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Chris and his Ego
—Chris, Mailbag 10 (Rejected)
—Luke 14:11 (English Revised Version), really hitting the nail on the head
- 1 Origins
- 2 Narcissistic personality disorder
- 3 Manifestations
- 4 War against the ego
- 5 Examples of Chris's ego in the real world and in the comic
- 6 References
Why is Chris such an egotist? In his sheltered childhood, his enabling parents taught him to shift blame for all of his troubles to other people. A sense of entitlement, again home-grown, skewed his perception of the proportionality between his problems and those of other people. Chris doesn't completely lack empathy; he isn't a sociopath, but the internal 'scale' by which he weighs the importance of himself against others tilts far in his favor. The problem was compounded by his autism, making it difficult for him to understand social cues and relate normally to his peers. He grew up in a different world.
But that explains why Chris was an egotist, struggled with egotism, or has tendencies towards egotism. While Chris's childhood was less than ideal, it shouldn't have been quite so crippling. Time and experience should have helped temper his ego, but Chris's development appears to have completely stopped altogether. Chris is still an egotist because he lives in a social time capsule that has allowed him to carry on for the better part of a decade without a single life lesson. And he still lives in that time capsule because it is easy, it is comfortable, and people let him.
—Chris, Mumble 3
Chris's parents are enablers par excellence. There is no earthly reason why (barring unrelated catastrophes) a thirty-year-old man with autism should live at home with his parents, especially when his autism is as "high functioning" as Chris's activity and his documentation exemplify it to be. Adults with far more crippling mental health problems, from emotional disorders to mental retardation, live far more independently than Chris does.
For children like Chris, public school special education is generally geared toward helping the child understand how their disorder affects their lives, and what strategies they can use to minimize its impact. This is a well-documented and well-supported strategy, but it relies on "buy-in." Chris's parents clearly never bought into these strategies, because they never fostered any interest in instilling any form of independence in Chris, thus undermining the entire regimen of special education and ending up with a man-child with entitlement issues.
- Main article: Chris and money
—Chris, taking pride in being a lazy fuck.
Chris receives welfare from the government; a "monthly tugboat" as he calls it. Although intended for people who were unable to work, Chris continues to abuse the welfare system because he is simply unwilling to work on anything except mass debating, playing Video games, and stalking young women.
Regardless of whether Chris is abusing the welfare system, his parents are abusing it through him, or the system itself is flawed, the fact remains that the monthly tugboat that he receives is a major factor in making Chris's lifestyle—and thus his world view—sustainable.
Blind luck and the cherry picking fallacy
Consider that Chris has produced a huge volume of fan mail, letters-to-the-editor, Internet commentary, and other drivel. Each letter to Nintendo is a message in a bottle: most of them never return, but the one that does—on an official letterhead, and addressed to Mr. C. W. Chandler—is confirmation of his celebrity.
| Yeah...it says here that, uh, yeah...they—th—it goes on to say that:
Now, uh, here's the interesting part...where they quote about how I can actually...go further about ch—about them changing their minds and actually accepting the idea and helping me, uh, makin' it—makin' it totally real...with the video games and the TV animations and the action figures, and...officially-released—my personally-approved... medals... [...] they say that, uh, the best way to let other fans know about my idea or to generate hype about the future game I'd like to see is to post the ideas to the forums on their sites.
The concept of form letters does not seem to occur to Chris, who seems to think the letter was written specifically for him. As if Chris didn't think his material was golden to begin with, he got a second nod from Nintendo Power for his epic Animal Crossing Documentary, and a page in PVCC's Forum as icing on the cake. Even before his e-fame, Chris had plenty of evidence to convince himself that he was creative, and not just a high-volume, whiny jerk that had pestered his way to acknowledgement. As he graduated from PVCC in 2006, his writing shows that Sonichu was, in his mind, already tested: there was just some small threshold of notoriety or connections that needed to be breached, in order to become a true media sensation.
On top of that, Chris has a huge amount of free time to inject himself into situations like the McIntire Park meetings, which allows him to cherry-pick more moments of recognition. A tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement by the local council seems cute to us, but is serious business to him. And since Chris cherry-picks only the reinforcement that he wants, his legions of trolls just add to the fire. Delusion has led him to believe that he has a legion of fans; a few hundred emails in his inbox confirm it.
