Cynicism for Under-Fives
There should be books on the subject.
Then again, I had to learn the hard way.
Anyhow, I might still write one
so long as no one cramps my style:
It's more of an art than a science.
And since when did you teach great art?
19 August 1989
I wonder what my first cynical thought was. I, of course, won’t have realised I was being a cynic—I doubt the word was included in my Courtis Watters Illustrated Golden Dictionary for Young Readers—but that’s mostly the case with kids: we hate, we love, we covet—my mother was always telling me not to be covetous (whatever the hell that was)—and have no idea what it is we’re doing. The one thing I remember about later dictionaries was how inadequate most of the definitions were; they never really explained what words meant. I remember asking my dad about the word nihilism and his response was, “You don’t want to have anything to do with that.” I just wanted to know how it was possible to believe in nothing.