Wednesday, April 08, 2009

"I always intended to be in a profession where being written about was part of the territory."

Alex McCord, one of the Real Housewives of New York doesn't really care about all the criticism. It's "part of being in the public eye" -- at least part of being a cable reality show castmember, which in itself evidently constitutes "a profession."

I wouldn't have even noticed Alex's comment except I had just read this from A Field Guide To Narcissism: "Real-life narcissists, however, desperately need other people to validate their own worth. 'It's not so much being liked. It's much more important to be admired. Studies have shown narcissists are willing to sacrifice being liked if they think it's necessary to be admired,' says Roy Baumeister, a social psychologist at Florida State University in Tallahassee."

This really does explain so much about the people you see on TV every night. Bravo, news, gossip, CNBC, sports, all of them.

And now I'm trying to reconcile all that with yesterday's Grant McCracken post: "Tina Fey has this to say about Amy Poehler: Amy is funny because she doesn't care what you think, but she does want to make you laugh. It's a complicated and important combination." -- which doesn't sound like narcissism but is an interesting trade-off of likeability for a kind of success -- "Fey's observation is...a nice way to think about branding. The new brand is self confident in just this way. It's less agreeable, less eager to please, less unapologetically pleasant. The old brand was a bland brand. The new brand is Amy Poehler."

Have I mixed up a lot of unrelated things? Will someone start a marketing blog called "The new brand is Amy Poehler"? Or at least print t-shirts? And is this new brand a reflection of a new mindset? Is it only made possible by the fact that we're all becoming narcissists? (Well, you're all becoming narcissists. I'm completely OK.)

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