The title of my post today is inspired by the name of Donovan Woods’ new album, which is in turn a quotation from Richard Ford. (If you have stumbled onto this article looking for Woods’ album, here’s a link as to where you can get it.)
But naturally the post is not about Donovan Woods’ album. The title seems perfect for a train of thoughts I’ve been having really recently.
A while back I read on article on Cracked entitled “Why you are accidentally making everyone hate you.” The things the author talks about seem strange at first, but the more you read into it the more things start to make sense.
Of those five things, the one thing that really stood out to me was #2, which is about asserting power over someone else. For example, I could go and tell someone “Oh man, I just met Thom Yorke yesterday and we had dinner together, only during dinner I accidentally spilled spaghetti all over my shirt! I was so starstruck!” Despite the fact that I in this situation was trying to tell an embarrassing story, it’s very likely that I’d be pissing off whoever I talked to.
The reason is simple; this someone did not probably ever get the chance to meet and have dinner with the frontman of Radiohead. Just by telling him that story, I’m implicitly saying “Guess what? I’m so much better than you.”
And I find people do this all the time, even without meaning to. As you may know I’m in a journalism program, and sometimes I’ll see a friend talk about the wonderful internship they’ve scored for the summer, or a job they have lined up. I immediately feel a pang of jealousy and annoyance, but at the same time I want to be happy for my friends who have found their way.
And I know, I know, that if I find a decent job after graduation the first goddamn place I’m going to go is Facebook. There’s this weird conflict that always bubbles up inside me; on the one hand I want to be able to proudly say “I got a job at so-and-so” but on the other hand, I don’t want to, as the title says, get too grand. I don’t want to look like someone so vain that I have to trumpet my every win.
Even though it would be a horrible idea and would make me lose friends, I wish I could just start commenting on people’s Facebook bragging with “Don’t get too grand.” And then I wouldn’t comment further.
Michael’s thoughts on egotism, everybody. See you tomorrow.