Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Autophobia is not the reverse of Deceptiphobia OR:There's a lot I love about toy robots collecting hobby, just not the part about collecting toyrobots


I was trying to get myself all pumped up to write a post about how I've been spending a lot of time making Zoids this last couple of weeks. Writing about toy robots doesn't come easy to me and it takes a lot of thought and preparation so I have to get myself all psyched up beforehand, like a sort of mental foreplay. Kind of like blogsturbating, but in my case roboblogsturbating.

So I try to get myself in the mood by going to someone else's blog I like and commenting there. You know, spunk out a few roboplastic thoughts using somebody else's ideas as inspiration. By doing this I was trying to create roboplastic thought sperms to fertilize the egg of my Zoid post idea. This is a similar process to how some guys* create real sperms using internet porn and some Vaseline. Except the only difference between reading toy robots blogs and masturbating to internet porn is that afterwards I feel so ashamed that I delete the robot blogs from my browser history.

After leaving silly comments I started feeling a little more in the mood to write and I figured to bring myself to robowriting climax I would read some of my own latest blog posts because maybe they'll be funny and interesting and self-inspiring. Boy was I wrong. I've been reading my last few posts and I come across as a totally burnt out a-hole all angsty and butt-hurt by Hasbro. I wondered to myself-how did this happen? I never wanted to come across as angsty or butt-hurt!


I could feel my spermozoids or zoidosperms or whatever they were dying with each whiny tirade I'd written about the emotional holocaust I'd suffered after seeing Optimus Prime at a pawn shop or something like that. Why do I suffer from this bizarre roboplastic dementia? I'm not ashamed of the idea of someone liking 20 year old Zoids or someone being 34, I think there's just something bothering me about the combination of me liking Zoids and me being 34. What trips me out is that the guys my age and older who like toy robots like the new toy robots that I jsut don't get into. It's enough to make someone like me who's all stuck in the past feel self-conscious. How fitting that a toy robot dinosaur like myself plays with toy robot dinosaurs. I'm like the toy robots collector equivalent of some stuck-in-the-eighties, Iron Maiden t-shirts wearing guy with long hair. Oh wait, I'm that guy, too.

I was listening to Dan Savage's podcast, Savage Love Live and in episode 80 he said something that I thought described my situation perfectly, except that instead of being a thirtysomething toy robots collector, he's talking about being gay and instead of hating myself, he's talking about the mental bombardment that society makes gays deal with:

"Young queers can be totally fucking nuts. Gay people can be totally fucking nuts. Just because somebody's gay or lesbian doesn't mean they're more highly evolved, more interesting or saner. It actually often means the opposite. Because we have to battle so much and many of us are so terribly abused by our culture and by our families and by our churches that we don't arrive like Venus on the clamshell all healthy and happy riding in on the foam. We arrive at outness kind of as refugees and wrecks."

Now I'm not making light of the ostracizing that homosexuals have to endure their whole life, but yeah I kind of feel like this whole toy robots hobby has similarities. There came a point in my teenage life where I had to decide come out about the toy robots collecting lifestyle and take shit for it or just pretend to be 'normal' and play Nintendo (which I hated). Of course I decided to live a life of autophobia, which is a new word I learned from Wikipedia that describes being embarrassed about collecting roboplasticos (more or less). I remember being 13 in '87 and feeling like I had to hide my toy robots liking in front of my family. I still remember the day I told my mom that I was no longer into toys, I was into electronics, whatever that meant. I think hiding what I was made me a lot like a transforming car robot, looking like a car to everybody on the outside but on the inside being a homicidal robot. A homicidal robot with feelings. GODDAMNIT I'M BEING EMO AGAIN!

*Some guys? Who am I kidding?


Anonymous said...

I have your definition of autophobia too. Or rather, I did from the 80's through the early 00's. Only recently have I come to terms with it and am in the process of conquering it.

Sean said...

