Posts Tagged ‘McLuhan’

Enneagram U.S.A.

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

– Following along on yesterday’s theme of having great friends with interesting viewpoints, here’s another view that was shared with me recently by a friend. 

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Riso, a Jesuit, is brilliant, and  wrote a book about personality types based on The Enneagram.  The “Three” is the narcissist.  (Sarah Palin for example).

I read this 20 years ago when my counselor gave me this book.  Things haven’t changed.  🙂 v

The United States is becoming a “Three” culture: narcissistic, image- oriented, emphasizing style over substance, symbols over reality. The pursuit of excellence is being replaced by the celebration of the artificial as everything is being treated as a commodity—-packaged, advertised, and marketed. Politics is becoming less concerned with principles or the use of power for the common good than with the display of personalities. Politics serves public relations, selling candidates with their calculated positions to a public which can no longer tell a clone from a real person. The communications media, particularly television, are primarily concerned with attracting attention so that the public can be sold something. The shallow values and the beguiling glitter of show biz have become the norms by which everything is measured. The only guideline is the ability to gain attention: what is noticed and in demand has value. People are so seduced by the slick package that they often do not realize there is nothing in it. To paraphrase McLuhan, the package is the message. Calculated images successfully masquerade as reality, from the programmed friendliness of television personalities to the rehearsed sincerity of beauty contestants to the hard fluff of “evening magazine” shows. Exhibitionism and self promotion are becoming acceptable as people do whatever it takes to get noticed in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The ideal is to be a winner—–to be successful, famous, and celebrated. The quest for success and prestige is everywhere. Every day a new book comes out telling us how to dress for success, eat for success, or network for success. We are being sold a narcissistic fantasy: that we will be “somebody” if we are like everybody else, only better. If you manage your image properly, you too can become a star—–or a god. The personality type Three exemplifies the search for the affirmation of the self, a self which becomes more empty as its apparent perfection bids for more attention.

– Reasearch Thanks to Robert V.