Limitations of Identity

This guy is some sort of a genius:

What people admire about Tony [Soprano] isn’t his freedom; that thing you think is freedom is actually  the lack of freedom. His story. His identity– that he has one, an obvious one, a clear one.  Tony Soprano is not free, his behavior is completely tethered to what makes sense for his character.  He acts exactly like Tony Soprano would act.  That’s what people want:  the limitations of that identity: if I know who I am, I know what I am capable of, I know my strengths and my limits, I know how I’d react to unknown dangers.  And I want other people to know this.  If other people know who I am, I wouldn’t have to keep proving myself.  Strike that: I wouldn’t have to prove myself in the first place.

Wow. This is so brilliant and so completely true that I have nothing else to add other than to repeat my “Wow!”

Do read the whole long post because the rest of it is just as amazing. Just one more little quote for you:

Not knowing who I am, not knowing what I am supposed to do next and what I am not supposed to bother doing next– makes us long for characters who know precisely what to do next even if it is the wrong things.  They may be flawed, but they are definite.  They exist.

A standing ovation is in order.

2 thoughts on “Limitations of Identity

  1. OK I checked out the article, and the blog. Nice to see someone who writes at length instead of communicating in sound bites. But. In this post they are positive or at best neutral on Ray Blanchard. All in all, one more data point illustrating why I distrust psychiatrists. I understand the point is that you don’t mix diagnostics and politics unless you want to either create strange bedfellows or throw allies under the bus. But still, the code I live by is, you don’t quote Blanchard without discrediting Blanchard. Call me a tribalist, but that’s my position and I’m standing by it.


    1. I’d never even heard of this Blanchard guy. But I don;t think the blogger is really a psychiatrist. Real psychiatrist just prescribe medication, that’s all they do. This guy actually analyzes.

      But thank you for rescuing the post from it’s lonely, commentless existence. 🙂


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