Monday, 1 October 2007
Dictionary of Cynical Quotations
Some years ago, when visiting my Spiritual Mentor and his family, they presented me with a copy of this book,'Dictionary of Cynical Quotations.' What me, cynical? I had never realised how cynical I had become. naturally I reacted in the correct manner - and blamed them!
But in the United Kingdom today we have a cynical approach. Much comedy is based in a cynicism, and not just with today's life, it has been created here over many years. The improvement in the condition of folks in the UK in the nineteenth century, and it was an improvement, came along with a strong sentimental streak. This was destroyed by the Great War, as indeed were many other 'myths' of daily life. The 'British' had developed a black and ironic humour, much used in such times to keep folk going, and one of the blessings this country possesses. It was much needed during the period between the wars when the 'homes built for heroes' never arrived and when work disappeared. The depression and poor housing, the Jarrow Crusade' and soup kitchens, all these have left a mindset in the UK that will never disappear. Add to this a second war and the time is right for sarcasm to arise!
As wealth grew apace during the years of peace (peace? 50 million or more dead since 1945 in various wars! Peace eh?) the inevitable happened. We have become fat and empty of values. I wonder if this is why a cynical attitude arose, and grew in the years of Margaret Thatchers rule? Possibly it was the 'British' personality added to the cruel Tory attitude of the eighties in which people were less important than money! Since the war and attitude, of hidden by various domestic squabbles, existed in which, generally, the 'service' element existed. This was by the late seventies seen as corrupt, and they have a point, and needed radical change. The change reawakened the lust for Mammon that lies within us all, cynicism thrived, especially with politicians and 'leading people.'
The 'Cynics' originated in ancient Greece, the word coming from the word KYNICOS, the adjective for dog. Cynics, it appears took the dog as a kind of badge! Diogenes was a leader among them who rejected the world's view, and often in somewhat crude ways! Their story is quite interesting if you wish to strain your mind trying to understand them, but worth a go one quiet rain filled day. Anyway I was given this book as I appear to have a cynical view on the world, and I thought I was loving and kind.
However I recommend cynicism, especially when listening to politicians, news reports on the telly, and indeed anywhere else, and when reading adverts that offer to make you rich or beautiful or famous for £19.99! Cynicism has a value. But it can be misused, we can disbelieve facts when they are presented out of habit. Use it wisely.