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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What would Freud have said about this?


What started off as a handful of my favourite movies - "Lawrence of Arabia", "Zorba the Greek", "Das Boot", "Im Westen nichts Neues" etc. - has morphed into the biggest DVD collection this side of the Clyde River.

During my peripatetic years when all I owned fitted into one medium-sized suitcase, I met a whole range of collectors, from the one who kept every copy of the local newspaper going back several decades to the philatelist who rushed out to buy not just one but several sheets of every new postage stamp on issue. Another one had only ten objects in his collection, but they were tractors - and I mean REAL ones! -, while yet another had the problem of storage neatly solved by only collecting the certificates of his many interest-bearing term deposits.

Neurologists who study the collecting and indeed hoarding behaviour posit that the need to collect stems from a primeval drive to collect basic supplies such as food. Freud had a more extreme view. He postulated that all collecting stems from unresolved toilet training in that the loss of bowel control was a traumatic experience, and the product from the bowels was disgusting and frightening to the child. Thus the grown-up collector is trying to gain back control of their bowels as well as their "possessions" which were long flushed down the toilet.

Well, try and flush those thousand-plus DVDs down the toilet!