There are times when I feel like Benjamin the Donkey from George Orwell’s Animal Farm. For those not exposed to the classic (highly recommended), Benjamin was the oldest animal in the Farm and the most cynical. He seldom spoke and seldom laughed. When asked why, he said the world offered him little to laugh at.
Cynicism is the fine art of translating sarcastic thoughts brimming with rancidity into perfumed words palatable to the Lampooned, without diluting the intended piercing effect. In this age of flattery, fakery, forgery and all other f-word mutterables; it is impossible not to dazzle at cynics who pummel the pretentious and patronize the insincere, only to disrobe their asinine ways at opportune moments. It is a disappointment that lampoonists are a shunned group. An individual adept at puncturing misplaced pomposity through the medium of pithy satire deserves to be treasured (cynic critics might indecently demand mummification. How cynical!).
Years of judicious observation of the consequences of my cynical endeavours has led me to promote cynicism as essential exercise, exceedingly beneficial to the mind, body and soul. The cynic’s that is. Cynical repartee has been noted to stimulate displeasure in listeners, particularly when the cynic practises his art in a group that is high on magniloquence. The genuineness of their scorn is directly proportional to the general level of fakery in the group. To maximize obnoxiousness, the cynic should handpick humans exhibiting the right set of characteristics (falsehood, insincerity and pretentiousness rank high) before unleashing himself. Years of coexisting with humans leads me to confidently state that this is not a laborious task by any measure. The cynic plays a lone hand, almost always operating alone, finding himself in the minority. The practitioner who successfully handles the initial ridicule and rebellion puts himself on the path of Cynic Nirvana…not to mention ostracism (not everything is a bed of roses).
As an expression of my gratitude to mankind for providing limitless opportunities to indulge in my passion, I humbly intend to initiate a cynics club – The Benjamin Donkeys Club of Cynicism – named so in honour of one of the great exponents of the art.
The Club holds the view that continued exposure to the world fills limited brain-space with unnecessary litter. The Club offers a meaningful way to rejuvenate brains battered by the inane. Membership to the Club would be based strictly on raw talent in cynicism. Past experience with cynical exhibitions, while laudable, is not a precondition for candidacy. Practical demonstrations in cynicism would be instituted to sieve out pretentious cynics (there would be many, undoubtedly). This latter group would be subjected to intense torture (mostly verbal) that may be damaging to mental wellbeing. Candidates suffering from hallucinatory all-is-well views of the world are strongly encouraged not to apply. And so are those afflicted with passionate dissociation from realities and/or head-in-sand syndrome. Humour is a non-negotiable prerequisite to membership (this is the only point where the Club breaks away from its inspiration, Benjamin, the Donkey). The Club takes its commitment to cynicism expressed through the medium of humour and satire very seriously. Meetings would be held weekly to exchange notes of mockery (sorry, observations) on the world before indulging in sincere multi-hour laughathons on pretentiousness.
Applications are open. Fellow Benjamin Donkeys are welcome.