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Friday, September 16, 2016

Refueling the tank

This essay by Scott Adams struck a familiar chord:
How do I know Trump has mastered the skill of converting humiliation into energy? The signs are all there. For example…

Trump has entered one high-risk business after another, guaranteeing that he would experience a large number of setbacks, failures, and humiliations. People don’t run toward humiliation unless they know they can convert that negative energy to fuel. When you see someone succeed across multiple unrelated fields, that’s often a sign of a Master Persuader who feeds on both success and failure. You are watching Trump do exactly that, right in front of your eyes. He has converted every “gaffe” into news coverage. He eats bad news and converts it into fuel.

Many of you have watched me do the same thing. You’ve watched as I jumped fields from corporate America to cartooning. Then I became an author of business-related books. I opened two restaurants that didn’t work out. I tried lots of stuff that failed miserably. Now I’m talking about the presidential election. What do all of those things have in common?

I risked public humiliation in each case.

And in each case, lots of people told me “Keep your day job.” On a typical day, dozens of strangers insult my body, my personality, my brain, my integrity, and lots more. Like Trump, I consume it as fuel. And it is a learned skill.

You might have noticed that both Trump and I are quick to attack anyone who attacks us. Observers tell me I shouldn’t do that, because it makes me appear thin-skinned. Observers tell Trump the same thing. But observers are missing one important thing: We use the critics to refuel

If you were an alien from another planet, and you observed a lion killing a gazelle, you might think that lion was angry at its prey. You might think the lion was insulted that the gazelle was using its watering hole. What did the gazelle do to deserve that treatment? Is the lion being thin-skinned?

Trust me when I tell you that sometimes the lion is just eating.
Not long after the release of Liberal Fascism, Jonah Goldberg asked me how I handled the constant criticism to which we were both subjected. He tended to find it enervating, and wondered how I seemed to be energized by it. I explained that as a naturally lazy individual from a wealthy family, I needed a pretty good reason to put down a book and get off the couch, and the hatred of people I dislike served as a sufficiently motivating factor.

Disturbed put it best: "open up your hate and let it flow into me."

I don't think I've missed a single day blogging since I decided VP had to pass up Whatever in terms of traffic. It now has 5x more daily traffic, but I won't be content until I also have more Twitter followers and more book sales than McRapey. The object is not to win, but to vanquish.

(This may amuse only me, but perhaps you recall Scalzi's false claims of having 50,000 readers per day. Now, readers aren't pageviews, so it's not a precise comparison, but VP hasn't had a single day as low as 50,000 pageviews in more than six weeks. 63,078 is the daily nadir in that time frame.)

Carnegie seeks embarrassment, Trump seeks failure, Adams seeks humiliation, and I seek hate, but it's all the same thing: converting negative energy into fuel. When people ask me where I find the energy to do the various things I do every day, well, there are Saudi-sized oil fields of hatred out there.

Now, obviously I am far less successful than Trump or Adams. So, perhaps humiliation is a better goad than hatred. Or perhaps they convert negative energy more efficiently than I do. Or perhaps they're just more fortunate. But regardless, it should be apparent that if you can teach yourself to feed on your critics rather than fear them, you will likely find the consequences to be beneficial. And, of course, to feed on them, you need to do something that inspires them to exist.

Labels: ,

71 Comments:

Anonymous SciVo the Adorable Deplorable September 16, 2016 4:45 AM  

Interesting. So maybe you have cultivated a herd (contra a comment I read and lost) of high-conflict individuals; because instead of draining energy like it would do with most people, our dispute actually feeds you. I find this concept kind of awesome.

Blogger VD September 16, 2016 5:23 AM  

instead of draining energy like it would do with most people, our dispute actually feeds you.

To a certain extent. I have no patience for the midwit gamma disputants who think snarky rhetoric or vulgar name-calling is debate. They are on a very short leash because they say the same fucking thing every single time. Nor do I have any tolerance for the demoralization trolls.

