I’m Tired of Cynicism, Man

By: Mia Bencivenga

The most important thing an aspiring writer can learn is that in order to write, one must have something to write about.

Using this universal rule of the written word, I set off on my weekly journey of finding something interesting to titillate the handful of readers who are kind enough to glance over my work every once and a while.  And by “journeying” I mean rampant usage of google-type search engines, and the frequent stalking of a many celebrity news oriented websites.

But what did I find?


Oh yes, there were I suppose “blog worthy” stories.  

For instance, Daniel Craig called the Kardashians a bunch of “explitiving-idiots”.  I could have written about that, I suppose.  It’s eye catching.  Vaguely scandalous.  The usual.  Plus, Daniel Craig is incredibly man-pretty.  But honestly, what hasn’t been said about the Kardashians that has already been said, screamed, and broadcasted about a thousand times over?  Myself included on this one.  The subject has been exhausted.

Then, there was the whole Miley Cyrus pothead debacle.  I guess I could have written about that, too.  Apparently, she said something about being a pothead at her nineteenth birthday and a friend videotaped her. It leaked it because she’s apparently a terrible friend and blah blah blah.  Big whoop. Hide your children!  Cover their ears!  Miley Cyrus may or may not have joked about smoking a non-addictive plant!  

But honestly, doesn’t it feel seem that, at least to me, these kinds of “breaking news” stories are just the same ones from last week, simply jumbled up with a vaguely new twist?  Plus, they are usually unpleasant to read, due to their wholly negative nature.  It’s hard to believe that some people make their living by literally following and spying on famous people.  I’ll admit, for a while, we can find this entertaining.  Heck, my big schtick is writing about these stories. But it seems, before you know it, you just can’t stand to go on TMZ anymore.  

And for me, on this a most gloomy November day, I just don’t want to write about Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s supposed open marriage.  Or how he cheated on her.  Or about her
new “rebound man.”

I’m just tired of cynicism, man.   

These stories seem to push this kind of cynical ideal that has been instilled in our culture.  Cynicism is a kind of awful pessimistic suspicion of everything, tainted with a kind of black humor.  Since we’ve adopted this kind of stance in regards to ourselves and others, we’ve taken away a lot of the magic and mystery in our lives.  And, in a way, we’ve perpetuated our own unhappiness.

We are always suspicious of those who seem to be good people, especially good people who happen to be in the public eye and have a lot of money.  It’s as if we’re so afraid of having faith in people, that we will go to great lengths to uncover whatever missteps or mistakes that we can find.  

We disappoint ourselves before they can disappoint us, and that’s well, just sad on a lot of levels.

I can be a very cynical person, as highly evident in my writing.  But, the more I see it in myself, the unhappier I feel, and the less I tend like my reflection in the mirror.  

By nature, I’m an optimist.  I’m a happy-go-lucky person.  But, in my experience, a lot of people look down on that quality.  They rationalize my happiness as a young person’s naiveté; in short, many people see that kind of outlook on life as a type of weakness.  And because of that, I think I have, over time, adopted a more cynical attitude on a lot of things.  It’s almost a defense mechanism in a way, it shields you from feeling bad, because you expect bad.  But it also keeps you from feeling the good, which I can’t say I want to do anymore.

I think it’s a hell of a lot harder to be an optimist.  I think it takes a certain kind of strength to not be afraid of disappointment in failure, and to not constantly prepare yourself for it.  I’ve heard some people call optimists “delusional,” however; I think optimistic people tend to lead, at the very least, happier lives.  And if that’s what “delusion” can get me, I’ll gladly take it.

With the biggest holiday of the year just around the bend, it’s even easier to delve into cynicism.  You want to reason away Christmas lights, buying presents and the entire tradition, because we all know of the giant low one feels after the holidays have passed.  It’s like there’s nothing to look forward to, anymore.  Some people want to bypass that low, and thus refuse to get into a holiday spirit at all.   

I, myself, have been refusing to participate in the holiday festivities.  I have yet to decorate, to make cookies, to watch a holiday flavored film, and because of this, I kind of feel like I’m missing out on something that could be fun and cheery.  And who says a little exercise in cheer was ever a bad thing?  The only trick is to learn how to keep it going all year round!

You see, what I’ve discovered as of late is that cynicism doesn’t accomplish anything.  It never makes a person feel good, you know?  And what’s the point of living if you don’t feel good at least some of the time?  Cynicism is negativity.  It always taints things tainted with a grim outlook on life; an expectation of inevitable human failure; an assumption that all people are wholly motivated by self-interest.

Yes, I understand that the world is tough.  Yes, the nights are long in the winter and the skies are gray.  But should we stay in all day just so we don’t miss the sun when the clouds come and dusk arrives?

I suppose it’s something for us all to keep in mind over the holiday season.


twoday magazine wants to know: Are you tired of cynicism? Share your thoughts on Facebook!

Tweet Mia your ideas to cheer up her day @miasminirants.



  • erikdolnack

    Thu, 01.12.11 at 03:50PM

    Daniel Craig’s actual comment was, “Look at the Kardashians, they’re worth millions. I don’t think they were that badly off to begin with, but now look at them. You see that and you think, ‘What, you mean all I have to do is behave like a f—king idiot on television and then you’ll pay me millions?”

    Each reader can interpret that statement however they chose. For my part, I don’t think Craig was personally attacking the Kardashians per/se, but reality-TV in general as a concept. And I agree: people do act like idiots on reality-TV and make millions in the process.

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