Big Bad Bird

"Poets do not write to be understood."

"A great deal more is known than has been proved."

"I cannot define the real problem, therefore I suspect there's no real problem."

- Richard Feynmann

There are people who need to be myths.

They spend a great deal of time and energy creating stories and ideas about themselves, all to make them admirable in the eyes of others. These are the people with a deep need to be admired, respected, deferred to, adored, even worshipped. It's a need that's never satisfied, and needs a constant supply of new disciples.

If they're smart they'll always pretend to be modest about their virtue - because modesty is seen as another virtue, and because it looks more plausible if they're seen ostentatiously refusing to blow their own trumpet, so long as it's implied they'd be justified in doing so.

Most such people fool no one. Everyone can see they're a fake, and they get treated with quiet contempt, before being brushed aside and forgotten.

But there's a few who actually are admirable, for quite genuine reasons, but need more admiration. The priest who actually is patient and kind, but needs his flock to constantly comment on how saintly he is. The scientist who's brilliant, but wants to read in the newspapers about how they're a towering figure even among geniuses. The leader who needs not just to be obeyed by to be loved, and the philosopher with three good ideas who thinks they've changed everything.

I've met maybe half a dozen such people - princes who need to be seen as emperors - and it took months for the penny to drop about the paradoxical way in which they were frauds.

I just can't help wondering how many of the world's most admired historical figures were like that. Because in my experience, they're very dangerous people.

I've got a turkey.

We don't usually bother with one at christmas but a friend inherited two but she's a vegetarian so...anyway, it's about fourteen inches across, and according to the instructions it'll take two days to defrost and six to eight hours to cook.

So I know what I'll be eating in February.

On the news today, a beauty salon has, in the spirit of the reformed Scrooge, given free haircuts and makeovers to homeless people - for one day only.

A manicured manicurist explained to the bubbly interviewer how it's important to help the homeless, and how helping them not look homeless improves their self-esteem.

A customer with filthy clothes but impeccable hair agreed, albeit through gritted teeth.

Chasing up the story, I couldn't find much, but it's probably part of this Wenceslassian effort.

But it looks like someone else had the idea first.

When I've occasionally toyed with the idea of becoming a petit-bourgeois entrepreneur, I've thought of employing only homeless people, much like Michael Moore claimed to employ only black people. Though predictably enough, there's actually tax laws against it.

Some people tell me I think about gay sex all the time. But I'm pure as the pope...compared to the pope.

The entire Judeo-Christian-Islamic world should find a new hobby.


  1. These are the people with a deep need to be admired, respected, deferred to, adored, even worshipped.

    You may kiss the hem of my garment.

  2. Who is this Richard Feynmann? George W. Bush's speechwriter?

    Enjoy the turkey! It's going to be delicious if done according to instructions.

    Merry Xmas and best wishes for holiday cheer, warmth, and joy!

  3. Actually Feynmann was one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century.

    He was also one of those people I mentioned - the ones who need to be admired. As well as something of a predator towards women.

    My dad has looked up how to cook big turkeys on the internet. He says the oven's got to be 320 degrees centigrade for five hours.

    We did suggest he might mean 230 farenheit, but he's adamant. Good thing he'd never think of doing the cooking himself.