Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Humblebragging the Bloggoverse

I remember this one time, when I was on the set of the movie JUNO...

Have you perchance seen the humblebrag twitter feed? Farbeit from me to endorse anything in ye notso-olde twitterverse, but basically people send in instances of things such as the following:

"This is how the pros do it: receive copies of new book, accidentally pour curried soup down back of fridge interior while on phone to BBC," - Nick Harkaway;

or "Just seen the TV ad for the unauthorized book on me. Yikes!" - Simon Cowell.

The humblebrags I've seen on there are usually by rich or famous people, and I think the reason it resonates is because it's a nice reminder that people who've attained "success" by the standards of our culture are just as insecure as the rest of us. One of our greatest human needs is to feel valuable, and even if we know better we still tend to run around seeking that validation first and foremost from each other.

I say "we," of course, because it is easier than saying "I." 

Today a friend of mine posted a trailer on Facebook for a movie coming out soon. Because of an industry connection I've got, I was able to read the script for this movie a few months ago. In seconds I'd banged out a comment telling the Facebookverse how, yes, they should be excited about this movie because I'd read the script and it was awesome. I didn't go quite so far as to suggest it might have a small flaw that I hope they've fixed in production, but I sure came close (see what I did, there?).

I posted the comment, thought about how pathetic this was, went back and deleted it...


... and then came on here and wrote this post; because as much as I want to talk about what an unhealthy and ineffectual method this is for dealing with my viscera-level insecurities, I want even more for you to know that I have an industry connection that gets me some inside-Hollywood-scoopage. Yeah, sure, I'm not telling you the name of the movie - but that's just because I want to hold onto the pretense of humility while nonetheless still hinting at something that might raise your estimation of me.

Please, please, please love me? Pretty please. 

It's so manipulative, so graceless, so vile. And so hard - in this world of internet popularity-contest broohahah - to resist. I want to be a part of the internet conversation, but there's something about the whole shindig that ignites the very worst in me... driving me to grasp at scraps of affirmation that will (I foolishly imagine) help make my loneliness and isolation go away.

The worst of it is that this sort of thing spills over into my everyday life. I humblebrag all over the place, even though I know how vapid and useless it is.

Sigh.

I probably ought to just break my ties to this infernal machine for a long, long while; and take the time to sink more deeply into contemplative silence. Perhaps, then, I might connect more fully - on a soul-emotive level - with what I believe to be the absolute reality of my situation: that I am lovable, and loved. There is, after all, God; God, and the community of other humble, God-laced souls to keep me company in my state of isolation from the Infinite Everything.

Dr. Richard Beck wrote an excellent post on this topic today that summarizes his "Slavery of Death" series. When I read it I thought, "heckyeah, man - truedat!" ...But then I went right back out and did it again.

Double sigh.

Did I ever tell you about the time Lou Diamond Phillips and I had a conversation about moosen? As Homer Simpson famously said, "It's funny cuz it's true."

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