Category Archives: Identity

Performance Identity

PERFORMANCEIDENTITY

I have often referred to how the advances in technology have proven a great boon for my kind. Not only does technology allow us a greater reach, to more people, more often and more easily it provides us with camouflage. The genesis of the “selfie” is testament to that. Once upon a time if you wanted to be in one of your own pictures, you asked somebody else to use your camera to take a picture of you and your friends or perhaps you against some fantastic backdrop of scenery. Now  the advent of the camera phone has allowed everybody to take a picture of themselves with friends, with a famous person, in front of a landmark, pulling a stupid pout, holding up  beer and so on. This need to be “in on the shot” is a nod to the narcissistic traits of entitlement, boundary violation and grandiosity. Of course, not everyone is of our kind and just because you have a tendency to take selfies does not make you one of our kind either. What it does though is increase the backdrop of narcissistic tendencies so that ours fit even more readily into what society is doing. Fifteen years ago if someone kept pestering other people to take a picture of themselves in different poses and places, eyebrows would be raised. Now if you see someone holding their ‘phone up and pouting, you do not bat an eyelid. It is expected. This narcissistic tendency has become mainstream and we welcome this, as it allows ours to be merge with that mainstream to, enabling us to move more easily amongst you all.

When you take that selfie you are engaging in performance identity. You are reinforcing your identity as against the performance of standing and taking a picture of yourself which you then plaster across several social media outlets, text to your friends and quite possibly set as your wall paper. Performance crime is the instance whereby a perpetrator engages in criminal activity which he or she records. How many videos have you seen on Facebook where a fight is in progress and nobody halts it, but instead they stand around cameras held aloft filming the fracas? How often have you seen people posting pictures of themselves committing some criminal act, be it the use of drugs, assaulting somebody, criminal damage or theft?  It also goes to include those acts which may not be criminal but would be regarded as morally reprehensible. Taking photographs of somebody who is drunk asleep in the middle of the road rather than helping them, snapping away at someone who has soiled themselves or vomited. Taking pictures of someone’s mishap or misfortune and adding a supposedly witty insight in white text across the bottom of the picture. These behaviours are all geared towards performance, showing off and putting on a show.

We are masters at performance identity. We are defined by what we do to an admiring and attentive audience. Our every move is choreographed, our entrance carefully planned. We walk the urban landscape with an imaginary soundtrack playing in our heads as we strut along, considering ourselves to be in some kind of film or documentary. A puzzle once went along the lines of,

“It a leaf falls in a forest but there is nobody there to hear it, did it make a sound?”

The modern day equivalent for our kind is,

“If we did something but nobody saw it, did it really take place?”

We are defined by what others see us do and their reaction to it. Whether it is admiration, hatred, anger, upset, terror, grief, hilarity, amusement, praise, love or adoration there must always be an emotion infused reaction. This reaction defines who we are because it provides us with fuel. It tells us that we are brilliant, feared, furious, dominant, entertaining, witty, sensational, beautiful, remarkable and so forth. The reaction is everything for the fuel it provides but also because our performance allows us to define what we believe what we are, the outward appearance the world must see as opposed to the one locked deep away and never permitted to be viewed.

You all engage in performance identify. Often it is of little consequence but it still shapes part of what you are. The growing tendency for people to engage in performance identity means that our need, our absolute need to do this, will not always stand out as much as it might. Yes, it draws a reaction but this need for attention may not always be seen for what it is. People just regard us as outgoing, bombastic, entertaining, the life and soul of the party, at the centre of everything. There are scores of polite ways of saying attention seeker without realising that is what you are doing. We must do it however, we must perform from the moment we rise from our beds until we return to it again in order to draw fuel and to create that which we want the world to see. The world may indeed be a stage, but it is a stage for my kind and me.

