Milking An Elephant

Old Freud says that dreams are the Royal Road to the unconscious.  But lots of brain guys with more scientific orientations don’t think dreams mean anything; the brain while sleeping just farts cigarnow and then relieving pressure and these are dreams.  But trying to make anything of them or find any meaning in them is about as stupid as trying to tell the future by looking at the guts of a sacrificial chicken.

But when I was going to see my therapist I decided I should look into my dreams just in case they had something to offer.  First, though, as I have said, I couldn’t remember my dreams.  To remember my dreams I had to tell my brain before I went to sleep: remember the dreams.  But I guess my brain was anxious or worried about forgetting the dream because instead of just remembering as I had ordered it to do the damn brain insisted on waking up at any manner of ungodly hours, mostly somewhere between four and five in the morning when my dream cycle hit.

Sometimes I would wake up so suddenly that the waking up just wiped out the dream.  Sometimes I could remember a bit of a dream but it was so pathetic it wasn’t worth remembering.  Sometimes I would wake up with no dream but with an erection.  I had not told my brain to wake me up for that but apparently on this issue had a mind of  its own.

Sometimes I would get up and write the dream down in a book I kept for that very purpose.  Here’s a dream from May, 1985; it’s a little dated maybe but a bit funny I think:

“I see a woman milking an elephant.  To do this she needs a special rocking chair, very huge.  Once she gets in the rocking chair and gets it going with a special stick she pushes against the ground the momentum of the rocking chair helps her squeeze milk from the elephant’s teats.  Actually, I can’t quite see the woman.  I see her feet just under the belly of the elephant.  The chair is so huge her feet are way off the ground.  A random cycle of violence has broken out.  A kind of hysteria and children are killing adults.  They walk around like robots and have tiny pistols. I am late on the scene and have no idea why these children with their tiny pistols are so riled up.  I pull aside a curtain and enter a tent like room that has two huge elephant milking rocking chairs in it.  But nobody is seated in the chairs.  They rock violently, so hard, they leap into the air.  A child appears and shoots another child with his tiny pistol.”

I have no idea what this fucker means.  I am sure I could make something up.  For example, obviously the tiny guns are tiny penises.  Maybe the elephant’s teats are penises too.  And women are milking those teats.  Obviously there is a good deal of gender confusion in this dream.  But it hurts my brain to think about it.

Maybe dreams don’t mean anything or mean just what you want them to mean.  But I think they do contribute something.  Without this dream I do not believe that ever in my life I would have written the words “milking an elephant” or come up with the idea of huge elephant milking rocking chairs.

Ab Ovum

We were visiting one of my wife’s old friends from back in her college days.  She was married to an FBI agent.  We went out for Chinese food and I remember it seemed like a damn long drive for Chinese food.  But this was their favorite place where the Chinese food was real Chinese food, I guess.  Anyway, on the way back, their kid, Katie, who was maybe 4, started asking questions.  She had been listening to my wife and her friend talking about the good old days back in college, and cracked eggKatie piped up, “Where was I?”

The other adults seemed a bit confused; they wanted to know what she was asking exactly.  Me, though, since I can regress at the drop of a hat am usually in tune with children and knew what she was up to.  “She wants to know where she was back when you were in college.”  “Honey, you weren’t born yet?”  But this kid had her teeth into something.  “I know but where was I?”  I tried to joke, “You were a gleam in your daddy’s eye.”  But she wouldn’t have any of that, so finally I just said, “You weren’t anywhere because you were not yet.”  “OK,” she said and seemed satisfied. Kids can be pretty logical philosophers; apparently she wasn’t freaked out by her metaphysical question.  She just wanted an answer.

What she was asking really wasn’t where she was but how the hell was it possible for anything to be going on before I got here.  Kids assume that they “create” everything; mommy and daddy didn’t really start until they get there.  Maybe we outgrow that idea at some point.  Maybe not.  I think I see lots of adults around who think the world did not exist before they got into it.  These people hate the idea of a past or if there was a past the present is a fuck lot better than back there in the past, whenever the fuck that was.

