Saturday, May 8, 2010

sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar

I have opened a bag of Clinkers, and of the three I've eaten so far, they've all been banana flavoured. This sort of sums up my week. Banana flavoured lollies are gross.

I'm reading a biography of Oscar Wilde when I should be writing an assignment about the French Revolution, because I find procrastination to be far less stressful than actually working. Apparently Wilde took this approach also, and considering he churned out The Importance Of Being Earnest in three weeks, I feel confident that I can produce 2500 words of passable tripe on the French for Monday morning.

It's that point in the term, when suddenly there are 8 assignments, plus the looming threat of exams, and absolutely no light in the tunnel except for the glare of the computer screen as one tries to find something, anything that makes the smallest amount of sense that can be paraphrased and placed neatly within the confines of an argument that probably doesn't have a real argument at it's heart. The British election process makes more sense than I do at this point. At least they have people who may or may not be in charge. All I have is a packet of Clinkers and a worrying sense that the future will see me turning into my mother. This is not a bad thing, per se, (scads better than turning into my European History teacher, who is a moron) but means I will spend too much time worrying about my work, think that theatre that involves lots of shouting is "brave" and become addicted to True Blood.

And the Freud will come and hit me with a stick, whilst telling me about the symbolism of the stick. I will respond by saying "sometimes a Clinker is just a Clinker" and he will be incomprehensibly Austrian at me. We looked at Freud this week, and while the silent majority of my class (everyone except me. they must all have lockjaw) seemed to take a very very quiet academic approach to him, I just felt worried by reading Lecture 33, in which he discusses Feminine Sexuality. It worried me because it seems so prescriptive, like one must pass through the Oral, Anal, pre-Oedipal, and Oedipal stages in order to be considered a normal female. That we have to be normal. The most worrying thing of all was the way that the Freudian approach to Feminine Sexuality - which is to approach it in terms of way is pleasurable for a man - has remained the dominant ideology in popular culture's thinking of sex. We can talk about how modern we are until the cows come home, but pick up any woman's magazine, and Freud is there, waving his cigar at you.

I had a very loud conversation about this on the train home, and a little old woman kept giving us filthy looks. A few men looked decidedly uncomfortable, but when the conversation degenerated into cries of "a banana is just a banana!" "a newspaper is just a newspaper!" "communism is just communism!" and so on, people looked a little relieved.

Wouldn't do for one short literature fanatic and one tall physics genius to undo several decades of thought whilst on a late running train, would it?

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