The Age of Narcissism

Ladies and gentlemen, without a doubt, we are currently in an age of narcissism. It’s only natural that the person that every cares about most is, well… themselves. But with today’s technologies, the narcissism is much more amplified.

I’d like to take the time to point out a nicely written article that discusses narcissism along with… what else?

Facebook.

http://mashable.com/2010/08/28/facebook-narcissism/

Nothing allows people to be more narcissistic than Facebook itself. Let’s delve right into it, shall we?

In a rather small survey conducted by a young psychologist, Facebook was shown to have some interesting correlations with self-esteem and narcissism in young adults.

In a survey of 100 college students, young people with narcissistic personality traits were shown to exhibit Facebook activity that was distinctly more self-promotional. These people had “About Me” sections that referred to their intelligence and photos that were more about displaying the user’s physical attractiveness than about capturing memories with friends.

On the surface, the idea of social networking seems very admirable and useful. It allows you to keep tabs on the people that you care about. You can “like” their status if something good happens to them, and you can voice your condolences if something unfortunate happens to them. And I’m all for that.

Buuuut that is not what 99% of people use Facebook for. People update their status just to attract attention. They whine, they complain, or they try to say something funny just to stay relevant in everyone’s lives. Like the article says, they are self-promoting themselves. They are basically saying “Hey everyone, look at me! I’m funny! I’m cool!” It’s like the drunk girl at the party that starts singing loudly and dances on the pool table just to become the center of attention.

And yea, naturally, everyone chooses a flattering picture of themselves. They’ll weed through their vast collection of pictures, 19 out of 20 of which they would never use as their primary facebook picture, but will find that one that makes them look presentable. And if there isn’t, then people will take a picture of themselves while alone in their room. Nothin’ worse than that.

For the average narcissist, Facebook “offers a gateway for hundreds of shallow relationships and emotionally detached communication.” More importantly for this study, social networking in general allows the user a great deal of control over how he or she is presented to and perceived by peers and other users.

Bingo. The article hits the jackpot there. The fact that you can control your personality is what makes people feel so overconfident on facebook. In normal situations, if someone makes fun of you, there’s nothing that can be done to take it back. It’s already been done. In the Facebook world, you can immediately delete the post. And now that most people have notifications sent directly to their phones, they can do this within seconds. Plus you can de-tag pictures of yourself that you don’t think you look too good in.

Another good point in this paragraph is the bit about the “hundreds of shallow relationships and emotionally detached communication.” Facebook has made relationships become so impersonal. The most we do to keep in touch is send a Facebook message. What happened to calling someone? Or even texting them?

People stay in touch with each other now solely through Facebook. And if Facebook didn’t exist you would not stay in touch with 95% of the people you are “friends” with. Hence, shallow relationships.

The study postulated that narcissists would show more overall Facebook activity than average users and that their activity would be more self-promotional, either descriptively or superficially. The survey’s results showed “significant positive correlations between narcissism and self-promotional content in the following areas: Main Photo, View Photos , Status Updates and Notes.”

People who scored higher on the study’s narcissism test also spent more time on Facebook and checked it more times each day than their less narcissistic counterparts.

This is nothing revelatory. Think about it; 90% of the facebook activity that pops up on your newsfeed is from the same people. And those same people probably check Facebook every 10 minutes. There are some people you know who rarely update their own facebook, and that’s because they aren’t narcissists. Good for them. I was I was as strong as you.

Male narcissists were more self-promotional in their “About Me” descriptions, using this section as an opportunity to highlight their intelligence and wit. Female users with narcissistic tendencies tended to use images in their self-promotion, uploading content that “included revealing, flashy and adorned photos of their physical appearance.”

Sounds about right. My About Me page is loaded with lame attempts at humor. Because us guys know that whatever may be lacking in physical appearance can be somewhat compensated by humor.

Females on the other hand, aren’t funny. Sorry gals, but you know it’s true. You lack that gene. So, you need to rely on your pictures. And trust me, I speak for all men when I say that we do look at your pictures. If I stumble upon an attractive girl, I click on her page and look at how many pics she has. 1,261? Don’t mind if I do! Creeeeeepy.

The researcher notes that this study is intended to be a preliminary look at social networking, a fairly new field for academic scrutiny. As we abandon the fake avatars and cryptic usernames of years past and begin associating our online identities with our real-world lives, our online activities begin to have more relevance to our true personality traits.

