Sunday, May 30, 2010

230 Reasons Why You Should Be Cynical

If you still have any illusions after considering my list, the bitter pleasure of cynical commiseration may not be for you...but for everyone else....sharpen those barbs!

230 random reasons YOU should be cynical!

  1. leaders
  3. outlaws
  4. lawyers
  5. backstabbers
  6. brown-nosers
  7. yes-men
  8. middlemen
  9. Men who try to be"alpha" males
  10. women who try to be "alpha" males
  11. good ol' boys who become president
  12. bimbos who become celebrities
  13. celebrities
  14. prima donnas
  15. dictators
  16. people who take dictation
  17. hypocrites
  18. charlatans
  19. MBAs
  20. mindless drones who get promoted to management
  21. conformists
  22. poseurs
  23. bores
  24. boors
  25. borscht
  26. weasels
  27. barracudas
  28. pedophile priests
  29. leeches
  30. internal parasites
  31. investment bankers
  32. old-money snobs
  33. new-money snobs
  34. fine print
  35. overbooked flights
  36. planned obsolescence
  37. $500 electronic handheld organizers that are almost as efficient as $8 loose-leaf organizers
  38. computer literacy replacing literary literacy
  39. computer viruses
  40. software bugs
  41. bugs
  42. the values instilled by video games (if it gets in your way, nuke it)
  43. thinking about a future society run by people nurtured on video games
  44. spam! spam! spam! spam!
  45. losing most of our day to meaningless work
  46. the term "superiors"
  47. the term "subordinates"
  48. cubicles and other sensory deprivation cells
  49. people who thrive in cubicles
  50. "It takes money to make money"
  51. "It's not what you know, it's who you know"
  52. staying at a job you detest because the alternatives are even worse
  53. executive bonuses that exceed your annual salary
  54. the "fast track"
  55. the "glass ceiling"
  56. watching everyone rise to the level of their incompetence
  57. the annual incomes of CEOs
  58. the writing ability of CEOs
  59. multimillion-dollar "golden parachutes" awarded to dismissed CEOs
  60. the practice of terminating veteran employees a year before retirement
  61. the term "terminating"
  62. "leveraging"
  63. "targeting"
  64. "impacting"
  65. downsizing profitable companies for the sole purpose of wooing investors
  66. the fact that investors reward companies for downsizing
  67. the fact that companies now exist only to woo investors
  68. self-infatuated bodybuilders who know all their muscles by name
  69. gated communities
  70. $900,000 yuppie MacMansions
  71. the growing gap between haves and have-nots
  72. professional jargon: the Tower of Babel revisited
  73. the fact that people expect you to understand their jargon
  74. "newspeak"
  75. "groupthink"
  76. totalitarianism
  77. mass movements
  78. mass media
  79. mass murder
  80. mass marketing
  81. special offer exclusively for Mr. Occupant
  82. lawsuits by people who spill coffee on themselves
  83. lawyers who encourage lawsuits by people who spill coffee on themselves
  84. the absurd amounts of money awarded to people who spill coffee on themselves
  85. the absurd amounts of money awarded to lawyers who prosecute lawsuits by people who spill coffee on themselves
  86. your death will be referred to as a "negative patient healthcare outcome"
  87. health insurance as a capitalist enterprise
  88. the effects of age and gravity on the human body
  89. drugs whose side effects are worse than the disease
  90. dandruff
  91. gout
  92. flatulence
  93. herpes
  94. psoriasis
  95. Alzheimer's disease
  96. Tourette's syndrome
  97. St. Vitus' dance
  98. hemorrhoids
  99. chronic sinusitis
  100. yeast infections
  101. athlete's foot
  102. gum disease
  103. crotch rot
  104. mad cow disease
  105. elephantiasis
  106. crabs
  107. male-pattern baldness
  108. irritable bowel syndrome
  109. having to worry about your blood pressure and cholesterol
  110. the fact that worrying about your blood pressure and cholesterol will probably raise both of them
  111. argumentative angry people who hate progress, decency , and spelling
  112. movie critics who give rave reviews to bad films so their names will appear in newspaper ads
  113. celebrity authors who earn more for a ghostwritten book than 100 editors make in a year
  114. the state of music today
  115. the state of Florida
  116. used-car dealers
  117. chain letters
  118. pyramid schemes
  119. people who refer to pyramid schemes as "multi-level marketing"or "instruments"
  120. lawmakers mesmerized by people who refer to pyramid schemes as "multi-level marketing"or "instruments".
  121. oxymorons like "corporate culture"
  122. millionaire sports players who grumble about their salaries
  123. boxers who bite off their opponents' ears or any other body parts for that matter
