The Cynic

Good afternoon. How are you doing? Hopefully you’re all cozied up and relaxed as you read this. I’ve been missing for 10 days, in case you’ve been counting (Non-blog entries excluded). Here’s what I’ve been up to since: Absolutely naught. I twisted my ankle last Sunday, in the silliest manner possible (If anyone asks though, I was stopping a mugging and shattered the ankle while tackling the mugger). That, alongside the start of my finals meant I had to focus all of my attention on studying and nursing the “brave” ankle back to health. In case you’re wondering, I did well on my exams, so maybe the “mugabe media lockdown” I entered was worth it afterall.

Anywho, the blog. It’s why you’re here after all: I’m planning a series of consecutive releases in the coming week to make up for not releasing this piece on time. It’s funny, I could have probably released it on Friday or even Saturday, but I chose to spend my time playing video games all day long. Nothing feels better than the numbing feeling repetitive video games give you. It’s not even about entertainment at that point, there’s usually an hour of “dopamine” but the rest feels like being binged up.

I’ve grown used to this feeling, the emptiness. I wrote about it in the now lost “I’m out of ideas” (As you can tell, there’s no hyperlink included, I lost the blog. If you read it you’re one of the lucky ones). Today is about a slightly different set of feelings. Not at all about my self-perpetuating, never ending cycle of routine driven emptiness (I may come back to that some other time).

Today’s piece, is about how shit life is. Not “my life”, just life in general. And if you’re not in the mood to get bumped down, you should keep reading. No, this is not a joke, you really should. What I should do though, is preface this piece by telling you a bit about myself before I proceed to tune up my inner “hared” to the max and take down all that is good in life.

Throughout my existence, I’ve come to associate myself with the glass half empty side of my life. I’m a cynical person, always have been. I’m the person you avoid just before an exam as to not bring your morale down. I’m the person who believes more in the idea of hell than in the idea of heaven. I believe humans are, at heart, self-centered creatures. See, as I write this, I’m setting in a well-known cafe in Ramallah, sipping overly expensive coffee (I used to pay as much for Starbucks in NYC, let that sink for a moment, coffee in Ramallah costs as much as it does in NYC) and acting in the mannerisms of what we project pretentious “artists” to be.

little meremaid meme llama meme

You’ve probably seen one of those two memes at some point (btw, I don’t plan to make a habit out of using memes). This is me, right now. It’s either ironic or highly hypocritical that I’m talking about how we’re all awful from my high horse. So high, it may as well be blocks the sun. On the inside, however, I feel empty. Why am I acting up this charade? Why am I putting up this facade of plastic? A friend once described this behavior to me as wanting to “see and be seen.”  To fill a gap inside oneself, to give the impression that you somehow care about the world and all its issues without doing something actually productive.

Right about now, you’d think that a cause to believe in, or a religion to follow, would fill this gap? But honestly, it probably wouldn’t. More specifically, neither would be enough, and here’s why:

One game I like to play (And have done so for years) goes by the name of Assassin’s Creed. I’m an avid player. Unless you’re one of the editions that  never made it to PC, I’ve beaten you at least once. I know the second game by heart, I know the story of the third word-for-word. So what is it about? The game is based on certain periods in human history, altered to fit a certain narrative, with certain events changed for the game’s sake.

Why is it important to know this? Because while the game depicts an endless fight between the protagonists, the “Assassins” and their arch nemesis, the “Templars”, fighting over several millennia under different monickers, each with a cause, the valuable thing that is forgotten is that the fight is “Endless”.

Take a moment to think of this: Humans have fought since the dawn of time. At this point, it’s fair to say it’s in our DNA (And it probably is, but I’m not going to delve into this). That’s a whole industry that Ubisoft (The makers of Assassin’s Creed) have created and made a fortune off of. Besides the games, novels and merchandise, they have a live-action movie coming up in December (Which I’ll be first in line to see) all of which is based on the fact that Humans have never, and probably will never, stop fighting.

It’s sobering thought, this. I mean, really, after you think about this, how can you have any more optimism? A wise man once said “Life is an endless series of trainwrecks with only brief commercial-like breaks of happiness.”

So let’s take a look at the list: Plastic facade that people put up? Check. Video games depicting the reality that people kill each other for progress? Check. Life is all a big pointless lie that’s not worth living? … ?

Yeah, I’m not sure about that last one.

Recently, I’ve been contemplating new taglines for the blog. The one that I’m going to go with is “When I bring my newfound hope back home for the first time to meet my cynicism and boredom.”

I know what is going through your mind right now: “Murhaf, you utter dirtbag, you mean to tell me, you just wrote eleven hundred words about how cynical you are as a person, and then wrapped it up by talking about newfound hope?”. The answer to that is yes, and you just read through it, so you may as well let me finish.

Life IS a mess, a horrible mess. But it’s our mess. We got it to where it is, so we may as well try to fix it. If we all collectively gave up and stopped caring, then that’s a problem.  If life was simple and easy to live,  then it would lack the challenge, and that’s a problem.  If life was any different, I ask you, “Would it be worth living?”


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