Saturday, April 02, 2011

Exceptionalism


As long as I can remember, and long before that, people have been pushing products to magically reduce people's weight. They come in all sorts of forms--tapeworms, pills, exercise gizmos. They all swear they'll make weight loss easy and flawless while rattling off a list of quasi-technical jargon to validate their claims.

People must buy these things; otherwise, no one would keep making new ones. Do these consumers ever step back, look at the whole set of them, and think "hmm, if this last claim to easy weight loss didn't work out, is there any particular reason for this one to be different?" Other than catching up with the latest fads in marketing and design, the new varies little from the old.

Maybe, people think they'll be the exception this time. "Sure, that last weight loss drug was potentially lethal; this one, I doubt it." In fact, many people seem to think that almost all the time, and not just when contemplating which fat burner to buy. "If I speed, I'll get away with it because I'm special." Then, it's the cop's fault when they end up with a ticket.

Everyone lives in the best country in the world. They also practice the best religion in the world, which is different from all the others because it is theirs, and their religion must be right because all the other religions are wrong. After all, when they read from the Holy Book, they have tears in their eyes. That other Holy Book is a bunch of choppy, poorly-translated joke language. If it were a good religion, it would have been translated well into--or written originally in--their language, the best language.

Of course, because I'm aware that I'm not an exception, that makes me an exception and better than all the people who aren't exceptions. The smugness I feel is legitimate, unlike the smugness of all those other people, which is just unexceptional smugness.

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