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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Julius Malema is the “Lady Gaga” of South African politics

Image created by me, freely hosted on Turbo Image Host

Lady Gaga has said herself that she craves attention and cannot live without it, and from watching her antics and the way she dresses, we can see that she believes that the only way for her to get attention, is to be “waaaayyyy out theeerrre,” and to be controversial. The funny thing is, she could have become a respectable artist without the antics, based on the merits of her voice alone! But, because she has not matured in life to becoming a proper adult, she continues to crave attention, just like a child does!

Of course, here in South Africa, we have the equivalent of Lady Gaga in Julius Malema! Just in the political scene. Should we call him Julius Gaga, or Lady Malema? If it were not for Malema’s outrageous statements and claims, he would not have had a fraction of the attention that he is getting currently. For Malema, if it isn’t going to be controversial, it is not worth saying anything about it, according to how Lady Malema thinks.

Malema thrives on attention, and in my opinion, he falls in the same category as Lady Gaga. Although he is physically an adult, he has not matured mentally or sociologically to becoming an adult, and continues to crave attention like a 10-year old girl. And, the only way he can get the attention he so desperately desires, he acts and says things that are controversial. That is why he calls for nationalization of mines, banks, water, oxygen, dogs, cats, or anything that a human could possibly put his hands on. That is why he continues to make racist comments like this one about Indians in South Africa. It is also why he continues his racist antics, wanting to sing songs such as “Shoot the Boer!” Just recently, in his attention seeking, he went as far as saying that he is being persecuted for telling the truth. Of course, it has nothing to do with his continuous racists remarks and his all-round disrespect for anybody within his own party (and anybody else) that disagrees with him! Then he has the audacity to demand that people treat him like Nelson Mandela!

The funny thing is, it seems like both Lady Gaga (or as I like to say: “Lady Gagga” – with an Afrikaans pronunciation) and Julius Malema have the classic diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). To qualify for NPD, at least five of the following criteria need to be present in a personality:

1. a grandiose sense of self-importance
2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3. believes that he or she is "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
4. requires excessive admiration
5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e. unreasonable expectations of especially favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e. takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
7. lacks empathy and is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes

As explained here, narcissists (who in my opinion are simply psychologically and socially immature)

“react angrily to criticism and when rejected, the narcissist will often denounce the profession which has rejected them (usually for lack of competence or misdeed) but simultaneously and paradoxically represent themselves as belonging to the profession they are vilifying.”

They also have a fragile sense of self-esteem,

“a need for constant attention and admiration, fishing for compliments (often with great charm), an expectation of superior entitlement, expecting others to defer to them, and a lack of sensitivity especially when others do not react in the expected manner, are also hallmarks of the disorder.”

This truly seems to describe Malema very well.

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