I want commmenters to speak for themselves and their ideas, not about other people and their characteristics. We're not teenage girls attempting to sort out a pecking order. As a general rule, if you are informing someone what they think or what they are really saying or are describing them in any way, your comment is worse than worthless. Remember, ideas > events > people. If your argument is focused at the people level, you are too short for the ride.

But spamming those sorts of commenters takes little effort and only improves the discourse.

Anonymous Philipp September 16, 2016 5:25 AM  

Very interesting article. I wonder how many very successful people are motivated in this way. Probably quite a lot.

Blogger Jew613 September 16, 2016 5:36 AM  

If Scalzi had any sense he could use the info in this blog post to get Vox to go back to ignoring him.

Blogger Lovekraft September 16, 2016 6:01 AM  

When you mentioned Saudi fields of hate, I cannot help wonder if I have ever heard Islam apologize for anything.

And we are supposed to venerate this political ideology (calling it religion is a deceptive ploy).

Anonymous Mister M September 16, 2016 6:21 AM  

That example at the end with the lion and the gazelle was really good. I'll have to use that. Adams has introduced a new twist, a new kind of analysis this election season. I recommend his interview on the Rubin Report on youtube.

Blogger Bobo #117 September 16, 2016 6:35 AM  

I saw a t-shirt last week that said "Caffeine & Hate".

Now I know.

Anonymous Baseball Savant September 16, 2016 6:41 AM  

"you need to do something that inspires them to exist"

this

Anonymous Wilson September 16, 2016 7:03 AM  

Whenever I read about this kind of 'negative motivation', I think of Jose Mourinho. I get the impression he loves to create a siege mentality among his players, where he convinces them that everyone's against them. It's clearly extremely successful, in the short run at least.

Anonymous Paul September 16, 2016 7:04 AM  

I think Adams hits the nail on the head with this one. It explains not just Trump the man, but his entire support base. Embarrassment, humiliation, hate - generally all leveled at white anglo-saxon protestant heterosexual men and women (the core of American Western culture, if you will) for over 50 years. Claims of racism, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, etc. does nothing but strengthen our resolve. It's a beautiful and entertaining thing to watch Hillary feed the beast. I'm still laughing about her alt-right speech and the entire Pepe thing.

I can only imagine how the history books will attempt to explain this election.

You know, it's not as if they weren't warned about the power of an idea:

Little Girl: Daddy, who was Pepe?
Daddy:He was Edmond Dantés... and he was my father. And my mother... my brother... my friend. He was you... and me. He was all of us.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother September 16, 2016 7:32 AM  

My fuel is people telling me I can't do something. It makes me more determined to do whatever I'm told I can't do, just to show them.

Blogger doofus September 16, 2016 7:51 AM  

Yesterday, Adams on Twitter said: "I am glad I am not supporting a candidate who is fighting a cartoon frog." Then a couple of minutes later, he tweeted, "And losing."

Blogger dc.sunsets September 16, 2016 7:51 AM  

It is possible that you trail the others only because their messages are endogenously better tailored to the moment.

I believe one of my peculiar talents/handicaps is to always be at least a quarter turn of the wheel ahead of the trend.

My relative interest in Vox Popoli thus suggests that your message nears, but has not yet reached its time.

Blogger szopen September 16, 2016 8:04 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Sam the Man September 16, 2016 8:09 AM  

VD

How do you handle/justify that with the Christian requirement not to hate but to pray for your enemy? Not asking as a set up or a trap but really curious about that.

Would it be fair to say it is not hate in the true sense of the word, but rather a determination to "crush your enemy, drive them before you, to hear the lamentation of their women and children"?

Anonymous TLM September 16, 2016 8:11 AM  

This post and article remind me of Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood. "I have a competition in me", one of the few outstanding movies this past decade.

Blogger Johnny September 16, 2016 8:15 AM  

Courting humiliation? Give me a break. This is just Scott Adams doing what he likes to do, playing with an unlikely idea to see if he can give it traction.

