Posts Tagged ‘narcissism’

Delusion And Destruction

January 20th, 2023 No comments

If you were an alien who just showed up on this planet and took note of the activity among all regions of the globe, you would make some very strange observations.

You would notice that a very large part of the population live in rather mean circumstances, that is to say, with barely adequate housing, marginal sanitary systems and simple, perhaps difficult regimes of food acquisition.  For many in the non-affluent parts of the planet, not having a dirt floor means you have achieved a middle class existence.

A smaller part of the world’s people live in relative affluence with access to shelter, education and mobility considered rightful entitlements. As far as food acquisition, it’s more likely to be a Costco run than setting traps in the tall grass. For the sake of discussion, we can characterize the divide as between East and West, but this labelling refers to political rather than to geographic situation.  There are of course many people living on the margins in the affluent West and there is ample wealth in the non-West.

Perhaps it’s more accurate to characterize the divide as that between the affluent and the poor, for certainly, the majority of the planet can be considered ‘poor’ by the simple yardsticks mentioned earlier.  We use East and West only because most of the looney ideas that drive world events these days emanate from the ‘West’. Woke-ism, Gluten-free-ism, LGBT-ism, CRT-ism, Global Warm-ism, Covid-ism, all creations of the enlightened West.

If you were to peruse the narratives from people living in the privileged part of the planet, you would think that the lives of everyone on earth are threatened with dire existential issues from virtually every quarter.  This is not hyperbole at all.  Just watch TV news for one day and you will conclude that the people for whom the struggles of daily existence are non-issues appear to be constantly on the edge of extinction…at least in their minds. There is a disaster ready to befall mankind every hour, on the hour.  Of course, some of these imminent threats can take decades to happen, if and when they do.  We’re waiting for the asteroid crashing into Earth scare to rear its head.

The astute alien would notice that the high priests of doom are always from the affluent segment of the planet and, despite their doom and gloom messages, live rather well and in direct contrast to the messages they spew.  People buying beachfront properties while warning of sea level rises may be a dead give-away. Someone pays for this and you guessed it, it’s the people who don’t have as much as the high priests and who in fact contribute to their wealth.  The most conspicuous of these hypocritical charlatans are such as Al Gore and John Kerry who have been flying around on jets for years telling the poor people to pay more taxes to save the planet while their own circumstances improve exponentially.  No one seems to notice that the solution to almost all problems is through paying more taxes and fees.

If there’s one person that personifies the mentality of the West, it would be Taylor Swift.  This singer has made her fame and fortune bleating about how bad her experiences with boys have been but meanwhile continuing to produce songs about ‘toxic’ relationships and crying all the way to the bank.  It’s all about them. Many of those who live in affluent nations are hopelessly naïve or just plain narcissistic.  Their sheltered lives have no resonance at all to the vast majority of people on the planet. No one would even care if not for the fact that their delusions influence social policies which makes life miserable for everyone else.  As if using paper straws and bicycles will be of any benefit to the people living in Mogadishu.

Nothing succeeds like success and thus imitators have popped up in other facets of people’s lives as well.  The pharma industry have been carving out their niche now, selling the fear of illness and death to the masses.  We’ve been witness to the terrible destruction this industry can wreak over the past 2 years.  Even while the majority of people on the planet are struggling to even marginally improve their lives, those fortunate ones above them on the ladder of life will find ways to prevent their climb.  Restrictions and prohibitions and drugs for all….you know, to save mankind.

In the entitled nations, there is preposterous discourse about which bathrooms to use, whereas in much of the world, having an outhouse that’s shared by less than 10 people is a luxury.  In the wealthy, educated parts of the world, they have to wrestle with a plethora of new genders that are suddenly available.  Yep, mysteriously, in the rich nations, affluence has produced a bounty of new gender categories while the rest of the world lives with a measly 2.  Wouldn’t you know, the rich nations get more choice again! Funny that through the millennia, with mankind managing to get along with only 2 genders, the appearance of new ones just ballooned in the last 5 years!  What are the odds?

