Are you at a bar, or worse, coffee-bar? Have you just asked a question to the friend who brought you, but spoke just loud enough that the man who just entered the shop has heard? Depending on moon phase, time of day, and proximity to Bushwick, that man may be approaching your conversation with a falsely-sheepish interjection which will allow him to infiltrate and conquer your conversation.
The Nietzschean, Foucault-gobbling Brooklyn long-haired idler has the answer, irritatingly enough, as no-one likes them. Socially intolerable to the last, every interaction with one is laden with their self-indulgent tangents, but is always capped by a half-hearted question, as if they hadn’t just verbally annotated their own manifesto in a coffee shop, holding the barista unfortunate enough to have the shift which aligns with his obscene sleep schedule hostage.
Rarely does their chosen topic of conversation (and it is always their choice, eventually) contain any practical use, for their particular brand of what-they-would-call “scope” seems to only deal with particulars as a jumping-off point, the example to prove their rule (their rule, of course, being “it’s all about power”). They’re incredibly dull, and unlike tiresomes from other epochs, our tiresomes seem all to contain an ultimate self-confidence, taking the fact that their victim of the hour is still standing before them as confirmation of an eager audience.
There are strategies, however, we can use to combat their social terrorism. It is important to remember that this person is not truly a person, and if that seems harsh, ask one! If I were to ask you such a question, would you hesitate? Would your answer contain a “but”? So desperate to justify their own existences, these “people” have replaced personality with musings, never picking up on their own inability to answer even the most basic questions about themselves as a sign of wrong-pathedness. Stubbornly they’ve supplanted basic human interaction with the scourge of philosophic theory, and rather than recognizing themselves as inept, have convinced themselves that the world simply isn’t ready for their level of insight.
Keeping in mind their self-dehumanization, our most lethal weapon in this war is to ask them about themselves. “But they are products of self-involvement!” you might protest, but don’t worry. Their egoism may have led them to this decrepit state, but the state itself is devoid of self-knowledge. Stay away from questions with an ounce of deeper thought to them. Grammatically, the question should not involve any more than a lone “do you like X?”, forcing them to answer yes or no, or to say that they “aren’t really into sports/movies/television/stories in general/politics/anything anyone actually enjoys talking about”, at which point you can ask simply “why?”
It is important to remain strong. Their answer to this may be emotionally taxing to hear, melodramatic or traumatic in the extreme, they’ll tell you some awful secret as if discussing the weather, or else become extremely cagey, and by omission tell you the same story. Once through this hellfire, you have the finish line in sight. Simply nod and say “I understand, I’m sorry. That must have been hard. Thank you for telling me, it was nice talking to you.” Receive their automatic reciprocation and turn away to enjoy your beverage in sweet silence. No more than ten minutes will pass, and they will leave, roaming on to find their next hostage, thinking that they’d had a full and successful social interaction, but not quite able to put their finger on the sensation you left them with, as they are incapable of imagining someone could socially manipulate them.