Monday, August 28, 2006

Even when you're right, being obsessive is weird

I'm starting to think all governments should be run by obsessive-compulsive hypochondriacs. We're already dealing with a world run by people with severe personality disorders (usually of the Narcissistic sociopath variety) so I think we should simply switch the personality disorders involved. Seriously, all the major ills of the world could be fixed by OCD politicians.

We'd never go to war because they'd be freaked out by the potential consequences (as opposed to the current crop of political and religious leaders who don't seem to even take a breath to consider the consequences.) We could stop worrying over what does and doesn't cause cancer because they would focus on finding causes rather than protecting industries, companies and products that might be responsible. Pollution would be reduced as they obsessed over the health implications. We'd get clean energy sources because they'd pour research money into way to reduce pollution. That would get rid of oil dependence (a major source of conflict) and help reduce global warming risks as well.

But they'd still be weird.

It's one of those things - being right doesn't stop you from being weird. And most people would rather not listen to weird people. Attacking "problems" in an obsessive manner leads many people to think you are actually the problem. Like people who get obsessed with disinfecting every surface and constantly admonish you to constantly wash your hands, particularly when going to the toilet is involved. I have covered this topic several times (in fact I was prompted to think about it again when my very first video blog on the subject was featured on Chartreuse over the weekend) and I think I've established the definitive rules on the topic.

One of my favourite websites, the Snopes Urban Legends Reference Pages, has a great example of where being right doesn't mean you aren't weird. As a bit of background, seems to be run by people with way too much time on their hands. They actually have the time to research urban legends and see if there is any basis in fact. Sometimes it is a real surprise which stories are actually true, like this one about purses carrying germs from public toilets into the kitchen.

It turns out the freakishly obsessive person who wrote the original email message is right. But they're still a fucking freak. Just get a grip! Why do some people have such a problem with perspective? If a few fucking bugs in your kitchen is your biggest problem, you're doing OK. We all give ourselves food poisoning now and then. Deal with it and move on. This reminded me of one of the stories that tabloid "current affairs" TV shows regurgitate every now and then.

A couple of times a year they run some variation on a story where an "expert" runs tests on things like public transport, stair railings and door handles to show there are germs all over everything and we are picking them up whenever we touch anything. Well, duh. Whenever I see one of these freakish people obsessing over the germs that saturate every surface, I can't help thinking they'd be a very weird sex partner.

"You want me to do what? Touch you where? Oh my god, you actually want me to put my mouth there? Do you have any idea how many germs that carries? I have no idea where it's been!"

Or at least that's the sort of thing I imagine.

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