Attraction by MBTI Type aka Picking up Scattered Lunatics

My little buddy asked me a reasonable question, which amounted to, ‘Why the FUCK would you narrow down who you date, to a specific personality type, based on a personality test?’

This is a reasonable question. The short is answer is, because I’m right.

The longer answer is still, I’m right and because I’ve seen what happens when I don’t. I actually could have had a date with someone tonight is who is very much within my determined ‘range of compatibility’ (lol) but true to type I have chosen to theorise about why this is, instead of you know, having a sex life, but still…

I’ve actually developed a theory on this, which I will post in due course, and which essentially amounts to: which types are compatible, who you should avoid, what type of person is most likely to be a transsexual, all that good stuff.

Here are some pointers:

On my ‘scale,’ if you date someone who has a personality type close to your own, this will in all likelihood blow up in your face and you will find yourself having explosive arguments due to being too similar.

If you date someone outside of the determined ‘range of compatibility’ (which I should really include before actually talking about this stuff) and the further you are outside of the range, you will find conversations become more strained, this is largely due to using entirely different cognitive functions to process information about the world around you. Or, in some cases, you might be people who just have a complete disregard for the outer world entirely and be happiest having abstract conversations about the inner realms of consciousness. Not that I’m speaking from experience.

The best relationships are the ones where you have somewhat similar cognitive functions, or different in a manner that will be complement each other. I.e someone whose primary function is introverted with secondary extroverted intuition (INTP) will be best suited to dating someone who leads with extroverted thinking and has secondary introverted intuition (ENTJ). In terms of feeling types, the same holds true, as is the case for types where their primary function is intuition, with secondary extroverted thinking will find themselves best suited to types whose primary means of interpreting the world is through dominant extroverted intuition. Some types balance each other out better than others. Incidentally, if you are a person who is quite well organised and in control, you’ll find yourself drawn to types who are quite scattered and spontaneous and vice versa. This isn’t something that’s entirely conscious. On another note, with regards to the type to whom I’m referring, I work in a place where something like 80/90% of the people there would fall into the bracket of their sensory cousins. Interestingly, there’s actually quite a massive divergence which is far more distinguishable at the most basic surface level, than the initial surface difference between INTJ/ISTJ to the untrained eye. ISTJ’s who fetishise and claim to be INTJ’s will never not amuse me. (How do you tell the difference? ISTJ’s usually talk about things that actually exist, they infer and speculate infrequently or certainly far less frequently, they have good memories, they’re more inclined towards talking about history rather than the future, they’re often quite conservative in their instincts, words like pragmatism will probably bring them to orgasm, they have a respect for, and often even like figures of authority (Whereas, personally, I’m that particular type of cunt who is borderline insubordinate, and is at odds with authority whilst simultaneously positioning myself as one. Without any hint of irony whatsoever – kind of like I’m doing here), and crucially, they live in the real world – whereas INTJs want to live in the unconscious. If you don’t know what I mean by that, you definitely aren’t an INTJ/INFJ. Here’s a clue though, watch the end of Inception.) The type I’m speaking of, are like the bastard love child of Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Osho from Netflix’s Wild, Wild Country, in some cases brought up by the fucking Manson family.

As I have alluded to here, I’ve only ever actually dated (seriously) women who fall into one specific type (no prizes for guessing which). However, I have had a few run ins with their introverted cousins, a few ENTPs, a couple of INTPs and recently, on the back of a particularly bad break up, I tried my hand as dating an extroverted sensory type (the cognitive functions are the same as INFP but in reverse, incidentally). She was a really lovely person but in order to communicate and effectively relate with her, I found myself digging more and more into my inferior and shadow functions. Generally speaking, and in hindsight, I don’t find this a particularly constructive or healthy approach to dating, or as a means of living life and I’m never doing that again.

‘But how do you actually attract one of these people, when you don’t leave the house because you’re too busy watching Dr. House and Ancient Aliens, except for work where you hate everyone, coffee or to quickly pop in a shop and get what you want (no more/no less) and leave?????’

Good question, and I will share that wisdom later.  Back to House.


Why Being an INTJ Sucks

The greatest thing about MBTI when it comes to the INTJ, is how favourable its description of us is. In reality, certainly, if you’ve also tested as an INTp through Socionics – which in terms of the cognitive functions amounts to the same thing – you’ll get a more honest, if not an entirely complete picture – as Socionics doesn’t describe the type based on what amounts to an idealised superpower interacting with the outer world.

Let’s be real, Carl Jung – the greatest psychiatrist in history and essentially the founding father of MBTI said it best, ‘The introverted intuitive is the most useless of (persons)’ and truth be told, he was completely right. So it’s amusing that anyone who isn’t one of us, would lay claim to being an INTJ/INFJ.

