March 26, 2010

Will You Ever Be Happy?

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"Participating in society": The Bebe Problem

I once dated a girl who worked at Bebe.  Is being hot a prerequisite for the job?  Not officially, anyway.  But is dressing well required?  Of course.  And she was definitely dressed well.  Didn't have to be Bebe, but it had to be this season and designer.  She liked DKNY.

But she was only making, what, $25k/yr?  She couldn't possibly afford to dress the way she was expected to dress for that job, not without credit card debt or money from parents or boyfriends.  Forget about saving, right?  And no, no health insurance.

But there she was.  It probably never occurred to her that going into debt in order to keep a job is preposterous, because that's the way it's been done there-- and for receptionists and hostesses and etc, forever.

That's not The Bebe Problem: The Bebe Problem is: she thinks she is choosing to do it.


II.

No one told her she needed to dress like that, exactly.  But somehow the job selects for a woman who will.  Somehow she received the message that to work in a job like that she needs to dress up equivalently to the VP or partner or owner.  And they're great clothes, so she likes it, it helps rationalize the purchases.  That helps hide the obligation of it.

It's one thing to dress yourself up as a personal brand.  It's another thing when you are being dressed up by someone else as extensions of their brand.  And yet another thing when you don't even realize it's happening to you, when you think you're making the choice yourself.

I lied about the Bebe Problem.  The real Bebe Problem is that this is happening not just to sales girls, but to everyone.


III.


They saved Pamela Anderson and Kate Gosselin for the end of first episode of Dancing With The Stars.  The host, Brooke Burke, said,  "and coming up next: she's the most downloaded woman in the world, and she's America's most famous mom!"

I had a moment of nausea, so I put down the rum.  Don't both of those descriptions more accurately apply to Pamela Anderson?  How is Kate "the mom?" 

The whole show is full of moms.  Brooke Burke has three kids, and unless she is eating them she is incontrovertibly a better mom than Kate.  On the DWTS website, contestant Niecy Nash (2 movies and 3 TV shows) lists "motherhood" as her greatest success in life. But she's not the mom either, because she's black.  She's the  "oh no he di'nt" girl.  TV is all about equality as long as everyone stays in character.

Pam is the sex object, even though she is no longer a sex object, nor does she need to be.

And Kate, who is more accurately described as The Woman Whose Haircut Cures Priapism, represents "the mom."  Why?  Pam and she both have hair extensions, they've both had plastic surgery, they're both hyperconscious of their appearance and image, so?   Truth be told, I'd let my kids live with Pamela Anderson way before I even let them visit the set of Saw IV that is the Gosselin house.  So?

Why is Kate "the mom?"  Because she plays a mom on TV.

IV.

DWTS is a reality show, of sorts.  What (theoretically) makes the show interesting, apart from the dancing, is you get to see people be themselves not their characters.  Pam Anderson is thus an awesome choice, because it's a rare chance to see the real woman behind the icon.  Unfortunately, on the first episode she was very nervous, and to mask it she overacted, she pouted and wiggled and bit her lip and went over the top sexy, the way an embarrassed child becomes spastic.  She hid behind her character, and in that setting it will make people find her annoying.  There are plenty of places other than DWTS or my basement to see her naked, that's not what we're here for.  She'd be infinitely more interesting if she was just real, because that's what we want to see.

That's not the case for Kate.  You already know what she's like in real life, or meta-real life anyway.  If you like Kate and are watching, it's because you want to see a "normal" person get the chance to be famous on TV.  The trick is fooling you into thinking she isn't that already.

Pam Anderson already had plastic surgery; Kate got it for the show.  That's why People adores her: she's a mom becoming something else.  If you find yourself rooting for Kate, because, like People, you think it's great that a regular mom is getting to have fun, then it's a fairly safe bet that you're miserable.

V.

I hope it's obvious that Kate "the mom" is just as manufactured as Pam "the sex bomb." But  I'm staring at the TV, I am not drunk or insane or an imbecile, and I am trying my hardest, but even knowing everything I know I cannot stop seeing Kate as The Mom and Pam as The Sex Bomb, it is impossible for me to stop these unconscious, reflexive associations from happening.

If I was a woman of, say, 30, overwhelmed by hidden ambivalence, making next to nothing while spending next to everything, simultaneously unfulfilled by my excellent material possessions while protected from facing my actual social position; if I had to choose a direction in life but realizing that my choice probably didn't matter because the outcome had already been decided by the audience, yeah, I'd be on Abilify, too.

VI.

Someone ask Richard Wilkinson where he would place my ex-girlfriend, or Kate Gosselin, on his continuum of social inequality.


---

http://twitter.com/thelastpsych
 







Comments

You just BeBe'd yourself - ... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2010 2:00 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

You just BeBe'd yourself - you wrote this entire article to convince yourself your wife didn't make you watch DWTS.

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Other than Pam Anderson, I ... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2010 2:37 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Other than Pam Anderson, I have no clue who any of the people mentioned in this post are. I've also never watched DWTS. And I don't know what Bebe is. Maybe this is why I'm a relatively happy woman.

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Just tell us the answer alr... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2010 3:00 PM | Posted by FunPsych: | Reply

Just tell us the answer already! How do we break out of the matrix? What is the key to happiness? I can't figure the answer myself, so I'm depending on your blog for it ;-)

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Just one man's opinion, but... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2010 3:21 PM | Posted, in reply to FunPsych's comment, by DCP: | Reply

Just one man's opinion, but I doubt you'll ever find a key to happiness in TLP's posts because they all feed the part of us that is pessimistic, cynical, over-analytical and (often) thinks in hyperbole. There's no answer, just more analysis of the bad.

This is an interesting take on consumerism and celebrity culture, but you're not going to find happiness spending your time focusing on and analyzing something as banal as dancing with the stars.

To make yourself aware of the negative impacts of our culture is one thing, to obsess over them is another. Truth is most readers of this blog (myself included) would probably be better off spending less time analyzing of the shitty parts of our culture and more time DOING things that are positive.

Ironically the people who read this blog and enjoy it are probably pretty smart and self aware and need it the LEAST.


PS
Alone - if you're watching it, it's for you :)

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score one for aspies like m... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2010 4:25 PM | Posted by Anonymous Ass-Burger: | Reply

score one for aspies like me. how you NTs manage to avoid all killing yourselves by forty out of sheer frustration, i'll never understand.

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Kate would like this blog.<... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2010 5:24 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Kate would like this blog.

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"And Kate, who is more accu... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2010 6:17 PM | Posted by Red: | Reply

"And Kate, who is more accurately described as The Woman Whose Haircut Cures Priapism"

If I was drinking at the moment I read this, I would have ruined my keyboard.

