On Valentine’s Day, how about celebrating the new campaign for marriage to inanimate objects?
This article is going online just before Valentine’s Day, the most romantic date in the calendar and one often chosen by happy couples to tie the knot. But what happens if your intended spouse happens not to be a fellow human … but a laptop?
That was the sad dilemma once faced by an American legal pioneer named Chris Sevier, who, after falling in love with an Apple MacBook, paraded his feelings across a series of US courtrooms, arguing he ought to be allowed to marry the thing. As the laptop was “filled” with porn, Sevier claimed to have become addicted to watching the stuff until such a point that, “Over time, I began preferring sex with my computer over real women …” Naturally he wanted to be able to legally marry it.
Tragically, Sevier’s case was dismissed everywhere he brought it. In Utah a judge ruled that, as the laptop was a new one, it was technically under-age anyway.
Was he serious? Probably not. Sevier was a conservative-minded Christian whose court cases all took place in the years surrounding the 2015 Supreme Court Obergefell v. Hodges ruling legalising gay marriage across the US. By seeking to absurdly decriminalise marriage to his laptop, Sevier was trying to make a satirical point that, if courts of the day could suddenly and arbitrarily redefine marriage from being solely between a man and a woman to being between same-sex couples as well, then what, logically, was to stop the redefinition ending there? Why not legalise marriage to dogs, ghosts, parsnips, butterflies, breakfast cereals and laptops?
In 2018, Sevier even went so far as to attempt to get South Carolina to pass a bill legally designating all same-sex unions as official “parody marriages” as his own would clearly have been. His choice of a laptop as his proposed “machine-spouse” seems likely to have been inspired by the plot of the 2013 Spike Jonez movie Her, in which a lonely man similarly falls in love with a laptop whose onboard AI assistant is seductively voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
Nutcase meets briefcase
So it was all just a joke. No one outside of a Hollywood fantasy would attempt to marry a small, inert, rectangular object for real … would they? Rain Gordon did. Rain, a Moscow-based teacher in her 20s, caused surprise in 2020 after undergoing a self-created “marriage” ceremony with a metallic silver briefcase named Gideon.
As a child, self-proclaimed animist Rain had already previously fallen in love with a local shopping centre, but by 2015 was more into cosplay, getting her kicks by dressing up as an FBI-type agent from the popular CSI detective series, for which she needed to obtain a briefcase. That, she says, “[is] when I first met Gordon”, sitting alone and unloved in a hardware store. After a slow start, their relationship progressed on to hugging, kissing, and acts of telepathic communication: “We could have philosophical conversations for three or four hours … I hear him, and he hears me, but from the outside it looks like a monologue.” (That’s because it is one, actually.)
For all his faults, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin presides over what still bills itself as being a traditionalist Christian country, so Rain Gordon’s “marriage” to her briefcase is unlikely ever to achieve full legal recognition over there, in spite of her specially-created rings and “wedding” photos of her wearing a bridal veil and stroking Gideon lovingly on their honeymoon. In the more liberal, tolerant and progressive 21st century West, however, things may well one day be very different.
Some supposed Western authority figures these days are demonstrably on the object-lovers’ side. In 2013, following a rollercoaster romance, a Florida woman named Linda Ducharme took a Ferris wheel named Bruce for her husband. The person who presided over the whole dubious ceremony, in an apparently genuinely sincere spirit, was a real-life Catholic priest (since defrocked). Just as some renegade clerics perform unofficial Catholic “weddings” for gays today, despite the Pope’s specific ban, so some men of the cloth are clearly quite happy to marry humans off to random fairground attractions.
Sitting on the fence
Interestingly, the object-lovers have learned from the recent successes of the LGBTQ+ mob and have set out to model their bizarre campaign for public and legal acceptance upon that of the newly triumphant queers.
For example, they have now created their own bewildering invented lingo of labels, just like the previously unknown (and arguably non-existent) pansexuals, bigenderists, et al have done before them. Officially, object-lovers have decided to call themselves Objectum-Sexuals, often shortened down to just objectums, or OSes.