For the INTJ – introverted intuition is a high powered perceiving function. When interacting with extroverted thinking, it throws up an endless array of possibilities, images and ideas that the extroverted thinking function aims to apply some degree of order to, and thus make them applicable and useful in terms of the real world. The reality is somewhat different. For the INTJ, they relentlessly consume information, and the mind is a veritable never-ending cycle of images of ideas and future possibilities, 99.99% of which never get acted acted upon, because the INTJ is essentially passive in terms of that they are all about thinking and not about doing. The INTJ is mostly engaged in the inner world and actually couldn’t care less about whether any of their ideas actually come to fruition in the outer world. They are almost entirely consumed by the inner function. INTJ’s are ideas generating machines, but their practical application is almost zero. On paper this still sounds great but the reality is: for an INTJ they simply couldn’t care less about practical application. ‘But, but, introverted intuition is useful in the work place, because you can like totally predict the future’… In reality, this ability has pissed off far more of my superiors than it has won any kind of favour. You don’t actually have to have read Machiavelli’s The Prince or Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power to know that absolutely no-one likes a smart arse, and why that is.

The alarming thing about all of this is, that for an INTJ we know exactly what we should be doing, but there’s a total indifference towards actually doing it. For someone of my age, I know instead of spending in the vicinity of – my Kindle tells me -the next 390 hours reading the full works of Balzac, I should be applying myself to reading books about business, entrepreneurs and endeavours that have a practical and financial real world value.  That said, we also know the correct macro-nutrient ratios and workouts to look like 1978 Arnold Schwarzenegger, because we read The Encyclopaedia of Modern Bodybuilding cover to cover, as have we consumed the works of others such as say Mike Mahler. Further to this, we also know all of the specific steps to seduce the woman of our dreams – we actually also know specifically who the woman of our dreams is in acute detail despite not necessarily having met her yet, we know exactly what kind of value we should be bringing, but we’re not as remotely interested in the practical application of any of these things as we are about speculating about them. We’re great strategists and planners, but for other people who can actually stick to and follow our ideas, not ourselves.

This is the crux of the introverted intuitive. We have great ideas, but we have absolutely no practicality whatsoever. We live solely in the realm of ideas. We love the idea of things much more than the actual reality. For example, I love the idea of playing guitar, but when it comes to the practicality of learning things such as scales – then I drift off. I understand the fundamental concept of how music works but when it comes to the practical application? Then I just move on to something else. I wrote what amounted to a Celtic rock opera for one of the few women I’ve dated who wasn’t actually an N type (read: an ENFP or an ENTP), one of those rare sensory ones who actually persevered in getting to know me – was it complete in the sense that I, or anyone else could perform said Celtic rock opera? Fuck no. What I gave her was an essentially – for all practical and useful purposes, an incomplete complete Celtic rock opera. I mean, let’s be honest, this fucking sums it all up. The idea is there, but the practical application? Generally, the only thing of any remote value we might be able to offer is our ideas, but when in terms of actually being able to translate them into something of say, a physical value, we’re completely out of our depth. We’re so deeply entrenched in our thoughts and ideas we haven’t actually bothered our arses to actually learn any of the practical skills to go with applying them to reality.

My younger brother who is an ISFJ god bless him, writes a blog about Bruce Springsteen. Despite me expressing my disinterest in his blog to him (which actually in practical terms makes me a dickhead) for what amount to INTJ reasons (I.e. basically, it doesn’t offer any insight into the human condition, it doesn’t speculate as to any deeper meaning towards the big picture, it doesn’t seek to interpret the broader symbolism of the body of work, whatever, etc) it is far more successful in its own right than anything I’ve ever written in my life. I mean, I can move the goalposts of success and argue that I might still be a better writer from a technical standpoint than my younger brother, whatever, but I mean, that would be ridiculous, his blog is more successful than this and will always be more successful than this – you know why? Because, while us INTJ’s may scorn sensory types, his blog deals in facts, absolutes, things that are concretely verifiable, not what amounts to speculation over what something might mean. The truth is, introverted intuitives don’t have any interest in history, people, the past or basically anything the wider population of the world is interested in, unless it is somehow useful toward fuelling our own speculations about the future. Further to this, we are completely unable to self-promote in any kind of meaningful capacity. While my writing has always been done for myself, it would probably still be somewhat astonishing if the amount of people who read this post in full is in double figures.

Further to this, in MBTI terms, there is at a push only two types who we are actually compatible with. As we have established that we are basically fucking useless people with zero social or practical engagement, there is two types who – I mean assuming we are vaguely within the remit of what they might physically attractive – who might actually like us. These are types who make up a very small proportion of the overall population, and who unless we actively seek – which ironically might work against us on this one – just might find us somewhat endearing: the ENFP and the ENTP. My personal experience with ENTPs is that they are effectively the shadow of the INTJ. Which is to say, they are basically what I look like when I go all out to be social. I click with them, I like them, but they don’t exactly set the proverbial heart ablaze, because in an odd, round about kind of way, I find them to be too similar to myself. But, the ENFP… as I said, unless we’re ridiculously proactive in seeking them out, in terms of our day to day lives, we might actually only meet an ENFP every couple of years (contrast this with ESFPs for an ISTJ, who seem to be absolutely fucking everywhere), but when you do meet the ENFPs, you know instantaneously because your extroverted thinking met by their introverted feeling, followed by introverted intuition met with extroverted intuition hits you like a sledgehammer. Then:

The indifference can be a somewhat attractive quality and it isn’t that we are necessarily short of people hitting us, however, in practical terms, you aren’t going to get someone into bed by constantly indifferent – you actually have to drop the indifference at some point and show a warm, healthy interest to seal the proverbial deal. Except in our case, the indifference isn’t an act, except for perhaps a small handful of people, we generally just can’t summon the emotional energy to actually you know, go through the entire process of picking someone up. It’s not the case we’re lacking in social awareness or empathic abilities – in fact, I imagine you’d be hard pushed to ever find an INTJ who has been accused of being say, autistic, we’re totally indifferent to small details for a start – we’re just overall not that interested in people. For a while, I actually made it my goal to improve my social abilities to a high level following a bad break up – as I found that this required a reliance on my less developed and shadow functions, and the irony is, that I can never meet someone who I actually connect with in any deep and meaningful way, by you know, actually pushing myself to be social. Essentially this is because by using the shadow functions, on a fundamental level I am not being true to myself. Plus, eventually, as there isn’t an endless supply of emotional energy and investment beyond the goal, you’re always going to revert back to type, anyway. We’re always going to be most attractive to a certain type when we’re not trying and we’re just quietly getting on with doing our own thing. This might seem quaint and even somewhat romantic, but there is a reason why we might actually only meet these types every few years, or rather they meet us: we don’t generally run in the same circles, the same workplaces or environments. Although, in terms of my own career, occasionally I will meet something of an outlier.

The point is, anyone who would want to be an INTJ or an INFJ when they aren’t is insane. Whether that be because of our terrible memories, our general disinterest in people, our complete disregard for practicalities, authority, hierarchy, history, empirical evidence, small talk, the present moment, the past, emotions, being functional in any conventional sense, developing useful practical skills, whatever,  if you want to persist with the notion of being an introvert – rather than hitching your horse up to the nearest extroverted function – as well as being an intuitive, at least aspire to be INFP, at least they’re cool and largely fucking likeable.

In terms of other types, it’s quite interesting and illuminating that in terms of actual everyday success, you will likely find more ESTPs and ESFJs in positions of success. It’s interesting that these types possess the four main cognitive functions of the INTJ and INFJ but in reverse. The focus for these types as a result is thus the exact opposite of Ni (introverted intuition) dominant types: they’re almost entirely focussed on relationships with the outer world, whether that be indulging in business, fashion, taking parts in sports and all the world has to offer. Thus, although they have Ni in the inferior position, unlike an INTJ or INFJ they will have no interest in trying to understand that aspect of themselves beyond the aesthetic, certainly not beyond the sensory and outer forms that take precedence.

I was recently having a conversation with an ESFP who was talking about her paintings, she mentioned she often drew circles (she was referring specifically to mandalas) and about an abstract painting she had done that didn’t have a face. An INTJ or an INFJ wouldn’t have mentioned that: They would have been aware that the painting represented this persons struggle with her identity. However, for her, this was a minor inconsequence and was mentioned just as a means of building rapport with a person and making conversation to build up a better working relationship with someone (in this case me), as mentioned, the Ni dominant time would be too consumed with the symbolism and its significance to even bring it to the surface, they certainly wouldn’t use it a manner which was constructive in such a way.

I’m quite interested in people’s tattoos and what they may reveal about a person. In terms of the ESTP, and this is the personality of the likes of Donald Trump, Conor McGregor and many other types who you will find tend to be often brash and successful despite what you might think of them, and happen to be INFJs in reverse, I was on Instagram earlier and I stumbled upon a former Geordie Shore character who has taken up MMA fighting, I’m not sure why this person popped up as it isn’t the kind of content I would generally look at on there, suffice to say he is very much in the ESTP mould and I was interested to see this tattoo:

Located on exactly the part of the throat where that sound is made. I would imagine that this probably wasn’t an intentional detail and was added as an aesthetic. You know, unlike the INTJ/INFJ type, the ESTP person in question is probably too busy being successful and doing things that bring relative value in the real world, going to the gym, working on a TV and MMA career and hanging out with people to give these details much thought.

An Exploration of Extroverted Intuition

There are two versions of this post. This one mainly focuses on aspects of the nature of extrovert intuition which is a function of ENFP, INFP, ENTP and INTP according to the Myers-Briggs Types Index. The other post is more functional and says many of the same things, but is looked at in conjunction with an exploration of introverted intuition. This post is more fun and will explore extroverted intuition via a detour into Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 film Solaris, and the first season of Hannibal (2013) which I’ve recently started rewatching.

Time is a perception, a way of organizing and understanding through units that divide and compile the universe into sometimes arbitrary formations. Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky explored temporality in a manner not unlike Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark who, just moments after seeing his father’s ghost and realizing the earthly and spatial planes are not aligned, observed, “time is out of joint”. Given the perceptive nature of time and its relation to space in cinema, more than merely time is out of joint in film; the spatiotemporal form remains displaced, illusory, assembled through the filmmaking process of image-making and editing.

