Look At Me Look At You Or The Power of Attention

The attention trick.  It's the oldest trick in the book.  Keeping attention is the name of the game, unless you haven't noticed all the pretty people in Hollywood hogging up all that attention we all want.  No wonder so many people hate Hollywood.  Imagine a world full of people desperate for attention hating everyone and everything that is taking it from them.  Well, lucky you, you don't have to!  You're living there!

Our attention seeking comes from our early childhood instincts.  If you were in your crib and no one was paying attention to you, you would get very hungry.  Since hunger equates to death for the infant, people become attention addicts later who didn't get enough attention when they were children.  Women, men, even cats, everyone wants attention.  When people don't get enough or when they notice someone getting more than them, the mega dramafest ensues to make sure the attention is back on them.

Think about it.  Every game of power and every game of money is about getting and keeping someone else's attention so as to get them to either give you something you need, want, or to keep your busy bee ego's control trip running for another lap.  Does this dress make me look fat?  Who gives a damn.  You only said it because you want it to be about you.  Yes dear, you look like a cow in a miniskirt.  You see?  The real masters of attention know how to game the system.  You might get slapped, but you'll be in control.

This strategy is for the bold.  For you more pleasing people who simply must please the attention starved control freak, God help you.  There is no pleasing these people.  Do you know why?  Because they are all bullshit artists.  No one can please an artist, least of all another artist.  And a bullshit artist?  Not a chance.  I could spell it out for those of you who are a bit slow; people are people, and most people are attention starved children stuck in adult bodies.  Can you reason with a child that wants attention.  No.  You must either give them attention or watch them throw a tantrum.  So then, let the tantrums commence.

Why is attention control?  Because we all want it deep inside.  Can you control attention?  Yes, by not giving it.  But can you get attention by not giving it?  No.  In any war of attention, the winning party will be the one who can successfully outshine the other one.  Notice all those singers out there who have managed to succeed grabbing attention by outshining their competitors.  Clever, clever.  A few of us are on to you.

Being pretty helps.  The young tend to get more attention than the old, so the old evened the score by creating a financial system that put them in charge of the money that the young people need to pay the old people for the right to utilize their property.  Even more clever.  Don't mess with grandma.

But once you know the game, you can turn the tables.  The underdogs always have the right to whine and demand!  It's almost a wonderful thing.  Can you imagine all the dispossessed whining in unison: look at us, this is what we want!  It's a thing not to be underestimated.  That's why the media rarely covers protests.  In our media controlled world, attention must be maintained on selling the products that the fatcats have deemed most essential.  That is so the attention stays on them and what they want.  Cleverer still.

But the game's not over!  The power of attention should never be underestimated.  Look around you there are people everywhere.  And they all want the same thing.  Give me, give me!  Love me tender.  Such is the way of the world.  Billions of hearts all yearning for the hearts and minds of others.  Can you feel it?  It's real.

The blessing in all this is that "we are the one's we have been looking for".  You've heard it before.  And this is what it's all about.  And, all other things being equal, you should never just tell your brother or sister "no" if all he or she asks you for is your attention, right?  It's one of those unwritten rules.  I'd call it the unwritten rule of demand.  Jesus talks about this when he says "Which of you fathers, if your son asks forf a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”  You see, all you have to do is ask.  The rule of demand states that no one can refuse the request of an innocent.  If you do refuse the request of an innocent, then you are in violation of God's law, and thus guilty of idolatry and deception.  You are misrepresenting yourself essentially.  Even if you believe you are a "simple human", false humility is nothing more than the ultimate hypocrisy if used to justify the denial of a just demand.  Though if you're tired you're temporarily excused.

Since everyone wants attention, knowing this unwritten law gives someone a slight edge.  Now I don't recommend you run out and use that argument against someone in the manner I have just presented.  The reason is that you don't need to.  Just by knowing the situation you enter into the state of having the advantage.  All argument occurs from a position of weakness unless it is done in the settings of a debate or to define positions when a discussion of definitions begins.  So only argue when it is necessary.  

We have established the grounds of the game with the idea that attention is what everyone wants.  We have established that attention is what everyone is fighting over.  We have also established that to get attention it is usually necessary to be dramatic, but not always.  Once attention is gotten, the next stage of the game begins.

Invalidation Train

Free speech is in theory a great concept.  Everyone has the right to say what they want.  But in practice the vast majority of us censor ourselves.  We have been taught to invalidate our feelings and thoughts.  Why?  Because others find our feelings inconvenient to them and what they think we need to be according to their understanding of what that is.  Our parents are the primary responsible party here.  Our teachers are the second.

How often have I heard it.  Snake oil "advice" crawling down my consciousness like so much toxic manipulative goo.  We know how to "fix" you.  You need to be more like us!  Interestingly none of the people who ever gave me advice ever managed to become millionaires.  Everyone and their gardener has an opinion of what we should be doing.  Oddly enough it is always the same litany of poor choices that they themselves made in life!

Invalidation is the process by which we are stripped of the confidence to make our own decisions by an army of well-wishers pretending to uplift us.  It is a lie wrapped in fakeness hiding the black and nasty hidden truth that in the eyes of these well-wishers we cannot be trusted to run our own lives.  Do you see how this empowers them and disempowers you?  Clever isn't it?  But not so nice at all.

The most sinister twist in all this is that we do it to ourselves!  We hand these "do-gooder" wolf in sheep's clothing liars and thieves the rope they use to hang us.  We allow their opinions to have validity.  I've seen it time and time again in my life.  But, I've had enough.  Today, someone crossed my line, and I perceived for the first time how really annoyed I was at being invalidated.  I tasted the injustice of being told I didn't have right to make my own decisions about something very close to my heart, my own line of work!  I was told I was wrong about the choice of the tools I use to practice.  Yet these very tools are only useful if they are personally meaningful.  Why should I give a damn what was said?  Because it ruined my sense of tranquility, or rather by my inner process I allowed it to.

Was my choice in some way threatening to this person in question?  If so, how?  Was it a reminder to them of how invalidated they have been in their lives?  Am I only experiencing their internal invalidation of themselves projected onto me?  Is that why I felt so personally effected?  If I was paid, would that have made up for the invalidation?  Or is that just me invalidating my choice by saying my choice is for sale.  But my choice is not for sale this time.  My choice here is worth more to be than any amount of money, because I will not be invalidated by manipulation, bullying, or other bullshit.

I feel sad and disgusted by this.  And I didn't deserve it.  After all the time it took for me to be confident enough to make my choice, for this one choice to be invalidated was to me utterly disrespectful of the effort it took to get to the point where I knew it was the correct choice.  I even used the tools correctly, and I was still invalidated in my use of them by this person.  My approach was rejected.  My mood wasn't so great today to deal with this type of crap as I hadn't slept well either.

What to do.  Keep using my tools obviously.  I like them.  I choose them.  They are mine.  And they serve me well because they are mine.  I am owed an apology as well.  The worst vice is advice.