Sunday, July 11, 2010


Over the last 24 hours or so, I’ve been doing a yeoman’s job of smoothing out the folds in my brain’s gray matter; from softball game hydrating (with beer) to backyard-barbecue quaffing (more beer) to this morning’s soccer game (beer for breakfast!), I’ve managed to stay sufficiently lubricated that my ability to do logic puzzles would likely be compromised, although I’ve not had trouble staying upright on two wheels nor tidying up the house in the family’s time away.

I remain uncertain, however, about the degree to which my synapses and neurons are performing at their peak; in the absence of further data, I’m going to hypothesize that while there’s some sputtering going on, ignition of a sorts is yet possible. I can still write a coherent sentence, at least, even if the subject matter turns out to be less than stellar.

Unless, that is, I’m suffering from anosognosia, a condition the documentary film-maker, Errol Morris recently wrote about in the New York Times, where you have some sort of affliction and don’t know you have it, for example people who are blind but don’t realize the can’t see,

I’m sort of taken with that idea right now: what’s intriguing is that you could have it, but not know you have it—in fact, that seems to be a necessary condition of the phenomenon, which means that you could never know if you had it—which means, by extension, that we could all be suffering from anosognisia, but not know it—or, at least I could, since even if people told me I had it, I wouldn’t listen.

Morris tells the story in his essay about a would-be bank robber in Pittsburgh who covered his face in lemon juice because he believed that doing so would make him invisible to security cameras; the guy was certain, in spite of evidence to the contrary, that it was working.

Set the bar that low, even I can clear it.


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