Thursday, May 29, 2014

Narcissists' Dilemma

Many of us assumed (desperately hoped) that the Twitter debacle, the deluge of idiotic and banal tweets, in 30 words or less, would be as bad as it got - the bottom of the social media barrel, as it were. No such luck.

"I'm not sure why, but just saying the word tweet makes me hate myself, even more than I normally do."

In his new book, The Social Media Disease, Dr. Wilburt Humpies refers to social media phenomena as a bottomless pit of potential self-abuse and destruction.  Any mass-participatory social system, according to Humpies, rapidly seeks the lowest common denominator; judgment, awareness and overall intelligence rapidly plummet, resulting in a disturbing collective stupidity, all the more worrisome because this blatant dumbness is generally misperceived as trendy coolness.

"I have 25,000 followers on Twitter. Unfortunately, they're all morons."

So you might inquire, what could possibly be more appalling than a billion people sending out speculative tweets on the actual dimensions of Kim Kardashian's ass?  (Hint: it's smaller than a planet)

How about a 'Selfie' of Kim Kardashian's ass?

Got a face?  Got an ass?  Got a camera?  The entire population of Earth is apparently dying to see it.

"I usually spend 4 hours a day doing selfies. I guess it could be considered obsessive - I mean, my boyfriend left me, claimed he couldn't compete with my phone - but how else would I know I exist?"

No question that the selfie is the narcissist's ultimate wet dream. After all, it's all about me anyway, and now my face is here to prove it. A recent study conducted by the Institute of Secretive Psychology concluded that 80% of the U.S. population now displays clear cut narcissistic tendencies. Further analysis determined that 79.8% of those had absolutely no right to do so.

What's the difference between a solipsist and a narcissist?
The solipsist says, 'Only the Self is real.'
The narcissist says,  'Correction. Only my self is real.'

Fortunately, there is light at the end of this dark tunnel of mindless self-involvement. Much like nature itself, irony will always find a way.

Professor Linden Henkel, at the Litchfield Connecticut Community College, has been investigating social media, some might say obsessive-compulsively - even while admitting to spending a not infinitesimal amount of time surfing porn sites - and has uncovered a fascinating by-product of the self-photo craze.

 Memory loss

"The obsessive concern with controlling and projecting self image - via the so-called selfie - onto social media unquestioningly results in a kind of mental impairment; specifically a deterioration of identity, accompanied by a gradual loss of ability to recognize oneself."

Have to love it, right?

  I don't exactly know who this is in the photo, but whoever it is, he keeps jumping in front of my camera whenever I try to take a picture of myself.

Sending you my latest selfie. If by any chance you recognize me, please let me know who I am.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Jupiter Roars, Mars Can't Sleep

So yeah, it's like, uh, like a, you know, a roar, or a howl, or a scream, or a hum, that's it, a hum, but nothing like no ordinary hum, like humming along with a song on the radio, remember radio, people used to listen to them, radios I mean, and hum along, only now the whole thing is out of control, a disaster, most likely lethal in the long term, meanwhile driving a person to the brink of bloody madness.

That woman drove her husband to an early grave.
Yes, but at least she didn't force him to walk.

The situation with schizophrenics is a fundamental inability to contain themselves within their own skins.  The desire, often experienced as unremitting terror, call it a tendency with extremely rigid guidelines, is to be transposed out of one's own head, beyond self, into a state nothingness, where at least it is relatively quiet.

So, she asked me, what are your future goals?
Have none, I told her.
That's so sad, she said, her eyes peering directly through me, gazing off into space where, presumably, her own future goals hovered, bathed in golden light, still out of reach, but nonetheless inevitable.
Back in those days, of course, one could claim to be 'living in the moment' with a straight face, without first having to explain the concept of intentional self-obliteration. Nowadays everyone is living in the moment with one eye trained on the clock. So maybe this particular moment didn't quite work out - on the other hand I haven't had a single suicidal thought in the past 30 seconds - but I maintain exceedingly high expectations for the next moment, in which, it goes without saying, I will be exclusively living.

But what about the future?
Don't make me laugh.
No goals?
My only goal, in the moment, needless to say, is to terminate this conversation with you as soon as possible.

After I got a Masters degree in Philosophy, this guy I knew, though didn't particularly like, made one of those incredulous faces - the sort one might make after being informed by someone that they were regularly abducted by aliens - asking with minimally disguised contempt, "What are you going to do with that?"

My clever retort:  "The more important question, from my perspective at any rate, is what will it do with me?"

Not a whole lot, as it's turned out, except for providing me with an ever-increasing fuzzy frame of reference within which to display a fairly unsophisticated grasp of irony. But then again, the sheer hopeless impracticality of it continues to resonate.

So, your future goal is ..?
Uh, a life of hopeless impracticality.
Oh My God, that's soooooo sad!
And of course to obtain an advanced degree in philosophy.
Okay, now you're just being redundant.
Go to hell, loser!

So yeah, like I was saying, it comes on at night, this sound, rattling around in my head, a buzzing, screeching, vibrating racket. At first I thought I was losing my hearing, then that I was losing my mind, but now I'm convinced it's coming from out there, tearing holes in the sky, seeping through the walls, an inexplicable phenomenon that, for reasons beyond all human knowing, has targeted ..... me. 

I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink
I'm so o tired, my mind is on the blink...