Time Essay: The Cynic's Gift Catalogue

CYNICS, according to Oscar Wilde, are those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Faced with the vast menu of life, they gaze exclusively at the right-hand side—until, at last, they forget why they came in. For Christmas and the New Year, then, let this be their gift: to lose their jaded tastes, their ennui with ordinary extravagance and to gain an appetite for value as well as price. If they must commit the venal sin of self-indulgence, let them learn to do it in style.

The cynic must allow...

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