I make a lot of jokes. At work. At home. In a way I am "always" playing (as in Huizinga's homo ludens) with the rocksteady ground of people's (pre)assumptions. A couple of months ago my daughter L. asked: why are you so cynical?
My answer: I love people, being alive and life on planet Earth with everyone and everything on it. I am not cynical because I don't bark as a dog - cynic is derived from the ancient greek word 'kynikos', meaning 'dog-like'. I think, speak, write and live my life as a 'homo sapiens' not as a dog. It's ok for me that every individual 'homo sapiens' is motivated by desire, greed, materialism and all other activities in all steps of Maslow's staircase (more). For me personally it's all vanity but I accept and embrace the fact that people are motivated by it. And I am personally not an exception. I am included.
To live a simple life free of all possessions. What a nonsense! It's never simple. Never free. There will always be possessions. And that individual will only survive by the generiosity of other people.
I am not a cynic because I accept the fact that we are what we are, this is selfish genes. I embrace. I don't bark. I try to look in the mirror as honest as I can. All what we see around us: books, houses, streets, villages, human beings etc it will all be blown away, in let's say 1,000 years from now. All vanity. At the same time the genes of the species 'homo sapiens' will survive. Homo sapiens: individuals die and the species survives. Survive forever? No, in a couple of billions of years from now life on planet Earth will be impossible because our sun will no longer radiate the way it does today and become a red giant (more). So ... some day "we" have to move.
Your middle class man with sometimes aristocratic daydreams