In which a psychopath laughs as some empathetic people show off their inner narc.
“We all go a little bit mad sometimes”, so said the totally non-psycho Psycho Norman Bates. I had managed to reach my 20th year without ever having the twist to Hitchcock’s horror classic spoiled, so was genuinely gobsmacked when ‘Mother’ finally showed up. If nothing else, Norm taught us that under every seemingly normal person’s façade, there could be some craziness hidden deep.
Except sometimes it’s not very well hidden, and is not usually at the level of stabbing women in the bath, or similar depths of depravity. Most commonly, it shows itself as narcissistic dickishness.
You know the type I mean, he takes delight in getting one over on you, and loves nothing better than a nice gloat, while cackling away like a horny witch. Or is that just me?
The point is, we are living in an increasingly narcissistic society. We need to have the latest iPhone, the best clothes, the biggest, coolest / most environmentally-friendly car (depending on your clique); we take selfies, and our online worth is decided entirely on how many ‘likes’ we get. But there are still some instances of inflated ego that come from otherwise normal people, which can make even me stop and stare.
Such as the people who take it upon themselves to talk badly about people they don’t know, judging others based on no evidence whatsoever except it feels good to tear them down. This can come in the form of cyberbullying (teenagers are actually killing themselves over comments from strangers online), street harassment (we’ve all seen the videos: ‘woman walks through NYC‘, ‘Jew walks through Paris‘), or even just a series of idiotic comments on social media (such as deciding to push a string of nonsensical, depraved and increasingly desperate arguments attempting to undermine the credibility of others, for two entire days, while allegedly being a busy young mother and student) that are all about one person putting another down in order to feel better about themselves.
Or people who engage in ‘mine’s bigger than yours’ dick-swinging. At a recent dinner party, my father (not a narc or an ‘opath) made a bit of a fool of himself bragging about how much pension he is paid. He went on to say knowingly that for a good meal at a fancy restaurant, “we’re talking up to £40 per head”, which is about 57€ or US $61. Someone else chipped in that such an amount is “chicken feed” and that for his wife’s 60th birthday, he had forked out £150 (in total, so depending on the number of people the actual per head ratio might have been much smaller than 40 quid. Even £75 each for two of them, while on the expensive side, is not exactly going to get you the Ritz treatment). My dad, keen not to be outdone even though the guy was obviously just trying to mock him, spluttered “well the really good place near us, the hotel, I’ve taken Julie (my mum) and James there and I’ve often paid £300 for just one meal”, which is absurd and untrue. How stupid and petty. But it is, nonetheless, a funny example of people trying to outdo one another over money.
Or the people who exploit worthy causes to make themselves look better. You know the type I mean. They share and re-share the same viral posts from ‘social justice warriors’ and hate on and shame those with differing opinions. Feminism, anti-racism, sexual and gender freedom… equality in general, these are good things, but they become tainted when they are hijacked by people who care not about the issues, but about showing how enlightened and superior they are.
That is why some of these ‘progressives’ are so aggressive to anyone with differing opinions, because to argue with them causes narcissistic injury that must be dealt with. Would anybody who really cared about equality and diversity viciously attack people who see things differently to them? They’re the same idiots whose profile pictures are now overlayed with a transparent version of the French flag to show how much they ‘care’ about “Paris’ suffering” (not, you know, the suffering of people who were caught up in the attacks, but the imagined suffering of an inanimate city, the idealistic Gai Paris of schmaltzy stereotype), when in reality they only care about boosting their own image by claiming to empathise with the current in vogue ‘problem’. Want proof? Here’s two for the price of one:
(1) Few or none of them said anything about what happened to the Russian passenger jet which was shot down over Egypt, and no-one turned their profile pic into a Russian flag. Think of any other recent tragedy, and repeat.
(2) The Tricolore of solidarity is superimposed over these people’s own faces. They are saying not “Vive la France et à bas la tyrannie*”, but rather “look how sensitive and in-touch I am, and blue, white and red goes really well with my hair, I wonder how many likes this will earn me?”
Are these people self-aware? Some probably are; they are the true narcissists of this world. The bulk, just ordinary people, are not. They genuinely believe their own shit smells sweeter, because they have never stopped to think about their actions.
Even worse are those smug superior people who view themselves as above it all, specifically making fun of delusional types, for cheap ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and an ego boost of “At least I’m not like that. I don’t take myself so seriously. I have taste. I have standards. I am so much better than everyone else, and just to prove it I’m going to write a fine old diatribe, a rant if you will, against everyday narcissism. Then I’m going to put it on my blog about psychopaths, and show everyone how totally cool and non-hypocritical I am. I wonder how many of my little pawns will read it…”
Chers lecteurs, chères lectrices, avant de laisser vos commentaires, veuillez vous détendre un peu avec Monsieur Joe Dassin, et penser à ceux qui ont souffert aux mains de mal :
*”Long live France and down with tyranny”, in case you were snoozing in French class.
NB: I have been to Auschwitz and never once thought of taking a selfie. Do I get to brag about that too?