  124. sports teams made up of wealthy convicted felons
  125. sports parents who browbeat their kids for screwing up on the field
  126. asinine chants of "We're #1!"
  127. sports fanatics who live vicariously through their teams
  128. anyone who lives vicariously through a soap opera
  129. eulogies delivered by clergymen who didn't know the deceased
  130. the worldwide triumph of American pop culture
  131. the profitability of bad taste
  132. disco
  133. velvet paintings
  134. the fact that the majority of autographed sports collectibles are fakes
  135. the need to purchase separate shoes for walking, jogging, tennis and basketball
  136. selling advertising space on anything that doesn't move and some things that DO (buses, stock cars, Olympic athletes, politicians)
  137. people who spend an hour clipping coupons so they can save 87 cents
  138. the licensing of dead celebrities
  139. people who gain an identity by wearing t-shirts with commercial logos
  140. "As seen on TV!"
  141. the fact that the entire economy of the free world is in the hands of gamblers and flim flam men.
  142. pop music after 1970
  143. life after 1970
  144. prejudice
  145. the plethora of con men claiming to speak for Gods.
  146. the perverse intelligence of inanimate objects that roll just out of reach
  147. price labels or packaging that won't come off without wrecking the product
  148. phones so small and complicated that despite their remarkable capabilities are useless for anything but a doorstop.
  149. 500 channels of mind erasing intelligence insulting bullshit
  150. man's treachery toward his fellow-creatures
  151. killing rhinos for their horns
  152. killing elephants for their tusks
  153. killing baby seals for their fur
  154. killing employees for their productivity
  155. the fact that it's easier in the U.S. to obtain handguns than Cuban cigars
  156. oil cartels
  157. the term "human resources" (we are not BAUXITE!)
  158. billion-dollar sportswear companies that increase profits from exploiting child labor
  159. clear-cutting the rainforests to make room for McDonald's beef cattle
  160. war
  161. street gangs
  162. rapists
  163. carjackers
  164. slumlords
  165. racketeers
  166. muggers who shoot you for a pair of sneakers
  167. people who but 300 dollar sneakers
  168. capitalism
  169. communism
  170. fascism
  171. commericialism
  172. terrorism
  173. antidisestablishmentarianism
  174. chauvinism
  175. Calvinism
  176. cannibalism
  177. corporatism
  178. plagiarism
  179. institutionalism
  180. optimism
  181. evangelism
  182. careerism
  183. industrialism
  184. mammonism
  185. materialism
  186. religionism
  187. rheumatism
  188. alarmism
  189. consumerism
  190. aneurysms
  191. Freudianism
  192. psychoanalysts who keep their patients coming back for 20 years
  193. patients who still hope for a cure after being psychoanalyzed for 20 years
  194. finding happiness only after getting a lobotomy
  195. brainwashing
  196. anyone associated with the O.J. Simpson trial who wrote a book
  197. sequels
  198. bad movies based on old TV shows
  199. the fact that those bad movies become blockbusters anyway
  200. blue-eyed Nordic Jesus
  201. motivational seminars that promise easy success
  202. people who pay to attend them
  203. the success of writers, musicians, and artists who sell out
  204. the wretched abject poverty of writers, musicians, and artists who don't
  205. obfuscation
  206. what the Spaniards did to Montezuma
  207. the fact that Tom Cruise is more famous than John Adams or Charlemagne
  208. MTV
  209. the fact that nobody reads literature anymore
  210. the fact that Walt Disney World is the biggest single tourist attraction in the U.S.
  211. the disappearance of independently owned radio stations
  212. the disappearance of independently owned everything else
  213. the perplexing success of the ugliest pop music
  214. the unlamented demise of Western Civilization
  215. the survival of tuberculosis bacilli and political parties
  216. Washington insiders
  217. dinner parties for Washington insiders
  218. buying an ambassadorship
  219. foreign ambassadors with 137 parking tickets who claim diplomatic immunity
  220. backslappers and palm-greasers
  221. politicians who sell out to lobbyists
  222. lobbyists
  223. photo opportunities and sound bites
  224. spin
  225. Rupert Murdoch
  226. The legal right to lie, fought for and won by a news organization
  227. mudslinging as viable campaign strategy
  228. the stock market soaring on news of higher unemployment
  229. knowing that all your knowledge and experiences will evaporate when you die
  230. Reading 230 excuses for being a skeptical, cynical, sarcastic bastard.

Irony Deficiency And Wry Bread

Without Shoes editor Benjamin New

Irony Deficiency
What Is The Nature Of Cynicism?

