Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

"Donald Trump, narcissism and diagnosis as a political sport"/ What driving schools do you recommend?

 Oct. 19, 2016 "Donald Trump, narcissism and diagnosis as political sport": I found this article by Gabor Mate on Oct. 17, 2016 in the Globe and Mail:

The consensus as to Donald Trump’s psychiatric issues is nearly unanimous. “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” according to clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis, quoted in Vanity Fair. He is just one of many who have reached the same conclusion. Noting his motor mouth, chronic inability to pay attention and shockingly deficient impulse control, others diagnosed Trump as a severe case of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Tony Schwartz, Trump’s ghostwriter for his 1987 bestseller, The Art of the Deal, reported that his client had no attention span and fidgeted “like a kindergartner who cannot sit still.”

In an election cycle where a candidate has been accused of unprecedented misconduct, including the latest allegations of sexual assault by multiple women, psychiatrists are bypassing the long-held professional standard, called the Goldwater rule, which stipulates that no psychologist should make a diagnosis of a person he or she has not examined face-to-face.

As a stressed electorate tries to make sense of a campaign unlike any other, they’re demanding to know: What is the root of Trump’s bizarre displays?
Making inferences about someone’s mental health is common sport with public figures. We don’t have the same data a psychiatrist or psychologist might have, but as candidates’ histories are revealed in biographical articles or books, and their behaviours are scrutinized in public forums, certain patterns become clear.

What we perceive as the adult personality often reflects compensations a helpless child unwittingly adopted in order to survive. Such adaptations can become wired into the brain, persisting into adulthood. Underneath all psychiatric categories, Trump manifests childhood trauma. His opponent Hillary Clinton evinces her own history of early suffering, even if milder and far more muted in its impact.

The ghostwriter Schwartz reports that Trump had no recollection of his youth. There is always a reason for such amnesia. People have poor recall of their childhoods when they found reality so painful that their minds had to push memories into the unconscious. “I don’t like to analyze myself because I might not like what I see,” Trump admitted to a biographer.

According to biographers, Trump’s father was a workaholic, a ruthless, cold and authoritarian man who believed life is a competition where the “killers” win.
Donald’s elder brother drove himself into alcoholism, a common escape from pain, and to an early death. The younger, favoured child is now self-destructing on the world stage.

Lying is such an endemic aspect of Donald Trump’s personality that he does so almost helplessly and reflexively. “Lying is second nature to him,” Tony Schwartz told The New Yorker. “More than anyone else I have ever met, Trump has the ability to convince himself that whatever he is saying at any given moment is true, or sort of true, or at least ought to be true.”

How are such patterns compensations? Not paying attention, tuning out, is a way of coping with stress or emotional hurt. Narcissistic obsession with the self compensates for a lack of nurturing care. Grandiosity covers a deeply negative sense of self-worth. Bullying hides an unconscious conviction of weakness. Lying becomes a mode of survival in a harsh environment. Misogyny is a son’s outwardly projected revenge on a mother who was unable to protect him.

Trump’s opponent also appears to have learned reality-denial at an early age. Her father, too, according to biographic reports, was harsh, verbally abusive, and dismissive of his daughter’s achievements. The opaque persona many now see as inauthentic would have developed as young Hillary Rodham’s protective shell.

In an anecdote related by the former Secretary of State herself as an example of salutary character building, four-year-old Hillary runs into her home to escape neighbourhood bullies. “There is no room for cowards in this house,” says her mother, sending the child out into the street to face her tormentors. The real message was: “Do not feel or show your pain. You are on your own.” Over six decades later the candidate hides her pneumonia even from her doctor and from those closest to her. Repeatedly she has overlooked her husband’s outlandish infidelities, defending him against disgrace – no doubt suppressing her own emotional turmoil in the process.

It is not surprising that when the Oxford University psychologist Kevin Dutton analyzed the candidates, he scored both Trump and Clinton in the upper quintile of self-centered impulsivity and coldheartedness. Trump rated high on traits of psychopathy, between Idi Amin and Adolf Hitler.

We Canadians are no strangers to political leaders whose childhood suffering formed their personalities and infused their policies. The journalist and Stephen Harper biographer John Ibbitson characterized our former prime minister as “autocratic, secretive, and cruel.” A journalist described him as “chilly and inscrutable,” while his former chief of staff recalled him as “vindictive, prone to sudden eruptions of white-hot rage over meaningless trivia.” These traits, too, are uniformly markers of trauma. Unsurprisingly, Harper also resisted discussing his childhood.

