June 18, 2012

Amy Schumer Offers You A Look Into Your Soul

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the most crucial thing to understand is that the arrow drawn above is exactly 180 degrees off course


On the Opie & Anthony radio show, comic Amy Schumer told a sexy story.

She was 18, and was out with friends in NYC wearing "a miniskirt and a tube top-- my uniform back then."   At the end of the night they pile into a cab.  Amy sits in the front.

The cab driver was "gross, like the cab driver on MTV."  "This was back when I used to do dangerous things, sexually," and littered throughout the story were exasperated sighs, like, "I can't believe I did those things."  I sympathize, believe me I do.

So what does a drunk 18 year old coed do in the front seat of a cab that's worth sharing on the radio?  She extends her leg over towards the cabbie...

At this point I should tell you that the title of this Opie & Anthony segment is "Amy Schumer Gets Fingered In A Cab" so of course I already know what's going to happen, which is why I'm parked behind a church.  But this surprises me nonetheless:

GUY: So you let the cab driver touch your vagina?
AMY: No-- I took his hand and made him touch my vagina.

That's right, she didn't let this all happen, she made it all happen, on purpose.  She wanted to get fingered by this filthy, ugly, dangerous cab driver.

So while her drunk friends are passed out in the back, she's riding his "disgusting finger" towards an orgasm and trying not to moan too loudly.  10 or so blocks later she climaxes, immediately feels horrified by herself, gets out of the cab, pays, and runs into her apartment.

At the end of this story, everyone, including Amy, started to play the popular game Why Would She Do That?-- was she molested as a child, was it self-punishment?  But according to the Textbook Of Psychoanalysis, every event in your life is reprocessed as a story, and every story has five Acts.  Acts II- IV are the rising action, climax, and falling action; Act V is the denouement: what was the result of all this?  Taking this literally, Amy's orgasm is Act III.  Getting out of the cab and feeling disgusted is Act IV. What's missing from her story is Act V. So if you're brave enough we're going to play a different game, a game with real winners and real losers, and that game is Guess What Happens Next.


I.


There's a criticism among male comics about female comics, that they only have to look good in a skirt and talk about blowjobs and they can get away with not being funny, and I want to be clear that when comics make this criticism they are talking about Amy Poehler, not Amy Schumer.  Amy Schumer is very funny and very quick.  The funniest thing about Amy Poehler is nothing.








But why is there even a market for sexy but unfunny female comics? The answer is that it's hot to hear a sexy girl talk openly about sex, and the only safe way a woman can talk openly about sex is..... as a joke, as parody.

If you heard this as a feminist criticism you have missed 50% of the fun: men can't safely hear about sex from a woman except as a joke, or else they are labeled as perverts by women, who are still unsure of their (sexual) place in this free for all we call Nowadays.   "I want to tell you about last night but I don't want you to judge me or appear interested."  Huh?  Nowadays can be exhausting, but they were also inevitable.

In America, everything is a commodity, everything has a price. So when post-gold standard capitalism gets access to everything except the secret desires of women, it will necessarily create a mechanism to get them, too, i.e. some media to take the bullet as pervert so women can be free to talk in exchange for men quietly listening in. It took a decade but the system worked: Howard Stern was the inevitable synthesis of feminism and Reaganomics, which is a sentence you will never read anywhere else.

Which is why as Amy is describing putting the cabbie's hand on her vagina, this happens:

DAN: So, were you... prepared to receive him?
AMY: What do you mean?
DAN: I mean.... were all systems a go?
AMY: You mean was I wet?  How wet do you have to be to slide a finger in?

Thing is, this is satellite radio, Dan can be as vulgar and explicit as he wants, no FCC.  And he knows this, he works there.  You could say it's a hold over from the broadcast radio days, except Dan was never in broadcast radio, which means one of two things happened, both of which are the same: 1. He was reflexively imitating the style and language he learned was allowable for sexy talk with female strangers, e.g. FM radio Howard Stern; 2. his own mind had used a distancing language-- sound like someone else--  so as not to appear to be the pervy guy wanting to know if her box was wet enough to penetrate.   Feminists, note carefully that the female is allowed to be graphic, but the males in the room still feel they have to censor themselves around her.  Where do you think that censorship is coming from?  Amy?

There is a group of you who will read this and feel enraged by a double standard, in front of men women get to be sexy, talk about sex, flaunt it, but men can't introduce the topic, can't ask questions, can't pursue-- can't even look-- because then they're labeled as predators.  If you're in this group you don't get it.  The censorship doesn't come from women, it comes from you.  If you feel like you can't ask her about her sex because you'll sound like a repressed stalker, you are, in fact, a repressed stalker.  You're not going to kill her, ok, fair enough, but you aren't going to leave her alone, ever.  If Trina rolls bleary eyed into the cubicle and says, "wow, I got totally plowed by this guy last night" not only are you not going to get any coding done that day, but you will make it impossible for her to ever get any coding done or keep her cell number because of your subtle pushes for more stories and passive aggressive inquiries about her relationship status and near constant innuendo.  "Cubicles. Blech. You know what job I'd be good at? Riding a backhoe."

So, radio fans, if you hear a woman tell you she got fingered in a cab, you're being offered a chance to see inside your soul: what do you think next?

If you think, "I sooooooo want to come on her tits," you're normal.  Also a pig, but a normal, 21st century pig.  Sigh.  We've been trained to be aroused by imitation.  "Well, men are visual creatures." Let me guess, you heard that on TV, big surprise. Your deepest desires come out of a box, against your nature. Tell me, which is more arousing: watching a porno with the sound off, or listening to a porno without the video?  Yeah.  I love staying in hotels, too.

Men aren't visual, they are trained. Back when men were the labor force TV told them to be visual so they could buy some crap, but when women started taking over the labor pool they told women to be visual, too, or did genetics suddenly decide male chest hair was out starting exactly 1989, the year the Dumbest Generation Of Narcissists In The History Of The World graduated college? People don't think visually, the system has trained them to think visually. Most of the world uses computers for words, right? Yet it seems never to occur to anyone to do what is the most obvious thing in the world, ever:


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Duh. But now that I've told you you still won't do it, the infrastructure is against you. So even though the world is coded in 8.5:11 it is experienced in 9:4, and the system facilitates the sheeping, not the shepherding. You want to change that? Good luck, you're not cool enough to have a following and the moment it occurred to Steve Jobs his pancreas was detonated.

Back to Amy: so normal= "come on her tits"; abnormal, unhealthy but sadly the norm Nowadays would be to turn Naughty Amy's Barely Legal Ride Along into something masochistic and think: why not me?  Why does this slut allow herself to get fingered by some ugly cab driver yet I can't even ask about it?  Which is the answer to your own question.  You are operating from a position of self-loathing which you then project as a judgment onto everyone else, and she can sense it.  And you can sense it, which is why you self-censor.  See?  You're not all bad.


II.

That women can't talk as openly about sex is really a subset of a larger difference, which is that while both are allowed to do anything they want, only a man can identify with it. Women must distance themselves from it, more or less depending on situation. When a man has sex it is a reflection of who he is; for women it has to be something that happened.

Say you're lucky enough to have the most wonderful of all experiences, the menage a trois. Right on.  "Umm, dude, I've had threesomes and they're not that great. They're actually pretty  awkward." Um, dude, you're not doing them right, they have to be sisters. So afterwards the guy will tell... everybody. And for the rest of his life. Any future girlfriend will hear about it within the first month of dating: Things That Make Me Cool. The woman may tell her friends, but she's not going to tell guy friends, and certainly not bring it up to potential boyfriends, and it sure as hell never reflects on her character. "It happened, but it's not who I am."

The thing is, in any MFF, there are three people who could be telling you the story, yet the narrator is always a penis.  He had a threesome, the supporting cast say they "were in a threesome once." Assuming you live in a town where X number of threesomes happen every year and there's no repeats, then there are twice as many women with a history of menages  than men. Yet despite being the majority, it's the man's story to own and the woman's to disavow.

You could play it the other way and say, well, some women do repeat, but then in that case those individual women have had more threesome than guys, more experience with them, but they're still not allowed to own it, and if they do it's still at a distance: "I don't know, it just kind of happened." The only time you'll hear a guy says those words is if you're his girlfriend and he just cheated or you're the police and he's holding a head, and that's not a joke but a description of the motivator: shame.

But the point isn't simply that women do it but disavow it.  I just told you a fact which, as a man, you must disavow yourself in order to continue dating.  In order to see the world as ordered, you have to pretend that very few women as compared to men have had threesomes.

There are, of course, an unusual few women who "own" it, talk freely about their sex without shame, but unless they are comics they run the risk of inviting stalkers and anyways, no matter how much they are otherwise liked or respected, people will still whisper quietly to each other: "what happened to her in her life that made her do these things?" Sexy women, you have a choice: you're either a slut, or broken.

III.

Someone in the studio suggested that Amy's behavior was the result of childhood molestation. Jim Norton, a comic, explained it as "self-punishment."   Jim's perspective is unique because he is a recovering alcoholic and a current sex-addict, frequently detailing his relations with hookers, transsexuals, etc. He would know, right?

The problem with this kind of backwards analysis is that it tries to universalize a behavior into its cause. But the fact is that people get fingered by ugly men in cabs for all kinds of reasons, including they just like it. Last Tango In Paris was about a beautiful young woman who was inexplicably drawn to a billy goat. It happens. No, you're thinking of Streetcar Brando. This is 1972 Godfather Brando.

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baaaaaah


"Aww, older men can be sexy." I guess, if you're even older than them.

Modern and pop psychology spend a lot of time taking a behavior and tracing it back to a single source-- genetics, trauma, whatever-- but there's no money there, the money is in the meaning, what they do with it. So Norton's an addict. Do you want to know how he got that way or what he does with it? 

Before, the experience of addiction was entirely subjective, is it messing up your life? Now, it's been objectified, the subject's relationship with the drug is is no longer relevant, it is the fact of the drug that is relevant. The obvious example of this sleight of hand is that there's alcohol use and alcohol abuse, but there's no such category as cocaine use, even though the vast majority of its ingestion has nothing to do with addiction. The reinforcement is from the outside to comply with this idiocy: say you party down one weekend, then a random drug test at work, oops!  So two things can happen, Guess What Happens Next:  you could tell the truth that the coke was on her ass and how could you not? doesn't make you a bad person;  or pretend/admit you're an addict and agree to go to rehab.  So it's unanimous?  You keep your job at McDonalds and the system gets another data point confirming it is right. I hope the parallel between this and anything written by Solzhenitsyn is immediately obvious, if not, read anything by Solzhenitsyn. The Matrix doesn't need you, but it will offer you a free pass if you help get the other batteries in line.

Note that when scienticians talk about, say, the increase in alcoholism, they never go back before WWII, otherwise they'd have to label most ancient Greeks, all Vikings and everyone in colonial America as alcoholics.  "Well," they'll explain, "it wasn't until then we started rigorously treating people as data points."   While I'll accept that an amount of alcohol does the same damage to your innards regardless of what kingdom you're born in, there's something sneaky about the current kingdom getting to be the sole judge of what is addiction and what isn't, but we rarely complain unless the addiction is the internet and the kingdom is China; and the reason we don't complain is that the system has cleverly made it very easy for us to abuse it selfishly when we want to, which was the plan all along.   But it doesn't make it right.   Sorry, wildman, you can't judge a person based on two generations of observation of a single culture that happens to be driven by TV.

The interesting thing about addictions-- include gambling and sex and internet and "dangerous behaviors" and whatever else you want-- is that they all share something in common.  Allegedly this thing is dopaminergic pathways to the striatum and etc, but saying that gets you nothing.  It's astounding that the layperson chooses to think in these terms which though they are true are utterly meaningless, utterly unactionable, until you remember, oh, of course, in narcissism believing something is preferable to doing something because the former is about you and the latter is about everyone else.

Slightly off topic but here's an important example: say you yell every day at an/your eight year old girl for sloppy homework, admittedly a terrible thing to do but not uncommon, and eventually she thinks, "I'm terrible at everything" and gives up, so the standard interpretation of this is that she has lost self-confidence, she's been demoralized, and case by case you may be right, but there's another possibility which you should consider: she chooses to focus on "I'm terrible at everything" so that she can give up.  "If I agree to hate myself I only need a 60?  I'll be done in 10 minutes. "

It is precisely at this instant that a parent fails or succeeds, i.e. fails: do they teach the kid to prefer (find reinforcement in) the drudgery of boring, difficult work with little daily evidence of improvement, or do they teach the kid to prefer (find reinforcement in) about 20 minutes of sobbing hysterically and then off to Facebook and a sandwich?  Each human being is only able to learn to prefer one of those at a time.  Which one does the parent incentivize?

If you read this as laziness you have utterly missed the point. It's not laziness, because you're still working hard, but you are working purposelessly on purpose. The goal of your work is to be done the work, not to be better at work.

For a great many people this leads to an unconscious, default hierarchy in the mind, I'm not an epidemiologist but you got it in you sometime between the ages of 5 and 10:

<doing awesome>

is better than

<feeling terrible about yourself>

is better than

<the mental work of change>

You should memorize this, it is running your life.  "I'm constantly thinking about ways to improve myself."  No, you're gunning the engine while you're up on blocks.  Obsessing and ruminating is a skill at which we are all tremendously accomplished, and admittedly that feels like mental work because it's exhausting and unrewarding, but you can no more ruminate your way through a life crisis than a differential equation.  So the parents unknowingly teach you to opt for <b>, and after a few years of childhood insecurity, you'll choose the Blue Pill  and begin the dreaming: someday and someplace you'll show someone how great you somehow are.  And after a few months with that someone they will eventually turn to you, look deep into your eyes, and say, "look, I don't have a swimming pool, but if I did I'd drown myself in it.  Holy Christ are you toxic."

"Well, my parents were really strict, they made me--"  Keep telling yourself that.  Chances are if your parents are between 50 and 90 they were simply terrible.  Great expectations; epic fail.  Your parents were dutifully strict about their arbitrary and expedient rules, not about making you a better person.  "Clean your plate!  Go to college!"   Words fail me.  They weren't tough, they were rigidly self-aggrandizing.  "They made me practice piano an hour every day!" as if the fact of practice was the whole point; what they did not teach you is to try and sound better every practice. They meant well, they loved you, but the generation that invented grade inflation is not also going to know about self-monitoring and paedeia, which is roughly translated, "making yourself better at piano."

"You don't know how hard it is to raise kids," says someone whose main cultural influence in life was the Beatles.   The fact that you will inevitably fail in creating Superman is not a reason not to try.   Oh:  I bet I know what you chose when you were 8.

The mistake is in thinking that misery and self-loathing are the "bad" things you are trying to get away from with Ambien and Abilify or drinking or therapy or whatever, but you have this completely backwards. Self-loathing is the defense against change, self-loathing is preferable to <mental work.> You choose misery so that nothing changes, and the Ambien and the drinking and the therapy placate the misery so that you can go on not changing. That's why when you look in the mirror and don't like what you see, you don't immediately crank out 30 pushups, you open a bag of chips. You don't even try, you only plan to try. The appearance of mental work, aka masturbation.   The goal of your ego is not to change, but what you don't realize is that time is moving on regardless.  Ian Anderson wrote a poem about this, you should study it carefully.

Coincidentally, four days after Amy told her story I heard Howard Stern railing about an uncle who liked to play golf. "It infuriated me that he never took a lesson, never tried to get better. He was happy just playing, he didn't care if he got any better. It made no sense to me. How can you enjoy something and not want to get better at it?"  Answer: some people are happy with par.  He isn't, which is why he succeeded. The retort is, "well, I don't want to have to improve on everything, some things I just want to mindlessly enjoy." I sympathize, but I also own a clock, and there are only 24hrs in a day.  Look on how many of those hours go to true self-improvement vs. mindless enjoyment, and despair.

That hierarchy you learned-- and yes, it was learned in childhood-- applies to everything, including addictions.  Addiction may be biological, but no one ever claims that getting clean is biological.  "When I hit 45, my testosterone levels fell which also lowered the dopaminergic activity in the reinforcement pathways of the brain, so I was able to get off dope."  Wait, is that true?  HA!   No.  It's a decision, made at that time in those circumstances.  I know it's a hard decision, but like every other decision in life it is ultimately a binary one.  Biology is pulling you towards 0, learning pulls you towards 1.

"All this happens at age 8?!"  Think of how many years you've since practiced that hierarchy.  "So after childhood, you're screwed?  You can't change?"  Oh, no, people change all the time, once they figure out how they're sabotaging themselves.  Now it's your turn.


IV.

So the thing that addictions-- drugs, internet, sex, etc-- all have in common is that they displace and replace something else. If you think of yourself as containing an amount of stuff, or energy, or emotion, addiction isn't in addition to that, the total amount of emotion and energy stays constant. The nature of the emotions change, but the overall quantity of anger+sadness+happiness+ etc is the same.  The addiction replaced something, and you can't get rid of an addiction unless something replaces it.

Broadly speaking, addiction replaces one of two things: human connection or change. Jim Norton frequently complains that his sex addiction prevents him from pursuing a show or writing scripts, but the verb is wrong: the sex addiction allows him not to work on scripts. Doesn't he want a pilot? Sure. But this way he doesn't have to do the mental work of change and eventually he can die.  "Is he afraid of success?"  No, why would he be?  The more invested you are in your "self"-- not happy with, but invested in-- the more you will resist the potential of change.  "Self"-loathing means there is a strong "self" that you loathe, and that self doesn't want to disintegrate.

In the other category is human connection. What I don't mean is that a person lacking human connections turns to addiction, ha, you don't get off that easily: what I mean is that the addiction satisfies the same needs as human connection, but better.  It bypasses the <mental work> of maintaining human connections. Say a married guy becomes an alcoholic, and this pushes his wife away, which of course makes him drink more. The problem now is that if he stops drinking, his wife doesn't automatically come back, right? She's pulled away as much as he's pushed. I'm sure she wants him to get clean and etc, but the energy math doesn't balance: he goes sober, the relationship may improve, but there's still a gap, still some emotional connection lost. Ergo: he cannot give up drinking.

More optimistically, the only way he is going to stop is: a) they split up; b) they double down on each other and talk MORE to each other, more than they do now, maybe that means that he skips rehab in order to go to couples therapy.   "But the problem isn't the marriage." It is now.

This idea of having a finite "amount" of emotion seems preposterous, and weirdly it's usually most preposterous to the people who don't believe in soul or God or whatever yet also don't want to believe we are finite human beings with finite capacities.

Anyway, here's a very real example of it.  Two wives are talking, "after ten years of marriage, we don't cuddle anymore. He used to always hug and kiss me, and now...." And the standard interpretation is kids + work + age = lost a connection, took it for granted, relationship is worse than it was. And then she sees her newlywed friends or anyone on ABC and they're constantly touching each other. Sigh. So maybe you misread one of my posts or studied Deepak Chopra for a decade and think, "ok, I'll just DO it, I'll just force myself to touch/kiss/cuddle and then behavior will lead emotion and we'll connect again." You try it and---- it feels fake.

Eventually the marriage ends, and you tell your friends: "when he stops touching you, it's the first sign."

That may be the interpretation, and if you're merely dating it probably is the interpretation, but there's another to consider: all that touching/cuddlying is now more appropriately given to the kids, it is more correct for them, and so doing it to an adult seems fake because it IS fake. You can't touch a 5 year old the same way you touch a 40 year old, not unless you're a [TBD priest/football joke here].  The point isn't that your relationship is worse, the point is that it is different because it has to be different because otherwise you would explode. What remains is for you to figure out some new, adult way to "touch", whether that's backrubs or a bondage mask I have no idea, but your love has to grow up or else you will think you've fallen out of love.  "How can you incorrectly think you've fallen out of love?" How many times have you incorrectly thought you were in love?

V.

I'm not judging Amy, at all, but her story is so representative of what countless women go through, the "I can't believe I did that" repeated 1000 times,  so I hope she won't mind my using her story to make a point about how we frame our experiences for the very specific purpose of NOT changing.

It's not possible to overstate the importance of interpreting everything as a story-- by which I mean, you don't know the full story unless you know all of the acts.  If one is missing, it is on purpose.

To be clear, as Amy was getting fingered in the cab, it wasn't happening as a story; but she's telling it to us as a story, with a beginning and an end. But the beginning and ending she chose are arbitrary, she chose them for a reason. She said the beginning was when she got in the cab and the end was when she got out of the cab, which sounds expedient, but you should be very, very suspicious of the way you frame a story because the goal is almost never to help you understand it but to make you be able to live with it.  The goal is identity preservation. Make sure you stay the main character in your own movie.

So even though I have no idea why she wanted to get fingered by a cab driver, I have heard this type of story before, I know the structure, and I know the payoff is in Act V, which she conveniently forgot to mention.

There are people who like doing dangerous sexual stuff, and people who don't, and those who don't are divided into those who never tell anyone and those who do tell someone. I already knew Amy was in the latter category because she was telling the story on the radio, and people usually tell stories about things they are ashamed of for one reason: absolution.

The thing is, we are ten years later, and according to Amy herself not much has changed-- i.e. she still finds herself doing things she wish she didn't.  Again, I am not judging her,  I am only explaining a very common phenomenon.   So in order for more stories like that one to occur in her life, there had to be an Act V in that story that allowed future repetition; and that Act V would be hidden-- she would always tell and remember the story without that part.

Which is why Guess What Happens Next is a rigged game, I knew exactly what was going to happen next at the beginning of the story:  she'd run and tell the story to the one person in her life who had, simultaneously, full power of absolution and zero power of punishment, and if she was 28 that would be a therapist but at 18 it could only be one person: her mother.

Psychological detectives take note: Amy would not have mentioned that she told her mom, she thought the story was finished, except that someone accidentally asked what she did next  explicitly.  Yet it is the key to the whole story.

Telling mom may seem like madness but remember, the goal is always NOT to change.  Imagine what would happen if she didn't tell mom: she'd either repeat these behaviors in a death spiral until she discovered meth and flamed out; or would be so guilty she never did it again.  Mom recites the necessary spell to protect against future change and allow for repetition:

MOM

What were you thinking? You're not like that!  You're not that kind of person!  You're so much better than that!

AMY

Thanks, mom, I feel a lot better.

END SCENE.

Every time you crowdsource the superego a piece of you is split off as bad keeping the rest of you intact as good.  "I'm not a bad person, I just did a bad thing."

Women who engage in "dangerous behaviors" (NB: for gays and women this ALWAYS refers to sex, for hetero men NEVER) and then tell people about them are not punishing themselves, at all. "But it makes me feel so bad about myself."  That's the hierarchy, that's the point.  Two hours of sobbing hysterically and then off to Facebook and a sandwich.  Thanks, mom.

People will do whatever has worked for them since childhood,  which in this case is split off unpalatable pieces of themselves and disown them, protecting the rest.  "I did that, but it's not who I am."   When "it" is really bad you move to Step 2: find someone who can substitute for your atrophied superego to confirm "you're not like that", and you're good for a decade of emotional stagnation and the following crazy sentence: "I've changed a lot in ten years."  Ha, yeah-- wait, you're serious?  Dude, no one who is not you agrees.  No one. Ask anyone.   Not even your therapist.  "That's not fair, my job isn't to judge."  You're hired.