This last part is kind of a scary truth. Social networking existed long before facebook in the form of internet message boards and chat rooms, but it was all anonymous. The only thing people would know about you is the weird username that you chose to create.

But now… your username is your real name. Within seconds, people could find out all of your information. The other day, I randomly thought of a girl that I hadn’t seen since middle school. I thought of her because I remembered telling her that she was ugly when I was in 6th grade. It’s something I still feel bad about. However, I was curious to see what she looked like now. Within 8 seconds, I was able to locate somebody who I haven’t even seen in eight years. Why is that possible?!

And that is where the article ends. The bottom line is, we are all officially split personalities; there’s our real-life self, and our facebook self. It’s a very fucked up version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Now if you’ll all excuse me, I gotta go update my Facebook status.

Oh and did I mention that I’m on Twitter also?

The Facts of Life

You never know what is going to happen in this world. One day you might be living your mundane, normal life, and the next… well, something can happen that can turn your life upside down. Like winning the lottery, or getting run over by a Winnebago, or something.

There are very few stone hard facts about life. But there are some. Here are a few of them:

1)      You will die.

Sorry folks, but it’s inevitable. Anybody or anything that’s ever been alive in this world has, in fact, died. Even I will die someday. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

2)      You will pay taxes.

Yup. As long as you live in any type of society, you will be handing over money to the government. A government, whether it’s competent or not, needs money to function. Who knows what the hell they spend it on. But what we do know, is that’s it’s your hard-earned money that they take.

3)      You will never, ever, if you were to live for a million years, be as intelligent, rich, or powerful as Bill Gates.

Bill Gates, born William Henry “Bill” Gates III, is worth 53 billion dollars. Billion.

If I have 53 dollars, period, I’m pretty happy.

But 53 billion dollars… not too freaking shabby. You can be as successful as you want in your life, but at the end of the day, Bill Gates shits on all of us.

He’s the chairman of Microsoft, etc. etc. who cares how he got his money. This guy can take over the world if he wanted to. And… he just might. Take a look at what he is attempting to do right now:

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/research/2009-07-15-gates-hurricanes_N.htm

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article7120011.ece

I know you guys are lazy bastards, so I’ll just quote the parts that matter:

Good news, folks. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has turned his attention to controlling the weather.

Five U.S. Patent and Trade Office patent applications, made public on July 9, propose slowing hurricanes by pumping cold, deep-ocean water in their paths from barges. If issued, the patents offer 18 years of legal rights to the idea for Gates and co-inventors, including climate scientist Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

And

Bill Gates, the Microsoft billionaire, is funding research into machines to suck up ten tons of seawater every second and spray it upwards. This would seed vast banks of white clouds to reflect the Sun’s rays away from Earth.

He’s controlling the weather. The goddman weather!

Uhh… what?

Basically, Bill Gates has turned into:

The dude’s like the freaking Wizard of Oz. you never see him, but he hides out in his secret lair while all the inferiors of the world seek out his opinion.

Think about your goals in life: is controlling the weather one that would crack your list?

Screw the ethical debates of whether an actual human should be able to actively control the weather, this guy is the man. The fact that he could even come up with ideas that could allow him to control the weather is ridiculous enough, let alone that he’s actually attempting it.

Let me think what I would do if I had the ability to control the weather. Firstly, I’m assuming the device would look something like this:

I mean, sure, naturally you’d like to make every day sunny. Except on Christmas… then you make it snow.

But, come on, can you honestly say that if you had that much power, that you wouldn’t abuse it?

If I wake up one day on the wrong side of the bed, then screw it, it’s raining today. Maybe even throw in some thunder. If I’m going to be in a bad mood today, then so is everybody else. Mwahahahaha…. *realizes he’s laughing evilly while alone in his bedroom and stops*

If someone really pisses me off… show no mercy. Meteor. If I have my own weather controlling device, I’m sure I have my own meteor-proof dome also. That way I could save myself and anyone else I choose. Would you make the cut??

And then, if I’m feeling particularly impulsive, I’ll hit the shuffle button. It’s like shuffling all of the songs on your ipod, but in this case… you’re controlling the fate of the free world.