Think of it this way. The participants in a competitive athletic events all court failure (humiliation) just by being in the event. The same thing with gambling. You can't gain the thrill of victory without the risk of loss. So do people do stuff to lose? Well, a few loonies, but not most of us. Most of us accept the possibility of failure because it is necessary to achieve victory.

Trump's obvious talents are as a promoter, and so running for office is just another kind of promotion. That having been said, something I have never seen is anything even close to an objective analysis of the many outcomes of his many ventures. The thing is, success is seldom conspicuous in the public square because nobody feels a need to talk about it. Satisfaction tends to stay private. Meanwhile failure gets attention because it generates dissatisfied parties that want a redress of their grievances.

Conclusion? We end up hearing about Trump’s failures and his successes go unnoticed. So? I don't know. What else is new.

Blogger Sillon Bono September 16, 2016 8:23 AM  

""the hatred of people I dislike served as a sufficiently motivating factor.""

Gold!

Blogger VD September 16, 2016 8:23 AM  

Would it be fair to say it is not hate in the true sense of the word, but rather a determination to "crush your enemy, drive them before you, to hear the lamentation of their women and children"?

You have it backwards. It's not my hate, but THEIR hate that motivates me. I don't hate Scalzi. I find him incredible and amusing and occasionally irritating, but I don't hate him. I tend to hate abstract things much more than people.

I hate, absolutely hate, the situation in which Merkel has placed Europe, and the situation in which the 1965 Immigration Act has placed the USA. All the violence, all the bloodshed, all the tragedy, is totally, TOTALLY unnecessary.

That utter stupidity and venality and ruthless self-service, that is what I hate.

Blogger Sherwood family September 16, 2016 8:30 AM  

Watching VD go from being declared anathema by the SFWA and then become a growing force in the SF genre via Castalia House has been one of the coolest examples of taking negatives hurled at you, finding and exploiting the weaknesses of your enemies and turning them into pure awesome that I have ever seen.

Anonymous MendoScot September 16, 2016 8:37 AM  

Our next president will either be an offensive, rich, divisive, bigot with a bad haircut or Donald Trump. #Trump #Clinton

Hysterical!

Anonymous CC September 16, 2016 8:39 AM  

The other day my friend was burned by a guy who tried to appropriate an application for funding for a documentary he wanted to make. This guy was claiming co-authorship even though he had nothing to do with the project, there had only been one email exchange with talk of co-operation with him as a possible producer. He then thought that this gave him certain rights and he was being shafted. The whole thing sounded mental. Long story short, my friend had to postpone his application because the deadline was about to pass and he wanted to see if a dispute would hurt his chances of getting the funding. He couldn't understand why this person had done this and he was absolutely furious. He then told me about him and it turns out he's a really ardent gay rights advocate. He showed me a long email he had written to this guy, but not sent, courteously and formally outlining the situation as he saw it and making him a small offer to help try resolve it.

Because I'd read SJWs Always Lie I could tell him "no, don't do that, this guy's an SJW, so don't try to reason with him and don't offer him anything, he'll just try to leverage it against you. Ignore him whatever you do, but if he keeps it up and attacks you, hit him back hard in the same way."

Luckily he was able to contact the people providing the funding and it turns out it's all fine, but he's had to postpone his project now another 6 months. He won't forget this though. He's like that.

I thought Scott Adam's post was really good too. I do understand hatred (especially now in recent years) but I don't like the idea of being consumed by it. But I can have a fear of failure in things I do that matter to me, so the idea of using that as fuel is inspiring.

Blogger Orville September 16, 2016 8:41 AM  

Gleefully fucking with their minds and turning their hate against themselves!

If Scalzi had any sense he could use the info in this blog post to get Vox to go back to ignoring him.

If Scalzi truly wanted to stop getting his arms and legs plucked off, he would start loving Vox and saying wonderful things about him. Of course he won't. He can't.

Blogger Orville September 16, 2016 8:46 AM  

Johnny (Scalzi?) says, Courting humiliation? Give me a break. This is just Scott Adams doing what he likes to do, playing with an unlikely idea to see if he can give it traction.

