March 28, 2007


Caption: The cat is analyzing the dog's dream.

This is day 3 of Goat Rope's official Fun With Freud week. Please scroll down to earlier posts if this is you first visit.

For the record, El Cabrero is not a Freudian. I think he was probably wrong, sometimes spectacularly so, on lots of things, but some of his big ideas hold up pretty well (or at least look that way from Goat Rope Farm).

One trademark idea of Freud's that I think is a keeper is the whole idea of the unconscious and the role it can play in our lives. He believed that the conscious part of the mind was only the proverbial tip of the iceberg and that there's a lot more going on than we often realize.

Like goats on the farm, the critters in the unconscious pop out whenever they get the chance in the form of dreams, (Freudian) slips of the tongue, mistaken actions, symptoms, etc. They can also be the source of much creativity and insight.

Freud believed that dreams are mostly disguised wish fulfillment. I don't think that's always the case but some are (and some aren't all that disguised). I had a classic Freudian dream while reading his Interpretation of Dreams. At the time, I wished I could interpret my dreams. Then I dreamed that I could.

Score one for Sig...

The book of Freud's that got my attention as a teenager was The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, which was quite a hoot. He argued that many common events in our lives reveal the activity of the unconscious.

Some examples:

*If you've ever "lost" your car keys when you had to go to work, maybe part of you didn't want to go to start with;

*If you've ever "forgotten" something and left it at someone's house, then possibly part of you wanted to go back;

*If you've ever forgotten the name of someone you know perfectly well, it may be because that person has associations with someone or something else.

I had another classic in that department a few years back when I attended the funeral of a friend. There was someone there I'd known, liked, and worked with for years and for the life of me I couldn't remember her name. It turned out she had the same name as someone I was having some disagreements with at the time.

Score two for Sig.

(The main problem of thinking that way is that if you do it too much you don't think anything is an accident. Sometimes the cigar IS just a cigar.)

FEDERAL BUDGET ITEM. It looks like the U.S. House and Senate have better budget priorities than the administration, which wants to keep slashing social programs to pay for more tax cuts for the wealthy and its unnecessary war in Iraq. Here's an item from this Sunday's Charleston Gazette-Mail about the Senate version.

NEW LABOR LEGISLATION INTRODUCED. Recent decisions by the National Labor Relations Board could potentially deny millions of workers the right to join unions by classifying them as "supervisors." Last week, a bill was introduced which would correct this problem. Here's some info from the AFLCIO blog:

One of the major contributors to the middle-class squeeze is the difficulty workers face when trying to join together and collectively bargain for better wages and benefits. That freedom has been further reduced by several misguided decisions by the Republican-controlled National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which eroded the ability of millions of workers to exercise their freedom to join unions.

...a bipartisan bill was introduced in the House and Senate that would begin to reverse some of the most egregious of those NLRB decisions. The Re-Empowerment of Skilled and Professional Employees and Construction Tradeworkers (RESPECT) Act would reverse a Republican party-line NLRB vote in September 2006 to slash long-time federal labor law protections of workers’ freedom to form unions.

The RESPECT Act would clarify the National Labor Relations Act to ensure it is not misinterpreted or undermined on a fundamental question of coverage.


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