I’m really not sure why this didn’t come up as one of the ten plagues of Egypt. I mean, it would have been a really good one to have. These people look perfectly normal but are harbouring some of the worst characteristics there are. They could have been a sort of fifth column or Typhoid Mary. Good use could have been made of their natural talents.
They love drama and could have been fomenting plots.
Since everyone wishes they were them, they could have exercised some tenacious mind-control.
They seriously hate themselves and then they project it. So, there could have been a lot of tooth-nashing, mind-controlled followers who were constantly looking over their shoulders for back-stabbers, and therefore completely distracted.
Their constant re-invention would have made them difficult to track down.
Even if they were tracked down, their sense of superiority and ability to fly into a rage would have been very intimidating, crushing any attempts at bringing them under control.
They could have charmed all the kings, pharaohs, despots, crackpots, and so on into giving themselves bankrupt.
Since they’re mostly a bunch of misogynists, they certainly would have had those women where they belong.
Their natural gift for instability would have had them organizing newer and better wars.
Their lack of gratitude, respect or humility for anyone but themselves would have made them impervious to tampering, tinkering or cajoling.
The shame they feel would have lead the populace to feel sorry for them instead of taking them down.
A plague of narcissists? Yikes! Forget the frogs and flies and meteorites and boils and sores. Those Old Testament guys would have been in real trouble. Or maybe that is what they had to contend with. The pharaohs weren’t exactly a bunch of diffident, self-effacing humanists.
Maybe that’s what a lot of us have to contend with on a basis that’s much more frequent than we realize.
The person in the cubicle next to you who is jealous and envious.
The “friend” who likes to complain about your other friends.
The neighbour who sets two other neighbours against each other.
The boss who smiles at you one second and rips you apart the next.
I don’t know how much narcissism most of us have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, but it seems to be awfully widespread and at the root of a lot of the crap that goes on in the world.
So, if I wish anything for this new year, it’s that we start to realize how much egoism and self-absorption there is and that we all start to work on it in our own little ways and maybe start a cultural shift away from the selfishness that causes so much pain.