Gonzo Marketing:Winning Through Worst Practices The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy
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Thursday, July 22, 2004
did people used to be smart once?
I understand there was a time...
Sometimes I just shake my head in wonder at how utterly beyond stupid human beings have become. Maybe it's not most human beings, I tell myself. Yeah, maybe the glass is half full. Maybe it's a mere 49.9% that have fallen below the simpering moron level. I wasn't planning on blogging anything tonight -- too blue; feet hurt; you never send mail about my posts no matter how much I try to piss you off; so just generally bummed at the moment -- but then I came across these two "reader" (using the term ultra-loosely) reviews on Amazon. Now, please understand, this does involve Sigmund Freud, and a) I know that Amerika's innate anti-intellectualism precludes consideration of anything that wasn't in USA Today in the past week, but b) I would like to assure you that I have never read a word of Freud, so I'm not just some egghead trying to prove I'm smarter than you. (As I'm working on my self-esteem issues, I now know this needs no proof; I just use my Daily Affirmations: "I'm smarter than those assholes! I know I am! I know I am!")

Oh but wait, I did. I mean, I did read Civilization and Its Discontents. A long time ago (and we were singin Bye Bye Miss American Pie). And I also read The Winter of Our Discontent, which is something Shakespeare said that John Steinbeck managed to get a book out of while turning his son (once a good friend of mine, before he died) into a psychoneurotic about on a par with Howlin Wolf, which is why I loved the guy. And I also read (when I was 14) Growing Up Absurd, by Paul Goodman, who later collaborated with Fritz Perls (one of the primary -- but by no means only -- nonentity Esalen slime bucket perpetrators of the "human potential movement") on a thoroughgoing bowdlerization of Gestalt Psychology, which before their efforts, actually meant something, though I have no idea what, having never read any of whomever started it -- some German guy whose last name begins with a K, I think. Not Kafka, though it might as well be... But whoa! That's it! It was Midas Wellby.

So where was I before I got all worked up? Oh yeah, so I did read that one thing by Fred. Or, as he was known in Germany, Freud.

This is important to the story, but I'll try to keep it brief. Yesterday at Boulder Books, where I hardly ever go because it's seething with the worst sort of Boulderites, I came across a used set of The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. It's 24 volumes and they were asking $650 for it, which is probably a great price. I coveted it immediately. Not because I would ever read word one, but because I am obsessively attracted to large expensive sets of abstruse books that make me look smarter than I really am. (But it doesn't matter what you think. I know I am! I know I am!)

Anyway, got that? OK. So for kicks tonight (I know: get a life) I looked up The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud on Amazon. And there is an entry for it -- but no set available. This has not, however, deterred the indefatigable reviewers. The first one said this:

"I think this is a terrific compilation of Freud material that would be helpful to any psychology student pursuing psychoanalysis and a search for knowledge in the subject of psychology. The author does a tremendous job of picking the most important works of Freud and putting them in a proper reading order for the less experienced student. I think that the author should be commended for his work in translating and interpreting this material, and I would recommend this to anyone, no matter what the cost! I think this may be the best and most valuable set of books you could ever buy."
Now, there are many things amiss here, but let's let the second reviewer answer the first, which is precisely what he intends. But we're going to have to chunk this a bit to get at what's really going on between these two rocket scientists...
"The 'author' of Freud's S.E. IS Freud!"
All right, so far so good. And we may forgive Reviewer #2 his (???, as they're both listed only as "a reader" it's hard to tell) exasperation over Reviewer #1's inability to distinguish an author from a translator. But then more difficulties ensue as Reviewer #2 doesn't seem to know to quit while he's ahead.
"...and of course it's a useful reference book for any undergraduate student of psychoanalysis, Freud is still papa of the discipline and anyone interested in being involved in any discourse concerning psychoanalysis needs to be familiar with the man's work."
First off, I doubt there are many undergraduates studying psychoanalysis at quite this level. If at all. I mean, a psych course or two, yeah, maybe even a psych major, but for Christ sake, they're not going to be reading the fucking Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works! That is, the 24 volumes which by the way, we ought to note, Reviewer #1 "would recommend... to anyone" irrespective of cost. [emphasis added]

You see for me, Freud didn't understand dick about what I'm doing here, which is displaying your basic borderline Tazmanian Devil Syndrome over a couple paragraphs most people a) would never find, and b) if they did, would never read, and c) if they both found and read them, might, at a maximum go: huh. And... yes, that's right... then they would MOVE ON!!!

Not me. I am having apoplexy over the barometer of human intelligence falling so precipitously that killer cyclones will definitely be spawned by the sudden vacuum, and thinking perhaps we should reconsider the whole notion of WWIII as a necessarily bad thing.

I don't know why I felt compelled to share this with you. For the life of me, I don't know why I feel compelled to share anything with you! It's not helping either of us, that's clear. It's not helping me to feel that I'm smarter than you. And it's not helping you to feel that I'm not. What the fuck, huh? Is this what Blogging Is Really All About Then?


now money don't get everything, it's true,,,
but it don't get back at you!
now gimme money, that's what I want
gimme money, that's what I want
m o n e y

that's what I wamt!

4:46 AM | link |

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"RageBoy: Giving being fucking nuts a good name since 1985."
~D. Weinberger
28 October 2004

Chris Locke's photos More of Chris Locke's photos

Until a minute ago, I had no photos. I still have no photos to speak of. I don't even have a camera. But all these people were linking to "my photos." It was embarassing. It's still embarassing. But I'm used to that.

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