(a.k.a The Devil's Dictionary, New Millennia Edition)

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Cynical People

cynic, n. A man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

Thank Gawd for cynical people, whose anchor in hard-won reality keep starry-eyed idealist from causing real trouble. 

America is awash in cynics, a byproduct of American pioneer upbringing and a perpetual slate of candidates that provide cynics fresh meat (as if they needed more, those intellectual gluttons).  Yet even among cynics, some are held in awe for their acerbic observations and verbal eviscerations.  Cynics elevate them to divine heights, though real cynics see that as a profit making ploy.

We suspect that master cynics stand apart because their disparaging and blasphemous prose made them prime candidate for eradication, either by unhappy public figures or by the alleged All Mighty himself. Regardless of the reason, we see these individuals as exceptionally gifted in the art of rupturing self-inflated egos, sarcastically smashing revered icons, and generally sneering at everything that mortals hold sacred.

In these pages we present some biographical information on these despots of disrepute and provide their pearls of wanton wisdom from our ever growing database.

H. L. Mencken:

H. L. (Henry Louis) Mencken was a newspaperman wordsmith with prose as accurate and deadly as sniper fire. Reading Mencken today shows that politicians, wars and religion have not changed:

"Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods."

"He marries best who puts it off until it is too late."

"Puritanism - The haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy."

(read more about H. L. Mencken and everything he said that we have
stuffed in our database)

Ambrose Bierce:

Writer, columnist, civil war veteran, and the original Cynical Lexicographer via his infamous Devil's Dictionary (heavily updated for the modern tongue here at the Cynical Web Site). Could his residency in San Francisco been more of a cause of his cynicism than his war experience?

"An egotist is a person of low taste-more interested in himself than in me."

"Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles."

"Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate."

(read more about Ambrose Bierce cynicism and his pithier quotes)

Dorothy Parker:

Alexander Woollcott called her an odd "combination of Little Nell and Lady Macbeth." She possessed a tongue sharper than any man's wit, and used it routinely to dissect societies brightest and dimmest.

"Horticulture: You can lead a whore to culture but you can't make her think."

"If all the girls in attendance [at the Yale prom] were laid end to end, I wouldn't be at all surprised."

"Look at him, a rhinestone in the rough.

(read more about Dorothy Parker and our cynical citations of her colloquy)

Guy Smith:

Smith is a self-serving runt of disrepute. He is also this site's engineer, editor, and resident cynic-at-large.

"There is a fine line between being a realist and a cynic. I straddle that line daily."

"Virginity is like rotting food in one's refrigerator: It stinks, is useless, and should be disposed of quickly."

"Man's inhumanity to man is bested only by women's inhumanity to women."

(read more about Guy Smith, a truly disturbed individual)