Too Much

From the San Francisco Chronicle — finally, someone’s said it: Too Much Positive Reinforcement

“… Like everyone from Paris Hilton, whose attorneys confidently announced in the middle of her sex-tape fiasco that “Hilton is a model and actress (and) is at the beginning of what she had hoped would be a long and prosperous career,” to President Bush, who wears his below-average credentials like a badge of honor, Rea was suffering from what one might call Too Much Positive Reinforcement: the belief, against all available evidence, that one is meant for special things.

“TMPR has now reached epidemic proportions. How else to explain the legions of the talent-free who wait in line for days for a chance to show their stuff [on American Idol] — then are stunned to be told they don’t make the grade? After decades of upper-middle-class parenting designed to shield Junior from all possible failure, and from any honest judgment of his talents, it’s no wonder we need television shows like “American Idol” and its fellow showcase for TMPR victims, “The Apprentice.” These shows are delivering the spanking — sorry, the time-out — that our culture of bloated self- evaluation is subconsciously craving. Their success signals that we may be reaching the end of a long national delusion. There is simply not room enough at the top these days for everyone raised to believe they belong there — and, deep down, we all know it. …”

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