An uncomfortable situation to bear, is one in which an audience member gets selected to be a subject of a magic trick only to go onto trying to debunk the trick. As the trick is being performed, the selected subject closely watches the magician’s hands. They change angles, bend over, and attempt to gain any advantage in being able to know how the magician does their trick. They not only place the magician in an uncomfortable situation, but place the audience in a state of feeling vicarious anxiety on the magician’s part.
This article hopes to use the example of attempting to debunk a magician’s magic trick to dissuade you from introducing cynicism to entertainment. Stepping away from the example of attempting to debunk a magic trick, cynicism is often used to muffle entertaining times. The ghost stories people tell around a campfire lose their value when you voice the fact that ghosts aren’t real.
You don’t help anybody out when you point out the exaggerations in others’ innocent and entertaining stories. Placing entertainment value at the whim of the cynical remarks you make is a counter-intuitively painful social act. Its effects can devalue your presence in a group, and serve to devalue the experience of those who chose to ignore their cynical tendencies for the sake of an entertaining moment.
Cynicism & Entertainment / Oil & Water
Let’s start off with the effect that being cynical toward something meant for entertainment has on you. As the one who is the source of cynicism during entertaining times, you’ll act to divert attention from the “trick,” to yourself. No matter how much value you provide, the simple act of diverting the audience’s attention from something entertaining to something logical will start you off on the wrong foot. They’ll immediately feel distracted, no matter how smart your cynical comments turn out to be.
You’d thereby place yourself in a position of having to dig out of a social hole right away. As you voice your doubtful dialogue, you’ll introduce seriousness into a joyous social event. Akin to a person who pauses the music at a pulsing house party to tell everyone to keep it down, you’ll nominate yourself to be the messenger of seriousness in the time of fun. That role carries with it burden. Your cynicism in the time of others’ entertainment will fail to provide them any value. They’d have already entered the state of being entertained, and even if what you say may be useful to know, you’d be oblivious to the concept of good timing.
The people who are responsible for the entertaining acts at play will obviously not appreciate your act of voicing cynicism. The person who puts on a movie for everyone to watch wouldn’t appreciate your act of being skeptical of the events that it portrays. Your historical corrections wouldn’t do well to garner attention during a movie which depicts the second world war, for instance. The person who puts on the movie would feel a sense of responsibility for everyone’s entertainment value at that moment, not of their education. Your desire to educate thereby, wouldn’t be aligned with the goals that the host of the event would have. You would inherently be perceived as attempting to hijack people’s attention from what the host wants it to be pointed toward.
The “magician,” would likely be cold toward your acts of attempting to disprove their tricks thereby. You’d place people who are responsible for providing entertainment value to others back on their heels. They’ll be likely to brush you off, or to attempt to silence you. They’ll avoid you during requests for future input or interactions from the crowd, and would be less likely to engage you in any way going forward.
Those looking on, will likely attempt to distance themselves from you and your cynical opinions. Even though you may be factually correct, those who agree with you wouldn’t voice their agreement in the moment. Attaining agreement from others and having them explicitly voice their agreement would be two very different things in that scenario.
In your mind, the best case scenario in expressing cynicism during a moment of others’ entertainment would be to have a crowd roar in agreement and lift you up as if you’ve unveiled something world-changing. To your unfortunate surprise however, you’ll find out that many people agree with things without making their agreement known.
The reality thereby, would be different. You’ll be met with awkward silence from the crowd, as they vicariously feel bad for the people behind the entertaining acts. The audience would be likely to be on the magician’s side rather than yours, even if what you preach is eyeopening and revelating.
Being cynical in moments of others’ innocent entertainment would do well to single you out. You’ll be left feeling alone in your expressions of cynicism, and your feelings toward those around you would likely suffer. You’d be likelier to distance yourself from the crowd as you continue to question why nobody responded to the “facts” that you spewed out.
What you’ll be missing, would be the important lesson of knowing when it’s a good or bad time for the actions you commit. The kindest acts can be met with negativity if you act kindly during the wrong time in life. On the flip-side, malicious acts are often rewarded by others to our surprise, should they be performed at the perfect time. The act of being vocally cynical during times of entertainment is simply a bad time to commit a seemingly useful act.
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