I have to say it honestly means the world to me that you like my blog because I really like yours as well. Your site and Nala's site were pretty much what inspired me to create a site about collecting Transformers in the first place.
And I'm totally with you on the Autophobia. I really liked the original Power Rangers series when it came out (I know it's terrible but I always really liked their mecha even though the transformation process for the figures seem about as complex as GoBots in retrospect) but I was like thirteen at the time and that was way past the point where that was socially acceptable so I'd hide the Megazords and toys when I had people over and I was like "No, that shit's gay man!" whenever word got out I enjoyed the series. And I had that same experience you had with your family when I had to pretend I liked something else when I was about fourteen or so. For me it was music or something like that. The jig was up after two or three months though because the Zeo toyline came out and I just had to get the new Zords. Once I got to college though I displayed my old zords proudly and I didn't get the reaction I was expecting. I thought people would be like "Power Rangers are gay you fag!" or something like that but really it was more like "Wow, I remember these! Cool! Do they still make any?" Now though I'm trying to cut back on the toys I have displayed. It's not because I'm ashamed or anything like that but it's more like I don't want to overwhelm any girls I might bring back to my place by having hundreds of Transformers and Megazords all over the place. Better to gradually ease them into my sad love affair with toy robots I say.

Hooper_X said...

hey, locoesteban - i totally gave you a shoutout in my big dumb video.


agentmorris said...

I think collecting anything that can be thought of as "weird" by mainstream society contributes heavily to our occasional robo-collecting-self-loathing.

It is truly amazing to me how much love goes into a hobby that can leave one feeling so conflicted. There are many times I feel comfortable about my toy robot obsessiveness, other times where I feel like I must hide myself in shame. But I still keep coming back.

Ultimately, my own defiance of the mainstream kicks in, and I say to hell with mainstream society. At least I don't collect coins...I spend my coins on toy robots.

Weasel said...

I tried being normal once.
It was the worst five minutes of my life.

All kidding aside, I've sometimes asked myself, "Would I be happier as a 'normal' person?" The answer that pops up in my head is a resounding "No." If I weren't such a deranged geek, I would probably be one of those brain-dead females who only cares about their nails or tries to keep up with the latest Britney Spears tragedy.

Yeah, I enjoy being abnormal. If people think I'm a weirdo for collecting robots, I don't care.


You've got the hair for it; all ya gotta do is dye it black. (You're gonna slap the shit out of me for that the next time you see me, aren't you?)

Rob said...

I had autophobia in high school, but with video games instead of Transformers. For some reason, playing video games in the mid 1990s was considered extremely nerdy, at least in my school.

When jocks lined up to buy Final Fantasy VII for the Sony PlayStation in 1997, my friends and I said to each other, "Aren't these the same type of morons who made fun of us for playing video games two years ago?"

I remember several years ago, my then-girlfriend's parents came to our apartment. For some reason, I showed them my Omega Supreme, set it up on the floor, and showed them how it transformed. They pretended to care and I pretended to not feel like an idiot afterwards.

Rob said...

By the way, they way you feel about being stuck in the 1980s and not liking most current robot toys is the same way I feel about music, cartoons, and video games.

I have no interest at all in modern video games like Metal Gear Solid IV, Final Fantasy XIII, Grand Theft Auto IV, Call of Duty, or Devil May Cry. The only video games I play these days are Wii games that remind me of simpler, older games, like Mario Kart, Pinball Hall of Fame, Wii Sports, and Super Mario Galaxy. I still play old NES and SNES games, too.

I also have no interest at all in modern music...and by modern, I mean almost anything released after 1996. Yes, there are a few artists that I like who are still around (Weird Al, Juliana Hatfield, and Dolores O'Riordan), but overall, today's music is so bad and annoying that it actually infuriates me.

Most modern cartoons infuriate me, too. Most of them look horrible, like they were drawn in MS Paint. Old cartoons like The Transformers, Jem, and BraveStarr have very nice artwork. I can't stand modern voice acting, either.

I do like a few modern cartoons, like Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Futurama, Family Guy, and American Dad, but all of the other trash on Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel has to go.

Anonymous said...

Damn, that Savage Love guy sounds like a homophobic douchebag


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