Hermann Rorschach, the Freudian psychologist responsible for one of the most misunderstood but enduring tropes in popular culture, is honored on Friday with an interactive Google Doodle that helps you diagnose your personal issues, and then let you share them with your friends.
Celebrate the 129th birthday of the Swiss doctor who created the infamous inkblot test by clicking on the splotchy image featured on Google's homepage. As a cartoon version of Dr. Rorschach (Nov. 8, 1884 – April 1, 1922) looks on, the splotch will rejigger itself into a variety of images, both subjective and obvious.
Perhaps you'll see two T-Rexes balancing on balls. Or Frank, the bunny from "Donnie Darko." Perhaps you'll see the Batman. However you interpret the image, you can then click on the "Share what you see" on Google Plus, Facebook or Twitter, and let the Internet decide whether you're sound of mind or possibly an undercover superhero.
No, not THAT Rorschach. This is Jackie Earle Haley in the film version of the graphic novel, "Watchmen."
If you interpret the inkblot to be something you find disturbing, rest assured that the test — the popularity of which peaked in the 1960s — is largely considered worthless in mental health care today.
Still, Rorschach's master work continues to exert influence in popular culture as a recurring plot point on sit-coms, movies and comics. This includes every nerd's favorite psychopathic hero, Rorschach— from the Alan Moore classic, "Watchmen" tome. Despite his own distaste for psychological testing, Rorschach wears a moving mask that looks a whole lot like today's Google Doodle.
Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah about the Internet. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or Facebook.
First published November 8 2013, 8:14 AM