Yet worse, is modern-day career vanity. Individuals corrupted by career vanity have a knack for controlling their situations at the expense of other people. Like physical vanity, career vanity is also about packaging and self-invention. But career vanity cuts even closer to the soul than physical vanity and can produce callous indifference to competitors, family members and working associates. It can be at once dangerous and reckless, catty, ingratiating and cheap. And yet in its self-righteousness, it has all but established itself as a role model for most of the upwardly mobile modern elite and many of their would-be imitators. Career vanity is not infrequently combined with physical vanity.
Marten saw a young man’s face come forward and then dissolve back into the same quicksilver swamp.