Fighting cynicism

I’m a bit of a Pollyanna. I like to see the good in the world, be cheery, believe that people are generally not evil as a first choice.

But it’s getting harder and harder to keep my upper lip stiff. It seems every time I turn on the radio or see the news, it’s more and more stories about man’s inhumanity to man. Small and large atrocities, seemingly most often committed by soft white men against, well, everyone else.

It’s enough to make me a raving frothing feminist. Not that we women are often any better when in charge. It’d just maybe make a change, like shifting political leadership – one party is much like the other – and often it’s worth changing them around just to sever the lines of corruption that form over time and gradual erosion of ideals through the everyday squashing of bureaucracy.

Maybe more women in charge would change the old patterns of white male supremacy, force a different world view. Hard to know. Maggie Thatcher didn’t seem to help things…

I have a friend who reminds me often that men are as abused as women, often more abused. True, but it’s still men who are doing the abusing, for the most part. So though men do suffer, in wars and prisons and even in marriages, the situation is still being caused by men.

Why do people in positions of power and government feel they can act without regard for those they control? Why does our current government feel that, in a democracy, they have the right to squash all debate or intelligent discussion?

And most importantly, why do we let them get away with it, these soft/hard white men? Why don’t we say no, loudly, and stop them?

Perhaps it’s the loss of hope, the soaking cynicism, that pollutes us, makes us feel too toxic to revolt. The people in power know this, and crush and belittle hope. They mock protests, refuse to answer questions, treat the rest of the world as ever so slightly mentally incompetent.

I probably wouldn’t mind so much if they did it with wit, as in Yes, Minister. Or with joy, like those dictators who surround their palaces with wild triple size photos of themselves. But they are dull, dull, dull, these grey people. Despite the power they attach to like overfull leeches.

And perhaps that is the most discouraging thing of all.

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