Saturday, December 17, 2011

On the subject of sincerity

I think a lot about sincerity, which is a trait I feel I lack.

I wish to believe in things, I want my words to be backed up by the impression that I care about what I say, that I've considered my philosophical notions deeply and that I remain to my own self true. The difficulty with this is that as much as I want to be sincere, I also want to think of myself as one step ahead of others, which requires a tendency toward smuggery that I personally find appalling in others, yet have no problem with in myself. This, naturally, kicks off my hypocrisy alarm, and if there's one thing a person like me can't stand, it's hypocrisy, so I pull back. I resort to dither and silence, rather than affecting what I may actually feel at the moment.

Naturally, sincerity is the trait I most admire in others, so I tend to fall for fake sincerity every single time. I believed Barack Obama's bit about hope, because, damn it, I wanted it to be real. I believe in every Christmas special's lesson about the true meaning of the season, and I believe all the high-minded parts of the Bible, despite simultaneously expressing grief for the more ludicrous parts of it that somehow didn't get filtered out over 4000 years of scrivener's maintenance.

I'm not really sure if sincerity still exists, especially since my notion of sincerity seems to come from a manufactured Pollyanna/Smurf's Christmas Special sort of gloss that represents sincerity, but the very few people I've met who actually expressed it were also either a) children, b) the elderly or c) very, very stupid. The irony of the 2012 election season seems to be that of all the candidates, Michelle Bachmann actually IS the most sincere, a thought that worries me. It seems like the current system we have, wherein we have a great many little fascists in charge, none of whom actually believe in their word-spouts and therefore possess no real threat to the actual liberties they yammer on about loving, is relatively benign (i.e. not aggressively tumorous) and it can be relied upon to fail at every given turn in which it has legitimate possibility of seizing control. My worry, however, is the second a sincerely evil bastard gets in a position of authority, and believes every single damn word s/he says. Then, we're fucked. Our only security at the moment is knowing that none of them mean it.

What to do? Well, I suppose we could all continue upon our smug little lives of irony and self-impressed nuance, hoping against hope that everybody's ambitions remain entirely self-centered. Little acts of sincerity, such as sincerely preferring one kind of music to another, are probably the best we can hope for. The second you get sincere about anything on a grander scale, it has the severe possibility of mutating into fanaticism, a subtle difference a certain percentage of society would rather deliberately not teach the next generations. They like us fanatical, but they hate us sincere. It is a paradox, Mr. Spock.

1 comment:

  1. At the risk of sounding incincere, I agree wholeheartedly.