Sorry for the blurry photo. My hand shook.
I just took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which is a famous personality test that sorts everybody into sixteen different types. The results were interesting. I got INFJ (introversion, intuition, feeling, judging), which is the rarest type, and describes less than 1% of the population. (I’m special!) Famous INFJs include MLK (awesome!), Jimmy Carter (great humanitarian, unfairly maligned president), Mother Teresa (actually, I have issues with her), Mel Gibson (um…), and Wilson from House. I’m still not sure why that surprised me so much. I’ve been compared to House before, but not Wilson. Wilson, for those who’ve never watched the show, is the eponymous doctor’s best/only friend. He is nowhere near as manipulative or showy as his friend, but has a keen insight into the way that people tick and, in one of my favorite moments, he finds a clever way of getting revenge on House for playing pranks on him that proves that he is, in his own way, quite brilliant.
You would of course be a fool to think that a simple personality test can tell you who a person is, but much like a magazine profile, they can tell you how and what they are, to an extent. I’ve often said that a lot of people these days are worried about privacy, and just what it says about our society that we live so much of our lives on social media. I think it says that we are not so very different from people in any age before ours. Most of us like attention, but we like having some degree of control over it. There is a reason that people post pictures of them with their significant others at the beach on Facebook, but spare everyone the details of the argument they had in the car on the way over (and, for that matter, the makeup sex later that day, unless you want to put it on Xtube). Seriously, who wants to see that? (The fighting, not the sex. Everybody wants to see the sex.) If you get engaged or break up, I’m all ears, to offer congratulations in the case of the former and consolation in the case of the latter. Everything in between is between the two of you.
I’ve been thinking lately about, of all things, the 2012 presidential election. Mitt Romney, in my mind, is proof positive that money actually can buy you love and happiness, and he said as much. But there is something that money can’t buy, and that’s respect. I don’t know how happy Barack Obama is. He seems to like his wife and daughters, and I certainly hope that by now, he has a deep enough understanding of this country’s mood swings to know that he can, in fact, weather the political storm in Washington and possibly see this nation through to a brighter day. You have to give him credit. Whether or not you like him as a politician or a human being (and I do, on both counts), you have to admit that he has accomplished a great deal in his lifetime. Even his opponents seem to have a grudging admiration for him. I don’t have much respect for Mitt Romney, but so what? It looks to me like he is enjoying his life with his wife, kids, and grandkids, and good for him. Losing the election doesn’t seem to have broken his spirit, but then again, he never had one to begin with.
I have never made any secret of my hatred for Ayn Rand. I despise that woman with a passion normally reserved for child molesters and people who talk at the theater, and it’s not because I think that her idiotic “philosophy” doesn’t work except as a masturbatory thought experiment, because it totally does. No, her problem is that Galt’s Gulch/Rapture could never actually exist because you’d still need somebody to mop the floors and serve drinks, and you never know when one of those people will have a brilliant idea that will change the world. The barrier between the geniuses and the plebeians must be a permeable one, or the geniuses are just a bunch of pompous douchebags who want to believe that 47% of the country is just lazy and entitled. Steve Jobs wasn’t a visionary because he gave off a warm glow everywhere he walked. His shit stank too, but he had an idea (many, really), he worked hard to put it into practice, and a lot of people benefited. Bill Gates revolutionized the computer industry, for better or for worse, then turned around and decided to give back by becoming a full-time philanthropist. If Ayn Rand had offered them a spot in her exclusive community of job creators, I suspect both of them would have told her to cram it up her ass. Maybe I’m just projecting, but then again, maybe not.
It’s getting time to wrap this up here, so I’ll conclude by saying that there is a passage in the Bible that I could never quite wrap my head around until recently. In Matthew 19:21, Jesus tells a man who has just asked him how he can achieve salvation, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” If you don’t read carefully, Jesus can sound like a FOX News parody of an Occupy protester, but all he’s really saying is that if you want to find yourself, get lost. Stop trying to force people to act the way you want them to and accept that people do what people do, and that if you want their love, support, and yes, respect, you have to first show that you can live without it. You don’t need money to be happy. But it certainly helps.
Speaking of which, I want a private island. And I’ll keep whining until I get it. Don’t blame me, it’s in my nature.