04 August 2010

Cynicism

". . . the yearbook editors voted him Most Cynical. That pleased him. Gilbert believed disillusionment to be the natural consequence, even the duty, of a mind that could cut through the authorized version to the true nature of things. He made it his business to take nothing on trust, to respect no authority but that of his own judgment, and to be elegantly unsurprised at the grossest crimes and follies, especially those of the world's anointed."

-- Tobias Wolff, Two Boys and a Girl, p103, in The Night in Question

So, accordingly, the cynic:

1. Believes the "official" story masks the "true nature of things" and only she can cut through to it.

2. Models disillusionment as the natural consequence of a superior mind such as hers.

3. Takes nothing on trust.

4. Respects no authority but her own.

5. Feigns "elegant unsurprise" at the grossest misbehaviors; she's unshockable.