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DCP,I agree that i... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2010 6:33 PM | Posted, in reply to DCP's comment, by MM: | Reply

DCP,

I agree that it would be hard to find happiness by simply focusing on the negative impacts of culture, but by doing so it allows us to know what NOT to do (or how NOT to live). Eliminating those negatives helps us focus on the truly important positives.

Now, whether we act on those positives or not is a different matter.

-MM

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Finding happiness is the sa... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2010 7:17 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Finding happiness is the same as finding sadness, it comes and goes with the passage of time and the work that you do. Do you believe you are in a heaven or in a hell? How do you treat your environment and your body?

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There is no single answer. ... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2010 9:26 PM | Posted, in reply to FunPsych's comment, by TheUnderwearBandit: | Reply

There is no single answer. But I recommend you turn off the tv, practice mindfulness, and start reading greek philosophy.

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I'm so glad I don't have an... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2010 2:00 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm so glad I don't have an IdiotBox at my house.

That's not to say I'm not affected by how others are affected by it, but it certainly mitigates it.

---------------------------------

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside of all people.
He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.

One is Evil.
It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good.
It is joy, peace , love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.’

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’

The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’

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This article doesn't contra... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2010 5:18 AM | Posted by SusanC: | Reply

This article doesn't contradict Wilkinson, but rather adds an additional variable. It's not just a matter of how unequal a society is, but whether it contains mass media (television, etc.) and a capitalist economic system (hence people trying really hard to sell you stuff, hence advertising).

The obvious question (which I won't try to answer, because I don't know): is the psychological effect of unequal wealth less in societies that have less advertising (and hence, less advertising-induced desire to buy status symbols)?

I'm also not advocating a solution here. Alone thinks it's impossible to make America less unequal (because the rich are benefitting from the inequality, etc). Eliminating advertising doens't look any easier. Indeed, I think it more likely a US government would try Wilkinson-type measures (minimum wage legislation, progressive taxation, state pensions, healthcare regulation) than it would try to prevent advertising and reality TV.

P.S. I hardly ever watch TV. But I waste my time on the Internet instead, which may not be any better.

P.P.S. As a science-fiction speculation (not entirely serious). Does The Matrix solve the inequality problem? What if everyone lives in a computer-generated virtual reality in which they are the richest?

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I have no clue who any o... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2010 5:43 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I have no clue who any of the people mentioned in this post are."

Though we were poor we didn't realize we were poor ...

Don't worry. You're not missing anything.

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I think we need to blame Ga... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2010 9:11 AM | Posted by Trei: | Reply

I think we need to blame Gauss for this. the many are idiots and need simple, short ways to understand reality. if you have to relate to a real-person, your head might explode. reduce her to a "bomb-shell" or "Mom", and your 2 neurons can happily play cards, satisfied that the world also makes sense.

and no, thinking doesn't 'cure' happiness. that's how the 2 neurons pretend to be "deep", by having "deep thoughts". it's only when you get the 3rd neurons, and so on, that you can have an actual party up-there, and have some fun - ie "happiness".

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MM, Indeed. This ... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2010 9:24 AM | Posted, in reply to MM's comment, by DCP: | Reply

MM,
Indeed. This is a very useful guide of what to be careful of.

Cheers,
DCP

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Another awkwardly misogynis... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2010 1:52 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Another awkwardly misogynistic post from TLP.

Hittin them high notes, you are.

I feel bad for your patients, particularly the female ones.

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Sad. But you'd have to watc... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2010 1:54 PM | Posted by David: | Reply

Sad. But you'd have to watch tv, you'd have to watch these shows to realize how sad you are. Who is where on the Wilkerson continuum? Those least able to afford the accoutrements of success. Those who have them and are still unhappy will be covered in the National Inquirer edition.

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Just curious how you got mi... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2010 4:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by EquallyAnonymous: | Reply

Just curious how you got misogyny from this article. I had the opposite reaction. I'm a woman, and new to this blog, and though I don't go to a psychiatrist, I would want someone with this perspective. Maybe I'm missing something?

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What exactly is misogynisti... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2010 7:24 PM | Posted by jen: | Reply

What exactly is misogynistic about pointing out how people manipulate themselves into not realizing their options? Or how "reality" tv brands people in ways that will sell to a specific crowd that doesn't analyze it too deeply, yet tries to live up to what they *think* they're seeing?

Just because the specific examples are women doesn't make it misogynistic.

Although it may be worth asking - have we EVER seen a tv "reality character" specifically branded as "dad"? Not as a guy who has other credentials and happens to be a dad, too, but famous specifically for being a dad? Jon Gossellin doesn't count - at least not any more - but was he ever branded as "the dad" the way Kate was "the mom", or was he always more "Kate's husband" or "that guy"?

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Anon 1:52 again. Hi.<... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2010 9:00 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Anon 1:52 again. Hi.

1) The picture of this blog is titled "why can't a mom have more fun?" That says eveyrthing you need to know about how TLP thinks. Moms aren't supposed to have fun.The idea is preposterous.

Women fall into a few categories in his world:

late teens-20s: sex objects; sexually valuable women; these are the only women of value. They are emotionally naive and sexually attractive, thus they satisfy his needs (demand little, often easy to manipulate, gratify his sexual desires fantasies needs)

30s+: bitter spinsters or oblivious to/in denial about their worthlessness, disillusioned that they are now worthless because they no longer belong into the former category. These women are invariably perceived as annoying, angering, obnoxious. They demand attention, but are not worthy of it, thus blog posts like these. Thinly veiled attacks on sexually past-prime females in the media who dare to be seen.

It's not about branding and image, it's about the fact that the brands and images are unappealing to TLP. If this show featured Pam Anderson 20 years ago, or kate Gosslin NEVER years ago, and instead featured Heidi Montag, this post would not exist, you morons.

Lets hear TLP talk about the fucking ubiquitous brand identity of the female sex object. Never, ever,ever, ever has TLP made a post like that, and he never will, for one simple reason: he has no problem with those media images, brands.
Pam Anderson, as he points out, is no longer a sex object. What is she, 45 or something? But I guarantee if this were 20 years ago, this post *wouldn't* exist, meh?

And for all you women trying to point out how cool with things you are: please, you're embarrassing yourself.

TLP doesn't have a problem with identity and branding, he has a problem with brands that don't cater to his *neeeeds*.

So much of this blog reads like an isolated whiny male bitching about the world not gratifying his sensory and emotional needs and demands, much like a 2 year old... he is perpetually uncomfortable that people exist who think differently than him, with different priorities that have nothing to do with his. He's practically *offended* that people are seperate from himself.
Ironic, so fucking ironic, as he has convinced you all that YOU"RE the narcissists, lol.


And, you know, what I *REALLY* hate about this blog are the fanboys (and girls) who covertly dig this aspect of it, and post little quips like, "women are borderlines" (translation: women have no identity, mindless bodies, from my perspective, thus all women are emotionally random /invalid borderlines) and "oh, I'm a woman, and i think your ideas are crazy! I"m one of the boys now, thus have value, right?" (translation: PLEASE validate me)


And you know, I can groove on TLP's blog, but when he starts in with this thinly veiled misogynistic crap, not so much.