No infant is born a bully, cruel or cold-hearted. Well-nurtured children mature naturally past infantile self-regard, develop impulse control and find empathy. They learn to feel and regulate their emotions. In the case of those who do not, there is pain they are unable or unwilling to confront. Their development was distorted.

A political leader in denial of his trauma may be so little able to bear his core pain, fear and weakness that he will identify with the powerful, disdain and attack the vulnerable. Or, behind a false persona, she vows to support the downtrodden while kowtowing to the rich and dominant.
What does it say about our society that such deeply troubled individuals frequently rise to the top ruling circles, attaining wealth and power and even the admiration of millions?

We need not be perplexed that a Donald Trump can vie for the presidency of the most powerful nation on Earth. We live in a culture where many people are hurt and, like the leaders they idolize, insulated against reality. Trauma is so commonplace that its manifestations have become the norm.

People are anxious, fearful and aggrieved and may be unable to recognize the flaws in those seeking power. They mistake desperate ambition for determination, see grandiosity as authority, paranoia as security, seductiveness as charm, dogmatism as decisiveness, selfishness as economic wisdom, manipulation as political savvy, lack of principles as flexibility. Trauma-induced defences such as venal dishonesty and aggressive self-promotion often lead to success.

The flaws of our leaders perfectly mirror the emotional underdevelopment of the society that elevates them to power.

Retired physician Gabor Maté is a Vancouver author and speaker. His next book, The Myth of Normal: Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture, will be published in 2018.

Oct. 29, 2016 "The double standard in politics, business": Today I found this article by Leah Eichler in the Globe and Mail.  I usually stay away from writing about politics because it's polarizing.  However, this is a good article: 

One thing the U.S. election has made abundantly clear: Women in leadership roles are damned if they do and damned if they don’t

This U.S. election season, if nothing else, has solidified Internet memes as our present-day protest art. One of my favourites began circulating after the first presidential debate and it shows a doctored image of Donald Trump, sporting a blonde wig and garish makeup, beneath the following observation:

“Imagine a woman who showed up [to a presidential debate] unprepared, sniffling like a coke addict and interrupting her opponent 70 times. Let’s further imagine that she’s had five kids by three men, was a repeated adulterer, had multiple bankruptcies, paid zero federal taxes and rooted for the housing crisis in which many thousands of families lost their homes. Wait … there’s more: She has never held any elected office in her life.”

My opinion: Is that really true with Trump having five kids by three women?  I never looked him up.  I know about his bankruptcies.   

The meme hit home largely because it highlighted the stubborn double standard that continues to exist for men and women in politics and in business. There’s no denying the election season has heightened the focus on women’s advancement – or lack thereof – in both arenas. And how we respond to that over the next few weeks and beyond will have ripple effects throughout the Western world.

In fact, this election season – specifically the debates – should come with trigger warnings, since they showcase male behaviour many women in the professional sphere have tried for years to ignore. Specific actions include looming too closely, constantly interrupting and using names that either diminish or dismiss the other’s achievements.

“It [the debate] reminds us that we have made a series of concessions along the way, each one small and seemingly disparate, and yet now we understand more profoundly what it looks like, what it feels like, as we watch it play out on a global stage. How much ‘locker room’ talk have we let go or even joined in on to show we can be one of the boys?” asked Jaime Leverton, an executive in the financial industry in Toronto.

In other words, many of us are looking to U.S, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for clues about how to navigate the double bind that often undermines women’s attempts to get ahead. Put simply, women in leadership roles are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. If they act like women in the traditional sense, they come off as too soft; if they act like men, they break social norms and leave many feeling uncomfortable.

Shari Graydon, founder of Informed Opinions, an Ottawabased non-profit organization that aims to increase the voices of women in the media, says most women understand Ms. Clinton’s difficult position in relation to Mr. Trump and while many want her to push back and put him in his place, they realize that they can’t necessarily follow through with that tactic in their own working lives.

“Unfortunately, her ability to get under his skin with welltimed asides doesn’t really help women at work, because she’s playing to an audience already disgusted by his behaviour. She also benefits from the scrutiny and analysis offered by the news media, which reliably criticize his outrageous behaviour after the fact,” Ms. Graydon said, adding, “sadly, most women don’t have such luxuries.”

