A little bit of me time: the perfect music, movie, books and extra about narcisissm | Tradition

A little bit of me time: the perfect music, movie, books and extra about narcisissm | Tradition


Ben Stiller’s satire on the style business, Zoolander, is extra a satire about media and movie star typically – about folks deeply in love with themselves – and it’s a key textual content on fashionable narcissism. Stiller performs the “ridiculously handsome” mannequin Derek Zoolander, an empty-headed fool, neurotically obsessive about being toppled from his standing because the world’s No 1 runway mannequin by an up-and-comer, Hansel, performed by Owen Wilson. Derek has plans for an academic legacy undertaking, a Middle for Children Who Can’t Learn Good. However Derek’s masterpiece is his Blue Metal, the particular face he places on for the cameras, a form of intense, magnetic pouting stare. Blue Metal preceded social media by years however it’s the nice ancestor of the selfie craze that dominates Instagram and all the things else. After we gaze lovingly into our personal faces, framed by our smartphone screens, it’s Derek Zoolander wanting again at us. Peter Bradshaw


A little bit of me time: the perfect music, movie, books and extra about narcisissm | Tradition
Trying good … Caravaggio’s Narcissus, 1596. {Photograph}: Leemage/UIG/Getty Pictures

Caravaggio’s 1596 imagining of Narcissus is steeped in Renaissance literature nevertheless it has a queasy resonance for as we speak’s tradition of selfies and scrolling. This grasp of darkness and light-weight has positioned the gorgeous youth in a dismal summary void and his arms type a round body: his self-love is a jail of his personal making, a loop that may’t transfer on. Gentle falls with full power on his knee of all locations, recalling the proud penitents bent low with stones on their backs in Dante’s purgatory. The doomed boy seems to be away from the glow, into the black pool. It presages the waters of the Styx that can quickly carry Narcissus to the land of the useless, and into which he continued to stare. Skye Sherwin


Arguably her most interesting single thus far, Lily Allen’s The Concern, a takedown of movie star tradition and social media self-obsession, performs like one thing of an early predictor to the form of Instagram self-importance that has spawned a whole new “influencer” occupation. Lampooning the business and her personal reluctant function in it, the magic of The Concern is all in its supply: a gently insouciant melody that wouldn’t offend a giant model associate, rubbing up towards the Veruca Salt-obnoxiousness of her most damning couplets: “I need a number of garments and fuckloads of diamonds / I heard folks die whereas they’re looking for them.” Hardly ever since has chart-friendly pop satire been so capable of chuckle at itself. Jenessa Williams


The Picture of Dorian Gray and Three Stories (Signet Classics)

“If it had been I who was to be at all times younger, and the image that was to develop outdated! For that – for that – I’d give all the things!” says the titular hero of Oscar Wilde’s novel The Image of Dorian Grey. After all, he involves remorse this Faustian cut price. The image is ravaged by age and sin whereas Grey stays younger, however his conscience is harrowed. It’s a narrative so well-known that it’s even been pathologised. (Individuals with Dorian Grey syndrome undergo from excessive delight of their private look and associated difficulties in dealing with as much as the ageing course of.) However the enchantment of Wilde’s novel doesn’t simply lie in its ethical fable. There’s additionally the delight he takes in describing “this younger Adonis, who seems to be as if he was made out of ivory and rose-leaves”. After which there are the well-known witticisms. For those who’re questioning about studying this decadent basic don’t hesitate. In any case, as Wilde writes: “The one strategy to do away with a temptation is to yield to it.” Sam Jordison


Cecilie Fjellhoy, Ayleen Charlotte and Pernilla Sjöholm, victims of The Tinder Swindler.
Love prices … Cecilie Fjellhoy, Ayleen Charlotte and Pernilla Sjöholm, victims of The Tinder Swindler. {Photograph}: Joshua Wilks/Netflix

When Shimon Hayut modified his title to Simon Leviev in 2017, he sought to align himself with the dynasty of Lev Leviev, the Israeli diamond magnate nicknamed the King of Diamonds, even fraudulently claiming that he was Leviev’s son and inheritor. It’s a fantasy born out of an obsession with obscene wealth, which Simon Leviev appears to view as his divine proper to build up, no matter expertise or enterprise acumen. Within the documentary The Tinder Swindler, Leviev cons lovely ladies throughout Europe, charming them with the guarantees of luxurious, non-public jets and, the important thing ingredient, love, just for the ladies to seek out themselves footing the invoice with six-figure loans. On this true-crime documentary, love is uncovered as a harmful sport and, fuelled by delusion, self-importance and self-interest, Leviev performs to win. Jason Okundaye

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