Narcissist. The insult just rolls off the tongue. Whether directed at the self-involved “frenemy,” crazy ex-boyfriend, or social-media show-off, the epithet seems to be the perfect catch-all for the assholes we encounter on a daily basis.
It’s so commonplace one wonders if we’re on the verge of a national reckoning — perhaps a truth and reconciliation for all the narcissists in our lives. But in a country like the U.S., so universally oriented around individual liberty and personal expression, the label can start to feel meaningless.
For one thing, we tend to overuse it. But more importantly, though we criticize…
First, thanks to everyone who took the time to read my earlier article: ‘Has Travel Become Another Exercise in Narcissism?’
I really wasn’t expecting it to get much mileage, but it certainly seems to have hit a nerve. Many people enjoyed the piece, saying it gave voice to a niggle they’d experienced themselves. Others were less complimentary, branding me, among other things, a “misanthrope”, an “arrogant prick”, a “pretentious douchebag” and (this particularly indignant reader was good enough to email me directly) an “abhorrent, exclusive, travel hipster”.
The piece, I’ll admit, was far from perfect. The first time I’ve ever…
“Travel yourself interesting…”
The concept invaded my consciousness as only an insidious radio advert can.
I was on a South London bus, headphones firmly implanted to drown out the school-kids’ Friday morning hullabaloo, when amongst the usual litany of shouty commercials came the sound of waves and seagulls.
A soothing voiceover inquired: “Why be Andy Nuttall when you can be…” and suddenly there arose the voice of Andy himself, assaulting my eardrums in a strangled underwater scream that proclaimed his name in affirmatory joy: “…A-N-D-Y N-U-T-T-A-L-L?!?”
Then came that slogan…