November 13th, 2011

Blow My Mind

"Den-Idol" Topic 4 (LJ Idol Home Game): "What does narcissism have to do with me?"

A good kind of elitism: Some people are better than others. A worse, more obnoxious kind of elitism: I'm better than others.

That's a lesson I learned from Harlan Ellison. He'd seen plenty of the second kind, and said that he believed in the first. The second can be a disguised kind of narcissism. Certainly Harlan Ellison has an impressive ego -- I've seen it in person, close to literally, I mean it's almost an aura with him -- and people may expect him to be a narcissist, but the sense I get from people who know him is that he avoids that. And I admire that he does so. I admire him for a lot of reasons, alongside my frustrations with him for how headstrong he often is and how head-long he often moves. "It's been rightly said of me that anything that gets in my way gets a Harlan-shaped hole in it," he's written. I'll never be as assertive/aggressive as he is, but I have fewer reasons to be angry than he does. (A title of his: I Go To Bed Angry Every Night, And Wake Up Angrier The Next Day.) He grew up getting it beaten into him (sometimes, thanks to bullies, literally) that he had to fight with the world. I never went through what he went through, by any long shot. But I'm glad he's been there to fight the fights he's fought.

But a lot of people hear "Harlan Ellison," and seem to hear him just saying "ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME" like angry Beaker. And they dismiss him.

(Now I wonder if a true narcissist would notice people dismissing him. Hmm.)

Dismissing is easy. Maybe I'm too good at that.

Hmm. It's been hard to think about narcissism. I only barely did. Could I think like a narcissist? I don't know. Probably I don't want to.


So I got voted out during Week 3 of LJ Idol (therealljidol), even with my entry having zombie dinosaurs, but why not still try the topic? I may be talking out my ass on this subject; if you think so, let me know. And if I'm acting like a narcissist? Tell me, too.