Let the "voting down" begin, lulz.

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... and I would like to add... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2010 9:06 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

... and I would like to add: his preoccupiation with labeling people narcissists, identities-without-genuine substance behind it, it comes from the primitive childish wish to regain control of a world that betray's his needs and demands.

If you won't cater to my ego, I'll invalidate yours.

I find this whole blog so ironic it might as well implode from the critical mass of it.

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Perhaps you are right. Per... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2010 6:04 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by TheUnderwearBandit: | Reply

Perhaps you are right. Perhaps this blog is a grand con of Jay-Z proportions. But you need better arguments. Cite claims that TLP has made either in this post, or from other posts, to back up your thesis. Notice that he does precisely that.

Exactly how has he made dancing with the stars, or any of the other pop culture manifestations about himself? Sure much of pop culture seems to conflict with his values, but that is different than making it about himself.

Also, how does he gain control of his audience by convincing us that we are narcissists? By getting them (us) to actually invest the time and work to make the narcissistic identities real identities? If that were the case it seems that we would not spend as much time reading his blog. Thus he would be losing control.

Example: Lets say I am a narcissist. I want to create an identity that I am a great painter. I tell everyone I am a great painter. I buy obscure works of art, and tell people I painted those pieces. I read the blog,and realize that instead of talking about painting I should actually take the risk of sucking, and start painting. How does my beginning to paint give him control?

Additionally, if he is a narcissist, what is the identity he is actively constructing? Judging from the posts on drugs, he does in fact seem to be or have the knowledge of a psychiatrist.

2nd to last thing. You state: he is perpetually uncomfortable that people exist who think differently than him, with different priorities that have nothing to do with his.

Do you think Kate Gosselin, of Kate plus 8 fame, has her priorities in order? Do you approve of a woman subjecting her children to be actors on "reality tv?"

Final issue. You said: Lets hear TLP talk about the fucking ubiquitous brand identity of the female sex object.

Actually he has talked about how the media portrays women as sluts. And he seems actively worried of the response (violence) this portrayal will engender in men. See here.

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There's a lot of irony in t... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2010 7:16 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

There's a lot of irony in this blog, intentional or not.

The character "Alone" (who may be a fictional creation) is full of macho posturing. In this article:

1. It starts with the reference to his girlfriend. Who may or may not really exist, and who serves as a convenient example for the point he wants to make. But apart from the main point of the article, a second things he's saying is "Hey, I've got a glamourous girlfriend." Or did have, anyway.

2. The rum. For all I know, Alone's author doesn't actually like rum. But he certainly wants us to think that Alone is the kind of person who drinks rum.

3. The Woman Whose Haircut Cures Priapism. This is a bit gratutious. Alone is presented as the kind of person who sees women primarily sexually (but doesn't desire Kate, on account of the haircut). It's marginally relevant, because Alone is saying that Pamela Anderson is presented as a sex symbol and Kate isn't. Still, that gag is more about Alone than it is about either woman.

4. There's curiously little mention of what this girlfriend (who may or may not be imaginary) actually thought or felt. Plenty about what Alone thinks, though. She serves mainly as Alone's status symbol and a prop for his argument. Alone is presented as a narcissist.

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Moving on from the question... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2010 12:38 PM | Posted by SusanC: | Reply

Moving on from the question of irony...

Alone's argument against Wilkinson is rather reminiscent of Jean Baudrillard:

If the problem of inequality was that some people were starving for lack of food, dying for lack of medicines etc., this would be inequality of "use value" (Marxist term) or "functional value" (Baudrillard term).

But the Wilkinson oberservation that it's relative inequality that matters suggests that inequality of "sign value" (Baudrillard term) is playing a role: what the disadvantaged are lacking is not so much something they need for a physical reason (food, medicines etc.) but things that act as a signal to others. Take that DKNY dress, for example. If all you cared about was its use value (keeping warm in winter, say), you could most likely buy something cheaper. But if you want to send the signal "I am the kind of person who can afford a DKNY dress", then something cheaper wouldn't be as affective a signal.


An anecodote. I'm getting off a flight at LAX, and the woman next to me in line tells me she's a science writer, and she guesses that I'm a researcher of some kind. Which was a good guess. She says she can tell from the clothes. Now I wasn't wearing a lab coat (or other uniform), but still she can tell. I won't fool myself that I don't bother to send a signal; it's just I send a different signal.

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TLP: I've been reading your... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2010 12:42 PM | Posted by Sean: | Reply

TLP: I've been reading your blog for about 6 months now, and during that time I've also read a few books by a contemporary Canadian philosopher named Charles Taylor. If you haven't read him already, I really recommend him to you- you and he are totally on the same page on a number of issues, and I think you'd find reading some of his works very rewarding. The Malaise of Modernity is a short one, but talks a lot about the pervasiveness/perversion of the notion of authenticity, and relates it to historical trends that have developed through philosophy since Plato, but which especially picked up speed in the modern era (especially during the Enlightenment) and how our notion of authenticity relates attempts to singularize aspects of life which developed during the Enlightenment and then were combined with the Romantic response to the Enlightenment (where we get notions like "self-discovery", etc. coming into culture.) Modern Social Imaginaries and The Sources of the Self are also good ones by Taylor. Of course, if you've already read these... nevermind. But I do think you'd find them quite interesting, and this post reminded me of Taylor in certain ways, thus inspiring me to suggest him to you (and, concomitantly, to anyone else reading your blog.)

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Hi, anon 1:52 again.<... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2010 1:53 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Hi, anon 1:52 again.

Anon 7:16 said it all better/more concisely than me.

I personally think the narcissism is unintentional, not purposely placed for ironic effect, thus is a reflection of Alone's (the real man) hard core narcissism, the same oft imagined narcissism he sees in everyone else (usually when those people offend him in some way, don't serve him any purpose,gratify his needs, fit in with his ideal/priorities, etc).

In a blog centered around false identities of OTHER people, he chooses to construct a fantasy character named Alone who has hot likely teenaged girlfriends making $10 an hour dressed to the 9s, swilling rum, and mocking 35 year old celebrity women who's haircuts keep him soft...

I mean, that's sorta funny, right?

I don't see how other people fail to see this blog is built on a fault line leading to occasional implosions of massive irony.

I personally think it is unintentional (i.e. not intended for illustrative/entertainment purposes)... I think the choice of career (many/most psychiatrists are control freak manipulative narcissists) and his preoccupation with identity and narcissism reflect his need for control and his inability to connect/see/care about others around him. In other words, this is all a reflection on him as a real person. BUT CLEARLY THIS CANNOT BE PROVEN SO, yea.

