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Monday, 28 September 2015

The joy of cynicism

What has the internet done for us? Maybe one thing it has achieved is to hone our cynicism into a new and liberating philosophy of life – holistic cynicism.

Cynicism about what though? People – always people.

We have been ruled by cynics forever so perhaps after long centuries of believing all kinds of ludicrous crap it’s our turn to be cynical. Politics, big business and big bureaucracy are extremely cynical, which we always knew but many of us now know it right down to the marrow of our bones. It’s a fact of life on a par with death and taxes.

Holistic cynicism is a necessary if not always sufficient condition for placing ourselves more accurately in the grand scheme of things, for knowing what to expect and what not to expect – particularly what not to expect. Holistic cynicism is a sound way to make at least some sense of the big wide world.

Everything beyond our inner circle is included, from charities to democracy, from government to royalty, from celebrities to institutions, from news to narrative. Rule number one is the strongest, most profound and unyielding cynicism – holistic cynicism. Nothing less will do - abandon rule one at your peril.

We cynics always knew it but the internet has taught us just how cynical we need to be, and even now we haven’t fully mastered the beautiful and eternal truths of holistic cynicism. Unfortunately the internet has not passed this liberating lesson to everyone. There are those who will not learn to be holistically cynical  - they refuse to learn in spite of constant efforts by our political leaders.

A divide seems to be growing between those who find spiritual joy through their innate gift of holistic cynicism and those poor unfortunates who actually watch TV news and believe the mainstream media. Sad I know, but such people still exist in substantial numbers and there is no known cure. 

In particular there seems to be a vast gulf between cynics and those who see two sides to important issues. In reality there is only ever one side to any issue – the cynical side which is not really a side at all, but a starting point for liberating the soul.

Do cynics have souls? Do we need one?

5 comments:

Demetrius said...

I don't believe a word of it.

Roger said...

My own guide to understanding politics is to think of the lowest possible motive and then go a couple of steps lower - seldom fails. Having been in on some bad plots I think people don't start with a wicked cynical motive but as the difficulties and budget cuts etc mount up the plot thickens to a toxic viscous (and vicious) brew - but we old hands know that will happen and so recruit nice fresh blood to feed the monster. That way they don't even know they are lying till its too late.

Sackerson said...

As youbknow, cynics were so called because they gratified their desires as frankly as dogs and/or barked at the bullcrap they heard. Shall we settle on the term "constitutional skeptics"?

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - neither do I.

Roger - it's a real problem in the public sector because older hands know the plot will thicken and stay safely on the sidelines.

Sackers - I looked at a few alternative words, but nothing seems to fit as neatly as "cynical" even though the modern meaning still feels too negative.

J Richardson said...

Praise be the holistic cynic.... I am personally on a quest to reshape public perception of the Diogenes philosophy of Cynicism. I most often discribe Holistic Cynicism as "Realizing that everything is connected and most of it sucks." I also call this Unified Simplism.... I have spent the past 6year compiling a text that may further this "quest"... thanks for being