The Dark Side of the Womb

A Little Crash Course in Psychoanalysis

Many of those who’ve read “The Impatient Clock” have come back to me saying it’s almost Lynch-ish in that it doesn’t make much sense (a HIGH compliment in my book!). It’s not a story that I expect anyone to latch on to right away. But because it is one of the deeper stories in the book, I do want people to have the psychoanalytic point of view I came to it with before I wrote it … then you can do what you like with the definition for your own satisfaction. So let’s talk Jung.

The woman that Yona encounters in the so-perfect-it’s-creepy kitchen looks just like Yona once she contorts. Why?

She is, in part, the “shadow“, the psychological theory of the unconscious mind’s harboring of weak, dark, weird or violent instincts. The other, the uncanny, the shadowself, all that exists to counter the normal person and aspects we have in our every day lives. It is a Jungian theory:

“According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to project: turning a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else. “

Another aspect to the shadow self is the repression of the ego, “it is what we sweep under the rug.”

In the house, the ShadowYona says that she ate the children Yona fed to her, and Yona will never, ever have them. Yona’s maniacal repression of her own natural instinct for wonder, and her profession’s “distortion” of reality that she grew to resent once reality distorted her own world (via the miscarriage), was so huge and so full that it produced the ShadowYona — an embodiment of shadow and resentment deep enough to turn her own uterus against her. The ShadowYona is what killed the baby Yona lost.

Yes, I am a psychanalysis fan, by the way. Ask me about the crazy paper I wrote analyzing Dead Ringers, Vertigo and Mulholland Drive in college. God I loved that thing. 

The Dark Side of the Womb

We hear about this shit all the time — women stealing babies from unsuspecting moms, women going into maternity wards and stealing them, or outright stealing the baby RIGHT OUT OF THE UTERUS. Why the hell would someone do this?

Some say it’s the same primitive, instinctual urge that feeds the biological clock. Others say that it’s plain psychological illness, and many have attributed baby stealing to Asperger’s (of all things…). There’s also simply what I call the “psychology of lack”; the feeling of suddenly not having from previously having. It’s the thing that caves you in after a bad breakup, or, I can only imagine, after something like a miscarriage. The woman who murdered the pregnany woman in Pennsylvania had suffered a miscarriage only months before and hadn’t told her mother. She planned on stealing a baby and keeping the miscarriage a secret so that her mother wouldn’t “get upset.”

Damn. 

What do you think?

Tomorrow: Is the biological clock real or just magazine industry and crack-science bullshit?

Magic and the Megafamily

Welcome back, friends and neighbors.

In “The Impatient Clock“, Yona is a magician who quit magic after a miscarriage and decides children shouldn’t have imaginations. They should be taught reality and the sciences right off the bat and not be taught to believe in Santa Claus or imaginary places, people, or anthropomorphized caricatures of love.

Why set children up to take them down, is the rationale. What joy or benefit is there for all those involved when kids learn from their parents that ol’ Claus is going to get them something or whatever, until the inevitable day comes when the parents are caught by the upset child(ren) in the middle of the night; or telling them about underground families of trolls; or telling them about the Easter Bunny; or faeries or anything magical?

I’ve always thought it’s quite related to the same reason for which grown people will pay top-dollar to watch David Copperfield or David Blaine or Criss Angel or Penn and Teller: amazement does crazy things to people. It opens a little door in your head. Big or small, I think people like to know and feel and maybe witness some kind of an unexpected otherness. Because then, who knows — WHAT ELSE can be possible?

There’s a bit of a magic trick tucked into the story arc of “The Impatient Clock”. Figure it out. The world needs more womagicians.

For those of you interested in learning something new to fuck with your friends, impress a date, blow some time or make your parents mad about missing change or table utensils, here’s some magic tricks for shits and giggles.

But first, nothing about magic would start off right without a quote from one of the best damn magic movies ever made: The Prestige.

“Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called ‘The Pledge’. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course… it probably isn’t. The second act is called ‘The Turn’. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back. That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call ‘The Prestige’.”

Let’s go.

Magic Tricks

First, a little cheap flash and shockwave magic with Merlin’s Clock.

One of Leo’s favorite coin tricks: The Peripatetic Coins

Good old card tricks and mentalism notes. Woo!

Video tutorials on card and coin tricks and other random stuff on PubTricks.

The classic, sawing a woman in half. Frankly, I think there’s more adventure in sawing a man in half … Pity the guys who volunteer for (or perform) these tricks aren’t hot, heheh.

Babies, Babies, Babies, BABIES, BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!

