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Holland Park Press

Freud is back

6 June 2010 Zie Nederlandse versie
by Arnold Jansen op de Haar

Last week, figuratively speaking, Sarah Ferguson was on the couch with Oprah Winfrey. Oprah’s website showed a few excerpts. One of the video clips opened with a constipation remedy: ‘To enable you to be yourself again.’ A commercial with a sense of timing because it was immediately followed by a close-up of the Duchess of York, referring to herself in the third person – ‘the royal she’.
Subsequently she begged for forgiveness from the universe. No half measures, appeal straight to the entire universe. They are still debating their response on Mars.
The Duchess had accepted money from an Indian businessman in exchange for providing him with access to her ex, Prince Andrew. This is something we call ‘a Prince Bernhard affair’ at home, after the former Dutch royal consort who, during the seventies, accepted money from Lockheed. He could provide the aircraft manufacturer with excellent contacts to political decision makers.
According to rumours, he was also in touch with competitor Northrop. The main difference is that for Prince Bernhard – ‘the royal he’ – the hidden camera was absent.
Golf legend Tiger Woods cheated on his wife with numerous lovers; he openly cried on television and admitted he was addicted to sex. So that is why he went into therapy. There is always a psychoanalyst around the corner eager to help you.
In the mean time, many men at home were keen to ogle pictures of Tiger’s conquests. In any case, they looked a whole lot better than Bill Clinton’s ladies.
The Healthcare Insurance Committee in The Netherlands has removed psychoanalysis from their base offering. The 600 people who, to the tune of 12,500 Euros a year, have already enrolled in therapy sessions, are allowed to finish their course.
In recent years, Sigmund Freud, the Viennese physician who could work miracles, seemed significantly less popular. However, international celebrities are opting en masse for Dr Phil, Oprah, or if really pressed, a press conference. This is cheaper and immediate success is guaranteed. The publicized mea culpa is all the rage. Freud has made a comeback, albeit as Freud Light.
When Oprah referred to the Duchess as a ‘spiritually, morally bankrupt woman’, Sarah maintained that Oprah was a genius. ‘Little Sarah got lost along the way,’ admitted Sarah in true Freudian style.
The positive benefits of psychoanalysis have never been established scientifically but publicly confessing mea culpa has provided an immediate release. ‘That is not who I really am.’ ‘That was someone different.’ ‘I am a stranger to myself.’ Or as Sarah Ferguson put it: ‘I had been drinking.’ But she is going to sober up and she is like ‘a tiny newborn chick’.
Some time ago, columnist Max Pam wrote about the existence of a so called Anti-Freud Club, its secretary is the regrettably late Karel van het Reve, a Dutch writer. Their main gripe is that Freud’s theories are impossible to verify.
‘One of the extraordinary peculiarities of our club’, wrote Van het Reve, ‘is that that you can become or stay a member even when you are dead. Our most prominent members for example include Vladimir Nabokov and Karl Popper’.
Even so some members of the Anti-Freud Club freely admit that the attention for the subconscious has been a great boon for the arts. But actually this has nothing to do with reality.
The Dutch professor Ap Dijksterhuis published a great book in 2007: The Clever Subconscious. Freud’s argument is that our actions are fuelled by aggression and sexual urges deeply established in our subconscious.
Dijksterhuis maintains our ever present latent awareness is much cleverer. ‘Sleep on a major decision,’ is his advice. ‘Especially when you want to wash your dirty linen in public,’ is my comment.
Recently I have become international secretary of the Anti-Crocodile Tears Society. Article 1: From now on everyone speaks the truth. Bill Clinton utters: ‘Of course I had sex with that woman, and I rather enjoyed it.’ Tiger Woods says: ‘I had a really good time.’ And from Sarah Ferguson we get: ‘I do whatever it takes for money.’ If required you may go into therapy after the event.
Have I committed stupid actions? Of course, but either use it to serve your art or do not mention it. That is what ‘the royal I’ tells me.

© Arnold Jansen op de Haar
© Translation Holland Park Press
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