Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stalkers vs. Groupies

It's not something that is likely to be an issue for me, or for most people, but looked at this video at Althouse and thought it was kind of creepy.

I mean, it's obviously in fun, and the Obama girl is cute and all that. It would probably be fun if it didn't remind me so much of a psychotic spoiled child. That is, I've sat through eight years of utterly divisive partisanship from Dems, with talk of stolen elections--eight years of temper tantrums--and now everything's supposed to be lovey-lovey because the baby got his bottle?

No good, because I know the good times last only as long as the tantrumers get their way.

I'm sure I'll see plenty of bad behavior from the Reps now, too, but they'll have to work hard to match it.

I think what I found creepy is the overt sexuality towards a celebrity figure. I know it's a common (if jokey) custom for couples to have "exception lists". You know, if you happen to have an opportunity with Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt, your spouse gives you a "bye".

But what if you're on the Pitt/Jolie side? (This is why I said it's not an issue for most people.) If you're a celebrity, would you be attracted to someone who had this sort of almost stalker-esque relationship with you?

I mean, what's the difference between a stalker and a groupie, other than one is wanted?

That's a simplification, obviously, but there's a gradient there from admirer to groupie to stalker. It's not really the degree of admiration, so much, as the insular nature of it. I mean, you're a guy and a gal in an office, and you see each other, and you talk casually, and you like each other, but you're building a mutual thing there.

The more one-sided that is, the creepier it is. And in the case of groupies, it's hugely one-sided: A huge investment to a non-existent one. For stalkers, it's even moreso, as their huge investment is up against a negative one.

Which makes you wonder why anyone--particularly a highly desirable person--would actually engage with them?

(Probably for the sex.)


  1. I was stalked in my early 20s when I worked at a bookstore. This one weirdo would come in and follow me around while I shelved books or lurked aound when I had to run the register. It lasted several years. My bosses wouldn't tell him to leave because they were afraid of a lawsuit.

  2. I have to assume you didn't find him appealing....

  3. Admirer = you hear that someone likes you

    Groupie = you get anonymous love letters, are hit on repeatedly, but all pretty benign

    Stalker = no matter where you go, there's a chance he'll suddenly appear from around a corner, you turn around sometimes and he's there, you catch him looking in your windows, he leaves notes on your car and calls you at public places just to let you know that he knows where you are, he sends death threats to people you interact with

    Admirers are totally benign and somewhat flattering. Groupies can make things mildly uncomfortable, but you're not actually afraid of them. Stalkers make you think that you'd better keep an eye out at all times or one day you might end up with an aerated throat.

  4. Okay, *now* for family time... heh.

  5. Oh, but I don't know why anyone would engage with a stalker unless he thought he had to to prevent the stalker from going crazy. Of course, I take an extreme definition of stalker, but I don't know why one would engage with groupies either. Seems like a bad idea.

  6. It seems like they're all on the same continuum. And also that a stalker could pass as a groupie, resulting in...bad things.

    It's probably been the plot of more than one movie. (Sounds like a '90s "erotic thriller", in fact.)

    Which isn't to say that there's anything wrong with admiring from afar. Like many things, there's a fair stretch between normal and even obsessive behavior versus psychosis.


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