Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Ego battles

I am amused and confused by witnessing the battles of ego in life.

For example I'm watching one more Grand Designs episode (I bought series 3 and 4 recently), and it's the story of a very big and expensive conversion of an old warehouse in the middle of Londinium (near the London Eye ferris wheel). It will be home to only two people, and yet it will have features like six toilets and a gas cooker which cost thirty-four thousand pounds! (That's exactly what I paid for this apartment.)

These people are almost asking for the neighbors to want to take them down a peg*, and they did not have to ask very long: a wall had to be built up, and it was only accessible from the neighbor's courtyard. And the neighbors contested every single one of the 28 points of the contract, and the build stood still for 11 months.

And not only that, when they were done they had used slightly different bricks from what they had specified, and not asked the neighbors first. And the neighbors filed a complaint over that and won't accept it! And this a question of an old, decrepit wall which is already a big patchwork of different kinds of bricks and remnants of old lean-tos. I think it's pretty clear that these people are simply taking a stand against their "stuck up rich neighbors": "I'll be blown down if they're gonna get a free ride around here while I'm around..."

Sweet be-geezus.

* Only not really, because the outside of the building was hardly changed at all.
Of course as far as I'm concerned, people can use their money however they like. They provided work for many people when building this thing. And it's meant also to be an architect's showcase, the wife has an architectural company.

The neighbors though (the London Festival Orchestra), in my opinion are crossing over from being obstinate into being downright distructive when they use city planning trifles to willfully cost their neighbors bad heartache and seriously big amounts of money in building delays and legal costs. The planning officer says something similar when he comes around: that it is the full extend of the planning rules being used to fight over something which should have been solved over the dining table. In other words, a neighbors' feud which has nothing to do with the wall really.

Of course as one might predict, not everybody would agree! I found this comment on a forum, somebody replying to somebody else's comment echoing mine:
'"Mean-spirited LFO"? What about the arrogant conceit of two people with more money than sense (I am shocked that they can stomach a single meal from a £34k cooker when there are people starving in the world) who are so far up their own a***s they think their redevelopment for their own selfish purpose of making yet more money to spend on themselves takes precedence over the LFO being able to practise properly - the LFO actual having some social and cultural purpose!!!!!!'

I'm not sure how the cosmetics of a wall in the courtyard might prevent the orchestra from practising. But the intensity of this comment shows that there may be something like those feelings behind the animosity in this drama.

To be honest there are also one or two more reasoned arguments later in the thread.
... Anyway, you probably don't care! Tomorrow, back to our regular programming. Whatever that is!


Pascal [P-04referent] said...

You live in an apartment worth as much as a mere gas cooker? Dude, major wipeout! That's, like, SO uncool. Totally nerdy.
No wonder chicks never let you take photos of them naked. See, you've got to show everybody you have the biggest car, the biggest house, the biggest boat, the biggest wallet, the biggest gun... flaunt your oversized manliness, display the testosterone, you dig?
Ego, shmeego.
90% of the cars sold today in China are SUVs. That means 10% of the Chinses are dumb hippie tree-hugging le-hew-ze-her hicks.

Okay, flip-flop, back to seriousness.

I do hope the UK has the same laws as other civilized countries, allowing for prosecution of somebody for "procedural abuse". Like, if somebody sues you because they claim your dog is so ugly it causes them trauma and emotional anguish, after they lose the case, you can sue them back for wasting your time with a futile lawsuit.
Not very Forgiving, but some people really need the lesson.
For example, the moment I heard that in the latest "Michael Jackson affair", he was being accused by a family notoriously customary of lawsuits, my bet was on his complete innocence. Too bad that idjit just doesn't know how to behave in front of a law court, he just HAD to play clowns in the ensuing mediatic circus.

People wasting obscene amounts of their easily-earned wealth are no pretty picture. But I believe, I'm not just saying this, that their selfishness first and mostly hurts themselves. At least spiritually. "I know you don't love me, so admire my belongings, and envy me. Makes me feel good, and powerful, and important."
But can we really blame poverty on the rich being futile or selfish? If anything, we should blame it on the System which allows exploitative types to keep making money while the poor get poorer in spite of working their asses off.
If somebody wins the lottery, it's nobody's goddamn business to resent their luck and sudden wealth. Lotteries give equal fair starting chances to all.

