Monday, 1 June 2009

Jokes and the unconscious

A joke from the world of psychoanalysis. Which also, probably, offers an indication of why, in some seminars, I feel like I’m in The Life Of Brian.

Sometimes I feel I’m in the scene in which Brian drops his sandal and his band of followers argue over the theological meaning over it — does it mean we should wear one shoe like him or should we worship his dropped shoe as a religious relic.

Sometimes I feel like I’m in the scene on the amphitheatre steps in which the John Cleese character tells Brian that, as members of the People’s Front of Judea, it isn’t the Romans they really hate but the Judean People’s Front.

Which reminds me: I’m off to Israel for a few days later this week. Which in turn reminds me of something further. On the in-flight entertainment on British Airways, The Life Of Brian was always one of the movie choices. Except, as the entertainment guide solemnly pointed out, ‘on flights to the Middle East.

I always found myself thinking: God (Christ, whatever), what an achievement. Monty Python should feel very proud of themselves. Decades after the film came out, it’s still offensive to the very people it was meant to offend — religious nutters, that is, not left-wing splinter group nutters.

Anyway, here’s the joke . . .

It’s a universally acknowledged truth that if you walk down a corridor in a psychoanalytic institute, you can tell which kind of analyst is in each room.

If the patient is doing all the talking, it’s a classical Freudian.

If the analyst is doing all the talking, it’s a Kleinian.

If neither is talking, it’s an independent. Patient and analyst are having an ‘experience’.*

* If you sense a sneer in this phrase, you’re probably right.

Next up Nick Lowe’s beast; a new picture; an explanation of that joke

1 comment:

Lo Jardinier said...

Dear Sir,
Hot Damn! Does this mean I am too late for the May Caption Competition? My entries are (were):
1. Years of research by a team at Stoke Mandeville have produced a prototype aid - shown in its first patient trials, above - for sufferers of Tourette's Disorder who have laryngitis.
2. Humour Theorist's Triumph.
A Jewish woman was carrying her child by the sea when a freak wave snatched the boy from her arms and swept him out into the ocean. 'Oh God!' wailed the mother, 'please work a miracle and return my beloved son to me!' Moments later a second huge wave broke on the shore and tossed the child back into her arms. The mother took a look at him and cried: 'He had a hat!'
A possible explanation for this divine caprice has been advanced [see picture].

Yours etc.
An unworthy admirer of Felix Feneon.

PS: Examples of political incorrectness have been craftily concealed in the above. See if you can spot them.