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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

 

Darcy in rehab!

Animal World Newswire

By Angelique

International playcat Darcy Xenophon, last seen partying at a Poptrash event at Amsterdam's premiere club, Melkweg, has entered a secluded retreat near The Hague, Netherlands. The retreat, known as the Factual Recovery Analysis Center (FRAC), specializes in re-orienting individuals who suffer from a little-known disorder, apophenia.

According to Dr. Melanie Fox of The Institute for Apopheniac Research (IAR) at the University of California in San Diego, apophenia is "the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. The term was coined in 1958 by Klaus Conrad, who defined it as the 'unmotivated seeing of connections' accompanied by a 'specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness.'"

Darcy's bizarre behavior was reported by a Swedish student, Bruno Andersen, who was also at the Melkweg bash:
Around three in the morning, this cat, Darcy, begins bobbing his head up and down excessively, yowling about the number ninety nine. Maybe it was the music that was playing that set him off: "99 Luftballoons" by the German band, Nena. You know: [sings]

99 Duesenjaeger
Jeder war ein grosser Krieger
Hielten sich fuer Captain Kirk
Das gab ein grosses Feuerwerk
Die Nachbarn haben nichts gerafft
Und fuehlten sich gleich angemacht
Dabei schoss man am Horizont
Auf 99 Luftballons

Oof, man, it was getting to all of us, what with the substances we were exposed to, but this cat, he was just unable to stop. After about forty minutes, the bouncer came and ejected him.
For those who need an English translation:

99 Decision Street.
99 ministers meet.
To worry, worry, super-scurry.
Call the troops out in a hurry.
This is what we've waited for.
This is it boys, this is war.
The president is on the line
As 99 red balloons go by.
Another witness, Wanda Kurtz, had been dancing near Darcy when his outburst began:

Actually, with all the noise in the room, Darcy was just doing what we all were there for--letting off some steam. There he was, bouncing and chanting "99,99,99,99" and I'm going, "Yo, cat, you'll never get to 100." And he goes, "99,99,99,99 . . . ." I thought it was pretty appropriate, given that he's from the US, and what with his government rattling sabers about going into Iran.

I was sorry to see Darcy ejected. He's a great hero, in my mind.
Outside Melkweg, Darcy wandered up and down, continuing his disphoric rants. Bystanders reported the following utterances:

If I had a Star Wars figure, I'd thump it in the marrow, I'd do a bit of work on it in the frock...

I'm a lump! I'm a duvet cover! I'm giant! Get a bad feeling about the dove, get a bad feeling about the dove!

I can't request ghosts without my koi carp.

Thou shalt not act as backing vocals to important triffids.
According to Dr. Fox of the IAR,
the number most commonly associated with apophenia is 23. But a fixation on other numbers is not unknown. The phenomenon also has a lot in common with some common pitfalls of logic and with narrative fallacies such as hindsight bias, the tendency to look back and see a prophecy predicting events that have occurred more recently. For example, becoming convinced that a pop song from the 1980s predicted the US intention to invade another country in 2007 would be an example of hindsight bias.
Researchers from diverse fields--including statistics, linguistics, literary criticism, and psychology--have noted the pervasiveness of apophenia in contemporary thought. Wikipedia says,
In statistics, apophenia would be classed as a Type I error (false positive, false alarm, caused by an excess in sensitivity). Apophenia is often used as an explanation of some paranormal and religious claims. It has been suggested that apophenia is a link between psychosis and creativity.
Although FRAC shuns publicity, this reporter was able to determine that it has hosted many prominent world leaders, rock stars, and Hollywood personalities. According to a former employee of FARC who spoke on condition of anonymity, George W. Bush himself may have been a guest. "I'm not saying he was, but it was definitely a possibility. Obviously, I would not say that, in the case of Bush, that our treatment was entirely successful." Calls to FRAC headquarters went unanswered.

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