Tuesday, February 11

Nice guys finish last

First, let me explain that cynics are not the pessimists that everything assumes. We are actually hopeless optimists; we expected a better good from the world (we thought the world of the world!) and now we want to get even with it because we feel cheated. The world owed us something:

--A high paying job if we went to college.
--A lover if we followed to rules of romance.
--A peaceful life if we gave back. Paid it forward, if you will.

But it didn't happen. We went to school and didn't get the dream career; we did our hair and didn't get the dream girl; we played our cards right and the world still kicked dirt in our faces.

Then we begin to complain. That angst you hear in songs--read in poetry? It's from a cynic that has come crashing down from cloud nine, and we whine about our experience enough so we can know for sure that we must have been heard. "At least," we think, "I've given them fair warning." Artists and cynics: they're synonymous a lot of the time. Not all of the time, but a lot of the time.

The worst part comes as a realization that as much as we complain about how south our lives have gone, people will move on. They'll sympathize for a second though--or they might look at us like a sideshow attraction, even fall in love a little--but they will move on, and of course they will! What more could we expect from this world? The one that screwed us over...let us down...one full of a species who will take the path that gets them the greatest reward for the least amount of effort.


We followed protocol. Where's our reward?

        So unfair.

Why is it all so personal?



  1. "[C]ynics are not the pessimists that everything assumes. We are actually hopeless optimists; we expected a better good from the world..." QFT. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Miss Anthropy,

    Is it thus, then, that a cynic is an optimist who got lost in the fog of what they lack? Where does appreciation fit into this perspective? Regardless of religious persuasion, do you apply energy to muse at all the pleasantries the universe has provided you as a framework for your existence? I do not purport to know you, but I confidently assume that you have a roof over your head, you have a bed to sleep in, you have received formal education, you have access to the internet, you can analyze and then communicate the intricacies of your feelings into a blog, you have no immediate threats toward your life or homeostasis and you breathe (though perhaps not as deeply as I feel would be to your benefit); I also assume you have all your limbs and digits and a working pair of eyes, that you live in a place where you are free to claim whatever beliefs you desire without fear of imprisonment, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.; if you need me to I will continue.
    Rae, the truth of it is that the world, though oftentimes difficult, has given you much that you have neglected (in your recent posts). Instead you write, beautifully and artistically as you do, focusing (perhaps not by choice but by initial disposition) on the mediocrity of living.

    And to me, that isn't


    **I do not care to dwell long upon how full or how empty the glass is (though I assure you at its worst it is at the midline), but have you seen the magnificence of the proverbial glass itself!? **

    1. Anonymous,

      This post was definitely written bitterly, and it focuses on an extreme example of cynicism. It was also written with someone in mind, especially those last few lines (they are a bit over the top, aren't they?) And I hope that a point was made to the person I was trying to reach. As for myself, I don't know if I'm actually a cynic. By my definition in the beginning of this post, I believe I am. I think the world of the world and it's people and see them both as things that can help me grow. The rest of the post is pretty strong though, and I have not lost THAT much faith in the world.
      I absolutely have everything you mentioned--I'm healthy, educated, extremely lucky with the life I was given. I don't dismiss any of this at all.
      But my writing is direct translation of what's on my mind (as I'm sure it is for most writers) and my recent posts stay true to that. They stay true to who I am, which is someone who is restless, sensitive, and terrified of the void I feel so often. At some points, I am ashamed that it's so hard for me to find happiness in my life. I mean, it's not perfect, but I've grown into myself enough lately to realize that I wouldn't trade it for anything. I honestly think my life is beautiful, even with the flighty ups and constant downs (There ARE ups, and I always welcome them. Read "My Session at Noon"). Your comment has made me see that I could do a better job at portraying those feelings a little more.
      The fact of the matter is... I am still a sad person, despite all of the good, and that's the truth. It is very real. I'm not able to push that raw emotion aside by "focusing on the positive." (I don't mean to discredit anyone--if that is your tenet, I have no place to say it's wrong.) If I WERE able to do that, I don't think I would let myself be miserable anymore and I could finally find a little peace. Then again, if I were able to do that, I'm not sure if I would still be writing at all. And that's a scary thought.
      Thank you for your comment. I truly mean that. Please respond if you would like to and I hope you continue reading.


