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Minor Revelation

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.

Published inMiscellaneousPolitix


  1. Civitch Civitch

    I am eager to see Mr. Gloomypants’ response to this one.

  2. Yep, cynics are defeated before the even begin and never get a damn thing accomplished.

  3. billm billm

    “The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.” – George Bernard Shaw

  4. 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.

  5. That explains those I know who can’t be termed “followers” by any stretch of the imagination but make some really bad voting decisions.

  6. Frank Schiavo Frank Schiavo

    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.

  7. celcus celcus

    I believe that’s one of the benefits of negative campaign advertising.

  8. Good point about romantics and cynics. I’m even cynical about indiscriminate cynism. Shaw had it down though.

  9. Garvey Garvey

    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.

  10. rickngentilly rickngentilly

    re: your revelation

    it’s because she’s pregnant.

  11. Were you whittlin’ too, Bart? Or whistlin”?

  12. David David

    Given this epiphany, what do you think its implications are for you?

  13. Brenda Helverson Brenda Helverson

    There is much to be cynical about. But that is what separates us from the rest of the sheeple.

  14. Marion Marion

    One worst than cynicism (indiscriminate or other)…apathy. Cynical people at least expend energy and give a damn!

  15. Adrastos: Actually I think I was watching football.

    David: No major implications, more like a minor attitude adjustment.

    Garvey: That’s good food for thought. Thanks.

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