With the Passing of Time


Posted on: May 29, 2009

\muh-LING-gur\ | verb

1 : to pretend or exaggerate incapacity or illness (as to avoid duty or work)

There have been times when my inability to go to work has been genuine stress and depression. But there have also been times when I have been malingering. I know this word all too well, I’m afraid. It’s a really good word, sounds like what it means to me. It’s like to linger is fine, but add that ‘mal’ bit in there and it goes all wrong.

There’s an actor whose last name is Malinger. I think I’d consider changing that. What subliminal message are you sending to casting agents. There are several people with that last name. I’d prefer my plain, “everybody in the country has my name” name. At least it doesn’t conjure up anything negative.

I’m disappointed in the picture options today. Apparently the only way most people know to depict the word is to just show people hanging out. That’s not very interesting.

Flickr gives a bunch of shots by someone who’s username is ‘malingering’ who has some awesome pics of his/her cats (based on the other pics in the stream, I really want to say ‘his’ alone but I’m trying not to be sexist, I really am); the cats are truly adorable. But in addition there are a bunch of pics of people on the street that s/he has deemed are either unattractive, not dressed well, overweight … it’s hard to tell what connects all of them and makes them worthy of being mocked and seen as offensive. Would I want to dress like any of them? No. Do I think they should be plastered on Flickr? No. If s/he fuzzed out their faces would it be more acceptable? Probably yes.

I got why those pictures were showing up; it had to do with the username. But I couldn’t figure out why a bunch of similar pictures were showing up by other users. Then I started to see some that were titled “For Malingering” and others that said “Protest for Malingering” and then I actually opened up one of malingering’s cat pictures and apparently a couple of years ago Flickr started moderating or restricting access to his/her photos and deemed the account “unsafe.” So a whole group of people started taking pictures like malingering took in protest; they even started a pool called “We Love Malingering.”

I don’t know what the outcome was and quite honestly I don’t care. He/she is still posting pictures of people s/he thinks are worthy of mocking (or whatever the purpose is, to be honest I really don’t know; the point of these pictures is totally unclear other than the base human need to be mean) so either s/he won the battle or stopped posting pictures of people showing more skin. Whatever, this person has ruined my chances of finding a good picture on Flickr and right now that’s all I care about.

So I’ll leave you with a quote instead:

“Neurosis has an absolute genius for malingering. There is no illness which it cannot counterfeit perfectly. If it is capable of deceiving the doctor, how should it fail to deceive the patient?” – Marcel Proust

© 2009 With the Passing of Time


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Willingness to join soil, sound, hands; memory follows me ~ Viggo Mortensen
May 2009
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Daily words come from Merriam-Webster's word of the day. All rambling comes from my head.


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