our oh-so-earnest and beloved NFB) for giving us a little food for thought on our first day of asking the Big Questions.