Hawking Up Hairballs

Monday, August 22, 2005

I Couldn't Let This Pass

Sometimes our President, with his royalist proclivities, says things that just make my jaw drop. The latest example occurred last week. When Georgie was asked how he could take five weeks of vacation while US troops were suffering and dying in Iraq, he responded, "I think it's important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life...I've got a life to live."

The first thought that occurred to me when I read this was that he didn't get it, that this scion of privilege just didn't understand what ordinary people went through, and I do believe that this is true. However, after thinking about it for a while, it occurred to me that Bush is just a child of his age, and that we have gotten the president that we deserve.

We live in profoundly narcissistic times, and I'm not talking about simple selfishness when I refer to narcissism. A selfish person generally knows that he's behaving without taking the interests of others into consideration. He just plain doesn't care, or perhaps feels guilty about his behavior. The narcissist is so wrapped up in himself, that he doesn't really understand the impact of his actions on others. Georgie has made a lot of remarks, like the one above, that indicate to me that this describes him.

There are many reasons why narcissism came to characteristize of our age, and I won't go into them here. My favorite book on the subject is The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations. It was written by Christopher Lasch in 1979, but it still rings true today.

A friend emailed me to say that it hasn't been possible to leave comments on my blog without first registering. My apologies for that. It is apparently the default setting, and I have changed it.


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