The downside of this, apart from candida, is that you train yourself to think of all events and behaviors as happening to separate parts of yourself-- you don't fully own them-- which means that when something good does happen you can't own that, either.  Everything will come with self-doubt.  "That was good, but I was lucky/right place/other guy died/connections, otherwise it wouldn't have worked."

VI.

I know what you're thinking, you're thinking, "ok, all this is fine.... but why did she do it?  Why did she get fingered in a cab if she didn't want to?"

You're thinking, "I don't want to hear about how everything is interpretable through the artificial paradigm of narrative structure--"  as if it was me and not your god who made it this way, as if I was better able to invent a convenient fiction that happened to apply to you rather than describe a process that's been used for millennia.  You think you're the first?  You think no one but you has lived your life?   Do you think you are so unique?  Do you think I just took a guess?  This isn't the first time this game has been played, there've been over 100 generations of Guess What Happens Next and it is the exact same answer every single time.   All of this has happened before and it will happen again.

But you want "why", you're drawn to "why" like you're drawn to a pretty girl in the rain.  Let me guess: she has black hair, big eyes, and is dressed like an ingenue.   "Why?" is the most seductive of questions because it is innocent, childlike, infinite in possibilities, and utterly devoted to you.

"Why am I this way?  Why do I do what I do?"  But what will you do with that information?  What good is it?  If you were an android, would it change you to know why you were programmed the way you were?   "Why" is masturbation, "why" is the enemy, the only question that matters is, now what?

But you want "why".  Ok, here we go.

The clue is that she did this at the end of the night. "Is it because she was drunk?"  I'm drunk now,  and I'm in an air taxi, and no one is fingering me.  No.

You will observe that most of your "I can't believe I did that" behaviors are at the end of the night, the end of the day, the end of the party, the end of the story, which means the narrative has less in common with a porno than with the last chip in the bag or the last swig out of the bottle-- there are a billion possible reasons why you started the bottle or plowed through the bags, but that very last one has only one unique motivation, and it is in understanding that last one that you will or will not change your future.

When you're in a casino and you blow $50 on the slot machine, pull, pull, pull, pull, pull, pull, each and every time you're hoping that this will be the one that hits, and once in a while you get a little something-- it is the randomness, the suddenness, the unpredictability of that even tiny reward which keeps you pulling through your bankroll. "Variable ratio schedule."  Sound right?  Well, none of those $50 have anything to do with the cab ride.

But then you're done, tapped out, and you turn to go but.... wait a minute............................ you have one token left.  Stop now, look at that one, look carefully at it, it is your contract with the Devil, it is the selling of  your soul.  What is its value?  Look at it, it doesn't matter what you do, it matters what you think-- which means what you are about to do has already been decided.

You could pocket that last one.  Go home with something other than nothing.  Or, you could  play that last one with superstitious hope, praying and bargaining that if you hit you'll X/Y/Z.  But neither of those are what you think, right?  Instead you think, "whatever" and you put it in the machine-- NOT because you think this time it will pay off-- be honest with yourself, you know that that initial optimism of game play is gone-- you do it precisely because you know it will fail-- you are throwing it away, on purpose, so you can walk away from the machine "clean", finished, so you can play-act at catharsis.  "This is the last one!" you cry, like you're yelling out "it is accomplished!" The final suffering, look for a brand new me in a few days.  And unlike Amy's cab ride, you are turning this experience into a story in real time, you are writing the ending as if someone else is watching, as if it were a reality show or you were offering a voice over, you are constructing that experience, saying your lines, as the last Act of a story being told to an imaginary audience, a god, your future self, the balance of energy in the universe-- The Big Other.

And you think you're done but what you don't realize is you're only done Act III.

That's the last chip in the bag-- "whatever, might as well."  That's the last swig, "I'm never drinking again."  That's selling your stocks into a downturn, that's your sexual history, throwing it away one more time not because this time the guy is going to be great but because it's not going to be great, it's a sacrifice to the volcano.

You throw it away, on purpose, because it's not worth holding on to it, you've already disavowed it as useless, evil, pointless, hopeless-- it is the last remnant of a part of you you want gone.  You play that last coin, drink that last drink, eat that last chip and throw your vagina at a billy goat-- all of those are the splitting off of a piece of yourself that you then can leave behind.  The act is the "physical expression of an intrapsychic process"-- you are acting out what you wish were true, like a rape victim scrubbing herself clean.  "That's not me---  anymore."  If only it were that easy.  I sympathize, you have no idea.

What's most sad about it is that you might have been right-- it might have worked-- except that instead of making that be the end of the story you drag it out for one more Act, and ensure that the pattern repeats, ad nauseam.  You don't want the story to end. It's not a great story, but it's the one you know, the one you understand, and you'd rather have 500 pages of repetition compulsion than take a chance on Once Upon A Time.  Writing is hard, I know. I know.

"How can any of this even be real?" you ask, hoping that since I drink and since I don't sleep  therefore I must be insane.  Never mind that: focus on the words.  Since you reinterpret your life as a story, then your entire book has already been written, give me Acts I-III and the beginning of IV I can tell you the ending.  Ok, maybe in your story you it's a job and not a whale, or you choose a car not a train, or maybe it's "Reader, I married him" or "there's something we need to do as soon as possible"-- minor details, the ending always flows logically from the beginning-- and if you're young enough you'll even think you'd be satisfied  with a tragedy as long as it's dramatic enough.  Don't sweat it, it's the age.  But if I'm permitted I'll offer you one final prediction, you'll either take this as a warning or remember that you don't believe in all this crap: if you are looking for the perfect climax but have no knowledge of the resolution, if you do not write your story towards an ending, then your life will default to the one ending that will terrify you more than any other possible:  "He could not refrain from going on with them, but it seems to us that we may stop here."  It is inevitable.

-----

http://twitter.com/thelastpsych











Comments

This is my first chance, ev... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 12:39 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

This is my first chance, ever, to leave a first post. It's meaningless but I feel compelled to do it. But I'll use it to say to Alone that your writing helps me make better sense of the world, and myself, and I think it's helping to improve things overall. Thank you.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 57 (93 votes cast)
"Cubicles. Blech. You know ... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 12:40 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"Cubicles. Blech. You know what job I'd be good at? Riding a backhoe."

Fucking. Nailed. It.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 24 (42 votes cast)
I have no mouth, and I must... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 12:53 PM | Posted by butterflymcdoom: | Reply

I have no mouth, and I must scream.

Thank you.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 19 (35 votes cast)
"That's why when you look i... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 12:54 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"That's why when you look in the mirror and don't like what you see, you don't immediately crank out 30 pushups, you open a bag of chips. You don't even try, you only plan to try. The appearance of mental work, aka masturbation."

That's why when you read TLP and don't like what you see, you don't immediately close your browser and do something with your life, you tab over to an oldie but a goodie. You don't even change, you barely even plan to change.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 117 (123 votes cast)
I'm still not sure what I s... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 1:08 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm still not sure what I should *do*, though for some reason I think I need to read Brothers K again.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (22 votes cast)
Good post, as usual. Might ... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 1:26 PM | Posted by DDD: | Reply

Good post, as usual. Might have to read it again to fully digest it.

But my real reason for replying is that I've noticed sections of writing that are in a very dark gray (not just on this post). Is that intentional? Somehow related to cutting and pasting?

Today, there are variations in font size that appear to be unintentional, and that seems to be a likely carryover from writing on different devices. However, I'm stumped by the color variation, since, as far as I know, all word processors use black as a default.

As far as the page source is concerned, it seems to have something to do with

p style="margin-bottom: 0.2in;"

since all those paragraphs are in black. Unfortunately, I only know that I don't know what that means.

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I see this repitition with ... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 1:26 PM | Posted by Paula: | Reply

I see this repitition with clients all the time. I see this lack of "judgement' from therapists all the time.
Working really hard, using positive coping skills, thinking about changing, reading about ways to think better/healthier, these things are not done. So, I refuse to work harder than the client.
This makes them angry and I look at the motivation not the 'story".
This makes everyone angry because then there is no productivity due to not beating dead horses.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 9 (23 votes cast)
Thank you.... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 1:41 PM | Posted by Z: | Reply

Thank you.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 10 (20 votes cast)
Your writing sucks, but I f... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 1:48 PM | Posted by Rob Lindeman: | Reply

Your writing sucks, but I find it gripping and compelling. This one showed flashes of brilliance. Well done.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -19 (83 votes cast)
Great Post. Thank you.... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 1:53 PM | Posted by threeonefive: | Reply

Great Post. Thank you.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (17 votes cast)
One of the best of your pos... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 2:05 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

One of the best of your posts.
Thank you.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 19 (33 votes cast)
Now when I'm at some shitsh... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 2:23 PM | Posted by vandal: | Reply

Now when I'm at some shitshow party house, it's past shirtless o'clock and about a quarter till pantsless o'clock, and I'm staring at my rum-blushed face in the mirror of some toiletpaperless bathroom, I'm going to think of you TLP and save the last token.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 75 (81 votes cast)
Worth the wait. You should ... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 2:25 PM | Posted by Gabe Ruth: | Reply

Worth the wait. You should intersperse some completely unrelated jokes in long tear-off-your-face-in-self-loathing pieces like this.

Also, I've been eating the whole container of Oreos at a sitting since before I congealed into a pathetic lump. That means none of this applies to me, right?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 13 (17 votes cast)
I'm not gonna get any sleep... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 2:48 PM | Posted by Gabriel: | Reply

I'm not gonna get any sleep tonight.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 23 (27 votes cast)
Wow, my soul is ugly. And ... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 3:40 PM | Posted by Lee: | Reply

Wow, my soul is ugly. And lazy.

How do you know us so well?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 19 (31 votes cast)
TLP foretold that you would... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 3:47 PM | Posted, in reply to Lee's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

TLP foretold that you would use an unoriginal sarcastic response. He knew this because your soul is ugly and lazy and of the internet.

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"That's not me--- anymore.... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 3:49 PM | Posted by JohnK: | Reply

"That's not me--- anymore." If only it were that easy. I sympathize, you have no idea.

Should I take this revelation to mean that each post is your "last token"?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 17 (17 votes cast)
I, too, really appreciate y... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 4:11 PM | Posted by anna: | Reply

I, too, really appreciate your insights. Thanks for keeping writing. Also, thanks for the Dostoevsky. Up til now, the most succinct way I had to say it came from C.S. Lewis, which is always a problem.

Are you aware of the research being done on Prolonged Exposure Therapy to treat PTSD? A friend of mine went through it at Columbia while I went through their IPT group. We both went through private hells, but she thought her therapy was totally useless. Her assignment was to listen to a recording of her session, every day, until the next week. Br00tl. And yet, to everyone else, she has definitely changed.

I'm not sure I could have handled that, myself.

At any rate, it was only after going through IPT that I finally understood what this quote really meant:

“The complaint was the answer. To have heard myself making it was to be answered. Lightly men talk of saying what they mean. Often when he was teaching me to write in Greek the Fox would say, 'Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that's the whole art and joy of words.'

A glib saying. When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you'll not talk about the joy of words. I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”

― C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces: A Novel of Cupid and Psyche

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Thanks for the insightful, ... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 4:29 PM | Posted by (R)Evoluzione: | Reply

Thanks for the insightful, powerful post.


I'm torn in my response to it. It's so dense, so thick, tersely worded, that I must go back through it and parse it with Cut & Paste to make some Cliff-notes version of it, so that I can tattoo the message to my forehead or recite them while I do pullups & between sets of squats.

The other part of me, the dopaminergically overstimulated information addict comes back to the post to read 2-3 more paragraphs after rambling about my residence, throwing in loads of laundry, making & sipping tea, moving furniture, etc. The physical activity might help me process what I'm reading, or it might me more dopaminergic stimulation. If I do neither, I'll simply move on to the next internet stimulation. Ctrl+T, letter f, down arrow, enter, those four sequences open facebook. The same sequence except with letter M, opens my email. The same, with letter D, opens a game-blog aggregator. Sheesh. Massive dopamine at my fingertips.

I've got to get to work writing my story towards writing the ending I want to see and live.

Thanks for your work.

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This morning I made 15 push... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 4:39 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

This morning I made 15 pushups. Last week I couldn't do half. Your articles remind me that I have to keep working at changing. Thanks.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 37 (39 votes cast)
Regarding your example "aft... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 4:50 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Regarding your example "after ten years of marriage, we don't cuddle anymore." I was in this situation, and started cuddling with my spouse again anyway. It felt somewhat fake and empty at first, but after a few days the feelings we had when first dating came back, and have stayed with us a while now and we feel closer than ever.

Perhaps cuddling can actually cause whatever happens in the brain that makes people feel closer, and not cuddling can do the opposite- creating a feedback loop that either pushes people apart or keeps them together? I'm not sure, but if so redefining a marriage to not involve cuddling might actually cause the couple to fall out of love.

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Regarding screen placement:... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 5:26 PM | Posted by Elizabeth: | Reply

Regarding screen placement: screen are read horizontally because, in most cases, this is easier on the neck, especially where it concerns desktop computers. Lap tops need to be wide enough to support a full keyboard. Also, most Westerners tend to read across the page, from left to right. If that space is wider there is room for more than just words - don't forget other content such as pictures, videos, etc.

The vertical reading you've advised is now more popular than ever due to tablet, which don't need a keyboard, and smart phones, which are small enough to be comfortably turned every which way.

Lastly, if you look at most books, they are about the size (vertically) of a laptop or desktop screen - unfolded, they're about the same dimension width-wise as well. We're used to reading this way - we don't read scrolls here in the west (or elsewhere.)

So, while I found the rest of your post quite thought provoking, I don't think that horizontal screen placement is due to some failure of visual thinking. It's a good design that works.

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excellent post will read ag... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 5:59 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

excellent post will read again. One of the best. Now I'm waiting for alone's analysis of "carly rae jepsen- call me maybe"

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 10 (12 votes cast)
The hairless young poolboy ... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 6:25 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The hairless young poolboy trend is inspired by gay men, who are just as "visual" (i.e. hypersexual) as straight men thanks to testosterone, but their brains are oriented around female sexual targets (i.e. virility, males).

Women tend to not choose these types or prefer them via their lack of chest hair exclusively, whereas on the other hand gay male subculture has a whole category of "bears" vs "twinks" (bears = hairy large men, twinks = hairless younger boys). Of course this is rather similar to typical straight men and their "skinny" vs "thick" or "assman" vs "tits" distinctions.
Most women tend to prefer ungroomed / not excessively groomed men sexually it seems, actually (whereas gay male preference for hairless young men may be some kind of specific brain wiring unique to gay men, where in some respects the brain is masculine preferring signs of youth/childishness like a typical heterosexual male brained person, but in other ways still preferring masculinity).

The euphemism that "men are visual creatures" just means that men only want causal sex, and prefer their targets exclusively based on PRIMARILY VISUAL signs of fertility: the smoothness / youthfulness of skin, the childishness of the face, and estrogen fat deposition (hips/ass/boobs). This is entirely normal male behavior (to try to have sex with as many potentially fertile targets as possible, assuming it is safe/not immediately life threateningly risky to do so i.e. the fertile target is in close proximity to a larger male). The media did not invent men being visual creatures, evolution did. Men have no biological or reproductive evolutionary drive to partnership and coupling.

IF we are going to play "spot the social / media / mythical meme", it would be the myth that men are naturally partnership oriented. Men being "visual creatures" (i.e. hypersexual interested only in bodies/parts of bodies) -- that would be the truth. Hence why men buy porn, why men masturbate constantly, why men rape (why men rape children in their care, why the very few male grade school teachers disproportionately form sexual relationships/molest/rape their younger female (or male) students, why men will use alcohol and other drugs to disinhibit or subdue entirely their partners on dates, why prisons full of men with no access to female rapidly form hierarchies where the stronger males are "men" who rape/cooerc the weaker "punk bitch" males, ETC ETC ETC).

Wnat to see the real lie? The lie is that one man and one woman find each other and live in holy matrimony, amen... or the lie that men care about relationships *in general at all*. To men, relationships are about thrills and enjoying a wild fun girl until she grows old and boring, then you find a new one (whether or not you are presently with your older girl, irrelevant). Or until he is tricked into marriage and spends the rest of his life secretly resenting his now aged wife for ruining his youth and preventing him from engaging in affairs w/o guilt or open social shame. Or, until he divorces her... depending on how socially/religiously brainwashed he is and amoral, will determine which of these routes the hypothetical man in question takes.

Women do not do these things, and it's not because they are better people... it's because being born with eggs and having to put up with a fetus for a million years is not conducive to dry humping a coat on the table because it looks close enough to a fertile target.

Biological imperatives are obviously polar opposite for females, who need to hook up with a productive male for life, and also be impregnated by a genetically fit one.
Thus the reason women could care less about bears vs twinks, and it is always going to be "the big picture", what his behavior and status in society in addition to his looks say to her.


If there is anything more annoying than the mindless politically correct bullshit repeated indefinitely, it's individuals who pretend and parade around as being subversive, too pussy to say the truth.

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Regarding the comic in ques... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 6:36 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Regarding the comic in question... would bet a years pay she was molested. Girls do not do things like this unless they are in a manic episode or alternatively their boundaries and self worth has been permanently ruined by being raped molested by an older person at a very young age.

I have observed it seems pretty common stress/trauma reaction for women to camp up the attention as a coping mechanism for being molested or raped. The interest in comedy is of course another mechanism, many comics are troubled (or insane biologically, which is another cause of abnormal sexual behavior).

Nothing says healthy psychological behavior like taking the hand of a cab driver who is leering at you creepily already, and running it on your genitalia. Yes, this is what normal 18 year old girls do. Sure.
It's almost as if she was having some kind of flashback alone with him, with her friends asleep, and she hit the failsafe switch: she defaulted to her coping mechanisms (disassociating from herself: objectifying her own body and making him do what she knew he was thinking, thus gaining some kind of paradoxical control).

Girls who are raped and molested are hypersexual because they are introduced to sex before they know how to mentally handle it (1), because they have learned sex without boundaries and the ability to say yes or no (2), and by becoming sexual themselves, they can gain control over sex - "If I am a stripper and a prostitute, I am now in control of all the sex my body is exposed to and it can't threaten me".

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Amy is the wife of televisi... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 7:08 PM | Posted by Jack Coupal: | Reply

Amy is the wife of television personality Charles Shumer, right?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (3 votes cast)
Thank you, Alone. This is ... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 7:24 PM | Posted by LC: | Reply

Thank you, Alone. This is at once insightful and the greatest horror writing I've ever seen.
I hope reading this ends up having been important to me.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 16 (18 votes cast)
I don't even know where to ... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 8:02 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't even know where to begin. Your assertion that men aren't interested in forming intimate relationships is untrue. Well, maybe for some men it's true, I'd hate to assign the same motives and desires to every single person within a gender *COUGH*, but I haven't met many like that, and I swear on my internet anonymity it's not true for me.

If I might recommend a book, Sex at Dawn is far from perfect, but it does a great job of deconstructing the standard narrative of human sexual evolution.

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Does hanging out here inste... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 8:12 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Does hanging out here instead of researching on PubMed count as true self-improvement, mindless enjoyment, or despair?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 30 (30 votes cast)
I was 100% with you until y... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 9:12 PM | Posted by dg: | Reply

I was 100% with you until you claim she told her mother... man, I have parents between the age of 50 and 90, and I told my mother *nothing*. Not one thing. Still don't. I don't tell her who I've fucked at all, shame or no shame. This also happens when you are 8, and hunched miserably over the piano (when you know you have no talent, and the piano teacher has told you as much). This happens at 9, when after the homework battles you clearly define are done, the child tosses the application for the gifted program in the trash, because she knows she's not good enough (not smart enough, or not willing to try, because fuck that). And this happens at 10, when the parents mindlessly gush over some small accomplishment and the child feels like a fool or an idiot. Have I, as a young woman, ever told my mother what actually happened or how I actually feel? Not since I was in single digits.

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I am 26, just now arriving ... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 11:31 PM | Posted by Nathaniel: | Reply

I am 26, just now arriving at the truths you lay out here. The realization has been a long time coming. I hope, for humanity's sake, that more heed the sentiments behind your words if not the words themselves. These thoughts have been uttered by many in many disciplines; no matter your passion nor station, if you seek the truth, you will find it.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (13 votes cast)
What am I supposed to be? ... (Below threshold)

June 18, 2012 11:48 PM | Posted by Cordi: | Reply

What am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to change into? You say write the story towards an ending. WHAT ENDING? Who decides what the ending should be and who I work at becoming? God doesn't exist so he's never told me what to do. My parent's expectations ended at go to college and get a job. Society sure as hell doesn't care what I do since everything is a valid lifestyle choice. If I had a single clue I could get up off the couch right now and move in some direction. All I have are a list of do not's that I know make me forget everything except that I hate myself. Don't drink, don't eat, don't play video games all day, don't fuck strangers, don't attention whore on the internet, don't rely on sarcasm, don't hit people, don't pick holes in my skin with my fingernails, don't read 50 self help books on one subject.

Someone, anyone, give me a goal because it all looks the same to me. I don't care about anything outside of myself. I have no values. I have no opinions except about what I DON'T like. I'm trapped behind my eyes and people are talking furniture. I think it might have all been different if I'd had children and could live for them, but I didn't. Is 8 years old the cut off for learning how to care about anything or can I learn to give a shit? Do I just pick something at random and commit to it regardless of caring.

I commit to picking something that I can commit to and get better at. I will develop values so I that can decide what to pick.

Thanks Alone, this is helpful. It's more than helpful, it's actionable. Sincerely, thank you.

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Wonderful post but you have... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 12:06 AM | Posted by Matt: | Reply

Wonderful post but you have a writing style that borders on unreadable. This could be rewritten to be much clearer and insightful in my opinion. Great insight though.

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i'm not a student of psycho... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 12:11 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

i'm not a student of psychology, but I've got a general question:

if i were to seek out a psychologist/therapist that follows a similar school of thought as TLP, what would that school be?

I ask as my insurance only covers one local behavioral health clinic that is helpful but its therapists offer nothing even close to as insightful as this. I've read TLP for awhile but this one has really hit home with me. I'm a complete narcissist and no matter how much I claim/act like I want to change (reading self-help books, meditating, etc.), it's all bullshit. Though the constant worry and self-hate is exhausting, it's programmed into me and much easier than actually bettering/changing myself. It's all an act. I was raised in Vegas, and i ALWAYS throw away that last coin.

So, if there is a common school of thought here, where/who can I read up on more?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 34 (38 votes cast)
Are you okay?... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 1:27 AM | Posted by notwhiskey: | Reply

Are you okay?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 7 (9 votes cast)
Jesus, doc. Are you stalkin... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 2:23 AM | Posted by Ohcrap: | Reply

Jesus, doc. Are you stalking me?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (4 votes cast)
if i were to seek out a ... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 2:24 AM | Posted by Sadbutrue: | Reply

if i were to seek out a psychologist/therapist that follows a similar school of thought as TLP, what would that school be?

You're looking for someone who attended the School of effin Common Sense. They are out there but most of them are close to retirement now so hurry.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -7 (31 votes cast)
I would suggest some kind o... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 4:07 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I would suggest some kind of psychodynamic or psychoanalytic therapy if you have not tried that yet...this is the only kind of therapy that is going to go deep enough to get at such a deep problem in the mind (in my view).

