Friday, June 18, 2010
Resistentialism is a jocular theory in which inanimate objects display hostile desires towards human beings. For example, objects that cause problems (like lost keys or a fleeing bouncy ball) exhibit a high degree of resistentialism. In other words, a war is being fought between humans and inanimate objects, and all the little annoyances objects give people throughout the day are battles between the two. The term was coined by humorist Paul Jennings in a piece titled "Report on Resistentialism", published in The Spectator in 1948 and reprinted in The New York Times. The movement is a spoof of existentialism in general, and Jean-Paul Sartre in particular (Jennings gives the inventor of Resistentialism as Pierre-Marie Ventre). The slogan of Resistentialism is "Les choses sont contre nous" -- "Things are against us".
The concept also appears in the Discworld novels of English author Terry Pratchett, where it is referred to as malignity or malignance; one practical example the author gives is the tendency of garden hoses, no matter how carefully one coils and stores them, to unloop themselves overnight and tie the bicycle to the lawnmower. It is associated with the Auditors of Reality, and possibly also with Anoia, goddess of Things that Stick in Drawers. (From Wikipedia)
NOTE TO SELF: when spooling new line on a reel, always, always check the spool tension knob before making a cast, as said spool tension knobs on non-magnetic centrifugal-brake baitcasters are known to display a high and particularly malevolent degree of resistentialism.
Posted by Chad Love at 11:40 AM