"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain

Worldly evils, blatant acts of goofy sub-normality, and petty vexations drive us to distilleries faster than a Taco Hell burrito washed down with a Red Bull goes through your system. We are cynical and sarcastic, having concluded that though money cannot buy happiness, it can be used to rent it. We realize that people who describe themselves as "middle of the road" are in denial of the 18 wheeler bearing down on them at 70 miles an hour loaded with rubber chickens. We are overworked to the point that we must make clones of ourselves to handle the workload. The clones are identical to us in every way, except they shout obscenities all the time. This upsets everyone which forces us to dispose of them by pushing them off a bridge inevitably causing a policeman to arrest us for making obscene clones fall. Now if you aren't overworked then you are unemployed or underemployed. Offers for pre-declined credit cards are pouring into your mailbox. The "jobless recovery"? The mob is laying off judges and CEOs are reduced to playing mini golf. And if you are working it's a crap job that has ruined lives. Of course there's the
demise of Western civilization, the triumph of degeneracy, barbarism, evil, and MBAs, moronic cheesy books that stay on the bestseller list for 189 weeks, general chronic disappointment, and eternal damnation.

Merely a few causes for cynicism.

You understand there are no smug certainties of any kind... that all the world is a stage and it's littered with product tie-ins. You my friend, are a fellow cynic. We are kindred spirits, brothers and sisters under the skin. whether you are a disgruntled idealist, a subversive wit, a professional misfit, a skeptical jester, curmudgeon, social reject, misanthrope, or a secret sentimentalist who longs for a simpler, sweeter life...we are a tribe.

Were you born cynical? Or has cynicism been thrust upon you? Either way, we here at the Without Shoes blog say "give us your tired, bitter, alienated, underappreciated & overwhelmed because chances are you'll fit right in!

History Of Cynicism.

Cynicism is a Greek invention, like the Doric column or the gyro sandwich.
The first Cynics (for some reason when we refer to the ancient ones, the word is capitalized) were the students of a philosopher named Antisthenes, who in turn was a student of the more popular Socrates. Like Socrates, the Cynics believed that virtue was the greatest good. But they took it further than the old master, who would merely challenge unsuspecting folks to
good-natured debates and let their own foolishness cause their fall.

The Cynics were far more blunt when it came to exposing foolishness. They'd hang out in the streets like a pack of dogs ("Cynic" actually comes from the Greek word for dog), watch the passing crowd, and ridicule them for their pomposity , pretentiousness, materialism or downright wickedness. Fiercely independent, they led disciplined and virtuous lives. The most famous of the ancient Cynics was Diogenes, who reportedly took up residence in a tub to demonstrate his freedom from material wants. This cranky street-philosopher would introduce himself by saying, "I am Diogenes the dog. I nuzzle the kind, bark at the greedy and bite scoundrels." He'd use a lantern by daylight, explaining that he was searching for an honest man. Even Alexander the Great didn't escape mockery. When the young conqueror found Diogenes sitting in the marketplace and asked how he could help him, the old philosopher replied "you can step out of my sunlight."

As you might expect, the ancient Cynics' habit of ridiculing their fellow citizens didn't win them many friends. People generally don't like to hear the truth. Truth is after all rare but demand for it is much rarer! Who wants to hear unflatterng truths about themselves, especially in public? But the Cynics, like the Blues Brothers; were on a mission from Zeus. As the Stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote "A Cynic is a spy who aims to discover what things are friendly or hostile to man; after making accurate observations, he then comes back and reports the truth."

The ancient Cynics have turned to dust, but their successors have carried on quite nobly.
Juvenal, Rabelais, Swift, Voltaire and Mark Twain have all used the classic Cynics' tools -- bitter irony, biting sarcasm and mirthful ridicule!

It is up to us, my fellow cynics, to expose the follies & timeless foibles of humankind.
If you consider yourself a cynic, take pride in your heritage; as the world needs you now more than ever.
Cynicism gives us the often painful power to behold life without its sustaining illusions.
We simply can't pretend the emperor is dressed in splendid finery.
We are compelled to shout "Hey buddy your sorry ass is naked!"

Cynics are not prone to activism. You'd think we'd do something constructive about our discontentment. But we're smart enough to know that we won't prevail, and probably a little too jaded to attempt any labor that's predestined to fail.
What we do is retaliate with our personal brand of wounded wit. Truly, inside every cynic is a disillusioned idealist. Though we can't defeat oppressors, we can mock them!
That's about as much justice as a cynic can expect.

"If crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight?"
--George Carlin...Cynic