Also, consider pharmacological solutions to secondary symptoms like depression, anxiety, etc. -- this may make it easier to deal with the narcissism itself. But consult with your therapist, they will be able to advise you best.

The main issue with a narcissist in therapy is that they have trouble giving themselves over to the idea that they need help fixing their lives. They are always trying to out-do the therapist, because they have an inner insecurity about depending on others to help them with problems in life. If you can get past this block, you probably have a decent chance of making significant progress with a therapist. Be patient, though; dynamic therapies especially take a lot of time, so be prepared to work on it for a couple of years, perhaps longer, before you see really, really significant changes...though you should start to feel some measurable improvements within the first two to three months.

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I watched the movie Tiny Fu... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 4:29 AM | Posted by Cordi: | Reply

I watched the movie Tiny Furniture after reading this post. I saw it completely differently that I would have otherwise. Wow.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (5 votes cast)
Serious question....what Ia... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 4:58 AM | Posted by Aqua Lung: | Reply

Serious question....what Ian Anderson poem? What's the name??

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 13 (13 votes cast)
I don't think that Alone ne... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 5:28 AM | Posted, in reply to dg's comment, by Christina: | Reply

I don't think that Alone necessarily meant Schumer's literal mother, although it could be her literal mother.

A best friend or a blog (ideally with comments!) could fulfill that role, too.

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what Ian Anderson poem?<... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 6:18 AM | Posted, in reply to Aqua Lung's comment, by Guy Fox: | Reply

what Ian Anderson poem?

My money would be on Locomotive Breath.

"In the shuffling madness
Of the locomotive breath
Runs the all time loser
Headlong to his death
...
He sees his children jumping off
At stations one by one
His woman and his best friend
In bed an' having fun
...
He hears the silence howling
And catches angels as they fall
And the all time winner
Has got him by the balls

Oh, he picks up Gideon's Bible
Open at page one

I thank God, he stole the handle
And the train, it won't stop going
No way to slow down ..."

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Thank you.... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 6:58 AM | Posted, in reply to Guy Fox's comment, by Aqua Lung: | Reply

Thank you.

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Dear TLP. Your article was ... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 10:35 AM | Posted by M. Thaddeus Gabriel: | Reply

Dear TLP. Your article was both excellent and tragical. It clarifies some of my inner laziness and how I had lost a large amount of time spent on having an excuse to not doing things for an profound inner change. I may be wrong, but I guess the real problem is the illusion we make every time our ego are in danger of not being that demigod we all would like to be.

But, sometimes, when I am reading your articles, plentiful of battles against narcissism, I just don't get it. If God is dead and I am free to do whatever, wherever and whenever,why not just chase my own pleasure, even if just a mental pleasure? Being selfish means a solution for me, because people just don't care and the universe just go on. Keeping off of the ilusions is ok, it is a shortcut to make ourselves greater, but is selfishness that wrong?

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Well shit.Now I gu... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 10:47 AM | Posted by Dave: | Reply

Well shit.

Now I guess the only question is, am I the sort of person who would link this on Facebook?

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I see why it took so long f... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 11:00 AM | Posted by Phil A.: | Reply

I see why it took so long for this article, it was complex, long, well-written and amazing. Good work.

You say that when Amy call's her mother to tell her the cab fingering story, the mother says a "spell", along the lines of, "That's not you, you're not like that." And then Amy gets to feel better about herself, cast off her "bad" parts of herself and repeat the process all over again.

So what does that mean when someone goes on a rampage and kills people seemingly at random or "for a reason" and then the news media inevitably interviews friends and family afterwards who say, "That's not who s/he is, s/he was just a nice person and I can't believe s/he did this"?

I always found it annoying that they feel the need to include those comments because it's become cliche and it's always pointless, but now - after reading your article - when I hear it, it's going to send chills up my spine.

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I just had an internet deba... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 11:16 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I just had an internet debate with someone on facebook about gender issues, and this person brought up Sex at Dawn as well. And this person writes kind of the way you do. By any chance, did you recently have a discussion about gender issues on Facebook (with really long posts) recently?

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QUOTE "If I might recommend... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 11:17 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

QUOTE "If I might recommend a book, Sex at Dawn is far from perfect, but it does a great job of deconstructing the standard narrative of human sexual evolution." QUOTE

I just had an internet debate with someone on facebook about gender issues, and this person brought up Sex at Dawn as well. And this person writes kind of the way you do. By any chance, did you recently have a discussion about gender issues on Facebook (with really long posts) recently?

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I'm saving this for later a... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 11:54 AM | Posted by inarticulate in the city: | Reply

I'm saving this for later and maybe in 2013 I'll finally get it. I KNOW I NEED TO GET IT. I KNOW THERE ARE THINGS I NEED TO GET IN THIS TEXT. God, I feel so dumb.

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Are you a wizard?... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 12:24 PM | Posted by Robert Dutu: | Reply

Are you a wizard?

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Emily Dickinson's "The hear... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 12:55 PM | Posted by RT: | Reply

Emily Dickinson's "The heart asks pleasure first" ties in to your

The heart asks pleasure first
And then, excuse from pain-
And then, those little anodynes
That deaden suffering;

And then, to go to sleep;
And then, if it should be
The will of its Inquisitor,
The liberty to die.

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Hey,Can you write ... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 12:55 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Hey,

Can you write an article critiquing why the media sells anorexic women as attractive/desirable?

Thanks

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Oops. My comment cut out. I... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 12:56 PM | Posted by RT: | Reply

Oops. My comment cut out. I meant: ties in to your better than mind heirarchy chart.

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Jethro Tull's "Living in t... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 1:41 PM | Posted, in reply to Aqua Lung's comment, by wisegirl: | Reply

Jethro Tull's "Living in the Past"

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Doesn't seem really pertine... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 3:46 PM | Posted, in reply to DDD's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Doesn't seem really pertinent, does it? Why focus on the messenger when you should be paying attention to the message?

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self-destruction as change ... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 3:49 PM | Posted by A: | Reply

self-destruction as change avoidance. I get that. I had a lapse just last night. After a full very productive day of work effort, I felt more driven to grab some beer, at which point I go straight to a repetitive structure of behaviors which while feeling entertaining at the time does only damage for the future. Although actually the damage isn't the drinking but the hangover. Still counts.

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your reaction is proving hi... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 4:01 PM | Posted, in reply to dg's comment, by tim: | Reply

your reaction is proving his point...just because *your* experience varies a little from the narrative he is constructing** does not invalidate hos point.

**i.e. is not meant to be all-encompassing, but rather to speak to a common pattern of thinking and action that many of us share, with many different sorts of twists and variations.

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Fuck you, Amy Poehler is hi... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 4:21 PM | Posted by Crabapple: | Reply

Fuck you, Amy Poehler is hilarious.

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This whole post made it loo... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 4:23 PM | Posted by TheCoconutChef: | Reply

This whole post made it look as if you're about to die.

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Coconut Chef? Got any delic... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 4:25 PM | Posted, in reply to TheCoconutChef's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Coconut Chef? Got any delicious coconut recipes?

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They're alcohol free (I kno... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 4:34 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by TheCoconutChef: | Reply

They're alcohol free (I know, wrong crowd).

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I actually feel guilty just... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 4:35 PM | Posted by Crabapple: | Reply

I actually feel guilty just leaving a joke post on an entry as amazing as this one, though, so let me say this is one of your best. People will be linking this for years to come.

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No I love coconut! Throw em... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 4:36 PM | Posted, in reply to TheCoconutChef's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

No I love coconut! Throw em my way!

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Reading this made me feel l... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 4:55 PM | Posted by Tony: | Reply

Reading this made me feel like all those times you are looking desperately for something, and there it is, resting right in front of you the whole time.

Amazing work and inspiring.

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Nope, I've never bought up ... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 6:25 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by James: | Reply

Nope, I've never bought up Sex at Dawn anywhere on Facebook. We're just two different smart people ;)

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wow this has to be the long... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 6:48 PM | Posted by rico: | Reply

wow this has to be the longest post ever.

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It is a strange thing that ... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 6:54 PM | Posted by a number of zombies: | Reply

It is a strange thing that I was in a procrastination binge, compulsively refreshing every one of my feeds, looking for the one last thing before getting something done and always telling myself, this is the last one, I just need to read this one more thing, one more youtube video will do it, and after that I swear, I swear by a God I don't believe in that after this, just this last little thing and I will go back to Doing Something Useful. When I opened this article, I knew that it was the Last Article I Would Read Before Going Back To Work.

After reading it I knew I had to post a comment. Not a mere comment, mind you, but the Last Comment I Would Write Before Getting Back to Work. I just felt that I needed to get this story told, that is all. You can't judge me for wanting to feel a little better, you are not a bad person, I can sense it. I just need a little catharsis, just so that I could focus on what is really important. And I will tell you, it works, every time. It does not even matter if this will be read, what matter is that I get to write it, I get to tell My Story. Oh, I can feel the catharsis already, and boy it is good. It feels like a warm and visceral wave spreading all over my body. Its tentacles, grasping and dragging me down to a sweet spiral of repetition. I am addicted to it, to its redeeming, warm blanket, covering my shame so that I can move on.

Nothing will change and I am terribly aware of it. But that is a good thing, right? If I only become aware enough of the situation, maybe I will change, maybe I don't even need to make an effort, maybe I will evolve and change will come naturally, and then you will finally see the real me, unveiled, not this faulty version. I am not bad in essence, you see, my actions don't represent who I really am. I just wish you could see it, I am a beautiful being. But don't worry, change will come in time, I got a Plan.

In hindsight, that wasn't a strange thing at all.

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And as you cross the wilder... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2012 10:19 PM | Posted by kurt: | Reply

And as you cross the wilderness,
spinning in your emptiness:
you feel you have to pray.
Looking for a sign that the Universal Mind has written you into the Passion Play.

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Cordi, I need a babysitter ... (Below threshold)

June 20, 2012 12:37 AM | Posted, in reply to Cordi's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Cordi, I need a babysitter and someone to run errands for me if you live in Oregon. Failing that, you could send me your money. Deal?

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what did i just read... (Below threshold)

June 20, 2012 2:00 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

what did i just read

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Praise yourself pilot... (Below threshold)

June 20, 2012 5:05 AM | Posted by operand: | Reply

Praise yourself pilot
An' pass the absolution
Our mighty mission

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Things I Was Procrastinatin... (Below threshold)

June 20, 2012 7:29 AM | Posted by Christina: | Reply

Things I Was Procrastinating Doing Before Reading This Post:

(And by "procrastinating" I mean these are things I've been intending to do for anywhere from a week to a month to a year...or longer. For example, I wouldn't have let a stranger into my apartment, given the state it was in.)

Oil change for car
Unload stuff from car trunk
Clean out fridge and freezer
Sweep floors
Sort through assorted old papers
Taking out trash and recycling
Replace battery in smoke detector, replace smoke detector on ceiling
Laundry - all of it
Pack for trip
Stop mail for upcoming trip
Order living trust and living will on Legal Zoom
Put deeds and assorted important stuff in bank safe deposit box

Things I Did After Reading This Post:

Oil change for car
Unload stuff from car trunk
Clean out fridge and freezer
Sweep floors
Sort through assorted old papers
Taking out trash and recycling
Replace battery in smoke detector, replace smoke detector on ceiling
Laundry - all of it
Pack for trip
Stop mail for upcoming trip
Order living trust and living will on Legal Zoom
Put deeds and assorted important stuff in bank safe deposit box

I did that after getting home from work. It was one of the most voluntarily productive days I've ever had.

Thank you, Alone.

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So, what if you do pushups,... (Below threshold)

June 20, 2012 1:08 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

So, what if you do pushups, experience the improvement in numbers, and then get caught in a cognitive trap of "So fucking what?"

What if you actually try and get some qualifications to show that you know what you say you know, ace the first few tests and then drop out because "So fucking what?"

What do you do if every achievement, big or small is followed by a perpetual loop of "So fucking what?"


Tell a friend?
Tell your family?
Consult a physician?
What if they ask "So fucking what?"

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You just revealed to this A... (Below threshold)

June 20, 2012 2:09 PM | Posted by Artfldgr: | Reply

You just revealed to this Asperger’s spectrum disorder person why he can’t get the success and change of circumstances he would like in his life. The issue is not being able to read the people i meet and team up with, and the people that seem available, are the ones that are masturbating. in fact, i have said that exact term while attempting to motivate.

I can’t get them to stop masturbating... :)

I can’t get them to even realize that they are masturbating and avoiding the success, and then being dishonest about their participation. My loyalty then kicks in and I give them way too much time (believing their sincerity and wanting to and so forth) and then I try to preserve the relationship, because it’s so hard to have good ones given the way the world has changed since my childhood.

In the past, someone with my memory, skill, ability, and such, could carve out respect by merit. But now, if I try hard, I am told I am downgrading the others... I tried to use my personal time to help researchers with my expertise - but the young boss said it was a conflict (of her) interest... affirmative action, and incompetent, violating eeoc, and all that.

And ALL I want is to have a decent job, feel good about what I do, and spend time with my family which I am very lucky to have.

Given the problems with Asperger’s being targets of predators (like the fruit bat that ruined a whole lot – and was a tar baby as far as extricating oneself from such a damaging person. the extremity of it would boggle the mind as I nearly ended up in prison for murdering someone that wasn’t dead and still isn’t. (The extremity of it is mind boggling!)

The man I teamed up with is a top geneticist, we have solutions I have developed over the years, and we have teamed up. but nothing ever gets finished!!! i want to move forward, talk to others, publish (even under a pen name), blog it, etc. But given the system and how it works, without his legitimacy, the system doesn’t see me. In fact, my boss goes out of her way to warehouse me as a gun under the bed. Ie. they have isolated me in a prison that is 57inches by 47 inches… because outside of my job and responsibilities I helped my research friends and doctors by volunteering my skills to get research done that they might abandon otherwise.

I wanted a raise, promotion, and so forth. Or with the man I teamed up with, show what I can do, once I am not treated as something I am not from their informative ideology. Heck, their isolating me is their idea of accommodating a condition, and this is a medical school.

Her I have pegged, as she is an incompetent affirmative action promotion. Ie. they promoted her against the handbook, law and such because by doing so, they get a very loyal person as that person cant get that kind of work for that salary outside. (but they fired her boss, and now that situation for her has changed, and so has her behavior). So she keeps me isolated, and then takes credit for the work. The researhers don’t know that I am the one getting their stuff to work, and making sure that epidemiological software has rigor business software or vocational does not. But my 30 years experience is not allowed. The fortune 10 work is ignored, the startup is also ignored. And when they found out I did runway photography for fashion week, won a clio, and did LOTs of other things that normal people never get to do by going out and doing them… I got locked down worse.

But it was the friend I could not understand.. until I read your piece. I had the pieces and such, but could not put it to a whole. I even said much of the same things that what they are doing is a form of masturbation…

That the friend was happy to work on things, as that was masturbation. But to take that and move it out and have it judged, and so on. that was an invite to another world, where there were people, things change and all that. He even had this socialist attitude of succeeding is evil and lamented that he participated in discovering a protein, and gets IP checks… the same kind of checks I was trying to get to start a family… have a home… and get out of this solitary confinement in an 83 degree office 47inch by 57 inch…

I have since moved on as far as now I cant depend on him… he will always come up short.
Other team ups each failed for different reasons… but ultimately I am selecting them over others, or rather, selecting out of the pool of those available to me. But since I cant show what I can do as I have done in the past, such is very hard to get connected to.

Most of the others robbed me, not turned out to be impotent masturbaters. But either way, the end result is the same. I am now doing something on the side, which, for lack of partners of this sort, will and is turning out better. But its nothing that I want to do, just something that I can get moving given Business analysis and 30 years reorganizing companies (Which here they ignore in favor of protected classes).

Now, I just want out of this prison cell, but am too old to give up the only pension I have since I have a wife… we want a family, but their social engineering is killing us. I don’t understand why my south Asian wife has to be punished for marrying me, and my son is being punished as I was for not being what they want for their planning either (he graduated honors in genetics as he could go to school when they stopped me due to my Bronx science and lack of connection and no longer being the right group).

But your piece has given me great insight and a reason to not think or believe the missives of such a person. they wont admit that they will never come around and finish, or that they will prevent finishing to preserve the fun of the current game… that they do not want things to change, while I do, and am very willing to constantly adjust to do so.

But the room, isolation, lack of future, and all that, is wearing me down…
Thanks for a bit more energy for the caryatid to hold up the load for just a bit more…

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So, the God of Abraham is t... (Below threshold)

June 20, 2012 6:27 PM | Posted by DW: | Reply

So, the God of Abraham is the answer?The goal of a life not lived for self? Reading Buber Tales of the Hasidim lately

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Goddamn it you idiots, it's... (Below threshold)

June 20, 2012 8:10 PM | Posted by jimmy james: | Reply

Goddamn it you idiots, it's Thick as a Brick!

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Asperger spectrum disorder ... (Below threshold)

June 20, 2012 11:36 PM | Posted, in reply to Artfldgr's comment, by Heytor: | Reply

Asperger spectrum disorder researcher-storyteller, you write like The Last Psychiatrist. I got lost a couple paragraphs in. I lost where you were going and what the point of each sentence was. I certainly wasn't able to conclude anything of value, I was just left wondering what happened. Are you a genius? An imbecile? Hopefully the comments will help me decide.

Here's the kicker, this is my fault as the reader. Surprising, right? "Isn't communication a two-way street?" No. For if I ask what or why about what I'm reading, I am being a narcissist resistant to change. Then, my only acceptable course of action is to internalize whatever has been written, which, incomprehensible as it is, is just a sum of those pithy phrases dangling at the end of paragraphs, maybe with a few of the invented quotes thrown in. Anything following a dash too.

Main ideas? Main ideas stemming out of well-organized paragraphs? No. There is only one main idea, and infinite faked examples extrapolated from radio interviews and slot machine metaphpors to get at that main idea. You are a narcissist sabotaging everything. Don't believe it? See? You're sabotaging right now.

I.

This is a pernicious and pervasive meme The Last Psychiatrist constructs week after week. He places responsibility on the reader to change. His job is only to point out. That's fine, but without indicating exactly what change the readership is responsible to change, he's just motivated a bunch of people to: keep the last token, do some pushups, and complete household chores. Grand, if the goal is solely to motivate people to do something, anything. But by substantiating this everything-is-narcissist philosophy in such a way that I am blameworthy for pointing out that the change readers are responsible for is completely unspecified, The Last Psychiatrist has made a self-defending cycle. Asking why is selfish. Thinking about what he's said means you've totally missed the point. We've always been at war with Eastasia! It's Orwellian what he does here. When you cut through the rhetorical quotes, imagined rebuttals, and distracting examples, there's nothing left, except, everything-is-narcissism and the doublethink protecting it.

I have no doubt that this writing is tremendously motivating to people. One of the features of the self-reinforcing system is that it doesn't need coercion, it is chosen. That readers find the smokescreen useful suggests they're eager to take their new psychology tool and apply it to their lives--which is exactly the way we got unhappy in the first place. But I can't help but notice how this new tool functions identically to all the other pop-psychology self-help hacks. It talks a good game, people buy it with their pageviews, but it leaves out the systematic details. I can't find evidence that The Last Psychiatrist isn't just playing a self-help shell-game for pageviews.

Maybe it leads to a lot of pushups. But maybe everything-is-narcissism just replaces the pop-psychology goop The Last Psychiatrist rails against and doesn't rectify anything. It's at least a question worth asking, no? We'll let the balance of my upvotes determine whether I'm a threat to the system Last Psychiatrist has built here.

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"Everything is narcissism".... (Below threshold)

June 21, 2012 8:35 AM | Posted, in reply to Heytor's comment, by Phil A.: | Reply

"Everything is narcissism". I couldn't help but notice that TLP didn't use the word narcissism.

I agree with the "doublespeak" thing. If you like the writing, it's because you're a narcissist. If you don't like it, it's because you're a narcissist. Once I spotted that pattern a while ago, I ignored that facet of the writing and just looked for any interesting insights I could find. You don't have to agree with everything he says to enjoy it.

I think as far as the self-help aspect goes, well since it could apply to addictions, bad eating habits, and even long term life goals, it probably is a bit more grand than just "do more push ups".

At least you might agree if you're known, for instance, stoners who waste their lives and potential away doing nothing. I don't agree with everything TLP has said, but on this I think he has clearly delineated the difference between successful people, and people who live a life that's just good enough.

I've seen it, and I've done it: Saying I want to do something, but never following through with action. A while ago, I made a concerted effort to stop partying as much, to teach myself music theory and learn piano like I had been wanting to, to start saving money like I knew I should, and so on. I didn't need to read this blog to figure out that I could either waste my life and wither, or just make things happen.

I've also known people who like the "image" of motivation. They talk and talk and talk about what they're going to do, the person they want to be, and then they continue to waste their lives away.

Did I say that in part so I could brag about myself? Yes. But the point still stands.

This is, mostly, good advice that anyone can apply to their lives. Furthermore, it has some other, darker, implications that I pointed out in a comment above.

I won't downvote you but consider yourself warned. We have a nice little cult developing here and we don't need rabble rousers like you throwing a wrench in the system.

(I know it's not obvious through text so: that last paragraph was sarcasm).

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imbecile... all those fucki... (Below threshold)

June 21, 2012 9:44 AM | Posted, in reply to Heytor's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

imbecile... all those fucking words in your stupid comment and the problem is you somehow understood from the post that you must never ask why... while the author was talking about how it is useless to know why you are the way you are and it is much better to take action.

You also sound very angry and weeping at an internet blog post

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Asperger spectrum disord... (Below threshold)

June 21, 2012 11:43 AM | Posted by Artfldgr: | Reply

Asperger spectrum disorder researcher-storyteller, you write like The Last Psychiatrist. I got lost a couple paragraphs in. I lost where you were going and what the point of each sentence was. I certainly wasn't able to conclude anything of value, I was just left wondering what happened. Are you a genius? An imbecile? Hopefully the comments will help me decide.
Thank you for the compliment, but no... TLP writes much better than I do. Dont confuse my knowing all these references and sprinkling them in having the same kind of insight from the inside that Alone has. I am more stuck on the outside looking in. A stranger in a stranger [sic.]land.
Its just that the intelligence of this location allows me not to clip my speach and words and references, which given the isolation where i am now, is a real breath of fresh air.
I am so sorry you got lost. i went back and i can clearly see why. my apologies. after all, if i want to connect, being understood would help a lot more. but writing to someone who is so good at taking it apart, tends to make me over focus. of course i also have distractions at work, i do have to work as i am paid for that and i dont shirk. i am not what they used to call a skiver. :)
Are you a genius? An imbecile?
Whats the difference? (ok that was a bit of humor there). I am not sure, since both are technically judgments made from the perspective of the other. ie. do you want me to confirm your impression one way or the other?
I guess it all depends on who you talk to and what their own issues are. What IS genius? what is your definition of it? what would make someone cross the line of demarcation?
no. i am definitely not an imbicile, at least i dont think so. but i think divergently, type fast, have a huge memory, and can lose the track if distracted... a bad habit is not to go back, as i am usually pressed for time, as a lot of people want what i can do, but dont want to have to deal with anyone to get it. but thats typical.
I hope you find my answer more in lines with genius, than imbecile, but ultimately, you will be the arbiter of that choice, not me. given the mixed responses in history to genius and imbicilism, i would be the last person to ask. After all, if you walk into the mental ward and asked a lot of people there if they were "crazy", i would guess they woudl say no. while a kafkaesque smart alec would say "of course, we all are", and the doc would say, thats not a medical term...
I just like to think.. and turn ideas, even if they are not ideas that i fancy to clothe myself in.
your nice answer is making it easier for me to talk. but my frustration and knowing how people regqard such open 'confessions' makes me skip. i will also tend to recircle back as i just did. bad habit i am trying to break of making a case by pounding the nail through to the other side of the board and onto the floor. completely not necessary, and part of a habit i developed when i was a kid and the adults went around showing me off like a poodle asking me to jump through hoops. you know. like someone being introduced to a comedian who then says "say something funny". (another bad habit is to end sentences in three dots, as there is always more for me to say).
if i was perfect what would i strive for? so its nice i am not perfect, eh? ha ha.