And now to go back into anon land for the time being.

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Research = ME-search. I wou... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2010 3:17 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Research = ME-search. I wouldn't be surprised if Alone is a narcissist, but would that make his message any different?

Narcissism is a way of behavior, not identity. Attributing it to his identity is akin to making the same faults as calling Pam the "sex bomb," and Kate, "the famous mother." It's a superficial explanation.

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To: Ranter About Sexism... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2010 4:29 PM | Posted by Sfon: | Reply

To: Ranter About Sexism

People see each other as objects, especially those of the opposite sex. This is because people ARE objects. It is true, natural, and inevitable. Problems arise not when one sees another as an object, but when they fail to also see them as a person.

And men are not the only ones to do this, not by far. Anyone who believes it is a man thing clearly has not spent much time speaking casually with women. Get two people of the same sex together, either sex, and some rather objectifying and downright insulting things are likely to be said. People don't just objectify other sexes, though, but everything. You think it is any nicer to think of IRS agents as 2D cutouts? How about terrorists, Martin Luther King Jr, or teachers? How many people see their children's teachers as just teaching objects instead of people? (Hint: a LOT)

You are not a god, none of us are. You are a bag of meat, bones, and liquids that runs on chemical energy stolen from other living things and reacts to the world around it. You can be eaten, used for reproduction, used for companionship, and used to carry out various tasks. You are unimportant to most other living things, both humans and non. If something/someone does see you as valuable in some way, they will judge you based on how you matter to them (genetic quality, edibility, intelligence, fitness, etc). We all are judged like this and do so to others.

And are you not objectifying Alone? You don't seem to be seeing him as a person who inevitably has weaknesses, who will break down the world around him into simpler terms in order to understand it. Someone who perhaps has some kids, who had and lost dear friends, who has felt pain and joy, who hates some games and likes others, or experienced the runs after eating bad food, who has been hurt just as we all have. No, you only see him as a "misogynist", just some uppity male, because he dared to hold a opinions, consciously and/or subconsciously, on some woman or another. Opinions that *gasp* reflected the limits of the human mind to process everything it is exposed to, as well instincts related to fears, wants, empathy, and disgust.

You don't even care about what he has to say or why he says it, as evidenced by your bizarre conclusion that he was saying moms are not supposed to have fun. Even assuming that interpretation is correct, maybe he thinks no-one should have fun, or parents shouldn't, or is just bitter in general and striking at whatever target he happened to see first that day? But dealing with all that would require seeing his existence as something more than merely an extension of your own.

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I always assumed the reason... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2010 5:53 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I always assumed the reason famous "moms" always continued to perform even after having kids was so they wouldn't only be thought of as "someone's mom" for the rest of their lives.

I wonder what it must be like to be Kate Gosselin, who obviously wishes she was much more than "someone's mom".

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HI ANON 1:52 HERE AGAIN!</p... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2010 9:00 PM | Posted, in reply to Sfon's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

HI ANON 1:52 HERE AGAIN!

To better enrich your sensory experience and perception of the content of our conversation, please read Sfon's quotes in your mind with a mongoloid-mentally handicapped accent. THx!

Sfon:
"People see each other as objects, especially those of the opposite sex. This is because people ARE objects."

Okay, cool! So people as-objects is natural/good when macho guys (like you and Alone, amirite?) do it to sexy women, but when, like, it's a more generalized objectification of people (i.e. someone not giving a shit about YOU or YOUR emotional/sensory needs and wants)... then it's narcissism.

Okay, cool Thanks for clearing that up sir, can I refill your rum?


Oh but you cover your ass by saying that women do it too (FACT: i don't believe you mean that at all).
Okay, but, what is "good" narcissism and what is "bad" narcissism, sir I am having trouble finding the distinction here, because from what I can see narcissistic thinking is okay if you agree with it/do it.

Hint: men are diagnosed with NPD 3xs more often than women. Perhaps narcissism (i.e. not tending to give a shit about others and only viewing them as objects for your own ends/gratifications/an extension of yourself if they are considered at all) is inherently more masculine... much in the way you guys like to point out "women are borderlines" (and women are diagnosed with this tendency 3xs more than men), yesh?

I have never experienced the delusion of thinking myself god, that I can a) understand and/or b) create the rules of the universe on a whim... but people on this blog, man, they've got some grandiosity here. You've all telepathy, and the answer is always narcissism, it seems, when it comes to people being annoying/useless/bothersome/indifferent to your fetal grabbing and clamoring needs.


"And are you not objectifying Alone?"

I am a person pointing out his hypocrisy. I never claimed to be above objectification, I am not the one obsessed with a supposed modern narcissism epidemic (i.e. the fact that the world is moving and leaving me behind and people exist who have nothing to do with me and I find that disturbing, so I will call them narcissists in a preemptive move to cut them to the chase and make some sense of this disorganizing chaos of seemingly random, purposeless, pointless behavior of walking talking objects which I can't possibly understand as it has nothing to do with me and my needs and ideals and priorities).

The statement on that magazine cover bore a hole deep in his unconscious and I wouldn't be surprised if it was the inspiration for this very post. The idea of moms having fun offends people like TLP very deeply, and you too I'm sure. It disturbs your compartmentalization of women (i.e. your objects), in the same way someone messing up the organization of your tool box might piss you. Drill bits and screws are separate from hammers and nails, for fcks sake. They are different objects, different purposes. Fck it all if the hammer wants to mix it up elsewhere... and what int he hell gives it the right to even mess with MY organization system?!


"But dealing with all that would require seeing his existence as something more than merely an extension of your own."

1) Since I am not a fanboy/girl, being called a narcissist isn't like, the worst thing you could possibly say to me...so this comment has very little power. I am so totally not a narcissist, either, lol. I couldn't give a shit less about my image or status and I know describing myself does sound narcissistic, but trust me, I come across more like an alien than human.
2) I recognize some degree of narcissism is healthy and normal behavior, it's just a fact people tend to view people in terms of superficial qualities which are gathered by the person's relationship to themselves, descriptions attributed /inferred identities, I'm not an empath, that wouldn't be very functional would it if I were overburdened by the inner thoughts and needs and feelings and complexes and problems of everyone I met, eh?
ITSH A BALANSH.

I suppose I am viewing alone as his image, but really, alone has constructed his blog purposely that way - he is anonymous, he doesn't disclose any personal f'ing details (other than this grandiose macho nerd personality about a guy who swills rum and bangs hot girls pretty regularly which he drops into his posts like well selected spices)...

So, you can take this as an attack on ALONE, the character, the image, and not the writer as a human, as I don't know that guy....

...but I suspect he's pretty messed up, and most of these ideas about the world are probably just a reflection of his own way of thinking.

I KEEP PROMISING NOT TO COME BACK.

