Breakfast With Narcissus
Total Black: $129.96
Total Red: $270,000.16
Yesterday began a little tête-à-tête in the comments to Knut’s post Raise. Your. Voice. on his blog First Tier Toilet. Knut alleged that he dropped my blog from his blogroll because I’m narcissistic and write about boring things like what I ate for breakfast. So, let’s have some breakfast with Narcissus, shall we? What am I serving up today?
Truth. With a little sass on the side.
I don’t have a problem with the appellation narcissistic. Narcissus, for those unfamiliar with him, was a character in Greek mythology, a very beautiful one at that, who scorned others’ love. His punishment by the gods was to fall in love with his own reflection and not be able to leave that pool. Once Narcissus finally died, a flower grew in that spot. Narcissistic has come to mean someone who is vain, who suffers from excessive adoration of herself or himself. Hell, I’m fine with being called a god-like beauty. But seriously, do I come across as narcissistic? Me?
Knut claimed in his response to me that not only was I boring and narcissistic but that a difference exists between those blogging for themselves, presumably what I do, and those blogging for others, presumably what he does. Perhaps in a quite literal way I can be accused of being narcissistic. Narcissus did stare into his reflection until he wasted away. And what am I doing here but peering in at myself, trying to uncover the roots of my struggles with money and debt. Hopefully before I waste away though! Irony noted. But by writing all my self-analysis in a blog I do open myself to others and thereby invite their observations, input, and feedback. And criticism I suppose, particularly if constructive. But I’m not blogging out of an adoration for myself. I’m not staring at myself in the blogger’s mirror to metaphorically masturbate to my intellectual beauty. Knut, on the other hand, has followers claiming to have deferred law school start dates because of his blog. And a prospective Boston College law student at that. That’s first tier. Quite a hefty yolk to carry, and one that, in fact, often does lead to narcissistic tendencies. Jim Jones also thought he was leading people away from pain and suffering. Watch your step, Knut. Fine line between inspiration and desperation.
See, Knut is a self-admitted first-tier law school graduate. That means that he attained that brass ring. Regardless of all else, he’ll have [First Tier] Law School’s diploma on his wall for life. (He’s not said which school he graduated from, of course, unlike Nando or myself.) Yet Johnny-come-lately comes to the table now, all up-in-arms now about the injustice (raise fist!) of the law schools who are raping all these students (bang fist on podium). Reminds me a bit of white people who ran to the south to protest racism or white abolitionists. The sort of “We have to do it for them” mentality. Because once a first-tier grad enters the room, then validity is added to the discussion. And curiously, after only thirty-one days, roughly seventeen posts, David Lat of Above the Law had already chimed in on Knut’s entry. Funny how FTTers seem to sniff each other out, out there. Or do Lat and Knut know each other? Whereas Nando, of Third Tier Reality, has been around for some time, with Knut even anointing him the godfather of the scambloggers, and had to wait 133 days for Above the Law to notice him. Curious. Nando did comment that he did want FTT buy-in to his cause. (Curious aside: in that same comment he chastised his own commenters for attacking each other on his blog yet did the same to me in a comment on Knut’s blog.) Enter Knut. And then he and Nando complimented each other for a while.
It’s like watching animals courting.
What’s the point of all this sound and fury signifying nothing? Blogging is a narcissistic field. You don’t sit down to blog without being narcissistic, even a bit, whether you’re blogging for yourself or someone else—taking Knut’s distinction (without a much of difference where narcissism goes). To expect others to read what you have to say is narcissistic to some degree. You put your image from that mythological lake up for all to see and you say, “Hey! Look at me. I have something to say too!” Of course, you often have to jump up and down and scream louder than the hundreds of others bloggers doing the same. Or not. Plenty of bloggers just plod along without much hoopla.
In my comment yesterday on Raise. Your. Voice. I noted that Nando seems only to be bitching whereas at least Knut was clamoring for some action. Aside: not surprising that the third-tier guy claims in his comment that “[a]ll we can do is spread the word.” whereas the first-tier guy is trying to organize something. History does rhyme, as Mark Twain is claimed to have said. And to cite a FTTer to add credence to what this TTTer claimed, David Lat in a post from last December 2009 found them all bitter as well, including Nando. And? Who cares if someone calls you bitter? Or claims that you’re bitching. I’ve been called worse on this blog. Instead you can own that and turn it around and use that person’s insult as your fuel. Say, “yeah I’m bitching. I’ve got an ax to grind about ____” or “you better believe I’m bitter. I’ve had ______ happen to me and I want it rectified.”
But, see, bloggers don’t do that. They just continue the pissing contest. I’ve taken Knut’s attempted insults and woven them into this post. In so doing, I’m taking it on and letting it go. I believe there should be a sense of respect between bloggers for each other. It’s not easy to slice yourself open everyday—even if not commenting about your own life—to the world for everyone to see. And we can disagree without being disagreeable. But that’s hard for some people. When I noted that all Nando was doing was bitching, I got a torrent of “ass” and “dumb” and “bullshit” and “blow” tossed at me. It’s a fairly transparent trick of debaters to resort to ad hominum attacks when you’ve got nothing else to reply with. And use of vulgar language really shows a limited vocabulary. There are wittier ways to insult people than to claim that they are “willing to blow associates to get extensions on [their] contract positions or judges to get clerkships.” Or by urging someone to “Get your head out of your ass and go somewhere where your bullshit has an audience dumb enough to listen to it.” Ironically, I’ve not yet blown any associate. Nor any judge. And certainly not my judge. And I don’t think that the people following my efforts are dumb.
Maybe I could come up with a bloggers code of conduct.
Sad thing is, Knut and Nando, who each (Knut) have good points (Nando) to make, have now somewhat alienated me and possibly my readers with their strict adherence to “law schools are from the devil” mantras. Well, I guess Knut’s mantra would be “(all-but-first-tier) law schools are from the devil.” Curiously, the text I quoted on Tears for Tiers from his blog is now gone. But it’s archived here that he wrote that all non-first-tier law schools should go. At any rate, I agree with them both that something needs to change in the legal industry. But I disagree that insulting each other is the way to accomplish that. To the extend I’m guilty of it, lesson learned. Humble pie for breakfast.
Actually, after all this, I haven’t had breakfast yet!
Today’s good news: the check I referenced in Oops . . . I Did It Again to the New York landlord cleared though just barely, and with an insufficient funds fee. I’ll take it though. Much better than having to risk the landlord’s management company’s ire. I can’t wait to be done with New York completely. Payday today. Time to pay the new landlord though. And the auto loan. Total red won’t be moving downward again for another two weeks.