Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Dating Hysteric

I posted several months ago that I was a "dating hysteric." I received a few interesting emails asking for some information on what exactly that is. Some out of simple interest, others hoping to either diagnose or undiagnose themselves with this social affliction.

To make something clear first, a hysteric is the last person you should ask to describe hysteria. One earnest soul, asked me to clarify what I meant, "does it just mean you can't express yourself to the people you want to express yourself to?" My reply was probably about six pages long, in the form of a single spaced email which wandered through dense theoretical texts and shameless pop culture references. I'm far too embarassed to share my entire reply with everyone out there, but at least I can let see a few small sliver like hints of how strange my response was.

My last attempt to describe what a dating hysteric is included references to the following:

Ecrits by Jacques Lacan (the speech on "Reason since Freud)
Naked Lunch directed by David Cronenberg (The scene in Tangiers where the lips and voice of Ian Holm don't match up)
Weezer's Blue Album (the songs No One Else (the rules of attraction) and Only in Dreams (psychosis), which are interesting Lacanian songs)
Muqaddar Ka Sikandar with Amitabh and Vinod Khanna (the infamous Pyaar Zindagi Hai scene as well as the sacrifice of Sikandar and the ending song)
Empire of the Sun starring Christian Bale (via Zizek, hysterical revolutions)
Main Hoon Ha directed by Farah Khan (The qawwali scene, where Anju magically becomes popular)
Audition directed by Takashi Miike (the subject supposed to wait/torture)
The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology by Slavoj Zizek (too many citations, but definitely his discussion on the subversive potential of hysteria over perversion)
Toys directed by Barry Levinson (the intervention of the Big Other through Robin Wright Penn)
Audioslave's song Show Me How to Live
The End of Evangelion (Asuka's arm being flailed before she can go berserker, and also the visualization of what the Human Instrumentality Project looks like (the death of the subject as an always I))
Tokyo Raiders directed by Jingle Ma and Legend of the Swordsman starring Jet Li and Gorgeous starring Jackie Chan (the dubbed English versions, and how the characters don't understand each other, even though they are and are not speaking the same languages)
Herbie Fully Loaded starring Lindsey Lohan (Herbie as the death drive)
The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester ("tension apprehension and dissension have begun")
Dune directed by David Lynch and Anchorman starring Will Ferrell (naive narration, and how it complicates and interrupts the narrative)

I read recently a transcript between Lacan and a patient of his. After several pages of discussion of the patient's psychosis and Lacan playing the duo's straight man ("I certainly don't think you insane!" "Who called you psychotic? Not me!") the patient reveals that he had read some of Lacan's work years before when he was institutionalized. Although I would never claim to be psychotic (except to joke around/ scare people), my own schizotypal tendencies take on an interestingly intellectual character because I have read so much of Lacan and Zizek. I guess that's why I don't see this hysteria as something necessarily unproductive or damaging. Sure it makes dating hell and painfully impossible, but it makes my poetry and my scholarly work so painfully interesting.

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