Hannibal is a fascinating TV show and other than borrowing the names of characters and some tropes, it bares far less practical resemblance to much of the subject it borrows from than you might expect. I am happy with this. I can’t actually think of anything worse than trying to redo ‘classics.’ Bryan Fuller decides to inhabit the space Hannibal exists in, and tell a completely different story with different characterisations, even if most the names within this space stay the same. Curiously this isn’t something he does with American Gods which would also be interesting to look at, but I’m happy to assume for the purposes of this that American Gods by Neil Gaiman (INFP) is told through the lens of Shadow Moon (INFP) so for Fuller, he has an easier relationship with the original text and therefore doesn’t have to take as many liberties with the source material to relate it to himself and subsequently tell the story he wants to tell. I’d go as far as postulating that, although I have never read a single Thomas Harris interview, (but a few books amounting to a few hundred thousand words which to varying degrees outline your interests, preferences, desires, hopes, dreams and what makes you tick is the next best thing) other than being aware that he is a novelist who has wrote a grand total of four novels in the past 37 years, and the last two appear to have came out of nothing more than pure pragmatism because they were going to make new Hannibal Lecter movies post Silence of the Lambs whether he’d wrote the source material or not, and due to the fact that his novels are vaguely surreal, deal in symbolism and intellectual games, it makes him by my reckoning, almost certainly an INTJ.

Fuller as an INFP (dominant function: introverted feeling, auxiliary function: extroverted intuition) opts to tell this story through Will Graham who appears at once doubly opposed to Hannibal (Just for those keeping score, Mads Mikkelsen’s Hannibal is an INFJ whereas Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal in keeping with Harris’ source material is a cunning INTJ).  So from the outset, we have on one level, Hannibal as the creator in that he commits art murders, whereas Will, is the detective interpreting those murders and is therefore the critic. On the other hand, it is Will who is presented as the imaginative figure, whereas Hannibal is reduced to a responsive role, reinterpreting other people’s murders. Will Graham is a classic INFP. It doesn’t really come as much of surprise as characters in fiction will often be reflections of their creators. (As an aside,  for quite a while, I’ve wanted to do a blog with meta-readings on movies that people think are bad, as often the meta-readings will provide a really fascinating contextualisation to the movie. The Godfather Part 3 and its correlation with Francis Ford Coppola’s career being probably the ultimate example. Also going back to the previous proposition about the correlation between creators and their characters. Although Mario Puzo created The Godfather, Michael Corleone especially in The Godfather Part 3 is very much a reflection of Coppola. Literally to the point Michael Corleone’s daughter and sister are Francis Ford Coppola’s actual daughter Sofia Coppola and his sister Talia Shire.  I know little of Puzo. There is a parallel with Thomas Harris in that his involvement in the screenplay for The Godfather Part 3 came about out of pragmatism as the movie was being made, with or without him. Frankly however, there is a number of ways you could read into that.)

Fuller makes an interesting choice to position Will as on the autism spectrum. This is an interesting move with regards to his stated skill of empathy. In practice the show plays more than a little fast and loose with what exactly it is that Will does. As an INFP what Will obviously has is what most would call: extroverted intuition, so it’s interesting how Fuller chooses to frame this within the narrative. To serve the narrative however, it doesn’t actually serve much purpose to call it this, and we also have the conceit that: neuroatypical people are good at understanding other neuroatypical people, just as neurotypical people are good at understanding other neurotypical people, so we will go with empathy.

There is however an interesting oscillation between framing it as empathy and imagination. On the surface these are two very different things: empathy is perceptual, imagination creative. The division is readily healed by looking to William Blake on the subject of imagination. For William Blake, imagination is a faculty to be added to perception. It is the fact of man’s imagination that creates abstraction and order over the dead-eyed, vegetative world of nature. Imagination is thus more real than mere perception. It a higher order of the cosmos.

Or, to highlight James Joyce’s Ulysses and Stephen Dedalus’ theory of Hamlet, which I have also linked at the beginning of this blog:

Stephen mysticises the process of fatherhood and, as was commonly done by Renaissance writers, apparently makes the maternal link the only certainty:

Fatherhood, in the sense of conscious begetting, is unknown to man. It is a mystical estate, an apostolic succession […] .Amor matris, subjective and objective genitive, may be the only true thing in life. (p.266)

The artist, however, has the power to ‘weave and unweave his image’. Artistic creativity/paternity is here presented as a kind of potential auto genesis:

When Rutlandbaconsouthamptonshakespeare or another poet of the same name in the comedy of errors wrote Hamlet he was not the father of his own son merely but, being no more a son, he was and felt himself the father of all his race… (p.267)

This is not the traditional kind of bardolatry but there is a belief in a somewhat transubstantiating power behind artistic creation. Here is a fantasy of redemption and freedom from both biological and metaphorical parental authority. Stephen makes Shakespeare ‘Himself his own father’ (p.267); by aligning himself with Shakespeare he reveals to us his own desire, and by implication Joyce’s, to be free of the fetters of origin. Stephen in Portrait declares: ‘When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets.’ Ellmann highlights how focused Ulysses is on confronting issues of origin and paternity:

A theme of Ulysses, Joyce intimates, is reconciliation with the father…Insofar as the movement of the book is to bring Stephen, the young Joyce, into rapport with Bloom, the mature Joyce, the author becomes, it may be said, his own father.[27]

The crux of Stephen’s theory is that all art is autobiographical.

