Saturday, April 03, 2004

Another scary dream… I hope I'm not psycho. Here's what I dreamed last night. There was an horrific tram crash in St Kilda near where McDonald's is. I mean, horrific on a mass bloodshed kind of scale. And it was like I was an instant replay and I could see two trams crash together at high speed again and again, mowing down hapless pedestrians and rattling passengers around inside like raspberries in a jar. There was this one guy crossing the road drinking a takeaway coffee, and then one tram hit him in the back just as he was taking a sip, knocking the cup full-on into his mouth and smashing him against the second tram. His head fell underneath it and burst like a grape. And I had to watch it over and over.

Then it took a weird Freudian twist as for some reason that made sense in the dream but not anywhere else, the victims were put in for gender reassignment surgery. They all sued the hospitals and some managed to get it reversed again. Now I have always detested psychoanalysis; I think its twin obsession with the unconscious and the phallus (or lack thereof) make it paradoxical: simultaneously hyper-determinist and anti-positivist. It insists that the Oedipus complex etc etc is always-already 'true', yet it never offers any 'proof' that the claims it makes can be borne out in 'real-life' situations, aside from some shonky case studies from fin-de-siècle Vienna. I think the inherent misogyny of psychoanalytic theory (feminine = lack, female patient = hysterical) makes it particularly ill-suited to feminist criticism, and I'm constantly amazed that feminists have taken it up with such gusto.

At the moment Gemma is reading Anti-Oedipus. I've never attempted it but I'm sure I would find it a rewarding read because it bags the shit out of psychoanalysis. Gemma tells me that for Deleuze and Guattari, psychoanalysis is a religion and indeed has many Judeo-Christian markers. But anyway, you can imagine how appalled I was to be dreaming about castration. That's two psychoanalytic whammies in one.

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