Tales Of The Dysphoric Ego

I cast myself in the role of the embittered and resentful ego and straight away I took it upon myself to learn my lines. Soon I had them off pat, soon I had it down to a fine art. Wow this is great, I said to myself, I’m ready to go – I’ll win an Oscar for this, you see if I don’t! I had cast myself in the role of the dysphoria ego and the play was about to begin. This is easy, I told myself, I’ll soon get the hang of this you see if I don’t. Needless to say the role ran away with me in no time at all, but that’s a story for another day, as they say! That’s a story for another day….


I started off my novel by writing about all the happy consumers who were happy because they were consuming the product and the product was so great. Some people were consuming 7-Up and others were consuming Coca-Cola. Some people were drinking Coors Lite and others were smoking Peter Stuyvesant Super Kings. I was doing a sociological analysis – I was in ethnographic research mode and I was keeping a low profile. The whole point was to blend in and not draw any attention to myself – otherwise this would distort the findings. Publicity always distorts the findings! I was doing research on myself and already I had learned a lot. I was uncovering evidence of some sort of plot, some sort of worldwide conspiracy that was being carried out by the ruling elite.


Any sociologist worth their salt would soon tell you that the product society promotes is not the product as such (which is to say, 7-Up or Levi’s jeans or Kentucky Fried Chicken) but the idea or image of the happy consumers consuming the product, whatever that product might happen to be. The product itself is irrelevant! Any sociologist will tell you that. The consumers aren’t consuming the product therefore, they are the product! They are the product that all the adverts are trying to sell. The consumers are consuming themselves and the product is selling itself and so everything goes around in a very neat circle! It just goes round and around. There’s no need for me to point out to you what an ingenious system this is – the product is the consumer consuming the product and the product is selling itself to itself. Or am I getting confused here? Am I representing this correctly, or am I missing something? Am I asking the wrong questions? Is my data-set skewed?


I was busy consuming the product – I was doing ethnographic research. I was the product and I was consuming myself. I was the 7-Up, or at least I was part of the promotion for the 7-Up. I wasn’t so much selling myself as the lifestyle package that I bought into it, but there was – at this stage – nothing left to me other than the lifestyle package. The product always replaces the person, after all. The person is the product. I was starring in my very own commercial, hungry for all the publicity I could get. The only thing missing was spiritual enlightenment but that’s as easily available as 7-Up or Coors Lite these days. Sometimes I get confused and I imagine that it’s all the same thing! Everyone and his uncle have their own patented brand of spiritual enlightenment to sell these days. Life has never been easier. I’m shopping for the best me I can be in the Online Supermarket of Modern Life. ‘Why settle for anything else?’ I asked myself ingeniously, ‘amn’t I starring in my very own commercial, after all?’


I will win an Oscar for this one for sure, I tell myself. You see if I don’t! It’s as good as in the bag. It is in the bag! I marvel at my own splendid virtuosity – surely, I think to myself proudly, surely no one has ever played the part of the dysphoric ego as well as I have! I have got dysphoria down to a fine art at this stage, I really have… Surely no one has ever thrown themselves into the role as wholeheartedly as I have! Surely they haven’t, I say to myself, surely they haven’t…





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