Letter to a Cynical Writer

CynicismI’ve been reading for research lately.  This has led me into the realm of the Published Rant.  Which has in turn, led to the following:
LETTERS TO A CYNICAL WRITER
By Anne Author
Dear M. Writer:
I understand that you are Cynical.  I understand that you have seen much of the world and that you are wearied and angered by it all.  I understand that beside you I am a Babe in the Woods.  After all, who am I?  A mere provincial Romantic who still might take things at face value, and who might still enjoy what is nice, pleasant, charming or, well, Romantic.  I understand that you are here to open my eyes, to save me from the evils of trust and romanticism and, most of all, to show me the Truth.  And the Truth is going to be unpleasant.  You know this because you have seen it and that is why you are Cynical.
However, M. Writer, if you are going to tell me the Truth, and are going to make the scales fall from my eyes, there are several things you are going to have to do first.
If you wish to shock me out of my nievete, you are going to have to show me something new.  Contrary to what you may believe, I have heard coarse language.  As a resident of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, I have been exposed to bodily fluids and know several homonyms for them.  Showing them to me with unusual backdrops does not shock me.  It might, however, lead me to mistake you for a frat boy rather than a cynic, and have me wondering if the fart references are coming next.  Further, I am aware that people get drunk and behave badly in public, especially if they are rich and/or famous.  Informing me that this happens produces no revelation, but may induce a discreet eye-roll in your direction.
I am likewise acquainted with several of the common, or garden-variety, forms of hypocracy and greed.  Telling me they exist, especially among the rich and famous (or the service industries) likewise fails to cause a blanch to fall over my delicate complexion.  I am likewise unmoved by graphic violence or invocations of Hitler or Stalin.  I am also aware that advertising frequently disguises the slip-shod and/or unhealthy and that corporations do not have my best interests at heart.  Merely declaring the aforementioned conditions to be so without naming names, citing specific incidents, refering to interviews with participants or experts does not enlighten, or, more importantly, shock.
If you are writing in the non-fiction vein and seek to convince me of the superiority of your view, of your experience, of the Truth of which you speak, you must impart actual information.  You cannot simply inform me, for example, you hate your job, and then go on, and on, and on, about how “it” is all a racket without proving to me that you also know something about the history of the racket, of the world you are so sorry you inhabit, and that perhaps, you have talked to some of the people your are talking about.  Otherwise it might appear that you are simply reporting the worst forms of gossip in order to reinforce your own view.  You might also wish to give me some background on the people you are complaing about, and detail to me the claims they make which you are debunking so that I know how badly they are attempting to lead me astray.
Further, you must learn to organize your information.  Just because you are vivisecting a subject and/or person that’s no reason to take a hatchet to it.  Concise, deliberate cuts will produce an adequate amount of exasanguination and will be much easier for me, the unenlightened reader to follow.  A mastery of basic essay style will assist you here.  I cannot be properly shocked by what you are telling me if you do not follow through on your thoughts, or present me a theme with at least a modicum of follow-through so I can see the strength of your arguments.
If you are writing in the fictional mode, please keep in mind all of the above, but in addition, be aware that while as a reader, I must be made to care.  I cannot simply be faced with a list of woes and warbling off-key angst about the inequities of the world.  If my Romanticism has persisted this far, it will take the strongest of arguments to shake me out of it.  It will take a thoughtful character, a new presentation, a tightly-focused insight.  It will take an author who has read widely as well as lived widely and can present the triumph so the ultimate failure, which is the province of the Cynical Writer, can reach me all the more deeply.