Do cynics, I wonder, have horrible memories? Or do they remember too much? Do romantics (for the lack of a better word that I can contrast cynicism with — for naivety, although textbook antonym, doesn’t quite fit as an opposing worldview) have their organs of rationality compromised? Either by accident of birth, or life? Something I read sometime back has stuck with me, even though I know it’s just a half-truth, at best. We cannot learn to forget. It’s the hardest art to practice. Do romantics forget easily, and are cynics, on the other hand, doomed by exceptional abilities to remember (or lacking in the art of forgetting?).
But then, do cynics really remember well? Do they, for instance, remember having set bars too low, at some point in life, and having wished, just this, or just that. And although not miraculously, found their wishes come true. Do they remember raising the bar? And wishing again, and raising the bar again… till finally running out of luck?
Are cynics like the character in Honeymoon travels, played by Diya Mirza, who pray to God, or whoever, to grant their ‘one’ wish, one ‘last’ time, time and again? And by contrast, are romantics like a cat who cannot remember that only the other day milk container had left behind a burnt lip?
Do we all record (in our long term memories — that blurred, hazy summation of our past that we walk around with) happy and painful moments with different fidelity? And does that set us apart as cynics or romantics? As optimists and pessimists? Do we remember other’s pasts as faithfully as we remember ours? Do we, when we judge other’s for their cynicism, or their open-mouthed acceptance of all that’s going around them (err, isn’t that naivety, that I discarded a while back), judge them with the same long term hazy world view — those same tinted glasses that are a result (mostly) of streams of accidents: happy or sad?
Sans those glasses, sans those recollections of past, however hazy, will we be absolutely fifty-fifty? Neither cynical, nor romantic? Neither optimist, nor pessimists? Neither happy, nor sad?
Does memory, then, is the only real culprit behind the sins of subjectivism? Will a memory-less judge be the most impartial, or the least judgmental (in a ironic twist of semantics)? And if so, why are we so obsessed with ‘precedence’ when it comes to judging? Isn’t real judging actually breaking a precedence, for isn’t precedence just an arbitrary social memory?
When we judge, do we just remember, or do we actually go beyond the memories? Beyond our limited notions of liberalism and conservatism? Isn’t liberalism, as we know it, just a different sort of social memory, even painfully constructed? And when, we stare each other at the crossroads — of liberalism and conservatism — do our memories fight, or do we? And, is there really a difference