 

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All In The Eyes

ALL IN THE

The eyes are one of our powerful weapons. I hear so many comments made about my eyes.
“I saw the world in your eyes.”
“Everything I ever wished for, I could see in your eyes.”
“I’ve never known anyone give me such a malevolent stare.”
“You are dead behind the eyes.”
“That hollow look you give me, chills me inside.”
“Your reptilian, empty stare always unnerved me.”
When we first engage with you, we are able to reflect back at you want you desperately want. Hope, optimism, desire and trust are all mirrored in our eyes. Do not be mistaken and think that we generate those looks. We do not. All we are doing is ensuring that you see what you want to see in order to ensnare you. This mirroring serves two purposes. Firstly, it shows you what you crave for and makes us all the more attractive to you. Secondly, it masks the empty void that truly exists. Whilst my kind and me learn how to behave and act, we mimic the way in which we are expected to respond in the most favourable manner, we do not truly feel any of those things and we cannot generate it in our eyes. Everything else we are able to simulate – the laugh, the smile, the look of surprise, the intonation of elation in our voices. We have carefully crafted these facsimiles of your emotions but managing to do so in our eyes has always eluded us. We cannot fall at the first hurdle however and have you see through our charade. Accordingly, we have managed to master the mirroring technique. You want that love and hope so badly you will see it in us when you are really just seeing yourself. We hold your gaze for longer than anyone else. You are conned into thinking this is just demonstrating the intensity of our desire for you. It is not. We must look directly into your eyes to shine back at you that which you send towards us. Should we look way, the reflection may fail and we must always have you in our eye.
As with all of our pretence we are unable to maintain this deceit for long. The mirror breaks and the shards of reflection fall away leaving the chasm of emotionlessness behind. The barren hinterland beyond our eyes is all that is left, bereft of anything at all. That is why in the later stages you will see nothing when you look at us. We cannot generate those real emotions and our mirror has now failed. Our real gaze is all that is left, cold, empty and lifeless. People often remark about how the eyes are the window to the soul. Our soul left long ago and that is why you look into dead, uncaring eyes. Even though our mouth is upturned in a smile, the crows feet at the sides crease and the brow rises, our eyes betray us. Glacial and sterile they show the reality of what we are; devoid of positive emotion and spiritually bankrupt.
All that we are able to muster is hatred. Our loathing of this unjust world is so intense that it will break through when we wish to direct that hatred against you. That is when the emptiness vanishes and instead you are subjected to our laser-like, pinpoint accurate malevolent stare. I mentioned in the recollection about the cookie jar, how I had practised my withering stare one summer. This is the precursor to our malice, our antipathy and our scorn. With consummate ease we will call on it to intimidate you and signal our contempt for you. It is powerful, unwavering and unsettling. To be on the receiving end of our hateful stare is not a pleasant experience. We muster such power with our eyes, to seduce you and then to break you, but the reality is that we only have three settings. The mirror, the void and the hatred. There is nothing else. That is all that our eyes have.

