With the culture of “selfies,” narcissism seems to have completely exited the confines of its own closet. I’ve always been fascinated by narcissism and we had a thrilling face-to-face encounter on a recent Saturday afternoon. I was riding my bike past the little park at the intersection of Park Boulevard and Adams Avenue when an intriguing sight caused me to dismount and visually absorb it for several minutes. It was a beautiful young lady in a bathing suit lying on her back on a towel she’d placed upon the grass. Her left hand was extended in the air and held some type of camera phone and she was snapping away, moving only her head and face from side to side and pout to pout, oblivious to (or feigning oblivion to) several men nearby who seemed as fascinated with her as she did herself. I eventually got back on my bike and when I rode past her, advised, “Get a room!” Her response was to give me the finger with her free right hand. Golly, women can be so rude…
And narcissism had more than a little to do with the recent disintegration of a longstanding relationship in my life:
Rolling Stone has been a friend of mine for many decades, but the time has come for us to part ways. Its coverage of popular music has often been definitive, its reporting on socio-political issues intelligent, incisive, sometimes reckless, and often quite brave. I have been very patient and forgiving as it has expanded its fawning coverage of movie and television stars and their offspring and entourages, but have become increasingly concerned – especially during the last couple of years – with the unnaturally deep hues of discoloration it seems to enjoy sporting on its face. In tabloid lingo (RS’s new language), Rolling Stone’s nose has really been rocking that brown.
My patience ran out upon my receipt of the recent issue featuring the incredibly wealthy humanoid popularly known as Kim Kardashian on the cover. Actually the cover only featured her face and cleavage, but there was lots more inside within the feature article. I read the article once and then immediately again to assure myself that I wasn’t dreaming. Satisfied that it was real after all, I carried it out to the recycle dumpster and threw it out of my life.
Or so I thought.
The trouble is that it haunts me just as other shattered friendships continue to haunt me. And that got me thinking: had Rolling Stone failed me or had I failed Rolling Stone? What if the blame belonged on my shoulders ? And what if it wasn’t Rolling Stone whose brain had fried, but me? And what if those other damaged relationships were caused entirely by me?
Hell no, I’ll draw the line there…
I very well may be the weirdo here. What I am about to confess may create a tragic division between us, dear reader, but I value our relationship enough to tell you the truth: that we differ far more than you may know. I consider Kim Kardashian to be one of the most repellant human beings of whom I have ever been aware. Her celebrated derrière – the one she keeps getting photographed because she wants you to see it and long for again and again – is as repulsively, hilariously enormous as a character in an R. Crumb comic book. But guys of all ages (and more than few ladies) just can’t seem to get enough of it, so my taste in behinds (so to speak) is most assuredly not mainstream.
When Rolling Stone endorses a figure like Kim Kardashian my immediate feeling is pity; that RS has been mesmerized and zombiefied beyond all reason by the K.K. stare and snare. The mundane has become even more monumental; the worthless has become nearly priceless. But in the end, the problem must be me and my inability to become interested in the personal details and private lives of people who bathe in money. I must ultimately pity only myself for being unable to recognize the importance and the value and the inspiration inherent in the name Kardashian. I should do humanity a favor and move to some remote corner of the planet where she is not (yet) worshipped; I am unworthy of breathing the same air.
There’s more. I cannot understand how the public is so interested in – so consumed by – such an irredeemable narcissist. If her incredibly wealthy husband wanted to, I’m sure he could have me killed (or worse) for writing/saying/thinking these things, but he needn’t be concerned; next to the millions upon millions of Kim’s worshippers, people like me who consider her a worthless, dangerous mutant who probably eats her own offal are exceedingly rare. We, indeed, are the weirdos.
There she was in Rolling Stone, once again feigning innocence about that infamous porno tape, then admitting that she and Paris Hilton would go to great lengths (so to speak) in those days in order to get press. The drooling author of the article (who uses “disappear” as an active verb, as in “I want to disappear the haters”) writes that Kim wasn’t too great a student in school but does have a high I.Q. (a fact that is neither numerically defined nor supported in any way, no doubt having originated through Kim’s own botoxed lips). I tried my damndest to convince myself that the entire article was a sarcastic, disguised put-down, but that idea just wouldn’t stand up (but if it was all just an enormous put-on, that’s proof that I’m even more messed up than I’d thought).
The general public (especially in the United States) just cannot get enough of this miraculous fashionista/lifestyle diva. Especially one little girl who, the Rolling Stone feature reports, comes up to Kim to tell her that Kim is her role model and that when she grows up she wants to be “hot” just like her.
So, all you Kardashianites, I guess there’s still hope for our country.