Here's the kicker, this is my fault as the reader. Surprising, right? "Isn't communication a two-way street?" No. For if I ask what or why about what I'm reading, I am being a narcissist resistant to change. Then, my only acceptable course of action is to internalize whatever has been written, which, incomprehensible as it is, is just a sum of those pithy phrases dangling at the end of paragraphs, maybe with a few of the invented quotes thrown in. Anything following a dash too.
i think your over thinking it. the difference between seeing and being. we dont actually think of what we do, we do and tend to make up reasonss after the fact. frustrating if you can see yourself doing it.
Its not your fault this time... maybe next time you will be luckier... but no. it was hesitant, i was distracted, and lacked focus which good wriging should have. it also tends to be too long, and such. but those are not my major problems given a society who now writes at 5th grade level, no logner at 8th grade. so actually its hard for me to write, and its harder for me to communicate clearly to some of the youngers who read at that level.
i am NOT saying you do, as your choice of words and sentence structure belay that.
This is a pernicious and pervasive meme The Last Psychiatrist constructs week after week. He places responsibility on the reader to change. His job is only to point out. That's fine, but without indicating exactly what change the readership is responsible to change, he's just motivated a bunch of people to: keep the last token, do some pushups, and complete household chores.
i guess thats one way you can look at it. but is it valid? i would disagree. the truth will set you free and what you do with it is your business. in this case, he may be very right, or wrong. how would you know? you would have to reason to it, but also not reason that what is being presented is the only perspective.
i think thats a current problem. and i have had it with my researcher friend a lot. and thats the marxist concept of an essentialist construct. ie. that there is one answer, and all others are false or lesser and not to be considered.
but the difference between a whole house and a potemkin house, is the other perspectives
everything in reality actually exists as defined to our heads as a suppositional set of states that are and are not at the same time. to make it worse, we trade in and out different things and still have 'self'. is self the whole of the ideas you have? or is self the whole of the ideas you choose to have?
Alone is not asking you to change, in fact its being more stressed that you dont want to. and your paragraph agrees, and is upset that you think telling you about this is to tell you to change. but is it? or can it also be suppositional in that it can also be about accepting yourself? I guess that would depend on whether the knowlege reveals you dont like yourself or reveals you do...
if the goal is solely to motivate people to do something, anything. But by substantiating this everything-is-narcissist philosophy in such a way that I am blameworthy for pointing out that the change readers are responsible for is completely unspecified, The Last Psychiatrist has made a self-defending cycle.
really? is that because that is whats constructed, or is that because your cant see beyond a certain point and so make a different call from your perspective? yes i wax philosphical as i rarely get any ability to do this, as most people are too "narcissistic" to see that perhaps everything is not about them.
Asking why is selfish. Thinking about what he's said means you've totally missed the point. We've always been at war with Eastasia! It's Orwellian what he does here. When you cut through the rhetorical quotes, imagined rebuttals, and distracting examples, there's nothing left, except, everything-is-narcissism and the doublethink protecting it.
i think what your complaining about is not Alone, but philosophy as a whole. After all, you come to a philosophical analysis because you want meaning, and feel that you might get it.
you see this huge thing, it has size and scope and spans farther than you or really anyone can easily span, and has such weighta and substance.
then you bite into it, and you find that cotton candy is not as solid as you had hoped, nor are clouds.
but is that the fault of the inability to understand, or is it the fault of the atttitude going in in trying to understand? you want to think that alone has manipulated you, but you came here voluntariliy as i did. you, as well as i, invited Alone to put something in our heads, and we accepted that. now your not so sure what the point was.
perhaps the point is so simple you miss it.
maybe it just IS... like the dao concept of the uncut stone... it just is...
Alone has put his/her musings up for examination, and they just ARE. you haev no idea what the point was, its not realy stated. in fact there are a whole lot of blanks all around this, and that is uncomfortable for most (blanks dont bother me making me odd comparatively)
like anyting in reality, its not what it is, its what you decide to do with it.
what your deciding to do with it is try to fit it into you in some way that you accept. do i incorporate the advice into my being? if i do, is that a form of control from another. yes and no. suppositional... if a person gives you advice and its good and you accept you take it, is it their advice that deserves the reward or your choce to take it? most people want to go back ande blame the advisor for the bad value of what had no value. i can tell you to jump off a roof (i never actually would), but you have to decide thats good or bad and then engage yourself. no?
you can take what alone says, or not, its your choice. you can choose to change, but probably wont. understanding why, may give you the piton to allow you to climb out of your crab bucket, but it might not. its a crapshoot, and only YOU can decide, as one man will use a hammer to drive nails, another to crack walnuts and maxwell likes silver and skulls.
I have no doubt that this writing is tremendously motivating to people. One of the features of the self-reinforcing system is that it doesn't need coercion, it is chosen.
oh yes... but not as much as that other confessional psychological games that was more popular in the 80s. you can see a hint of it in good will hunting... but right now i am drawing a blank as to the mans name... i am more visual so i can see him, but not his name right now... in the black suit, on stage, open collar, and i think a beard and he is giving permission to people to be welcomed to life. heck. it was even taken as a whole theme to the star treck movie in which spocks brother uses it to control others.
no one welcomed you, but i will welcome you the way your parents didnt... how evil. and so on it went... i guess he was the next evolutionary node to EST... but thats just my sarcasm
i feel your frustration... you want something you can use easily. ergo our pill society. but minds are not easy. and concious control of a mind came WAY WAY after the minds were operating, mating, seeking life and livng without that or with a instinctive proto that.
but i will try, feebly to give you something to latch on to.
maybe alone will agree... but i suspect, alone will be more fascinated and thats alones masturbation... :) (think of it like fishing for ideas) which no one said was bad, its just a matter of degree and what it does to your life.
here is MY model of things.
their is no clear anything in the area of mental medicine because there is no locus of you and mind. its a emergent property of a neural system (we will leave souls out of it for now).
there is no unifying anything yet. but my model unifies it and works for me as far as it goes, and its informed by working with neural nets and other such fragmentary constructs of pseudo thought.
a neural net always answers... ie. no answer is not an option.
a neural net cant be stopped
it can only answer one question, even if it looks like its answering thousands.
so what is your mind and conciousness? a model machine...
what it is doing is taking in the worlds information, and its aligning its network to that. its building a model of reality inside your head. if it was a perfect machine, you would not have emotions and quirkies... but there is a reason for that too.
the jewish thinkers have said, to save a life is to save a world/universe.
why? and why do they ahve insight beyond computational logic? how can religion align in abstraction with einstein? (and it does). how can einstein intuit?
ok... lets go to the other end.. lets look at mental problems of the most serious kind. like schizophrenia, and delusions and so on... what one model would explain how einstein can elucidate to that level, and yet explain how someone can sit and talk to someone who isnt there...
easy... the mind makes a model of the world.. einsteins model was restricted to as much valid information as possible... while a more average person does not restrrict it to that, they tend to decide what they like and incorporate that too even if its not right. and at the far end, the machine is off, so that even if the information is good, its not operated on well.
you dont live in reality sir.
you live in a model of reality that you exist in your head... if your model is based on better information, then maybe your a genius. and if your model is based on crap, then maybe your an imbecile.
and our metaphors and illusions and stuff reveal that this model is also skewed by its own nature. ie. ego, and self and so on as a proxy fot the self in the real world.
now here comes the cool part... the more the model aligns with reality the more the model has within it the stuff that we inductively figure out. just like our best models, they align with reality and then reveal principals. it all depends on whether your good at filtering or avoiding toxic information.
in a more complicated way, alone is telling you how your machine works. knowing how your machine works, its foibles and things, gives you power over that machine to some degree. ergo ayn rands idea of objectivism that if one learns about how one thinks, one can be more objective by changing the focus of their models.
alone is just saying that if your model is turned inside to itself, it feeds on itself rather than incorporates stuff in the world. this feeding then skews how you see the world... mostly beacause you desire not to accept the world.. which is part of your biology, for if you accept it, you dont improve it.
so what will you do with what i just told you? try not to watch crap tv without a way to inderstand what and how its incorporated? continue to leave the radio on in the background without examining what is being poured into your ears? how about taking a minute and looking at what the progressive machine is creating, focusing on, and so on. is that for you or for them?
so am i a genius?
maybe. maybe not. my ego wants me to say yes.
but what is genius?
genius is being more aware about the world outside your head, from the model inside your head, and being able to bring someone along to that awareness.
thats all... its why you can think of einstein as a genius AND george carlan
both of them reveal perspectives of the world you never thought of...
if you can discover things like that, then you too are a genius.
ergo ,the idea that children are geniuses who havent learned about the world and self censor. they are noticing the world and endeavor to show you a different view. sometimes they succeed.
genius is not memory, regurgitation, or copying others who you think are something
genius is revealing what others cant see that is valid and truthful
(And as you can see, tehre is a huge amount of room to play and falsify that!)

did i mention that i am way too long winded :)

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"Self-loathing is the defen... (Below threshold)

June 21, 2012 1:51 PM | Posted by Bill: | Reply

"Self-loathing is the defense against change, self-loathing is preferable to mental work."

It's not that you're wrong. Of course, you're right. Your three-level heirarchy is spot-on. I've been stuck in the "playing awesome" rut for 45 years.

However, I don't see how I can shoehorn myself into the narrative of the gambler at the slots deciding what to do with my last token. There are numerous styles of getting stuck with "playing awesome" and, for each style, the "mental work" needed to escape is different.

Trouble is, how are you supposed to find out what "mental work" it is that you have to do? The typical therapist will tell the male patient "you are angry with your father"; and this will be his answer to every question - for four frigging years. If at the beginning the patient yells at the therapist, he may be correct in saying "you are not really angry with me, you are angry with your father"; but after four years of watching a one-trick pony show off his trick, trust me, you become extremely angry with the therapist in his own right, as well as considerably less wealthy.

So please tell us something we don't know. Tell us how and why therapists, instead of prodding their patients towards the necessary "mental work", end up doing something else. Tell us how to find a good therapist, tell us how to distinguish good from bad, preferably within the first $5,000 of therapy. Because until you do that, telling us how much we are avoiding "mental work" is not enough.

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I always thought I would wi... (Below threshold)

June 21, 2012 4:50 PM | Posted, in reply to Artfldgr's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I always thought I would win the internet TL;DR award one day, but you sir have topped anything I am capable of.

YOU WROTE THE LONGEST, DIDN'T READIEST POST IN THE ENTIRE INTERNET. IT TRANSCENDS BOTH TIME AND SPACE. CONGRATS ON THIS FEAT OF SCIENCE!

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2:09. PS you have some kind... (Below threshold)

June 21, 2012 4:53 PM | Posted, in reply to Artfldgr's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

2:09. PS you have some kind of mental illness, but I'm pretty sure it isn't autism.

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@anon 8:02If there... (Below threshold)

June 21, 2012 5:16 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

@anon 8:02

If there is anything more annoying than mindless social PC myth, and people who pretend to be subversive... it would be those who say THIS ISNT TRUE FOR ME SO IT ISN;T TRUE IN GENERAL.

Whether or not you are a male, and also claim to be interested in forming a lasting permanent coupling, and not endless casual sex with your preferred gender... this is totally irrelevant, because the vast vast vast majority of males disagree with you. Furthermore, even among men who do want a wife and children, it's more of a "property" or "status" thing; those men would still vastly prefer to also have the ability to have tons of sex with young girls.

Women? For women, it is innately different. Women do not have casual sex for casual sex' sake. Women are sexually faithful provided someone better doesn't come along, and again this isn't because women are better people, it is because reproductive imperatives are diametrically oppositional to that of males. Women are faithful, as long as she is with a winner... and can't do better. The faithfulness of women is proximate to the quality of her mate.


There is distinct behavior to males and masculinity to just want to have a lot of sex with a lot of people, particularly very young people, of their preferred gender. All of your nonsense explanations cannot undo reality: actual human behavior for all of time and present day.

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Thanks for the constructive... (Below threshold)

June 21, 2012 5:31 PM | Posted by Artfldgr: | Reply

Thanks for the constructive words...
they are really appreciative and are wonderful examples of the kind of problems that Alone talks about all the time...

Who else but what is described would feel that something was there for their masturbatory fun, then get upset when its too long, not fun. Or written above 5th grade - "didn't readiest" what happened to unreadable? incomprehensible? tortured? and all those wonderful adjectives? and may i ask what you mean by transcend time and space? the words are ageless and can apply anywhere? that's not an insult, is it?

think on that.
yes...you did hurt my ego for a second, but it was a tiny second

then i wondered..
were you always this rude from birth, or is your behavior the culmination of a lifetime of practice and hatred?

i probably will never find out..
sorry i disturbed you all

though i suspect that you didn't read Wittgenstein in German on the banner... did you?

how about this since your hear for pop..

Don't take anything personally.
- don Miguel Ruiz

One does not hate as long as one has a low esteem of someone,
but only when one esteems him as an equal or a superior.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

what is your take on this?

Have you ever stopped the contemplate what makes Heaven "heavenly?"
For me, heaven on earth would be a world without hate or anger,
where everyone lived by the "Golden Rule" and stepped up to being a "Good Samaritan."
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie


i wonder also
PS you have some kind of mental illness, but I'm pretty sure it isn't autism

Have you read Temple Grandin?
Do you Know that Bronx Science is a high school with more Nobel laureates than any single ivy league college?

Educating Students with Asperger's Syndrome,
or High Functioning Autism
http://www.autismtoday.com/articles/Genius_May_Be_Abnormality.htm

At what point does a brilliant computer programmer or engineer get labeled with Asperger's. There is no black and white dividing line. Simon Baron-Cohen, an autism researcher at the University of Cambridge, found that there were 2 ½ times as many engineers in the family history of people with autism

my father was an engineer, my uncle was an engineer, i am an engineer... he was in lighting as my uncle, i am in medical research at a medical college. my grandfather was a handiman, my grandmother was a research chemist in europe. i attended public school and self taught to get into bronx science. i have performed at lincoln center, and carnegie hall, and am a signed photographer too. i do graphic arts, design, abstract physics and all kinds of things.

my lack of a social life means i have filled my world with education and actions... and technically i have ASD... which means i have some of the qualities of aspergers which gives me trouble, but i am also missing some of the most crippling.

A review of the literature indicates that being truly outstanding in any field may be associated with some type of abnormality.

A life time of being on the outside and liking people and understanding things.. has given me most of the time a kind of evenness...but i have my issues. like having high verbal skills, being isolated, and end up talking too much about things that interest me, and so on.

I can understand your confusion and anger...
my boss has it, but others dont
usually, it happens when i dont pretend to be dumber and so on.

as i had admitted, first post jitters kind of impacted me
but as you can see, second post on problem (or maybe you cant see)
and this post, well, didnt get the reaction you wanted, did it?

you wanted it to be about me, so it wouldn't be about you. right?

There appear to be two basic types of thinking in intellectually gifted people who have Asperger's or high functioning autism. The highly social, verbal thinkers who are in the educational system need to understand that their thought processes are different. The two types are totally visual thinkers like me; and the music, math and memory thinkers which are described in Thomas Sowell's book, Late Talking Children.

i am a bit of both... but i can see mathematical landscapes. and i love science, philosophy and history, and on and on. my special singular thing is "how everything works"...

i would show you some of my work, or show it to Alone, but i dont thin that would improve my relationship with someone like you. only you coudl do that, and i think that that is beyond you.

anyway.
have a great day...

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Anonymous is so off base ab... (Below threshold)

June 21, 2012 11:01 PM | Posted by Sami: | Reply

Anonymous is so off base about women preferring un groomed men! I am a hyper sexual woman who greatly prefers groomed MEN. I want a clean groomed cock.

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jjj... (Below threshold)

June 21, 2012 11:27 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

jjj

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Whats jjj... (Below threshold)

June 21, 2012 11:29 PM | Posted by Tam: | Reply

Whats jjj

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I felt simultaneously confu... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 12:00 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I felt simultaneously confused and uncomfortable reading this.

I know that I do this most of the time - the "physical expression of an intrapsychic process" - I think and plan and act out exactly how I want things to be, but I never do anything. A fear of change and not knowing how or where to start usually cripples any of my "grand ideas" pretty quickly. Then I get upset/sad/depressed/frustrated, eat a bag of chips because "whatever, might as well."

More often than not I feel uncomfortable reading your posts, because you are hitting a little too close to home. And I know that you are right, I just don't know how.

One of the parts that confused me(and the only one I can remember at the moment) is the part writing your story towards an ending.

What ending should you be thinking about? The end of a specific experience? The end of the day? The end of a week? The end of a year? 5 years? The end of your life?

As much as I agree with this, and as uncomfortable as reading it makes me feel, I wish I believed that I would change. That I would do something different. Do something from Acts I-V. But I most likely will not. As much as I don't like this about myself, I know myself well enough that I will just end up surfing the net for hours, website after mindless website, to forget that this is my life. So, I guess that this post describes me very well. And I may now know a little more about how I am sabotaging myself, but I still don't know how to change, and will continue to sabotage myself.

But thanks for writing this, as uncomfortable as it was to read, it's nice to learn a little more about myself, even if I probably won't use that information.

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I felt simultaneously confu... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 12:01 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I felt simultaneously confused and uncomfortable reading this.

I know that I do this most of the time - the "physical expression of an intrapsychic process" - I think and plan and act out exactly how I want things to be, but I never do anything. A fear of change and not knowing how or where to start usually cripples any of my "grand ideas" pretty quickly. Then I get upset/sad/depressed/frustrated, eat a bag of chips because "whatever, might as well."

More often than not I feel uncomfortable reading your posts, because you are hitting a little too close to home. And I know that you are right, I just don't know how.

One of the parts that confused me(and the only one I can remember at the moment) is the part writing your story towards an ending.

What ending should you be thinking about? The end of a specific experience? The end of the day? The end of a week? The end of a year? 5 years? The end of your life?

As much as I agree with this, and as uncomfortable as reading it makes me feel, I wish I believed that I would change. That I would do something different. Do something from Acts I-V. But I most likely will not. As much as I don't like this about myself, I know myself well enough that I will just end up surfing the net for hours, website after mindless website, to forget that this is my life. So, I guess that this post describes me very well. And I may now know a little more about how I am sabotaging myself, but I still don't know how to change, and will continue to sabotage myself.

But thanks for writing this, as uncomfortable as it was to read, it's nice to learn a little more about myself, even if I probably won't use that information.

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"So, I refuse to work harde... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 12:39 AM | Posted, in reply to Paula's comment, by Yoshie: | Reply

"So, I refuse to work harder than the client.
This makes them angry and I look at the motivation not the 'story".
This makes everyone angry because then there is no productivity due to not beating dead horses."

Out of curiosity, why do you not refer them to a different therapist or simply quit? Aren't you just beating a dead horse by being in a non-productive relationship with your client? They aren't improving and you know you aren't going to work any harder to get them to improve, so why waste anymore of their money or whoever is paying? I hope to God it's not taxpayers dollars at a community mental health clinic.

Do you actually say that to your clients, or do you just string them along until they realize you have stopped working for them?

If your clients are unmotivated and not taking steps to get better, doesn't that mean that you failed? Your treatment did not work, and it is time for the client to move on. Preferably to a therapist that can design a treatment plan that the client will respond to.

Why would you NOT work harder than your clients. You're not doing them a favor. You get paid. They don't get paid. You should be working double hard, because obviously they are struggling and so a hired professional is being paid to pick up the slack and get them on their feet.

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Finally, Bob Wiley joins th... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 1:15 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Finally, Bob Wiley joins the comments!

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"Because it's time! And I'm... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 1:31 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"Because it's time! And I'm ready! With Dr. Carswell-Fenstiwold I wasn't ready. With Dr. Rosegay and Vencheski, it wasn't time. I certainly wasn't ready for Mallerstein. Or Miller. Or Hill. But with you, finally, I'm ready!"

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Heytor, I think you're read... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 4:01 AM | Posted, in reply to Heytor's comment, by DensityDuck: | Reply

Heytor, I think you're reading too much into it. TLP is endlessly telling us the joke about how the lightbulb has to really want to change, and then pointing out that there's way too many lightbulbs out there who think that deciding that they want to change is all they need.

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I wish I believed that I... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 4:37 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Guy Fox: | Reply

I wish I believed that I would change. That I would do something different. Do something from Acts I-V. But I most likely will not. As much as I don't like this about myself, I know myself well enough that I will just end up surfing the net for hours, website after mindless website, to forget that this is my life. So, I guess that this post describes me very well. And I may now know a little more about how I am sabotaging myself, but I still don't know how to change, and will continue to sabotage myself.

After a big meeting of venerable monks in the mountains of Vietnam, a couple of young novices are left to wash the dishes while the older monks philosophize. The only water available is from a cold spring near the temple, and the novices have no soap. The novices draw straws, and the unlucky one has to go back inside the temple to ask for advice. He goes in, interrupts the symposium, and asks the old monk with the reputation for the greatest compassion, "Venerated one, we are to wash the dishes, but rice is burnt to the bottom of every pot, we have nothing but frigid spring water, and we have no soap. How are we to wash the dishes?!" And the old monk simply replied, "The way to wash the dishes is to wash the dishes."

There's a battle inside you between the you that feels bad for not changing and the you that's convinced of the impossibility of change. The trick is to realize that both are desires; it's just that the second one sells it to you as a matter of fact because that one's a marketing wizard. It knows what you want to believe. Realize that you have two different, incompatible desires, choose, and stand by your decision without regret. If you're going to resist change, realize that you're festering because you want to, and stop regretting it. If you're going to change, stop whining and start scrubbing.

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Paula said:I re... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 7:39 AM | Posted, in reply to Paula's comment, by Bill: | Reply

Paula said:

I refuse to work harder than the client.
This makes them angry and I look at the motivation not the 'story".
This makes everyone angry because then there is no productivity due to not beating dead horses.

As long as you explain clearly to the client why it is you have stopped working; as long as you reduce your bill from the therapist's rate to the chit-chat rate; then that is fine.

But you don't do that, do you? Instead you come here and tell us, in the same way that Amy goes to her Mom.

In no other profession is it possible for a practitioner to go on strike, but carry on with billing and the pretense of work. It is classic passive-aggressiveness.