Within the context of Hannibal, this adds an unsettling light to what Will does. If the empathy that he brings to crime scenes is an act of imagination then the resulting sense of design must belong to Will, not the killers themselves. Will creates a higher structure out of the victims before him, and this structure proves more real and more powerful than the killing on its own. Going back to the nature of the show that Fuller has created, and Will and Hannibal’s relationship, on a basic level this can be read as a crude and obvious comment about the relationship between art and audiences, but it has many other implications that are both more interesting and more disturbing.

There is another interesting thing happening at the same time from not just an aesthetic standpoint. Hannibal has extremely distinctive establishing shots. These are as important as the richly saturated colour palette in creating its distinctive atmosphere. The time lapse establishing shots, with clouds whizzing overhead, frame what happens as taking place outside of time, in a fractured dreamscape. Fractured time is a recurring motif in the show, where it serves to indicate the blurring of internal and external landscapes.

Further to this, when you combine the particularly outlandish murders of the first season in conjunction with the gothic dreamscapes, it only serves to solidify the total unreality of the show. Simply put, this clearly isn’t happening in the real world. This will be something interesting to explore as the show progresses, Will’s empathy is stretched to breaking point and Will’s internal world begins to collapse.

Many of Tarkovsky’s characters and settings inhabit time, but they do so in dreamlike or even imagined landscapes that have no precise orientation within logical space, what for Deleuze might be represented by a “chronic non-chronological order”. Tarkovsky often wrote about the philosophies of Heraclitus or Arthur Schopenhauer in relation to time, though he did not adhere to a consistent time-philosophy for himself. What remains consistent in every Tarkovsky film is not a philosophy about time, but rather the profound treatment of time as a factor in both his formal and narrative approach, and his visual treatment of time in slow movements and pensive, unhurried shots. Tarkovsky also wrote extensively about time in texts like Sculpting in Time and Time Within Time, where he links, albeit without a steady application of his ideas, the notion of time and space “out of joint” but having a shared pattern or togetherness, associating such ideas through what has been described as “meaning-laden images whose meanings are elusive”. Whether he successfully or clearly communicates the potential metaphoric or symbolic meanings of his images remains the responsibility of the viewer to determine.

What did Schopenhauer say about dreams? I recently watched a show on Netflix called ‘The Power of Myth’ which is a series of discussions with the acclaimed mythologist Joseph Campbell. To quote Campbell:

“When you reach a certain age,” and he (Schopenhauer) wrote this when he was in his 60s or so, “and look back over your life, it seems to have had an order. It seems to have had been composed by someone. And those events that when they occurred seemed merely accidental and occasional and just something that happened, turn out to be the main elements in a consistent plot.” So he says, “Who composed this plot?” And he said, “And just as your dreams are composed by an aspect of yourself, of which your consciousness is unaware, so your whole life has been composed by the will within you.” Then he says, “Just as those people whom you met by chance became effective agents in the structuring of your life, so you have been an agent in the structuring of other lives, and the whole thing gears together like one big symphony,” he says, “everything influencing and structuring everything else.” And he said, “It’s as though our lives were the dream of a single dreamer, in which all the dream characters are dreaming too, and so everything links to everything else, moved out of the will in nature.”

That’s a beautiful idea. It’s an idea that occurs in India, in the image of what’s called the “Nee of Indra” or the net of gems. Where it’s a net of gems where every gem reflects all the other ones. And they also have the idea of a spontaneous and simultaneous arising. Everything arises in relation to everything else, and so you can’t blame anybody for anything; it’s all working around. It’s a marvelous idea. It’s as though there were an intention behind it, and yet it all is by chance. None of us has lived the life that he intended.”

To take another detour, I can frequently become completely disconnected from my body, I’ve missed flights, I constantly day-dream, an ability to make order out of chaos doesn’t mean I’m organised. My friends are for the most part other n types. Genuinely, I much prefer other intuitive types for the unconscious sense of comfort, instant recognition and mutual understanding. There is something of an instant click. This may be sometimes the case for other intuitive types too. I recall an INFP friend who had been off work for some time actually insist that she be not separated from me at work on the basis I was the only one who got her. I basically spent most of my twenties pondering the dynamics of social interaction, yet still, any friendship or relationship I might have is determined by any one of three factors: I stumble across another n type and there’s an instant click and sense of mutual recognition. A determined ENFP folllows me around long enough that I effectively give in and accept we’re in a relationship. This is effectively what happened with my ex, this was a person who despite the incessant red flags would ring me constantly and literally invent drama as a means for having a conversation. This included claims prior to us even meeting such as ‘I’ve been arrested.’ It doesn’t exactly take a genius to figure out this was absolutely fucking flagrant bullshit, and you wouldn’t be ringing someone off a mobile if you were under police custody, followed around half-an-hour later by, ‘The Garda have released me.’ I mean, anyone in their sound mind would have distanced themselves from someone like this, but that rather discounts that an intuitive such as my ex could basically have me smitten by giving me a constant stream of problems to solve (even though we both knew most of these were actually fucking fictitious) along with a predilection for having lots of sex. I’m a person who generally speaking solves the proverbial rubix cube pretty quickly, so there’s something both depressing and intriguing that my own ‘rubix cube’ was, ‘make up problems for this person to thrive on solving’ and ‘he really likes sex.’ There’s something of a generalisation about ENFP’s  that they’re air-heads. Personally, I’ve found on multiple occasions that this is generalising, while on one level true, really does them a grave injustice. I’ve often found myself in relationships with this type where I would actually consider myself vastly more intelligent than they are. What this discounts is that this type has a powerful extroverted intuition and you’re left with the sense that while on paper you might be more intelligent, this is a type that at their best seems to innately and instinctively know all of the important things in life. At their most turbulent, although they possess extroverted intuition as their primary function, their are similarities with Jung’s description.

Stephen says bitterly, “It is a symbol of Irish art. The cracked lookingglass of a servant.”

Sometimes through the cracked lookingglass you see reflections of yourself. Through the cracks there is a mutual recognition. Here was a person who would muddle through life, who was absolutely terrible with money and possessed little to no sense of organisation, with only what appeared to be miraculous good fortune protecting her life from becoming absolute chaos at every turn. Possibly the most acute depiction I’ve seen of this is in the Netflix show based on Douglas Adams’ ‘Dirk Gently‘ (in keeping with earlier in the blog, click the link just for fun) about a “holistic detective” (ENTP in the book although in the show, Samuel Barnett’s actual portrayal is actually far closer to being a re-enactment of Matt Smith’s varicoloured version of Doctor Who (ENFP) than being reverential to the source material) who makes use of “the fundamental interconnectedness of all things” to solve the whole crime, and find the whole person. The characters are imbued with such a sense of randomness, that for a show that at its core is a mock up of a detective show, you’re less concerned with the nature of the ‘crime’ as you are just bewildered that the characters actually somehow manage to not die (I mean I should clarify here that there is a fundamental difference between ENTP’s and ENFP’s of whom we are in the midst of addressing. They are similar enough as to be in the same neighbourhood, but different enough as to be two contrasting architectural styles. Douglas Adams was an ENTP as were his characters: Dirk Gently and Zaphod from HHGTTG, and there’s something to be said for the fact that a big theme through Douglas Adams’ work is that his idea of hell is petty bureaucracy. So yes, there is a big difference between an ENTP and an ENFP). Undoubtedly every flag indicated this would be a deeply unhealthy relationship. Every single aspect of this woman’s life was dictated by what most people would observe to be complete randomness of chance. I first saw her on a dating website. Having been on this particular website for a number of years and having observed the kinds of people who gravitate to this particular dating website, or at least through my own bias the people I mostly notice, this woman is not the kind of person I would have expected to find on it, let alone send a message to. The only reason I actually did was because I thought her eyes had quite a startling resemblance to another woman I had previously dated. This is generally speaking not remotely how I choose potential mates. Of all the dating websites in the world, like all things in her life, there is no reason I can possibly discern as to why she would have been on this particular one, other than absolute chance. I often pondered how she had actually found that website. In the entire time I knew her, I can scarcely recall a time she even looked at the internet. Her haunts onto eBay and other websites I do recall were like almost everything else in her life. Chaotic, haphazard and usually ending up in some kind of unusual drama. Buying a template to make a dress instead of the dress she actually thought she was buying. Or buying things that she could barely afford which would turn out not to work, or where the novelty value would quickly wear off. I recall her spending months trying to claim a refund for a broken violin that turned to have been imported from China. Hers was an all consuming passion. She was a nurse. She would ring me when she woke up. She would go to work. She would ring me on her break. She would go back to work. She would ring me on her lunch. She would go back to work. She would go home and ring me again. She would go and sit with her family. Or visit her aunt or cousins or her friends. Her whole waking life was consumed by constant interaction with people. She wasn’t the type of person who would actually stop and think. I could never imagine how she had ever found it. She wasn’t someone who looked for the answers to her life’s questions in Google: How do I get out of debt? How do I use eBay properly? How do I stop getting pulled into disciplinary meetings at work? Or, how do I find a boyfriend? Where do I find a boyfriend? First you’d actually have to stop to actually ask yourself something akin to these kinds of questions. She never did. She was a person who was oddly compelling. From a rational perspective the most remarkable aspect was that she somehow managed to maintain anything vaguely resembling a functioning life at all. Jung said:

