Thursday, April 14, 2011

Being Special And Drinking

We all think we're special, and we all think we're above average even though we can't all possibly be.  It is the law of being human.  Why?  Well, partially, because we see only ourselves from the inside, and partially because we're very good at seeing difference, and we like to mark ourselves based on difference. Difference matters more than sameness, and every piece of evidence that we are unique, as individuals, bolsters the idea that we are, likewise, special--and yes, embedded in this notion, is "better" as well.  It doesn't hurt that I know myself intimately and only know you through the actions you portray to the world.   We all make distinctions to exclude information that might tell us that we cannot do something, or are bad at something. Because, that is, we're different.  And how do we know that we're different?  We tell ourselves. 

Drinking of course can pervert this process further, because drinking allows us to indulge our "difference" fantasies to an extreme degree.  But we, as humans, are much much more similar to each other than we are different from each other even though a lot of our preferences for association, brand names, neighborhoods, and careers, really have to do with differentiating ourselves from everybody else (at the same time everybody else is differentiating themselves from everyone)--in some sense, differentiation serves to show or signal other potential associates that you are of a certain caliber and quality, and worth socializing with, sleeping with, or otherwise. The trick is that we're looking for certain qualities that we might not accept as authentic if someone exhibited those qualities to us without some filter for understanding those qualities as spectacularly different from other people's capacity, and then, of course, much rarer. 

No comments: