December 23, 2007

"This season makes me think that individualism is way overrated."

Nina writes:
Isn’t it true that most people view themselves as being quite independent, carving their own path, listening to some internal voice rather than conforming to the (petty) demands of others?

It seems that the time you most like to do your own thing is when what is expected is too annoying, too displeasing, uncomfortable, grating.

If you place two individuals in the same room and both view themselves as being extraordinarily independent, what happens?...

[I] no one bends, then, unless you’re both on the same planet with your individualism (and it can happen, but how likely is that?), you’re going to be running past each other all the time.
Don't do it!

I don't know what "it" is, but it sounds really important. Am I being a troublemaker?

Nice photo at the link. Is the girl really dreaming? Or is she terribly unhappy? Look at her eyes.


Paddy O. said...

She's bored.

vet66 said...

She's dreaming of her future dangerous dude, antithesis of her hardworking father, temporary boyfriend who is out of work as a starving, unemployed, three chord street musician.

Or not...!

Joe R. said...

What if your "internal voice" compels you to conform to the demands of others?

Pogo said...

She's a teenager, so she is simultaneously dreaming, terribly unhappy, achingly bored, and angry.

In a minute she'll be giddy or ecstatic. Then hungry.

All teenagers are insane, albeit briefly.

Trooper York said...

(a sodden brit expat lies in sweat soaked sheets covered in snot and vomit. Suddenly he stirs as he hears a soft voice)
Voice: Christopher. Christopher awaken. I have come for you.
Christopher Hitchens (shielding his eyes) Who is it? Editors. Creditors. Auditors. Damn your eyes, step out of the light so I might see you!
Voice: It is I. the Ghost of Christmas Past. (A wizened Albanian woman wearing a nun’s habit steps out of the light).
Christopher Hitchens: Holy shit, it’s Mother Theresa!
Mother Theresa: No need for blasphemy my son. I am here to help you.
Christopher: I thought you were dead and gone.
Mother Theresa: No, I now live eternally with my Father in Heaven.
Christopher Hitchens: I don’t believe in that. You can’t be real. Are you Demi Moore without any makeup? Am I being punked?
Mother Theresa: No my son. You may be a punk but this is real. I am here to take you back to the Christmases that have gone before.
Christopher Hitchens: This can’t be real. I have to stop mixing tequila and aqua velva.
Mother Theresa: Take my hand and come with me.
Christopher Hitchens: You must be Catholic, you want to molest me.
Mother Theresa: Hush my son. You might act like a child, but now it is time to put childish things away and learn the truth of the word.
(A Christopher Hitchens Carol, 2007)

Clang!Honk!Tweet! said...

Trooper: LOL!

Trooper York said...

Christopher Hitchens: Where are we you disgusting crone?
Mother Theresa: You look but do not see. (A small drunken seven year old boy is sleeping in a church pew surrounded by empty bottles of sacramental wine. His urine stained clothing reeks of alcohol, cigarettes and vomit. Suddenly the Church door opens)
Captain Hitchens; Christopher, where are you. Christopher come out this instant. My God, what have you done? (He spies little Christopher lying in a pool of his own urine).
Little Christopher Hitchens: (awakens in a stupor) Father. I am sorry. I just wanted to get closer to god. So I imbibed the Blood of Christ. All seven cases of it that was in the sacristy.
Captain Hitchens: Really. So defecating in the baptismal fount is getting you closer to God? (He takes his riding crop and begins to beat the boy)
Christopher Hitchens: (viewing this scene) My God. I remember this. It was in Malta in 1956. I haven’t been to church since.
Mother Theresa: Yes we know my son. Perhaps you should examine your past as clue to your current beliefs. Not everything is as you remember. A child remembers things as a child. A man must know the consequences of his actions.
Christopher Hitchens: Get away from me you fraud. Go feed the hungry and house the homeless. It’s all an act. A travesty. A road show for the yokels. You are not a saint. You are nothing but an alcohol induced apparition.
Mother Theresa: No, I am not a saint. I am a sinner. As are you. If you could but realize it and ask for forgiveness, you can be redeemed.
Christopher Hitchens; I call bullshit you boner nosed charlatan. I reject you and all you stand for. Leave me alone to my Jose Cuervo and limes.
(A Christopher Hitchens Carol, 2007)

Walter said...

Being independent does not being contrary. Being an individual does not require that you do something unique/different. Some people seem to think that is a requirement of individualism and will go out of their way to prove that they are an individual by bowing to pre-existing group ideas about individualism.

If you are secure in your individualism, you will have no problem with sharing/working with another. In fact, I think I'd rather work with independent people that are there because they understand the purpose, reasons, ideas.

Why is that when I hear people complain about individualism, do I feel that what it means is:

Those individuals are not doing what I (or others) think they should be doing (or are not being to the will of another).

I would also disagree with her premise, that individualism is tis a dodge used to get out of what is expected when things are too annoying, too displeasing, etc. Just because people (usual not individualists) may use "individualism" as a excuse does discredit individualism.

Trooper York said...

