pacifier photo by Jenna
Every now and then Morquendi gets a little frothy around the mouth and I have to wipe the blog down. Conventional argument doesn’t work because it’s like talking to a petulant child. Morquendi will make a point and simply repeat it over and over, getting more and more angry over time. He’s devoted to a simplistic world-view and actively hostile to research and statistics. As such, he can’t really react to contrary arguments with facts or reason (because he doesn’t believe in them). His only source is his personal experience, so any criticism of his firmly held opinions ends up getting taken personally. Sometimes he’ll say weird shit about my family or character, but it makes sense within his immature world-view. If your only source is yourself, argument is pretty much impossible without conceding personal failure. In that way, Morquendi can only react with anger and bile when he’s threatened.
Itâ€™s sad that the only way you can visually interpret openness is by showing a woman in the process of taking her clothes off. You never cease to surprise me with the depths to which you are willing to sink and your ability to express your inability to articulate yourself in the visual medium.
This is the crux of his criticism of my cover. Note that it’s primarily personal – he’s offended by my ‘ability to express my inability to articulate myself in the visual medium’. The criticism isn’t necesssarily of the cover, it’s that he simply doesn’t like me much. Like a child who sees the world devoid of nuance, Morq immediately files me into a category he doesn’t like. In his simple view, capitalism is evil in and of itself. He divides the world pretty cleanly into aggressor/victim. In that context a statement like,
Youâ€™re just an advertising and marketing guy and youâ€™re doing youâ€™re job, which is trying to sell a magazine. But you have no idea about the whole business of operating a magazine from the â€˜mediaâ€™ point of view. You do not know your responsibilities and your dutiesâ€¦but then, they didnâ€™t teach you that in Capitalist U did they? (Covergirl)
… is reasonable. The fact that I’ve never worked in marketing or advertising isn’t even relevant. Advertising and marketing are part of Capitalism, which is an agressor, and hence de facto bad. There’s no need for nuance or depth because everything fits into the simple world view. There’s actually no point or argument in there, but since Capitalism is de facto bad, it’s not even necessary. In Morquendi’s world saying that I’m involved in advertising or marketing is like saying that I have brain damage – it should end my credibility. Any further debate just gets him angry cause people don’t ‘get it’.
It takes children a while to develop ‘Theory of Mind‘, that is, the knowledge that other people can have different perceptions. For those without Theory of Mind (like Autistics) the response to information which contradicts their framework is very distressing and emotional. In the same way, Morquendi responds to the boogieman of Capitalism with anger. He’s got a simple world-view and he’s sticking with it.
In Piaget’s stages of development, children first respond emotionally and instinctively to stimuli, then the enter stages where they begin to think more abstractly and symbolically. The Lost Boy, however still believes that everything he needs to know is in front of his nose:
You can talk about models and statistics and Marxism and Capitalism and lots of other things but you really have no clue about Sri Lanka or Sri Lankans or how things work here. I forgive you because youâ€™ve never had the opportunity to get to know the â€˜systemâ€™ here. For all of us here itâ€™s a lived experience. We have grown up with the system and have a instinctive understanding of what means what. (Cold War Battle)
However, simply being born in Sri Lanka isn’t enough qualification for Morquendi. His simplistic view of the world as Aggressor/Victim requires a particular perspective.
all of you are generally unaware of the fact that a Sri Lanka exists outside of Colombo. I’m the one who’s the black sheep.
Not only is there one simple world-view, it happens to be contained within one particular boy. As he’s still stuck in the world of personal experience, he rejects any abstract or symbolic information that contradicts his world view.
Chandare? You Googled for this information? (LTTE Kills Kadirgamar, italics in original)
I will not refer to foreign systems where certain things have worked. This is a Sri Lankan problem. We can look at other models but all states are inherently different in the same way all people are inherently different from each other and something that worked somewhere else under completely different social, cultural, economic and political conditions will not work in Sri Lanka…
If someone thinks this is a weakness then I say that they do what they do (quoting and referring) because they do not know the system here, and have no understanding of how things work here. However much you have read about a country, however much you have studied it, as long as it’s systems are not a lived experience for you, you will not be able to comment on their workings as anything but an outsider. A word from an outsider is good. But one word from someone for whom the system is a lived experince is better than the 10,000 word thesis of an observer. (My Last Word)
In fact, Morquendi displays a complete inability to view information outside of a personal and egocentric context.
Sorry. I don’t have slanted facts and stats. I don’t have a parent who was an integral part of the push for WB-proposed reforms in the education system a few years ago, and as a result of that has a very academic understanding of the issue and all the data and stats needed to counter people like me… If you speak to anyone in the NGO/Research/Data-Gatherer-for-hire sector they will tell you exactly how they slant the info so that their client gets what the client wants. (My Last Word)
In this case his response to contradictary data was to attack my mother and researchers in general. They are all personal criticisms, which don’t rise to the level of abstract thinking. In his attack on my cover he again abandoned reason and abstract thinking and got personal ASAP:
Considering the depths to which Iâ€™ve seen you sink, I wouldnâ€™t actually be surprised if you put one of your sisters half naked picture up on the next cover (Covergirl)
Since your head seems to way up your capitalist ass, pull a video camera from somewhere there, shoot a family porn flick, put it online, make a lot of money, shut up and retire. No more running a stupid magazine and no more morquendi giving you a hard time (Covergirl)
Because he simply won’t handle abstract thought, he quickly resorts to attacking me, my parents, and my sisters. They are very base and crude arguments, like those of a spoilt child. Morquendi completely rejects research, scholarship, and reason because – like a child – his personal experience all he needs. This leads to one personal problem however, what do you do when people or facts contradict your simple, egocentric views?
One of the problems that kids have with their simple, egocentric views is that they are quite often wrong. There is no tooth fairy, your parents are human, and candy rots your teeth. If information doesn’t fit a child’s framework that have to reach an equilibrium (in Piaget’s terms). That means they either change their framework, or react emotionally. The Lost Boy, while developmentally handicapped, is too old to actually change his framework. This means that in the course of a debate you can throw any amount of facts and he won’t blink or assimilate any new information. He just gets angrier and angrier.
His first reaction to my cover was to express hostile suprise at ‘your ability to express your inability to articulate yourself in the visual medium’. That quickly progresses to
If you donâ€™t mind being a cheap imitationâ€¦
youâ€™re just a big fat hack
and finally degenerates too,
Since your head seems to way up your capitalist ass, pull a video camera from somewhere there, shoot a family porn flick, put it online, make a lot of money, shut up and retire. No more running a stupid magazine and no more morquendi giving you a hard time.
If this was a playground the next stage would be Morquendi throwing sand, dropping his boo-boo and running away crying. Never met the man, but based on his comments, Morquendi is developmentally retarded. He has a simplistic world-view, little Theory of Mind (empathy), and is childishly egocentric. The Lost Boy can’t control his emotion and has to lash out, getting more and more angry as reality contradicts his simple schemata. I’m sure he’s a nice fellow and maybe even a functional adult. Online he’s a bit of a baby.