Print Story My People are Strange
Family
By CheeseburgerBrown (Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 12:04:25 PM EST) (all tags)
Capgras Syndrome causes its victims to believe, in moments or as marathons, that people they know and love have been replaced by evil alien replicons from beyond the moon, identical to the originals in every respect save the intuited fact that they are, in truth, imposters.

People who suffer from Capgras are crazy, like Super Mario's brother Luigi.


On the other hand, experiencing rare, brief flashes of identity dissociation is normal and healthy. Like a kind of person-specific jamais vu, sometimes those we know best appear -- for a fleeting pepsisecond -- to be strangers.

"Oh yeah," it occurs to you; "my buddy is just some guy."

These glimmers of anti-revelation can be disconcerting, to say the least, when your wife or your brother or your mother seems somehow sinister. But, if the object of your dissociation of your own child, you're treated a special perspective you can often appreciate intellectually but seldom viscerally: that your child is just some guy.

That kid is a person. Yes, even a stranger. Someone thinking and feeling things you will never know except by the clumsiest of bridges; someone wholly separate from you, whom you imagine you can fathom but you realize, with a Capgras hiccough, the extent to which you are blinded by procreative conceit.

You feel so close to them. It's hard when you recognize you don't possess them.

For fleeting instants you can see them in there -- the person inside your kid -- and it's a heady melange of hope and fear. They're just as free as you are, and available to the same mistakes. Like you, a fool. Like you, vulnerable. Like you, ridiculous and dignified; noble for the wrong reasons, frustrated for all the right ones, flapping through time in pursuit of luck and satisfaction.

You blink it away. It feels too real to keep in active memory.


< Massive Heid | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
My People are Strange | 29 comments (29 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I contest that by dark nowhere (4.00 / 0) #1 Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 12:19:21 PM EST
"People who suffer from Capgras are crazy"

They're not inherently crazy, they've got dysfunction in their brain that prevents them from establishing the right kind of connection. So they're handicapped. They can, and often do, go crazy. Paranoia is an easy place to start from.

What I love about this syndrome is what it shows about humans. We have a sense of identity of others. We feel uncomfortable when that suffers disconnect. If you have this syndrom, you're capable of identifying the person, except that it's not "them" -- it's an exact replica. Perfect in every way.

Chill out, snowflake.

Splitting Hairs by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 2) #2 Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 12:51:43 PM EST
...They've got dysfunction in their brain that prevents them from establishing the right kind of connection.

I think in street level, casual conversation we describe people with misfiring brains as "crazy" whenever their symptoms are sufficient to make themselves visible in regular interaction.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
It's quite a jump by dark nowhere (4.00 / 0) #3 Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:29:48 PM EST
I don't think most people think of autistics, retards or other challenged people as crazy. Or take aspergers... they've got brain problems and they're just 'dorks'. The condition on its own is essentially a lack of perception. Most crazy people I've run into perceive a bit too much.

Anyway, everybody has symptoms that are visible in regular interaction. The common ones just aren't listed as special conditions because they're so common.

Chill out, snowflake.

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capgras syndrome by MillMan (4.00 / 0) #5 Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 02:08:46 PM EST
is the direct result of damage to a specific part of the brain. As far as psychological issues go, it's not fuzzy at all (vs conditions like depression for example).

When I'm imprisoned as an enemy combatant, will you blog about it?

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Crahzy, Crayzy by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #12 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 04:32:36 AM EST
Granted, those are some very fine counter-examples. I agree with you that retarded people are infrequently called crazy, but I think Aspergerites might earn the tag from time to time.

But what does "crazy" mean?

If we take it to mean "inspires fear in others due to strange behaviour" then Tourette's sufferers are crazy even though their cognitive relationship with the world might be very straightforward.

On the other hand, if we take it to mean "enjoys a warped perception of reality" then we have to lump in almost everyone who thinks Fox News is news.

At any rate, if any of my friends ever approaches me and says, without a shred of evidence beyond their own conviction, that people they know have been replaced by facsimiles, then asks my opinion about whether or not such a notion is "crazy", I will be obliged to say, "Yes, that is crazy. You need immediate help. Take my hand, and I will lead you to the mothership and into the maw of the transformatron so the duplication process can begin."


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
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Maybe it is splitting hairs by dark nowhere (2.00 / 0) #29 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 03:49:42 PM EST
If someone said the same to me, I'd retort with "you're crazy" or "what have you been smoking?" at the least. Most with Capgras will eventually say something like that to someone. But I don't think they're crazy for a perception failure.

There's a guy around town who believes people have been replaced by clones. He is crazy and doesn't have Capgras. He also believes people are out to get him, etc. If a diagnosed Capgras sufferer believed the same things he did, they'd pretty much have to support it in the same way: "my doctor is lying to me." I'd even expect most to end up like this pretty quickly. But then there's that one guy who maybe understand what's going on and says "to me, you're not you." That doesn't sound crazy to me.

Chill out, snowflake.

[ Parent ]
No, no, no by DullTrev (4.00 / 1) #4 Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:37:20 PM EST

They're not crazy, they're freaks.

I'm a bad, bad person.


--
DFJ?
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Where is your proof . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #7 Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 04:10:01 PM EST
. . . that baby yam or popsicle have not, indeed, been replaced by replicants?