If you read Adam's book on Failure you'd know that he has a limited ability to be embarrassed or humiliated, which is why he takes more risks.

It's all just fear, and I strongly believe that keeps a lot of people from doing fantastic things. Believe me!

Blogger Thomas Davidsmeier September 16, 2016 8:46 AM  

@Vox

This is fascinating and I'd never thought of it this way.

Sometimes this works for me, and I go off and do something better than I would have because someone doubted or challenged me. But other times, I have difficulty converting the conflict/challenge into useful energy.

I'm only just now thinking about this in these terms, so it is difficult to describe. I can see two possible things that stop me from doing this alchemy successfully. One is that I don't consider the source of conflict or doubt as important enough to even mess with. The other is at the other end of the spectrum, where I thing the source might actually be right about me because they know me well.

Any practical advice about how to handle those two situations? Ways to talk myself into not ignoring a possible source of fuel and ways to defeat the doubt that comes from a well informed and possibly correct critic?

Blogger Undocumented Pharmacist September 16, 2016 8:47 AM  

Apparently I'm having a reading comprehension failure. Why would any mentally healthy person seek to be humiliated? Any attempted challenge may result in failure, and the failure if bad enough may result in humiliation, but surely humiliation wasn't the goal. Who runs towards humiliation?

Blogger dienw September 16, 2016 8:51 AM  

Thanks for the post: my immediate response was to Google converting negative energy into fuel; obtained some good results.

You've got me recalling an artist mentor who generated energy while sculpting by fantasizing offenses and strange(?) sexual practices of his fellow faculty.

And you have me pondering bi-polar artist/artistic friends: manic/depressives. Both of them when functioning had/have high levels of energy and work results: perhaps depression is a form of energy being repressed (misdirected?) and mania is the uncontrolled release of that energy.

If depression is not a chemical imbalance nor a physical defect, then it is a result of the processes of the mind: a mind not taught or miss-taught on how to make use of emotional energies: could it be that depression has a source in the parents' manipulations? My bi-polar friend was taught in the 90s at a clinic how to end the downward spiral of thinking that led to immobilizing depression. Is how we are taught to handle mental energy unconsciously taught by the parents?

Just thinking out loud.

Blogger Dexter September 16, 2016 8:54 AM  

I needed a pretty good reason to put down a book and get off the couch, and the hatred of people I dislike served as a sufficiently motivating factor.

Pride and hate motivated me to finish a 500 page dissertation in 4 months, so there's that.

Anonymous Gedrin September 16, 2016 8:55 AM  

"And, of course, to feed on them [your critics], you need to do something that inspires them to exist."

Words to live by

Blogger Orville September 16, 2016 8:58 AM  

@26

It's not about some sicko who likes his golden showers. It's analogous to cops or soldiers who run towards the sound of gunfire. It's having conditioned yourself to run towards the risk of failure or humilation, rather than running from it. The goal is victory and success, not failure and humiliation.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 16, 2016 9:02 AM  

Taking loads of shit so one day you can deliver an effective Bane speech, controlled aggression an aphrodisiac.

Blogger Undocumented Pharmacist September 16, 2016 10:03 AM  

@30
From Adams post:
Now think back to 2011, at the Correspondent’s Dinner, in which President Obama mocked Donald Trump in front of the world – while Trump sat in the audience, stone-faced. The popular reporting was that Trump was humiliated by the event.

I doubt Trump felt humiliated. Trump thinks too little of Obama for that to happen. I bet he felt angry that Obama was trying to humiliate him instead. So now he's going to show up Obama by obliterating Obama's legacy.

Blogger Johnny September 16, 2016 10:03 AM  

By my lights it is all about winning and losing and everything else is of secondary importance. Both sides of the coin play out for most people, some stress personal victory, and others, crushing their enemies.