Man I could really have a lot of fun with such a device. I wish I had 53 billion dollars.

How does that song that’s on the radio all the time go?

“I wanna be a billionaire so freakin’ bad…”

Truer words have never been spoken. C’mon Bill, make it sunny tomorrow, Tuesdays are bad enough!

To Blog or Not to Blog?

Although I do have plenty of things to say… it’s late, it’s been a long day, and I’m exhausted.

Here at the Weinblog, it’s about quality over quantity. I do try to blog daily (weekdays, rather), but I also make sure I write something meaningful, or at least funny. If I were to b log right now, it would be forced.

It’s like when you were taught as a kid: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. Well, my blogging rule of thumb is: if you don’t have anything to blog about, then don’t blog at all.

It would be an injustice to all of you to try and write a blog for the sake of blogging right now. It’d be boring and dull, and a waste of yours and my time.

Thus, I am simply not going to blog at all today.

Wait a minute…

By writing all of this, I have officially blogged today. And by continuing to type, I am still doing that. And as you currently read this, your time is being wasted. I really should just stop right now.

Why am I still typing?

Okay, I’m done. No more letters will be typed by me on this keyboard. Starting…

Dog

Monkey

Cat

Frog

Telephone

Helium balloon

Jh

K

P

u

Now.

K, I’m done.

LFKe;lfEMAFMWEF

A Special Guest Blogger

Today, I’ve brought in a very special guest blogger. You may remember him from your childhood. He is none other than the infamous Stick Stickly, from Nick in the Afternoon.

Me: Stick Stickly, it’s great to see you! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed watching you when I was a kid.

SS: Yeah, whatever.

Me: Seriously, you were one of my idols!

SS: Listen, I’m only here because I need the money.

Me: Money? I never said I was going to pay you anything…

SS: You’ve gotta be shitting me. I need to call my agent.

Me: What? Your agent? You have an agent? And how do you even use a cell phone? You don’t have arms!

SS: Bluetooth.

Me: Ah. All makes sense now. Hey, can you sing your famous jingle for me? I would love that. And I think all my loyal readers would too!

SS: No.

Me: C’mon! It’ll be great!

SS: I vowed to never sing that song again.

Me: I’ll even help you out. “Write to me, Stick Stickly…” c’mon, you know the rest…

SS: Oh yeah! That one! I’ll sing it for you!

Me: Alright!

SS: Write to me, Stick Stickly, P.O. Box… Fuck you, you motherfucker.

Me: Woah, woah! What the hell was that?!

SS: I told you I’m not singing that fucking song.

Me: What’s wrong with you, Stickly? You used to be so jolly. So exuberant, so energetic!

SS: That’s only because I snorted an ounce of coke before each show.

Me: Oh. Well… that’s disturbing.

SS: Yeah, then those bastards at Nickelodeon made me check into rehab.

Me: Hmm, that actually makes sense. I was wondering why you’re your segment only lasted two years and ended so abruptly.

SS: They couldn’t handle the stick.

Me: Riiiight. I’m sure they couldn’t handle a five-inch tall popsicle stick.

SS: hey, I may look small on the surface. But I actually have an enormous pen-

Me: Ookkkkaaay. Didn’t need to know that.

SS: Don’t act like you’re not impressed.

Me: So what’re you up to these days Stickley? Are you still – hey! What the HELL are you doing? Are you snorting coke on my laptop?! Put that shit away!

SS: Oh, is that not cool?

Me: No! of course it’s not cool! And I thought you went to rehab.

SS: I never said it actually worked.

Me: Sheesh…

SS: hey, how about that Dora the Explorer that’s on Nickelodeon right now? She could totally get it!

Me: Okay, thanks man. That’s enough for you today. Thanks for stopping by!

SS: What?! I signed on for an hour!

Me: “Signed on” to what?!

SS: I’m still getting fully compensated, right?

Me: I told you, you’re not getting any money!

SS: You sonofabitch. You led me here under false pretenses. Now you’ll pay!

Me: Oh yeah? What the hell could a small stick possibly – ouch! What the hell?! Did you just give me a splinter?

SS: I warned you…

Me: Come here, you bastard.

SS: Hey! Put me down! Put me down! Someone call my agent! Call my –

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sorry about that folks. That was not exactly what I expected to happen.