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But what if the problem are... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 10:04 AM | Posted by Artfldgr: | Reply

But what if the problem are all the unchanging people who you cant motivate to a common goal? what if your the kind that changes and adapts and wants to accomplish more than one can do alone, and all around them are these people who give up before they even try. who talk about doing X but never get off their duff. meanwhile they get pissy at me because i may be a programmer by day, but also an artist, signed celebrity fashion photo journalist at a top agency, work on research programs and mathematics, and auto-didactically educated in everything i can.

but i am surrounded by a bunch of immovable objects who want whats being offered but only after they are 100% sure it works and they are not needed. (Ergo why most people work for someone else).

they are so contradictory to their stated goals. meanwhile, there are people in the halfway realm. when i go to a show, there is always a few others who are out there at the ropes who want to talk to me. how do they get to do this. i said, your doing it, you just have to do it for a long while with no reward, little feedback, no money, and get a bit of luck because your there and not home waiting for someone to find you and present you with the life you imagine.

one of the most life changing things for me was meeting Odetta and becoming an acquaintance of her in her personal life before she died. we could have been friends, bur i was stupid. no time, and as is always the truth, time passes...

but i was with her in this private event. only about 20 of us hanging out, and she was so nice to perform for us. i know this because my cousin went to Julliard, and he hated to show off. and i went to Bronx science, and tired of the poodle show long long ago. at least in terms of proving things. but of course otherwise we all like our egos stroked to some degree. its human. to not have that at all, is not admirable either.

anyway. someone asked her after these songs what it was like being someone who changed the culture, and influenced music and so on and so on...

it was her answer that revealed so much to me about my dad, a great unknown artist... who turned down his fame... and what i didnt turn down, but got married and didnt go as far.

she said (paraphrased through the poor lens of memory)
"Honey, if your waiting to feel different than yourself, that's never going to happen. you are always you, all that happens is that people want to be around you more, you get invited a lot, and so on"

women do this a lot, men do it too, but not so much (but maybe i am filtering - probably am).

they try to feel like an artist... or feel like a mother..
or the man wears the outfit of a sociopath, but is he?
women costuming is much more than mens...

affectation vs substance

cargo cult vs principals

they will never feel like a mother, they will always be them
therapy will never have a day when you wake up and say, i am someone else i feel different and so i am cured.
being famous wont change who you are, it changes the relationship with others... everyone has changed but you...

there is no prize there...
deep down, the lottery, American idol, etc.

are all flash dance fantasies of suddenly becoming something other than the self you are loathing.(it also normalized the idea that there are elite who grant beneficence like Olympian lords)

one big attempt, winner takes all shot, is enough work for the majority of the narcissists showing up to compete.

it reminds me of the Oprah show and my friends and my experience.

every year when i was taking pictures, my friend who organized things for his crew (i was signed, i was my own crew and did what i wanted)... we would pick a few photographers and credential them.

ie... this is your dream... come with us, and lets see...
the success rate of this practice has been abysmal.
but we still do it...
not for the ones that fail, but for the two that don't.

most of them want something that isnt there but seems to be from outside. they don't realize the level of work done, the physical hardness of it, even violence... the glamor is for the consumer, not for the maker.. so when they become a producer of it, they are working their asses off, no one is patting on the back as everyone is hyper critical because they are hyper performers at the top level of the industry (international photo journalism)

they seldom make it through fashion week... the first two days they are there, then dribble off...

Oprah found the same when she decided to give a group of women their dream of being dancers in a rap video. even though it seems hoaky, it is a real opportunity as you have to be seen... so even if its all set up, if you have what it takes, its still an opportunity.

oprah went out of her way to the extreme. she got them dance intructors, dieticians, exercise people, and so on... and they had months to prepare and get to it.

it was so sad...
they were caught in the parking lot eating outside the diets
they would not do the exercises, they had no time to learn the dance... and on it went

it was a complete and total failure..

even when you offer them their dream and can make it happen, they wont take it... hows that for amazing?

my family taught me a long time ago..
no one cares if you fail and you learn
you fall, no one cares
but if you get in, make lots of mistakes, you learn faster
and then suddenly your not making them any more
and THEN people notice...

oh.. and having lots of talent and ability,or lots of smarts...
thats not what people think it is either.

being a talented person only gives you the access to sitting in a room of lots of other very talented people. outside the room are spectators and others who are not up to that level.

its a big room... :)

being kind of aspie means i cant motivate people. as logic does not motivate. so discussions like this are very informative to me. as they can clue me in on insights that i need to be what others expect so they dont punish..

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I applaude Bill's comment a... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 10:50 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I applaude Bill's comment about charging clients when the Doc is no longer doing their job! I've never had any chit-chat rate, but that's all I got this morning was simple chit chat about his trip to the west coast and a pic of his daughters ultrasound! I have serious PTSD and Need therapy not fun day at the Docs office at $125/hr.

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What's most sad about it... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 11:26 AM | Posted by Wen: | Reply

What's most sad about it is that you might have been right-- it might have worked-- except that instead of making that be the end of the story you drag it out for one more Act, and ensure that the pattern repeats, ad nauseam. You don't want the story to end. It's not a great story, but it's the one you know, the one you understand, and you'd rather have 500 pages of repetition compulsion than take a chance on Once Upon A Time. Writing is hard, I know. I know.

I agree, so completely. I blame...those good ol' fairy tales. My dad would gingerly tell these stories about a prince/princess doing amazing things, those endless Acts I-III, and I just soaked them all up. Eventually, he would start to yawn and go, "then happily ever after!"

"That's it, Dad? Happily ever after"?

"Junior, it means it's time you stop asking stupid questions, and let it be, ok?"

Let it be? "Happily ever after" is...the end of the train ride -- the infamous Acts after III no one wants to think about.

Well, I'm definitely afraid of "happily ever after" and been resisting all my life. While they say that "resistance is futile" and everyone eventually ("it is inevitable", right?) gets taken down, akin to an animal hit with a tranquilizer dart and put into "sleeper mode", I remain loyal to the principle on which all humanity stands - the right to continue asking stupid questions and basking in the glory of it so that "happily ever after" does not happen.

I salute to those who are true to keeping their Acts I-III intact - wherever and whatever they are!

Oops, I better go. Guess there'll be an Act V for just a sec (but don't worry, I'll forget it soon after.)

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Yo Aspie-man, XXX XXXXXXX X... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 11:35 AM | Posted, in reply to Artfldgr's comment, by Gabe Ruth: | Reply

Yo Aspie-man, XXX XXXXXXX XX XXX.

You've got some good thoughts in your marathon posts, but they're so well hidden that I'm not going to bother reading any more of them.

Wen,

Stay off the bath salts.

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"I refuse to work harder th... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 1:36 PM | Posted, in reply to Paula's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"I refuse to work harder than the client."

Imagine if cardiovascular doctors said that, or nutritionists, or endocrinologists. And then tried to bill for their services. "I'm sorry, but this patient's metabolic syndrome is really their own fault, but goddammit, I tried, but I refuse to work harder than the patient."

There's a time to scale back a bit in any task, but accepting that excuse---not just for the patient, but for yourself as a person and as a therapist--- is no long-term solution and certainly nothing to be proud of.

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Love your posts. I never kn... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 1:39 PM | Posted by DismalNeophyte: | Reply

Love your posts. I never know exactly where your hooks will lead, but I know it will be deep into my soul. At first repulsed by the descriptions of my own psychoses, I find solace in the fact that these are but inherited traits of genetics/civilization, shared by most. At least I'm aware of my own insanity...although they do say ignorance is bliss. Thanks for the therapy.

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Researchers are beginning t... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 1:58 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Bill: | Reply

Researchers are beginning to find ways to treat PTSD. It has long been known that a dose of propanolol prevents the memory from stored with the strong emotional charge of PTSD. Then some bright sparks realised that memories are not hardwired for ever: when they are recalled, they need to be stored again. If the propanolol is given after recalling the memory, the PTSD is less severe the next time the memory is recalled. It is only a research study in this article from 2006, but things may have moved on since then.

http://www.mcgill.ca/reporter/38/12/nader/

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Bill you've got my attentio... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 2:03 PM | Posted by Sami: | Reply

Bill you've got my attention! I have severe PTSD from a rape by my last psychiatrist. Tell me more about new treatment if you can.

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your troll game is sub-par.... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 2:30 PM | Posted, in reply to Sami's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

your troll game is sub-par.

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Wen - Yo Aspie-... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 2:39 PM | Posted by Artfldgr: | Reply

Wen -

Yo Aspie-man,
You've got some good thoughts in your marathon posts, but they're so well hidden that I'm not going to bother reading any more of them.
Stay off the bath salts.

Stay off the "ad hominem" and complimenting someone before you smack them – one day you’re going to meet someone who will smack you harder for being so.

It’s really not becoming (even if you throw in MSM current events to show you can read the news or at least see the pictures and listen to the commentary).

Why don't you really be honest? Wouldn’t that be refreshing?

Why not say:

"You know, I don't really like it when people are different than me and don't try to please me with the quality of their writing and keep it low. After all, how dare they have their own needs and come to where I hang out seeking it. As queen or king of my domain, I would have such people as you removed from the planet... but I will be happy if you leave here that way I look better".

Why not that?

Or even better.

WHY say anything at all? (if that’s what your going to say)

If you don’t want to read, then why tell me about it?

Why try to hurt a stranger you don’t know? Don’t you think it a bit mentally disordered that you woke up today, tried to read something, decided it’s not to your liking , maybe not to your capacity, and rather than scroll on, you decided to attack the author?

Why?

Would you advise everyone around you to just pipe up and tell you what he or she doesn’t like about you? People on the train tapping your shoulder and telling you that your clothes are ugly, your face is lopsided and you’re just blowing the aesthetic of the reality around them.

Can’t you just wait for the next train?

I hope you get the kind of help I came here to see if I could learn.

Boy did I get a lesson… but it’s a lesson that confirms.

Its abnormal to be nice – right Wen?

Be kind to those you meet, for they too like you are fighting a hard battle - Plato

You just showed that there is no way for your world to get nicer, as you cannot get away from yourself. Can you?

And anyone that talks to strangers they don’t know that way and slaps them after drawing them closer with a compliment can never really be happy… can they?

I can see why Alone writes as to narcissism and so much dysfunction.
it’s quite a nasty crab bucket here…

Thanks for showing Nietzsche was right (Though I don’t often agree with him)

One does not hate as long as one has a low esteem of someone,
but only when one esteems him as an equal or a superior.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

You do me the honor of insulting me!! Thanks for the compliment…

There is a reason Asperger’s people spend their time alone away from typical people.

Thanks for the lesson and the fast warning to stay away!
Better to learn early and avoid then learn later and suffer…

I have one advantage in this game you don’t have.

I CAN get away from you, but you can’t get away from yourself!!!

There is nothing I can learn from the people writing here I would care to learn; now I know you all better. (and yes all, as others are not saying anything either)

Is it any wonder my first post was so discombobulated when the reaction to an attempt to connect and find some answers is met with such a response?

I just hope that anyone who might be in a relationship with someone that does what you just did sees you coming. As your one heck of a toxic person (who probably thinks they are good and nice). Not only that, but you like to share that poison when you don’t have to, even if it takes more effort to share it than not.

if character is doing the right thing when others are not looking, what is it when you do the wrong thing to show off?

I will leave you some words to ponder.
At the very least, others will ponder and think, if not you.

Don't try to be different. Just be good. To be good is different enough. ~Arthur Freed

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion. ~Abraham Lincoln

Laws control the lesser man. Right conduct controls the greater one. ~Chinese Proverb

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. ~James D. Miles

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good. ~Thomas Paine

You do not wake up one morning a bad person. It happens by a thousand tiny surrenders of self-respect to self-interest. ~Robert Brault,

Thank you for trying to hurt me!
For I think it’s better to be the victim in this, than it is to be you

Just say to yourself: “I am not as bad as people think I am, I am not as bad as people think I am, I am not as… ” (your worse)

Did I mention I don’t like mental bullies…

i would say have a nice live Wen, but i doubt you have the capacity to. so i hope in some way, things get better for you, that way, the world wont suffer as much.


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Just to clarify, that wasn'... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 3:54 PM | Posted, in reply to Artfldgr's comment, by Gabe Ruth: | Reply

Just to clarify, that wasn't Wen, and the bath salts comment was directed at that individual, not you.

I do regret the comment, you're quite right that it was unnecessary and petty. But I don't know that it was bullying, or that insulting an individual sitting on the train for something they can't control is analogous here. I find you interesting, but can't understand alot of what you write. I'd like to, so I goaded you to tighten up your thoughts. Why? Because like you, I'm busy, and I am a terribly slow reader. Probably not the best tactic to use on a genius, though.

Also, what do you say we try to stop the trivialization of the word hate? But even if you want to continue to believe that I hate you or want you to be gone from my kingdom, remember that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.

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There is no special tactic ... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 4:27 PM | Posted by Artfldgr: | Reply

There is no special tactic with a "genius" but honest communication.
is that really so hard?

why not help me by showing me where i fall, so i can work on what made me stumble?

your right, the opposite of love is indifference, but that's an irrelevant fact... isn't it?

i am glad i came back long enough to read what you wrote, but ultimately... its not a good place for someone with a problem expressig themselves well. I type too fast, and think too fast, and so put too much down. i dont know if the others get the references as i dont know what they have or have not read, or what they have learned is false or not. the more you know the less you can easily get along with people who know less and are not happy at that fact... i could care less... as everyone shows me stuff, and i mean EVERYONE...

in fact, its odd we can respect a basketball player, a genetic celbrity of sorts. love the baseball player, think susan boyle is not prety but her voice makes up for that.

but you know... we are VERY VERY abusive to smart people

a lot of admirable people in the past who we celebrate today have similar things as to me.

but you know. i am starved for some really good conversation.
so i talk too much when i get a chance. and i am so interested in things, and sharing what i have discovered.

but thats the way the culture goes, no? the zeitgeist is that dummy is better, and surface judgment suffice, and so on. but that would just be confirming Alone's thesis. no?

given social engineering games, i was kept out of a place where i could do my best... and given my social skills, and lack of social skills of the young, and their not being up to par with those from the past, make for a very bad recipe.

i hunger to sit with others who can discuss things with me
i love my friends, but they arent interested. which is fine
but leaves me suppying many others with their intellectual fix, but there is little to challenge me.

if Alone would tolerate it, i will send them some examples of my art, photography, and a couple of other things.

after all, if temple grandin didnt have an advocate, she would be a welfare recipient, not a celebrated engineer of farm equipment.

I had a similar path, but when i reached time to go to school, they said, no... we arent funding white men as much, and my family being refugee an in a slum, we couldnt afford it. so i paid for a certificate course in programming, slept on park benches and my aunts apartment... and educated. that got me a stellar career, but alas it was not to be, as a sociopathic wackaloon destroyed that... after all, faking a murder and so forth has a way of removing you from fortune 10 (she isn't dead, and hasn't been for 25 years... and probably wont be for another 25... she just worked the systems favoritism)

even now, i cant get legal help... they seem not to want to fight a battle not so easy to win given peoples assumptions and compassion for the scapegoats of the current shoa

i tried to attend the seever institute for autism, but they dont want or care about me as i was one year over their age limit. i guess they dont care what i have done to adapt and how that may help kids. after all until i had this wacky affirmative action boss, no one knew i had aspie qualities... or was half deaf.. etc.

i had overcome and learned to hide that.
now they isolate me, treat me like a retard, give me no chance at raises or promotions, and so on.

so i was hoping for a bit better informaition as ot understand and figure out a better way out. (i dont like litigation, i actually like the place i work for, just not the current conditions)

i want to bring my electronics, art, mechnics, designs and so on forwards... but cant... i tend to attract sharks or the lazy who, as the discussion here points out, wont move even if they say so, and since i cant read them. i am at a loss.

i am lucky... i had a great family (most are gone now), i eventually married a wonderful indonesian woman... so i have a great new family... and so on.

but ultimately i want to do better. there are kids in indonesia that could do better if i do.. (neices and a nephew).. my son, who is also very smart, and more normal than i will ever be... he cant get anywher,e as they dont want "his kind" as they are socially engineering outcomes (and self determination goes out the window if there is social engineering)

so thanks
sorry i am hard to understand

take care everyone..
maybe i will be back, maybe not..
we shall see.. (or at least i will)

its not a big problem anyway. i am 47 and there isnt much life ahead of me, so in the long run, it will fix itself. no?


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Take it easy, Artfldgr.<br ... (Below threshold)

June 22, 2012 5:49 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Take it easy, Artfldgr.
Notbody dislikes you and noone has the right to tell you not to express yourself except for Alone (it is his blog). Your anxiety is feeding into your writing and that may be why it is robbing some readers the wrong way. Go do some yoga or cardiovascular excercise and internalize your thoughts by physically being alone (not on the internet) and you will feel better. It is hard not to care about what others think of you but you got to try. We are all meant to walk on earth alone with dignity and respect for ourselves. Anything extra is just a blessing! Take care.

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we are VERY VERY a... (Below threshold)

June 23, 2012 1:45 AM | Posted, in reply to Artfldgr's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

we are VERY VERY abusive to smart people
People aren't very very abusive to Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Brian Cox, Michio Kaku, etc... It's not because they're all physicists; it's because they're dedicated to enriching the public's knowledge, rather than criticizing their lack of it.
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Having been in that situati... (Below threshold)

June 23, 2012 6:32 AM | Posted, in reply to Guy Fox's comment, by nomad: | Reply

Having been in that situation, cold stream, no soap et al., I suggest letting the pots lie around filled with water for a few hours to a day. They scrub a lot easier afterwards.

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People aren't ver... (Below threshold)

June 23, 2012 10:06 AM | Posted by Artfldgr: | Reply

People aren't very very abusive to Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Brian Cox, Michio Kaku, etc...

so you agree that success changes how people treat you.

but you have no idea what they went through before they were famous, and protected...

its why i worked so hard at Bronx Science, so i could be with smart people at college and away from the more abusive tall poppy killing regular people...

Richard Feynman, Nobel laureate, tells this story. When the future Nobel laureate was a child, his father would take him into the forest. And his father would tell him about birds; why certain birds are shaped the way they are, the coloration, the shape of the beak, their feeding habits. Everything about the life history and lifestyle of birds. And then one day, a bully comes up to him and says, “Hey Dick, what’s the name of that bird over there?” Well, he didn’t know. He could tell that bully everything about that bird, its coloration, its shape, the shape of its beak, its feeding habits. Everything about that bird except one thing. Its name. And then the bully says, “Hey Dick, what’s the matter? You stupid or something?” And at that point, he got it. He began to realize that for most people science is nothing but memorization. But what is memorization? You can look it up on the internet in the future. Science is not about memorizing facts and figures. Of course, you have to know the basics, but science is about principle. It’s about concepts.

so i guess nobel prize winning feynman is willing to express what happens, but michio kaku isnt.

your also focusing on celebrities who spend a lot of their time not working on ideas but on promotions...

A sad fact: The majority of children with Aspergers will experience repeated bullying and/or victimization at school. Aspergers students are easy targets for a variety of reasons:

• Due to having a low social IQ, they let things build up …then retaliate without an awareness of what the consequences might be
• They appear different than their “typical” peers
• They are not always aware of teasing or bullying behavior
• “Intimidation” is not in their vocabulary
• The need to dominate or control others is not part of their personality

Isaac Newton One of the Greatest Scientists of all Time

At the school Newton was a lonely boy. He was not a very good student. Nobody paid much attention to him. One incident in school that had influence on his life was his fight with a larger lad. This lad was the school bully, who also happened to be first in studies as well. The fight ensued after Newton was punched by the bully. Newton fought back, he pushed the bully onto the ground and rubbed his face in the mud. The other students who were watching the fight cheered for Newton as they all hated the bully. Newton found that he could fight better than the bully and this made him think that he could do anything better than the bully. As a result he decided to pay attention to studies to compete. He stood first in his class. At school his greatest delights were solitary study and manufacturing mechanical devices. He made windmills, water-clocks, and sundials. It is said that he invented a four-wheel carriage which was to be moved by a rider. He also caused one of the earliest recorded UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) scares by flying a kite at night with a paper lantern attached to it.

Newton was bullied and had the same loves i do..
Feynman was bullied..

you think a black child wanting to be a physicist was not bullied by other black children telling him not to be so white? before you say no, i grew up in such a neighborhood... and saw that myself upclose and personal

but all your examples AND mine, were allowed to show their stuff.

i was able to also when i was a kid and before socialism took so much hold the college admins decided to change the social make up of our society by playing admiision games.

of course you will say no.
but i warn you... if you debate me, you better have your empirical facts lined up and ready... my memory is kind of like rain man, but its not tables and such, its facts... its not as tight which is why ic an work out things and so forth, while all he could do was memorize.

