Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Dirty Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious

In his review of Terry Eagleton’s Humour in The TLS,  (“Grimace called laughter,” 5/17/19), Jonathan Coe quotes the author thusly about the pitfalls of analyzing a joke: “an anatomical acquaintance with the large intestine is no obstacle to enjoying a meal…Gynecologists can lead fulfilling sex lives, while obstetricians can coo over babies.” Is this really true? Do proctologists, who spend their lives looking up people’s assholes, just grin and bear it and is this where the expression “shit eating grin” derives from? Could a urologist enjoy the sadomasochistic pleasures of the golden shower? And can cardiologists find Romeo and Juliet heartbreaking? But let’s go back to the dilemma of the gynecologist who spends a good part of his day sizing up varying vaginas? Are any members of the specialty aroused by Hustler models who spread their legs for centerfolds? And what about the bedroom? Nudity is one of the things that’s supposed to be a catalyst for sex. A certain chemistry occurs when a woman, man or some combination thereof takes off their clothes in the presence of some wish-for other. Now, of course, attraction and that process of idealization (known as love) whereby desire navigates the shoals of consciousness create a reaction in the serotonin receptors. But still what better antidote to passion than the deconstruction of a female  genitalia into constituent parts like the clitoris, vulva or labia majoris. It’s a little like someone with a plumbing background looking at the penis as a common hose which might be used to water the plants (something which an occasional penis will do). The point is that it’s important to tip one’s hat to those branches of medicine which sacrifice an appreciation of the mystery and even beauty of the body for the sake of a cure.

N.B.: read Francis Levy's short story, "Pet Buddha"in Vol. 1 Brooklyn. 

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