A Culture of Infantile Narcissism

by Weston J. Kathman

The most prominent characteristic of modern America is extreme narcissism. We constantly applaud ourselves for being born in the right part of the world. It suggests that the population suffers massive insecurities. If people had enough belief in themselves as individuals, they would have no use for the empty egotism of nationalism.

Coupled with the narcissism is a total incapacity for self-criticism. We have internalized and personalized the propaganda of our masters. We have allowed them to define who we are. Therefore, we must never acknowledge that the United States can do any wrong. Stick our fingers in our ears and pretend like the dickens that our delusions of grandeur somehow reflect reality. Such an attitude guarantees that the same mistakes will occur over and over. It is also absurdly juvenile.

That brings us to another major feature of contemporary America: childishness. The culture caters almost exclusively to intellectual and psychological four year-olds. Just look at the popularity of people like the Kardashians and you will realize how brainless this society truly is. Then consider all the seat belt and helmet laws, regulations governing the sizes of soft drinks, and other policies designed to prevent us from moronically harming ourselves — it becomes impossible not to conclude that we are a nation of infants.

Of course, no one is supposed to notice any of that. Even if you do notice it, you sure as hell aren’t supposed to point it out to anyone else. We have nationwide fantasies to maintain here. Facing harsh truths is not part of the agenda. Better to let our obliviousness and wishful thinking lead us into inevitable collapse.

Notes on a Lunatic Asylum

by Weston J. Kathman

Any group consisting of three or more people is a potential lynch mob….

Males make up roughly 90 percent of the prison population. That’s one form of inequality we don’t hear feminists carping about….

Activism is a response to an itch that needs to be scratched. Scratching that itch is usually the sole objective. People hold rallies against sweat shops, for the environment, against war, opposing abortion, etc. These rallies rarely accomplish anything. But the activists don’t care. They’re just scratching an itch, relieving their own guilt and dissatisfaction. They’re not concerned about whether their actions have a positive effect — or even if their actions have a negative effect. Such folks are not “progressive” or “enlightened.” They’re just as self-interested as everybody else….

Disagree with the Left on racial issues, you are a racist. Period. Disagree with them on the sacrosanct matter of feminism, you are a sexist. Period. Don’t bother debating these things. Just own up to what you are and move on….

When two factions are in contention over something, it’s almost never that one side is right and the other is wrong. Most of the time both sides are wrong; each is simply wrong in its own unique ways. This is one reason why independence from factions is essential to critical thinking. Taking a side virtually ensures that one will be unable to evaluate that side with proper skepticism….

In a world of endless atrocities, the team name “Redskins” seems extraordinarily low on the list. But the activists have to scratch that itch….

“Character” and “morality” are among the most overrated things in the universe. What really matters is productivity. Satisfy people’s desires enough — you will enjoy immunity from common moral standards. Politicians order villages of helpless children chopped to pieces. We throw parades for those same politicians, and we name streets and schools and airports after them. If some sports star gets accused of rape or busted for steroids, his home fans will continue cheering like hell for him as long as he helps his team win. Religious leaders can commit all manner of transgressions; their flocks inevitably forgive them. Morality only applies to those insufficiently productive. Give people what they want in the right amounts, you can get away with the worst character imaginable….

Kill twenty people and you will qualify as a villain of the most despicable variety. Kill twenty thousand — the history books will likely label you a “great leader”….

The most dominant theme of modern society is MORE. There can be no such thing as ENOUGH. Forget about “In God We Trust”; in EXCESS we trust. If a man has ten million dollars, he wants 100 million. If he makes it to 100 million, he wants a billion. Satisfying our greed is impossible. This almost universal obsession with MORE indicates a society steeped in personal insecurity.

A few years back, some lawyers here in the Cincinnati area won a major class action case against a pharmaceutical company. Had the lawyers played it straight, they would have made something like 60 or 70 million. But that just wasn’t ENOUGH. Not in the culture of MORE. The lawyers wanted hundreds of millions — and thereby stole the money from their clients. Their actions were completely consistent with the main priorities of this society.

The NFL made something like 16 billion dollars last year. Not ENOUGH. So now they’re discussing adding a team in each conference to the playoffs — because, you know, we just don’t get enough 8-8 and 7-9 teams in the playoffs. The world is just pining to see the seventh best team in each conference get a shot at the big prize. This is nothing beyond a crass revenue grab by a bunch of guys who already have enough money for fifty lifetimes. But actually, there is never ENOUGH. Must always overextend for MORE.