This attitude has immense dangers — all too easily the intuitive may squander his life. He spends himself animating men and things, spreading around him an abundance of life — a life, however, which others live, not he. Were he able to rest with the actual thing, he would gather the fruit of his labours; yet all too soon must he be running after some fresh possibility, quitting his newly planted field, while others reap the harvest. In the end he goes empty away. But when the intuitive lets things reach such a pitch, he also has the unconscious against him. The unconscious of the intuitive has a certain similarity with that of the sensation-type. Thinking and feeling, being relatively repressed, produce infantile and archaic thoughts and feelings in the unconscious, which may be compared with those of the countertype. They likewise come to the surface in the form of intensive projections, and are just as absurd as those of the sensation-type, only to my mind they lack the other’s mystical character; they are chiefly concerned with quasi-actual things, in the nature of sexual, financial, and other hazards, as, for instance, suspicions of approaching illness. This difference appears to be due to a repression of the sensations of actual things. These latter usually command attention in the shape of a sudden entanglement with a most unsuitable woman, or, in the case of a woman, with a thoroughly unsuitable man; and this is simply the result of their unwitting contact with the sphere of archaic sensations. But its consequence is an unconsciously compelling tie to an object of incontestable futility. Such an event is already a compulsive symptom, which is also thoroughly characteristic of this type. In common with the sensation-type, he claims a similar freedom and exemption from all restraint, since he suffers no submission of his decisions to rational judgment, relying entirely upon the perception of chance, possibilities. He rids himself of the restrictions of reason, only to fall a victim to unconscious neurotic compulsions in the form of oversubtle, negative reasoning, hair-splitting dialectics, and a compulsive tie to the sensation of the object. His conscious attitude, both to the sensation and the sensed object, is one of sovereign superiority and disregard. Not that he means to be inconsiderate or superior — he simply does not see the object that everyone else sees; his oblivion is similar to that of the sensation-type — only, with the latter, the soul of the object is missed. For this oblivion the object sooner or later takes revenge in the form of hypochondriacal, compulsive ideas, phobias, and every imaginable kind of absurd bodily sensation.

The last time I saw her was not long after she’d returned to Ireland she was admitted to the CUH in Cork. She asked me to come see her. I did because it seemed the right thing to do. I took a flight over to Dublin and got the night bus up-to Cork from the airport. I arrived in the early hours and stayed the night with her. In the morning her cousin – the only member of her family to actually visit her – turned up and berated me. I left and went to check into the hotel. She phoned me and said to come to the hotel and stay with her again that night. I did. We walked from the ward to the chapel. I said to her that I didn’t think churches or chapels were necessary. If God is everywhere, why then do people confine God to lone, insular spaces and then act as if God doesn’t exist once they have left those spaces? She said this was a wise outlook but there is still a comfort to be found amongst other people, in these small spaces, secluded from the rest of the world. I stayed until morning and never saw her again.

Solaris exists on several spatial, temporal, and fantastic levels at once and, as Bould notes, while watching the film, it becomes “less important (or possible) to distinguish reality from imagination than to manage the various levels of memory or fantasy.” Tarkovsky uses images to transcend space and time, to render the elusive connection between the human mind and an alien planet whose consciousness invades the film’s characters. 

Deleuze believes that only lesser films contain time-images set only in the present; superior films employ time-images that exist on multiple planes at once, representing a convergence of past, present, and future in a single shot. From Kelvin’s memories to the manifestations of the alien planet, much of Solaris dwells in the boundless, unconscious, and otherworldly spaces that Deleuze yearns to see, often representing them in both formal and metaphorical terms that enable equally boundless contemplation.

Enmity and Compatibility: Revisiting The Godfather

Although it was not my intention to do so, this article is the bastard twin of the piece from last evening.

This takes a look at the relationships from The Godfather. The scene following ‘the night of the long knives’ where Michael settles the scores, Kay’s realisation and look of horror in the closing moments as she realises your man isn’t the man she was with at the beginning of the movie is vastly underrated.

Kay’s part in Michael’s transformation, and her role in the Godfather series is also vastly underrated. Most don’t appreciate how her character underpins Michael’s legacy.

We see from the introduction of the two characters in the wedding scene, where Michael is fairly unremarkable, even appearing amiable and genuine where one can assume he does have a genuine level of affection for her up until the double-murder in the restaurant which is Michael’s unwitting realisation of his true nature and identity. (It’s actually also somewhat notable that where Michael seemingly lacks self-awareness, Vito is all-of-the-time acutely aware of Michael’s true nature. Vito doesn’t want Michael to be involved in the family business and hoped he would become a senator. This has nothing to do with Michael not possessing a disposition or character entirely conducive to the family business. As Michael unwittingly scolds Kay without any sense of irony for her naivety when she tells him senators don’t have people killed. Also in the families dubious links with political figures which are mentioned on a number of occasions)

The scene in Sicily where Michael is ‘thunderstruck’ and dumbfounded by the beautiful local girl are essential within the crux of the transformation. Apollonia shadows his own Sicillian mother, who is quintessentially quiet and clement in not involving herself in her husbands affairs throughout the first two movies, until her own death. Similarly, Apollonia in personality plays a quiet, unassuming and passive role in the background as we see when they are visited by the Sicillian don. She has no interest in involving herself in her man’s affairs. Her virtuousness is in being a loving homely wife.