DAMN SLEEP DEPRIVATION AND CAFFEINE RAMBLING.

I'm going to have to just get SR-E-S about not coming back to this damn post.

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If he is a psychiatrist, an... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2010 10:32 PM | Posted by Information addict: | Reply

If he is a psychiatrist, and I think he is, he spends a lot of time with people who need help with their lives ...which would include true narcissists and those who's lives have been impacted by such people (or a such a culture as he so often writes about). Its not a surprise that he's given the topic a lot of thought and why there's so much written about it here. Being self centred, to any degree is part of the human condition, but to become better people, we need to be aware of that and work past it. Try being useful in this world and do something that makes a difference and not for the glory. Go unrecognized for good deeds. Maybe Alone writes about narcissism to show people how pervasive it is and to expose it (doing a good deed in a way).

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I am so totally not buying ... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2010 11:51 PM | Posted by anon101: | Reply

I am so totally not buying this psychiatrist crap. This person is NOT insightful at all. I KNOW psychiatrists and if this guy were mine I would immediately fire him. He goes to great lengths to identify the narcissist (has he ever written an original post where this subject is'nt brought up?) and when he's through he does'nt realize how perfectly he fits the picture. These juvenile writings of women he has supposedly dated and rambling on and on, weaving a fabric of pseudo-intellectualism.....I can't figure out why you people keep commenting and arguing over the empty and obtuse nothing that tlp keeps barfing all over his blog. You guys lap it up like he was some demi-god who fell to earth. I have never seen people get so excited over so much drivel. TLP is not a psychiatrist. His writings strike me as those of an insecure college student with a degree in philosophy. Please people, come on!

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I read your comment, and im... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2010 3:16 AM | Posted, in reply to anon101's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I read your comment, and immediately felt dumber. Ignoring, for a moment, the lack of references, citations, or anything approximating writing savvy, the actual existence of your post confuses the hell out of me.

Whenever I find a blog that I consistently disagree with, I stop reading it. I don't anonymously post (multiple?) lengthy comments full of apparently random invective. I actually cannot understand what compels comments like these. Who are you trying to convince? And what are you trying to convince them of? Why does it matter?

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Does Alone know that sane p... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2010 7:39 AM | Posted by mr. fakename: | Reply

Does Alone know that sane people think he's great?
Maybe somebody should tell him...

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Why can't a mom have fun? T... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2010 9:23 AM | Posted by medsvstherapy: | Reply

Why can't a mom have fun? The offspring of these moms - except Brooke's offspring - are future clients for us therapists. Dance away, Mom! In contrast, Brooke always has that demeanor like her mind is elsewhere. I believe her mind is actually on her primary responsibility, her family.

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I accept your critisism abo... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2010 1:06 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by anon101: | Reply

I accept your critisism about my writing savvy, citations and references. 18 years of Major Depression has wiped out 8 years of college, 25 years as a licensed heath care professional and any shred of motivation to write as though I personally embodied the wisdom of the ages. As an aside to MR FAKENAME, there is a rather distinct line between recognizing one's need for a psychiatrist and not being sane. To ignore this difference only demonstrates how willing you are to go on believing in this fantasy. PULL BACK THE CURTAIN DOROTHY, THE WIZARD IS JUST AN ILLUSION!
Now Anonymous, assuming for a moment that you're not "ALONE" trying to juice up his own blog, let's take a citation from your post. (Not sure whether citation or reference is correct in this context, further evidence of my lack of writing savvy).

"I read your comment and immediately felt dumber".

Why do you suppose you felt that way? The remainder of your post was spent trying to invalidate everything I said. It sounds as though, despite your inability to comprehend my"random invective", your visceral reaction was to attribute some truth to it. I cannot reconcile your first comment with the rest of your post. Either you felt dumber because you feared I might be right or, or what?
I don't know how else to interpret it. By the way my "invective" only appears random to you because of the lack of citations, etc. It is my reaction to the collective works of "Alone" and my disbelief in how many people on the blog seem to buy in to his well crafted, yet circular ramblings.

Who am I trying to convince? NO ONE. I'm trying to point out that perhaps there is'nt enough substance there to warrant such a fervent, rather religious following. Do I plan to continue reading this drivel? No. Does anything I say matter? Nope! But the fact that my writing made YOU feel dumber, is encouraging and makes my post just that much more worthwhile. Perhaps a few more bloggers will pause, as you did, and ask themselves, "Does Alone really have anything USEFUL to say?" PS: no need to point out any spelling or grammatical errors...I'm not concerned enough to care.

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The Barbarians are coming..... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2010 1:14 PM | Posted by Bryan: | Reply

The Barbarians are coming...

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It's springtime, and commen... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2010 2:09 PM | Posted by KD: | Reply

It's springtime, and comment hypergraphia can only mean one thing...
(You fill in the blank.)

If you have this much outrage at an anonymous blogger you've never met, it says more about you than it does about him.

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I don't see what anonymity ... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2010 2:53 PM | Posted, in reply to KD's comment, by anon101: | Reply

I don't see what anonymity has to do with it. That did'nt prevent you from commenting. My dissent from the general mollycoddling of ALONE's fantasy of grandiosity has nothing at all to do with his true identity.

There is a difference between outrage and dissent.

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This is only partially rela... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2010 3:04 PM | Posted by Mae: | Reply

This is only partially related, but I'd be curious, Alone, to know what you thought of this new phenomena of "personal branding" I see popping up on Twitter. Jackass marketing guys keep giving advice on how to "form your personal brand" and then I don't know what they do after that because I twitch involuntarily and de-follow them. (Actually that only happened once. But people keep re-tweeting that shit and it makes me rage.)

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"it is impossible for me to... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2010 7:08 PM | Posted by arha: | Reply

"it is impossible for me to stop these unconscious, reflexive associations from happening."

unconscious => uncontrolled; the constant inundation of media through the TV, newspapers, billboard ads and magazines has caused him to have a knee jerk reaction. This isn't a criticism of these women, it's a criticism of the media and how it poisons our minds.

This isn't a bad train of thought Alone is describing. It is a tragic train of thought. Tragic implies you know that disaster is coming and you are powerless, despite your efforts, to stop it. Alone is conscious enough to realize these patterns are occurring in his mind. Are you?

This post describes a tragedy. If you have any compassion in you, you feel bad for this woman he describes. You want to help her. Transcend the "woman" aspect. Consider yourself. If you think you have control over your life when in actuality you are at the whim of unconscious reflexes, needs and desires programmed into you by culture , do you think you can be happy?

Spiritualists understood this cultural programming. They understood that culture is our enemy. It draws boundaries, lines that don't exist. It prevents us from connecting to one another.

If you want to deprogram yourself and see our culture for what it really is, do what our ancestors did. Meditate, pray, cultivate consciousness and awareness. Take psychedelics. Our ancestors had a balance between the material and the spiritual, something lacking in our time.