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The Parasite

You fed off me and I am sick of it. You attached yourself to me drawn by my magnetism, but I never asked you to. You just decided that you wanted to be with me, you need me, truth be told and because I am magnanimous I allowed you to attach to me but as of late your taking and leeching has begun to annoy me. You cannot deny this is what you are. The evidence speaks for itself. You saw my charm, my attractiveness, my easy manner with people and how they are drawn to me and like some opportunist you decided that you wanted some of that. You realised that you could benefit massively by attaching yourself to me. You could avail yourself of my impeccable reputation, my scintillating presence and my esteemed connections. I do not blame you for wanting to be associated with me, who would not? Who would not want such a slice of the action as me? The opportunity to move in circles that you had never experienced before. The chance to be somebody. The time to clamber upwards from the tedious life you led and the doldrums in which you festered. I suppose I ought to admire your desire to improve yourself and better yourself by seeing what I am and what I do and wanting to be a part of that world. You certainly did become part of that world as well. You enjoyed my extraordinary largesse as you accepted my gifts, my invitations and my cold hard cash. You were delighted to be on my arm as we went to so many special places. You were granted access all areas. You consumed the love I poured in your direction, drinking deep of my passion, my affection and my dedication. I helped you, I listened, I advised. I called you often as you wanted me to. I made sure you felt safe and secure with my frequent messages and attention to your well-being. I allowed your friends and family to become part of my entourage, they certainly had no qualms about getting on the gravy train did they? You dominated my attention, engulfed me with your need to keep taking from me. Even when matters became difficult you did not stop with your neediness. You wanted reassurance still, to be told that I loved you, to be taken to those special places once again. You tried to stop me doing what I wanted to do, what I needed to do. You wanted to prevent me spending time with my friends and yes before you say anything they were always only ever my friends. Honest. You saw me as an easy target. I see that now and you kept taking, taking and taking. Is it little wonder that my irritation became annoyance? That my annoyance became fury? You just would not stop taking from me and in the end I had to stop this. I had to find someone who would give rather than take and that meant I had to be rid of you. That is why I chose someone else to escape your leeching and draining behaviour. That is why I cast you aside. You are a parasite.

 

You fed off me and I am sick with it. You attached yourself to me drawn by my goodness, but I never asked you to. You just decided that you wanted to be with me, you need me, truth be told and because I am the kind and caring person that I pride myself on being, I allowed you to attach to me but as of late your taking and leeching has begun to destroy me. You cannot deny this is what you are. The evidence speaks for itself. You saw my compassion, my attractiveness, my empathic manner with people and how they respond to such kindness and love and like some opportunist you decided that you wanted all of that for yourself. You realised that you could benefit massively by attaching yourself to me. You could avail yourself of my gushing compassion, my reflective presence as my emotional nature. I do not blame you for wanting to be with me, who would not when they are a creature like you? Who would not want such to erode me slice by slice? The opportunity to move yet again in circles that you had experienced before. The chance to be make yourself feel like somebody for once. The time to clamber upwards from the empty life you lead and the chasm which threatens to engulf you. I suppose I ought to admire your desire to improve yourself and better yourself by seeing what I am and what I do and wanting to make me part of you by swallowing me up. You certainly did make me become part of you as I struggle to remember most days who I am and what I was before I met you. You enjoyed my extraordinary love as you accepted my attentiveness, my invitation into my heart and my warm, loving nature. You were delighted to be on my arm as we went to so many special places. You were granted access all areas to who I was and you saw no reason to ever respect my identity. You consumed the love I poured in your direction, drinking deep of my passion, my affection and my dedication. I helped you, I listened, I advised and even when you began to abuse me, I never wavered from that. I called you often as you wanted me to. I made sure you felt safe and secure with my frequent messages and attention to your well-being. I allowed my friends and family to become part of your facade, they certainly had no qualms about forgetting me following your smear campaigns did they? You dominated my attention, engulfed me with your need to keep taking from me. Even when matters became difficult you did not stop with your neediness. You wanted reassurance still, to be told that I loved you, to be taken to those special places in side my soul once again. You tried to stop me doing what I wanted to do, what I needed to do. You wanted to prevent me spending time with my friends and yes before you say anything they were my friends until you banished them. Honest. You saw me as an easy target. I see that now and you kept taking, taking and taking. Is it little wonder that my confusion became despair? That my despair became desperation? You just would not stop taking from me and in the end I need to find a way to stop this, but I can’t seem to. You won’t stop.  I have to find someone who will give rather than take and that means I need to be rid of you. I know this has to happen but I feel I cannot escape you, you have drained and leeched from me to such an extent that I am barely able to think and function. That is why I need to cast you aside but how can I when you will not let me go and you will not stop causing me to love you. You are a parasite.

Who is the parasite. You, me or both of us?

The parasite is the one who benefits at the expense of the other.

Who is the parasite?

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