Mark Fraser: Day One Hundred and Fifty Six – Anti-Cynicism

Posted on June 15, 2011 by


Today is a proper blog post! Shock! Horror! Etc so if you want to read a bit of a yarn with a teensy bit of charm then read on!

Does cynicism increase with age? In an age of postmodernism (or post-postmodernism depending on who you ask) irony and cynicism seem to be the order of the day. Speaking for myself, I can be a cold, cynical and sarcastic bastard at the best of times but it’s good to know that there are still something’s out that can take all that away and make me go “Cool!” with genuine sincerity or, rather, things that still surprise me and make me a little less cynical about things.


I get a lot of flak from my girlfriend for constantly fidgeting and playing with my phone but that’s got a lot to do with how much the technology interests me. I’m a huge geek and in lieu of an IT job these days, I’ve become quite adept at with Android.

Anyway, the assumption was, when mobile phones became ubiquitous at the turn of the century, that they would become smaller and smaller until they were, well, almost Zoolander-esque in size.

Like this

Tiny hand not pictured.

Eventually they did get quite small, but things like PDA’s and Windows Mobile phones basically changed all that until, eventually, the iPhone arrived and changed everything. Phones got big again. I know a couple of folk who hate the thought of having something as big as a smartphone in their pocket but those people are SILLY. I can remember my first PC having far less processing power, RAM and memory than my current phone. If that doesn’t make you feel like you’re in the future, then how about this? Most smart phones are essentially mini PCs and can perform pretty much all of the same tasks. Now, no one in their right mind would use their phone to do this for any extended period of time but the fact that you could is very, very cool. Smartphones don’t get tired and emotional like PCs do either, must be to do with the solid state memory.

Combine that with the internet and well, the whole world is at your fingertips. If that’s not cool, then I dunno what is.


I’ve had this chat with a close friend of mine a few times and we’ve both come to the conclusion that the “feeling” music used to give us when we were younger is no longer there. I’m sure you know what I mean here; the kind of giddy, butterflies in your stomach feeling that finding a new band would often give you.

Ok that's not entirely true, some shows do give me that feeling.

While that feeling may be gone, there’s still immense pleasure to be found in discovering new music. I’ve heard a ton of new bands in the past six months, some have been awful but others have been great but the ones that are great are ones that have surprised me. A lot. Ok, so they don’t give me the same feeling I had when I was younger but I’m still continually surprised and exhilarated by new artists from a variety of genres.


When I was younger I always thought there’d be some kind of limit to how much one could learn. Growing older I realise that’s not the case, but in my teens I’d had enough of education and left to go into the big bad world of employment. Of course, IT support became a dull grind and as result my passions and thirst for knowledge were directed elsewhere.

As much as I love music it never occurred to me to study it in any formal academic capacity, so that ruled that out pretty much instantly. Later, I suddenly found a passion for films that I’d totally forgotten I had thus cementing my decision to attempt to study film in academia.


The operative word there being “attempt”. Now, things haven’t quite panned out here – I still want to write scripts (I’ve written a pilot for a comedy, I’m a third of a way through a rom com and I’ve an idea for a drama) however, after taking Scottish Literature on a wim I’m now a fully fledged literature fan.

To wit – education is now exciting to me again, finding a lot of new concepts, ideas and just straight up joy in between the stacks in the library and lecture theatres. I think it helps that Glasgow University is an old place, where inspiration just oozes out of the walls (for me at least, anyway). Learning blows my mind, and I love it more now as a mature student than I ever did when it was shoved down my throat for the first 16 years of my life.

Posted in: Mark Fraser