Racial and Ethnic Preferences in Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison http://www.ceousa.org/attachments/article/546/U.Wisc.undergrad.pdf

Using the SAT and class rank while controlling for other factors, the black-over-white odds ratio was roughly 576 to 1; the Hispanic-over-white odds ratio was 504 to 1. Using the ACT and class rank while controlling for other factors, the black-to-white odds ratio was 1330 to 1; the Hispanic-over-white odds ratio was even higher (1494 to 1). In contrast, whether using the SAT or ACT, the Asian-white odds ratio was 1 to 1.

so as you can see... a person who needed admissions and such couldn't get them. and the above does not tell of the skewing towards women... which is why my son cant get, despite graduating with honors.

what you dont realize is that in the 80s when i was to go, the points game meant that even if i got a perfect sat score... the lower sat score of the others would be higher...

so if the top score was 5000 (not a real score)
and i scored 4800...
and another guy scored 4500
and they were giving 1000 point pluses by race/gender/orientation
then even if i scored 5000, i would not beat the 4800, who would score 5800... a score that is unatainable by anyone who didnt have the bonus.

college finances are similar
and SBA also has similar programs which dead end you

now... AFTER you do the research in all this then come back and tell me what i know is not what i know. dont argue from ignorance and msm examples as to a walter lippman type world view, and not the whole and reality of it.

ie. the details count..

my family lived under hitler once, stalin twice, and know all these games that ameicans have no idea of. and they are blatant and out in front... we survived for a reason having to do with noticing what others didnt, and then not using the wash to dilute it.

t's because they're dedicated to enriching the public's knowledge, rather than criticizing their lack of it.

and as to the above. have you ever read the works of these guys and their stuff? they talk all the time about the ignorance of the public, they o very little actual researchand publishing because instead they are trying to inform the public.

the list of people you gave are the scientists whose whole career in the public is a criticism of the public not knowing! (if the public knew, what then would they bother telling them in gradeschool terms what the public already knows at college level)

Rejected Applicants. During these years, UW-Madison rejected 1 black and 3 Hispanics, but 39 Asians and 777 whites, despite having higher test scores and class rank compared to the average black admittee.

and that was in the 90s, not the 80s BEFORE the supreme court said it was unconstitutional to do so.

i am not angry at the insulter.. just frustrated...
so i dont need to go off and cool down...
i am disappointed, not angry..

been dealing with such people all my life...
i was struck in the face two weeks ago in the subway...
so its a lifetime constant..
but in academia, that dont happen. they are far from it
but i cant get a raise, promotion, and such, despite prior success. and thats because i am the wrong sex/color/orientation..

its THAT bad now...
its like the old country my family came from
where how hard you work didnt matter, all that mattered whas that you made their administrave forms have nice totals at the bottom that they aesthetically wanted.. and when not, well thats when people suffered even more.

i have a new chip design that can go through unordred data at clock speed. ie, you can index everything inthe world without indexing it. and it can be on your desk.. it was designed to sift through a thousand years of genetic data in a day...

i have a new pipette calibration tool that uses water, instead of 15 dollar a drop systems, so that you can train on it, and the pipetters can be calibrated before each study run

i have artwork, photography... lithographs... paintings... electronic circuits... new products... science discoveries in artificial intelligence and so on..

and before you say impossible, read about lemelson..
and others.

most of the people never do much in their lives and so they never actually know what prevents them or may confound them. i do a lot, and change a lot, and do more... i dont let the world stop me, but at some point i want to bring what i have forward and not be erased from existence by stalinists in academia who think they arent. (and pedagogy pushers who dont realize that they are akin to joseph mengele who wnated to change kids for the future he saw too!)

i learned how to defend myself from people
i never learned how to defend myself from state or federal policy that targets me for my race, gender, orientation, and not my merit, intelligence, ability... race, gender, and orientation are not proxies for those other things. are they?

but ya know what? if i get a sex chanage, i can be a darling again, if i lie as to my orientation, they would love it. and so on.

how did i learn this? easy. when i was an inner city slum child, the teachers and such were taking credit for making me. blank slate and all. so they heaped stuff on me as i was inner city.

but the year i moved becaue classmates were being murdered (1970s bronx), raped, beaten... i became a white middle class priveleged racist... all their behavior changed... i was no longer allowed to achieve, as that wasnt fair to the others. i was attacked as a 175IQ from bronx science in a regular school blew the curve to the point that they would (try to) beat me. but that stopped fast as i am not tiny, weak, and like others... i came from a violent inner city ghetto...

so from then on... there was nothing but wing clipping
my sister is still in school. has several degrees, and so on
but she never attended bronx science, and just took all the freebies and such that the social engineers offered.

me? the best i could do was 2k, and sleeping on park benches, so i could get a certificate in programming and not be on welfare.

i had a great career in the fortune 10 companies, high salary and all that, when a feminist faked hermurder and destroyed that. (so another ideological wackaloon)

i eventuyally ended up back in an acadmic area job, but alas, not with the academics, but with the femnist ideological affirmative action things, where only women, minorities and gays got raises and promotions

they just fired the head of the department for that!!!
but alas, i want to be on the new team that creates technology for the researchers.

why?

because i spent 10 years of my own time doing that as the researchplace i work for has no engineering department, and i volunteered my personal time, my own money, my life to

ENRICHING THE PUBLICS KNOWLEGE

and my boss locked me down as i would get a promotion by that, they rated my condition (not looking you in the eye) as a reason for no raises. they locked me in a closet so that the researchers no longer knew who did the work, so i could not get raises.

i was told trying to get a raise downgrades the others

thats why i am in a closet, and the trainee had a desk, air conditioning, and was a minority female. when she left, rather than seniority come in, they moved the other minority up.

so i have degree, 30 years career experience including management, my own company, and so on... and they promoted non degree, no experience, less time at the firm, and so on, over me because i am a white male.

so give me a break on all that.
dont spout the msms stuff which is what creates the idea that its ok to do that to people.

i sit and wonder, why my south asian indonesian wife has to be punished becuase all these people treat me by what ideology claims i am, and not me as a person?

so that's why i am frustrated
thats why i want to learn what makes others tick
so i can have a child with my wife, a home to die in, and maybe a dog... and maybe just maybe, not have a lifetime of work and effort be erased stalinistically cause my family came to a country to excape that, not for the rest of us to be exterminated for it.

so lets get on the same page..
lets assemble facts, not fictions from the zeitgeist

but that wont happen...
for all the reasons Alone discusses!!

we ARE very abusive to smart people
if not, then why write an article that we love abusive sociopaths, and not an article how we love the smart and appreciate what they do... under socialism, we hate them.. they are the engine of capitalism, and Schopenhauer creative destruction..

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by the way the horro... (Below threshold)

June 23, 2012 10:20 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

by the way
the horror of it all is that when they create 1494 to 1 odds
they dont tell that 1 thats what they are doing.

ie. they let that kid, me. waste their whole life on a dream, living a lie of self determination, and so forth... then hide that after all that investment in a wrong future, they cut him off for something he or she has no control of. being a immigrant child of those fleeing communism/fascism/socialism, my family had nothing to do with any history in the US for which i am supposed to be helping pay for?

how would you like to spend your life working hard, forgoing going out and vacations to study, spending all your money on tools to work on, and making tons of things and wanting to participate..

but no one told you that outside the 100,000 to 1 odds of high iq, and even being able to be in the race, they stacked the deck 1494 to 1 against you and didnt tell you.

if a casino did that what would we do to the casino?

but a casino steals money
these people steal lives

if i knew that my lifes work starting at 4 years old trying to get to bronx science and be the only thing i ever dreamed of being was not to be because social engineers fashion would change..

i would have worked to be something else.. to be really good at something else and so on.

if you told me that i cant own a small business because the gifts to the others are so great few banks will bother with you unless what you have is super duper... after all, your competition gets free mentorship, free bank help, free equipment, power energy discounts, payroll tax abatements, lower tax for property, guranteed loans with 50% higher limits, and thousands of federal programs...

why would a sane banker want to help someone who cant get any of that, AND has to pay the higher rates?

would you bet on 1494 to 1 odds?

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Agreed, laughed out loud (i... (Below threshold)

June 23, 2012 11:15 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by twoslaps: | Reply

Agreed, laughed out loud (is it okay to type that phrase these days?) while standing up and slapping my right thigh.

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Something is off.I... (Below threshold)

June 23, 2012 11:33 AM | Posted by Rory: | Reply

Something is off.

I have been reading The Last Psychiatrist from some time now. It's a little bit of an addiction in itself. There is something compelling in the writing, and often it would express things in a way that spoke to the soul...but, I think I'm happy to call it a day.

The writing is often intimidating, replete with arch references the writer - I don't know...assumes the reader will get? Believes the reader won't get? Perhaps it is admirable that the writer assumes intelligence on the part of the reader - but, I'm not so sure they do.

This one in particular feels like a 13 page, 7000 word, wank-a-thon. It's their blog, and they're welcome to write as much as they want, but enough is enough. It's like being bullied by Will Hunting.

And after the article is written and published, the writer stands back and lets the comment section turn into an almighty go-fuck-yourselves bun-fight.

From the writing to the commenting, it is all so lacking in warmth. There is a chill wind that blows through these clinical white corridors. Not a place I want to be any more.

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"And after the article is w... (Below threshold)

June 23, 2012 12:47 PM | Posted, in reply to Rory's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"And after the article is written and published, the writer stands back and lets the comment section turn into an almighty go-fuck-yourselves bun-fight."

I don't know why anybody would expect TLP to censor his own comments/commenters or intercede in any way. It's enough to do the writing; he shouldn't have to babysit a bunch of grown adults, all of whom presumably have heard of free speech and believe in it. If one is uncomfortable with the notion of things being such 'an almighty go fuck yourselves bun fight' then perhaps that is all the more reason to tough it out through one without an intervention.

As far as coldness goes, have you ever seen a psychiatrist on a routine basis? I have. And I will say that based on comparison, TLP's expression of emotion, sharing of a concept used in psychoanalysis, having a sense of humor and talking about sex and personal issues, respectively, with some degree of easy candor that doesn't veer into inappropriateness here is pretty outstanding. Not things I would expect from a shrink. He did really good here.

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Amy Poehler was funny in Th... (Below threshold)

June 23, 2012 1:30 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Amy Poehler was funny in The House Bunny. Also--- pretty isn't quite the word, but it'll suffice.

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God damn it. Proving yet ag... (Below threshold)

June 23, 2012 1:50 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

God damn it. Proving yet again I still (can) live in a universe populated with Easter-egg colored unicorns and glitter gel pens, figuring babies happen because people get married. It's okay, I'm funnier this way. Nice diagram.

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but you have no id... (Below threshold)

June 23, 2012 5:53 PM | Posted, in reply to Artfldgr's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

but you have no idea what they went through before they were famous

That story about Richard Feynman illustrates my point quite nicely.
He realized that the majority of people aren't particularly interested in figuring out the implications of a pile of data.
So, he worked very hard on being able to relate the same data and implications through the power of stories and metaphor.
Both he and Carl Sagan laid down the framework for making science more accessible, and the other scientists I mentioned are picking up where they left off.

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You didn't need to.... (Below threshold)

June 23, 2012 7:28 PM | Posted, in reply to Artfldgr's comment, by Zo: | Reply

You didn't need to.

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We don't "admire" Michio Ka... (Below threshold)

June 23, 2012 9:03 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

We don't "admire" Michio Kaku et al. because they are smart, we admire them because they are on TV. And in as much as they are on TV because they are smart (a cute naivity), we admire them because 1) the parameters of their intelligence are easily understood, and 2) the consequences of their intelligence are not threatening. The second the intelligence (such as it is) of them or anyone else transcends those socionormative boundaries, it will cease to be admired.

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The unpleasant truths may b... (Below threshold)

June 24, 2012 9:07 PM | Posted by andronicus: | Reply

The unpleasant truths may be the most truthful, delivered like a dunning letter or with the impersonality of a subpoena, yet advice from the disinterested may be the best kind.
And invariably those most in need of this are also those least likely to appreciate it, for defense of one 's "identity" is so strong.

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the clip from the radio sho... (Below threshold)

June 25, 2012 12:42 AM | Posted, in reply to dg's comment, by anonymous: | Reply

the clip from the radio show is available on youtube. If you listen to it, she actually says it herself that she told her mother, so your criticism is unfounded. Your point does illustrate though the prevalent tendency in western society to filter everything we hear/read through the "me, me, me" filter.

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But I get Paula's logic tho... (Below threshold)

June 25, 2012 4:01 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Ivy: | Reply

But I get Paula's logic though. As as ex-patient to many endocrinologists, I can tell you that the responsibility of one's health (mental or physical) needs to rest with the patient. When I stopped seeing my doctors as gods and took charge of my own poor health, my autoimmune disease was cured. It haunted me for 10 years, and I saw countless doctors, and it was cured in 3 weeks. It wasn't a miracle, of course. I had to put in hard work in those 3 weeks (strict diet regimen) but what even made the change possible was a psychological "flip of the switch" - to take my health back in my own hands. And that's what's needed in Paula's clients too.

So I can empathize with these therapists. As long as the patients continue to see them as "mother" figures, use them as side characters in their Acts, they aren't going to be able to be cured no matter how hard the therapists try.

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As I read this, I was impre... (Below threshold)

June 25, 2012 12:52 PM | Posted by T. AKA Ricky Raw: | Reply

As I read this, I was impressed by all the individual insights along the way, and was struck by many of the observations, but when it came time to put them together into a coherent narrative I couldn't process it all into an overarching them. I'm going to have to reread this a few times to put it all into perspective, there's a lot going on here.

Very impressive insights.

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People don't think... (Below threshold)

June 25, 2012 12:54 PM | Posted by T. AKA Ricky Raw: | Reply

People don't think visually, the system has trained them to think visually. Most of the world uses computers for words, right? Yet it seems never to occur to anyone to do what is the most obvious thing in the world, ever:

I don't think it's that your idea never occurred to people. After all, tablets and kindles and Ereaders are all in the portrait orientation rather than the landscape. I think it's more about the fact that changing the standards of computer screens isn't going to happen overnight. Look how long it took to get everyone over into widescreen TVs and flatscreens and HDs.

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So if you need all the acts... (Below threshold)

June 25, 2012 7:56 PM | Posted by DGS: | Reply

So if you need all the acts in a story, what is going on when everything you say must be summed up or "concluded" - It is something I do a lot and it makes me/others puzzled.

But when I don't do it - it is as if I hang the speech mid sentence, and now people think they are to provide a reaction.

Or worse, I will take an exchange oh A > B B states something that needs no interpretations, and yet I will go in and interpret/explain away/ annoy.


Question 2: What happens when you go from being fully able to look people in the eye, anyone, anywhere, until they turn away, to now not being able to maintain eye contact/focus on the whole face instead of the eyes only. I understand one uses more brain power for that and it is easy to lose focus/ it is something with being "not good enough" and hence too afraid to listen - but HOW To SOLVE that? what to DO?

Thank you

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There is still the question... (Below threshold)

June 25, 2012 11:33 PM | Posted, in reply to Ivy's comment, by Yoshie: | Reply

There is still the question of why Paula doesn't just quit if she really believes she can't help these people, and she thinks they aren't trying to get better. It's good that you were able to work through your autoimmune disease using your own ingenuity. But I doubt your endocrinologists actually treated you any differently than any other patient, because they thought you were less involved in your own care. I'm sure they prescribed the same drugs, asked the same questions, and ordered the same tests. They didn't just half ass their jobs and continue charging you even though they no longer believed you would get better through their help

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The patient is always an im... (Below threshold)

June 25, 2012 11:49 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The patient is always an important member of the treatment team. Some patients can advocate effectivelyfor themselves and some simply can't. Nobody is ever 100% responsible or not for his or her own care though-that's just silly.
Let's not forget that showing up and paying for one's 45 minutes once a week *counts as making an effort.* That's proactive; to assume it is not smacks of hubris.
Would someone please explain why we should have portrait computer screens? I don't know why this matters. At all.

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Little help with: "if yo... (Below threshold)

June 26, 2012 11:15 PM | Posted by ARF: | Reply

Little help with: "if you do not write your story towards an ending, then your life will default to the one ending that will terrify you more than any other possible: "He could not refrain from going on with them, but it seems to us that we may stop here." It is inevitable."


Going on with whom? We may stop reading the story?

To offer a clue - is the chart 180 degrees backwards precisely because once you FALL the work starts. You figure out just how low your bottom is, and then you go up... or choose to crash.

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oh, and that climax arrow i... (Below threshold)

June 26, 2012 11:16 PM | Posted, in reply to ARF's comment, by ARF: | Reply

oh, and that climax arrow is down.

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Damn it. I am everything wr... (Below threshold)

June 27, 2012 2:49 AM | Posted by j: | Reply

Damn it. I am everything wrong you describe in this post. Not comfortable around girls, always trying to self-improve, and addicted to pornography because it relieves the stress of the aforementioned items.

"..and after a few years of childhood insecurity, you'll choose the Blue Pill and begin the dreaming: someday and someplace you'll show someone how great you somehow are."

Fuck. Me.

I'll just come out and say it - now what?

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He won't tell you cause i t... (Below threshold)

June 27, 2012 4:05 AM | Posted, in reply to j's comment, by DGS: | Reply

He won't tell you cause i think he wants you to figure that out yourself.


i guess we all just gotta say - this is what i have, not that or that on tv, and what do i do with this now, now what?

real life too real but we can do it.


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Biological psychiatry is do... (Below threshold)

June 27, 2012 7:31 AM | Posted by acute_mania: | Reply

Biological psychiatry is doomed to fail because it doesn't to seek out these phenomena. Researchers are more interested in scoring rating scales than looking for subtle, drug-induced cognitive or emotional shifts and documenting them. I can see a huge market for drugs that make the patient indifferent to sense-of-self, for instance.

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I don't hardly remember the... (Below threshold)

June 27, 2012 7:32 AM | Posted, in reply to j's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't hardly remember the post, but you have noticed TLP sometimes has the effect any horseman of the apocalypse would. People get really emotional and distraught about it. You have plenty of company. Awareness of one's own death never seems to make anyone real happy.

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here is the issue though - ... (Below threshold)

June 27, 2012 1:11 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by DGS: | Reply

here is the issue though - what good is this fear mongering to someone who is under 27. People who read this stuff, and think "shit I am fucked up" and go into tailspin of depression forgetting to love themselves (remember, it is now linked to narcissism)

So no love > worse feeling > if narcissistic it's other's fault, even if only subconsciously > nothing changes > feeling worse > stuck > pain > toxicity.


Now I might be wrong but that is my interpretation, and I am not sure my psyche can handle the red pill, it's like taking a bird to fly for the first time outside the house, but then putting a 1lb weight to it saying "that's how difficult this can be"

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I don't think TLP can activ... (Below threshold)

June 27, 2012 1:40 PM | Posted, in reply to DGS's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't think TLP can activate anything that isn't in a sense there in one's head already. That's my opinion. Still- it's fun to call him a horseman of the apocalypse. Ha ha ha! Take that!

Um, sometimes not "loving yourself" and going to a dark place within one's soul can result in really good things, actually. If the sorts of things I tend to lump under the label "fear of one's own death" must be dealt with eventually, (and they must), then may as well become comfortable with that idea. I'm not talking about death in a literal physical sense. I may be speaking more of finding different kinds of consciousness and awareness.
Florence King once wrote that in the United States something can barely go wrong before we want to haul in the counselors and announce "the healing has begun!"
It can be immeasurably valuable to sort one's darkness out by oneself or with help from whatever God one believes in. If in your consciousness---mind, heart, body---everything goes black, whatever does manage to make you happy again and make you feel alive should really tell you something.
I like giving TLP a hard time. That makes *me* happy.

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Wow! I must be a raging nar... (Below threshold)

June 27, 2012 5:18 PM | Posted by Rio40Degrees: | Reply

Wow! I must be a raging narcissist, because instead of making me feel bad, this article actually made me feel very good about myself. Furthermore, I think I'm in love with you, Alone! Thank you for the fantastic article!

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My soul keeps turning to th... (Below threshold)

June 28, 2012 9:37 AM | Posted by Anonymous : | Reply

My soul keeps turning to the driver's side of the cab. When you get invited to a rape shower, should you agree to hold the shower head?

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(A) When did "come on her t... (Below threshold)

June 28, 2012 4:16 PM | Posted by Bill: | Reply

(A) When did "come on her tits" become "normal"? I'd want to come in her vagina.

(B) In the 1980s some manufacturers used to make monitors exactly like the one in the diagram - and they could even be swivelled between portrait and landscape mode. It's not that no one has thought of it, it's not that customers haven't asked for it, it's that the mass market tends to produce just one format. For the same reason office workers now use 16:9 monitors, even though the older 4:3 format had a more useful, taller shape. Why? Because 16:9 is better for DVDs, and it's "one size (or shape) fits all". If you want a monitor that's a certain height, it is less costly to buy a 16:9 monitor than a 9:16 or even a 4:3 monitor of the same height. Think of it as getting the space on each side of the centre for free. It isn't that the customers are "sheeple", it's merely the exigencies of mass production.

(C) TLP is right about the double standard that he describes in (I). But there is a different double standard as well.

A man says "wow, I totally plowed this girl last night", and he is likely to face disciplinary action for creating a hostile work environment.

A woman says "wow, I got totally plowed by this guy last night", and the same charge won't stick. In this case the "hostile work environment" arises because the speaker's male co-workers are invited to contemplate why _they_ were not the ones doing the plowing, why they are such sad losers that they are not on their colleague's "plowing list", and if they can't get any work done through thinking about it, or because they are dreaming up ways to make passive-aggressive enquiries, then the problem is them, not her. The hostile work environment is the inside of their own heads.

But when a man creates a hostile work environment by saying "wow, I totally plowed this girl last night" in front of a female colleague, the hostile work environment is not in her head, it pervades the whole office space. Even if the man hasn't noticed his female colleague and is talking on the phone to a friend. Why is that?

Do we excuse the woman in the first example because we expect women to use their sexuality to manipulate men, and we expect that men had better be able to deal with it?

The problem with not enforcing equal standards of behavior is that occasionally the workplace holds a real female predator, and when that happens, no one takes it seriously until the damage has gone way too far.

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If a man in the office is b... (Below threshold)

June 28, 2012 5:19 PM | Posted, in reply to Bill's comment, by Wisegirl: | Reply

If a man in the office is bothered by her comment, he should let her know that he finds it inappropriate. If she fails to refrain from making such declarations in the future, then hell yes it should be considered harassment. No one should be talking about sex at work unless they are in the porn industry.

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Did you recently get dumped... (Below threshold)

June 29, 2012 1:34 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Did you recently get dumped ? You are all about woman hating and porn these days.

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"You will observe that most... (Below threshold)

June 29, 2012 3:14 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"You will observe that most of your "I can't believe I did that" behaviors are at the end of the night, the end of the day, the end of the party, the end of the story, which means the narrative has less in common with a porno than with the last chip in the bag or the last swig out of the bottle-- there are a billion possible reasons why you started the bottle or plowed through the bags, but that very last one has only one unique motivation, and it is in understanding that last one that you will or will not change your future."

That's funny, Last Tango in Paris---watching the butter scene through my fingers clasped over my eyes notwithstanding--- kind of hearkens to that, with all the doors closing, after raunchy sex fueled by what I can only guess is some kind of awareness of death. It's supposed to be a serious movie, but it's really very funny.

As far as Brando looking like shit, so does the actress- in the still provided, she looks like a messy transvestite whore.

As I recall, women thought of her as someone they wanted to look like, however, when teh movie came out.

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But you want "why... (Below threshold)

June 30, 2012 6:04 PM | Posted by TheDavid: | Reply


But you want "why", you're drawn to "why" like you're drawn to a pretty girl in the rain. Let me guess: she has black hair, big eyes, and is dressed like an ingenue. "Why?" is the most seductive of questions because it is innocent, childlike, infinite in possibilities, and utterly devoted to you.

She has wet hair (all wet hair looks darker), she has eyes and they work well enough, she's dressed in wet clothes (but not too many or too confining), and her mood is improved by doing a favor for a homely chubby old guy.

The why is because you set the scene (chick, rain) and because I can't afford to pay for a blowjob from anybody I'd want to watch perform it (the watching is almost as good as the sensation).

I've also pretty much given up on getting a decent BJ without paying for it because that's much easier than doing all the stuff I used to do to get BJs I'd want to remember before I became old, homely and chubby, and because I'm not quite motivated enough to learn a new way to get decent BJs. Bunny Munro I ain't.

By the way, I can accept PayPal: wanna send me $100 for a decent blowjob I'll want to remember?

You can tell youself this validates your Narcissism theme. In fact, you could tell ME how this validates your narcissism theme. Fair enough?

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Did you recently ... (Below threshold)

June 30, 2012 7:32 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by TheDavid: | Reply


Did you recently get dumped ? You are all about woman hating and porn these days.

He's an old, tired, depressed drunk who's been in midlife crisis for about a decade now.

But where do you get "women hating?"

I think he's being (or portraying) a paternal and therapeutic old goat. It fits the theme of his blog: his narcissism, his solipsistic impression that his narcissism is like everybody else's (or vice versa), his need to pontificate and preach (hence his blogging), and his hopeless yearning for young women who will trade blowjobs for advice and counsel. Instead of just paying cash, which is what usually works best for us old goats whether we're paternal and therapeutic or not, because paying cash doesn't gratify his narcissism correctly: it would make him feel even lonelier and more pathetic than he already does.

Me, I'm the opposite: I view buying a BJ as the purchase of a pofessional service, which is far preferable to having to do things on a personal level. I suspect if you saw a photo of Alone next to one of me you'd grasp the reason for the difference.

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I'll give Alone a bj for ad... (Below threshold)

June 30, 2012 8:05 PM | Posted, in reply to TheDavid's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I'll give Alone a bj for advice and counsel. I don't *actually need* any advice or counsel at the moment, but I might someday.