Back to our mythical alien, he (not them, their) would notice that the population in the poorer parts of the planet are striving to improve their life conditions for themselves and their families.  Yet the affluent parts of the globe seemingly pursue every avenue possible to destroy the societies and institutions that they’ve successfully built, pushing their societies headlong into self-destruction. The poor are building and the rich are destroying.  As the famous alien Mr. Spock would say, ‘fascinating…’

Enough About You, Let’s Talk About Me

February 4th, 2019 No comments

Source: Taiwan’s ‘Bikini Climber’ social media star Gigi Wu dies after ravine fall in Yushan national park | Outdoor & Extreme | South China Morning Post

Though tragic, Gigi Wu’s 15 minutes of fame are over.  Unfortunately, her story is not that unusual since we regularly read about some ‘adventurer’ whose exploits went horribly wrong.  For some reason, the media generally mourns the passing of these individuals as if their exploits were the leading edge of human existence.  We can think of many people whose personal pursuits wound up as unfortunate misadventures:

Recently, a young missionary, John Allen Chau went to North Sentinel Island, an isolated place in the Indian Ocean populated by savage cannibals.  Despite warnings from his fellow religious friends that he would be killed by cannibals,  he went…and he was.  There have been various BASE jumpers and flying suit daredevils who have plunged to their deaths while leaping off high structures.  Numerous people over the years have tried to climb Mt. Everest but froze to death in their pursuit of the summit.

It can be debated as to whether smart decisions were made in many of these cases, but we can all appreciate that all individuals have some kind of inner conviction that they needed to address.  We could never denigrate exploring the boundaries of the human spirit.  The death of Miss Wu is tragic, but especially so because there were no boundaries of human existence being pushed.  She was a victim of the rampant cult of narcissism that has taken hold of people the world over.

Younger people, but especially a disproportionate number of girls, have fallen prey to the cult of narcissism gripping (mainly) Western society.  A half dozen years ago, the now ubiquitous device known as a selfie stick didn’t even exist, whereas these days, they are as common as smudges on smart phones.  With the inexplicable popularity of the Kardashians, the need to have coquettish images of oneself is like an out of control virus in society.  Girls of course are not alone in their self preening.  Boys do it as well, but it’s preening nonetheless, only in a different way.  Some may recall the “Jackass” movie phenomenon from a few years ago when boys were publicizing stunts that conspicuously threatened life, limb and often the octave of their voices.   The ultimate exponent of narcissism must be Oprah Winfrey, whose eponymously labelled magazine, “O” is all Oprah, every issue, every magazine cover.   You couldn’t make this up.

The mainstreaming of You-Tube videos,  Facebook and Twitter have only encouraged the fame seeking narcissism that has exploded over the past decade.  Technology has unleashed into society, both exhibitionists and voyeurs on a scale never seen in history. Unfortunately, the very large majority of this is hardly time capsule stuff.  It’s mostly ephemeral drivel that fuels the smart phone business.  If rampant vacuity were the only consequence of this phase of culture, we could probably accept that.  Unfortunately it is not.

Narcissism (and its closely related cousin, tribalism) is at the root of much of the malaise that has affected the functioning of modern society. We can blame some of this on Fred Rogers, late of the Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood childrens’ show fame.  Some may recall that his most poignant message repeated at the end of  every episode was that ‘you are special, there’s no one else like you’. A powerful and compelling message of self esteem for children at an impressionable age to be sure, but it seems to have  morphed into a grotesque manifestation of ‘me me me-ism’ as the kids became adults.  Now that message has been taken to heart by an entire generation resulting in people supporting narratives that are not well thought out, are grossly erroneous, or of no use at all, other than that they like them.

This narcissism has become its own justification for imposing these views upon others, compelling them to have the same held views or be otherwise ostracized.  Given enough exposure, popularity takes the place of fact. We see this expressed in politics with increasing frequency.  Without the guardrails of logic or sanity as barriers,  all kinds of obtuse views are given validation because to oppose them would be parochial fuddy-duddyness and  a denial of individualism.  The consequence is what you see today; utterances by people at all levels of influence unrestrained from voicing even the most naked stupidity.  There’s even a label now for this disorder, Absent Occipital Cortex syndrome or AOC, coincidently the initials of the new congresswoman from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

We see people championing views held by an inconsequential minority as if they were the interests of the majority. We see views expressed, without reservation or shame, that are diametrically at odds to an established stable society or even to logic and common sense.   I can tell you that these people aren’t the oracles of society…they are the barnacles.