Once upon a time, I was born in a working class neighborhood in the Bronx to intensely devoted parents. From early on in life, I was fascinated and appalled by the human capacity for vanity and intolerance; why couldn't everyone be perfect like me? This interest became more focused in my senior year of high school when I read Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" and Twain's "Mysterious Stranger" and realized that many of the other great minds of Western culture had also been concerned with human frailties.
After my father died during my college years, I decided that life was an absurd joke, so why not go to graduate school in psychology? And why not in social psychology, where I could design crazy experiments to study those beloved human attributes of egotism and prejudice? This noble pursuit led me to discover the writings of one Ernest Becker, who clarified for me that it is the very absurdity of life that leads people to the pinnacles of egotism and ugliness. So this is what I study, and it is also what I teach, along with other contributions to the understanding of human social behavior. And I plan to live happily ever after.