But you couldn't pay me.

And narcissism is pretty much the same in everybody- a loathing of one's own humanity and an inability to love.

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Hats off to offering "alone... (Below threshold)

June 30, 2012 9:25 PM | Posted by Samster: | Reply

Hats off to offering "alone" a BJ , I'll help for free! I excel at BJs especially when the favors returned!

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And narcissism is pretty... (Below threshold)

June 30, 2012 9:36 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by TheDavid: | Reply

And narcissism is pretty much the same in everybody- a loathing of one's own humanity and an inability to love.

If that's the definition then I'm not a narcissist.

I define myself with a different metric, using an obscure technical term familiar only to most erudite: a fruitcake.

And Samster, somehow I can't imagine The Last Psychiatrist sucking cock. He's got "straight-sounding" down, at least. So, are you cute? (I'm sure the hell not, or why would I be begging some alleged net.shrink to buy me a blow job?)

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Please more on emotional me... (Below threshold)

July 1, 2012 2:12 PM | Posted by DGS: | Reply

Please more on emotional metrics and why levels rise fall...things such as love replaced by insecurity at moments notice.

and, how to relax and see yourself not as super important ONE but one of MANY. How do you essentially explain to a 2 year old he isn't the only person in the universe but also that he has a right/claim to certain things.

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I'm soyy, are you literally... (Below threshold)

July 1, 2012 9:18 PM | Posted, in reply to DGS's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm soyy, are you literally speaking of a 2 year old?
It's TLP blog, so I can't tell.
That is a good question, since I can't imagine one ever needing to explain that to a 2 year old. I hope Alone actually answers this one. To me it sounds like something does need to be explained, only it's to the parent.

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You're right about Amy Schu... (Below threshold)

July 2, 2012 12:38 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

You're right about Amy Schumer, but you're wrong about Amy Poehler.

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As tempting as it is to jum... (Below threshold)

July 4, 2012 4:31 PM | Posted, in reply to TheDavid's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

As tempting as it is to jump in with my two cents about the pedophilia "debate" that is raging on TLP right now (that's right, *more than one person* considers it debatable!), I'd like to mention that, as far as ingenues in or out of the rain goes, the *bestest* has old skits online right now. I just found them today and they're great. Who is it?-not Audrey Hepburn....(good guess though). Here's a couple links to Hey! It's the Zooey Deschanel Show!

This is the one on the internet:

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/6de30842a7/hey-the-zooey-deschanel-show-ep6-the-internet

Here is the one on love, everyone should be able to relate to this (no debating!):

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/11e416447f/hey-the-zooey-deschanel-show-ep5-love

Ginny

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you don't explain it, you s... (Below threshold)

July 4, 2012 10:10 PM | Posted, in reply to DGS's comment, by tim: | Reply

you don't explain it, you show it through your actions. any attempt to 'explain' anything, using abstract concepts, to a 2 year old, is going to fail.

this is something that a lot of parents just don't seem to get.

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'Slightly off topic but her... (Below threshold)

July 8, 2012 6:45 AM | Posted by Nicki: | Reply

'Slightly off topic but here's an important example: say you yell every day at an/your eight year old girl for sloppy homework, admittedly a terrible thing to do but not uncommon, and eventually she thinks, "I'm terrible at everything" and gives up, so the standard interpretation of this is that she has lost self-confidence, she's been demoralized, and case by case you may be right, but there's another possibility which you should consider: she chooses to focus on "I'm terrible at everything" so that she can give up. "If I agree to hate myself I only need a 60? I'll be done in 10 minutes. "

It is precisely at this instant that a parent fails or succeeds, i.e. fails: do they teach the kid to prefer (find reinforcement in) the drudgery of boring, difficult work with little daily evidence of improvement, or do they teach the kid to prefer (find reinforcement in) about 20 minutes of sobbing hysterically and then off to Facebook and a sandwich? Each human being is only able to learn to prefer one of those at a time. Which one does the parent incentivize?

If you read this as laziness you have utterly missed the point. It's not laziness, because you're still working hard, but you are working purposelessly on purpose. The goal of your work is to be done the work, not to be better at work.

For a great many people this leads to an unconscious, default hierarchy in the mind, I'm not an epidemiologist but you got it in you sometime between the ages of 5 and 10:

is better than

is better than

You should memorize this, it is running your life. "I'm constantly thinking about ways to improve myself." No, you're gunning the engine while you're up on blocks. Obsessing and ruminating is a skill at which we are all tremendously accomplished, and admittedly that feels like mental work because it's exhausting and unrewarding, but you can no more ruminate your way through a life crisis than a differential equation. So the parents unknowingly teach you to opt for , and after a few years of childhood insecurity, you'll choose the Blue Pill and begin the dreaming: someday and someplace you'll show someone how great you somehow are. And after a few months with that someone they will eventually turn to you, look deep into your eyes, and say, "look, I don't have a swimming pool, but if I did I'd drown myself in it. Holy Christ are you toxic."'

Thank you.

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"That's why when you look i... (Below threshold)

July 8, 2012 3:46 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by RNO: | Reply

"That's why when you look in the mirror and don't like what you see, you don't immediately crank out 30 pushups, you open a bag of chips. You don't even try, you only plan to try. The appearance of mental work, aka masturbation."

Anonymous on June 18, 2012 12:54 PM
"That's why when you read TLP and don't like what you see, you don't immediately close your browser and do something with your life, you tab over to an oldie but a goodie. You don't even change, you barely even plan to change."

A tiny ray of hope: if nothing else, i at least did the thirty push-ups.

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This reminds me of factitio... (Below threshold)

July 9, 2012 1:52 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

This reminds me of factitious disorders. I have noticed lately I get very upset when I hear people talking about abuse and they are not using anything that sounds like their own language to do it; the sound is like someone read a book and mimicked a behavior or a sentiment. "I feel so guilty I left home and wasn't there to take the abuse for my brother.......""I had no idea she was abusing him too...." Huh?!

IT'S LIKE- THE WAY THINGS ARE EXPRESSED BY SOME PEOPLE IS SO CRYSTAL CLEAR AND UNCOMPLICATED (SORRY-CAPS LOCK BROKEN)where one might assume some great amount of therapy has been done to get over some significant abuse, but that makes no sense as the compliance for every other aspect of therapy is nonexistent or openly defiant...plus certain other behaviors are so conguluted and random...OK, no more rant. I suppose what is most troubling to me personally is that outside of what ii can try to understand or parse together, on a very basic level I listen to the "victims" talk and it just does not ring true to me. It's very disturbing. Can you write something about factitious disorders or maybe about language?
It seems to me in therapy (based on experience) that the better the therapist (assuming you yourself don't suck either) the more you're trying to say things more personally, clearer or more accurately, in your own language, including the stuff that comes and goes and sort of hides behind imaginary pillars in one's mind, visible and then not. After a while it gets easier. But when people say they're traumatized and they come out with perfect language for that kind of experience.....eh, I don't know.

There's a question in there somewhere.

I'm still working that part out.

Also, based on what I've read, a lot of the ways psychotherapists treat or are 'supposed' to treat problems of narcissism I now think are bullshit. Not entirely, but mostly. Ditto factitious disorders. It probably just means I'm a crabby little person who doesn't have much time for people's crap, but you can you say something, not about me (God-no) but about therapy and therapists? I believe in nice and all, but to some extent I also believe in being real and authentic and not enabling too..... so treating a (theoretical) analysand like a baby makes me nervous.

And can you get this done by about, mn, mid-month? (Doesn't hurt to ask). :-)

***

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"The downside of this, apar... (Below threshold)

July 9, 2012 1:17 PM | Posted by Deckard Cain: | Reply

"The downside of this, apart from candida, is that you train yourself to think of all events and behaviors as happening to separate parts of yourself-- you don't fully own them-- which means that when something good does happen you can't own that, either. Everything will come with self-doubt."

Is the converse true? If you convince yourself that the part of you engaged in gross fingerbanging is the same part that helps the homeless (though not in a fingerbang-related way) because there are no parts, just one big whatever, that you'll also start to believe that your accomplishments are genuine?

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Psychoanalysis. Freudian or... (Below threshold)

July 10, 2012 2:42 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Alex: | Reply

Psychoanalysis. Freudian or Lacanian.

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Reading this information I ... (Below threshold)

July 10, 2012 9:28 PM | Posted by Therapy Websites: | Reply

Reading this information I am satisfied to show that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling. I most undoubtedly will make certain to do not forget this web site and provides it a glance on a continuing basis. Very powerful post.

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"But you want "why", you're... (Below threshold)

July 11, 2012 4:24 PM | Posted by Tim: | Reply

"But you want "why", you're drawn to "why" like you're drawn to a pretty girl in the rain. Let me guess: she has black hair, big eyes, and is dressed like an ingenue. "Why?" is the most seductive of questions because it is innocent, childlike, infinite in possibilities, and utterly devoted to you."

You really are poetic sometimes. I often feel like your use of the second person, to explain the reader to himself, is a kind of hypnosis. I resist and resist: you don't know me! How can you know me? But it does not matter. There is a person you know, or rather an idea of a person, and she is familiar to me, in a way few people are.

This post was a rough ride over uneven terrain, but I enjoyed it immensely.

Thanks, Alone.

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<a href="http://thirdtierre... (Below threshold)

July 12, 2012 7:21 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

http://thirdtierreality.blogspot.com/

You should do a profile on pathologically dishonest academics, specifically "law professors."

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I think this would be good ... (Below threshold)

July 12, 2012 1:19 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I think this would be good blog fodder:

Audree Steinberg reports:
On July 7 a photojournalist discovered an estimated 50,000 bees living in the walls of his Los Angeles home, and he wasn't even scared.
Spending little time at home because of work, Larry Chen, 27, initially didn't notice the bees. According to the beekeeper he hired, the hive was an estimated six to eight months old.
A month ago, Chen began noticing bees buzzing in and out of his window, and he decided to investigate. According to Chen, the bees only came out during a 30-minute window in the day.
"I'm not really terrified of the bees… I just remained calm, and I figured they wouldn't bother me too much… I got stung once, but I was more curious about how big the hive actually was. I figured it was just a small clump of 1,000 or so," Chen said.
After his investigation, he spent a month on the road, traveling for work. When he returned, Chen found time to call a professional to assess the situation. He explained that he recently saw a documentary about the endangerment of bees, so he wanted to save - not exterminate - them.
He found a man on Craigslist, who goes by the name Mike Bee, who said he would safely remove the bees. He is a member of the rescue organization Backwards Beekeepers, a group that works with HoneyLove.org in order to educate the public about bees.
"My policy is to relocate, not exterminate," the beekeeper explained.
It took Mike Bee and his wife five hours to remove the bees from the wall. Mike Bee was stung four times.....

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THe following news article... (Below threshold)

July 13, 2012 12:28 PM | Posted by Harry Horton: | Reply

THe following news article from the NJ.com. "More oversight for J&J marketing arm in response to investor lawsuit"- Wednesday July 11, 2012. A quote from the article: "Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay as much as $2.2 billion to settle an investigation into the marketing of risperdal, pictured above.
THe continued house of cards structure of J&J's business practices is being investigated by the U.S. Government, with an additional 2.2 billion dollar penalty ahead, am offered settlement by J&J, such penalty in J&J's future in response to the company's past mismarketing and fraudulent prescribing practices.THe NJ article relates this information. An interesting article.

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The most profound replies i... (Below threshold)

July 14, 2012 10:29 AM | Posted, in reply to j's comment, by JJ: | Reply

The most profound replies in this post have the following themes:

1. Sense of self

2. Fear of death

3. I’m nobody trying desperately to pretend to appear as somebody, and all my efforts are futile and worthless.

4. Nobody can help and shrinks and self-help books are worthless.

There is a root problem to all these issues that has a very simple solution and which is almost impossible for nearly everyone to do. The root problem is that we have all been programmed with a lie and we are using the lie to try to escape from the lie. The lie only leads into itself deeper. Basic logic will confirm this.

The lie came from being in a human society. The lie is that you have to define yourself as a person with an identity and then use that identity to succeed. Your parents started this when they gave you a name. You are not the name. Your entire identity is a false construct and is the root of narcissism.

The solution is to realize that you are something before the identity. You are the one experiencing living through the identity. You have no name and you have no body. You are simply awareness.If you can pull yourself back to the point of awareness and simply be awareness, you will have no concerns, worries or fears. As soon as you re-identify as your construct they will all come back to you.

Most people will say that there is no way that they can live without their identity construct. If you want to be part of human society, that is true. Human society is the lie that convinced you that this is the only reality worth living.

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I thought I read on this si... (Below threshold)

July 14, 2012 8:36 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I thought I read on this site something about stopping high school bullying (the kids- not the grandma on the bus). Would you please address that--- I have a young lady I am acquainted with who is having her high school experience ruined by a pack of Queen B's. She spends her lunch hiding in the restroom crying. I'll buy you a libation should you ever be in Chicago (a great place to drink). I will. I would anyway, but if I can help this girl I'll be so pleased, or rather if you can help her. She is going into 11th grade. Shirley Jean

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I second the request by Shi... (Below threshold)

July 15, 2012 3:33 PM | Posted by Anonymous2: | Reply

I second the request by Shirley Jean. Your thoughts on the subject would be very appreciated.

Shirley Jean, is it possible for her to switch schools? What's the school policy on bullying? Have you talked to a lawyer or the police?

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I'm not her mother, I can't... (Below threshold)

July 15, 2012 4:48 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous2's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm not her mother, I can't just sweep in and start doing 'mom' things, she's in 11th grade and another state, she needs to have some input and agreement with what to do and she needs to do as much of it as possible for herself, on principle. As far as i can tell, this is something she can do herself, not a police matter or a lawyer. they're doing typical Queen B Mean Girls behavior. (I thinkthe best thing I can do is listen and be supportive).
I wish I had experience here, but my daughter'd kick their asses and for myself one of the first things I learned in high school is get a boyfriend and hang with him all the time- it's built-in social status and it's safer. To be honest, my inclination is to teach her to fight dirty and mean based on what little I do remember about bullies---you kick their ass once and they leave forever, because they're really total pussies or they wouldn't go around in packs terrorizing young ladies.

But if anyone understands all this better than I do--either how to stop a bully or how to be more popular-please tell me, I'd like this girl to have two acceptable years in HS. She's pretty, smart and nice- she should get to be happy. She can't switch schools. I think I suggested GED and college right away but her mother is (understandably) not into that.
thanks so much for responding. this site needs a Q and A section, not necesarilly addressed to Alone, just to everybody else here.

I know I'm suppossed to teach her to walk away from a fight. If anyone can tell me why that is-no, I'm not joking, I'm really not-please explain. they got together in a group and hurt her arm-left marks. It was a while ago, it was meant to be a threat. any advice at all appreciated.

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And you know, the hardest t... (Below threshold)

July 15, 2012 5:11 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous2's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

And you know, the hardest thing as aa parent is trying to figure out as they become young men and women when to step in and when not to. Especially if and when every single thing you do is always wrong to them anyway-this girl is quite nice, I'm thinking of my own daughter, for whom very little is ever OK but who won't tell me how to be better. I know she loves me, I love her. It's weird as a parent tto feel helpless- much nicer when you *can* fix everything, really.

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The girl who is being bulli... (Below threshold)

July 15, 2012 8:27 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Bill: | Reply

The girl who is being bullied by Queen B's could watch to see if they are bullying any other girls and, if so, befriend them. Also she should not neglect her school work. Within a short time she will have a better life, while the QBs will be stuck in the same place, getting pumped and dumped by equally obnoxious boys, and looking down on the people who are actually better than themselves.

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Thank you- I'm copy/pasting... (Below threshold)

July 15, 2012 9:02 PM | Posted, in reply to Bill's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Thank you- I'm copy/pasting this to her.

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For sure, this post was one... (Below threshold)

July 17, 2012 12:20 PM | Posted by Lorii Abela: | Reply

For sure, this post was one of your great posts... Thanks for sharing.!

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If you cant get bullied on ... (Below threshold)

July 17, 2012 2:04 PM | Posted by crumbskull: | Reply

If you cant get bullied on the internet without responding then hoo boy good luck out there.

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Crumbskull, I'm sorry, are ... (Below threshold)

July 17, 2012 7:13 PM | Posted, in reply to crumbskull's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Crumbskull, I'm sorry, are you talking about the girl at the end of 10th grade being hunted by a pacck of Queen B's, who are setting up fb pages for her peers calling her a 'fruit fly' and trapping her in the ladies' to inflict welts and bruises on her arms, or something else?

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I had similar trouble, it e... (Below threshold)

July 18, 2012 2:13 AM | Posted by Anonymous2: | Reply

I had similar trouble, it ended the moment I figured out that I can shove someone very well. There was no FB then though. I would get professional counsel on this.

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I don't see what the mind b... (Below threshold)

July 27, 2012 9:09 AM | Posted by Washington: | Reply

I don't see what the mind blowing revelations are here. Is this supposed to be the key to happiness? If Last Psychiatrist has it all figured out why does he come across as so crazed and miserable? And what would even be gained from following his advice? What does it matter in the 21st century if your Doc Savage or a couch potato who jerks off all day? Is there seriously not a simpler way to tell people they subconsciously sabotage themselves all time? And why does every commenter act like these posts are such a life changing revelation of hidden wisdom? I don't get you guys.

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the bit about. why people d... (Below threshold)

July 27, 2012 12:49 PM | Posted by Ginny: | Reply

the bit about. why people do things they regret at the end of the night is good. it's because people go out, they expect to have fun. they want a good time, they drink, they get tired, their judgment gets compromised, they start making decisions they regret based often on last-minute trying to have fun. think of the person who wakes up with someone he doesn't want to.

Of course, I hate to put words in Alone's mouth, but that's my perspective.

The thing about not saying, "And. I'm never doing that again!" When things repeat a lot and you're mysteriously compelled to do them, probably at a minimum it behooves you to accept the impulse or compulsion or--- maybe I shouldn't pathologize--- accept 'it' whatever it is. Sometimes it'll repeat until you do. People want to find bad things in what they consider bad behavior, sometimes even bad thoughts or even happenings (things they can't even control), sometimes want to punish themselves for indulging in it but sometimes the opposite (acceptiing it, caring about it) has the paradoxical effect of taking some of the energy away from the behavior--- I think my shrink would call that integrating. Maybe not. All I know is it can help. And it can be easier and cheaper than trying to process it other ways.

that doesn't even sound like Alone to me. But it uses what he said about ot saying, "this is the last time-" "I will stop-"

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It's not a bad point to rum... (Below threshold)

July 27, 2012 12:56 PM | Posted by Ginny: | Reply

It's not a bad point to ruminate a little on why it is some sexual behaviors are considered part of who one is instinctively (e.g. 'making love') and some are just a behavior indulged in ('fucking').

I hate to use the sexist example---if a woman does it a lot it means something about who she is, she's a whore, whereas if a man does it.... well, it could mean he's a stud, (ROTFL) but more likely it just means he gets a lot of action (nothing about who he is). (Actually it seems a lot of men take getting laid as a situation where it's necessary to be *not who they are,* but something else).

This conversation kind of sucks if you make it about gender, but it rocks if you make it about: what sexual behavior is part of who *I am* and what is just a good/bad/necessary action? I think that's a great topic for people to think about.

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"Slightly off topic but her... (Below threshold)

July 27, 2012 1:10 PM | Posted by Ginny: | Reply

"Slightly off topic but here's an important example: say you yell every day at an/your eight year old girl for sloppy homework, admittedly a terrible thing to do but not uncommon, and eventually she thinks, "I'm terrible at everything" and gives up, so the standard interpretation of this is that she has lost self-confidence, she's been demoralized, and case by case you may be right, but there's another possibility which you should consider: she chooses to focus on "I'm terrible at everything" so that she can give up. "If I agree to hate myself I only need a 60? I'll be done in 10 minutes. "

It is precisely at this instant that a parent fails or succeeds, i.e. fails: do they teach the kid to prefer (find reinforcement in) the drudgery of boring, difficult work with little daily evidence of improvement, or do they teach the kid to prefer (find reinforcement in) about 20 minutes of sobbing hysterically and then off to Facebook and a sandwich? Each human being is only able to learn to prefer one of those at a time. Which one does the parent incentivize?

If you read this as laziness you have utterly missed the point. It's not laziness, because you're still working hard, but you are working purposelessly on purpose. The goal of your work is to be done the work, not to be better at work."

this is not bad, but it's written weird. If you yell at a kid over homework badly enough, the kid will hate not just the yelling, but learn to hate the task. And everytime the task gets brought up, even without the yelling, potentially even without the parent or even when the parent is dead, the work feels bad, and you jam through it and don't really learn it. Parents have to chose: do I want the kid to learn, ior do I want them to do the work just to get it done? Technically two but at least one of these requires a positive environment.

Then of course, if you become a grown up slamming through tasks with no joy in doing, it's up to yo*u, not your parents anymore.

The other valid point made in there somewhere is that it's better for self-esteem to *enjoy, embrace the task in order to become good at the task* but that people discount their own self-esteem all the time. I don't think that's anyone's fault, it's cultural. We don't teach kids a self-esteem based on inside values, we teach them one based on outside values. Because of the nature of this blog, people might confuse having an inner sense of self-esteem with the conflicting idea that 'they are not special.' Everybody's special; if anyone can explain to me why everyone is *not* special I'd love to hear it.

And that's my take on Alone.

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Random reasons I like this ... (Below threshold)

July 27, 2012 1:13 PM | Posted, in reply to Washington's comment, by Ginny: | Reply

Random reasons I like this post, above (forgot to hit reply button before).

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This post reminded me of a ... (Below threshold)

August 4, 2012 11:00 AM | Posted by danish fan: | Reply

This post reminded me of a William James quote:

"The state of our consciousness is peculiar. There is a gap therein; but no mere gap. It is a gap that is intensely active (...) The rhythm of a lost word may be there without a sound to clothe it; or the evanescent sense of something which is the initial vowel or consonant may mock us fitfully, without growing more distinct (...)

Alone, I think you are creating such 'intensely active gaps' in the minds of your readers. Thank you. You are very generous.

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You present as proof for yo... (Below threshold)

August 6, 2012 6:47 PM | Posted by Marco: | Reply

You present as proof for your argument that men aren't naturally visual the fact that most of us would get more aroused by listening to a porn movie without the image than looking at a porn movie with no sound.

I'd like to offer a rebuttal to the aforementioned claim: back in my days (the 80's and early 90's, before the internet) there was never a relevant market for cassettes with the sounds of people having sex, despite the technology being there all along; yet Playboy and other sex magazines were all over the place.

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Done. love it... (Below threshold)

August 13, 2012 5:15 PM | Posted by zahid: | Reply

Done. love it

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There is this guy.... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2012 11:10 AM | Posted by Hans: | Reply

There is this guy.

He...is a womanizer. In my eyes he do take advantage of his girlfriends, something he goes far in admitting, but not all the way. You see, he's not what you probably would think of as a mean or abusive boyfriend, on the contrary in his ways he's a kind and generous person. If you picture girls as property, I think it would be fair to say that he sees himself as something close to a real-estate developer. He's an quite ordinary guy who happen to know a thing or two about how the world works. He get involved with girls say below his maturity and dump them (as gently as possible?) when time is due.

