Not long ago my 9 year old son informed that when he grows up he wants to be a movie and food critic. This comes from his love of the movie Ratatouille. The food critic in the movie, Ego, was powerfully portrayed by Peter O’Toole. (Can one say “powerfully portrayed” when referring to a Disney cartoon?) My son’s comment reminded me that it is too easy to be a critic in our day and age. Television, the news media, and round the clock news commentary has made us all spectators and critics. As critics we too easily degrade into cynicism and pessimism.
Chesterton counters the inevitability of cynical pessimism with the oldest of Christian virtues: love.
The evil of the pessimist is, then, not that he chastises gods and men, but that he does not love what he chastises — he has not this primary and supernatural loyalty to things.