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Things I've Found 47 (Sigmund Freud's Interpretation of Jesus...Oh, and Some Other Things)—5/13/2005

by Mark Rose

Good News: The two best news stories of the year so far are the government in Iraq and the rediscovery of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker (hey, at least we’re eclectic here at TIF!). Here’s more on the bird species from Cornell University: http://birds.cornell.edu/ivory/.

Aw. But good news never lasts. Those guys who found the buried treasure “digging up a tree” actually found it in someone else’s barn: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=715473.

Using Google Maps for the power of….er…the power of….mindless gaming at work! Scavengeroogle is a fantastic idea. You get a clue at the website, then have to use Google Maps to find the image based on the clue. Looks like fun for the puzzle-minded: http://www.bloglander.com/scavengeroogle/.

Think you can do a better job than George Bush? Positech Games has finally (they announced it sometime in the Dark Ages) released their political simulation game Democracy. http://www.democracygame.com/. For hardcore political junkies.

Oh So Absolutely Not Safe for Work or for Those With Pearly Virginal Ears: Baseball fans remember Lee Elia’s rant when he was managing the Cubs in 1983. Here it is in all of its profanity-studded glory of three full minutes. If you don’t like the f-word, don’t click on it. Testy Mr. Elia gets mad at Chicago Cubs fans, especially the 15% who don’t have f-‘in jobs who come to the day games and boo his players. Would that we had managers like this in the game today: http://www.angelfire.com/il2/cubssuck/elia.htm.

Remember Broderick Crawford and that beautiful 1955 Buick Century he once drove on TV’s famed Highway Patrol TV show? No. Well these guys do. And they’re serious about it. http://highwaypatroltv.com/. Why is this so special? Because the 1953 Buick Skylark, and the 1954 through 1957 Buick line of Specials, Centuries, Roadmasters and Skylarks are the most beautiful cars ever made. Don’t believe me? Feast your eyes on this: http://www.hubcapcafe.com/ocs/pages01/buic5502.htm.

Han Solo in Carbonite, well actually made out of Lego bricks. Humans amaze me. This is completely brilliant. http://www.nathanbrickartist.com/han_solo_in_carbonite.html. Make sure to check out his other works as well, all in Lego bricks http://www.nathanbrickartist.com/gallery.html. Like his phenomenal apple or his bust of David Letterman or his Lego mosaic of Seattle (http://www.nathanbrickartist.com/gallery/seattle1.jpg). Remember, all in Lego. Ai yi yi.

Proof That We Live in Bizarro World (As If You Needed Any) --
Cleaning up air pollution causes global warming -- http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050502/full/050502-8.html
Drinking a moderate amount of whiskey may help cure cancer -- http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2005/05/10/2003253950
Insane columnists write For newspapers -- I always thought that Seattle P-I columnist Jennifer James was horrible. Now that she’s gone, Susan Paynter takes over her mantle (her May 4 column excusing runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks used the metaphor of a slippery slope and the rim of that slope was covered with "globs of embarrassment" – I think that’s a new porno title), but writer Michelle Malkin has found an even crazier columnist: Betty Cuniberti of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. This disjointed piece of tripe is what passes for major newspaper columns nowadays: http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/lifestyle/columnists.nsf/bettycuniberti/story/9C9373F9F50394E786256FF600328AEB?OpenDocument.
Seattle school district punishes success -- Seattleites won't be surprised by this, but those outside the region might. Seattle is going to close down a bunch of their elementary and middle schools. They haven't actually explained the rationale behind which schools are to close, but they did note that success of students could not be considered as a factor whether the school should close or not. Why? Because good students will be good anywhere. There really are idiots in the public school system, aren't there? Too bad they're the administrators. Private and charter schools unite!

And we end on a happy note. This is why I love the Times Literary Supplement (http://www.the-tls.co.uk/. If you think you’d like it, go there and ask for a free issue.). In their issue of April 22, 2005, there is a long Commentary article by Paul Roazen about a remarkable book. The book is Thomas Woodrow Wilson and is a posthumous psychoanalytic dissection of the US President written by William C. Bullitt (former American diplomat) and lord-oh-mighty, Sigmund Freud. The book was written in the 20s and 30s but not published until 1967, and then panned upon release. In it, and in the piece in the TLS, they quote Freud’s own interpretation of Jesus, that Jesus represents the perfect merging of femininity and masculinity. As Freud puts it, “…by humbly submitting to the will of God the Father, he [Jesus] was able to become God himself; in other words, by surrendering to total femininity he was able to attain the ultimate goal of masculinity.” He then prophesies that this is what makes Christianity such a strong religion and one that will last for eons. Whether you agree or not, it’s a remarkably different interpretation of Jesus’ role and the Christian religion. Deemed too dangerous for publication in the 30s, the book was released in 1967 without Freud’s description of Jesus, and it only now comes to light after rediscovery of the letters between the co-authors. The TLS isn’t cheap, but it’s the best periodical devoted to books, literature and history outside of The Claremont Review. New York Review of Books and New York Times Book Review be damned, this is where you should spend your money. Until next time then...