THE BLOG
06/26/2015 02:53 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

You Can't Control Your Hand Unless You Stack the Deck

2015-06-25-1435245573-6203769-41VIMwrZYUL._AA160_.jpg

Self-hatred fuels the black hole of longing. Can we postulate a law of emotional thermodynamics in which lack of self esteem is inversely proportional to the degree of neck pain one experiences from turning one's head every which way but straight ahead? Conversely can we hypothesize that the degree of self worth one experiences is directly proportional to the ability to want what one has? This is not to say that desire and particularly the desire for change are paraphilias. But there is a qualitative difference between the kind of self-loathing that fuels wishes for usually impossible attainments and the kind of hopefulness that immigrants and refugees experience when they come to a place which offers them freedoms and potentialities that they've never experienced before. There's a difference between being motivated by ambition and imagination and a mere despising of life itself. This later form of desperation rarely brings the kind of results you think you're looking for since it's like a disease that actually curses anything or anyone who is unfortunate enough to come in its path. You don't want to fall in love with a self-hater who thinks you're the answer since eventually he or she will hate you. They think they want things, but it's dispossession not possession that they're after. Next time you're in St Tropez go down to one of the beaches with all the topless lovelies. You will inevitably find a number of scowling male tourists, wearing neck braces and cursing the bad hand they've been dealt.

{This was originally submitted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}