Depression

How The Need for Validation Took Over Our Culture

A month or so ago, Ace at Ace of Spades HQ drew attention to this Reddit comment in which a former “social-justice warrior” (SJW) describes how he fled from the lunacy of identity politics.

One of this young man’s thoughts — his description of how he initially fell into the SJW mindset — jumped out at me:

I was depressed at the time, and being applauded for being progressive definitely was an ego boost. Fighting people I perceived as bigoted made me feel better about myself. My SJW tendencies were based mostly out of self loathing — I felt weird, like an outcast, had never had a girlfriend, hated myself, and thought that I was fixing myself by jumping deep into feminism.

What struck me was this young man’s need to be applauded by his peers. Of course, in itself, this is not surprising: it is not a new thing to crave validation from other people, especially from one’s peer group. It wasn’t just that he was seeking approval from others, however; it was that he absolutely needed this approval to survive. He needed it in two respects. First, he would feel miserable and alienated without it. Second, since his social circle was defined solely by groupthink, there was no way to be a part of that culture without the constant approval of others within the culture. (more…)

Robin Williams, RIP

I have been meaning to say something about the death of Robin Williams, and though I’m quite late in commenting on this tragedy, I simply can’t let the event pass over the horizon without some reflection.

There are two stages, in our social-media driven age, to every death. The first is the Rumor. You hear it. You see the articles. Someone’s dead. No. It can’t be. What’s the source? Maybe it’s not true: the morbid machinations of some blogger. When you’re in that first stage, you still have hope. It’s a hoax, you tell yourself. So-and-so can’t be dead. They were just in that movie! I just saw them! Better check the New York Times. Until you get to the second stage, the Confirmation, the person isn’t really dead. No, they’re not dead till The Gray Lady says so. (more…)