Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thoughts on self-deprecation and suchlike

Self-deprecation is often quite misconstrued as a desirable quality that comes entirely out of unreserved humility. But, some discerning souls do see through it.

Chenthil, while talking about his very commendable attempt to write like this blogger (who incidentally can’t write for nuts) to showcase his ghost-blogging skills, had told me this:
Chenthil: I had to try hard to get that self deprecation (a superior form of snobbery)
: hmmm.. [1]
Over Google Talk. Underlining the key content and adding pointer(s) to footnote(s) by yours truly.

Indeed! That was quite a neat, insightful, little take on a writing style usually left behind for flippant remarks. That got me thinking on what makes one bring in self-deprecation in one’s writing.

Yes, it’s certainly snobbery, a show of soft arrogance, soft enough to conceal it lest somebody see through it. In short, an act of sneering.

But, one sneers at self. And, that, one does, because one genuinely doubts oneself. And, when one doubts oneself, and very genuinely at that, it’s a sheer dilemma - or even worse, a totally tilted I-see-through-this-crap feeling - that makes one express one’s apprehension about the quality, or rather the lack of it, in what one’s writing.

It’s pretentious, of course. But, like in any other case of pretense, it’s not entirely that. And, nobody, including the sneerer himself, knows whether the sneer was befitting or overdone or plain boring patronization over oneself.

Taking a specific example, albeit quite a bad one, let me see why I bother to crack an arbitrary (bad) joke about my non-existent writing skills, time and again. Because, like Kierkegaard would have put when in deep slumber or deeper inebriation, I doubt myself!

To cut the long story short, snobs are basically very nice people, I tell you, especially if their EQ ranges from 5.7 to 5.9.

[1] - What else could one do at such moments but just “hmmm”?


  1. Lot of truth to that. Every action I do has something to do with masturabing my ego, condescending and sneering upon lesser mortals. Now, I have succeeded in not seeing thru my crap shield anymore.

  2. "I wouldn't belong to any club that would have ME as a member" - Groucho Marx, later Woody Allen.