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