India Uncut

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Being cynical

Rahul Bhatia writes about something he worries about as a journalist:
There's a fear that the cynicism I see in older journalists will one day touch me. These are not frustrated journalists, but good ones. You realise it through their eyes: after 30 years in the business they're not upset because they haven't succeeded, they're upset because they see sad things everyday. It's unnerving because this cynicism seems inevitable. One by one, people slip into that state of knowing how things happen, of expecting things to go down a depressing path. They've gone past the stage of looking at suicide attempters as novelty and bad directors as entertainment. Here they see something deeper and sadder.
Sigh. Having friends like me clearly doesn't help Rahul, now that I'm given to ranting about the futility of life and how nothing has any meaning (all of which is true, but needn't be spoken of). And he knows, of course, that if we were sitting together and he said these things to me, I'd probably respond with something like:
"This cynicism seems inevitable?" Wipe that smile off your facelike thing, schmuck, this cynicism is inevitable, and that's because death is inevitable and there's no God or afterlife. Deal with that, dumbass!

Now let's go get some frappe.
(Our conversations these days, you see, take place in a venue where frappe is nearby, so some hope does exist.) And then we would toodle off morosely, two overweight men with vastly different amounts of hair, one 32-years-old and irredeemably cynical, while the other, I hope for his sake, will forever escape that state.
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