Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Leftist Victimization and Narcissism: A Boring Play in Three Acts

At the end of the previous post on narcissism and victimhood, I had mentioned that Ours is a politically correct age, where such a mechanism is combined with leftist groupthink to create the "sensitive totalitarians" we see in universities. I had mentioned that some comments will follow. These comments are based on my experiences, both as an undergraduate and as a graduate student at secular universities, as well as an assistant professor at a large Roman Catholic university.

(i) Early 90's. I had a left-wing black female professor for an African History course. At least that was the course name, but in reality, African History was used as a pretext for the predictable leftist diatribe [payed for by the taxpayers] about what is wrong with the US, white men, Europe, etc. I remember stating to this professor that my father loved oldie music, such as Al Jolson, big bands, etc.

Well, it turns out that upon hearing this, the professor immediately went into victim mode. Following the four steps (1)-(4) listed in the previous post:

(1) The professor decided to poke her nose into my father's choice of music. This, you'll note, has nothing to do with the course or whatever.
(2) The professor imputed the fact that my father listened [among other things] to show tunes featuring a guy in blackface as some sort of personal attack on her being, and, on blacks in general.
(3) The professor, based merely on the fact that my pop liked show tunes and oldies such as Al Jolson, coldly concluded "Then your father is a racist." An entire personal judgement, featuring one of the leftist smear words, based on the fact that somebody listens to Jolson.
(4) Along with this imputation of racism to a man she had never met, and, quite frankly, a man to whom she and her leftist ilk would talk condescendingly, she cried out about the need for more to be done against racism.

Talk about narcissism: the professor is so terribly important, such an integral part of the cosmos, that a student's father's choice of music somehow impinges on the core of her being. At least, that is how she acted!

BTW, this account is for an event when I was still an atheistic/agnostic/leftist hybrid. Let's hop a few years forward in the PP Time Machine, not to the year 800,000-something where the Eloi and the Morlocks are at enmity, but to the mid-1990's.

(ii) Graduate school, mid-90's. I was talking with a fellow graduate student, and I had mentioned that I did not support taking race and such into account, and that universities should stop doing so if they wanted to honestly claim that they went by merit. My final words were "special privileges for none." At this time, a rather militant buzz-cut black woman entered the elevator. She apparently heard the words "special privileges for none."

[PP note: The reader should note that much of university life is geared towards maintaining the mindset in non-white-males that they are victims, and that, having been dissed by the cosmos and white males, non-white-males have a right to a chip on their shoulder, and rules/standards should be bent whenever possible to make up for minority and female shortcomings.]

Here are (1)-(4) again for this incident:

(1) The militant buzz-cut black woman, hearing the words "special privileges for none," felt that she too was invited to the private and quiet conversation between my fellow grad-student and myself. She wasn't.
(2) The words "special privileges for none" were exegeted by the woman to mean "Hey Bo, let's load the Stars-and-Bars on our pickup truck and go shoot some of dem colored folks who be trying to eat in our rest'rants!" As such, she viewed these words as a great personal affront to the very core of her being.

Narcissists, as mentioned before, are not content with being the center of the universe. They have a vested interest in convincing themselves that everybody is talking about them, that any action people take is an action in reaction to them. Your tax dollars subsidize your higher institutions that promulgate this mindset among non-white-males.

(3) The woman claimed she was going to "send guys after me to beat me up." She said it with a wailing voice, and it was loud enough that it was rather surprising that it didn't create a ruckus. By the way, if I recall correctly, the woman had some sort of tolerance- or diversity-related position at the university. So the childish display part is rather fulfilled nicely.

(4) Given the way she marched out of the elevator with her threatening tone, it is a very safe bet that her dander was up for more clandestine forms of racism. Perhaps if she saw me prove the Central Limit Theorem [one of the four great results of probability, along with the Strong Law, the Weak Law, and the Law of the Iterated Logarithm], she could find the latent racism buried within the mathematics.

As mentioned, I believe this woman held some sort of tolerance- or diversity-related post at the university. Readers are expected to see the irony here without my having to point it out.

The sad part is that this narcissism and victimhood are encouraged by universities. And, for public universities, these professional narcissists and victims are paid to gaze at their navels and find new scenarios in which to see themselves as victims.

Let's go to the third act of this play, which might be interesting only to myself at this stage!

(iii) Let's turn to Shmuley Boteach, a rabbi. In the article linked, Rabbi Boteach displays his victimistic narcissism in rather egregious fashion. You see, Boteach views Christian efforts to proselytize the Jews and tell them the [most excellent] news that, yes, their messiah has come, and that he bids them to place their faith in Him, as oppressive and hateful.

We note that Rabbi Boteach had a chance to defend his brand of Judaism, to show it is the competitor in the marketplace of ideas. And, as a very public and outspoken figure of Judaism, Boteach is obligated to defend his faith. But we note that in the stead of defending his Judaism, Boteach went along with the woe-is-me three-hankie victim mentality. [Given that I don't find Boteach's liberal version of Judaism to be anything worth defending either, I suppose that could be the beginning of the process of finding common ground at the next ecumenical pancake breakfast.]

I assume readers will peruse the linked article, which was pointed out to me by Jason Engwer.

(1) The fact that Christians want to share Christ --- surely not a novel concept --- with others, and, in particular, with Jews, is somehow taken by Boteach to be some sort of personal assault on him.

(2) The proposition "Jesus is the messiah" is personalized by Boteach to mean that there are gas chambers and concentration camps waiting for him.

(3) Boteach, in response to the debate mentioned in the link, stated that "The Holocaust was due to evenings [i.e. the debate] like tonight." I believe the childishness here speaks for itself. One would think that one who is supposedly learned and a teacher, and who presents himself as a very public defender of a certain type of Judaism, would, just maybe, give some articulation for why Jesus is not the messiah. In technical terms: whatever, d00d.

(4) It again is a safe bet, given Boteach's comments, that he will find the Next Holocaust under his bed, in a dark closet. Perhaps he'll convert PP posts to Hebrew and perform some gematria-related analysis to determine that the entire world is anti-semitic.

There are three examples of narcissistic victimhood that immediately come to mind. There are plenty o' examples to go around, but the profile is meaningful. [I haven't even gotten to the prof days from '98-'05. But there are tales of narcissism to tell from these years as well, trust me, oh trust me.]

Most everybody manifests (1)-(4) now and then, as, after all, our sinful nature makes the inner I long for supremity. But, the idea is that as we grow to adulthood and mature, such flareups are the rare exception, and not the norm. For the people listed above, such flareups are the norm, and not the rare exception.

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One trait of the narcissist that I wasn't clear about [or didn't mention at all] is that the narcissist expects the world to respond to him. This is because he is so terribly important [just ask him], people are [in his mind] expected to go through him and to take him into account. [Boteach, for example, seems to act as if any Christian activity or expression needs his approval for it to, in his eyes, be legitimate.] If people do go through him and worry about him, it reinforces the narcissism. On the other hand, if people do not go through, consider, nor worry about the narcissist, it also reinforces the victim complex of the narcissist, since he is now a poor victim in that he --- the very center of the universe, the ground of all being --- is cruelly being ignored, dissed, etc. It seems to be an airtight system, much like the famous Escher print of two hands simultaneously drawing each other. The narcissism feeds the victimhood, and the victimhood feeds the narcissism. Other clear examples have been given by the narcissists here.

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