Narcissistic personality disorder
It's entirely possible however, that Chris suffers from Narcissistic personality disorder, whose diagnosis criteria detail many of the characteristics that Chris exhibits.
| The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fourth edition, DSM IV-TR, a widely used manual for diagnosing mental disorders, defines narcissistic personality disorder (in Axis II Cluster B) as:
A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
4. requires excessive admiration
As you can see, these criteria describe Chris, right down to the sense of entitlement. Then again, many of the symptoms described match a typical diagnosis of autism. He may have both. Further reading is required to confirm the difference.
Chris's egotism manifests itself in many ways.
—-Chris, Mailbag 48
As overwhelming as Chris's unwarranted self-importance is, it's easy for the novice observer to get lost in the sea of Sonichu shit and assume that he's just confident in his e-fame. "Of course," you say, "he's got a billion hits on YouTube and a thousand emails in his mailbox. He's going to think he's hot shit, like every other retard on the internet."
| Mary, I've slept on it, and I have realized that note-hanging is not the way to get attention. And I don't really want to meet with either you nor Susan, no offense. I'll tell you what, let's forget the meeting, and if you will allow my newsletter to stay in distribution, I will do all of the following:
Please reply via E-Mail.
E-fame just adds a whole new dimension. He was a misunderstood genius before; now he's a misunderstood genius with a personal army:
—Chris, THAT IS MY HOUSE
It's so bad now that when Chris meets someone new who claims not to know who he is, he seems skeptical and surprised.
—Chris, in his second YouTube video
The instant-gratification, instant-acknowledgment, and instant-attention—good or bad—that has come with his minor e-fame of the last few years has thoroughly convinced Chris that people do read everything he writes, and that his YouTube messages invariably get to his target audience.
He also describes himself as "managing the varsity team" in high school, when actually he was waterboy.
Chris has a lot of problems, and even the ones he "takes responsibility for" are still out of his hands. His school was mean to him, he didn't deserve that F in English or the one in CADD, and he doesn't deserve the 24/7 trolling, among other things.
And if that wasn't enough, he thinks every authority figure in the land is conspiring against his Love Quest:
—Chris, on his Wikipedia userpage
—Chris, THAT IS MY HOUSE
After the release of May 8 video in which Chris blames the Greene County's school board for pretty much every misfortune in life (from being banned from The GAMe PLACe, to being the social outcast we all know and hate) thereby cementing the notion that Chris will never take responsibility for his actions. The only time Chris had actually stepped up and admitted responsibility was the accidental formatting of his PS3.
Chris's simple-mindedness and gullibility are legendary. Like George W. Bush, he only deals in absolutes: either you're with him or you're against him. This has been very obvious in his answers to the Mailbag, where he refuses to listen to any talk—even from professionals—about the similarities between Asperger Syndrome and autism, denies that there are any shortcomings in his work, and shrugs off any advice about how to improve his health or appearance, labeling anyone who suggests he has any kind of shortcoming a troll.
Chris equates honesty with divulging every last detail about his life. Nothing is too candid for Chris- getting haircuts, drinking his own navy, shitting his pants, or even giving away his phone number and home address! The only thing he hasn't done with wild abandon is give away his social security number and when that happens, it probably won't be a surprise to anybody.
His gullibility is astounding. No matter how many times it's happened before, Chris is easily led around by trolls promising china or threatening his identity. The earlier trolling schemes (such as Blanca, PandaHalo and Jimmy Hill) got Chris to jump through hoops and exposed so much information about Chris and his personality that they had to start a wiki to keep track of it all. Another example of Chris' gullibility is one Miss Jacklyn Romy, a 'sweetheart' Chris met earlier in 2011. Despite her obviously being a troll (proven by a mysterious leak of videos that were sent only to Jackie on February 2012), Chris has re-friended her on Facebook after blocking her the previous April. Only time would tell if we end up seeing Chris cosplaying or making an ass of himself again in a video aimed only at Jackie. It's pretty obvious that Chris has only done this because he believes that he'll score with Jackie sooner or later.
In 2009 and 2010, Chris slowly began to "learn" to distrust trolls or to keep more of his information secure. However, many of his trolls believe this is akin to putting a shock collar on an animal. Eventually, in order to stop being shocked (not because they actually understand or care) an animal will start doing as it is told.
Hubris: the pride before the fall
—Chris, right about that last part
Numerous times, Chris has shown that he believes he has powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal autistics. In fact, this attitude has transcended self-confidence and erupted into full-blown hubris: Chris is convinced that his writing, musical talents, and art are not just competitive with his peers, but clearly superior.
