Hearing Voices out of the Ether
It may also interest you to know that Pajamas Media has a new addition that they curiously call The Sanity Squad, featuring a round table discussion with Dr. Sanity, ShrinkWrapped, and the surprisingly continental Siggy (presided over by the solomaniacal Neo-neocon).
For me, the most illuminating part of the discussion occurs when this intrepid band of inward explorers tentatively concludes that the table is not actually "round," but somewhat oval at best.
ShrinkWrapped then offers an interesting, if somewhat confrontational, interpretation, suggesting that it really depends upon your angle of view. From where he's sitting, it looks more oblong or perhaps slightly spheroid, but Siggy then accuses him of infantile projection. He says--and he has a point--that the others are dancing around the central issue, that what defines the table is its essential flatness, that is, its planar configuration. The shape is entirely irrelevant, a red herring.
At that point I am inclined to agree with Siggy, if only because his urbane accent of untraceable provenance (a suburb of Transylvania? Someplace near where Cary Grant pretended to be from?) carries a nebulous air of authority. He just “sounds” right.
You can hear the audible irritation in Dr. Sanity's voice, as she emphasizes the importance of the table having legs. After all, if the table isn't elevated, what good is it? Is a deconstructed table still a table, or just some narcissistic, postmodern fantasy? “We might as well gather on the floor. It's flat too, right? Even Boo can figure this out. Why can’t you?”
We then hear ShrinkWrapped--always a voice of calm reason--bringing an entirely new dimension to the discussion. Who cares about the table? Isn't the important point that we have chairs to sit on? Not just any chairs, but comfy ones?
Siggy objects immediately with a tone of slight condescension. “Comfy? I think not. These mass-produced monstrosities have nothing on the overstuffed, old-world chairs of my youth. My ancestors knew how to make a chair. These aren’t chairs. These are merely places for the uncultured boobeoisie to park their a**.”
That gets Dr. Sanity’s back up again. Always sensitive to the manner in which European elites look down their noses at America, she points out that the slightly rigid construction of these chairs is a builder of character. In her family, comfy chairs were considered a decadent luxury. Grandma Sanity felt lucky to have nothing more than an old oak rocker in which to rest her bunions. She claims that the uncomfortable chairs of her youth actually made her stronger and helped prepare her for the demands medical school, where the chairs were equally--if not more--uncomfortable.
We then hear quiet tears in the background. It is ShrinkWrapped having a “breakthrough.” Choking back the sobs, he confesses that he never wanted to be a psychiatrist at all. Rather, he had intended to become dress designer, but the chairs in the old Fashion and Textile Design Department were more than he could take. They were simply awful--rigid and punishing things that some sadistic avant garde art student had produced in metal shop.
That pretty much ends that part of the discussion. I think I hear a group hug in the background, before they then move on to less weighty subjects, such as the conflict in the Middle East and the psychological basis of the culture of victimhood.
Anyway, it’s an education to hear how shrinks behave “behind closed doors.” In a surprisng way, they're just like anybody else, except perhaps more so. Or less so. I forget which. Just listen and decide. I can only lead you to the Sanity Squad. You will have to make the final leap yourself.