The other day I was reading an article about a hardcore porn obsession. That is to say, the author of the article was describing his own obsession with “hardcore” porn. He didn’t go into details of what exactly that was defined as, but that’s irrelevant. What’s slightly more relevant to this post is that in the article, the author recounts his interview with a porn producer. That porn producer was put in jail because obscenities in his movies (e.g., urination, vomit, etc). That’s essentially what Wikipedia’s entry said as well. So basically the producer was put in jail because he was labeled as “obscene.” In the article, the author writes, “Maybe that’s why…we put our [obscene porn producers] in prison—because by declaring them obscene, we can tell ourselves that we are not.”
I then basically rewrote what he had said to try to better understand it…”We label certain things we do (but those that we feel guilty about) as unacceptable and punish people who do it more than they ‘should’ so that we can feel better about ourselves; if we put a person like the producer in prison, it means we’re not bad (otherwise we’d be in there with him). We judge people so that we can feel better about ourselves. We have our own insecurities that, for most people who cannot ‘self-actualize(?) their own insecurities, manifest themselves as passing judgments.”
This isn’t a question of morally right vs morally wrong, this isn’t about murder or stealing or other crimes which have been established as morally wrong and therefor criminally punishable. Perhaps this is a bit of an over-stretch from the starting point of a GQ article about a highly neurotic writer’s hardcore porn obsession…but when we pass judgment on others, we are reflecting our own insecurities. Climbing a mountain is hard work, but it’s SO much easier if you level that mountain with dynamite. What I mean to say is that learning to deal with our own insecurities is painful, and often times they’re too difficult to perceive. We cannot cope with them, whatever they may be, by ourselves, and the easiest way to deal with them is to make ourselves feel better by putting others down.
What are your insecurities? Are you aware of them? How have you dealt with them?
I’m insecure about my introvertedness: I’ve rarely had it affirmed; I usually feel awkward in most groups since I don’t really contribute that much; I usually feel awkward in discussions with ≥2 people because I’m expected to talk, but don’t. If I don’t talk, I must not like the other people, right? Even in most conversations with high-introverts or people I’m not too familiar with, there isn’t much discussion, and what discussion there is I perceive as forced. And that makes me feel insecure. I don’t feel good about who I am. Is that OK?
I’ve only just become aware of this insecurity.
But the odd thing about insecurities is that a lot of times they’re pointless. We needlessly fret over small stupid stuff that really doesn’t matter. Who cares if you’re “short” or if your teeth aren’t perfectly white or if you don’t like the way your nose looks. People who matter in your life won’t care about that shit. Neither should you.
P.S. Sorry for my article being as linear and cohesive as a Fellini film.
P.P.S. Sorry if you don’t know who Fellini is. Your loss 😦 .