Noul herpes

Narcissism: a reflection By Laura Kipnis

Richard Russo, Straight Man

My husband and I spend a lot of time arguing about who’s more of a narcissist, him or me. Clearly it’s him. To be fair, it’s not entirely his fault – after all, we don’t choose what social types to become. Did medieval peasants choose to write memoirs about their traumatic childhoods or try out as reality TV contestants? No, we’re stuck with what history puts on the table: events and necessities beyond our control flood our psychologies with little zeitgeist germs, greasing the machinery of social selfhood. Flashback to early capitalism: the Protestant ethic sucked up happy-go-lucky peasants and churned out industrious wage slaves. Flash forward to digital capitalism, which sucks up helpless little babies and churns out Facebook slaves who labour for the likes and turn the conversation to themselves at every opportunity.

Basically, narcissism is the new herpes. It’s not like you got it on purpose, you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and now everyone’s pointing fingers and trying to pretend they don’t have it, too. Hence the blame game. You’re so self-involved. Can you think of anything but your self? What’s that horrible smell? It’s you.

Obviously no one wants to think of himself as a ‘social type’, let alone a narcissist. It would be injurious to our narcissistic desire for uniqueness. ‘You’re so typical’, I say to my husband, which should be uncontroversial, since who isn’t typical? Trust him to find something to get peeved about in that, too. His entire being feels constantly under siege: he’s a warrior defending valuable territory and I’m the opposing forces marching up the hill.

Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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