They now have a quasi-official body of representation, Objectum-Sexuality Internationale, with its own website. Here, you can learn about the intriguing history of the phenomenon, whose founding mother was a Swedish lady named Eija-Riita Eklöf, the original coiner of the OS term, who grew up in a small village, madly in love with a red garden fence. A depiction of said fence is today the leading symbol of the OS movement:
Admittedly, in later life, Eija-Riitta fell in love with and “married” the Berlin Wall, changing her name to Eija-Riita Eklöf-Berliner-Mauer (“Berliner Mauer” being German for “Berlin Wall”), but still the red fence remains as the OS movement’s key symbol, on the following grounds:
“Fences exist throughout society. We put them up to protect ourselves but not to shut people out. One can look over a fence and see what’s on the other side. If the grass is indeed greener or not… this we decide for ourselves.”
How very liberal. The implied message being thus: human beings should be able to love whomsoever they like, just as gays once argued – and this should even include items of brightly painted garden furniture. Objectums even now have their own official “Pride” flag, just like the queer rainbow one, like so:
The white circle in the middle of the flag represents the invisible animating force to be found lurking inside the centre of all supposedly “inanimate” laptops, fences, briefcases and Ferris wheels, according to some shades of objectum philosophy.
Actually, though, many OS folx disagree with this idea, knowing full well that their chosen love-objects are not alive at all. As a consequence this flag is exclusionary of certain marginalised quarters of the objectophile community. But the term “objectophile”, which echoes the term “paedophile”, is also objected to (no pun intended) by certain OS-types, revealing how fragmented the movement is.
Accordingly, just like queers now having to create 97,000 different flags to represent the alleged 97,000 genders they supposedly represent, the OS crowd have likewise sought identity-politics legitimacy by splitting apart into an infinitude of different miniature sub-tribes, all with their own names and flags. You can see a quick guide here, if you really want. A few edited highlights follow.
Most obviously influenced by gays are the musicums, who are sexually attracted to sounds and music, their rather lazy banner being just a musical note overlaid simply upon a rainbow flag:
Spirictums, who think their objects literally possess souls, have a flag featuring a cartoon ghost containing a love-heart:
Quiltums, who are really into quilts, have a flag showing a quilt, neatly folded over:
Conceptums, who adore abstract concepts, such as Marxism, terminal confusion, or the hard-to-grasp philosophies of Michel Foucault, have a cartoon thought-bubble on their flag. As love is itself an abstract concept, can conceptums thus be said to be in love with love itself, like John Keats or Pepe Le Pew?
There are even some people out there called abandums, who are most turned on by abandoned objects. For them a visit to a lost property office must be like entering a sultan’s harem.
The flags all sewn up, the next stage is to lend the OS subject a spurious history. Just as old Roman Emperors like Elagabalus are now suddenly “revealed” as having been trans, or Lord Nelson as having been gay or polyamorous, so now too are various historical figures likewise outed as having been OS. However, the best the OS-archaeologists could do in this respect were Pygmalion, the sculptor who fell in love with his own statue in ancient Greek myth, and Quasimodo, from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, who was well-known for his inordinate love of “The bells! The bells!”
That both Quasimodo and Pygmalion were fictional characters may not have escaped your attention, but another sub-set of OS love is that of the fictums (aka fictosexuals) who adore fictional characters just like Pygmalion and Quasimodo … some of whom seemingly think such figures are real. By this logic, so are vampires; Bram Stoker’s Dracula proves it.
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Married to an idea
Many observers would naturally presume that OSes are just mentally ill. Well, OSes would argue right back that this was just what was said about homosexuals and transsexuals until recently. Both were listed as forms of mental disorder in previous editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the standard textbook used by many Western psychiatrists as a tool for diagnosing patients. Homosexuality was removed in 1973, and gender identity disorder was relabelled as the subtly different “gender dysphoria” in 2013, i.e., as something no longer officially considered a “disorder” at all. Now, wider official society tells us queers aren’t mad at all: indeed, they are all but saints, and future editions of the DSM will include “heterosexuality” as the true pathological state to be feared.
It seems highly likely many OS people are on the autistic spectrum. Take a look at this 2019 academic paper, which found clear links between the two. Rates of medically diagnosed autism amongst the investigating academics’ clinical sample of OS individuals were “over 30 times higher” than might ordinarily have been expected.
