Thursday, February 28, 2008

Zombies À La Carte

There may be a new tradition forming at Legare’s.  This Saturday night, for the second week in a row, there will be a dinner and movie theme night.  Last week it was The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover paired with a portion of Jon’s amazing black menu.  This week, keeping with the idea of pairing unappetizing movies with food, Legare’s will be showing both 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later.  Per usual, Jon is secretive about the menu he will be serving, however he has been making subtle requests for me to “acquire” items from my job.  Nevertheless I’m sure whatever he prepares will be delicious and as appropriate to the theme of virus infected zombified humans as food possibly can be.  The evening’s events will begin around 7, or whenever they get their act together.   Hope to see you Saturday. 
                                                                                                                     - Erin

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Narcissism is the New Black

Legare’s Community Resource Center is starting a narcissist club.  While the meetings are currently scheduled for Mondays, they will most likely take place whenever the opportunity arises. Just in case there is any confusion, here is the Legare’s working definition of narcissism.

Narcissists are an elusive breed, hard to spot, harder to pinpoint, impossible to capture. Even an experienced mental health diagnostician with unmitigated access to the record and to the person examined would find it fiendishly difficult to determine with any degree of certainty whether someone suffers from a full fledged Narcissistic Personality Disorder – or merely possesses narcissistic traits, a narcissistic style, a personality structure ("character"), or a narcissistic "overlay" superimposed on another mental health problem.

Narcissism is regarded by many scholars to be an adaptive strategy ("healthy narcissism"). It is considered pathological in the clinical sense only when it becomes a rigid personality structure replete with a series of primitive defense mechanisms (such as splitting, projection, projective identification, or intellectualization) – and when it leads to dysfunctions in one or more areas of the patient's life.

Pathological narcissism is the art of deception. The narcissist projects a False Self and manages all his social interactions through this concocted fictional construct.

When the narcissist reveals his true colors, it is usually far too late. His victims are unable to separate from him. They are frustrated by this acquired helplessness and angry with themselves for having they failed to see through the narcissist earlier on.

But the narcissist does emit subtle, almost subliminal, signals ("presenting symptoms") even in a first or casual encounter.

These are:

"Haughty" body language – The narcissist adopts a physical posture that implies and exudes an air of superiority, seniority, hidden powers, mysteriousness, amused indifference, etc. Though the narcissist usually maintains sustained and piercing eye contact, he often refrains from physical proximity (he is "territorial").

The narcissist takes part in social interactions – even mere banter – condescendingly, from a position of supremacy and faux "magnanimity and largesse". But he rarely mingles socially and prefers to remain the "observer", or the "lone wolf".

Entitlement markers – The narcissist immediately asks for "special treatment" of some kind. Not to wait his turn, to have a longer or a shorter therapeutic session, to talk directly to authority figures (and not to their assistants or secretaries), to be granted special payment terms, to enjoy custom tailored arrangements - or to get served first.


The narcissist is the one who – vocally and demonstratively – demands the undivided attention of the headwaiter in a restaurant, or monopolizes the hostess, or latches on to celebrities in a party. The narcissist reacts with rage and indignantly when denied his wishes and if treated equally with others whom he deems inferior.

Idealization or devaluation – The narcissist instantly idealizes or devalues his interlocutor. This depends on how the narcissist appraises the potential his converser has as a Narcissistic Supply Source. The narcissist flatters, adores, admires and applauds the "target" in an embarrassingly exaggerated and profuse manner – or sulks, abuses, and humiliates her.

Narcissists are polite only in the presence of a potential Supply Source. But they are unable to sustain even perfunctory civility and fast deteriorate to barbs and thinly veiled hostility, to verbal or other violent displays of abuse, rage attacks, or cold detachment.

The "membership" posture – The narcissist always tries to "belong". Yet, at the very same time, he maintains his stance as an outsider. The narcissist seeks to be admired for his ability to integrate and ingratiate himself without investing the efforts commensurate with such an undertaking.

For instance: if the narcissist talks to a psychologist, the narcissist first states emphatically that he never studied psychology. He then proceeds to make seemingly effortless use of obscure professional terms, thus demonstrating that he mastered the discipline all the same, as an autodidact – which proves that he is exceptionally intelligent or introspective.

In general, the narcissist always prefers show-off to substance. One of the most effective methods of exposing a narcissist is by trying to delve deeper. The narcissist is shallow, a pond pretending to be an ocean. He likes to think of himself as a Renaissance man, a Jack-of-all-trades. The narcissist never admits to ignorance in any field – yet, typically, he is ignorant of them all. It is surprisingly easy to penetrate the gloss and the veneer of the narcissist's self-proclaimed omniscience.

