Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Let's Talk About Embarrassment

In our image-driven society, in which the ego is worshipped and the individual is emphasized over the group, it's really, really easy to fuck up. It goes without saying that one's primary day-to-day goal is to maintain their own reputation and to establish his or herself as an important individual who is high in the social pecking order. But such status is tenuous at best.


You can do everything right for years and no one says anything, but then BAM! You show up to school wearing the wrong t-shirt and you are banned for life from the cool kids' table. Just like Def Leppard's drummer who lost his arm, no one ever takes you seriously again.


There are different kinds of embarrassment. There's the type you feel when you get a boner in second grade, the type that makes you cringe when grandma says "nigger", and the type you experience when you see something that degrades everyone involved. This video is an excellent example of the third type of embarrassment.

This type of embarrassment is especially terrible since it affects everyone who witnesses it. This particular clip mortified an entire generation. That's why they had to shoot Elizabeth Berkely. No one is sad that she's dead.

But the worst kind of embarrassment is the personal kind, the kind that involves you making a mistake that becomes the subject of ridicule. And sometimes these mistakes start out seeming like good ideas. For example, I recently tried to prove my hypothesis that Nair would have no effect on my incredibly masculine chest hair. I was not only wrong but also, according to some of my close friends, fucking retarded.

Goodbye, cool kids' table. Sigh.

Embarrassment Update:
This man's name is very embarrassing.
But at least he owns a home.

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