Narcissism Now Considered Normal
In what is possibly the greatest unintentional cultural commentary of all time by a scientific journal, the Times reported today that the Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has removed narcissism from its list of mental disorders, along with four others.
Narcissism is defined as elitism, or indifference to the plight of others. Apparently, this trait has become so commonplace that it can no longer be deemed a disorder (unless you want to commit the entire cast of every reality TV show to psychiatric care — and perhaps you do). But more than that, it is a culturally valuable trait. It is a trait that is cultivated by every marketing and advertising executive in this country. Nearly every TV commercial for a luxury item is hawked by a coaxing narrator imploring the viewer to take more "me" time. Begging her to spoil herself; asking her not to compromise when it comes to comfort.
Our economy counts on our sense of elitism. The manufactured concept of 'brand loyalty' is totally dependent upon it. You want narcissism? Go to a Mac store and approach one of the awaiting tech hipsters poised to assist you at the "Genius Bar." You want indifference? Ask your average citizen of their feelings on the plight of the refugees of the Congo's decades-long resource war.
Narcissism is far too important to our way of life to allow therapists and psychiatrists the opportunity to discourage it. We're beyond that now. We've got a planet to convert into microwavable mac & cheese, and we cannot have a populace of aware and empathetic citizens mucking it up.