July 11, 2003
Amputee Wannabes

Baz remembers first seeing an amputee when he was a 4-year old boy in Liverpool. By the time he was 7 he had begun to think, "This is the way I should be." It was not until Baz was in his 50s, however, that he actually had his leg amputated. Baz froze his leg in dry ice until it was irreversibly damaged, then persuaded a surgeon to complete the job. When he awoke from the anesthetic and his left leg was gone, he says, "All my torment had disappeared."

An interesting condition I was unfamiliar with (a cousin of self-mutilation, transsexualism, anorexia, etc), and the subject of a new movie called Whole.The author of this Slate article also insists on an idea which, to me, makes sense, but which I thought was frowned upon by the prevailing culture -- ie, that "all mental disorders, even those with biological roots, have a social component."

Posted by tmonkey at July 11, 2003 09:44 AM

"all" is far too strong a word.

link to the story Elliott talks about:
"I published an article about wannabes for the Atlantic Monthly ... It was after reading about wannabes in the Atlantic Monthly that Gilbert decided to make her film."

Posted by: dbrown on July 11, 2003 09:51 AM

My head spins with the psycho-sexual-socio-biological hoo-hah. Mainly the difference between apotemnophilia and acrotomophilia. "The apotemnophile's desire is to be an amputee, whereas the acrotomophile's desire is turned toward those who happen to be amputees."

The extent to which desire for someone/condition turns into the desire to become more like that person or possess their condition and the degree to which these desires are biological or social lead us to the inevitable question of non-hetero-sexuality (ok, homosexuality and transexuality), does it not?

I wonder if Herr Doktor is in today?

Posted by: tmonkey on July 11, 2003 12:10 PM
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