Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vanity



You're so vain... you probably think this blog is about you.

Vanity often gets a bum rap. It is even considered one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Which is pretty bad. But, when you think about it, without Vanity, what would become of civilization, as we know it? Without Vanity, would there be any world leaders? Doubtful. You don't get to be a world leader without thinking that you are pretty special -- and convincing others to think so, too. From Julius Caesar to Naploeon Bonaparte, Attila the Hun to Jabba the Hut, Mahatma Ghandi to Glenn Beck, the great leaders in history all have one thing in common: Vanity.

The same is true for science and the arts. Did Pythagoras come up with his famous theorem purely for the love of math? Of course not. He wanted to have something really awesome named after him. Same goes for Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Louis Pasteur. Pasteurization, by the way, is a confusing term. I mean, don't all cows come from pastures? So isn't all milk, in a sense 'pasture-ized'? I'm not saying it's deliberately misleading -- I'm just saying Louis didn't think that one through.

As for the art world, surely every great work of art is, by nature, an act of Vanity. Tell me you don't have to have some pretty big stones to paint a picture of God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Or write a poem about your journey through the nine circles of Hell. Or make a 3-D movie about a planet filled with 10-foot-tall, blue-skinned Rastafarians who ride on flying dragons?

Serious Vanity.

Science teaches us that Vanity is a good thing. According to the Law of Attraction, if we imagine ourselves desirable, the Universe will reward us with high-cheekbones and positive cash-flow. Whereas, if we succumb to the victimizing philosophy of Humility, the Universe will in turn afflict us with bad hair and a lack of fashion sense. This is why good people are always pretty and bad people are ugly. It is, in fact, why movie stars are better than regular people.

True, there are many who believe that Humility is the proper path. Most often, though, you will find that these people are merely losers who need an excuse for their inability to play sports or get a date to the prom. I myself have fallen into the morass of abject Humility, believing that I were no better than anyone else, deserving only of my 'fair share,' willing to sacrifice my own comfort and pleasure for the so-called Greater Good. I wandered through the desert of self-denial for years, thinking that, by living simply and not seeking attention or reward, I was somehow leading a life of Virtue.

But what is Virtue? Is it not a Virtue to be loved and admired? Is it not a Virtue to be successful and happy? Is it not a Virtue to be awesome? And did my life of pitiful mediocrity provide me with any of these things?

Of course not.

So that is why I have come to embrace Vanity and all it has to offer. And not just to embrace Vanity, but to celebrate it as well. To paraphrase one of the great fictional heroes of our time:
The point is, ladies and gentleman, that Vanity--for lack of a better word--is good. Vanity is right. Vanity works. Vanity clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Vanity, in all of its forms--has marked the upward surge of mankind. And Vanity--you mark my words--will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.
I know that last part doesn't make any sense out of context, but it sounds cool.

As way to kick off my newfound commitment to Vanity, I am organizing the Rally To Restore Vanity, to be held on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010. On that day, over a dozen people will flock to Hollywood to take part in a day-long program of festivities which is guaranteed to be literally fantastic.
I realize now that November 2nd also happens to be Election Day. But, trust me, when I originally chose the date, I really had no idea of its cultural or historical importance. I was being guided by my Inner Voice, on whose counsel I base all of my most important life choices. When I learned of the significance of the date, I realized that it was truly an inspired coincidence -- if indeed a coincidence it was! For what better occasion to celebrate Vanity than on the day of one of our biggest national popularity contests.

Now, at this point you may be thinking: 'But dude, how can I make Vanity work for me?' And herein lies the sheer beauty of Vanity, because, when it comes right down to it, I really don't care about you.

3 Comments:

Blogger Susan Allison said...

Ha ha haha ha! Very good! A crowd of 12, eh? Are we supposed to bring you gifts?

10/19/2010 6:01 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

This is a fine one. Lead us on, Dick!

10/21/2010 6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend, I too was long ago taught to avoid and abhor all conceits and to view with negativity, those who either defiantly or unwittingly engage and indulge in the sins of self-grandiosity and self-aggrandizement. I have remained smugly anonymous and watched as so many of the unwashed have gone on to achieve undeserving fame and riches (see Maddonna, B.Spears, Justin Beaver, etc.), while I have smartly remained silent. Well to heck with all that now. I will gladly join you in a drink and raise a toast to hereafter gleefully engage the hubris by which we, we proud few, shall heretofore exalt ourselves. Name the time and place, dawg.

Cdawg.

10/28/2010 5:30 PM  

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