(Rolls over in a stupor, into puddle of vomit and unidentifiable fluids, he sits up and holds his head up with shaky hands)
Christopher Hitchens: Oh my head. What did I ever do to deserve this?
Voice: Christopher. Christopher Hitchens.
Christopher Hitchens: What now. Not another apparition. I don’t want to have more ghosts haunting me than ex-wives.
(A tall beautiful woman dressed in white with a large circular object behind her head walks through the wall and into the room)
Christopher Hitchens: I must be mad. It’s Princess Diana. Or I think it is. Aren’t you dead and buried? This is ridiculous. What a farce. What is that a Halo?
Princess Diana: No it is a steering wheel. I am still doing penance for my sins on this earth. That is why I must wear an automobile accessory as a hat and talk to inebriated Trotskyites. I am the Ghost of Current Celebrity. No one knows about the undeserved adulation of the masses more than I. Well except for Anna Nicole Smith. And she is visiting Lindsey Lohan today.
Christopher Hitchens: But you can not be angel. Not after your life of excess and infidelity. You are a cosmic joke. How can you be a messenger of some foolish deity, a deity that I do not acknowledge?
Princes Diana: You do not have to be saint to do his work. You just need to believe. To have faith. To trust in him and find peace.
Christopher Hitchens: Listen, I am not going anywhere with you. I am too drunk to drive. Didn’t you get in enough trouble the last time you did that?
Princess Diana: Have faith Christopher and anything could happen.
Christopher Hitchens: Everything except a Paki marrying a Princess. Then the shit hits the fan. Or the car hits the wall.
Princess Diana: Come and see what I have seen. Step with me into the pages of People magazine.
(A Christopher Hitchens Carol, 2007)

Mortimer Brezny said...

Of course she is unhappy. Her brother just stole her laptop.

Trooper York said...

(Christopher and Diana step through the pages of People magazine into a New York City cocktail party. A group of constipated men in bow ties with boney blondes in cocktail dresses are sipping appletinies and single malt scotch).
Christopher Hitchens: What is this place? Who are these remarkably ugly people?
Princes Diana: It is a meeting of the vast right wing conspiracy. Or the cafeteria at the National Review.. I always get them mixed up. I don’t have a good sense of direction now that I have a steering wheel stuck in my head.
(They listen to a conversation)
Jonah Goldberg: Well we can use Hitchens. He is a useful idiot. Let him take the hits from his journalist friends and the left.
Ann Coulter: John Edwards is a homo.
William F. Buckley: Blah, Blah, Blah, recondite adjective.blah, blah, obscure reference, blah blah blah, we can use Hitchens for our purposes.
K-Lo: I want to be Mitt’s third wife. Like Margene.
George F. Will Jr: He thinks that he is an independent thinker. Hitchens is a mere poseur, a dilettante, a dabbler in philosophies promulgated by the great minds of history. His celebrity can be useful to our aims. Let us him till we use him up.
Christopher Hitchens: Who does that bow tie wearing schmuck think he is? Bill Withers?
Princess Diana: He is just doing what comes naturally. What you think is your great individuality is just a tool for others to manipulate. Your current celebrity is a tool for forces greater than you know. Don’t think it has anything to do with you. You are a leaf in the wind. In fact some bored law professor might take a picture of you when you are blown through a graveyard.
Christopher Hitchens: That doesn’t make any sense.
Princes Diana: Such photography never does. Here look a shot of me with my riding instructor. Those spurs can really leave a mark.
(A Christopher Hitchens Carol, 2007)

Trooper York said...

(A despondent and exhausted Hitchens starts awake on his urine stained sheets. He doesn’t know if what has happened was a dream or reality. Of course that was nothing new for him. He often had trouble deciphering what was real and what was an alcoholic blackout dreams).
Voice: Hitchens, Hitchens, old boy.
Christopher Hitchens: What is this shit? Am I being haunted by Charles Nelson Reilly?
Dr. Zachary Smith (the one from the TV show, not the movie) No, no dear boy. I am the Ghost of your Christmas future.
Christopher Hitchens: Wait aren’t you that fey fictional doctor from Lost in Space who was always trying to felch the robot. Didn’t you have a very creepy and troubling relationship with that young boy on the show?
Dr. Zachary Smith: Who, young Master William. Really Mr. Hitchens that is just a cultural misapprehension. You don’t understand the future and our ways. You are not capable of judging me. After all, aren’t you an atheist? Such a medieval attitude. Anyway, you must come with me to see your future. Here step into this picture of a graveyard taken by an obscure law blogger with a Tim Burton fetish.
Christopher Hitchens: No, not a blogger. Isn’t she a famous diva? I can’t deal with their self-important portentousness.
Dr. Zachary Smith: Pot meet kettle.
Christopher Hitchens: Plus the comments. What self important drivel. Those fools think people care what they think. Babbling about nonsense, they should get a life.
Dr. Zachary Smith: It is your life we are talking about my dear boy. And it is not a wonderful life.
Christopher Hitchens: Can’t you plagiarize one story at a time?
(A Christopher Hitchens Carol, 2007)