And he doesn't just have the power to create: his is also the power to destroy. This line of thinking is exemplified by Chris's acceptance that Ryan Cash committed suicide just because he withheld Sonichu updates, and would worsen when he believed that his curse actually caused Liquid Chris and Mary Lee Walsh to have some sort of horror befall them.
But those are just the most insane moments of cognitive dissonance. What about the time he went into hysterics when he didn't get recognition for his art at high school graduation?
—Chris, on his Wikipedia page
Or his reaction to losing the Parappa Contest?
—Chris, on the Sonichu Site
All of the above is consistent with the behavior of small children, who, isolated from the real world by a lack of comprehension and limited mobility, believe themselves to be godlike beings. This belief is gradually destroyed as the child goes to school and encounters outside authority, leading to their acknowledgment of the fact that they are, in fact, ordinary people. Of course, since Chris is not only autistic but also extremely sheltered, he still manages to cling to this belief by focusing on specific aspects of his life and constructing elaborate fantasy worlds. This is also probably why he sees mundane chores as horrific trials of strength and will. In psychological terms, this can be referred to as psychological neoteny, which is basically the retention of juvenile traits well into physical maturity.
Also consistent with his childlike mindset is his apparent belief that he has supernatural powers. In Freudian terms, this is referred to as omnipotence of thought. Basically, in the same way he does with religion, Chris cherry-picks elements of his life in order to validate his fantasy of control, which is more systematically displayed in the Sonichu comics. Taking this into consideration, it's likely that Magi-Chan is yet another Mary Sue for Chris, serving as a kind of avatar for his desire for ultimate authority. Why he felt it necessary to make yet another character to fill this role is unclear, considering he's already established himself as the one true God of CWCville.
Another aspect of Chris's arrogance, and again caused by his childish way of viewing the world, is visible in a phone call with Alec Benson Leary, creator of Asperchu. In the call it is obvious Chris does not follow a mature procedure for developing a stance on issues. Where normally an individual will learn information about the issue and from there decide how they feel about that issue, Chris does it the other way around and decides how he feels about something, then refuses to believe, understand, or even humor any evidence to the contrary. While most people have very strong beliefs in some issues, so much so that they automatically have a prejudice against people believing differently (e.g. politics, religion, etc.), Chris has this perspective on everything. He takes a position on matters, then finds ways to back it up and ignores all evidence for the opposing viewpoint. This is called a confirmation bias. For example, Chris has decided homos are bad, so he selectively finds information that backs up his stance on the matter and ignores anything anyone will tell him about why his homophobia is bad and makes him a bad person. He will then go as far as to pretend he can cure homosexuality with his own blood. Unless disliking homosexuals means he may not get laid.
This is most apparent when he takes two contrary positions about a similar topic. The obvious example of this is Chris's understanding of the way parody functions. Chris will defend his right to make Sonichu to the hilt by claiming it is a parody, but he then states that Asperchu is a bad thing because it is "parody of a parody". As you can see, Chris has decided that he has every right to make Sonichu so he backs this up with statements about his right to parody existing trademarked characters, but conversely he has decided Asperchu is bad, so he supports this position by stating it is a parody of his legitimate work.
A literal example of the 'pride before the fall' would be Chris' series of Facebook posts between April and June of 2012. In April 2012, Chris believed that he had utterly fooled the trolls when he made a series of posts mocking the trolls.He even went so far as to post screenshots of the CWCki forum members talking about it. Note that in several of the screenshots, Chris believed that he had uncovered a scheme to start a poster campaign about him in Charlottesville. According to his Facebook post dated 4th June, 2012, he had called the cops, and basically admitted that he completely fell for it. He then recorded an angry voicemail greeting before quickly deleting it. Compared to an earlier voicemail he made, one can clearly see how humbled he was.
—Chris, caring more about his precious PSN Account and Sonichu website than his sweetheart.
It is clear that Chris is a materialist (a common symptom of Narcissistic Personality Disorder), buying and hoarding large amounts of crap that make him feel good about himself. He may even believe that his unhealthy amount of children's toys might attract a sweetheart, when any human being would clearly see that this man is delusional. He also doesn't seem to have a problem with getting money for sitting on his ass, claiming he can get more from his tugboat than he could at an actual job. He has absolutely no concept of money, and believes he is entitled to everything he can buy. This stems from childhood, when Snorlax would take Chris to the toy store and encourage him to talk by giving him toys if he could read their names out loud. Ever since, he's believed that just by being autistic, he deserves everything he can get his grubby hands on.
