On Cynicism, the art of Cool and my Beloved Kitsch

My Mother thinks I’m incredibly sad, in the opposite of cool sense of that word. She called today and I told her I was having Eurovision drinks. I could hear her and her inner musician roll her eyes over the phone. 

My Mum likes my friends with ‘Edge’, to say she likes my Depressed, Suicidal and/or otherwise mentally ill friends is not to exaggerate. The wholesome, sane and happy ones have always struck her as dull. I mean, don’t get me wrong, she has a point but I’ve got to wonder at what point the parental influences stopped when it came to the cynical outsider that teenage Mish aimed to be?

There’s only so far you can go with teenage rebellion when you feel like your Mum is secretly cheering you on. 

Cynicism is something that infuses both my parents, that aspect of my upbringing is the one that makes me goggle-eyed at the stereotypical portrayal of American parents as seen on tv. More pertinently when friends of mine express that their parents are worried about them doing something unpopular or socially odd. Mine mostly loved the edgy stuff. If it was edgy, mostly I wasn’t. I’ve never really been cool unless you ask people seven plus years younger than me and that’s very uncool. Yet the taught cynical attitude does stand me in good stead when it comes to ‘cool’. That most adolescent of concepts is at its most essential about being cynical. 

What I am at base is kitsch as hell. I’m embarrassing to be around, I have enthusiasms and the more garish or cloying the object of my enthusiasm is the more I’m likely to embrace it.

Hence Eurovision tonight, I have my flags up, I’ve got little rice paper Eurovision decorations on some pink glasses into which I’ve poured vodka, pink lemonade and edible glitter. I’ve got rice paper flags in chocolate cupcakes. 

I think my desire for kitsch and my Mum’s preference for cynicism do actually come from the same place within us. We both have a preference for people and situations which are darker than most. Where as Mum embraces it I need to balance mine with sparkles.

Speaking of sparkles, Kiev is calling!

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