In Which We Force an Intern to Have a Nervous Breakdown

07/29/2009 5:11 PM |

Rorschach, Watchmen

Today, the New York Times published an article on the ongoing debate regarding the posting of the ten original Rorschach inkblots and their most common answers on Wikipedia. Apparently a bunch of psychiatrists still depend on these images and say posting them is like creating a cheat sheet for patients; on the other hand, the images, published about 90 years ago, are no longer copyrighted and the free-information nerds over at Wikipedia think its ludicrous that they be taken down. But that’s all boring logistical stuff. So, as an eager intern, desperate to get a byline wherever I can, I’ve decided to take a look at the ten Rorschach inkblots and see if I can muster up any suppressed childhood traumas and/or have a psychological breakdown in front of everyone else in the office. Enjoy!

N.B. Keep in mind, I have never taken a psychology class in my life so my knowledge is limited to the fact that everything probably has to do with hating my mother and loving my father (or vice versa) and that Tom Cruise thinks psychology is the root of all evil.

Inkblot #1
[click for pop-up of image]
What I See: Looks like a hang-glider to me. An evil hang-glider, though. So I’m gonna go with super villain.
Most Common Answers: Bat, Butterfly, Moth
What I Assume This Means: I never liked bugs, or bats for that matter, so refusing to see those things probably has to do with that dislike. With any luck I was bitten by a bat or maybe terrorized by a moth when I was 5—no actual memories yet though.

Inkblot #2
What I See: A guy with bloodshot eyes screaming. Also, it looks like he got punched in the lip and is bleeding profusely.
Most Common Answer: Two humans.
What I Assume This Means: Based on the second part of my answer, I’m gonna guess that this has to do with a fear of getting punched, but also a need to punch someone. The screaming, I’m thinking, symbolizes my desire to get out my bottled up rage and angst.

Inkblot #3
What I See: Two… uh… well-endowed…women cooking.
Most Common Answer: Two humans.
What I Assume This Means: Sex and food. Duh.

Inkblot #4
What I See: At first glance it looked like a bug, but after a few seconds I started to see a mangled Christmas tree.
Most Common Answers: Animal skin, giant animal.
What I Assume This Means: Well the bug would obviously go along with my answer for number 1, but the Christmas tree is a bit more interesting. As a kid I’d always wanted to celebrate Christmas instead of Hanukkah, but since the tree looked disfigured, perhaps this is a sign that I’d like to re-embrace Judaism (which I’ve hardly given a rats-ass about since my Bar-Mitzvah), which make my mother and grandmother very happy. So maybe, fear of Jewish mother induced guilt.

Inkblot #5
What I See: Some sort of disgusting bug.
Most Common Answer: Bat, butterfly, moth.
What I Assume This Means: See answer 1, first part of 4. Unfortunately, I still can’t recall any childhood bug-related catastrophes. Also, first almost correct answer! Not totally insane!

Inkblot #6
What I See: When turned the image on its side, it looked like a boat running away from an explosion in the distance. But at first glance, I’ll be honest: A vagina (go figure).
Most Common Answer: Animal hide, skin, rug.
What I Assume This Means: Well, obviously sex to start. But the boat and explosion have to do with a fear of drowning or catching on fire or drowning in a vat of gasoline that’s on fire.

Inkblot #7
What I See: First thing it looked like was a face with a big grin on its face. But upside down, it kind of looked like an arch or the entrance to a tunnel.
Most Common Answers: Human heads, faces.
What I Assume This Means: Yes! Second nearly correct answer! But the arch might be a symbol for my mother, who is originally from St. Louis. But it’s not like I dislike arches or my mother, although I do hate heights and since something tall reminds me of my mother maybe I do hate my mother (sorry, Mom!).

Inkblot #8
What I See: Two lions climbing up a mountain during a sunset.
Most Common Answers: Animal (pink portion).
What I Assume This Means: Well, practically right again, so that’s a good sign. But the lions might have to do with my love for The Lion King and also my preference of felines over canines, which undoubtedly stems from the fact that I was attacked by a dog when I was little.

Inkblot #9
What I See: Two moose’s standing majestically on top of a hill that looks to be over a river of blood.
Most Common Answers: Human (orange portion)
What I Assume This Means: Well it certainly looks like I have a thing for animals, especially in pairs. Although I’m a little more weirded out by the river of blood. But now that I think abut it the animals in pairs and river of blood are both parts of separate Biblical stories, Noah’s Ark and the 10 Plagues respectively. So maybe a distrust of religion? Maybe a secret yearning for religion or higherpower? Oh man do I hope it’s the former.

Inkblot #10
What I See: A bunch of spiders and bugs attacking two seahorses.
Most Common Answers: Crab, lobster, spider.
What I Assume This Means: So close again. Damn. Anyway, dislike of bugs, which I’m suddenly realizing probably had to do with a bee sting I received when I was like five or six while at a park with my parents. And that hatred of insects probably, in turn, spawned my general hatred of the woods, which is the reason I hated going to sleep-away camp so much and why I never enjoyed myself at camp, which is why as a pubescent male who was having a miserable time at camp I couldn’t manage to connect with anyone of the opposite sex, and really everyone knows you’re supposed to have your first semi-sexual experiences while immersed in the raging-hormone cesspool that is summer camp, and so this, as a result, is probably the reason I was so miserable throughout middle school and ninth grade and listened to Weezer and Radiohead so much.

God, I really hate bugs.