If there’s a silver lining to the nastiness expressed in the campaign, Ms. Graydon says the widespread condemnation of Mr. Trump’s bullying tactics feels both validating and empowering. Also, it’s brought certain kinds of behaviour to the surface, so now both men and women are more likely to spot and call out sexist behaviour.

“I think women may now be able to judiciously play the ‘Trump card,’ stopping a colleague in his tracks by saying, ‘Whoa, are you channelling Donald Trump?’ Which will immediately trip a slew of associations that will be widely understood as negative,” Ms. Graydon said.
Silver lining aside, there is much in the greater dialogue about women in leadership that leaves many of us feeling dejected.

“The misogyny we have seen and all the hateful names and very sexist remarks, it’s sort of become okay in some ways, and that’s been a surprise to people,” said Jennifer Reynolds, chief executive officer of Women in Capital Markets, a networking group for professionals.
“There is a growing awareness that there is lot of sexism in the system. Unfortunately, it sends a bit of a negative message, too. Are we still only ‘here’ in terms of society?” she added.
So what will the future of women’s advancement look like after Nov. 8?

It’s probably not going to get better any time soon. A female president may unleash a “wave of misogyny,” according to a recent article in the Atlantic.
In it, contributing editor Peter Beinart argues that the election of U.S. President Barack Obama may counterintuitively have led to a greater acceptance of racist comments, suggesting that a new era of sexism may be in the works.

Not everyone remains so pessimistic. Ms. Reynolds believes that a win for Ms. Clinton would redefine what a leader looks like, sending a positive message to women in business. Even if Mr. Trump is triumphant, women might not necessarily be forced back to the dark ages, when the United States was “great.”
“I believe that his misogynist comments and the mounting allegations of sexual assault against him have actually helped to mobilize support for feminism among both men and women,” Ms. Graydon said. “His very candidacy makes clear that the fight for women’s right to be respected and treated equally is far from over.”
[Donald Trump’s] very candidacy makes clear that the fight for women’s right to be respected and treated equally is far from over.

Shari Graydon Founder of the Ottawa-based non-profit organization Informed Opinions

Nov. 9, 2016 US election:

On Nov. 7, 2016, I was tense and nervous about the US election.

On Nov. 8, 2016, I was more calm.

Today, I'm pretty sad and disappointed that Trump won.  I was kind of sad when John Kerry didn't win in 2004.

I really felt like Hillary Clinton was the obvious choice that she was going to win.

I was watching the Scotiabank Giller Prize Award and all 5 nominees wanted Clinton to win.

Post Secret: I remember reading a postcard with Clinton on it that says: "I want a female president, just not her."

You can't have it all.

I don't know, maybe she'll run again in 2020.

Trump is a mean jerk.  I'm sure a lot of you have more mean names to call him.  He is racist, sexist, misogynist, short-tempered guy.  As a reality TV star, I can avoid him by not watching his show.  However, I can't exactly avoid him because he is in politics and I do need to know what goes on in the world.

It's not like other celebrities like music artists, actors, reality TV stars you can avoid.  I remember Britney Spears saying: "If you don't like me, then don't look at me." 

I'm just going to wank it in my mind that Trump doesn't really have an effect on my life.  It's like if Hillary won, I would be like: "She is going to have a good effect on my life."

The Simpsons: I thought Hillary was the obvious choice to win because she has experience.  It reminds me of The Simpsons Halloween episode.  The world was ending and Lisa was chosen to go on a space ship.  I forewarn you that you may be offended by it:

Trooper: You can only bring 1 parent.
Lisa: Mom.

Lisa totally chose Marge over Homer like it's nothing.  She didn't think about it for a second.  Now Homer (and Bart) are going to die.  I know it's fictional, and no one really died, but some of you may be angry and offended by that.

The election results also reminds me of the prohibition episode where beer was banned.  Homer then became the Beer Baron.  When news broke out about prohibition, people were sad.

Cut to Moe and Barney lying on the floor with the newspaper.

Cut to Dr. Hibert reading and laughing at the newspaper.

Mrs. Hibert is lying on the floor.

I woke up early and asked my brother P about the results:

P: Trump won.
S: Don't you look at Twitter?

I turn on the computer to Yahoo news and saw it.