It's not about doing what you bloody well want with your money. It's about CREATING an unfair world, where people spending their damn own money then attract such intense resentment like so many industrial power magnets. If you want to go with the "helping the downtrodden with your money", there's no virtual limit. As long as you manage to eat and drink enough not to starve, all the rest can be decreed superfluous and sinfully selfish when "there are children dying". As Michael Jackson once sang in We Are The World.

It has been demonstrated, I believe, that the communist utopia is precisely this, a utopia, because all people will never be perfectly equal. Not in status, wealth, etc... It's just impossible, unless you force total ant-like uniformity. People are different, some are more hard-working, smarter, more talented... It would be unfair to force them into life conditions identical to the lesser deserving. Just like it is unfair from some teachers to draw the resentment of the class on the better-performing students. The proper pedagogy is to encourage and support those who don't fare as well, so as to give them a fair chance at excelling.
I think people make a mistake, when they focus their attention, time and energy on the symptoms, rather than on the cause. What truly makes peole angry is not jealousy, it's getting an unfair chance because the System is rigged.
Alas, it takes some surprisingly elevated spiritual maturity just to rationally reflect upon one's motivations. The Ego hates it when it feels stoopid, so it takes refuge into being stubborn.
Recently a blogger in Zimbabwe saw a driver lose control on the market place and run into some stands. Nobody was seriously injured, but the crowd gathered to fiercely beat up the driver. Of course. They dare not move against their constant nightmare, the abominable dictatorship of Mugabe. So any scapegoat will do.

I think I feel another article coming, Eo. About summarizing/synthetizing both the teachings of Dale Carnegie and the knowledge of modern psychology into fundamental and simple life lessons.

Timo Lehtinen said...

Too bad that idjit just doesn't know how to behave in front of a law court, he just HAD to play clowns in the ensuing mediatic circus.

Yeah, when he arrived at the court house in pajamas and slippers (when being accused of sleeping with a child!), I just had to stand up and perform a military salute in his honor. Even DalĂ­ was posthumously taken to school with that one.

Here's the greatest virtuoso of our time performing Human Nature.

As to the rest of this topic, how can you? Philosophize so badly.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Badly? Who? What?


Eolake Stobblehouse said...

"What truly makes peole angry is not jealousy, it's getting an unfair chance because the System is rigged."

I think it can be either. Or both.

But more so I think that people are angry because they are angry.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"how can you? Philosophize so badly."
Well, I couldn't let that half-pint Bambi Jackson outdo me, could I?
I too can powerfully grab my crotch in public and jerk squeaking "eeh-eeh!". :-)

"I think that people are angry because they are angry."
Dude, that's profound.

It IS possible to philozophyse deeply about shallow-mindedness...

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Anger and fear are within us, we merely assign external "causes".

The crotch-grabbing was *so* weird on Jackson, I wonder where he got it. He does not seem like somebody who's really that much in touch with his little jackal.

Anonymous said...

Anger and fear are within us, we merely assign external "causes".

Close, but not quite accurate.

Frustration and anger is communication from self. It is associated to circumstances in that the meaning of the communication is to signal to the conscious mind that one is not recognizing all her choices in the moment. Frustration or anger dissipates immediately if you step back, see more of your options, and choose differently. So frustration (and anger) is a useful and important signal between the subconscious and conscious minds. Just think if you were "hitting your head against the wall" and never felt any kind of frustration but instead continued to feel good ... indefinitely. All emotions are purposeful signals.

Fear is a lack of trust in self. Fear creates demons as a physical manifestation of that lack and separation. The demons disappear as soon as you reclaim your role as the director of your experience.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

TTL suggested:
"Just think if you were "hitting your head against the wall" and never felt any kind of frustration but instead continued to feel good ... indefinitely.?"

You know? I think I actually know people just like that. In love with their self-maintained misery.