In the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the subject is asked whether he agrees with a series of statements, such as “There seems to be a lump in my throat much of the time,” “I am not afraid to handle money,” “I feel uneasy indoors,” and “My sleep is fitful and disturbed.” His responses give insights into his personality and psychopathology.
In 2006, poet Katie Degentesh fed these statements into Google and combined the results into a series of poems, which she published as The Anger Scale. Here’s an excerpt from “As a youngster I was suspended from school one or more times for cutting up”:
Everyone knows about Dallas
and its acts of terrifying gorgeousness
a chef in a tall hat piping meringue
discussing the “brain drain”
dropped a slab of concrete on his left foot
before being lured to the guitar
doesn’t recall details of cutting up friend
to create fake masterpiece
Poets Craig Dworkin and Kenneth Goldsmith call this “a ‘pataphysical nosography, evaluating and diagnosing the mental stability of the Internet itself.” But how do we evaluate the results?