Freedom of Association
Furnaces of the Krell
One summer evening, back when I could still drink real beer and when the New York City chapter of the Raseffarians still met, I found myself sitting with my fellow raseffers in the back garden of the pub known as d.b.a. The group had located itself in a part of the garden that was way too close to the tavern's air-conditioning units. It being a warmish evening, the units were cycling on and off. When they cycled on, the noise was impressive.
That night I happened to be sitting next to or near (I can't be expected to remember everything!!) the Nobel Prize nominated pnh. After the air conditioning unit had cycled on for about the fourth or fifth time, Patrick muttered, "It's like the furnaces of the Krell around here."
I remember the moment so clearly partly because it made me laugh, and partly because it was so true. Damn, it really was like the furnaces of the Krell.
Monsters From the Id
You remember the invisible monster from Forbidden Planet. You will especially remember the part when the monster's footprints appear in sand, and when the inconceivably great weight of its insubstantiality bends the steps on the stairway up into the spaceship.
The movie, as all be-beanied scholars will know, is the love-child product of same-sex marriage between Freud and Shakespeare. Don't ask which one carried it to term. No one knows and no one cares except you.
I like the part when the spacemen point their special concentric circle ray gun at the creature and it lights up like, um, a free-hand sketch of a monster they didn't have enough money left in the budget to actually build.
Anyways, this was a Monster from Dr. Morbius's Id, see? You know how I know? Here's how (.wav). I can think of a lot of things the monster from my particular id would look like. Fortunately, I'm a terrible pen-and-ink man so you will be spared. If you really want to know, get a concentric circle ray gun and shoot me in the head with it.
Freud As a Founding Father
Freud had a cigar-like finger in a lot of things. A lot of people don't know this, but one time? At the Constitutional Convention? He descended from the Universal Unconscious as a kind of misty Zeitgeist and exerted some sort of astral influence on the Founding Fathers. They couldn't really understand what he was on about because he didn't have any lips so they got the words all screwed up. Instead of the Id, the Ego, and the Superego, they heard the "President", the "Congress", and the "Judiciary". If you say all three fast, about three times in a row, you can sort of see how they got it wrong. Well, no you can't. But anyways.
There's an obscure passage in one of the Lost Federalist Papers (known cryptically as The Oxford Companion to the Mind):
Sigmund Freud supposed that three components make up the psychic [ed: Federal] structure: the id [ed: President], the ego [ed: Congress], and the super-ego [ed: Judiciary]. The id represents instincts and innate needs. The super-ego, manifest in conscience, shame, and guilt, is the agency by which the influence of parents and others is prolonged. Their judgments and prohibitions are internalized by the process of introjection in early childhood before the child is able to question them. The ego has been differentiated from the id through the influence of the external world, to whose demands it adapts. In so adapting it has to reconcile the forces of the id and super-ego in such a way as to maximize pleasure and minimize unpleasure....
The Republican Ego and Id
This hidden structure is usually, well, you know, hidden. It only reveals itself when the country is turning into what we here in New York call "a ment-ull case". Like, you know, right about now.
Looking closely, we discover that Bush really is all about being a dick. On account of he is the hidden id, at last revealed. The Congress distinguishes itself by adapting itself to the influence of the external world, which is to say it sucks the radical-right's dick. And the Judiciary... well, the Judiciary...
The Judiciary As Superego
Dr. Morbius was a pretty smart guy, all right. He was all up on the Krell and everything. Only he was kind of an egomaniac, see? And because he was such an egomaniac, it really pissed him off that the superego spacemen all of a sudden showed up with Leslie Nielsen in charge! No superego for Dr. Morbius! So he becomes something worse than an egomaniac, he becomes an idiomaniac, on account of he can't control his urges any more.
Okay, so now we have DeLay and Cornyn and Bush and the entire Republican Axis of Idio-Ego Evil rising up on their heels and wanting to kill the superego spacemen Judiciary. Here comes the huge, murderous, invisible creature from the Id trying to tear the superego spacemen Judiciary all apart.
See? It all makes sense when you think about it.
The Fall of the Krell
Heh. The Krell probably thought they were indestructible. They probably thought they'd go on forever, just like we think that about ourselves.
Ha! Were they wrong. And now all that's left of them are great furnaces churning away pointlessly in the bowels of a faraway planet.
How will we rescue the Honey West of Democracy? Beats the hell out of me. We are confronted with a primordial force -- the bastard love-child of Shakespeare and Freud. Frankly, I'm not sure even Leslie Nielsen in a pair of trim stretch pants could save us. The Republican Creature is getting ready to tear us limb from limb.
Maybe if we took control of the Ego in '06, and the Id in '08? That's my idea, anyway. Who knows? It's so crazy and out-there, it just might work.