Okay, so now that he’s gone…. I’d like to share a message with you all. As you all know, I hate facebook. But, every now and then someone will post a status that will make me momentarily forget my hatred. Today somebody posted this:

There comes a time in life when you walk away from all the pointless drama and people who create it, and surround yourself with people who make you laugh so hard that you forget the bad and focus on the good. Life is too short to be anything but happy.

Simple, perhaps even cliché, but the truth. You know people, it’s not mandatory for you to be friends with somebody if all they do is piss you off.

As for myself, I don’t have a dramatic bone in my body. I avoid drama at all costs. I like peace and tranquility.. But the way life works, you’re going to come across people that make you angry. And you know what, forget them. Life is better off without them.

Think about the people that make you happy to be around. Now imagine if all your friends were like that. Sounds pretty good, right?

Appreciate those people, and don’t let them go. Ever.

Traffic

I don’t know about you guys, but there are very few things I hate more in this world than traffic. I loathe it. I detest it. I abhor it.

I’m usually a very mild-mannered fellow, but I get very bad road rage when I am driving. However, I don’t really ever do anything about it. I rarely honk the horn; I don’t make any gestures, or even make eye contact. The only thing I really do is either yell really loudly knowing that nobody can hear me, or I’ll slam the steering wheel with my hands.

Why must there always be traffic? Either some douche got into an accident and is blocking a lane, or some douches are performing construction and are blocking out another lane. Whenever I’m in a traffic jam because of construction, I’m always tempted to stick my hand out the window and give the finger to all the construction workers as I pass them for holding me up so long.

Have you ever been stuck in traffic for so long that you find yourself thinking: “Man, there better be a goddamn seven-car pileup or something for the traffic to be this bad”?

And then, sure enough, half an hour later you drive by an accident that features several damaged cars, and you’re like “Oh…. yeah…. That’s a seven-car pileup, alright. Muh bad.”

Bottom line is… we need more traffic lanes. There are too many people in this world, and three or four lanes are NOT going to cut it.

This is what the roads look like now:

Now this is what they SHOULD look like:

BAM! Problem solved. Screw this whole writing thing, I think I should become a city planner. I have plenty of other ideas. Like I think there should be walkways in cities from building to building. For example:

How cool would that be? Plus it would create a lot of walking space.

I cannot to wait to design this city. I will call it “Weingradia.”

But yeah, traffic sucks. The reason I bring it up is because of this:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11062708

Can you imagine beiing stuck in  a NINE DAY traffic jam?! Alright, so, you wouldn’t actually be stuck in it for nine days since you have to get to your destination point eventually and get off the road… but a traffic jam for 60+ miles has got to take at least a day to get through. Bumper to bumper traffic for five miles could take a up to a couple hours alone!

And of course, of all places for this to happen, it’s in China. The Weinblog™ is never one to stereotype, but the old typecast on asians is that they are bad drivers. This does not help.

The only funnier place for this to occur would be a country where only women lived.

I wish I lived in that country.

33 Miners. 1 Cave. No Problem!

So I’m getting better at keeping up with the news. It only took me a week to find out about the trapped Chilean miners.

For those that don’t know, 33 miners are trapped 4.5 miles inside a winding mine in Chile. To rescue them, it will take exactly four… not hours… not days…

Months.

FOUR MONTHS.

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/08/23/world/international-us-chile-mine-accident.html?_r=2&hp

These 33 men will be stuck in a cave the size of a small studio apartment for four freaking months. Fortunately for them, they are able to fit a small tube towards them so that they can send them food and drinks.

What else will they need? Lots and lots of porn.

How the hell will these guys stay sane? I mean, at least try to send them down an Ipod or a Bluetooth or something. Or at least a freaking deck of playing cards. And hopefully they all like one other… because they will be seeing A LOT of each other over the next four months.

It got me thinking… how would I react if I was stuck in a cave for four months? Honestly, I don’t think it is that big of a deal. Think of it as a four month vacation. You don’t have to go to work, don’t have to worry about contributing to society.

And if you survive it, then you’re a hero. And then you get to write a book about it.

Of those 33 men, 25 will survive. 12 will attempt to write a book. 5 will get published. And one, just one, would get a movie deal. That would be me.