There are countless examples of this phenomenon. “Land of Opportunity” is a sugarcoated euphemism for land of greed. The endless quest for MORE will likely lead to the eventual disintegration of this culture — an outcome that will be richly deserved….

The good news is that none of these things need hamper those of us savvy enough to divorce ourselves intellectually, morally, and spiritually from this toxic environment. Each of us is an INDIVIDUAL. Never forget that. In fact, the only two human entities that are not artificial concoctions are the INDIVIDUAL and the FAMILY. The FAMILY is rooted in biological truth. All other organizations are contrivances. They may serve decent purposes, but they remain no less make-believe. When enough people embrace INDIVIDUALISM — and reject manufactured associations based on accident of birth and other trivialities — the world will experience a great leap forward. The noxious quest for MORE will end peacefully. There will at last be ENOUGH. It would be a beautiful thing to see.

Sideline Man

by Weston J. Kathman

He remained on
the sidelines
of all attempts
to improve the species,
scoffing and saying,
“How outlandish —
to invest
so much confidence
in those unworthy of it.
DETACH!
Emancipate yourselves
from the need to better
that determined
to stay worse.
Humanity is
a ship of fools
that will drown you
in a sea of idiocy
and conformity and fear.
DETACH –
and focus on the
one thing you can improve:
thyselves.”

Lines Too Fine

by Weston J. Kathman

There is often
a fine line between
courage and recklessness,
confidence and grandiosity,
humility and self-abasement,
forthrightness and rudeness,
kindness and weakness,
hope and delusion,
faith and foolishness,
trust and gullibility,
conviction and stubbornness,
assertiveness and aggression,
class and snobbery.

Beware self-honesty –
which only blurs
the lines further.

A Farce So Grand

by Weston J. Kathman

a farce so grand
it cannot stand

but instead will fall
to the cackling call

of an illusory devil
whose heart doth revel

in our naive ways
as we count our days

and make futile tries
for pies in the skies

til the cows go traveling
over cliffs unraveling

only to land
in a farce so grand
it cannot stand

but instead will bend
before starting to ascend

to a painted sky
with an almighty Pie
that we won’t let die

Natural Born Naturalist

by Weston J. Kathman

Nature isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.

The words “unnatural” and “nonexistent” are synonyms. It is not possible for anything genuinely unnatural to manifest. The “nature versus nurture” debate misses a point — where did nurture come from if not from nature?

Many people use “natural” and “unnatural” as synonyms for “good” and “bad.” It is poor word choice that implies poor reasoning as well. Everything that exists and/or happens is natural — whether we like it or not. And nature is paradoxical. Pedophilia is natural; revulsion to pedophilia is natural. Homosexuality is natural; discomfort with homosexuality is natural. Abortion is natural; opposition to abortion is natural. Human moral concepts are part of nature, but they do not control nature in the larger sense. Much of nature is entirely beyond those concepts.

Here is where faith (belief without proper evidence) comes in: I have faith that, regardless of skewed human perspectives, nature is forever in a perfect state of balance. Whatever exists and/or happens — whether we think it good, bad, neutral, or unworthy of attention — contributes in some way to unseen balance. The worst atrocities in the world contribute to balance. Conversely, the most beautiful things and events likewise help to maintain balance. So do the mundane and unnoteworthy. Even imbalanced human perspectives inexplicably serve balance. I can demonstrate none of that. I do not believe it with firm conviction — only with a faith that I would readily abandon in light of contrary information.

It is easier for me to believe in a self-creating nature than a god independent of nature who created everything. The evidence of my senses — which may admittedly be unreliable — indicates the existence of nature. My sensory evidence has never indicated the existence of any god. So believing in a self-creating nature does not require my belief in an entity for which I have no evidence. But I do not believe in a self-creating nature. It is merely the more plausible of the two options. Nor are they the only options. Most significantly, I have no reason to think — whether a god exists or not — that my belief or nonbelief in a god will have the slightest effect on anything beyond my own psyche.

Nature works in mysterious ways. Nature is omnipotent. Nature is omniscient. Nature is omnipresent.

