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Katie van Schaijik

Choice and borderline personality disorder

Feb. 10 at 1:26pm

Cleaning off my laptop desktop today, I find this passage from a James Bowman review of the movie My Summer of Love. Good food for thought.

Writing in The Times of London about the Michael Jackson trial, Oliver James, a psychologist, notes that “The thing about people with borderline personality disorder, which I believe Jackson has, is that they have a weak sense of self — as evidenced by the need to change his skin color, his erratic moods and the fact that he thinks he is Peter Pan. They are constantly acting out different personalities, which means that the boundary between fantasy and reality is blurred.” As in other ways, however, in this Michael Jackson stands for so much more than himself. Ours is the age of borderline personality disorder — not to mention the Peter Pan culture of eternal adolescence. The culture which once attempted to mould and shape us to a particular ideal now turns us loose into a world of infinite choices, and of nearly infinitely possible selves and demands only that we choose. Small wonder if we retreat and hide from such choices, or pretend like Michael Jackson in his absurd military uniforms, that we can slip from one to another without ever committing to any.


 

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