by Drew Martin
Perhaps the heavy metal chains of slaves and beasts of burden have been broken but people still want ownership of and obedience from humans and animals. Some roles have changed only in name; maid to cleaner. Sometimes all it takes is a possessive pronoun. My favorite is "My architect..." instead of "The architect who designed the addition to my house..." because it is exclusive and establishes a hierarchy. This pyramid is constructed every day by everyone...the toy dog as a living accessory, the gay friend as supplemental mate who really listens. The problem with all of this is that the singular focus and one-way attitude flattens the dimensions and limits the possibilities of the other.
The newest of these is the "stalker." Originally coined for a harasser with sexual intent, the term is now overused for anyone who randomly says hello on the street, emails twice without receiving a response or shares a schedule that increases the likelihood of
The trend is that everyone is supposed to have one. Social media makes the occasion quantifiable, identifiable and recordable (and even encourages it to a certain degree) but the real modern twist is not the action or the new tools of the initiator but the mind of the receiver. Assuming the role of the one who is stalked establishes that one is uncontrollably desirable...a fine balance of egotism and paranoia.
“A secret admirer is the same as a stalker... with stationary.”
“I've only done it once or twice every week”
Oscar Wilde on stalking