I once poked fun at a politician wearing a hard hat on TV and my father said sternly, “No one likes a cynic.” He had a bucket of wisdom that also included “Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit,” and “Get your hands out of your pockets.” I no longer stick my hands in my trakky daks because that might be a bit creepy but the cynicism’s proving harder to shake.
I have no desire to become habitually negative but I’m starting to think a healthy dose of scepticism is okay. I’ve done my time coveting believers but from all accounts I’ve been this way since the mashed carrot incident in 1978 where I successfully stared down a full grown male rather than eat my dinner. My daughter does a similar thing and everyone says “Haha it’s Carli,” while I mentally add gin and Clairol root touch-up to my shopping list.
When you’re faced with something questionable, it’s perfectly acceptable to say, “This is some shit mashed carrot man!” but sometimes it pays to work on being more earnest. Therefore I will temporarily be avoiding all of the following:
- Online activism: Sometimes called “slacktivism”. It has been known to exacerbate symptoms of cynicism (see Stop Kony).
- 60 Minutes.
- The Committee lady: She has a passion for ‘Earn and Learn’ stickers that is nothing short of admirable. She doesn’t want to know about the fact you try to avoid Woolies because of that whole turning over more than $300 million a year from pokie venues in seven Victorian local government areas with low average incomes.
- The hottest 100 omissions.
- The Mexican craze in Melbourne and the fact you can no longer find mini tortillas anywhere.
- Restaurants with a no booking policy.
- Andrew Bolt or Paul Sheehan: I’ve been Bolt free for some time but I still need to work on Sheehan.
- Overuse of the word lovely.