Sunday, May 6, 2012

Culture of Contempt

"I wouldn't give a damn if you ever displayed the slightest sign of gratitude. The only thanks is to have you sneer at me for a dirty miser, sneer at my profession, sneer at every damned thing in the world--except yourself."

"That's not true, Papa. You can't hear me talking to myself, that's all."

Long Day's Journey Into Night- Eugene O'Neill
Training begins early. With the incessant hawk and hounding of advertising, even the youngest child learns the bitter taste of unrelenting want. The purported lack of goods, feelings, and acceptable facades leads to an inescapable conclusion: inadequacy. Without the mandatory perfection required to lead an acceptable existence; the individual assimilates failure as a fixed point of daily reference, and becomes tainted with the first dregs of self contempt. Forced to view the inability to conform to some unobtainable standards as a moral degeneracy; the loathing of one's essence is inextricably bound to the perception of the human condition.

Thus, rather than face the crushing burden of such degradation alone, there arises an insatiable longing to view others under the same ghastly illumination of debasement and despair. It remains far easier to drag others down into the mire than to try and raise one's self up; far less of an effort to inflict pain than to sow joy or inspire hope. Thus arises the vicious circle of mutally assured destruction; a round robin of spirt rending where no one wins anything but loss.

"He who despises himself nevertheless esteems himself as a self-despiser."

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