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[1] and reprinted in The New York Times[2]. 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.


  1. Chad, in your particular example, I refer to that as a "Professional Overrun."

  2. Fine photo, and fine concept. Nice!

  3. Chad
    My guess you've already read it, but it's worth mentioning for those who haven't yet. Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman has a speculation as to the process by which inanimate objects take on personalities.

    "The gross and net result of it is that people who spent most of their natural lives riding iron bicycles over the rocky roadsteads of this parish get their personalities mixed up with the personalities of their bicycle as a result of the interchanging of the atoms of each of them and you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who are nearly half people and half bicycles...when a man lets things go so far that he is more than half a bicycle, you will not see him so much because he spends a lot of his time leaning with one elbow on walls or standing propped by one foot at kerbstones."


  4. Hi Chad,
    I always seem to end up with a similar "birds nest" when using a multiplier reel such as yours, now I know the reason why! Just new that I should have listened to Mr. Pratchett's dire warnings with more attention!

  5. Scampwalker, that is indeed my preferred term. And I think I should get some kind of gold star for doing it on literally the first cast after putting on new line...

    SBW, haven't read nor heard of it but it sounds fascinating. Thanks, I'll be checking it out...

    Murphyfish, once you get the hang of a baitcaster they're really pretty easy to master, especially the ones with magnetic cast control.But since I learned how to cast on an old-school Ambassadeur,and even though I have quite a few thoroughly ymodern low-profile baitcasters I still prefer the traditional round reels like Calcuttas.

    The irony is, I can't cast a spinning reel to save my life...

  6. I am going to steal that reel next time I am up.

  7. To this day I can't throw a baitcaster. I keep telling myself it's because I'm left handed.

  8. No excuse, Mark. I'm left-handed, and just look at how well I cast...

  9. Sooner or later, pretty much every time, that is the way a baitcaster is going to look for me. At least with new line you have plenty left after you cut that out!