Des Espoirs d'un Cynique | Désespoir d'un Cynique

by Mutsinzi | Nov 21, 2016

Huge gap between Public Relations and relationship with the public

Streaming on facebook and periscope, Eric 1Key’s final ‘expericment’ playfully titled ‘Des Espoirs d’un cynique, Desespoir d’un cynique’, plays over the gentle strokes of piano keys, sending a wave of silence amongst the audience surrounding the 35year old poet. We listen intently, as Eric’s recorded voice asks an important philosophical question in the form of a seemingly bleak stream of verses about human nature. Eric questions the authenticity of empathy, the impact of lessons learned from painful experiences and, indirectly makes valid the idea in the listener’s mind, after taking in his words, that it is possible to do good if we would only allow ourselves to, if we would only learn to.

Donne moi une page, un stylo, une audience, un micro
Que je partage mes maux en morceaux de petits mots
Donne moi juste quatre minutes et un public frérot
Que je te parle des espoirs d’un cynique négro
Des espoirs d’un cynique

The pun in the title of this piece should be noted, as it is the closest hint at the truest, albeit subtle, intentions of Eric’s poem. There is irony in the fact that a cynic could possibly be hopeful and so the second part of the title ‘Désespoir d’un Cynique(Despair of the Cynique)’ speaks loudest in favor of the content of this piece, and yet it is the first part of the title that should be carefully examined.

Des Espoirs d’un cynique…

This piece expresses heavy feelings of disappointment in the emotionally childish nature of human beings, of their underdeveloped sensitivity and empathy. Indeed, empathy is not a default setting in human beings and it isn’t easily acquired, but artistic creations such as this act as catalysts to the acquisition of this quality. Whether or not it is possible to truly feel one’s pain, there is no doubt that art can efficiently simulate it. Cynical though this piece might seem, it is all the more hopeful because it accurately imitates the reality that there is a flawed part in human beings which isn’t quick to understand another’s pain. In so doing, it offers a fix, a choice to mature emotionally.

The last verse is powerfully politically charged. It mocks the inhumane or perhaps very human hypocrisy of nations that have a history of suffering and yet have become the reason some parts of the world are currently in peril. It is a reminder of our forgetfulness. A reminder of the oblivion to past suffering, birthed by prosperity and satisfaction. Still, it is a reminder that if we are to co-exist, we must though inherently configured not to, try to feel for other people.

Ask the Nama and Herero why their genocide isn’t so popular
Or ask the perpetrators
Ask the sons of Gaza what they think of the Star of David?
Ask the daughters of Haiti what they think of the Red Cross’ opportunists
I’m simply tired of our collective hypocrisy

The music stops and the immediate effect on the audience is stillness, save for the slow rising of cigarette smoke; we are yet to be awoken from the dreamlike state brought about by this piece. An applause follows, and a request to replay the piece is made, if only to get another taste of the poet’s enchanting work, another listen of Eric 1Key’s final expericment.


Mutsinzi is majoring in Computer Science. He likes reading, listening to music and creating.