Recently a quote (see below), erroneously attributed to actress Meryl Streep, went viral on the interwebs. As good an example as any, of the obtuse platitudes, reeking of moral entitlement and deliberate obfuscation, that have become so prevalent on social media. Of course, the irony and hubris of their actions totally elude the passive-aggressive nitwits who share or like these nebulous quotes, often completely out of context.
As for this particular quote, it was apparently penned by one José Micard Teixeira, a Portuguese life coach and motivational speaker who according to his LinkedIn profile has published a few self-help books with generic titles such as “Learn to Live Without Fear” and “Know How to Change Your Life”. Quelle surprise then that a cursory glance at Goodreads and Amazon does not provide any evidence of the legions of support for José’s tomes of wisdom. In fact, except for one anonymous mention in Goodreads, you would be hard pressed to find a place to buy a copy of one of his books.
A few examples of the confused miasma that is José’s manifesto for a better life:
Stating the frighteningly obvious: “I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate.” and “In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal”. Okay, so you actually know individuals who enjoy hanging around people who lie to them and manipulate them? And of course, we all go through a phase when we revel in having friends who betray us on a regular basis. Frankly I’m surprised the newly enlightened José did not include his refusal to no longer randomly put his hand in open fires. Actually, what’s really happening here is that José is having a passive-aggressive knee jerk reaction to what he obviously perceives as slights from other people, maybe his mom. Instead of confronting them like a well adjusted adult, he sends off a digital Cry in the Dark.
Then there is the amusing contradiction in terms, “I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities.” First of all, the rigidity and inflexibility or not of any personality is subject to opinion. And unfortunately for you some opinions are better informed than others, just ask Hitler and Idi Amin. It is also of course a very handy obfuscation (straw man) when you find yourself out of your depth in a conversation or argument. The reality is that you want to surround yourself only with people who do not challenge your fragile reference framework. Low self-esteem is a bitch.
Another dead giveaway that the silly little quote could have been written by a 5-year old, is the incongruous dislike of people who don’t like animals, plonked down as an afterthought when all abstract personality trait dislikes have been exhausted. Well, I have difficulty accepting Portuguese bullshit artists farting through their mouths, so there we go. Big lolly for you.
So basically what we have here is the fuzzy double-speak of a snake oil salesman that had its 15 minutes of fame on social media because a bunch of lazy hypocrites zoomed in on a few key words that suited their preset agenda. If we follow their reasoning, José’s childish little rant could just as well have come out of Vladimir Putin’s mouth, in defence of Russia’s version of ‘democracy’. In fact old Vlad has produced tons of the same hubris filled doublespeak this very year. And therein lies the danger and why I for one will not tolerate this kind of rubbish any longer. The internet has given superficial claptrap like this way more power than it deserves, because the old quality-filter mechanisms and peer reviews of what gets printed, do not exist anymore. In one sense it has democratised the media, but in another it has lead to a dictatorship of the lowest common denominator. Just because one million people like or share something, does not mean that it is not false or distorted. At the core lies the modern condition of just swallowing whatever cheap prostituted media is thrown in front of you without contemplating its value first. Unfortunately our schools and universities are woefully inadequate in the preparation of critical thinking media consumers. A situation that is mostly due to the government-corporate hegemony that demands efficient technocrats and bureaucrats from the tertiary education production line, and not critical thinkers who challenge the status quo.
There is another scary psychological dimension to the viral drivel that swirls across social media, like noxious gases emanating from an iPhone factory in China. It would be a safe bet to assume that attaching the name of a multi-award winning actress such as Meryl Streep to the quote gave it a gravitas that the virtually unknown José could only dream of. A cynical observer (yes, I’m taking a big fat dump on one of the lines in the quote) may say that an unscrupulous or desperate individual may have attached her name to that end – to give it some gravitas. That of course would highlight the uncomfortable fact that our celebrity obsessed world gives more credence to who said or did something, than what they said or did. For example if Justin Bieber tipped a bucket of ice water over his head would you do so too? Oh right, my bad, that idiocy has already come and gone.
On a lighter note, my favourite brain-dead endorsement of the fake Meryl quote comes from a schmuck who writes for an online rag with the unfortunate moniker, Schmutzie. Said schmuck headlined his endorsement with the bizarre title: “This […] Quote Gets Added to the List of Things I Would Consider Tattooing On My Forehead.” I kid you the fuck not.
So there you have it. If ever you needed evidence that the biting satire of the movie Idiocracy was an ominously accurate prediction of what was to come, then the support for this turd soup of a quote is pretty much it. I for one will be exaggerating, comparing and criticising whatever or whoever I feel like, if only to differentiate myself from José and his zombie minions. And for that effort I have a world of patience.
Here are the dire words of the quote. Read at your own peril and leave a comment if you disagree with us; we love cheap entertainment at Reprobate.
“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”