Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Mr. Clean (An Interlude)
Am I the only one who thinks James Dyson is completely insane?
The commercials for his technologically advanced vaccums, which invariably feature him unabashedly flaunting his nearly DSM4-level obsession with cleanliness and order, always strike me as, well, a little unsettling.
"I just want things to work properly," he says with Queegian deliberateness, seemingly stunned as to why most vacuum cleaners are unable to subvert something akin to the law of diminishing returns.
He admits without so much as a hint of bemusement that his life's work has been a fanatical, Frankenstein-like quest to recreate the vacuum cleaner in his own image and, consequently, fulfill a vendetta against the technology which long ago let him down and left his carpets unclean.
Look beyond the sedate demeanor and the soothing voice and you can practically hear him saying, "Fools! They laughed at me when I said that vacuums didn't have to lose suction! Who's laughing now Hoover?!" Like a mad scientist who fancies himself one of the Mathematikoi -- and who in reality likely suffers from a very acute case of Asperger Syndrome -- he feels the need to constantly demonstrate just how he's reinventing the wheel and how it will eventually help him win the compulsive lifelong war he's waged against the constraints of basic physics.
I get the feeling that if you ever read Yeats to him, particularly the poet's seminal notion that "Things fall apart... The center cannot hold... Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world," he would likely explode in an uncontrollable fit of violent rage, grabbing the nearest sharp object and plunging it into your throat again and again. This would be followed by his spending the ensuing several hours using his own vacuum cleaner in a desperate attempt to expurgate the mess until everything had once again been returned to a place of immaculate order.
Really though, you've got to give credit to a guy who not only puts his neuroses out there for the world to see, but also uses them as a marketing tool to make him a billionaire.
I wish I were that crazy.