An English In Kentucky


















Sunday August 18th 2019Tim Candler9


    After a bit it becomes necessary to intellectualize a phobia. Intellectualize means to give an intellectual character to something, which generally means you think about it, try to fit it into an established body of understandings and if you can't fit it into a body of understandings you might have to start thinking about exploring a new understanding, but tread lightly odds are your new understanding will be completely wrong, possible deranged, up there with Q Anon. If you take something like anxiety, to intellectualize the emotion of anxiety you look for what's causing the anxiety and try to do something about whatever it is that's causing the anxiety instead of just sitting there finding reasons and strategies to avoid going to the Grocery Store.  Now let's take something like Trypophobia, which is adverse reaction to "irregular patterns or clusters of small holes or bumps."  Not classified as a mental disorder by the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual which is all about possible solutions to mental problems that prevent people from functioning like good diligent hard working obedient servants of our Corporate State. Trypophobia falls into the category of a Specific Phobia, which means anything, no matter how apparently ludicrous, that has the potential to upset a person to the point of his or her becoming less than fully engaged and properly functioning. So you got a body of understanding that includes the idea that debilitating and irrational mental reactions are indeed brought on by exposure to something perfectly cogent like "The Great Outdoors." And along side this you get a person's highly suspicious adverse mental reaction to something like "Coat Hangers."  The key point about a Specific Phobia is the extent to which the Phobia has been well diagnosed by reference to more objective data with special attention to the degree to which this or that phobia has indeed produced genuine, properly studied examples of debility, rather than something like "I'm terrified of shopping carts with empty Coca Cola cans inside them so I can't possibly go within seven miles of a Grocery Store, can you do my shopping for me, I really need Raspberry filled donuts." And there's always a chance with proper peer reviewed study a Specific Phobia might graduate to genuine Phobia and as a result of being deemed genuine it gets better than a shrug from discourse, it gains acceptance, becomes a source of fascinating insights into us people and if you're lucky research grants from at best the eccentric, at worst the entrepreneur.


    Fortunately there's Social Media where everyone with access has to being a center of attention, develop a sense of identity, find a cause, a purpose and a belonging place in which to find comfort, so that a very, very few people can make both disgusting and revolting amounts of money. And on Social Media there are billions of groups several of which have devoted themselves to their adverse reaction to "irregular patterns or clusters of small holes or bumps," or Trypophobia. It's also true that I rather wish I was joking. However, it's a very interesting area. You can kind of understand it if you've ever had Mango Worm you might have noticed your reaction to the irregular patterns or clusters of small holes or bumps on much of your left thigh. It's not a pretty sight and it certainly gave my a screaming heebie-jeebies case of Trypophobia. Some people, I'm told, have a similar reaction to irregular patterns or cluster of small holes and bumps on fruit, soap bubbles and it's a long to my mind suspicious list. The argument is that the Trypophobia heebie-jeebies reaction is an autonomous reaction of fear, but also of disgust, and more than interesting to my way of thinking is that research into the debilitating results of disgust, rather than fear, to a heebie-jeebies reaction took on an earnestness a couple of months after the 2016 election here in the US. Hithertofore debilitating Phobia was conceived of in terms of fear rather than disgust. You can hook the person up with electrodes and know without a shadow of a doubt that he or she is genuinely afraid, as opposed to enjoying a theatrical moment. And you can do the same with Disgust. Fear, it was reckoned, was a wholly debilitating reaction that truly mess with a citizens capacity to enhance the bottom line of the billionaire class. Disgust, for it's part, was reckoned a long way from debilitating and fell squarely into the category of "shut up, pull yourself together, stop being a baby, and get with the program."  Nor was it that long ago that fear fell into that same category. Either way, in these politically dumfounding times there's a perfect opportunity for researchers to establish research norms around the degrees of disability that directly result from disgust on a population by subjecting them to images and voice patterns of our commander in chief. For my part efficiency, productivity, a capacity to get out of bed in the morning and anything remotely associated with enthusiasm is way down since 2016. Interesting, the gust part of disgust comes from early Italian and French for 'taste.' Revulsion has it's origins in the Latin for 'torn out,' which does work better for me.