We are still the same apes we were 100000 years ago. But we have lost touch with our roots, forgotten who we are. And it's getting worse.

This is the real tragedy.

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"It's springtime, and comme... (Below threshold)

March 30, 2010 3:42 AM | Posted, in reply to KD's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"It's springtime, and comment hypergraphia can only mean one thing...
(You fill in the blank.)"

March madness? LOL.

BTW, there are two anons here arguing this position. There is me (anon 1:52) and anon101. We are different people.

FWIW I have stopped commenting after my heartfelt promise to do so. So, I have done so. Although I am posting again just to clarify the misclarification. Dig it?

Dug, it. Dead and buried.

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Well this post sure caused ... (Below threshold)

March 30, 2010 5:09 PM | Posted by Nadia: | Reply

Well this post sure caused some women to get their panties in a bunch. I didn't read all of the arguments, mostly because they couldn't pull together a point within 500 words and without a bunch of angry posturing, but I think I get the general idea.

It's funny because I've always thought TLP goes easy on women. In this post, he's actually saying there's more to Pamela than the ex-porn star costume she's been given to perform in. And even though Kate was given the "mom" costume and character, she's hardly the best example of this. Considering people for more than their appearances and possibly their emotions and feelings is not exactly narcissistic behavior.

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It's a very boring topic. ... (Below threshold)

March 31, 2010 12:00 PM | Posted by waylon: | Reply

It's a very boring topic. A very boring post. A waste of time. Thanks anyway though for the blog.

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The first two parts are all... (Below threshold)

March 31, 2010 12:27 PM | Posted by Arglebargle: | Reply

The first two parts are allegory, morons

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Anony 1:52 has some points ... (Below threshold)

March 31, 2010 1:54 PM | Posted by DCP: | Reply

Anony 1:52 has some points worth considering.

It is kind of funny how TLP talks about narcissism all day long, then preaches to us (always saying things as if they were fact, not opinion) from behind a created character named "Alone". Not that he should have to reveal his identity, but I think it's a lot more effective to hand down gospel from a position of anonymity; if we ever saw this guy and knew just how human he was, I doubt we'd take him as seriously.

I like reading this blog because it's entertaining and occasionally insightful but to think it's much more than the ramblings of an odd person may be putting too much stock in it.

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Who's taking it too serious... (Below threshold)

March 31, 2010 4:39 PM | Posted, in reply to DCP's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Who's taking it too seriously? I'm hoping that these comments (from whom I suspect is the same commenter) are some sort of deeply ironic joke. What's the irony? Well, it could be the way these anonymous comments centre around the theme of everyone else being cultists except for the commenter, who alone (ha, ha) is enlightened.

TLP is just a blog, run by a guy who blogs. People read this blog because they like doing so. That's all. I wouldn't care if TLP turned out to be Dr. Phil, am capable of forming independent thoughts, and dislike it when other people project their own images onto me.

But, cool, if it's all some sort of artsy way of representing the blog mimetically through the comment section.

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My God. Who is this retarde... (Below threshold)

March 31, 2010 9:30 PM | Posted by whatever: | Reply

My God. Who is this retarded feminist complaining here? This paragraph

"If I was a woman of, say, 30, overwhelmed by hidden ambivalence, making next to nothing while spending next to everything, simultaneously unfulfilled by my excellent material possessions while protected from facing my actual social position; if I had to choose a direction in life but realizing that my choice probably didn't matter because the outcome had already been decided by the audience, yeah, I'd be on Abilify, too."

is more sympathetic to women than all feminist blogs written by stupid feminists I've read in the last few years. I'm a feminist, btw. And I'm tired of morons speaking for me.

SHUT. UP.

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TLP: a. Does it oc... (Below threshold)

April 1, 2010 11:22 AM | Posted by Harman: | Reply

TLP:

a. Does it occur to you that maybe your use of the Wittgenstein quote in your website's heading, and that too in German, is to create an aura/identity/impression? It just seems a wee bit, pretentious. Why use it in German? And what significance does it have for this blog, when Witt's quote was more about the inherent limitations of language (which limitations he later repudiated) in P.I.) in being real (it can always only be a "picture").

b. Also, I can't help but note that for a critic of mass media, and one who says "If you are watching it, it is for you." you seem to watch an awful lot of it. Or is it that the aphorism of "it is for you" does not apply to you, and you are able to watch it as a critic (note that in this article at least, you are admitting that you had a hard time being detached)?

IN other words:
a. I am cool.
b. Rules don't apply to me. I am not as dumb as you guys to get sucked in into TV.

What does that sound like? Maybe a word starting with "N". ;-)

I will give you that you are way above average, but watch out! :-)

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lately posters on tlp.com s... (Below threshold)

April 1, 2010 12:19 PM | Posted by vanveen: | Reply

lately posters on tlp.com seem more concerned with demonstrating their status and asserting their identity (clever, educated, meta-critical; playing the role of the Ironic Douchebag, iow) than with contributing to a constructive and entertaining conversation that benefits others.

you know what that's called? the point.

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You just won the internet. ... (Below threshold)

April 1, 2010 10:37 PM | Posted, in reply to arha's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You just won the internet.

Question: how is culture preventing people from connecting to one anothers? I see it as an irrelevant part of the equation (don't give me that look).

Early kneejerk labeling blocking fruther recognition of the person? Worse, feeling pressured to conform to those label preventing people from discovering you (aka, Pam playing the bombshell on the show)?

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I have to confess, when I h... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2010 12:14 AM | Posted by Mary Stack: | Reply

I have to confess, when I heard 'mom', I thought of Pamela but then again, I recognize that the image is just performance. I also have often heard her speak of her boys. I thought the remark "There are plenty of places other than DWTS or my basement to see her naked" was very telling. I assume you have masturbated to Pamela and it is no wonder that you have a strong association with her sex bomb image.

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It seems to me that you and... (Below threshold)

April 2, 2010 6:48 PM | Posted, in reply to vanveen's comment, by anon101: | Reply

It seems to me that you and many of your peers are awfully thin skinned to be wearing the righteous robes of the intellectual. There is a place in this world for criticisim of thought. Whether it is constructive or entertaining, is wholly a matter of opinion.

When someone puts out a blog, with a catchy name, and portrays himself to the public at large as some sort of repository of all wisdom, holding the keys to the kingdom of social commentary, it really becomes a more germaine subject than the original post itself. Perhaps it would be better if tlp would just post an original blog entitled "Why my thoughts seem so infantile to some of you", but alas, I don't think we will see that anytime soon.

That way, people like anonymous above, who thinks I blog under more than one name, could cease the wailing and gnashing of teeth over his and your objections to my messing with your mutual intellectual backslapping and high-fiving. As a general observation, anyone who has a problem with Alone's rhetoric is routinely shot down by the "protectors of the blog". Well, that just seems downright unsocial to me, and a rather intolerant position to be holding, while simultaneously claiming the mantle of superiority. Personally, I think it's just, if not more likely, that TLP is blogging under multiple identities. Let the whining begin!