Signed,
A Pseudo-Pantheist

The Bad Juju of Morality (Again)

by Weston J. Kathman

I don’t believe in morality because none of the rest of my species does either. We do what is convenient and what we can get away with. Morality is mostly just a tool for chastising people when they dissatisfy us. Use it to one-up somebody, then leave it in a drawer somewhere and forget about it. Works pretty well that way.

Notice that the people who run things in this world exhibit practically no morality of which to speak. And precious few of the plebes object to the situation. This is the Rule of Authority: namely, those in authority need not follow any rules whatsoever. Religious and political rulers merely use “morality” to keep the rest of us in line. Again, works pretty well.

When we start tying morality to invisible characters, the silliness of the idea becomes most evident and its artifice shines through. There is NO morality; it’s just another thing we humans made up. But we are uncomfortable with that reality. So we claim (without any serious evidence) that a supreme being made it up instead. It’s not particularly clever. Then again, what can one expect?

Morality is mainly a sideshow freak attraction that has little to do with anything. Self interest is the governing principle of humanity. A deeper grasp of self interest hopefully reveals that when we help others, we help ourselves — and when we harm others, we harm ourselves. We haven’t gotten that far yet. Maybe someday.

Heretical Thoughts on Parenting

by Weston J. Kathman

There are two types of parents: bad ones and decent ones. Decency in this department leaves much to be desired. Parenting is the most important thing humans do. Yet, no one is even truly adequate at it. Adequacy is impossible short of perfection. Are there any perfect people out there?

One major problem is the general absensce of self introspection among this species. How much time do folks spend critically examining their own flaws? Doesn’t seem like a lot. There’s too much emphasis on “optimism” among humans — when heaping doses of pessimism would likely do us much more good. Without a thorough grasp of their own defects, people are liable to unconsciously pass their personal hang-ups and neuroses on to their children. It is an unfortunate scenario that happens to be the norm.

Here is a simple truth that seems to oddly go unnoticed: no children have ever asked to have life imposed upon them. And yes — it is an imposition (please interpret that neutrally rather than negatively). No children have ever chosen the specific parents who conceived them. When you have a child, you are placing that child in a situation wherein he/she will likely have to work for 40 or 50 years (unless that child dies young — which ain’t exactly ideal). Life is a mixed bag. It has its joys and exhilarations. It also includes innumerable burdens. Every burden your child will ever experience traces directly or indirectly to the fact that you conceived that child. Keep that constantly in mind. Please do your best not to add unnecessarily to those burdens.

Many people believe that they cannot teach their children proper morals without also inflicting their religions on their children. Controversial statement # 1: Such folks should do the rest of us a favor … and refrain from having children. They implicitly admit their own unfitness for parenting. They indicate that they cannot do the job without the aid of invisible characters. Procreation is simply beyond their levels of personal responsibility.

Controversial statement # 2: Poor people should refrain from having children. That is not to imply that indigence is necessarily a sign of bad character. It doesn’t matter why these folks are poor. We ought to spend considerably more time worrying about the welfare of children and practically no time concerning ourselves with the prerogatives of potential parents. No child deserves to be born into poverty.

Controversial statement # 3: It is no tragedy if the human race eventually goes extinct. Nature will get along quite fine without us. Quality beats quantity. A substantial reduction in procreation would permit us greater time and resources to devote to the children we do have. That goes against the philosophy of the Church, which says: “Be fruitful and multiply.” Once a heretic — always a heretic. The Church has its own agenda, which serves the interests of those who control the Church and no one else. An opposite approach would be to our advantage.

A world in which children are raised with the utmost care, kindness, and virtue will gradually turn into a better world. Few things are within our purview. Politics is someone else’s game. The culture is a lost cause. But improved parenting is actually in our hands. Proceed wisely.

Of Myths and Robots

by Weston J. Kathman

Christians laugh at Scientologists. Oh, the irony.

I submit that the only reason we in the West ridicule the belief of Muslim males that they will acquire 72 virgins in the afterlife is because we were not raised with that belief. Had we been raised with the “72 virgins” nonsense, most of us would believe it. Had we been raised to believe in the evil lord Xenu — like Scientologists — most of us would believe in it. Had we been raised to believe in “The Three Little Pigs,” most of us would believe in it. When people refuse to critically examine the myths popular in their own cultures, they render themselves mere products of their parentages and their environments. They might as well be robots.

It would be nice to think that human beings are greater than that. But very few are.