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Showing posts from April, 2010

Psychology of hoarding

Psychology of hoarding--explained?1) When most of us look at an object like a bottle cap, we think, "This is useless," but a hoarder sees the shape and the color and the texture and the form. All these details give it value. Hoarding may not be a deficiency at all -- it may be a special gift or a special ability. The problem is being able to control it.(Randy O. Frost, interview with Thomas Rogers, “‘Stuff’: the psychology of hoarding,” Salon, 25 April 2010)The hoarder is Robin Williams from the Fisher King: a humble life-poet who sees the magic in the (quote unquote) junk. Or a young Luke Skywalker, in touch with the energy field created by all things.Future prospects: A future magician who will show us the magic in everyday life, help us move away from a consumption-oriented society. Must learn to control his power, so it doesn't control him.2) If you spend one weekend with someone with a camera crew, a cleaning crew and no therapy, you’re making some educational con…

But they were your friends

Whenever a character serves as an improved or idealized version of his or her author, as a vehicle for the author's fantasies of power, allure, virtue or accomplishment rather than as an integral part of the story, that character is a Mary Sue. He may resemble his creator in most respects, but he drives a hotter car, lives in a posher part of town and has a cooler job. She may be as moody and self-absorbed as the novelist who invented her, but instead of boring the people around her these traits only enhance her crazy-girl magnetism, making her the center of everybody else's world as well as her own.[. . .]Because genre fiction tends to trade in wish fulfillment to begin with, you're far more likely to find shameless Mary Sues in mediocre mysteries, science fiction and romance novels.[. . .]What irks readers about Mary Sues is that telltale whiff of an ulterior motive. Instead of contributing to the seamless fictional experience readers want from a book, this character, th…

You had your moment

I wonder if they'll regret their decision to celebrate their "night to remember" while shutting out a friend. I know I do.My own prom date was a hilarious guy named Troy. He was tall, had half his head shaved, and loved punk rock. This was unusual enough for our sleepy Midwestern town, but on top of that, he was also the only openly gay student in our Catholic high school.[. . .]Troy and I went to prom as friends. My boyfriend was at college that year, but I wanted to go anyway. I mean, this was small-town USA and come on: Prom's a big deal.[. . .]And then came the after parties. Word got back to me that if I brought Troy as my date the meathead football players "would kick the shit out of him."Years of Catholic teachings and after-school specials and John Hughes films had trained me for this very moment, for this very test … and I fucking failed it.[. . .]

They fey-fearful

I have a great deal of love and respect for my grandfather. He was a B-29 pilot in the Pacific during WWII; he became a potato farmer when he returned home from the war. He always took care of his family and his responsibilities, but he was not an easy man for his family to be around. For all his amazing qualities, he was as deeply conflicted about his life and what he had done with it as many of my male friends are today. For all his "manliness" he was not a particularly happy or fulfilled guy.Sometimes it can feel like my generation of men was raised by wolves, and that we are trying to cobble some approximation of what it means to be a man through vague and intentionally incomplete recollections of an increasingly distant generation -- or, worse, from media's portrayal of the men who came before us. We want to remember them as giants of masculinity completely unconflicted about who they were.[. . .]It is also important to remember that as brave as these men were, as m…