Realism vs. Cynicism and The Supposed Fight Against Optimism

Most realists bear the brunt of being chastised for their presumed “cynicism.” But one must keep in mind that realists are simply taking into account all the facts laid before them and assessing the most likely result. In the majority of cases throughout life (or at least the life of someone without limitless amounts of money), the facts presented have a tendency to veer toward the bleak. And so, it’s really not the realist’s fault that he comes across as some sort of doom and gloom cynic.

The classic realist dubbed as cynic
The classic realist dubbed as cynic
As for the perceived battle against optimism on the part of “cynics,” well, maybe if the primary materials championing the optimist cause weren’t the Bible, The Secret and The Alchemist, there might be more of a following in the dogma of optimism. Not to say that believing in the general incongruousness of a positive outcome isn’t without its merits. There’s at least a one in ten chance that what you want to happen will, purely because you thought it. But most realists will take the odds going against something favorable happening in order to find a viable reason to drink at night. Because what’s happier than drinking? It’s what the majority of optimists are missing from their platform.
Realism at its realest, via Ingmar Bergman
Realism at its realest, via Ingmar Bergman
If the world were a somewhat less shitty place, maybe realists would be called optimists instead of cynics, but, until that point in time, it appears that realism will continue to maintain its reputation for being a movement filled with “negative” people who are only capable of being a killjoy/wet blanket/Debbie Downer. Though all they’re doing is stating the cold, hard, utterly brutal realities of existence.