Also, do I get to pick the other 32 people that I’m stuck with? That would make it even more super awesome. My choices would be:

Maria Sharapova, Taylor Swift, Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Avril Lavigne, Kesha, Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Alba, Megan Fox, Marissa Miller, Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Stacy Keibler, Anna Kournikova, Brooklyn Decker, Angelina Jolie, Emma Stone, Isla Fisher, Erin Andrews, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Maria Menounos, Blake Lively, Jenna Fischer, Beyonce, Rihanna, Hayley Williams, Jennifer Garner, Gwyneth Paltrow and for good measure… Zac Efron. (Hey, that’s a lot of ladies to entertain, I’d need a hand.)

Can you imagine that?! Hell, if that situation were to ever occur, I’d tell the rescue team to hold a few months. A few years, even.

But seriously, just imagine what that situation must be like. It must have been so awkward on the first night. This is my prediction of how it went:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(33 miners are standing around silently, acknowledging the horrific situation they now find themselves in. Stuck in darkness, 5 miles underground, and they may never see the light of day again.)

Miner #1: Sooo… where’s everybody from?!

(Silence.)

Miner #1: C’mon! If we’re going to be stuck around here for a while, we might as well make the most of it!

(Silence.)

Miner #1: Alright, I have an idea. (Picks up a large stone from in front of him) Whoever holds this stone has to tell everyone a little bit about himself. I’ll go first. My name is Javier, I’m a big fan of Pepsi soda, I like to go fishing in the springtime, and I was born on the same day as Celine Dion! How crazy is that! Alright, who’s next?

(Silence.)

Miner #1: Aww come on! Somebody has to take the stone next! Who’s going to do it?? Alright, here comes a volunteer!

(Another miner walks over, grabs the stone, and promptly slams it over Miner #1’s head, rendering him unconscious. Everybody stares at his motionless body.)

Miner #2: You know… we gotta eat something. Right?

ONE HOUR LATER.

(32 miners are standing around silently, acknowledging the horrific situation they now find themselves in. Stuck in darkness, 5 miles underground, and they may never see the light of day again.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You know, I could easily write a sitcom of this whole situation. It wouldn’t be difficult at all, and it would be money.

Man… I’m going to hell.

I Throw My Hands Up in the Air Sometimes, Sayin’ Ayoooo

Has anyone actually ever tried doing that? Because when you think about it, it kind of seems like a weird thing to do.

If I’m walking down the street and all of a sudden some dude just stops in their tracks, throws their hands up in the air and shouts “AYOOOOOO!” I’d probably look at them like they are out of their goddamn mind.

But I guess when your name is Taio you can just do whatever the hell you want. Maybe I’ll try it tomorrow.

Not that I’m attempting to criticize that song… I actually like it. It’s very catchy and a great song to listen to when you are out lighting up the dance flo’.

But… it’s not exactly the apex of music as far as lyrics go. If you ever take a music lyrics course in college, I don’t think the professor would use this song as a measuring stick for top-notch writing…

I came to dance, dance, dance, dance
I hit the floor ’cause that’s my plans, plans, plans, plans
I’m wearin’ all my favorite brands, brands, brands, brands
Give me some space for both my hands, hands, hands, hands
Yeah, yeah

Hmmm…

‘dance’ and ‘plans’ is a slant rhyme, so I won’t bash Mr. Cruz for that. But, when half the words for each line are the same word… it makes you wonder how stupid of a society we all are that we let a song like this become mainstream. It also makes you wonder; with lyrics like that… why can’t I write a song?!

How about something like this:

I write my blog, blog, blog, blog
My funny thoughts I’m gonna log, log, log, log
You’ll read them all and think I’m weird, weird, weird, weird
Just as long as you don’t think I’m queer, queer, queer, queer
Yeah, yeah

Do you not think that this couldn’t be a #1 hit in this country?!  Hell, throw in some Auto-tune and you have an international, multi-platinum best-seller. Then add in Alicia Keys singing the chorus, plus a music video of me throwing hundred dollar bills in the air with a bonfire behind me, and forget it… I’ll be able to retire a rich, rich man.

I said yesterday that I’m going to name my first child Froyo. That idea lasted 24 hours. From now on, my child’s name will be Taio. Taio Weingrad. I’m sure I’ll change my mind again tomorrow.

I would gladly forfeit half of my next paycheck if I could just have a smores pop tart in my hand right now.