His reaction to seeing Kay upon his return couldn’t be more different. Kay at this point represents Michael’s idealised image of the woman he thinks he should be with as an Italian-American immigrant living the American dream. As a person, this lack of realisation and acceptance towards his own his true-identity, and his relationship with Kay which borders on using her to preserve his self-styled image as a family-man, and man of good-conscience is probably his ultimate pitfall and actually also the thing which ultimately most contrasts him from own father who for his own failings within his business is loved, respected and admired as a human-being, as through his wife he can acutely put distance between his family and his family. Although the waters may appear muddy at times, there is a clear distinction and his wife plays a pivotal role in this through her passive disinterest in the affairs of his business. For Michael, there is no such distinction, because Kay is not a woman of the same inclination, disposition or nature as his mother or Apollonia. Aswell it must be said, we see this in his murder of Carlo where the lines between the interest of his two families are deeply and irrevocably blurred beyond retrieval leading in towards Kay’s realisation in the closing moments.

On top of this in terms of relationships: his father actually quite obviously values and appreciates his wife. Michael can’t, because after Apollonia and his return to America he is simply lying to himself, about who and what kind of man he is, what his values are, and what he represents. Cinema at its finest.

Ambiguity and Compatibility: Reinventing the Tedious RomCom

The Tao of Steve plays with the premise of the RomCom. We’re all familiar with the tedium of handsome boy meets attractive girl. Nothing remarkable happens. Girl falls in love. The end.

Dex is a lothario. He is also overweight, lazy, unambitious, uninspiring. He’s certainly not looking for love. Dex is not entirely without qualities though. Dex has an impressive array of philosophical knowledge. He has also developed a profound theory for attracting women, which he calls the Tao of Steve. The premise of which can be distilled as follows: 1) be desireless. Here he quotes the Buddah. He reflects on Steve McQueen. One of a number of Steve’s who give clepe to his theory. Steve McQueen is the archetypical. Steve Austin, Steve McGarrett. The man who is not overwhelmed by his desires. A man of purpose. Of course this is not purely a characteristic of people called Steve. James Bond is a ‘Steve,’ he propagates. He is dedicated or perhaps devoted to his cause or craft. Perhaps his craft is his cause, who knows. A woman however doesn’t come in the way of this kind of single-mindedness. The focus is always on the job at hand.

The second, 2) be excellent. Dex’s excellence derives from his capacity for quoting Kierkergaard, so we presume. An ability or resounding quality. One’s usefulness, or perhaps primary cause which ties in with point one.

Thirdly, 3) be gone. The antithesis of the hapless and needy. This is the man who is accomplished, and focused on his own life and cause. There is a certain visceral selfish quality about this however. A man who is determined by his own self-amusement. Naturally in the movie, Dex meets his match and breaks his own rules. There is allusions made to Don Giovanni: a man who seduced thousands of women because he was afraid to be loved by one. Whether he gets his woman in the end, we can’t really say. An interesting premise and take on romantic attraction. The movie ends ambiguously. Does Dex have the capacity for change? That is also left unresolved.

In ‘The Lobster’ we meet a stoic, paunchy Colin Farrell in a dystopian future for the Tinder/OkCupid generation. Filmed on the stunning West Coast of Ireland, our man has just had his wife leave him. Quite a disaster in a society where not being married carries perilous consequences. As we learn when we meet his brother who has been transformed into a dog. Our man Colin has forty-five days to meet a new love from a hotel’s pool of inmates, lest he be turned into an animal of his choosing.

David (Farrell) is stripped of his clothing, and given new ones. As he’s given a new pair of shoes, we find there’s no ‘half sizes.’ It is a swipe left or right moment. Everyone is expected to fit neatly into a box, or face the consequences.

The inmates are something of a motley crew. David befriends Mr Limp (Ben Whishaw) and Mr Lisp (John C. Reilly). As the days quickly elapse, relationships form based on perception of compatibility. All relationships and the concept of compatibility in the movie are thus defined by an impediment or handicap. A perception of mutual suffering. After being unable to meet someone with a limp, Mr Limp feigns nosebleeds to be compatible with a lady who suffers this very encumbrance. David meanwhile endeavours to attract the cruel huntress Heartless Woman. He feigns being emotionally cauterised. His bluff is destroyed when he cries after she kicks his brother to death signifying the death of compatibility. This is the end of their relationship. The end of the first act. We shift from the darkly absurdist Ballardian, Wes Anderson modus vivendi into the realms of Huxley’s Brave New World.

For, in the second, David escapes into the woods where he meets a group of loners led by Spectre heroine Lea Seydoux. In the wilderness, there is a prohibition on romantic entanglement lest they face brutal consequences. Polarisation.  Naturally, it is here David falls for the short-sighted girl played by the stunning Rachel Weisz. David hunts rabbits for her, they invent their own sign language. Their relationship however goes sour when short-sighted girl becomes no-sight girl. David looks set to walk away as their compatibility through mutual suffering ends. David however vows to blind himself in order to regain their connection. It is here the screen goes black.