Children all over the world are orphans, lose their families, get sold, get bought, fall ill, get lost — whatever sad fate that robs them of familial connection — there are children all over the world who wish they had a family or even one caring adult (doesn’t have to be a traditional “parent” setup) in their lives. You never know how some love and encouragement can help someone… There’s food shortages. Disease outbreaks. Myriad other things that make me think Momma Earth is saying, “STOP REPLICATING!”, and yet some people want LOTS of children. LOADS of children.

WHY?

Inevitably we will find ourselves talking about Nadya Suleman so I’ll just start with her to get her Guy Smiley likeness out of my face for this week. The writer at Childfree Clique said it best: “[Nadya] is batshit fucking crazy.”

CC makes a good point later on though — some people are obsessed with the fact that they CAN make more people. But they don’t seem to understand that the babies are indeed, PEOPLE. That need. That depend. That will eventually grow. As the world learned of Nadya’s madness, she kept citing that she had an awful childhood and that she wanted to give her children the best of what she could provide, etc. Fine. However, if you’re going to try and “make up” for what your childhood lacked, realize that you can’t do that without getting YOURSELF STRAIGHTENED OUT first, or your children, which you bore with the intent to bless, will suffer. And resent the fuck out of you.

Now I know this doesn’t always happen. Plenty of people who come from fucked up pasts have gone on to be good parents. The majority, however, don’t. As Leo tells Yona in my story, “kids aren’t bandaids.” They’re people with their own lives and even if you’re the parent, guess what — they don’t exist to serve or fix anything FOR you.

The seemingly “perfect” megafamilies like The Duggars (or as I call them, the Mormon Mob) are a different story. I found an interesting opinion on an old blog entry from “Thoughts of a Regular Guy“, where he pretty much states that the Duggar’s business is their own. Apparently they’re not relying on the government to foot their clan’s bill, the eldest children helped the dad build their house, the kids grow their own food, etc. Some people have worried that the kids won’t get enough love from the parents but the Regular Guy stresses that they’ll have unique relationships with each other as siblings — love needn’t just come from the almighty mom-and-dad routine. And I agree with that. But there’s something about the Duggar’s that just has NOT seemed right to me from the get-go.

An entry called “America’s Creepiest Family” addresses several of my concerns with this set up. Read through the comments for the real meat. Most people commend them for being good Christians and the like. A user called tiger1981 blows up some research they did from some place or another, and cites financial and religious shenanigans on the part of the Duggars. An inevitably anonymous user calls them a cult. Frankly, for me, it’s the mental inbreeding that looks like it’s going on … is a bit weird. 

Be fruitful and multiply, to paraphrase the bible, is what a lot of religious folks follow. I always say it’s better to help one’s fellow man and take in lost and lacking souls.

I’m also a firm believer in potential parents being required to take psychoemotional evaluations before having or adopting their first kid. Cuz what the fuck — WHY do we need stories like these in our world? Kids in cages… fuck. And let’s not forget gems like fathers who have kids with their daughters and variations on that kind of story. If you missed it, there was a guy in Colombia with a similar story to the Fritzl case, only he didn’t lock the woman in a fucking hole for 20+ years.

And people hide behind God, then blame God for standing there, why? The Devil has less to complain about in the scapegoat department than God, that’s for sure. 

“Fucker’s settin’ up franchises” — Tyler Durden

Then we get folks like this, who have a bijillion kids with a bijillion women. Why?

With the exception of dudes like the franchise man, and evolutionary theories a lot more people seem to hide under and behind lately (like evolution-focused reasons for why high heels make sense), it comes down to the fact that an alarming amount of people swear that the family dream situation will make them happy. This April 2009 article calls bullshit on that, and so do I. Here’s a fun snippet:

Why do we have such a rosy view about parenthood? One possible explanation for this, according to Daniel Gilbert (2006), is that the belief that ‘children bring happiness’ transmits itself much more successfully from generation to generation than the belief that ‘children bring misery’. The phenomenon, which Gilbert says is a ‘super-replicator’, can be explained further by the fact that people who believe that there is no joy in parenthood – and who thus stop having them – are unlikely to be able to pass on their belief much further beyond their own generation. It is a little bit like Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest. Only the belief that has the best chance of transmission – even if it is a faulty one – will be passed on.

 

As Ali G. would say, full real. 

Be happy with yourself, your life, your circumstance first. Add on to your wisdom and your talents, your experiences and your life — so you have much more to pass on to your offspring when you have your kid(s) or adopt. Because in the end, having kids should also be about bringing about changes and progression. The real magic in our existence is in wonder, discovery, imagination and enrichment, and all the wonderful places we can go, and people we can become.

Til then, remember this poor fuck should you get tempted to take the easy way out and pop out a few to help fix things at home: 

Tomorrow: The “dark side” of magic and the “dark side” of the womb. No not the moon — the womb.