February 10, 2012
The Inanimate Objects Are Against Us!
By Chad Love
Do you have a piece of gear that you just don't get along with? You know, the one that you can never seem to find, and when you do find it, it never seems to work the way it's supposed to? Do you sometimes feel like the thing is actually trying to irritate you? Like it's got some life of its own, and the purpose of that life is to tick you off? That may not be as crazy as it sounds...
Resistentialism (ri-zis-TEN-shul-iz-um) noun: 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".
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.
Ok, so here's the question: what piece of gear displays a high degree of resistentialism to you?