The View From Faraway Farm: Indulging your weirdness

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One of the really cool things about the internet is your ability to indulge your weirdness. If you have some strange itch the internet can often scratch it. Youtube is overflowing with just about every genre of video imaginable. There are a number of videos that I've seen of near-miss encounters on the highways from around the globe. I can understand that certain satisfaction from watching one close-one after another. Because of the earlier proliferation of dash cams in Russia, many of these videos originate from there. Maybe it is because the traffic laws are different there, or maybe its just the lawlessness exhibited in so many other areas of life in modern-day Russia, but it makes for some entertaining viewing.

Some folks are hooked on hockey fights and can't get enough of them..there are a bunch of videos for that. How about instances of road rage? You've got a lot of options to view those. They make me very uncomfortable to watch since I've experienced a couple incidences in my younger years. Not memories that I like to revisit. Do you enjoy watching security camera video of convenience store robberies? Those are a dime a dozen, but if that's your thing you've got a lot of watching to do. These are all the kinds of things that most folks do not encounter in their everyday lives, so watching is kind of a guilty pleasure. However, none of this can quite fully explain the videos that over 1.8 million addicted viewers watch with glee each time a new one is posted; the videos from Doctor Pimple Popper.

I first learned about the good Doctor from shared posts that my youngest daughter put up on Facebook. I had no idea that she indulged in being regaled by bursting pustules of gore. I learned that it isn't just the occasional stubborn, slightly over-sized blackhead extraction that creates so much joy and fascination. Disciples of Doctor Pimple Popper watch breathlessly as a metal compression device is employed to coax out back zits the size of a baby's fist, spewing a column of puss with the consistency, shape, and color of a mushy banana. If you are not instantly repelled by the exploits of Doctor Pimple Popper, you find yourself riveted to the screen just to see what comes out.

Doctor Pimple Popper is a real dermatologist in Upland, Calif., named Dr. Sandra Lee. Obviously, she is not phased by the gore she creates when she excises a super-sized lipoma, cyst or blackhead. She is just as fascinated by her work as her 1.8 million viewers. The psychology behind this fascination is just like the pull of a horror flick or a visit to a haunted house. There is fear involved. Fear of the unknown, and revulsion. Some folks just don't have the stomach for watching this stuff but remember, there's also a reward at the end. If you've ever had a pimple that you just couldn't leave alone, one that you had to pop in an effort to hurry the process along just so you could show your face in public once more. Yes, it is true that you are not supposed to pop your own pimple, but sometimes the situation calls for it. If you did it right there was a huge sigh of relief and a sense of great satisfaction that comes from the accomplishment. That's what the viewers of Doctor Pimple Popper are so hooked on, the thrill, the horror, the mystery, and the big pay-off at the end. Dr. Lee shoots at least one video per day, and sometimes up to five to keep her many followers transfixed, and they are truly enthralled, with several having stated that they don't ever want her to stop making pimple popper videos.

I watched a few of these videos, and I'll admit that they were somewhat entertaining. I'm not hooked on them by a long shot, but they are tolerable and I think I understand the fascination without becoming fascinated myself. Knowing that my daughter enjoys them I thought that I would support her interest so I searched for some actual precision pimple popping tools. Yes, you can actually find them, like everything else, on the internet. The kit came in the mail and it included medical grade stainless steel instruments like tweezers and several sizes of zit popping wire loops that you place over the eruption, press on it and force the pimple to pop. Now she is hoping that her husband will develop a few blackheads that she can use her new tools to excise. Well, I suppose we all have to have goals. Like many things, this pimple popping thing seems gross and unacceptable at first blush, but once you become familiar and put some effort into understanding the fascination, it isn't so weird anymore. What's your unique indulgence?

Arlo Mudgett's Morning Almanac has been heard over multiple radio stations in Vermont for nearly 30 years, and can be tuned in at 92.7 WKVT Monday through Saturday mornings at 8:35 a.m. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.


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