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Monday, December 28, 2009

Objektophilie

Yesterday I wrote a post on the German word "Plaztangst", which translates to "place fear", and I asked if there was antonym for the term, a word that captured the feeling of giddy, sexual love for places. The Chronic and fellow LoSer Daurade both brought "objectum-sexual" (OS) to bear, pointing me to a documentary, "The Woman Who Married the Eiffel Tower." Daurade provided links to part 1 and part 2 of the documentary and offered the following critique:

Very interesting documentary, from what I saw, but apparently the OS community is pretty unhappy with it:

"You can see the difference because I am choppy and uptight in the UK film like I am reading my lines. I didn't like the director nor did I like the woman I was being filmed with because she was too overt about her sex with little regard to consequence.

In [a different film], I completely respected and trusted the director and I was free to speak with no pressure and no incessant questions about sex, nor staged sex scenes."

[...]

Also, the BBC doc is wrong....not all members of the OS community are women....


Daurade also offered a link to a fascinating website on OS that is maintained by the OS community, a community that was apparently gathered by a Swedish woman who married the Berlin Wall and helped coin the Latin-based phrase, "objectum-sexual". The website offers "Objektophil" as the Germanic translation of the phrase, which would suggest rendering "place love" as "Platzphil"; while a quick Googling brings up no relevant results, there are, humorously, irrelevant results based on the name "Phil Platz", which is way cooler than my "The Gid" dumboniker.

As it turns out, the website's home page seems to spell the German word wrong (or else this bibliophile misread it). It's actually "Objektophilie", and it, too, has its own website.

Surely advertisers study this stuff closely--at least 9 credits in OS studies must be required for a Masters degree? This is hardly non-mainstream stuff--I don't watch too much TV (rather, just enough), but I dug Boston Legal, which ran a number of episodes exploring OS (BL had, stereotypically--aren't I self-righteous?--an autistic woman). Autism seems, to me, a key to OS, the key to opening up an alternative view of "things" and "not things"--but what do I know?

I, in my ignorance, can only conclude that as advertisers become more scientific, they will slowly bring us all into the OS fold. Computer porn seems borderline close, but enough off the mark to be kind of missing the point. I think, too, that dildos are not, generally, loved, but, like porn, a vehicle for encouraging lustful thoughts.

For a more accurate example of the consumer as OS, i.e., love, love, loving an object, think of the Apple Community and see this here, tale of near heart-, er, iPhone-, break. Is it any wonder that Apple tries to keep porn off the iPhone? Its like ... the phone's the Objektophilie here--stop looking at that naked woman!

3 comments:

  1. This post deserves a lot more than what I'm about to write, but I'll have to come back to it.

    I think "Objektophil" would be the person, the "objectophile" and "Objektophilie" would be the concept: "objectophilia."

    But more to come, as it were. I think you're right that objectophilia is a big part of advertising. Like heterosexuality, objectophilia must come in many flavors....is advertising (as OS) playing about in the realm of power and sexuality as it relates to owning things?

    I've been thinking a bit about how sex relates to power, or lack thereof..."impotence" has meanings both cockish and non, for example, and it would seem that this power/sex relation is exploited by advertisers. "Buy me and you'll be sexier, thus more powerful." Or: "Buy me and you'll be more powerful, thus sexier."

    A few random thoughts on the matter.

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  2. Aha--thanks for the correction on Objektphil.

    Another mistake I made: when I said "advertiser", I think that I was actually thinking of product development. Let me try to straighten out my thoughts here, if I can. They're a bit muddled.

    I figure that advertisers have what they are given: the basic psychology of people; the products they are handed; and society. Would it be unfair to call society a result of the interaction between the collection of psychologies and the technologies/products we've created that have reshaped our environment?

    I completely agree with what you said, D. Would it be going to far to say that advertisers look to exploit weaknesses in our psychology--and many of these weakness come from a mismatch between our psychology and society? I'd argue that our psychology is shaped by slow-moving Darwinian evolutionary processes and is, therefore perhaps still based upon hunter/gatherer societies--whereas the evolution of society is driven, to a large extent, by technological change which has greatly outpaced Darwinian evolution.

    I know I'm kind of digressing here, but bear with me. The idea is that advertisers are reactive--and that product developers are proactive. Product developers are exploiting the same psychological weaknesses as advertisers, but product developers are also driving technological change and pushing the evolution of society.

    The greatest mass objectophilia has historically been cars (except, perhaps, with musicians and their instruments). Think of Rachel and her MG in Pynchon's V! But I'm telling you, these product developers have somehow pushed things, literally things, to this point were objectophilia is growing and growing. These iPods, man--people love 'em, literally love 'em. I know a guy who lost one (in a toilet, ha, ha!) and so he raced out immediately to buy a new one. It was exactly the same model and he filled it with exactly the same songs, etc. But even months later he claims that he occasionally catches himself thinking back wistfully on that previously iPod.

    I dunno, I don't think that I managed to straighten out my muddled thoughts here at all--but mark my words--our kids will all fall in love with a thing in a way that you and I cannot imagine, D.

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  3. Mr. Lebowski on the topic:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SBQQVv_e8U

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