Apr 042017

My dad was obsessed with World War II (like many white guys his age). He was born in 1933. He could be sitting in front of the History Channel right now, drinking a tall boy, watching yet another documentary about the storming of Normandy. (In fact, I see there’s another movie about Dunkirk hitting the theaters right now.) It makes sense, based on my childhood and my relationship with my dad, that when I go into my Internal Family System and start identifying parts, I find a little bully in there that looks like a Hitler youth. Hitler youth are the personification of evil (youth version), as I visualized it growing up in the seventies. When I attach an image to someone tyrannical, bullying, unreasonable, insane, and murderous, he looks a bit like a Nazi. It doesn’t mean that the part is a nazi or that I am a nazi in any way. Just want to be clear about that. In case you don’t know me and my personal beliefs and politics.

Also, this scene with the main character dressing up as a Nazi captain is just one tiny part of Don Quixote by Kathy Acker. The character dresses up, goes to a party, picks up a man/woman, and takes her/him home, all the while wearing this creepy get-up. The couple engages in friendly sado-masochism. S+M is something I literally know nothing about and have (almost) no opinion on, at least not one I want to share. But I do have this inner bully, I guess you’d call him an inner critic. A rather severe one. He’s calmed down a lot since I started working with these inner parts. Actually he’s gone I think. But I didn’t kill him. That was a joke.

The inner child joke brings me to my introduction, to lucky you, of the film The Brood by David Cronenberg. Maybe you’ve seen it? Probably you haven’t. It’s such a lovely companion to this conversation. There are so many good things about it, especially the guy who introduces it in this clip. Don’t miss that! (The actual film starts at about 19 minutes.)

The main character, otherwise known as the psychotic killer, is named Nola. Nola is in intensive therapy to heal the trauma of growing up with an abusive, alcoholic mother. Nola’s inner children somehow escape her psyche and they start running around murdering people. Guess who they murder first? Her mother. Then they go after her husband’s new girlfriend. A delicious detail (to me) is that these inner-child embodiments wear ski suits.

It’s all just about right. Just about psychically right! The deaths are TOTALLY her therapist’s fault. Could have been avoided, you naughty psychiatrist!

Quote from Nola’s mom right before she gets wacked:
“30 seconds after you’re born you have a past. And 60 seconds after that you start to lie to yourself about it.”

Here’s this from Wikipedia: “Nola’s rage about her abuse was so strong that she parthenogenetically bore a brood of children who psychically respond and act on the targets of her rage with Nola completely unaware of their action.”
But really it was her therapist’s fault.

Oh and not for nothing, remember this Nazi Youth representation from the Seventies? Oh, man. He dances and sings. He loves you, baby.

Just remember that every image that gets imprinted on your brain is in danger of sticking there. Close your dang eyes.

Nov 122012


“Ultimately, the criminal and the madman are pure objects and solitary subjects; their frantic subjectivity is carried to the point of solipsism at the moment when they are reduced for others to the state of a pure, manipulated thing, or a pure being-there without a future, prisoners who are dressed and undressed, who are spoon-fed. On the one hand are dream, autism, absence; on the other, the ant heap; on the one hand, shame and the impotent hatred that turns against itself and vainly defies the heavens, and on the other the opaque being of the pebble, the ‘human material.’ “
Jean-Paul Sartre, Saint Genet


Let’s not say the eighties were good or bad. Let’s take a spiritual attitude toward the music, the clothes, the art, the popular films and their dripping montages. Radical acceptance: it happened and it needed to happen and we accept it completely. We are pebbles. We love our hair.

Not only did I watch 9½ Weeks (1986) this weekend, I even PAID to watch it. Only $2.99, but still. I had to hit the fast-forward button a few times, to preserve my dignity. But mostly the movie held my interest, in spite of its generic S&M tropes and the poppy popcorn courtship in New York City (grittier and prettier then.)

“Elizabeth” is a bobby-socked, baggy-sweater-wearing, overgrown college co-ed in need of a spanking. (Beautiful Loser) “John” is a mysterious, possibly criminal, uber-rich Wall Street banker. (Sinning Winner) Oh, those sinning Wall Street winners are a dime a dozen now. And so are the beautiful losers, especially the ones with southern accents. They live in big houses with generators.

Radical acceptance: it’s not good or bad that John orders Elizabeth to crawl around on her hands and knees and pick up crumpled, one-hundred dollar bills. It’s not good or bad that he probably beats her with a belt. She doesn’t do it, after all. She refuses to crawl. Free choice under capitalism. Self-determination. Life is good.®

Oh, and let’s embrace the Hollywood portrayal of the Soho art world in the eighties at the height of its sophistication and flair, or so we thought. The glassed, storefront loft spaces look the same, twenty-five years later. Art appreciation and exchange still take place in high-ceilinged rooms with white walls and hardwood floors. Human beings pack themselves into parties with wine, crackers, and social debt. The spoonfed ant heap. SOLD.