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This Man (a.k.a “Ever Dream This Man?”) is an Internet myth associated with an artist’s illustration of a man with beady eyes, bushy eyebrows, thin lips, and a receding hairline. Since October 2009, numerous reports of this man appearing in people’s dreams have come from around the world, typically portrayed as a benevolent character.
The copypasta story is said to have originated from thisman.org, a website launched in September 2009 by Italian viral marketing specialist Andrea Natella. According to the site description, the portrait (shown below) was drawn by a mental patient of a well-known psychiatrist:
In January 2006 in New York, the patient of a well-known psychiatrist draws the face of a man that has been repeatedly appearing in her dreams. In more than one occasion that man has given her advice on her private life. The woman swears she has never met the man in her life. That portrait lies forgotten on the psychiatrist’s desk for a few days until one day another patient recognizes that face and says that the man has often visited him in his dreams. He also claims he has never seen that man in his waking life. The psychiatrist decides to send the portrait to some of his colleagues that have patients with recurrent dreams. Within a few months, four patients recognize the man as a frequent presence in their own dreams. All the patients refer to him as THIS MAN.
The website also insists that since January 2006, at least 2,000 people from all over the world have claimed they have seen “This Man” in their dreams, with reports coming from Los Angeles, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Tehran, Beijing, Rome, Barcelona, Stockholm, Paris, New Dehli, Moscow, etc.
Throughout October 2009, the mysterious copypasta spread across various blogs like Neatorama, Now Republic and io9, discussion forums including Yahoo Q&A, Facepunch and StraightDope Forum, as well as social news communities 4chan, Reddit and Metafilter, where lengthy discussions about the rumor’s validity and debunking attempts ensued. Numerous explanations about “This Man” soon followed suit, some based on sociological and psychological concepts like Carl Jung’s Archetype Theory or Dream Imitation Theory, as well as others that are more absurd of claims like the man is a dream skipper or the God himself.
That same month, some people began investigating the origin of Thisman.org and identified Italian sociologist and marketing strategist Andrea Natella as the creator of the website. It was also revealed that Natella runs an advertising agency called Guerilla Marketing, which designs subversive hoaxes and creates weird art projects exploring pornography, politics, and advertising. The site was briefly acquired by horror movie production company Ghost House Pictures, in promotion for an upcoming film titled This Man, written and directed by American filmmaker Bryan Bertino.
Due to the mystery surrounding This Man, there are numerous parody websites and images ranging from “Who is this woman?” and the now defunct Shaq version to image macros comparing the character to Andre the Giant.
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