In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hunter from Thespiae who was renowned for his beauty. He was so fine and fabulous because, after all, he was the offspring of a river god and a nymph. This also means he had a god-like complex and made love like a bunny.
Narcissus was also quite the diva. He disdained those who adored him and thumbed his nose at those who did not appreciate him. He was simply too cool for school.
One day Narcissus was sitting by a pool, no doubt combing his hair and singing sweet melodies along with the birds and bees. By chance or by treachery of some scorned deity, he happened upon his own reflection in the pool and gasped, "By Zeus, I put the izzle in the shizzle!" For those unfamiliar with urban hip hop lingo, it means "By Jesus, I put the -some in handsome!" Instantly he fell in love with himself, even more so than before.
But how does one woo oneself? Fall on one's knee and put a ring on one's own finger? Indeed, how can one address falling in love so hopelessly with oneself? The poor boy was simply at a loss for what to do.
One moment later, Narcissus gave rise to the phrase "if looks could kill". He dropped dead because there was just too much izzle in that shizzle.
There was also a real life Narcissus, a wrestler who assassinated the mad Roman emperor Commodus - in contrast to the popular belief that he was slain in the Coliseum by Russell Crowe. Narcissus was also the name of several Christian saints, as well as a long popular after-hours club on Sukhumvit Soi 23 that now goes by the shortened, but snazzier moniker of simply Narz.
Most importantly, from Narcissus comes the study of narcissism as a mental illness. This illness might affect a person, or a culture or society. As opposed to "healthy self-love", narcissism describes some kind of problem in a person or a group's relationships.
Narcissism conveys egoism, vanity, conceit and selfishness - a general self-absorption. Within a social context, it can mean elitism.
Psychotherapist Sandy Hotchkiss defined the seven deadly sins of narcissism as follows:
1. Shamelessness: The inability to process shame in a healthy way.
Exhibit A: What? They made fun of our sex tourism industry? Tainting our image? Ban! Ban! Ban! Get Christy on the line - why, I'll give her what for!
Exhibit B: See, look! Brown, rotten rice from the rice-pledging scheme - you lied to the people!
Hey! How did you get into the warehouse? That's illegal!"
Exhibit C: I'm an honest rubber farmer and former deputy premier! I'm not corrupt!
2. Magical thinking: Seeing oneself as perfect by using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking; dumping shame onto others using projection.
Exhibit A: Thailand is No 1! Those Cambodians stole Preah Vihear from us!
Exhibit B: Thailand will never achieve true democracy and become an enlightened society like us. No really, never. We are superior. What? OK, let me just log off first and I'll see you on Soi Cowboy.
Exhibit C: Vote for me. I saved Bangkok from the flood. Look at me I'm riding a bicycle. I'm one with the people.
Exhibit D: Vote for me. See results in one year, complete success in four! Also check out the awesome photo retouching on my campaign posters. I look good, right?
3. Arrogance: If one feels deflated, one can lift one's spirits by diminishing, debasing or degrading somebody else.
Exhibit A: The entire content of this article.
4. Envy: Feeling superior in the face of another person's ability by using contempt to belittle the other person.
Exhibit A: Thailand is a backward, corrupt country that only lives in lies and can never achieve democracy! You suck!
So why are you here? The beach, the beer and the babes, of course, duh!
5. Entitlement: When an individual has unreasonable expectations of favourable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special.
Exhibit A: So what if I was corrupt and trampled on freedom and human rights. I gave you one million baht per village and paid off the IMF out of my own pocket!
Exhibit B: So what if I let other people engage in corruption and trampled on freedom and human rights. I graduated from Oxford!
6. Exploitation: Of those in a subservient position (real or assumed) to one's benefit.
Exhibit A: OK, you go ahead and occupy that district, burn those buildings and vote for us. When we become government, we'll fight corruption and the elites, and bring true freedom, democracy and human rights to Thailand, OK? Deal? Good. No worries, our Bentley-driving deputy prime minister will make it all happen after he's done brought peace to the three southern provinces. No really, we can trust him. He was ordained by the big boss. Pinky-finger promise, cross my heart and hope somebody else will die for me.
Exhibit B: OK, he cheated me out of a business deal. Now let's see _ how I can trick the urban middle class and high society ladies into helping me oust him from power. Ah yeah, this one is way too easy. Evil laugh, mu-hahahaha.
7. Bad boundaries: Failure to recognise that others are not an extension of themselves, (the feeling) that others exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all.
Exhibit A: The relationship between members of parliament and the voting public. And that's the -izzle in the shizzle.
No? Alright then, see you at Narz!
Contact Voranai Vanijaka via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
- Writer: Voranai Vanijaka
Position: Political and Social Commentator