Ivory Towers: Is Mr Blobby just a symptom?

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The Independent Culture
FOLLOWING last week's revelations in this space, linking parapsychology to the cheesecloth and dairy industries, we are delighted to have received a communication from the man behind those theories, Dr S F Blinkhorn, who has recently turned his mind to the strange and terrifying phenomenon of Mr Blobby. His most encouraging diagnosis is that Blobby fans are suffering from anterograde Korsakovian psychosis.

Korsakov's Syndrome, named after the Russian psychiatrist Sergei Sergeyevich Korsakov, began with studies of chronic alcoholism and later spread to other forms of mental disturbance. The main feature is severely impaired recent memory, with side-effects of disorientation and confabulation - sufferers 'remember' experiences they never had. Like seeing yellow spots on a pink background.

According to Dr Blinkhorn, the Blobby effect is a rare case of anterograde Korsakovian psychosis, setting in before, rather than after, the consumption of large quantities of alcohol. Looking forward to the Christmas binge, the minds of sufferers are already confabulating the pink and yellow hallucinations that will occur later. Philosophically speaking, Mr Blobby is merely the hypostatization of an anticipated alcoholic delusion.

If this diagnosis is correct, the prognosis for the nation is good, since Korsakov's Syndrome is usually only a transitory sign of mental disorder and need not affect other functions or even the operation of normal intellectual processes. It can, however, also be chronic, remaining for a number of years. Only the future position of Mr Blobby in the pop charts can provide any indication of improvement. It is generally believed that a lack of mental cohesion lies at the basis of Korsakov's Syndrome.

Interestingly, one classic case involved a man who had no trouble recognising his wife when she was present, but who vehemently denied that he was married when she was not there. This symptom has also been noticed in some men not suffering from Korsakov's Syndrome, particularly over the Christmas period.

More disturbingly, Dr Blinkhorn points out that the name 'Blobby', before the Great Vowel Shift, would have been pronounced 'Blebby' which has clear linguistic assonance with the town of Blaby in Leicestershire.

'Reports are coming in from psychotherapists all over the country,' reports Dr Blinkhorn, 'that the symbolic figure of Mr Blobby substitutes in dream and fantasy for the former MP for Blaby, now Lord Lawson.'

He believes this demonstrates collective wish fulfilment 'as the distaff side of the whole population dreams of the time before the Norman conquest and the more recent trahison des Clarkes'.

(Photograph omitted)