This mixture of compulsive hoarding, compulsive shopping, and autism is bad news all the way. He compulsively hoards all of his toys and video games because he wants to give them to his daughter in the future. He also seems to enjoy collecting things, which may explain why Pokémon appeals to him. Chris compulsively buys everything he can on the PS3, and is more concerned with trophies than actual gameplay. Most of the games he's downloaded have never been played. But the important thing is that he has it. Hoarding items in cases other than OCD is a sign of intellectual disability in older children. He may have inherited this behavior from his parents.
A "tender misanthrope" is, by definition, "someone who despises humanity in general, but is ever ready to make an exception for the real people". In other words, an egotist who pretends to be benevolent. While it's obvious that Chris is an egotist, he truly believes that he's benevolent. He is the perfect example of a tender misanthrope, screaming death threats at what he knows of humanity (seeing as the only social contact he gets is from the Internet) while also believing that he is a kind, loving person who can give advice and act as a role model for children.
Another part of the definition states that "a tender misanthrope feels certain of being able to love real people if only they could be found - or, failing that, to transform existing false people into idealized real people through social and political programs of the tender misanthrope's own making". The way that Chris treats homos, seeing as he hates them all (no matter what he says) and wants to turn them straight by placing them into co-ed prisons, reprogramming them into straights via concentration camps, or by creating a vaccine that "cures" homosexuality, certainly fits this description. The fact that he also generalizes trolls as homos also supports this. If that does not convince you that Chris feels he can make people into what he can emotionally attach himself to, there are also other obvious examples in his unique delivery of his intentions.
Disregard of rules of conduct online
—Chris, in Encyclopedia Dramatica
Chris has little regard for the rules of online communities; when he joins up on websites, he tends to do things his way. He assumes that his own niche in these websites is under his absolute control: for example, he assumed that Wikipedia would allow him to post anything on his personal user page, or that Encyclopedia Dramatica would remove material critical to him if he just asked not-so-nicely. Sites like deviantART and YouTube allow community participation; Chris simply disallowed comments, or later on, just ignored every comment he received. Chris also assumes that when other people host websites for him (in case of CWCipedia), he's given the final say on all matters. His record for getting permabanned is currently at two weeks on Flipnote Hatena when he foolishly tried to re-upload Flipnotes that had been removed for breaking the rules (without bothering to find out why they had been removed in the first place).
One of the worst things that comes out of Chris's ego is his bloated sense of paranoia. As mentioned above, Chris has taken to withholding certain information from trolls like an animal being shocked by a shock collar. However, this line of thinking has pushed Chris into believing that the entire world is out to get him. In early days, it was actually simple - Jerkops and Mary Lee Walsh were conspiring to stop him from succeeding in his Love Quest. However, after the incident with The Wallflower and the realization that there's entire webpages devoted to him, it's caused him to see things in a bigger, yet disturbing picture.
As such, Chris has decided to become a recluse, refusing to make friends with anyone unless he knew him in the real world. However, this is a double-edged sword as Chris refuses to interact with anyone in the real world as well. In the real world, if someone spotted Chris and knew him by name, even if they had heard of him from whatever remaining place is left for him to go to, he panics and runs, fearing that the person is actually a troll seeking to spread more information about him across the Internet. As well, if someone wanted to contact Chris through other means, even if that person had no idea who Chris was or what Sonichu was or anything that the trolls had done, Chris will shut them out because he doesn't know who they are and thus, has relegated them to the title of "troll".
A perfect example of this was revealed in a series of Facebook screenshots. While eating at a McDonald's restaurant, an employee of Burger King spotted him, acknowledged him, then went to mess with his cell phone. Chris went into panic mode, assumed that the worker was actually a troll, then thought the man was "communicating with his own kind" by hopping on a forum. He then proceeded to photograph the man, and talk about him behind his back on Facebook, ironically doing what he feared the 'troll' would do to him.
If there is one thing that Chris's ego would simply not allow, it's suppressing himself from giving away too much information about himself. If he feels that bragging about something would give him a one-up against the trolls or make himself look good, he'll freely announce it for everyone to hear. The most glaring example of this is this entire wiki, which was created using a lot of information provided by Chris himself. Back in the day, Chris viewed himself as an extremely popular internet celebrity with a 'true and loyal fanbase', and, as such, would divulge a lot of information about himself so people would know him better (inclusive of personal information that nobody in their right mind would give away). However, there are times when he would do the opposite and surrender information that would make him look horrendously bad, sometimes without provocation. The ongoing Soiled Underpants Saga is the shining example of this.