Bragging and false autobiography – The narcissist brags incessantly. His speech is peppered with "I", "my", "myself", and "mine". He describes himself as intelligent, or rich, or modest, or intuitive, or creative – but always excessively, implausibly, and extraordinarily so.

The narcissist's biography sounds unusually rich and complex. His achievements – incommensurate with his age, education, or renown. Yet, his actual condition is evidently and demonstrably incompatible with his claims. Very often, the narcissist lies or his fantasies are easily discernible.

Emotion-free language – The narcissist likes to talk about himself and only about himself. He is not interested in others or what they have to say, unless they constitute potential Sources of Supply and in order to obtain said supply. He acts bored, disdainful, even angry, if he feels that they are intruding on his precious time and, thus, abusing him.

In general, the narcissist is very impatient, easily bored, with strong attention deficits – unless and until he is the topic of discussion. One can publicly dissect all aspects of the intimate life of a narcissist without repercussions, providing the discourse is not "emotionally tinted".

If asked to relate directly to his emotions, the narcissist intellectualizes, rationalizes, speaks about himself in the third person and in a detached "scientific" tone or composes a narrative with a fictitious character in it, suspiciously autobiographical.

Seriousness and sense of intrusion and coercion – The narcissist is dead serious about himself. He may possess a subtle, wry, and riotous sense of humor, scathing and cynical, but rarely is he self-deprecating. The narcissist regards himself as being on a constant mission, whose importance is cosmic and whose consequences are global.

The narcissist is easily hurt and insulted (narcissistic injury). He interprets even the most innocuous remarks or acts as belittling, intruding, or coercive. His time is more valuable than others' – therefore, it cannot be wasted on unimportant matters such as mere banter or going out for a walk.

Any suggested help, advice, or concerned inquiry are immediately cast by the narcissist as intentional humiliation, implying that the narcissist is in need of help and counsel and, thus, imperfect and less than omnipotent. Any attempt to set an agenda is, to the narcissist, an intimidating act of enslavement. In this sense, the narcissist is both schizoid and paranoid and often entertains ideas of reference.

These – the lack of empathy, the aloofness, the disdain, the sense of entitlement, the constricted sense of humor, the unequal treatment and the paranoia – render the narcissist a social misfit. The narcissist is able to provoke in his milieu, in his casual acquaintances, even in his psychotherapist, the strongest, most avid and furious hatred and revulsion. To his shock, indignation and consternation, he invariably induces in others unbridled aggression.

He is perceived to be asocial at best and, often, antisocial. This, perhaps, is the strongest presenting symptom. One feels ill at ease in the presence of a narcissist for no apparent reason. No matter how charming, intelligent, thought provoking, outgoing, easy going and social the narcissist is – he fails to secure the sympathy of others, a sympathy he is never ready, willing, or able to reciprocate.   

These ideas are taken from Dr. Sam Vaknin's book Malignant Self Love

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tomorrow night (Sat. Feb 23rd) Jon will be showing one of his all time favorite films The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.  He is also talking about preparing a dinner from his black menu.  When I inquired what was on the menu he replied "that is all you need to know" and refuses to elaborate.  Regardless of what he prepares I have no doubt that it will be both extremely fancy and amazingly delicious.  Tomorrow night is also the low-res film festival.  Hopefully more details about that event will be provided soon.  I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow!
                                                                                   - Erin 

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Weekly Street Art and Graffiti Forum

Howdy Folks!
I intend to start a weekly street art and graffiti forum Saturdays at Legare's. I will be hosting a preliminary meeting this Saturday at 6 pm. We will be discussing meeting times, format ideas and overall goals of the weekly forum. My ideas are to show highlights from the week in terms of national, international and local street art as well as discuss ideas for collaborative projects around the city. Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Grey Gardens

Grey Gardens fever. Catch it! This Thursday at Legare's

Saturday, February 2, 2008

This Thursday: Gray Gardens

So you might've heard last Thursday I was MIA for Legare's Movie Night. After I announced Gloria as last week's movie a look of... I would describe it as glassy eyed indifference threatening to spill over into out right hostility came over the audience.
We'll apparently I misread the cultural climate as I can not step outside in this city without someone asking me where I was on Thursday. I had no idea that a) anyone even knew about the existence of film night and b) anyone cared. Now that I'm aware that Film Night is the social event of Thursday I'll be sure to take it more seriously from now on. Let this be my personal Legare-antee that I will never miss any Film Night ever again.

So this week everyone show up for Grey Gardens. It's the classic documentary about two reclusive women who live together in a gothic mansion.

The story was recently the subject of a Broadway Musical.

Directed by the Maysles Brotheres. 1975. 100 min.