Cynic, n. - A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
— Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
What is the use of straining after an amiable view of things, when a cynical view is most likely to be the true one?
— George Bernard Shaw
Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.
— George Carlin
It's hard to argue against cynics - they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side.
— Molly Ivins
Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It's unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don't have to try.
— Peggy Noonan, Good Housekeeping
Cynicism isn't smarter, it's only safer.
— Jewel Kilcher
A cynic is what an Idealist calls a Realist
— Sir Humphrey Appleby, Yes Minister.
To all the people watching, I can never thank you enough for your kindness to me and Iíll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask of you is one thing: please donít be cynical. I hate cynicism ó itís my least favorite quality and it doesnít lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and youíre kind, amazing things will happen.
— Conan O'Brien, in his last episode of The Tonight Show
"Don't be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying yes begins things. Saying yes is how things grow. Saying yes leads to knowledge. "Yes" is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say yes."
— Stephen Colbert, Knox College Commencement Address, 2006
"The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man and never fails to see a bad one. He is the human owl, vigilant in the darkness and blind to the light, always pursuing vermin and never hunting noble game."
— Henry Ward Beecher
"When did optimism become a bad thing? Modern filmmakers are bent on taking popular, existing properties and bringing out the darkest and grittiest aspects they can find and making that their story. When directors look at a character like Superman, they're not saying, 'Hey, I'd like to tell a story about this guy in blue and red spandex who loves America and punches bad guys and smiles and is handsome!' They're saying, 'Sure, Superman, but what makes him angry? I want to focus on the stuff that depresses him, I want to see Superman as a badass. What if Superman was a dick? That's the movie I want to make, because even though I'm making a Superman movie, I don't actually care for the character. My name is Zack Snyder.'"
''Unfortunately, as of late, given the way that too many politicians in general are in it for themselves or people are too busy with squabbling with each other, there will be that feeling from anyone, anywhere, that optimism isn't long for this world; even if there are quite a few souls that still hold onto such, I'd rather stay far away from them. And don't get me started on Heaven. Last of all, I for one, believe that a true cynic is one who is cynical of reality, realists be damned."