I've been thinking recently about how it's possible for a certain person I know to suck so wholly and with such great magnitude. He's not an angry man, nor particularly difficult, yet in douche bagary he's off the charts. His day from beginning to end seems to revolve around asserting himself as the alpha male, and all around jackass.
He couldn't always have been like this. To get to his station he must have been hard working and thinking at one stage. How is it that with some people age brings them a cautious wisdom (or at least the craggy looks that would suggest such), and some just become asses? I have a theory that in his youth, insecurities acted as a filter blocking some of his more douchie behavior as well as his weaker, hack thoughts. When he concocted some ridiculous thought, nerves caused him to second guess himself and delayed him from acting. With some reflection, he may have been able to see the error of his idea and move on to something else. His brain may have imposed its own natural selection of terrible ideas until finally he stumbled on a reasonable one.
Now he's old and in a position of power. He's accustom to positive feedback and he's internalized it. He's conquered the insecurities of youth and gained confidence. Ideally, this is a good thing--certainly it's a nicer way to live for him--but there are no longer any mental evolution. Thoughts akin to giraffes with short necks or large stupid flightless birds are proliferating. We're in an ice age. We can't have a quagga in charge.
I should note that if this theory is in any way true, then insecurities although not pleasant are actually a good thing. Some of the smartest people I know detest themselves. Think of the converse. Take comedians like Eddie Murphy who start off good and tormented, and then grew old and made fat suit movies. Take rock stars. There was a moment in the late 1980s documented in the Raddle and Rum album/tour movie where Bono added the lyrics "all I have is a red guitar, three cords, and the truth," to the already mediocre, All Along the Watchtown. Could one find a better way to announce a complete loss of self awareness?