Whilst this practice has diminished in recent times with Chris making himself scarce out of fear that trolls would have more ammo to use against him, his habit of needlessly surrendering information still manages to surface. For example, when he claimed to lose his virginity, he couldn't help but announce it on his Facebook page, all the while swearing up and down that he would never divulge any details about it to the trolls. Mere weeks later, more details emerged on Facebook, leading to speculation that he actually bought a hooker (since we all know the inevitable end result of his Sweetheart Search), which he ended up confirming on 1 May, (along with attending a 'Mythbusters' tour, something which wasn't even brought up but still revealed anyway) all the while claiming to remain button-lipped on the matter. Only time would tell if and when Chris finally reveals everything to silence his nay-sayers. After all, it wouldn't be the first time it's happened.
In 2013, Chris's habit of needlessly surrendering information returned with a vengeance. Chris threw a temper tantrum on Facebook, and many would have assumed that it was business as usual, until Chris made the fatal mistake of revealing the reason why he went on the warpath; somebody had uploaded his status updates (complete with the ones that were hidden) onto an Imgur account. Aside from the usual whining about how lonely he was, these screencaps not only revealed what he was up to in the silence between 2011 and 2013, but also uncovered a very ugly side of Chris. One post in particular revealed that he was angry at the fact that Mimms had a girlfriend, and demanded that somebody should kill her, simply because Mimms was a "JERK." The fact remains that the one who revealed all of this unsavory information was not the trolls, as Chris would try to have you believe, but himself.
Fishing For Sympathy
In many conversations with Chris, there have been quite a few instances where he would outright fish for sympathy, in the hopes that people would take pity on him and, in so doing, make him feel better about himself. One such example is Father Call, where Chris constantly talks about the "trials and tribulations" in his life to an unimpressed Matthew Devoria, from whom he was trying to seek approval to date his daughter (note that said "trials and tribulations" amounted to housework and being teased on the internet.) In his later E-mail exchanges with Jackie, Chris is quick to paint himself as a misunderstood victim whenever Jackie rips him a new one over issues such as his habit of lying, being a hypocrite and even being inconsiderate towards her. Even in recent times, he has not cut out this habit, his Facebook entries blame his trolls for making his life a living hell, one in particular lamenting that nobody cares about him except for his own mother.
The attention he gets from his mother, Barbara Chandler, and his friend, Anna McLerran is textbook mollycoddling at best. Chris has spent his entire life being catered to by his parents (notably well past the point of social acceptance), to the point where he depends on them to bail him out of the numerous messes he gets himself into. It comes as no surprise, then, that this, combined with his being autistic, has poisoned Chris' mind into thinking that this is how everybody should treat him, by default. And if people don't see things his way, he'll be more than happy to point out the heavy burdens he faces daily, almost as if he expects them to instantly take back their mean, mean words and feel sorry for him.
War against the ego
One of the main forces opposing Chris's ego are the white knights. These misguided souls have attempted to get Chris to understand that what he's doing is ridiculous and that he needs to grow up. Instead, he brushed them all aside, assuring himself that he was TRUE and HONEST, and could do no wrong. One of the more popular white knights, Vivian Gee, became a troll when she couldn't get through to Chris.
When asked to get real, psychiatric help, Chris has said that his church counselor, Rocky Shoemaker, is enough for him, and that she could do so much more than someone with an actual degree in that field. He seems to believe that because her title includes the word "counselor," she is every bit as qualified as a real doctor (the fact that most pastoral counselors see people for free probably helps as well, since Chris would never spend part of his precious monthly tugboat on something useful when there are video games to buy).
There were even some instances where it seemed that the trolls had made a breakthrough by breaking Chris, only for him to get right back up again and continue with his antics. An example of this would be Kacey, who led Chris on for a while until she dropped the bombshell that she was going to marry Liquid Chris, but not before having her father point out every single thing that is wrong with Chris. A normal person would have been utterly devastated by this turn of events, and some would even use the experience to better themselves. Chris, on the other hand, perked right up when he obtained a letter 'validating' Sonichu, forgetting about Kacey in mere days, just like she had predicted.
Examples of Chris's ego in the real world and in the comic
- Main article: Examples of Chris's Ego
- An Official Sonichu Update
- Emails with Mary
- Exchange with the Man in the Pickle Suit, Emily Date Conversation Transcript
- See 1989 in Christory
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