Mom, Jeremy Won't Let Me Create An Atmosphere Of Sustained MenaceCommentary • Opinion • ISSUE 46•47 • Nov 23, 2010 By Daniel Gellman He's doing it again, Mom. Mom! Jeremy's doing it again. Tell him to stop! I'm serious. All I'm trying to do is cultivate and maintain an atmosphere of sustained menace, and he won't let me. It's not fair!C'mon, make him stop, Mom! Make him surrender to the mood of anxiety and fear I am actively trying to entrap him with!I was just attempting to conjure a sense of unrelenting dread through verbal and physical intimidation, but Jeremy's ruining it, God, what's his problem! Constructing a fearful ambience wherein I torment and threaten Jeremy in an effort to make him aware of his own inferiority to me is really fun and he won't go along with it, Mom!I hate him.Will you just get him to quit thwarting the malicious and sinister overtones I imbue our every interaction with, Mom? Please? Please?He's doing it all wrong! He's trying to ignore my taunts and ominous harassments rather than wallowing in the pervasive milieu of grim hopelessness I have worked so hard to build, the jerk head. When I feign physical violence, he's supposed to flinch, Mom—otherwise, I can't properly fulfill the role of tormentor. He's just being a whiny baby who won't let me make veiled threats about harming him in his sleep, or tell him fabulous tales of supernatural forces inhabiting the basement that I have crafted expressly to instill in him!I just wanna torment him to the detriment of his own emotional well-being. Dad said it was okay!No, Mom, listen. He's really bugging me. Don't you understand that I need to develop this antagonistic sibling dynamic in order to define my role as an individual within the family, specifically with regard to how my dominance over him in some way strengthens or validates my nascent sense of self? It's no fun if he doesn't submit to my will. The more susceptible he becomes to my intimidation, the more he will begin to fear reprisals from me. At which point, by means of a devious yet elegant paradox, he'll essentially be terrorizing himself. Mom, can't you see the elegance of the paradox? You're always let him have his way, jeez!Will you please just tell Jeremy to turn off the TV and pay attention while I psychologically manipulate him and inspire unsettling feelings that will affect him on a primal level deep into his adolescence? And can you tell him to stop being such a little twerp and accede to the aggression that even in his adulthood he will remember; the deep, scarring sensations of sibling animosity and agony that will never fully leave him, not until his dying day?C'mon, please? I promise I won't in any way undermine the psychological damage you and Dad have already inflicted upon Jeremy by using him as a conduit for your respective fears, frustrations, and anxieties. And I swear I'll be careful not to menace him in such a manner that he reflexively fights back, becomes prone to violence and quick aggression, and eventually begins to exhibit traits of an anger disorder or sociopathy. I just want to engender in him a lifelong sense of insecurity and diminished confidence, honest!So will you tell Jeremy to let me create an atmosphere of sustained menace, please?You will? Thanks, Mom!