Diving off into politics, for the hard left of which Hillary is practically an archetype, it is about crushing their enemies. That is why when they come to power they do so much damage to their own societies. They are not so much about winning as making the other side lose.

@23 It's all just fear, and I strongly believe that keeps a lot of people from doing fantastic things. Believe me!

I agree and that is what I notice about Trump the most. When it comes to social risk the guy is fearless.

Anonymous andon September 16, 2016 10:07 AM  

Many of you have watched me do the same thing. You’ve watched as I jumped fields from corporate America to cartooning. Then I became an author of business-related books. I opened two restaurants that didn’t work out. I tried lots of stuff that failed miserably. Now I’m talking about the presidential election. What do all of those things have in common?

I risked public humiliation in each case.


I don't know why anyone would care if Scott Adams failed at two restaurants.

Anonymous dr kill September 16, 2016 10:11 AM  

No, Vox, it's hatred. My hate keeps me warm at night and cool in the summer. I am an equal opportunity hater. There is no 'ism' in my hate. Hate keeps me going and keeps me smiling. My hate is not envy or jealous, but I hate myself for being outworked or outsmarted; hate makes me dig in and work harder. Hate is a positive force in my life. I also like selfish, as in - I take care of myself first. If I'm not OK , how can I help my family, friends and clients? I care for them because it makes me feel good about myself. Any honest person must feel the same. I hate the Proggs who say otherwise.

Blogger Orville September 16, 2016 10:12 AM  

And let us not forget the vegetarian Dilburrito fiasco!

Blogger CarpeOro September 16, 2016 10:15 AM  

dienw wrote:Thanks for the post: my immediate response was to Google converting negative energy into fuel; obtained some good results.

You've got me recalling an artist mentor who generated energy while sculpting by fantasizing offenses and strange(?) sexual practices of his fellow faculty.

And you have me pondering bi-polar artist/artistic friends: manic/depressives. Both of them when functioning had/have high levels of energy and work results: perhaps depression is a form of energy being repressed (misdirected?) and mania is the uncontrolled release of that energy.

If depression is not a chemical imbalance nor a physical defect, then it is a result of the processes of the mind: a mind not taught or miss-taught on how to make use of emotional energies: could it be that depression has a source in the parents' manipulations? My bi-polar friend was taught in the 90s at a clinic how to end the downward spiral of thinking that led to immobilizing depression. Is how we are taught to handle mental energy unconsciously taught by the parents?

Just thinking out loud.


One of the more pivotal people that has little name recognition today was Sir Charles Gordon. Do a search on his name some time. He was a manic depressive to the nth degree. At some points he would drop into a depressive phase (often when back in England if I recall correctly). When he was in his manic phase, he would literally be running all over the place and at times facing down large numbers of opponents by force of personality alone.

@Johnny: You never hear of Trump's successes? Really?

@Vox: my observation of the difference between you Adams and Trump would be this. You are drawn to more esoteric subjects frequently, possibly a function of higher IQ. Just as there are issues with communicating across too many std of IQ, the same goes for overlapping areas of interest. Even above average people like my wife will have there eyes glaze over at the mention of many of the topics that cross this blog (at times parts of discussions can leave me behind or uninterested). Because of this your immediate sphere of influence is limited to a degree to people like the Ilk - high IQ individuals that are like wise drawn to esoteric subjects. Trump and Adams are both very intelligent but their scope of interest is generally less esoteric so they have a broader sphere of general influence. Through Castalia, your books and other side projects (big fork) in some more focused areas you may have a more subtle long term influence. Your not likely to ever be as well known, but in a limited sphere you do have impact.

Anonymous Satan's Hamster September 16, 2016 10:17 AM  

"Diving off into politics, for the hard left of which Hillary is practically an archetype, it is about crushing their enemies."

The left are driven by hate. The right are driven by love. This is why the right create things, while the left can only destroy.

Anonymous Bob Issa September 16, 2016 10:17 AM  

I thought Adam's piece was very good.

