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This next presentation is a wonderful bit of e-mail that I received from a friend. Lori Solomon is a psychologist, and a devoted Davy Jones fan. Since she sent me this, I have proudly called her "My Analyst" and I'm equally proud that she jokingly calls me her "favorite patient". She has contributed so much to this website, that we refer to it as "Ours". If you worry about your addiction to David, then you need to read this!/font>

Subject: Are we really Normal?

You really bring up a fascinating question, Jan: what separates healthy admiration or affection for someone from psychopathological attachment?

Well, this is not by any means my area of expertise. I teach and do research in the areas of cognitive and social psychology, so my focus is on normal rather than abnormal behavior. But I know enough to offer a few ideas which might set your mind at rest.

The biggest and most obvious cause for concern would be delusions-- firmly held beliefs which don’t match up to reality. The celebrity stalkers who make the news typically don’t just WANT an intimate relationship with the celebrity; they believe they already HAVE (or should have) one.

Remember that woman who went to jail for breaking into David Letterman’s house and stealing his car? She didn’t consider her behavior criminal, because she thought she was entitled to do those things as his wife or girlfriend. That’s why stalking cases often end in violence. The person can’t accept or understand why the object of their affection is acting so irrationally, avoiding them or getting court orders against them. Then all that “love” turns to hate.

I’ve read about a few people who turned against David because he was merely polite or somewhat reserved when he signed their autographs. These people were upset because they were deluded, believing that because they know so much about him and followed him since they were six, that he should return their feelings exactly the same. They’re looking for those stars in his eyes, and God help him if they don’t find them. One of the things I respect most about him is that he doesn’t pretend to love people he just met just to make sure they’ll buy a ticket or a CD. As I said, he seems to have a real sixth sense for what kind of emotion he’s dealing with.

I don’t think any distinction needs to be made between having such feelings for a celebrity or having them for anybody who doesn’t return those same feelings. You asked about diagnostic terms: “erotomania” comes to mind for the sort of stalking behavior I’ve been describing, when someone just won’t give up the pursuit of a person who doesn’t want their attentions. Clearly, David appreciates devotion such as yours very much, not to mention baskets of goodies!

Of course, delusions are not the same as fantasies, which are usually healthy and normal. I’ve heard some fans saying vicious things about the wives or girlfriends of their favorites, even wishing them dead! Now, THAT is crossing the line. I know I would very happy if David were still with Anita or anybody at all who was good for him and made him happy. If someone couldn’t feel that kind of unselfish hope for their favorite, then I would suspect that at some level they are harboring the expectation that their most serious fantasies will come true.

So, what if delusions aren’t involved? I think another possible problem could actually be described as an addiction. If someone’s interest in David or Star Trek or baseball or anything started to interfere with their work, families, friends, health or religion, then I’d worry. It’s all a matter of balance. Remember William Shatner’s famous “Get a life, people!” sketch on SNL? That’s what I mean.

I saw a web page analyzing the Monkees episodes, and I was astounded at the level of detail. Some of it was cute and interesting, but this woman actually noted things like the first time in the series Micky called someone “babe”, or the first appearance of the Monkeemobile outside a fantasy sequence, or minor changes on the set.

Nothing wrong with that per se, but I kept imagining the number of hours she must have sat there in front of her TV with a notebook. Those shows were meant to be enjoyed, not analyzed like rabbis studying the Talmud.

In fact, enjoyment is the last point I’ll consider here. A healthy interest should involve mostly positive feelings. I’ll tell you, Jan, this is the area I need to work on myself. Anything dealing with David himself brings me great happiness. I automatically smile when I see him or hear him. I’ve had a lot of laughs because of him, even if I groan sometimes at the more racy stuff. I feel proud of him in so many ways, and truly inspired by him.


But I’ll confess to you, I wish I could be more philosophical about the whole Davy-bashing phenemenon we’ve been discussing. I don’t want to be so upset at the hateful remarks of a few dozen people on the Internet, especially when I think I know why they’re saying them.

I don’t think I would be upset if I knew that their feelings were not shared by most of the people actually attending the TIT shows. Maybe you or your other friends could help me here. When I saw the Hershey shows, I was very relieved that he seemed to go over extremely well with the crowd.

When I got home, I was shocked to find a long thread on the Monkees Newsgroup about his so-called “poor performance” there, based mostly on the incident when he wouldn’t sign an autograph DURING the show. He told the woman very nicely “That’s great, but I can’t sign it now, sweetheart. I’ve got 2000 people waiting for me to sing.” Now, what nobody mentioned on the newsgroup was that he got a loud burst of applause for this, from people who’d had their fill of autograph seekers interrupting Bobby’s set. I also saw that only a small number of fans approached Bobby, whereas David had so many rushing the stage that he couldn’t possibly have given each of them the individual attention they wanted. So anyway, the nasty references to Hershey didn’t bother me a bit, because I knew the truth for myself.

The silver lining to all of this has been discovering that David’s fans really are a cut above the rest. I’ve seen a degree of loyalty, decency, and intelligence that contrasts markedly with what’s been displayed by some of the fans of the other Monkees or Teen Idols. That can only reflect well on David himself.

This relates to the whole enjoyment issue. Normal, appropriate affection for someone should make you a better and kinder person. I think the truly sick individuals are the fans who can only show their attachment to their idols by tearing down a supposed rival, and trying to hurt that rival’s own fans. That’s why there’s such a fine line between speaking up for David in a positive way and sinking to the level of those creeps. Some of them are really trolling, and we’d only be giving them what they want if we show that they’ve gotten to us too much.

To wrap this up, you asked what a sociopath is. In a way, a sociopath displays behavior exactly the opposite of what we’ve been concerned with. Sociopaths feel too little for other people, not too much. They manipulate others with no conscience to bother them, because they can’t empathize with other human beings. Sociopaths have a very poor prognosis, because it’s easier to work with people who have inappropriate feelings than people who have NO feelings. That’s real cause for worry.

So are we really normal? I believe so. If you refused to go out with a nice guy just because he wasn’t Davy Jones, that’d be a problem. If you mortgaged your house to buy into his horse-racing syndicate, that’d be a problem. I loved what you said about buying him the moon if you won the lottery. I would, too. The key is that we both recognize the difference between what’s possible and what isn’t.

I know I just “met” you, but from our limited acquaintance I’d say you were a kind, brave, generous, and caring person. A little more romantic than most, maybe a little emotional. Sounds a lot like a certain Manchester lad we know, doesn’t it?

From Kimberly's Japan Collection


Sorry for being so long-winded. I had to postpone my class because of the laryngitis, so it looks like you got the lecture instead!

Lori


Well, do you feel better now? I know it helped me to ignore everybody telling me that I needed a "reality check" (this could be possible!) and that loving a celebrity was nuts. Now I just tell them to leave me to my obsession, cause I'm one of thousands, and my analyst said it was OK!

The next page is a collection of love poems and prose that we felt was made for David fans and reflected our dreams of him. We will always be happy to add one that you feel will fit!

Poetry-Continue the Tour!

A Duel With Peter Noone

Davy Is A Rooster!

Newspaper Interview

Guestbook and Links

The Postcard Page!

David's Hometown Paper Interview!

A Review Of The Japan Tour!!

New! 5/99! An original poem by a fan! Yova's Page!

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