Em ơi! #323: Conspicuous Consumption, pt. 2

For those who didn’t get enough last week

So Freud was Austrian.  I mean, we all knew this, because he’s ALWAYS depicted with zis re-dik-u-lous achent, ja?  What I didn’t realize is that he died in 1939.  When the Nazis took over Germany, Freud’s books were among those they burned, and he famously quipped, “What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books.”  He had four sisters who died in the camps, and he eventually escaped to London with the assistance of a Nazi who had studied his work and was a fan.

The more you know.

I do think that the change in conception of personality is very interesting, in part because of what it makes possible in terms of mental illnesses – think about it, unless you believe that personality is malleable and influenced by environment and that people can have different personalities for different situations, you cannot believe in Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personality Disorder.  That is not to give a judgment on whether it exists or not (I have read too much on both sides of the issue to feel comfortable making a definitive statement here), but just to point out that if you lived in a culture that had a more static view of personality, you would probably see DID in a rather different light.

It seems as though today we’ve come to some sort of truce between all these conflicting ideas – we see personality as static but also see ourselves as presenting different facets of it in different situations; we see people as driven by instincts and ruled by chemicals, but still insist on the ability of the mind/ethics to govern it all.  And we are more nervous and depressed than ever (which might have more than a little to do with our old friend advertising).  Whee!

I love reading history because whenever I am convinced that the world is falling apart and we’re all going to fucking die (this happens frequently; I’m a pessimist), I just remember that society has been wrestling with these issues for more than a hundred years, and we ain’t dead yet.

Yet.

This comic’s call number is HC79.C63 L86 2010a.

Em ơi! #321: Staff Infection

Bryan asked, when I wrote the script for this comic, if the Dean would recognize herself.  I told him no, because I’ve changed her name, so she can’t find this.  And also, I’ve been introduced to her two or three times now, and I don’t think she knows who I am.

I would totally get a Ph.D.  if I had a way of justifying it, just because I am totally in love with the intellectual exercise of being an intellectual and reading interesting stuff and writing about it.  This is maybe the problem with not being single, I don’t feel like I can just go on getting degrees because I think they would be fun or interesting.  There has to be a (pragmatic) reason to do things.

In other news, I received my first piece of fan mail from someone who I’m not related to today.  (Or, you know, someone I’m friends with on facebook – an email from a random stranger).  All of a sudden I feel like a WRITER.  I should get these novel revisions done tout de suite.  Bryan and I also passed a lovely weekend vacation in Chicago, where we went to the Art Institute, ate a lot of food, and saw some of my favorite relatives.

This is filed under LD6115 .L86 2010, for (deep breath): Individual institutions–United States–Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin System–Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin, Madison–Curriculum–Graduate work and courses.

Becoming an Anarchist

Perhaps I shouldn’t say “becoming”, because according to this, I already am one:

“Concerning the family relation, the anarchists believe that civil marriage should be abolished and ‘autonomic’ marriage substituted. This means that contracting parties should agree to live together as long as it seems best to do so, and that the partnership should be dissolved whenever either one desires it. Still, they would give the freest possible play to love and honor as restraining motives. They claim that ultimately, by this policy, the marriage relation would be purified and made much more permanent than it is to-day. They are ‘free lovers,’ but not in the sense of favoring promiscuity of the sexes. They hope to idealize the marriage relation and bring it under the régime of perfect liberty.” (p. 20)

Socialism and Anarchism: dissertation in partial fulfillment of the conditions necessary for the attainment of the degree of doctor of philosophy, school of political science, Columbia College. Herbert Levi Osgood, A. M., Selgman Fellow. Ginn & Company, Publishers: Boston, USA and London, 1889. [ The book contains a reprint of Political Science Quarterly, March 1889. Vol. IV, no. 1., where I believe this was first published.]

It’s funny how political rhetoric shifts over time, isn’t it?