I like Vox's idea too and would watch that show:

Battle of Success: Trump vs Vox vs Adams

Competing in:

Marketing
Building-a-wall
Branding
Rhetoric
Debt-leveraging
Tweeting
Animation
Game Design
Music
Soccer


Blogger Zach September 16, 2016 10:27 AM  

It's not that humiliation is good. It's that you have to be willing to risk it, rather than being afraid of it and avoiding it.

This is easier said than done, but it can be done.

Blogger Iowahine September 16, 2016 10:37 AM  

I've seen "big fork" referenced here, but confess, I have not kept up. May I ask - what is it? Thanks.

Anonymous Sam the Man September 16, 2016 10:44 AM  

VD,

Thanks for your clarification. Once I reread your first post I now see it. The phase:

"the hatred of people I dislike"

could be interpreted two ways. funny how I got it wrong from one misreading of one phrase.

Good post makes sense and logically consistent

Blogger Escoffier September 16, 2016 10:50 AM  

dc.sunsets wrote:It is possible that you trail the others only because their messages are endogenously better tailored to the moment.

I believe one of my peculiar talents/handicaps is to always be at least a quarter turn of the wheel ahead of the trend.

My relative interest in Vox Popoli thus suggests that your message nears, but has not yet reached its time.


I very much understand. I have opened more than one business where I've had to do more explaining than selling.

Blogger Azimus September 16, 2016 11:23 AM  

You were gone a couple days a few years ago when you were terrorizing international business people in the mountains some place. To be fair, I think you posted a mysterious picture and said "Guess what I'm doing now"

Blogger Crush Limbraw September 16, 2016 11:26 AM  

This article explains why I label myself as a Contrarian - always have been one as long as I can remember! It feeds me - no question about that!
What really ticks me off is idiocy/stupidity masked as compassion, as in 'kinder-gentler' bovine outage!

Anonymous Dale Warner September 16, 2016 11:35 AM  

A personal attack, handled well, is a gift of power, energy, and attention. See Trump.

Blogger Rabbi B September 16, 2016 11:44 AM  

. . . you need to do something that inspires them to exist.

Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets. (cf. Luke 6; Matthew 5)

Blogger Rabbi B September 16, 2016 11:46 AM  

...And the flip side:

Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets. (cf. Luke 6)

Blogger Escoffier September 16, 2016 11:49 AM  

CarpeOro wrote:dienw wrote:Because of this your immediate sphere of influence is limited to a degree to people like the Ilk - high IQ individuals that are like wise drawn to esoteric subjects. Trump and Adams are both very intelligent but their scope of interest is generally less esoteric so they have a broader sphere of general influence. Through Castalia, your books and other side projects (big fork) in some more focused areas you may have a more subtle long term influence. Your not likely to ever be as well known, but in a limited sphere you do have impact.

I think the boss influences the influencers (no homo!)

Blogger kurt9 September 16, 2016 12:02 PM  

Excellent posting, Vox! This is why we appreciate you even when we disagree with you. Rock on, Vox!

Blogger Bard September 16, 2016 12:03 PM  

Once your integrity is questioned by the SJW universe and they try to break you, you come out the other side very very hungry!

Anonymous Disciple of Kek September 16, 2016 12:12 PM  

The key to alchemy is converting the negative into positive energy. Turning the societal bullshit into something empowering and productive. I'm quite young, only 27, but seeing Adams, Trump, and VD channel this is very inspiring.

Blogger VFM #7634 September 16, 2016 12:27 PM  

I think it's interesting to observe the similarities between Alphas like Trump and Gammas like Adams (as PA puts it, "Alpha ambition without the Alpha goods").

Anonymous Wyrd the Adorable Deplorable September 16, 2016 12:32 PM  

Trump held a press conference this morning to ostensibly address the Clinton campaign and lapdog media resurrecting his call for Obama to release his birth certificate years ago. Instead, he spent the majority of the time having veterans show their support for him and the only mention of the so-called birther controversy was Trump stating "Obama was born in the U.S. Period."

