Sunday, August 06, 2006

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who's the Most Contemptuous Person of All?

Let’s take The Comic Book Guy, for example. I haven’t read much by him, but it is as if everything he writes is in the same musical key--even the same note played over and over. What is this note? Contempt, pomposity, superiority, devaluation, envy. It would be a mistake to analyze his writing for its content---of which there is little--instead of the much more vivid unconscious message that always comes through. Through my studies with Milt Jung, the great chiropractor and second cousin of Melanie Klein, I learned that contempt--especially if it is dominant in the personality--is always a defense mechanism. It is always in the service of primordial envy...If someone is particularly insecure, they can unconsciously manage this insecurity, ward off depression, and elevate themselves through the constant operation of contempt. It is not voluntary, but compulsive...the habitually contemptuous person is almost always contemptible--in his own unconscious eyes. The object for whom he expresses contempt is simply a sacrificial victim that allows him to live another day under very difficult circumstances. You wouldn’t want to be that person, their petty little daily contemptuous triumphs notwithstanding.
--Gagdad Bob

I wonder if Gagdad Bob has ever REALLY taken a good, hard look in the mirror.

I encourage everyone who reads this post to spend some time reading Bob's blog and tell me (and Bob) what you think. Is he describing anyone else better than he describes himself?


Van said...

Regarding Gagdad Bob's remark in Integral Options Cafe
I don't think Gagdad Bob wants this continuing on his post, but I can't resist a follow up to your comment about my comment.
To refresh, the source here sprang from:
Where he said:
"Personally, I think The Bob is a Blue-Orange rationalist with a vertical orientation -- as such, he is endlessly frustrating in his limited thinking and belief that he, and only he, is right."

To which I commented:
"Hmm, does he mean that thinking you are right is a sign of being wrong... and so is admiting his own wrongness in saying something he thinks is right, er wrong... eh... right? Sigh, limited thinking is endlessly frustrating. "

and you replied:
"No, I think he means that he sees Bob never admitting that he's wrong or that he even could be wrong about any of his spiritual and political pronouncements, and disparaging the intellectual capacity, psychological maturity, or morality of those who disagree with him. Perhaps he's mistaken about this. If he is, I hope you can cite examples for us that illustrate this."

Ok, there may be a number of ways to describe Gagdad Bob, but "limited thinking" isn't one that springs to mind. I also don't recall him saying in any serious manner that he and only he is right. True, he does say what he thinks is right, but that can only be similar by way of implication - such as in our recent bantering about computers and the results of 2+2.
I feel pretty confident in saying that 2 + 2 does equal 4, and I suppose by implication any person who disagrees with that, is going to be wrong. If they hold to 2+2=5 as being correct it could only be for non-rational reasons, and their being upset with me for saying so would have to be due to other emotional issues.
Regarding the line "disparaging the intellectual capacity, psychological maturity, or morality of those who disagree with him", I don't believe he does so to those who disagree with him, but who disagree with him and and also exibit signs, through their comments and stances, which exibit a lack of intellectual capacity, or psychological maturity, or of immorality. See Huffington Post for daily examples of either and or.

Can I provide examples of people disagreeing with him, not being piloried, and admitting error?, well, with out looking farther than this week, Yes. This from his recent Reincarnation Post:

"lasch 2.0 said...
I've been impressed all week with Bob's responses but I confess, on this one I just can't sign up! The materialist in me just has to take a pass.
But a fascinating week of entries nevertheless.

will said...
Gee, the silence is deafening. Hmm, Bob, you may have reached the point where the envelope pushes back. But that's why O.C. is the prince, nay, the king of blogs, IMHO.

Gagdad Bob said...
Hmm, you're probably right. Shouldn't have sprung that crack about the resurrection body on an unsuspecting audience. I do know for a fact that I have at least one other reader who has a vague idea what I'm talking about.... It's just that I happened to feel mine yesterday. Or something similar--astral body, body of light, crown chakra opening, whatever. Whatever it was, it's gone again today."

