Bubbelehs, I am writing to you from Omaha, France. Yes, Omaha Beach, Normandy. With my hair blowing in the wind, I am standing atop one of the false harbours that ferried the allies into the Fascist maw on June 6, 1944. Yes, I have taken a little holiday to pay homage to these brave liberators. But I am also here to tell you that Psychoanalysis had it’s own D-Day landings in America in 1909. Our mission then was to quell the rampant shallowness and carbohydrate obsession that was threatening to take over the new world and eventually, the rest of the planet.
And boy, did Sigmund moan and kvetch about going along. In fact, he refused to go until they offered him money, an honorary degree and a meeting with Groucho Marx. And this is from someone who thought America was obsessed with money and status. A man with two minds loses his head, they say. Anyway. We decided to take the sulky Carl Jung along, as well as the lunatic Sandor Ferenczi. Naturally, we were a little anxious about Sandor’s
ears and had some concerns that he might be ‘turned’ when we landed and refuse to follow the party line. Carl, on the other hand, turned out to be less than useless, scribbling in his red book with stubby crayons, tongue lolling about it a most unprofessional way. I understand that this book has surfaced in a tip outside a homeless shelter recently. Now on the New York bestseller list for a year, it claims to hold the cipher to the collective unconscious. The first person to crack the code can collect.
I have included an old, somewhat worn photo of us hunkering in our boat as we approached Ellis Island. I am at the back as you can see, Sigmund at the front and Jung, behind Sandor, looking more like a Bishop every day. The trip was long and tedious and we spent most of the time analysing each other’s dreams at the breakfast table. Those with the longest dreams were considered more potent, and as you know, Sigmund famously fainted when Carl presented particularly extended and meaty ones. We also played ‘snap’ but eventually got tired of letting Sigmund win all the time. Sandor got lost once but was found playing innocently with his excrement in one of the life rafts.
As we approached the beaches, we were temporarily blinded by flashing white teeth and gormless grins. Our stomachs lurched, but we soldiered on and in. Bits of pizza littered the beach. But we were focussed and committed. We were there to quell their infantile expectations of a happy, prosperous and fun loving life in their newly adopted country. We were going to take the east coast first and then head off to the shrine of the nation—Disneyworld. “Operation Killjoy” would be unstoppable. We knew we were up against a new rampant and seductive form of Imperialism—the unchecked spread of sitcoms, nail bars and self obsessed novels.
Bubbelehs, you may not think it, but ours was as important a mission as the allies in June 1944. Alas, as history would show, we were not as successful. America just went on guffawing, eating and churning out self-help manuals. My heart aches when I think of the columns of marching dispossessed analysts yearning for the old life of misery, repression and sexual inhibition.