ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

Possessed —

You can watch a documentary about a possibly fascinating subject that’s about 20 minutes long for free, right now. I simply cannot make it easier for you!

The film is called “Possessed”. The webpage to see it is here and includes lots of contextual information, links, and references. It is about hoarding, the mental condition where a person is unable to discard or stop owning items. This condition could be somewhat benign or utterly debilitating. In this documentary, you meet four people, who range from merely curiously intent on their collections to full-out residents of whatthefuckia.

I am, by these standards and of the organizations mentioned in the film, a compulsive hoarder. Is this a big shock to hear? I keep a lot of stuff I shouldn’t and I keep a lot of stuff that I want to keep but which a lot of people wouldn’t keep. I like to think I’m on the edge of acceptability but by some standards I may not be. I do not feel the need, currently, to go to meetings or consider myself in trouble. Like a lot of conditions, it does have roots in my past (I had a lot of my stuff thrown away when I was younger) but also out of necessity (people send me stuff to join my collections of stuff on my sites and I keep the originals).

I like to think that given the right opportunities I would donate some of my items to proper archives, but I have very high standards for what such a place would be, so it might be a big mental trick I’m playing on myself.

This documentary gets me thinking this way, and that’s a sign of a great documentary. It’s very simple. It does not have music. It does not ridicule its subjects. It presents you with documentary overview of these lives and the voices you hear are of the people, not some bubbleheaded idiot narrator or the ever-present check-my-haircut-out “news” asshole types. The director took these paths on purpose and I laud him for it.

Enjoy the film, on me. Resist the urge to save it somewhere.

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  1. Chris Orcutt says:

    Jeez, Jay…maybe it’s just me, but that guy’s room looks a lot like your home office.

  2. Ryan Russell says:

    “Saved by the Bell”

  3. James says:

    Or if it’s software, send it to Dan’s 20th Century Abandonware.