From Cynicism to Authenticity

In my twenties, I loved cynicism as an aesthetic choice and even as a personality trait: cynicism in art, film, jokes, comments from my peers. I thought it was clever.

But these days, at least for me, cynicism comes off as youthful ignorance, defensiveness, lack of self-awareness. And while I have empathy for the pain that those underlying states cause, decoding that tires me out. What I’m much more interested in is straightforwardness and authenticity. People and artists who are willing to be awkward, unpolished, unslick, and who they are. This is refreshing. This feels real. This feels like we can get somewhere.

Cynicism is easy. That’s probably why young people gravitate to it.

But what if authenticity were more popular? What if we were free to talk about our fears and dreams without being judged? What if we could talk about our scars and our visions rather than cover them up with bullshit? I think we’d be more connected and that’s what the world needs.

Related reading (from the archive): Beyond Out-of-Phase


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