This same study also showed OS participants had a higher rate of a rare mental disorder named synaesthesia, in which individuals perceive objects or concepts in a fashion which mixes up the usual sense-perceptions: they may “hear” smells, “see” noises, “taste” the time of day, or suchlike. Tellingly, some synaesthesia patients delusionally perceive certain items to possess a gender, as in languages like French or German, somehow “knowing” their house-keys are female, or their table is male. Given this, the possibility has been advanced that the similar delusions of objectums that, say, their briefcase is really a small, briefcase-shaped man named Gideon, may be merely an aberrant and extreme outgrowth of this largely otherwise harmless form of disorder.
Overall, 53 percent of the participants studied in the 2019 paper had either autism or synaesthesia. Are OS sufferers therefore actually in some sense disabled? Quasimodo certainly was. Whilst not all objectums are autistic, the researchers also found that many participants found social situations awkward, unenjoyable and difficult and often preferred to deal with inert objects than with other sentient human beings, as autistic individuals so often do. As the academics observed, autism sufferers characteristically experience “a strong need for routine [which] might be fulfilled more easily in relationships with objects rather than people.”
Autism sufferers often can’t handle other humanoids, as such disturbingly and unpredictably autonomous beings have their own innate powers of individual agency, and so won’t just do as they’re told, thereby refusing to neatly fit in with the rigid desires and routines of the stereotypical autism sufferer. Therefore, it was guessed, some autistic OS sufferers may seek out totally one-sided relationships with objects instead of humans, lending them complete control over their love-lives: when a child owns a teddy, the teddy does not get to decide what game the two play next, and it is just the same with objectums and their laptops/fences/Ferris wheels, which are really captive sex-slaves.
Therefore, it might be said that these people are essentially doing nothing more than marrying themselves by proxy – and, indeed, self-marriage, or “sologamy/selfcest“, is another growing trend these days. Back in 2000, this was the subject of a tragicomic scene on the wilfully bizarre British sketch-show Jam; now, it’s reality. Can there be any greater (or worse) symbol of the increasingly rootless and socially atomised civilisation that the West is becoming today? No wonder global birth-rates are falling: except in certain less “advanced” areas of the globe like Africa and the Middle East, that is, as Mercator often shows.
Divorced from reality
It is notable that all studies into objectum sexuals that I know of feature patients drawn exclusively from the well-developed, and thoroughly anomie-ridden, nations of the West (although there are definitely some sufferers in similarly economically and industrially advanced East Asian countries like Japan and South Korea, as infamous recent cases of young men marrying pillows, handheld videogame consoles and holograms ably demonstrate).
Is this just a quirk of the data, in that Western psychologists and academics are only easily able to source participants from their own native lands and those most like them? Or is it more likely to be the case that, in places like Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, where traditional family structures, religious tenets and ways of life still overwhelmingly prevail, people probably just don’t tend to fall in love with briefcases and Ferris wheels terribly often? On those rare occasions when they do, meanwhile, I imagine they are immediately confined to the nearest mental home.
Which is really the kindest path to pursue with such peculiar persons? My preferred option would be to allow them to remain at large, pursuing their weird passions quietly in private, unmolested, on the twin grounds of freedom of action and freedom of conscience.
Yet, for obsessive objectum activists to vigorously proselytise such perversions online and elsewhere via the queer-aping means outlined above, and thereby spread their own personal lunacies to other vulnerable young autistic-types, as has clearly happened across the West of late with the whole ruinous transgender craze, strikes me as far less justifiable. Rather than allowing that kind of utter social insanity to occur, perhaps the Third Worlders, though harsh, would be quite correct to lock objectums up inside asylums after all.
They’d better throw away the key once they do, though. Otherwise, the inmates might end up falling in love with it.
Readers who want to delve further into the weird world of the objectum sexuals can try looking up another related Valentine’s Day article of mine on the Daily Sceptic website.
Steven Tucker is a UK-based writer with over ten books to his name. His next, Hitler’s & Stalin’s Misuse of Science, comparing the woke pseudoscience of today to the totalitarian pseudoscience of the past, will be published in summer 2023.
Image credit: Pexels
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