Now the MSM are spitting-mad they got tricked into effectively giving Trump a 30-minute campaign commercial for free. Kek has truly blessed us today!

Blogger Bard September 16, 2016 12:33 PM  

Once your integrity is questioned by the SJW universe and they try to break you, you come out the other side very very hungry!

Anonymous BGKB September 16, 2016 1:26 PM  

Apparently I'm having a reading comprehension failure. Why would any mentally healthy person seek to be humiliated?

They are not seeking humiliation but turning potential humiliating events into positives. Look at the black woman clergy that posted plans to ambush TRUMP the day before he spoke in a Flint MI church. He could tell she was about to sperg because of her nervousness & he utterly diffused it. The last thing she expected was him to say "thank you" to her rant. It was clearly meant to be a humiliating attack that he turned around with 2 words.
https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/09/15/flint-michigan-pastor-faith-timmons-pre-planned-trump-ambush-and-attempts-to-hide/

I don't know why anyone would care if Scott Adams failed at two restaurants...I've seen "big fork" referenced here

GRRM mourns the loss of every All You Can Eat Buffet

Blogger Zeroh Tollrants September 16, 2016 2:55 PM  

I never feel better, than when someone gets angry at me and throws tantrums. It is enervating in ways that only good sex beats.

Blogger Roger G2 September 16, 2016 3:51 PM  

I read the blog each and every day, usually returning later to see if anything's new.
The only time I read McRapey's drivel is when I heard of something fun on Whatever *from here* and I just have to go see the salt with my own eyes.

Blogger Johann Pearce September 16, 2016 4:15 PM  

"I explained that as a naturally lazy individual from a wealthy family, I needed a pretty good reason to put down a book and get off the couch..."

Hmmm...

"... and the hatred of people I dislike served as a sufficiently motivating factor."

Maybe I should start looking for sources of negative energy in my life...

Blogger S. Misanthrope September 16, 2016 4:44 PM  

I had this tendency growing up, and still do despite the best efforts of parents and teachers trying to beat it out of me. It's a hard frame of mind for people who aren't like this to understand. For example, I identify people at work to compete against, giving them names like "Nemesis" and "the Enemy," even though I am on friendly terms with and don't dislike them at all. If anyone knew, they would likely conclude I'm a sociopath. But all they know is that, for some reason, I consistently outperform everyone else.

Just recently, my work had a donation drive competition where the team that donated the most would get a prize. Today they announced the winners- yes, winners plural. Despite my team being first on every conceivable metric, it was deemed "so close" (it wasn't close at all) that both teams "deserved" a prize. I'm completely baffled by the idea of setting something up as a competition, presumably in order to motivate those who are inspired by competition, and then making a switch at the end to this weird middle ground between "everybody wins" and rewarding the best. Part of winning is everyone else losing- and part of losing is knowing you lost to someone legitimately superior. A controversial perspective, here in Corporate America, these days.

Blogger Thucydides September 16, 2016 5:43 PM  

This is even more hilarious when you think of the pop cultural reference to "The Dark Side".

In "Return of the Jedi" Luke is asked to channel his anger and hatred; focus on them to draw the power of the Dark Side, and eventually does so in a spectacular fashion. Of course the typical Hollywood formulation could not let the movie end with Luke joining his father to overthrow the Emperor and claim the Galaxy as a prize, which explains the weakness of the movie's ending. It doesn't help that Lucas is a dolt who can't even keep a fairly juvenile retelling of "Faustus" straight. Thank goodness he wasn't inspired to do Star Wars by the Ring Cycle; one can only imagine the horror of that....

Anonymous A.B. Prosper September 16, 2016 6:26 PM  

VD wrote:Would it be fair to say it is not hate in the true sense of the word, but rather a determination to "crush your enemy, drive them before you, to hear the lamentation of their women and children"?

You have it backwards. It's not my hate, but THEIR hate that motivates me. I tend to hate abstract things much more than people.