Nov. 10, 2016 "It's hard dealing with a compulsive liar, especially when he's the boss": I found this article by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen in the Edmonton Journal on Nov. 7, 2016:

Q: My new boss lies all the time, claims he's accomplished things he never did (like winning golf club championships and earning an MBA — we did some research!), and takes credit for other people's work. My whole department is in chaos. What should we do? — Marlane M., Dallas

A: Those who have only a passing acquaintance with the truth are difficult to deal with, especially when they're in a position of authority. Plus, it's very hard to understand why your boss would continue to lie when, with a little fact-checking, it was easy to prove that's what he's doing. But there are positive ways to deal with this situation.

Neurologists say that pathological lying is a mental disorder called behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and/or is characterized by changes in the brain's prefrontal white matter. But psychiatrists say it takes stimulation from environmental triggers and emotional reactions to various forms of stress, from rejection to abuse, to make the behavior bloom. And the DSM (Diagnostic and Symptoms Manual) says that in someone with antisocial personality disorder, a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting or violating the rights of others, habitual lying indicates a lack of emotion and coldness.

What are your options? Confronting a fabricator usually is ineffective, unless the person wants to change. So, in your work situation, document the untruths and deceptions. Then you and your co-workers can make a verifiable presentation to your boss's boss. Frame it in the context of what's best for your company, and you might end up with a positive change.

For anyone living with a compulsive liar, coping is more difficult. If the person doesn't recognize the behavior as a problem, it is hard for him or her to maintain relationships, have close friends and avoid burning bridges in everyday life and business. But if your loved one is receptive, there are treatments that can work, including talk therapy, anti-addiction programs and antidepressant medications. It is always worth trying to help create positive change.

Compliance officer: I was probably reading this in the business section of the newspaper and I had to write it down to look it up.

The chief compliance officer (CCO) of a company is the officer primarily responsible for overseeing and managing regulatory compliance issues within an organization. The CCO typically reports to the Chief Executive Officer or Chief Operations Officer.

The role has long existed at companies that operate in heavily regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare. For other companies, the rash of 2000s accounting scandals, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the recommendations of the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines have led to additional CCO appointments.

Scott Cohen, editor and publisher of Compliance Week, dates the proliferation of CCOs to a 2002 speech by SEC commissioner Cynthia Glassman, in which she called on companies to designate a "corporate responsibility officer."[1] The responsibilities of the position often include leading enterprise compliance efforts, designing and implementing internal controls, policies and procedures to assure compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations and third party guidelines; managing audits and investigations into regulatory and compliance issues; and responding to requests for information from regulatory bodies.

Nov.11, 2016 The Simpsons:

It was the most insane and laughable scenario the creators of satirical comedy The Simpsons could dream up.
Who was the one public figure all Americans would agree could never become their Commander-in-Chief?
The answer was inspired: brash billionaire and reality TV star Donald J Trump . Hilarious!

That was 16 years ago, when they wrote an episode called Bart to the Future, with grown-up Lisa Simpson elected to the Oval Office after President Trump has tanked the economy.

But when they – and the world – woke up yesterday they found the joke had backfired monumentally. Their impossible prophecy had been fulfilled and the cartoon villain really had become the leader of the free world.

James L Brooks, executive producer on The Simpsons, summed up the sense of disbelief, tweeting simply: “F*** disillusionment!”
Earlier this year Simpsons writer Dan Greaney ex­­plained why they had “predicted” a Trump presidency back in 2000 .
“It was a warning to America,” he said. “That just seemed like the logical last stop before hitting bottom. It was consistent with the vision of America going insane.

My week:

Nov. 7, 2016 Daylight savings time: I was reading an article by Tristin Hooper in the Edmonton Journal about this.  It did say about car accidents occurring more.  I remember that.  It goes on to say it's not just "spring forward" where people lose an hour of sleep that causes car accidents.  When we "fall back", a lot of people see it as an extra hour to stay up later, and are even more tired.

Get enough sleep.  I always go to bed on time.  On Sat. night, I went to bed on time (or some of you considered an hr earlier) than usual, I woke up the next day for work and I felt really awake.  Today I woke up an hr earlier than usual and I feel good. 

Nov. 9, 2016 What driving schools do you recommend?: I would appreciate any tips.

Nov. 15, 2016: The elections have overshadowed my week.  I did some fun stuff.

Nov. 8, 2016: I watched the Scotiabank Giller Prize award show.  Average.
Nov. 9, 2016: I went to an Alpha meeting.  Average.
Nov. 10, 2016: I went to a Screenwriters Meetup.  Good, because I was inspired and learned a bit more about writing.

This week I will try to write about something more positive.


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