The idea of “progress” is a psychological defense mechanism against the idea that there was a past that might have been better than our present.  I once sat through a series of lectures in social psychology for undergraduates.  The professor was really pretty good, energetic at least.  She gave three lectures on the Freudian theory of aggression; and then she started lecturing on the modern sociological theory of aggression.  Before she did though, she said Freud was mostly wrong.  “Shit,” the kid said next to me, “then why did she lecture on him three times?”

Good question, Dude.  My answer would be that modern academics believe in the progress of their so-called disciplines.  If Freud was right, then somebody back there in the idiotic past might have got it more right than a bunch of sociologists in the present.  Modern and post-modern academics kill the past by pretending they have got the answer and all those dumb fucks before them were looking up their assholes.

So this pretty much reams history.  The question isn’t really whether Freud was right or wrong; but what can we learn from what he says about when he was and what can we learn about what he says about when he was that might help us to understand better where we are.

101 Greatest Books of Western Barbarism

After Crime and Punishment, I decided I wanted to read more good stuff.  Up to that time I had been reading stacks and stacks of science fiction when, unlike today, stacks and stacks of science hobbitfiction were not available.  So I bought and read some of those science fiction magazines made out of some grim grey paper that paid their writers like 2 cents a word.  I had sort of dipped into the “classics” like the Deerslayer—Fenimore Cooper stuff–; but from that I had moved to more popularized juvenile versions of Fenimore Cooper stuff and read a whole series of novels that seemed mostly to involve Indians chasing white persons or white persons chasing Indians through miles and miles of forest  for days on end. Guys back then could sure run.

But after C&P I decided to go for the real thing; but since I didn’t know what the real things were I started checking out books with titles like 100 Greatest Books of The World; or 100 Greatest Books of the Western World; or, maybe my favorite, 101 Greatest Books of the Western World.  That extra 1 seemed to acknowledge the futility of making a list of the 100 Greatest books of the Western World. But I needed guidance and having none I did the best I could with those books; I went down the list and started checking out the ones that looked most promising.  I planned to read the whole fucking lot and to come to know all that there was to know about everything that might be known.

Now of course the “canon,” or any sort of consensus about the 100 greatest books of the Western World is probably out of the question, unless you are one of those persons that likes to list things.  The “canon” has been all busted up.  Voices not previously present are.  Plato is an old dead white guy.  Obviously back then I was mislead in my reading materials by those lists and read stuff that some now consider merely testimony to the stupidity of a society dominated by white dead men.  I acknowledge the stupidity of that society.  But honestly, I don’t think the world is necessarily better off when one can go on line and find lists of the 100 greatest books of the western (as compiled by newspapers responding to the voice of the people) and find the that the Lord of the Rings listed as the number one greatest book of the Western World.

The Lord of the Rings was popular back in the 60s too.  My girlfriend read it and recommended it to me.  I read a bit and decided it was pseudo profound mythological claptrap, though I didn’t say that to my girlfriend.  Those lists I read back in the early sixties didn’t have Harry Potter on it either (as some of the web lists do) and I maintain that Harry Potter is also pseudo profound mythological claptrap.  I make this judgment not as a protest against the breaking up of the canon or because I oppose the vox populi, but on the basis of my having read an awful lot of the work of those dead white men who represent the western tradition of informed barbarism.

US Mail

I ordered an auto part online and it took a month to arrive.

 When I go into the post office I get all confused what with the two day mail, and the express mail, and the overnight mail, and the regular first class mail, and certified mail  At the risk of making crazy with all the options, I would like to introduce the revolutionary, new “Whenever Mail,” as in “When will it get there?”

“Like Whenever.”

It would be like a lottery.  Sometimes “whenever mail” would be put in the overnight bag, and other times it would be sent by slow train to Nebraska, where it is discovered to have been sent to the wrong place, and then it would sent by slow train back to where it came from.

 “Whenever Mail!  For when you just don’t care anymore!”