Thursday, December 13, 2012


Unconnectable Dots

Benjamin Kyle is a missing person, because he has amnesia and doesn't know who he is and the government hasn't been able to figure it out either. You may have already seen this 10 minute documentary about him — it's been online for a bit and — but you probably haven't seen this amazing pointilism portrait of Ben! OMG, let's all go back to the drawing board, literally. But about the film: the lady who calls 911 after finding Ben is pretty chill for having just discovered a nearly-murdered person, but the 911 operator tells her to calm down anyway. It's gotta be a reenactment, right?

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Whoa. Whoa whoa whoa. I have never heard of this guy, and this is heavy. (Oh my god, I am overreacting to just learning of his existence. God forbid I ever experience something terrible or strange myself.)


Isn't there also a movie, Unknown White Male, about a very similar thing? It definitely made me wig out and feel existential for a while.


Yes! That movie stuck with me for a long time after I saw it.


I am buggin' out here. What a nightmare.

Beyond the fact that the government knows about him, and even with the presence of advocates, they still won't pony up a SS#—I'm still stuck on the fact that nobody stepped forward as recognizing him. Someone tried to kill him. Unless it was some freak crime of opportunity, that means someone had enough of an opinion to hurt him. And they never stepped up, even anonymously, to give him his identity back? Arghhhhhhh

Jane Marie

@yeah-elle and no friends or family have come forward. he's old enough that tons of people have probably known him.


@Jane Marie Ugh, yes. You can see on his face how painful that is, when he says that it's "pathetic." I wonder what kind of person he was, that no one would come forward. He seems like a nice enough guy now, but who knows? He probably wonders about that himself. What would be worse, that you were so horrible that no one wants to give your life back, let alone reconnect with you? Or that you were an okay person, but so alone that no one remembers you?


@Jane Marie THIS. This was the part that absolutely broke my heart.

Also, I totally teared up when they gave him his Florida state ID card. I was so happy for him!


@TheSkyGirl The Wikipedia article on him said that he's living in "an air conditioned shed" b/c of someone's generosity, and not homeless. I was all D: D: D: because... wow. Well we live in a... society.

Also, I wouldn't be in the least surprised if some of the anonymity he's suffering from has to do with, well, we live in a post-industrial, late-captialist, major-institution society. I would believe he has friends/family who are just as disconnected from the systems as he seems to have been. They might not even believe the state can or would use resources to help them find people like him/themselves, so why pay attention or ask?

God. Okay, grading and being sick has made me feel really dystopic.


@yeah-elle Ugh, yes, so tragic. I teared up at the look on his face, and I'm sure he wonders those things.

Mary-Lynn Bragg@twitter

I've got to believe that he was someone who had already semi-dropped out of society. Was homeless already and probably far from his original home and the people there if there were any left who really did know him aren't connected enough to see this. So to then completely be unknown was just the brain injury away. The only surprising thing to me is that there aren't more people like him but I suspect that's because most people who live on that edge of society have some kind of connection to government (have been arrested, had some kind of government assistance or had been in the military) that would identify them when they couldn't id themselves.

Think back to the election season (if you can stomach it) and the problems we all talked about with voter id - so many people, particularly older or poorer, can't easily establish their identities either. It's just that they remember who they are and so do other people and they operate within systems that accept those identities because of that history.

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