Super-Ego vs Super Ego, With Freud and Skinner

Magnum Anvil: Boy, I got a great package in the mail today from Gassy Veal Kitten Randy. His band, Space Chubby, has just put out a new album, and he did the art work on it, and sent the whole thing to me, with a big band poster folded up in the envelope as well. It’s just excellent work, all around. And he just sent it to me because he knew he liked his band, not expecting anything in return. That Randy’s a designer and a rocker with a brain and a heart. And a super-ego.

Sigmund Freud: The super-ego is the section of the mind that regulates the psyche in a constrictive, moralistic manner. And everyone has a super-ego, else they’d be lacking in self restraint entirely. So we must assume that you meant that Mister Gassy Veal has a very strong super-ego, since you found it worth mentioning. A person with such a very strong super-ego would be particularly adept at obeying the moral imperatives instilled by socializing authorities and expressing him or herself only in socially appropriate, flawless etiquette exhibiting behaviors. But I know this is not so in Mister Veal Kitten’s case, having seen him vomiting onstage, and forcibly fondling the band’s roadies after shows, and defecating on my porch after I shooed him and his Real Gorilla off my lawn one morning. Since Mister Kitten Randy does not possess a very strong super-ego, one (and by “one,” I mean “I”) can only assume what you meant to say is that Mr. Gassy Veal is an egomaniac. Alternatively, if you meant to say that Mr. Gassy Randy has a “super,” that is, incredibly powerful ego, you must be the dumbest motherfucker on this board and possibly in the world. Essentially, the ego itself cannot be powerful or powerless, it is merely the balance between the idealistically equilibriated two other facets of the psyche, the super-ego and the id. Now go away, please, so I can snort my coke and smoke my pipe because it reminds me of my father’s penis.

B.F. Skinner: Aw, shut your pie-hole, Freud! Most of your theories have proven unusable, a few therapists clinging to them like their mothers’ teets. You were a product of your time whose tantalizing writings appealed to the prurient interests of a literate, but stupid 19th century middle (and to a certain extent upper) class. The super-ego, according to your worthless ramblings, rules our social selves. Mister Anvil was simply commending Mister Randy for the quality of his work and his seemingly selfless desire to share it. Randy’s work is good for the scene. Case closed. Now . . . break me off a couple of fingers of that coke, me boy!

Magnum Anvil: Wait, then what is an egomaniac, if not someone with a “super” ego?

Sigmund Freud: An egomaniac is essentially a person who has become obsessed with their own self at the expense of their perception of the world around them, i.e. their sympathy and empathy. The balance of their own desires versus their own personal constraints, what might have heretofore been termed a conscience (sic), has become the sole focus of their daily interactions with others. “What can young Gertrude give me?” the egomaniac asks. “Hans must give me his sandwich for I want it,” the egomaniac exclaims. He cannot understand that Gertrude and Hans are outside entities that are not a part of his psyche and therefore must be treated separately and differently. An undifferentiated ego mass, usually fixated in the oral stage of development.

Magnum Anvil: Golly, that sounds sort of familiar. Am I one of those, do you think?

Sigmund Freud: In order to properly assess whether you, Mr. Anvil, are an egomaniac, I would require at least five sessions a week for the next five years. I will smoke my pipe and snort my cocaine with the money you are wasting on me in order that you might project the image of one of you socializing agents onto me. This we will call “projection,” and Skinner can be damned with his scientific methods that produce actual results. I’m only interested in the money, the coke, and the sex with parents. Here . . . have a line. On me.

B.F. Skinner: Not yet, Freud! You’re supposed to make him wait, and then perform, and then ring a bell, before you give him the coke! Haven’t you learned anything after all these years?

Sigmund Freud (Five Minutes Later): Roll over! Ding!

Magnum Anvil: Drool! Drool! Snort! Drool!

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Published in: on March 18, 2010 at 7:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

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