I think that about wraps it up for me.

Van said...

Sorry for typoing Nagarjuna as Naragjuna - not intentional

dr.alistair said...

seems you are all caught in the contempt cycle to some degree.....................a healthy dose of not reading the blog will do you some good and may enable you to take a different perspective later if you return.

Nagarjuna said...

Hi, Van.
I appreciate your comments. Let me just briefly make the following points in reply:

It seems to me that Bob's parameters of political thought ARE "limited." In a proverbial nutshell, liberals are bad, stupid, infantile, deranged, or some combination thereof; conservatives are good. Liberals are wrong about everything; conservatives are right about everything.

What is not so limited is in his ability to say this over and over and over and over in sometimes rather ingenious and even entertaining ways.

As for him disparaging people personally who express views different from his own, I disagree with you that they must exhibit the qualities of which he accues them before he does it. For instance, he disparaged Bill Harryman as some kind of "new age," "subrational," crystal gazing flake when any actual familiarity with him and his blog would roundly reveal otherwise. He disparaged Wolcott as a man filled with pathological contempt, but didn't address the substantive and, I think, true criticisms he made of what he quoted of Bob's blog. And he's always belittling Noam Chomsky as a paranoid, ranting nutcase, but he's never, that I've ever seen, refuted even one argument Chomsky's made. I dare say that if Bob or any of his obsequious "Bobbleheads" were to attempt to debate Chomsky on American foreign policy, THEY would undoubtedly be the ones made to look like ranting, paranoid fools. This is not to say that I agree with all or even most of what Chomsky says, but I respect the fact that he stays focused on issues and facts rather than use the incompetent or desperate person's way out and do virtually nothing but attack people personally.

As for the counterexample you cited, I had the feeling you would cite it even before you did. But, with all due respect, I think it's a trivial example of Bob admitting that he's wrong or that he even might be wrong about something or of his showing anything other than sneering dismissal or outright contempt toward those who challenge or disagree with him.

Having said all of this, I still think he's a brilliant man and an amazing writer, and I do find nuggets of real gold amidst the tons of fool's gold dross of his "Bobservations."

Van said...

I started to answer your last comment, but you're inclusion of Chomsky kind of kicked me up a notch to what seemed more appropriate for a full post on my Blogodidact, than a regular reply here.

Nagarjuna said...

Van, thanks for the link to your post on your blog. I read it and tried to reply to it there, but couldn't find a way to post a comment, even after I signed in.

Let me just briefly say here that I "ally" myself not with Chomsky per se, but with substantive discussion and argument rather than with the almost constant stream of ad hominem attacks unsupported by rational argument that I see from Gagdad Bob against people with whom he disagrees.

If I can figure out or you can instruct me how to reply on your blog to your post, I'd be happy to address your points in more detail. Unless, that is, you concur with Bob's warning that it's pointless to read what I have to say and to try to carry on any discussion with me.


Nagarjuna said...

Van, I saw your acknowledgement that people are having trouble posting comments on your blog. I did as you suggested and kept trying, but it didn't work. After reading your reply to Gagdad Bob, perhaps it's just as well. What would be the point of trying to dialogue with someone who agrees with Bob's rosy opinion of me? :-)

Van said...

No good having a blog no one can get into - I've moved to Regarding "After reading your reply to Gagdad Bob, perhaps it's just as well" what I meant was that I suspected that in the end we would be talking past each other; but trying to avoid that, and figuring out how & why it still happens anyway, is something that fascinates me to no end. I suspect we will end up agreeing to disagree, but I'm still willing to give it a few more rounds if you are ;-) .

Nagarjuna said...

That may have been what YOU meant, but you and I both know that the other person meant something a "little" different. :-)

Anyway, thanks for alerting us to your move to Blogger. Actually, I had already discovered it a little earlier this morning. I must say that, even though I've heard people complain about Blogger too, I think you made a good choice.