Thursday, September 17, 2015

It's a Lazy Way to Say That You've Been Burned

"Cynicism isn't wisdom" croons Nana Grizol amidst a song about breakups and sunsets and reflection, and perhaps there's a point at which cynicism renders a life materially worse, but as a defense mechanism, it can be justified or understood, even sympathized with easily. To me, cynicism was a belief system, as a late teen - from about age 18-20 - I was full of the idea that everyone sucked, including myself, the world sucked, and, perhaps not-coincidentally, was a rabid libertarian bordering on minarchism.

But my cynicism was misplaced. I have never been cheated on, the victim of a horrible crime - with perhaps the most flagrant abuse of my body simply being a male staff member at a mental hospital spying on me as I showered, but as uncomfortable as it is there's part of me that realizes that he may be the first and last person to like my body. I've never been mugged or robbed or even been in a car crash as a driver. You see, I now, to this day, believe that people are mostly alright (excepting myself, of course), and just trying to get by and do their thing. My cynicism has been replaced and disputed time and time again by the lack of "shit happens," in my life. But I've known and met people, who have connections, close connections, to things like suicide, rape, assault, drunk driving, and if a world has ripped away a life or treated one cruelly multiple times, then cynicism is a defense mechanism, and one that can be understood. So, sorry, Nana Grizol, maybe for a white middle class dude cynicism isn't wisdom, but for some, it's not a lazy way to say that you've been burned, it's a way to say that some things exist outside our world, and some of them are truly awful.

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