  3. Desires
    by the mild Anonymous

    Miss Anthropy,

    I underestimated the charm your reply would carry with it. In doing things over again, I would have prepared myself for the clarity of thought that did invade my being, for the transmutability of your reply from your mind to your words to my mind to my heart. My agency to reply or not has been removed by your literary prowess.
    As I attempt to reclaim the organs of mine you took over, I should like to render you thanks:
    I thank you for replying. I admit I felt sheepish after writing, feeling simply that it wasn't my place (I will address the kindness you showed to me, an apparent stranger, in a moment). The publishing of my reply was spurred on by the thought I had that perhaps my words COULD be of some service, beyond the simple entertainment it is to get a reply to a post.
    I thank you for stating that my words have helped you to see that you COULD do a better job at portraying your welcoming attitude toward the 'flighty ups' of your life, and I hope you decide to do so.
    Lastly, I thank you for thanking me (Certainly a few thanks—would that have been too long to use as an acceptance speech?).
    As per your request I read 'My session at noon,' though it wasn't the balm I was seeking. I felt that though it did mention the good two weeks you had, the linchpin of the post seemed to be the fleeting nature of all good things. Reminds me of Frost's "Nothing Gold Can Stay," for better or for worse. Yet as I was exploring your other posts, I chanced upon 'ə hol ʌðəɹ θiŋ ɛntaɪɹli.' The cognition you convey through that post makes me so happy; there are truths therein that are both difficult to teach and to explain.
    Rae, I think you know that your writing has power. I hope you also know that your writing is power. It is my belief that we are the summation of where we put our energy. I want happiness for you as my fellow human being, and I think you're destined for it. When it comes, do not unconsciously push it away with the thought that it will never last.
    I am an apparent stranger (who chooses his/her words carefully), yet I know about you; you are brilliant; you have wit; you are kind; you are cared for. I hope you spend your energy doing things that bring you euphoria and completeness. I wish you lasting happiness.

    **If at all you can help it, when meting out your focus, do not let a temporarily deplorable facet of the present outweigh the potentially indescribable beauty of the future.**

    1. Miss Anthropy,

      It is very late (or very early, though perhaps it is 'too soon' to get into a discussion of perspective). I cannot sleep. I write to you, stripped of the verbose verbiage I necessarily donned (for my sake) during regular business hours, and I will speak as an individual who wants his/her sleep. I see swirling about in my head our brief exchange of words. The swirlings paired with my rapid heartbeat tells me I’ve said the wrong things. I see many silly people who try hard to help. I too have gone about this all wrong. I feel I've thrown-up every cure-all I ever drank into your lap and expected you to consume it all with a smile and experience the same effects. I feel I’ve put myself into the box within your mind where all the good-natured people go when they tell you to keep your chin up, as I have. I would give a great deal not to be in that box with all those good people.
      Please forgive me. I see life through lenses that are of a different prescription than most, and though it is late (or early) and my glasses are still at my bedside, I can see that I may easily have caused more harm than good. I blame you for intoxicating me with your text (I jest). The blame for my actions is heaped upon my own back. As I sleep on my stomach we can conclude (well perhaps correlation, at best) that my heart has been racing this evening because of the choices I have made that are not in alignment with the ebb and flow of my universe and are thusly weighing on me.
      The biggest problem I have concerning my behavior is my decision to write concerning the things that I did. This is your blog, not my journal.
      I wish to, if I may, start over, and get this weight off of my wherever it has settled (hopefully not viscerally, they say that is the most dangerous kind of weight gain): You, Rae, are a fantastic, thought-provoking writer. I envy your ability. I am impressed that your blog is four years deep. Keep going, if you feel so inclined.


      The man/woman who wants his/her own box in your mental compartmentalizing system for the people you've... met.

      **"...and to all a goodnight!" (Moore)**

  4. Anonymous,

    First of all, if this is your writing "stripped of the verbose verbiage...", it's hard for me to imagine what your language is like during those regular business hours you mentioned. (A weird compliment, really, but please take it as one.)

    I don't want you to worry about the things you said. You went about it respectfully, and so I read it all with equally respectful objectivity rather than how I would have read if you started going off on me to "buck up or shut up". I try to have an open mind when it comes to other people and the way they carry their lives--and the way they politely suggest I carry mine--so rest assured (please rest) that your comments did more good than harm.

    I know what I'm getting into when I lay my life out on the internet like I'm doing. If I insisted that I don't want anyone to comment on my posts, even comments with opposing views, I'd be lying. I think most bloggers would be lying. We all have to realize the position we put ourselves in when our private lives become everybody's business with this medium. Like you said earlier, there IS a simple entertainment in getting a reply, and your replies have gone beyond pure entertainment for me, so thank you.

    Sometimes I regret not starting a new blog when I began to really devote it to my writing as opposed to silly little life updates. Four years is a long time and it's embarrassing sometimes to look back on what I've said (mostly HOW I've said it) but since I don't keep a journal, it's nice to have "it all" in one place, you know?

    You, too, Anonymous, are a thought-provoking writer. Your words are simply...yummy.

    Consider yourself compartmentalized (in the best way.)