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Occasional ramblings by an anesthesiologist/mother (and sometimes her husband).

Friday, June 08, 2007

Schaedenfruede, or Christian Compassion?

Today, 2 of my coworkers & I stayed late after school. One of my fellow teachers was assaulted by a student, and two of us stayed as witnesses. I don't like to blog about what goes on at work because of privacy issues (not to mention the fact that I'm not tenured). But the basic problem with this student, endemic to many of our children, reminded me of Paris Hilton.

It is a basic narcissism. The belief that the rules don't apply to you. The feeling that if someone tries to remind you that you are subject to the same rules as everyone else, that they are hassling you.

I must admit that my first reaction upon hearing that Paris was returning to jail was one of pure pleasure. Hearing that she was reduced to tears brought me no end of joy. Was that wrong?

Really, no. My joy was in seeing someone who is emotionally an infant being finally forced into the real world. The lesson that we can't always have what we want is taught by real parents at roughly the same time as toilet skills. There is a narcissism to our current celebrity culture. It is the narcissism that causes people who are famous to think that they can do things they really can't*. It's the "the rules don't apply to me" feeling that makes Sheryl Crow drive a half dozen tour busses while telling people to use one square of toilet paper.

I see my kids and I know that if they don't shed the notion that they're above responsibility, they will never be able to hold down a job, and will end up in the gutter. Paris is headed in the same direction. Sooner or later, people will get bored of her. With no talent or skills to fall back on, she'll end up alone and burnt out.

Right now, she is being shocked out her comfort zone. She is finally experiencing the fact that everything she has can be taken away. She is finally seeing that her celebrity status does not impress everyone. If she is lucky, this might shock her into taking stock of her life and realizing what is important and what isn't. Her entire celebrity has been the brilliant marketing of absolutely nothing**

If this can knock her into actually building herself a real life, it will truly be something to rejoice over. It's what I hope for for my students.

*Yes, the Dr. Nic is my own ES1.

**which is actually a perfect description of her figure too. I never understood why so many other men found her attractive. Christina Ricci prior to her recent weight loss: hot. Lindsey Lohan around when she filmed "Mean Girls": hot. Morena Baccarin: do I even need to say? Paris: not so much.


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