Dicks are Life; or, Why We All Want the D. This is, I think, a fair summary of Freud’s entire oeuvre. The reason why I bring up Freud is because I have noticed something about my mental development (involving Freud) that I wish to talk about. It is both curious and very worrying how easily I can separate my life into a pre-Freudian and post-Freudian paradigm. And despite my rejection of Freud’s blatantly phallocentric view of humanity, I still, from time to time, see the world like he would have, which, of course, is funny because penises are funny (every person who’s ever seen mine burst out laughing), but it is also worrying because it means that a demonstrably flawed theory has been influential enough to hijack my mind on a more or less regular basis.
What I mean by this is that there are a lot things that I can no longer look at or even think about without being reminded of penises and sexuality in general. Bananas, hot dogs, any tall building, guitars, microphones, pole vault (owie!). These are all things that I will very often see through Freudian lenses, which, again, can arouse some very comedic thoughts, but is also rather annoying the more it happens. I’ll illustrate what exactly I mean with a few examples.
For my pre-Freudian self, drop towers were just one of many amusement rides found in a lot of theme parks. For post-Freudian Kevin Lux, however, it’s a whole different story. What I see now is an enormous steel pole that is well lubricated with oil so as to ensure the ring that surrounds the shaft glides up and down smoothly. Essentially, what I see is a handjob.
There’s plenty more examples of similar nature. Heck, we can even go as far back as Genesis (the book, not the band) with our Freudian interpretations. Yes, even the story of the original sin can be construed in a way that coheres with Freud’s idea of the male member as the ultimate explanatory force for everything ever. Just think about it: the tree of sin. One need not be a particularly devoted scholar of Freud to know that tree means penis, which in turn means that when Eve cannot resist the temptation to eat a fruit from the tree of sin, this symbolises her inability to resist her desire to consume the produce of the male sexual organ. It is not the snake that is the main source of all evil; it is masculinity (though, in case you didn’t know, the snake is also a phallic symbol). Yet we cannot resist masculinity, neither men nor women. We take perverse pleasure in our life-long pursuit of male genitalia, which clearly showcases the self-destructive tendency of the desires that are inherent to human nature.
If trees symbolise penises, then what the frick would a Freudian think about deforestation? There seem to be a couple of options here. Perhaps the systematic chopping down of trees is about the castration of men brought about by their fear of becoming irrelevant in an increasingly feminised world. Now just bear in mind the fact that the industry of chopping down trees is dominated by men and there we have it again, the self-destructive impulse. Men, having understood that they are losing their place in the world, are so desperate and helpless that they are led to engage in perverse behaviour that is eventually going to lead to their extinction, by which, of course, I mean impotence. Alternatively, deforestation could also, quite simply, be about men’s denial of their homoerotic desires. If you don’t understand where any of this came from then you really need to go and look at the books again. It’s basic Freud, mate!
I shall conclude by arguing that any education on Freud’s theories and all of his books should come with a health warning, because his toxic ideas stay with you whether you want them to or not. I do have a hard time blaming Freud for the lasting popularity of his ideas, because he himself simply cannot be held accountable for that. As far as I’m aware he was merely in the pursuit of knowledge. However, because of innumerable cock-ups in his methodology and a fair amount of phallacious thinking, I am now still occasionally confronted with the frankly ridickulous idea that the driving force of all life is the male organ. And although we all know that a considerable part of everything Freud has written is utter bollocks, a lot of us (for it cannot just be me) from time to time catch ourselves looking at the most mundane aspects of life through Freudian lenses. I wonder if Freud just had a particularly boyish sense of humour and did it all for a laugh. Though I think it’s much more likely that the man was just very obsessed with dicks.
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