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mindfucking

Edie Sedgwick in Andy Warhol’s 1965 film, “Outer and Inner Space.”

The Moor is of a free and open nature,
That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
And will as tenderly be led by the nose
As asses are.

– Iago in Othello, The Moor of Venice

Mindfucking: A Critique of Mental Manipulation is the latest book by Colin McGinn, in a short 96 pages, McGinn defines what mindfucking is: from personal mind games to full-scale propaganda and mind control.

Hey, maybe it’s just me, but I hardly use the word mindfuck in a negative sense! These are the two ways I use the word:

  • “Wow, that (book, film, conversation) was a total mindfuck.”
  • “That relationship was a mindfuck. I’m glad it’s over.”

There has to be an emotional experience, after which your senses feel reorganised (or even, de-organised, like a suitcase of ex-boyfriend’s clothes thrown out an 8- story window, “No more!”).

McGinn argues mindfucking can be an intrusive and violating experience. Unless of course, you give your consent (!)

That’s half the problem, like The Moor in Othello, mindfucking can make you feel like an ass if you are not careful. Or you ending up fucking yourself up.

Maybe if you read this book and know what’s going on first, you can mindfuck back!!! OK, that’s not the point… (be good, not evil!)

Link: Colin McGinn’s blog with forum debate about title