I was just a-sittin’ and a-thinkin’ the other night, and somehow I had a minor epiphany which I might express thusly:

Indiscriminate cynicism serves the powerful almost as much as unquestioning obedience.

It may be obvious to the rest of the world, but I wish this had occurred to me a decade or two ago. I have tended toward an absolute cynicism.

Upon further reflection I’m not sure I’ve captured the thought properly, or even if it’s true. But it makes a fine aphorism.

  1. I agree with Shaw, and remain a confirmed cynic. I believe it is simply the case that the powerful tend to act in their own interests whatever they may say. However, my insight (however minor) has to do with indiscriminate cynicism. Not all actions are equal. Each must be evaluated on its merits.

  2. It is my unvarnished opinion that every cynnic is really a romantic with unrealized and possibly unattainable views of the everything of their lives. It is easier to be cynnic about things [people, governments, music, etc.] than to admit they don’t [or couldn’t] meet your standards. Maybe cynnics just want things to be better than they are.

    I count myself in that number by the way.

    I wonder if it is a Post-Boomer trait? BTW, I’m listening to a mix of songs from Blue Nile’s Hats and the soundtrack to the 2007 film “Once” on my IPod while reading this entry. Is this ironic in some way? I don’t know that one.

  3. Cynicism is definitely a hallmark of GenX.

    B, if you had said “silent cynicism” instead, it may make more sense (or something along those lines). But from my experience, cynics are never indiscriminate. Quite the opposite. They’ll be able to tell you exactly why thing A, B, or C is each a bad idea on its own merits. I think cynicism requires discernment as a prerequisite.

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