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Anonymous, I appreciate eve... (Below threshold)

April 3, 2010 12:49 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by anon101: | Reply

Anonymous, I appreciate everything you said in your reply to DCP's comment, honestly, I really do. I am sure you are capable of forming independent thoughts, I truely am. And even though it's impossible for me to project anything onto you (first I'm not trying to do so and secondly you would have to give your mental assent before such a transaction could occur) I do understand what you are trying to say. Where you er is your belief that for 2 or more people to disagree with Alone's "worldview" (and I hesitate to apply so much to so little), there must be some sort of conspiracy underway. In fact, if you read this blog carefully, there are many postings which echo similar misgivings about the content of tlp's blogs.

There is nothing peculiar to my posts that could not be equally applied to the point and counterpoint found elsewhere on this thread. That some may take my comments as a personal affront, I really don't feel any responsiblity. I do wish, anonymous, that you would adopt an identity of some sort so I could be sure I was addressing the correct person for these discussions.
Thankyou!
(And now we barbarians will retreat to the caves from whence we came so as to dream up more HYPERGRAPHIA with which to render our erstwhile elitist friends foaming at the mouth in fits of cataplexy! And today's page in KD's "How to memorize Roget's in 365 days to Impress your Friends and Enemies", is number 239.

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You know, when I was 14, my... (Below threshold)

April 3, 2010 5:40 AM | Posted, in reply to anon101's comment, by A Girl: | Reply

You know, when I was 14, my mom claimed one of my friends was in jail, based on his handwriting. You accusations against Alone remind me of that.

Sure, he may be trolling his own blog to augment readership by posting as anonymous. But there's just no way to proof or indeed disproof it. So it remains your word.

The question that then is important to me would be: Does it matter if he is? The reason I come here is to read his blog-posts. Sometimes I find them incredibly trite (like this one), at other times I downright disagree and occasionally, I find pearls that delight. From time to time, when he really gets my knickers in a twist, I shout back at him, knowing full well that I'd rather do that than haul my ass to where the real problem remains oblivious (plus, shouting here is free).

So the answer is no. I can't see why it should matter to me? He's welcome to troll all he wants, I can't see why it should concern me?

Perhaps you could explain it to me? :)

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Anon 1:52 again...He... (Below threshold)

April 4, 2010 1:18 AM | Posted, in reply to vanveen's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Anon 1:52 again...
Hey buddy I don't know who you're talking to, but when I made the original fire-bomb comment,

I had one goal in mind:

1) Communicate my thoughts to others.

The reason I wanted to communicate my thoughts was to satisfy my intellectual curiosity: to see if anyone agreed, to see if others would think about what I said and change their POV, or to see if the non-thinking drones who populate this blog would just autopilot attack me for being less than 100% supportive (most humans are incapable of thinking, I've discovered).

On a more personal/emotional level, I also intended to vent a long-standing annoyance with TLP in his doublespeak of calling everyone narcissists yet clearly presenting this blog from the perspective of a created image (Alone, the macho nerd who swills rum and name drops his various sexual conquests who are always nothing more than bodys/objects with little internal life and absolutely no relationship/commitment indicated or hinted at, women who stop by his aparment to watch movies casually and young girls working at BeBe and such).

I had long noticed this hypocrisy and misogyny in his writing and I just wanted to do a quick jab to satisfy my petty emotions. The character alone is extremely narcissistic and self-centered but the whole BLOG is devoted to smashing these traits in others, which is just, kind of annoying.


If you are accusing ME Of being narcissistic, of wishing to be viewed as : "demonstrating their status and asserting their identity (clever, educated, meta-critical; playing the role of the Ironic Douchebag, iow)"

Well, no. Not at all.

But I would point out that ALL OF THOSE TRAITS can be applied to Alone.

Things to make you go Hmmm...

If anything, it seems as if the unflinching 100% yes men on this site are the true narcissists, they seek to assimilate their identities with the character of Alone, and me attacking it slightly (note, I DO LIKE THIS BLOG and I DO like what alone has to say some of hte time/most of the time)... well, it feels too personal because you have assimilated yourself into this character and you wish to become it.

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It's a trite pop-psychologi... (Below threshold)

April 4, 2010 2:18 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

It's a trite pop-psychological observation that we can only know the thoughts of others as variations on the internal model we have of ourselves. This explains both my deficiencies in making myself understood, and also why you seem to think I'm an idiot.

Yes, others have made the observation that Alone/TLP is a manufactured image that, due to a combination of anonymity and one-way communication can be made to seem like whatever Alone wants it to be. Yes, this is a narcissist's ideal situation. The rum-swilling, Wittgenstein-quoting, outside-life-having doc projects a fairly nice image. But just because it's an image, doesn't mean it's fake.

It would be a really colossal fraud if he was just some basement dweller with no advanced degree holding forth on cultural issues through the haze of cheap marijuana. There's no way to tell. Despite this lack of evidence I choose to believe that Alone is a pretty cool guy, who occasionally says interesting things, even if I don't always agree with him. You seem unable to summon that level of faith/trust, and that produces an interesting reaction:

What your comments suggest, indirectly, is a person who is unhappy with their own life's situation, and so sees everything else as an attack that must be repelled. Alone references a book, and to you he's a poseur. Alone mentions a personal life, and he's some chauvinist caricature. Alone cracks a joke or suggests he's capable of anything less than complete seriousness and now he's just another po-mo douchebag. And everyone who disagrees with you, or thinks that your critiques are, at best silly and at worst, beyond obvious is "incapable of thinking for themselves". You're tilting at windmills, arguing against people based in reality but who only really exist in your head.

Until TLP posts something that can be interpreted as actually misogynistic or hypocritical without relying on tortured and highly subjective analysis from you, our wise anonymous saviour, I'm inclined to to believe that Alone is a reasonably nice guy able to keep his latent narcissism in check and that you are some random on the internet with spotty critical thinking skills, an axe to grind, and a bizarre hatred for the conventional English language.

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Your response made me reall... (Below threshold)

April 4, 2010 4:28 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Your response made me really not even want to talk with you any longer.

It's blatantly obvious you are suffering from narcissism by proxy.

YOur conception of alone:
"The rum-swilling, Wittgenstein-quoting, outside-life-having doc"

... NO ONE could possibly bet his person, because it is so 1 dimensional and shallow. Anyone who can be described in such a way is always going to be a poseur and a fake. Those characteristics amount to nothing important, nothing tangible, other than perhaps "doc[tor]"; the rest of those adjectives are bullshit smoke and mirrors.

