I watched a documentary today on Netflix called Animism. Animism is the romantic attraction to inanimate objects. That is a layman’s definition as I know almost nothing about it and the DSM didn’t have it listed (at least not by the two names that I know it as). The documentary didn’t really clue me in on the “condition” either other than fill in what it was.
That was because the doc was in the usual fashion of the modern lens. They are just born that way and our job is to accept them as completely normal and not to make any judgement.
The truth there being that I can judge it to be a mental disorder without wishing you to the Gulag, jail or an eternity of hellfire.
One individual was romantically attracted to his car (no thanks, I don’t need a ride, I’ll walk). Another married a Ferris wheel- and then renewed her vows to him (Berry I think his name was). And a few of these individuals related stories of them trying to eh…consummate such feelings. They feel that these feelings are shared by the object, the the car or the Ferris wheel loves them back.
Which is all fine and well, I mean they’re not out raping babies or something. But this is still a psychological problem. Lady, you married a freaking Ferris wheel. If that is not representing a problem with reality, I suggest we all fill our cars with cabbages (hat tip to Dali, love you, man).
And that was why such a fascinating subject about a little revealed condition (like agoraphobia) turned out to be a boring documentary. There was no attempt to understand this condition. Hell, there was no mention of it being considered a condition except for the fact there were mean people who did not accept them for what they were.
That was the thrust of the whole documentary, they saw themselves as the newest marginalized group. They are just like homosexuals. But no matter where one stands on the issue of homosexuality we can all agree that Hank and Kurt are not only animate objects, living beings, but men with rational faculties. And that while they may not have compatible sex organs, they are, at the least, capable of carrying on some form of mutual expression. Hank can hurt Kurt’s feelings and Kurt can let Hank know this. They are not only two living beings, they are two members of the same species, man. And if you view homosexuality as a disorder of some kind, it is a disorder not far removed from order, from normal, from reality (oh you’re so close!) Berry the Ferris wheel sits there and rusts while this lady plays some elaborate fantasy in her mind because she suffers from some unknown form of bonding autism.
I’m not making fun of these people either (well, I’m trying not to, mocking is what makes me me, and I am not even safe from my mocking) it has to be a compensation for some inability to form normal bonds with other beings – their own species or others. There has got to be some horrific form of loneliness that is going on here. I’m guessing. Like I said, the documentary offered nothing but the usual bromides of self-determination, self-expression, attacks on religion and religious people.
Of this last for instance. One of the women (the one that married Berry the Ferris wheel) blames her mother’s religiosity for her not accepting her condition (the way we are supposed to accept everything unthinkingly nowadays). The first thing that went through my mind was, “Lady, you just told us a story about getting fired from the railroad company because you were caught grinding against a rail car naked. Don’t blame your mother’s religion for her non-acceptance!”
There was one comical feature of the documentary. There was the animism-slut-chick. This lady loved the Eiffel Tower until the officials barred her from it because…well lovers need their alone time. So she moved onto the Berlin Wall and got a giant chunk of it to take home. And then in the very next scene she’s falling in love with a giant construction crane.
Man, what a slut!
But here is what I don’t this is “cool” with modern culture. I don’t think it is cool to lie to everyone to spare their feelings or to indulge them as they go off on what makes them them.
Think about that. Right now everything about me makes me me, who I am. So what? How far are we going to take this? We really have no argument against the Jeffrey Dahlmers and Gary Ridgeways of the world. Surely their urges, fantasies make them who they are. Why do we impose on them that they deny who they are? Because we don’t like being murdered and having our corpses raped? Well yeah, but what about their orientation in the first place? Is there an argument against that? Would we say that someone who just went through life masturbating to thoughts of rape and murder was normal. That as long as he wasn’t hurting anyone, why judge? Maybe we’ll let him have a corpse to marry? Let’s put a horse in congress while we are at it.
There has to be some shreds of a common reality left that can be agreed upon and when these are stepped over we come to the aid of those afflicted. Sure, Mrs. Berry Ferris-wheel can say “No thanks I like me just the way I am.” Alright, good luck with that. But it shouldn’t be turned all the way its going now where we’ll force a priest to marry a man to a vacuum cleaner.
Of course this is man we are talking about. So we have to be very careful when we say things about helping our fellow man with problems he may not want to be helped with. I merely mean that we do not do these people a disservice by catering to their present feeling and make an objective assessment of the true status of said condition so that there exists, perhaps, some sort of help out there, therapists that know about the condition. This means that we call a spade a spade. It may not be to the favor of your feelings or your self image or what you feel is really you. I at least am not willing to tear down the fabric of reality for a few people’s feelings. There is such few strands to grasp onto as it is…
After all, the agoraphobe, or the hoarder are, or feel they are, defined by their problem as well. If we still consider the practitioner of beastiality a person suffering mental distortion (do we? Or is he in as long as the pig doesn’t squeal?) does he not also feel that that is what make him him? Although I know even less about bestiality than I do about animism…I mean there is only so many hours to a day…
Not everyone wants to strut down the walkway singing I Was Born This Way. Those people should have their self determination as well.
There was a very clumsy swing at the Catholic Church in this doc as well. Near the end the “priest” that marries Mrs. Wheel Is identified as a former Catholic priest. The priest says he was employed a Community Church center and that he is 22 years old. One, I don’t think they have priests that young in the Catholic Church. Two, I don’t believe they rent their priests out to Community faith centers. Third, he too suffers from this affliction and was apparently caught embracing a soundboard and they fired him. Catholic priests, as I think we all know, do not simply get fired. It’s a long way into the priesthood to ordination and it is not, usually, a quick out either. And you were doing a lot more than simply hugging the thing. I’ve hugged my guitar, but then it’s a Gretsch …
Anyway, that is all the time we have this evening people. The documentary wasn’t all bad. It held my interest merely by the fact of being such an obscure topic. I just wish it hadn’t been an apologia.