I hate, absolutely hate, the situation in which Merkel has placed Europe, and the situation in which the 1965 Immigration Act has placed the USA. All the violence, all the bloodshed, all the tragedy, is totally, TOTALLY unnecessary.

That utter stupidity and venality and ruthless self-service, that is what I hate.


Thank you for expressing what's in my heart.

Blogger Johnny September 16, 2016 6:35 PM  

>>ow the MSM are spitting-mad.... Kek has truly blessed us today!

Hip, hip huray, and where do I find this Kek. ;^)

Anonymous Wyrd the Adorable Deplorable September 16, 2016 6:59 PM  

Hip, hip huray, and where do I find this Kek. ;^)

Not quite sure, but it might involve whipping it out for Harambe.

Blogger Johnny September 16, 2016 7:48 PM  

Wyrd the Adorable Deplorable wrote:Hip, hip huray, and where do I find this Kek. ;^)

Not quite sure, but it might involve whipping it out for Harambe.


Can you imagine the fuss there would be if the failed to shoot Harambe and he did in the little black kid. It would be like we, you know, value animals more than blacks, or you know, whatever. Black lifes matter, sort of.

Blogger Alec Rawls September 16, 2016 11:08 PM  

Interesting that Jonah Goldberg found opposition enervating. I always took him to be one of those who fed off of the impotent reactions of the targets of his Ire and humor. Remember how all of his early columns had a jabbing humorous twist? It was his style, and when he visited the Stanford Review way back when I tried to get him interested in one of our own writers, Bruce Gibney, who simply loved to take correct reasoning to its most politically incorrect conlcusions, and doing it with such deadpan glee that he drove the campus left to apoplectic fits while everyone else was laughing out loud.

But Goldberg was always at the gentler end of the humor spectrum. He was more trying to amuse his readers then to undress his oppositio. Maybe that is what led to his moral collapse at the thought of supporting Trump, and the arrows from the mainstream left that he would have to endure. You have to love every bit of contempt that spews from what you have exposed as contemptible but apparently Jonah cannot be that rational.

Too bad he couldn't see that he just needed to get out of the way, instead of from the outset violating the first rule of partisan politics--that internecine war must end with the primaries--and becoming a traitor to his own party.

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable September 17, 2016 12:37 AM  

@ dc.sunsets: I believe one of my peculiar talents/handicaps is to always be at least a quarter turn of the wheel ahead of the trend.

My relative interest in Vox Popoli thus suggests that your message nears, but has not yet reached its time.


That doesn't necessarily follow. With my own similar experience, I finally decided it was causal -- my ability to either communicate my conclusions in repeatable ways, or (possibly) reading differently and choosing well what to repeat, maybe actually caused others to reach the same conclusion.

So now I do it on purpose, and I perceive you as having the same talent, as with the debtberg (which even if you didn't make it up yourself, good choice). Embrace your destiny.

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable September 17, 2016 2:51 AM  

andon wrote:I don't know why anyone would care if Scott Adams failed at two restaurants.

I don't believe you. You are here, posting among people who you know will pick apart in minute detail the body language of a talk show host. And then you say that. Liar.

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable September 17, 2016 2:57 AM  

SciVo de Plorable wrote:That doesn't necessarily follow.

Oh wait no it does. Regardless of causality. Oops! My bad.

Anonymous Avalanche September 17, 2016 8:13 PM  

@34 "I don't know why anyone would care if Scott Adams failed at two restaurants."

Read his book (which is excellent) and you will know. Scott teaches by showing what lessons, what skills and abilities, he gained (in every success AND failure) that he has then been able to use in his next/other/later endeavors. NOT being afraid to risk failure and humiliation resulted in Adams' "Failing Upward." As he writes: it's not a funny book -- but it's a useful one!

Anonymous IckyD September 17, 2016 9:20 PM  

This,imho,would be a million-seller if you put it into a novella form ending with this chapter; the book would be named, quite sincerely, this: "How To Survive In This World And Prosper"

I'd pay $5 on Amazon or whatevs.

Good words.

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