The fact you think this constitutes an identity proves you have none yourself and are sitting there watching tv while living life. NOthing is real to you, other than images and brands and the labels that you feel define you in a favorable way, meaning to say the way you wish to be defined. You are exactly the sort of person that TLP writes about, which is beyond ironic considering you are attracted to Alone's 1 dimensional character identity, thinking you're on the other side the whole time not realizing you are spot on the sort of person he's writing about.

Epic lulz really.

I also find it interesting that one isn't allowed to read into Alone's behavior and writing, but this blog is dedicated to line by line dissections of journals and letters others write to uncover the hidden narcissism.

But we can play this finger pointing game all night, playing catch with these posts, frankly I would rather LEE-VE now. There goes conventional language hating, personally I'd rather take a word and turn it into a picture, an abstraction, I"m an artistic you know, must be the manic depression KD accused me (us?) of having. Lulz.

To reiterate, epic lulz. Thanks for the entertainment.

And TLP, I like yer blog. Sorry to mess it up.

Which, rite, I need to not be doing.

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anonymous - "Communicate my... (Below threshold)

April 4, 2010 10:15 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

anonymous - "Communicate my thoughts to others.

The reason I wanted to communicate my thoughts was to satisfy my intellectual curiosity: to see if anyone agreed, to see if others would think about what I said and change their POV, or to see if the non-thinking drones who populate this blog would just autopilot attack me for being less than 100% supportive (most humans are incapable of thinking, I've discovered)."

So if people disagree with you or agree with Alone they're "drones" but if they agree with you then they're somehow superior and not drones? (Like you? Meaning if others reflect your image of yourself back to you you're pleased but if they don't you believe they're subhuman "drones"?) Oh, and it's all about what you want out of "communication" and getting others to conform to your POV/beliefs and you'll be hostile and regard others than less than human if they don't? Hmmmm, sounds familiar.....

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"I had long noticed this hy... (Below threshold)

April 4, 2010 10:30 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"I had long noticed this hypocrisy and misogyny in his writing and I just wanted to do a quick jab to satisfy my petty emotions. The character alone is extremely narcissistic and self-centered but the whole BLOG is devoted to smashing these traits in others, which is just, kind of annoying."

So it's all about satisfying your needs - including ones that even you can recognize as "petty"? And all about trying to get some blogger that you choose to read to be (or act like) someone else because you find that when you choose to read his blog you get annoyed? And anyone who enjoys this blog for what it is and interprets Alone's writing differently is a "drone" and should listen to you because your POV should reign on Aone's blog? Oh, and you've got some special issue with male readers who don't agree with you? (Even though it seems as if quite a few female readers think you're quite off the mark regarding Alone being sexist. Sexy? Wot's wrong with sexy?) Sounds like you're using sexism and feminism to further a personal agenda and claim victimhood where none exists - in fact to try to attack someone who is speaking about creating unrealistic social norms/expectations for both men and women. As a woman I find it offensive and exploitative that you'd use real collective suffering to try to silence someone you don't personally want to hear.


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Narcissism-by-proxy makes n... (Below threshold)

April 4, 2010 3:11 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Narcissism-by-proxy makes no sense in the first place, but I see what you're trying to get at. No, I don't worship (or even really aspire to be like) TLP. I don't drink, am not a doctor, although I do have an outside life, so I guess you're partly on the mark. OK, Alone does seem pretty 1-D on the internet, but I think that's more a function of anonymity than anything else. It doesn't make him a narcissist or a hypocrite. When I don't know a lot about someone, I don't immediately assume that everything I do know is somehow an attempt to deceive me.

To reiterate, TLP is a guy who blogs, and to some extent it's performance art and involves a created image (that doesn't necessarily mean that the author is not a psychiatrist who drinks rum and has friends). The material still stands or fails mostly on its own merits. The blog is read by people on the internet. Unlike you, I don't feel like I can speak for everyone else who reads this blog, but odds are they're pretty normal and not deep into "narcissism-by-proxy". There isn't a hidden agenda; sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

By the way, it's interesting to remark on the use of "lulz" throughout your post, your attempts to reframe the demolition of everything you've said as "entertainment", and of course the sarcasm which still doesn't excuse apparent illiteracy. It's a way of ironically distancing yourself from what you've said and how people have responded, the internet douchebag equivalent of "I wasn't trying, no fair".

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anon 10:37,Technic... (Below threshold)

April 4, 2010 9:38 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by arha: | Reply

anon 10:37,

Technically culture doesn't prevent people from connecting to each other. Rather, it is the view that culture is an absolute, that it is "the way the world is." If you've traveled around the world you know that culture is not "the way the world is.' How many different cultures are there?

"Labeling" and "Stereotypes" are part of the problem but both of these problems have a deeper root--ignorance (in = "not," gnarus = "aware"). This is why cultivating awareness and consciousness is so essential. We need to understand that culture is a construct that humans created, by no means absolute or permanent. In doing so we connect with that which bonds all of us--our humanness.

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Hello Webmaster,I ... (Below threshold)

April 8, 2010 3:29 AM | Posted by Peter: | Reply

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I recently encountered an a... (Below threshold)

April 9, 2010 1:50 PM | Posted by Lex: | Reply

I recently encountered an attempt by the company I work for to brand me around the clock. I work for a financial services company who recently launched a new branding strategy. All employees are required to take a 30-minute long online training course on the new branding. One of the segments was about "making the brand come alive" and extorting all of us employees to "live the brand" -- even outside of work. They included one of those cheesy staged videos where an employee is at a high school reunion, and sings the company's praises to a skeptical former classmate.

Immediately your Bebe Problem came to mind. Typically companies are more subtle about trying to own an employee's entire existence, but not so with my company. (It seems odd to even say "my company" in this context, since it's not mine in any sense.) The company wants us to market their brand 24/7 for free... and make us think it was our idea to do it. Shameless, and brilliant in a sinister way.

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why did the comments have t... (Below threshold)

May 16, 2010 3:59 PM | Posted by a time to laugh: | Reply

why did the comments have to be so so deep! this article isnt scientific.

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That says eveyrthi... (Below threshold)

November 3, 2014 8:59 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

That says eveyrthing you need to know about how TLP thinks. Moms aren't supposed to have fun.The idea is preposterous.

The implication was never that moms can't/shouldn't have fun, it's that they shouldn't be looking to pop culture for a script, telling them how to be a "happy mom".

Let the "voting down" begin
Alone addressed this facet of narcissism in another post. If you can make enough people hate you, then you don't have to hate yourself. Project that self hatred, sister!
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Great post. It inf... (Below threshold)

November 3, 2014 9:46 AM | Posted by Personal: | Reply

Great post.

It informed me about how to think, rather then providing an answer. It gave me what I need, as opposed to what I want.

Alone, thank you. I appreciate it and even though I've never met you, I understand your mindset and your intentions and I love you for it.

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