I’ve been musing on cynicism a bit this morning,

Diogenes would doubtless be disappointed by contemporary cynicism.

after reading Aboodi Shabi’s  excellent blog post on the subject, and it strikes me that cynicism is the puer’s response to betrayal – but perhaps I ought to translate that from psychobabble.

Naive idealism is a sign of emotional immaturity, and such naive idealism can achieve great things, but it inevitably crashes into the disappointment of reality sooner or later. There is a possibility in this process of disappointment of us learning something about the world and our relation to it. If we’re able to take this path, then we can begin to work with the challenge of having ideals and working to see them more fully articulated, whilst accepting just how difficult a process this might be – staying open (as Abood says) to the possibility of possibility.

All too often, sadly, we fail to learn from our disappointment, and our knee-jerk response is to move from believing that everything can be changed and made new, to believing that nothing at all can be changed and we may as well give up. As I write it occurs to me that one might be able to see the movement from late 1960s hippy idealism to the complacency of prog rock to the nihilism of punk as an articulation of this process in popular culture (just a passing thought – feel free to disregard or kick holes in it as a theory).

If you’re interested in this stuff then I strongly recommend reading James Hillman’s fantastic article on Betrayal.