One L(ove)

November 3, 2008

Psychobabble

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 6:45 am
Tags: ,

Recently, I received this in my e-mail:

Death, jouissance, and repetition, these are the three sides of a pyramid which base is given by the unconscious nature of money: and here we are dealing with the anal object.

It’s an excerpt from an interview with Jacques-Alain Miller, a Lacanian psychoanalyst. You can read that interview here: http://www.lacan.com/symptom/?page_id=299

I took a life-changing philosophy class in my senior year at college. In that class, “Crisis in Modernity” (the greatest philosophy class ever offered at St. John’s. Period.), we learned about Jacques Lacan. He made incredible sense to me at the time, especially his thought on the “signified” and the “signifier” and how he elaborated these concepts and distinguished them from the model created by Ferdinand de Saussure. This prompted me to subscribe to Lacanian Ink, a journal devoted to Lacan’s thought. Prominent post-structuralist thinkers influenced by Lacan, such as Slavoj Žižek and Alain Badiou regularly contribute to it by writing extensively on psychoanalytic theory and other topics.

After reading the interview, I had sort of a mystical experience: “What the hell is this guy talking about? Why have I been following this? Why have I been deluding myself?” I guess your mind becomes fashioned by analytic philosophy after spending so many hours burying your nose in law casebooks.

What does it mean to say that money is an “anal object”? Is it because the economy is “anal retentive”? In other words, as one of my favorite undergrad philosophy professor put it: “Basically, it means that you can’t keep your shit together.”

I don’t know. I think my Foucauldian attitude towards psychoanalysis is showing. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I think psychoanalysis provides profound insights into the human condition and has great answers for us. Basically, I do think psychoanalytic theory does have its shit together. But sometimes, however, I get the nagging feeling that it is also full of it.

As for other news, I saw a ten-year old kid (well, I should say “at least one-years old” since I’m horrible at guessing how old people are) in an Islanders jersey at the local public library. He was carrying a tremendous amount of books with him and his face expressed so much despair. He was of course not feeling that way because he had to be tutored but because our beloved Islanders are in last place not only in their Division, but also in the whole NHL! Anyway, his teacher was making him spell the words: hospital, nurse, shark, and medicine. What “shark” has anything to do with the other three, I have absolutely no clue–unless we have a medical malpractice in our hands.

Currently listening to: Muse – Absolution

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