Americans, you know I love you to bits. You are talented, creative, hard-working, kind people. There is one quality, though, that you have and that drives me up a wall. Of course, not all of you possess it and probably not even the majority does. But those who do practice it do it with such an abandon that it is embarrassing to observe.

The quality I’m talking about is the capacity to engage in very public and overwrought exhibitions of self-pity. 

A student at my previous school once wrote something as follows in an essay:

Bartolomé de Las Casas narrates the horrible atrocities that the indigenous people experienced at the hands of the conquistadors. The Spaniards murdered, tortured, and raped the indigenous people. They ripped open the bellies of pregnant women and threw the babies to the dogs. This caused horrible suffering to the indigenous.

I have also experienced horrible suffering in my life. For instance, back in the 8th grade, I spent a lot of time preparing for a math test and hoping to get an A. But I got a C instead! This caused me great pain and suffering!

N insists that the student was simply trying to be a smart-ass and wasn’t writing all this seriously. I’d like to believe him, even though the destruction of the indigenous cultures of the Americas is a very inappropriate subject for this kind of smart-assery. However, this sort of thing happens so often that I can’t help suspecting that people do it very much in earnest.

See some examples under the fold.

Continue reading “Self-Pity”

Exalted Pseudo-Lefties

The perennially aggrieved Ian Welsh is blasting Russians for sending troops Syria. When Russia invaded Ukraine and sent incomparably more troops to kill Ukrainians, Welsh couldn’t cheer loudly enough. The killing of Syrians, however, looks a lot more disturbing to him.

This is not as illogical as it might seem. Exalted pseudo-Lefties of Welsh’s ilk hate nobody more than non-Russian FSU people. They still petulantly cling to the discredited fantasy of a “good USSR” and detest those of us who demonstrated how horrible and oppressive the “prison of nations” was by escaping from it as soon as possible.

From vast personal experience, I can assure you that nothing dampens the mood at a gathering of arm – chair Marxists as an entrance of a Ukrainian. Welsh and Co can’t wait for all of us to expire already and stop marring the joy they get from their erotic fantasies about the USSR of their dreams. 

I’m Back, I Think

Thank you for the support, everybody. You are good, kind, profound people, and it helps to know you exist.

Tragedy always highlights who is a great person and who is a self-involved piece of shit. I have had an opportunity to discover that the overwhelming majority of people are good and capable of feeling compassion and offering help. Even those who make an occasional clumsy comment have the capacity to understand that they are wrong and apologize.

Of course, there is also a class of people who can’t help trying to make somebody else’s suffering about their all-important selves. I have learned that the most destructive people are those who start every sentence with the word ‘I’.

“I don’t know what to say that will help you. I’m afraid of saying something insensitive. I’m suffering, too. I have no idea what to say right now.”

The message here is, “Forget your suffering, come service my emotional needs instead.”

Such people are to be avoided at all costs.