It's an example of someone who is caring and giving. If you ask his girlfriend, she'd probably tell you that knowing him is an enriching experience. I wonder, if she knew in advance the things hidden in the dark, that inevitable rejection waiting for her, would she accept him?

No, I'm not really wondering - she wouldn't.

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The three-level hierachy do... (Below threshold)

September 8, 2012 2:25 PM | Posted by Bill: | Reply

The three-level hierachy does seem valid: I can see the top two levels in myself. However, after thinking about it for another two months, I don't think your description is correct. This is what I think is is really happening. Picture an iceberg floating in the sea. The air is your "Playing Awesome" layer, and the part of the iceberg above the surface is the self-loathing. Both of these are visible to the therapist and, when pointed out, to the patient himself.


                  Playing Awesome
                        _
                     __/ \__
                  __/       \__
               __/Self-Loathing\__
______________/  .  .  .  .  .  . \__________________________
             |                     |
            /                       \
            |                       |
            |                       |   Resistance to Change
            \                       /
             |                     |
              \                   /
               |                 |
                \                /
                 \              /
                  |____________|


To the therapist, the patient exhibits an inexplicable resistance to change, as if he prefers self-loathing and his false self-image to the possibility of anything better.

The reality is a bit different. The underwater part of the iceberg, unlabeled in the diagram, represents the self-destructive part of the patient's mind. The sea, though it might be described as "resistance to change", in fact represents the defenses that the patient has unconsciously constructed over the decades, to assure his survival in the face of the most awesome and destructive power he will ever face: the ruthless hostility of his own mind.

The well-meaning therapist will attack what he sees as the patient's resistance, and if this "therapy" is "successful", bit by bit he will remove the patient's defenses against himself.

This happened to me in therapy. After a year, I was self-harming and had a breakdown, things that I had never experienced before therapy. You might argue that these things would have happened anyway. My therapist had the barefaced cheek to tell me that these problems had got in the way of his treatment of the relatively minor issues for which I had originally sought help.

TLP, you are a highly skilled interpreter of how we all fall prey to our narcissism and "Play Awesome". I learn something from nearly every one of your articles: I usually find that my own thinking is hopelessly clouded with narcissism.

However, you are not such an expert on what lies beneath. This knowledge is essential if you hope to address the questions "How did the patient get in this mess?" and "How can he get out of it?". You can go on pointing out our narcissism, that of the media, politicians, and every person on the planet. But if that is all you do, it soon becomes no better than saying "The sun rose again today, and my analysis shows that it rose in a quite unexpected direction - the East. My analysis happened to show the same thing yesterday, and the day before, and every other day since I started writing."

The narcissism thing - we get it. We also know that no matter how many times you tell us, we will keep on making the same mistakes. You've nailed it.

You would be doing us all a service if you could leave your comfort zone, and move on to the next stage. Tell us how to melt the iceberg without first draining the sea. Perhaps you are unable to do this: perhaps you have been gifted with only a part of the complete picture. If this is the case, then please tell us where to look for the other parts.

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Sorry that the diagram is m... (Below threshold)

September 8, 2012 2:30 PM | Posted by Bill: | Reply

Sorry that the diagram is messed up. It looked fine in the comment preview. Imagine stretching the spaces on the left and middle, so that the different parts match up.

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But you're hoping salvation... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2012 9:42 AM | Posted, in reply to Bill's comment, by Anônimo: | Reply

But you're hoping salvation from a narcissistic who don't even bother use his real name??? And what if he say all this not because his really understands something, but just to hurt, you know, all these "curious and chronic people" who visits his blog expecting help.. He/She said in some post about writing porno, I suspected TLP it's in actually E L James. But no one care about my theories.
(But I love you TLP! Still, I don't know if I say "thanks" or just "fuck you!". ;-) )

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But you're hoping salvation... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2012 2:18 AM | Posted by buy a research paper: | Reply

But you're hoping salvation from a narcissistic who don't even bother use his real name??? And what if he say all this not because his really understands something,

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But you're hoping salvation... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2012 2:24 AM | Posted by moon56555: | Reply

But you're hoping salvation from a narcissistic who don't even bother use his real name??? And what if he say all this not because his really understands something, but just to hurt, you know, all these "buy a research paper

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I love you. ... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2012 2:21 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I love you.

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You missed the conscious pa... (Below threshold)

October 12, 2012 11:22 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Simon: | Reply

You missed the conscious part of humanity in your equations.

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All people deserve good lif... (Below threshold)

October 16, 2012 3:22 PM | Posted by NikkiYork: | Reply

All people deserve good life time and loans or collateral loan will make it better. Just because freedom depends on money state.

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Alone, you often paint your... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2012 12:15 PM | Posted by Hantavirus: | Reply

Alone, you often paint your points broadly, so that there IS a point, at all, to get across (admittedly these are half-invisible things to most of us) -- like a sex columnist in the Village Voice, compelled to imagine the worst interpretation of the supplicant's "truth," a technique that may not be exactly best/accurate for the bastard who wrote in (though it is true for someone somewhere). A psychologist gone public must deal in similar majority percentages, but then everybody reading thinks s/he's the exception. I don't see a way out of that one.

Maybe what seems to me like a gap in the "enraged by a double standard" paragraph in this otherwise mind-blowingly excellent, wide-ranging article is the omitted minority-percentage POV, but who has time? Anyway, 3-4 paragraphs above it you pointed out that men are "labeled as perverts by *women*"; down here we can agree self-censoring happens in the man's cranium, but it doesn't mean he wouldn't get exactly that kind of pushback from women if his words roamed free. Does this exist independently from reality, or was it past such experiences which taught the male his behavior in the first place? Another problem is the question of male pursuit/female "passivity" and since most of both sexes regard male motility as the solid state of the universe, as opposed to an effort that has to be made, the question of whether pursuit = predator is too extensive a sidebar.

Is there not a distinction between self-censoring and the open censoring that will come from the girl(s) anyway? Or are you saying that since the girl is Amy Schumer, she's obviously not going to complain? Schumer uses least-common-denominator cheap shots in her act, so I wouldn't put it past her, no matter how frank she pretends to be on satellite.

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This one was good. But the ... (Below threshold)

October 27, 2012 1:35 PM | Posted by onceagain: | Reply

This one was good. But the comments take away from it. Why do you insist on the comments?

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Hantavirus,Your fi... (Below threshold)

October 28, 2012 7:16 AM | Posted, in reply to Hantavirus's comment, by Ranty: | Reply

Hantavirus,

Your first paragraph caught my attention. I've been re-reading it several times as I sense that you're trying to say something important about writing for a wider audience, but pardon I don't understand it.

Alone paint with a broad brush sometimes on some of his points, such that their interpretation would commonly be close to his own, I'd believe. Still, I do think that his brush can be quite thin at times and that pivotal points might fly right over peoples head. I don't know, how would I? I have on a couple of occasions tried to tip people that he is to be read, without any desired response. It's a dog whistle thing I guess.

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I would like to volunteer t... (Below threshold)

November 21, 2012 12:14 PM | Posted by Mike Scott: | Reply

I would like to volunteer to give Amy Schumer a ride anytime she needs to go to or from anywhere. I promise to wash my hands too.

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Well I think it is sort of ... (Below threshold)

November 21, 2012 12:28 PM | Posted, in reply to Hantavirus's comment, by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

Well I think it is sort of taking who she is into account. For instance, I can't relate AT ALL to her. And being I'm a hetero female she doesn't actually offer me a glimpse into anything except how some people feel about women.

I have no desire to cum on her tits, for instance. But she doesn't bother me either. I have never DONE anything quite like that and if I did I would deny it anyway... and I'd rather hang myself than tell my mother. Literally. I would sincerely hang myself to avoid telling my mother something like that. So the whole thing is odd to me.

But I think the point is that I'm not her. She's the kind of person she is. That means she's the kind of person who would do that, talk about it on air, etc.

I think the larger point though is that we all get trapped in our fears about what people will think. Even Amy, who left out whatever it is she did next (probably because it would make her sound pathetic).

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Just quietly, I thought it ... (Below threshold)

December 20, 2012 6:03 AM | Posted, in reply to jimmy james's comment, by Ariel: | Reply

Just quietly, I thought it was Thick As A Brick too.

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I came close to calling thi... (Below threshold)

December 20, 2012 8:18 AM | Posted by Ariel: | Reply

I came close to calling this a road-to-damascus post, but it's better than that, much much better. Paul only got grace and miraculous conversion. I got a kick-in-the-pants revelation and a knife-through-the-veil moment of insight about the role I play in my own idiocy. Thank you.

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Well, I can't relate to her... (Below threshold)

December 20, 2012 5:25 PM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by Hantavirus: | Reply

Well, I can't relate to her at all either, but if I mentally substitute Sarah Silverman -- BAM, I suddenly both understand what Alone is saying and get to give myself a pat on the back for low self-loathing.

TPN, if you're a hetero female, the sexual reaction described here doesn't apply to you... and can't be used to define "normal," but I don't think Alone was aiming that dictum (badump-bump) at you, and it's mildly funny to think a reader might be traumatized by it.

Saying you'd hang yourself rather than tell your mom strikes me as two sides of the same coin, but please don't take this as a personal criticism. I appreciate a comment from anyone who also doesn't find Amy Schumer particularly funny.

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A little self-loathing in b... (Below threshold)

December 20, 2012 6:04 PM | Posted, in reply to Hantavirus's comment, by Vanonymous: | Reply

A little self-loathing in between is healthy IMhO, but I must add that I have little idea of what's being discussed here. Sexuality, gender and social conventions?

Men are more pig-like when it comes to sexuality, it's that simple and if you don't agree you're (stupid). Women are just as disgusting, but have different outlets.

Disclaimer: I won't stand for what I just wrote; it just came to me with no justification whatsoever.

Sex. It's a weird activity when you think of it. I'm sorry that merely the thought of sex, or the potential of being interpreted sexually, creates distance between people with opposite gender where intimacy or friendship may otherwise been the outcome. Personally, I enjoy talking to women more than men, and I believe I could have more female friends if there were no potential for sex. The idea of sex lurks behind the curtains, and it's not helpful.

Ariel dec 20 what do you mean you of idiocy, moment of insight - what?

Hantavirus : what are you talking about, tell mum and hanging being two sides of the same coin? Personal criticism? I don't find Schumer funny btw.

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I left my run a little late... (Below threshold)

December 21, 2012 12:35 PM | Posted, in reply to Vanonymous's comment, by Ariel: | Reply

I left my run a little late tonight, I'll try to come back to you tomorrow...

Meanwhile, I had a diversionary thought about TLP's statement "...people usually tell stories about things they are ashamed of for one reason: absolution": Um, no, no way, nu-uh, that wolf is not a baa-lamb in any light. Could be it was true once upon a time, back in the heady days when catholics ranged free and absolution was a grace conferred by God with the help of some dog-collar wearing dude experienced in making you really contrite about your BS. 12 steppers know a tad about moral submission and contrition; the rest of us run our standards in democratic-constituent-mode: "You wanna judge me? You better not wanna judge me. This is between me and my Maker" or whatever.

People usually tell stories about things they're ashamed of for one reason: editorial control. Plus another reason: "militarised asset control". Plus maybe one more reason: when they decide to use it for Ends 1 & 2, they don't realise how far outside the bell curve their story is. When on your own terms you publicly confess a story you're ashamed of i. you get to establish the narrative for your misdeed, ii. you grab unilateral control of that particular bomb, preventing anyone else from dropping it nastily into your lap, iii. you can 'disincentivise' everyone who hoped to give you gyp, iv. you get some top shelf bragging rights: "See how unbelievably honest and awesome I am? Aren't I so gritty and authentic, wearing my 'shame' like the Victoria Cross I want you to imagine it is?" iv. you try to create a common bond of shared brokeness/ human fragility/ revealed secrets, which is awesome if you can make it work. Possibly not so awesome if your target demo decide that you'd do better as the star of a viral and ironic meme.

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Very enlightening article. ... (Below threshold)

December 23, 2012 2:50 PM | Posted by Azreb: | Reply

Very enlightening article. I just have one qualm....
Amy Poehler IS funny.
The fact that you would put her in the pool of female comics that rely on their sexiness to be popular is grossly incorrect. I have never associated her with the type of comic that just makes jokes about blowjobs because out of all the funny things she says and does, I cannot recall one blowjob reference. (And if she has made a joke about blowjobs, I am neither offended nor do I care because it is only a small part of all the other funny things she does.) I normally wouldn't comment on such a small sentence in an otherwise long, intelligent, insightful article but that was the rub. The fact that you state your case with such authority and then tactlessly and incorrectly compare Amy Schumer's comedy to Amy Poehler's comedy. I know it was convenient because both of them are named Amy, but pick someone that makes more sense. Pick someone like Kathy Griffin or Margaret Cho.

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Superman? Batman, motherfuc... (Below threshold)

January 9, 2013 4:09 AM | Posted by Magical Jew: | Reply

Superman? Batman, motherfucker. That is all.

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not sure why it's bad to ha... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 1:08 PM | Posted by Shamsi Ruhe: | Reply

not sure why it's bad to have a random sexual encounter. or why this guy was "gross." it sounds like bullshit. she got off, that's wonderful. she didn't get a disease, wonderful. she didn't have to feign a "meaningful relationship" to get physical satisfaction and she didn't have to get him off.

she did pay for sex, and i think that's funny. cause i bet THAT'S the kind of girl she REALLY doesn't think she is.

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I'm probably the only perso... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2013 1:27 AM | Posted by Vallin SFAS: | Reply

I'm probably the only person who knows that your Ian Anderson reference is Jethro Tull's 'Thick As A Brick' (intro). Properly, the poem/libretto was written by 'Gerald Bostock'. I have studied it well; the clue is in my name and email.

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I kind of dont understand t... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2013 6:56 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I kind of dont understand this text it quite contradicts the last psychiatrist's other text "action movie fairytale" doesnt it?
If someone could please explain me this that would be Nice

Thanks :)

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Could we relate this Articl... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2013 6:55 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Could we relate this Article To the effects of too much pornography. He's not that into anyone?

Thanks

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What if you...get ... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2013 10:03 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

What if you...get caught in a cognitive trap of "So fucking what?"

The answer is that it's not a cognitive trap; it's a narcissistic trap.

Because what you're essentially saying, is that you try to do the "right" thing and fulfill expectations, but nobody notices.
Thus, the problem is that your goal is getting people to notice, rather than building a better self.

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you have one token left... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2013 4:28 AM | Posted by doUwantIT?: | Reply

you have one token left...."This is the last one!" you cry, like you're yelling out "it is accomplished!"

This section is magic, it's vivid.

Not referring to anything in particular, but you have a special skill at being there. It's a wonderful thing you do. It make me think of what unites people in the sense of how common we are to each other.

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Last quote is the last line... (Below threshold)

March 8, 2013 6:47 PM | Posted by Mike: | Reply

Last quote is the last line of Notes from Underground, surely?

Where is your book?

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All you people talking abou... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2013 9:12 PM | Posted by CFK: | Reply

All you people talking about TLP as though they're male... do you have evidence to back that up? And if you don't: have you read their posts about feminism and how certain people really don't get it?

A man could never have written those things. I know because I am one. It is impossible for a man to be this angry about shitty sexist systems and actually write about them. If you think saying this means I am a sexist asshole then you are part of the problem. (Please do prove me wrong, though. I'd like to be.)

Furthermore, everyone asking why TLP doesn't provide some concrete signposts at the end for readers who think "okay you're right but now what"? It's because she doesn't give a shit. She sees you silly little humans do this asinine shit, and do it all exactly the same ways, and like Heath Ledger's Joker, or Anonymous, or George Carlin, she just wants to watch the world burn. And maybe comment on it, to kill the monotony.

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You can't say that people w... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2013 5:13 AM | Posted, in reply to CFK's comment, by Ryan T: | Reply

You can't say that people will never get extremely angry over mistreatment of a group they don't belong to.

Look at John Brown who got so mad about racial injustice he gave his life to fight it despite being white. Look at Bleeding Kansas on a whole, that's white people dying over slavery of black people. More recently, look at the white, American/British activists Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall, who died acting as human shields to prevent Israeli settlement, despite not being Palestinian or even Arab at all. Look at military peacekeepers and NGO workers, who frequently die for the sake of groups they don't belong to

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When you're unhappy, you ge... (Below threshold)

March 23, 2013 11:11 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

When you're unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. And you get to take yourself oh so very seriously. Your truly happy people, which is to say, your people who truly like themselves, they don't think about themselves very much. Your unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up, because that means he has to stop dwellin' on himself and start payin' attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence.”

― Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

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Wonderful goods from you, m... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2013 2:54 AM | Posted by Resume For College Application: | Reply

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Resume For College Application

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Excellent story, bookmarked... (Below threshold)

April 3, 2013 8:48 AM | Posted by seo4trick: | Reply

Excellent story, bookmarked the site in interest to read more!
how to write a college resume for college applications

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'"Self"-loathing means ther... (Below threshold)

April 15, 2013 4:14 AM | Posted by Thirtyleven: | Reply

'"Self"-loathing means there is a strong "self" that you loathe, and that self doesn't want to disintegrate.'

It's interesting that we use the word loathing here. Loathe carries a strongly repellent connotation-- you can loathe bugs and snakes, because you simply don't want to be anywhere near them.

What we really mean here is more along the lines of self-hating. You don't loathe the SO that you just broke up with because they were cheating on you. You don't cut yourself off from all contact or thoughts about them. No, you hate them. You hate them with every fiber of your being, you obsess over your hate, and it feels soooooo good. Loathing is repellent, but hate is attractive. Loathing makes you want to get away from something, but hate makes you want to stay in its presence, so you can just let loose with pure emotional release.

In this way, self-hate is pretty much another addiction. It feels really good, so we replace actual success with this thing that feels good, just like you said in the article. Excellent read, thanks for writing this, looking forward to more!

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> Can you write an article ... (Below threshold)

May 18, 2013 10:08 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

> Can you write an article critiquing why the media sells anorexic
> women as attractive/desirable?

Here is my take:

I watched a casting for a fashion show on TV recently.

A gay as can be "fashion designer" type dismissing the most gorgeous women on this planet over an anorexic, flat chested and butted girl which to me looked like a ...young boy.

Gay men defining the feminine beauty ideal nowadays. There you have it.

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Oh, this wasn't PC?<p... (Below threshold)

May 18, 2013 10:10 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Oh, this wasn't PC?

I'm so sorry!

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what if He has a daughter, ... (Below threshold)

June 16, 2013 2:34 AM | Posted, in reply to CFK's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

what if He has a daughter, idiot? It would make sense lamenting sexism then

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Amy Schumer has a show on C... (Below threshold)

June 30, 2013 8:23 PM | Posted by Hantavirus: | Reply

Amy Schumer has a show on Comedy Central. (Renewed before they finish airing season 1.)
Amy Schumer gets to be interviewed on NPR because of this. By Terry Gross.
Amy Schumer has never seen this article, because in the interview she says things like "A man wouldn't get comments afterward for talking about sex in his act. Jim Norton can say anything he wants." Yes, she mentions Jim Norton specifically.
Thanks to Alone, though, Amy Schumer's total lack of self-awareness is still a service to us all.
Heh heh. Service.

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Can you PLEASE write more o... (Below threshold)

December 15, 2013 7:20 PM | Posted, in reply to Heytor's comment, by TheLastOneLeft: | Reply

Can you PLEASE write more or direct us to YOUR blog instead. I'd love to, in fact, would prefer to read that. Your writing style is coherent and comprehensible and your points are all ACTUALLY valid. I would love to read it.

While this post makes a lot of great points, I found it meandering purposelessly through the story (ironic, creating a work of writing purposelessly on purpose) without any grand conclusion. The entire point builds to Act III and never makes it to Act V. Unless of course, that's because in TLP's mind, the final act is already pre-determined and therefore useless to convey to the readers, much as the beginning and end are already predetermined and the rest is just a story, as Amy Schumer's cited story.

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Can you PLEASE write more o... (Below threshold)

December 15, 2013 7:23 PM | Posted, in reply to Heytor's comment, by TheLastOneLeft: | Reply

Can you PLEASE write more or direct us to YOUR blog instead. I'd love to, in fact, would prefer to read that. Your writing style is coherent and comprehensible and your points are all ACTUALLY valid. I would love to read it.

While this post makes a lot of great points, I found it meandering purposelessly through the story (ironic, creating a work of writing purposelessly on purpose) without any grand conclusion. The entire point builds to Act III and never makes it to Act V. Unless of course, that's because in TLP's mind, the final act is already pre-determined and therefore useless to convey to the readers, much as the beginning and end are already predetermined and the rest is just a story, as Amy Schumer's cited story.

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Fuck you for being right.</... (Below threshold)

January 3, 2014 3:23 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Fuck you for being right.

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It really never occurred to... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 8:25 PM | Posted by Samubri: | Reply

It really never occurred to me that self-loathing was, in itself, a mechanism against change. It seems so obvious now that I am uncomfortably confronted with my own idiocy. You asshole. Love it.

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Yes, let everyone know.. so... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2014 1:30 AM | Posted, in reply to Wisegirl's comment, by Sure, that will work: | Reply

Yes, let everyone know.. so that the MAN can become a workplace pariah or face disciplinary action.

Sorry, you've got a great theory, but that's not how it will work out in this day and age.

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Wow.10/10.Tha... (Below threshold)

June 29, 2014 4:26 PM | Posted by Siseneg: | Reply

Wow.
10/10.
Thank You.

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<a href="http://www.themorn... (Below threshold)

July 1, 2014 3:01 AM | Posted by johntay: | Reply

http://www.themorningnews.org/article/the-high-is-always-the-pain-and-the-pain-is-always-the-high

Great memoir by Jay Kang partially about the psychology of "degenerate" gamblers.

"Unlike drug narratives, which fixate on withdrawal and destruction, gambling narratives tend to glamorize the upswing—the writer/gambler will always tell you about his biggest score, how quickly he blew the money, and how fast he was back at the tables, but he will rarely tell about the scraped-out bottom. ... In gambling narratives, the bottom is followed by the fantasy and the fantasy is followed by the bottom. To put it better, the high is always the pain and the pain is always the high. There is never any difference."

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The manner in which you cho... (Below threshold)

July 7, 2014 12:57 PM | Posted by Joe: | Reply

The manner in which you choose to write the article, says more about you than the point you're trying to make.

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Thank you. This article has... (Below threshold)

August 8, 2014 1:54 AM | Posted by fart: | Reply

Thank you. This article has helped me understand so many things about myself that I previously didn't even know that I didn't know.

You are the Nabokov of bloggers.

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What's even more comfortabl... (Below threshold)

August 11, 2014 4:07 AM | Posted by friv 3: | Reply

What's even more comfortable when you are entertaining after a day of hard work.
friv 3

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What you missed, Doc, is th... (Below threshold)

September 14, 2014 1:42 PM | Posted by anonymous: | Reply

What you missed, Doc, is that the so-call 'extemporaneous' story Amy gave was entirely concocted, a rehearsed routine by a trained radio team. Given that, how does your response measure up? Have you couched any Steven King creations lately?

Holy Christ, you are toxic.

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Serious question: What shou... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2014 3:44 PM | Posted by anonymous: | Reply

Serious question: What should I do to help my kids prefer the hard work to the self-hate?

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