I Went to Burger King... by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #14 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 04:35:29 AM EST
...and scanned the kids under one of those magic purple lights that reveals fake five dollar bills and evil alien replicons.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
It was an evil alien replicon Burger King. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #19 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 05:32:42 AM EST
Anyway, I'm more worried about the evil republican replicons taking over.

[ Parent ]
Don't Blame Me. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #21 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 06:14:09 AM EST
That's heavy dude... by duxup (4.00 / 1) #8 Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 06:10:21 PM EST
I can't say for sure I understand as I've yet to have a child of my own.  That's not to say I don't find the little humans mysterious.

My interest in other people's babies, children and numerous hypothesis about what drives them has resulted in my wife's observation:

Our children are just going to be a science experiment for you aren't they?

Yes but more interesting than the experiments at school and they will be a very loving series of experiments.

Don't forget the poo.

Oh yes the poo...
____

Children change people by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #9 Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 11:28:32 PM EST
I've seen it happen quite a lot. The good news (for your wife anyway) is that the whole 'science experiment' thing will probably disappear pretty quickly.

Chill out, snowflake.

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Science Forever! by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #17 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 04:40:54 AM EST
Personally, I've yet to witness this much ballyhooed phenomenon.

People I know don't seem to change much when they have kids -- though sometimes they think they do. But, in the end, the trends and habits of old can be clearly seen beneath that cheap veneer of newfound responsibility.

Also: the science never stops...at least not in my house.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
Ok ok by dark nowhere (2.00 / 0) #28 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 03:39:53 PM EST
I'll give you that the changes don't always take... and that the science experiment may resume at some point. Like when you get bored of the Terrible Twos.

Most new parents I've witnessed have spent a long time in awe at first. Often it changes them -- it should because either they weren't enjoying themselves enough beforehand, or they're probably not cut out for their newfound responsibility.

Chill out, snowflake.

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Make sure you have identical twins by herbert (4.00 / 1) #10 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 02:51:17 AM EST
Then you can eliminate genetic factors in your experiments.


[ Parent ]
I Keep the Doppelgangers... by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 2) #16 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 04:38:42 AM EST
...in an old fallout shelter beneath the basement.

Don't shit on me, though -- they eat well, and have sunlamps.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
Twins by duxup (4.00 / 1) #23 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 06:51:35 AM EST
The wife is a twin (not identical) and would love to have twins herself although anecdotal evidence from her family (lots of twins there) indicates that the actual twins don't have twins.  The next generation does.  Weird.

I wouldn't mind twins.  Sure it wouldn't be easy but hey that's a 2 for 1 and considering I'm thinking of maybe 2 to 3 kids that seems efficient.  Of course the best laid plans....

Either way I plan to tell my children at some point that they had a twin and the other one didn't listen to me.  Although based on young children's behavior  I don't think that will be very effective.  The prospect of serious harm or worse doesn't seem to have much if any impact on their decision making process.
____

[ Parent ]
so does mine by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 1) #27 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 01:49:31 PM EST
my great grandfather was a twin, and so is my mom. however, they're fraternal twins, and since it seems to be on the male side of the family, my grandfather's being the child of a twin couldn't cause his wife to have fraternal twins, so it's just a weird coincidence.
---------
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
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People who suffer from Capgras are crazy by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 03:31:14 AM EST
What if they're not? What if they're absolutely correct and they're the only ones who know the truth?

Oh, and your wife is sinister. Or, anyway, a bit lefty.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

A Convenient Truth by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #15 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 04:37:23 AM EST
If the Capgrassians are right, I can't see any consequences. Think about it: if the duplicates are perfect in every way, what's the difference?

So what if my wife is an evil alien replicon? She still rocks my casbah something righteous.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
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Word to the wise: by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #18 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 05:31:15 AM EST
This doesn't mean that it's OK to have your casbah rocked something righteous by someone who is an evil alien replicon sister of your wife.

Apparently that gets you into all kinds of trouble.

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Consequences by ni (2.00 / 0) #20 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 05:57:41 AM EST
What did they do with your pre-doppelganger family? Mightn't their fate cause you some concern?


"What woman wouldn't love a guy in WW2 aviator glasses eating their ass?" -- dest
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Nah. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #22 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 06:15:10 AM EST
That's my clone's cross to bear. Me, I care about nothing except preparing the imminent arrival of the colonizer ships.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
With the colonizer-lasers by debacle (2.00 / 0) #25 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 07:18:43 AM EST
To turn people into giant colons.

Fucking Mondays. My weekend needs a weekend.


IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

[ Parent ]
Giant colons by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #26 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 07:48:09 AM EST
There's already one in Canada

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
gah by 606 (2.00 / 0) #30 Tue Sep 11, 2007 at 07:42:49 PM EST
Alright, that's the most horrifying thing I've read all day.

-----
imagine dancing banana here
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That Documentary, You Mean? by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 0) #13 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 04:34:33 AM EST
Yeah, it was awesome. But, of course, the real thugsonfilm knew that already.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
Mmm, heady melange by debacle (2.00 / 0) #24 Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 07:16:11 AM EST
The spice must flow!

IF YOU HAVE TWO FIRLES THOROWNF MONEY ART SUOCIDE GIRLS STRIPPER HPW CAN YPUS :OSE?!?!?!?(elcevisides).

My People are Strange | 29 comments (29 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback