Snarky Puppy

Truth With an Edge

That’s what cynicism is, isn’t it?  Truth with an edge.

Blunt truth can set you back, make you stop and take a breath, but you can push against it, or even past it.  But put an edge on it and it cuts you.  Even if you survive the confrontation, you’re left with an open wound that demands attention.  Ignore it at your peril.  How many blows of blunt truth does it take for a lesson to take hold compared to one slice of cynicism?

Cynicism adds the element of human nature to the analysis of events.  You may wonder about why the town board takes a particular action.  We may naively expect that they will weigh the pros and cons, ponder the cost-benefit analysis, and in the end do the right thing.  Or we may wonder which board members have self-interest driving their action.  Altruism isn’t as common as movies would have us believe.

Cynicism cuts and exposes the reality of our shared nature.  We may pretend human nature doesn’t exist or that it’s not as bad as it seems, but it’s there.  There’s an unwelcome awkwardness in pointing out the 800-lb. gorilla in the room, but kudos to those brave enough to do so.  Pretending he isn’t sitting there blurs our reasoning.

“You’re so cynical” is often a dismissive insult, but in reality it’s a compliment.  It unwittingly acknowledges that the person is willing to honestly question and analyze the status quo.  The cynic puts a fine point on an issue by personalizing it.  Truth with an edge.

Phil Keaggy

In honor of the end of Daylight Savings Time.  I actually prefer Standard Time.  I don’t really care that it gets dark early.  Not many people seem to share that sentiment.  This is the studio version.  There are a couple of live versions, but the quality can’t compare to this.