We sometimes write that if you only read one Dalrymple piece this week, let it be this one. That is true of this piece in Taki’s Magazine on social media over-sharing and the related ideas it illuminates: The desire to publicize the details of one’s life (only the positive ones, of course). The “thirst for significance in a mass society”. The wish for the fulfillment of contradictory and mutually-exclusive desires, such as the wish to be judged and not judged, noticed and not noticed, simultaneously. A good read.
The demand for recognition and nonrecognition at the same time is surely one of the reasons for the outbreak of mass self-mutilation in the Western world in an age of celebrity. A person who treats his face and body like an ironmongery store can hardly desire or expect that you fail to notice it, but at the same time demands that you make no comment about it, draw no conclusions from it, express no aversion toward it, and treat him no differently because of it. You must accept him as he is, however he is, because he has an inalienable right to such acceptance. As a professional burglar once asked me, how could I expect him to give up burgling when he was a burglar and burglary was what he did?