Saturday, 5 November 2011

What does it mean?

I'm sick, my body's falling apart . Somebody shoot me and put me out of my misery, please.

The fever is making me dream, well, feverishly.

I dream about an old college friend I've lost touch with. In real life she's married with two kids, living in Brighton. In my dream, she is still a lodger in a ramshackle old house that she lived in as a student, it belongs to her friends' parents (hmmm...) and stuck because she's in a low-paid job and is struggling to pay off her student loan. She asks me for advice.

We go out into the city (it must be Norwich, though it is nothing like the city I knew) it is derelict and covered in graffitti. On a traffic island in the middle of busy roads, there are men with an animal on a chain, making it do tricks for money. I know for some reason they must be Russian.

For a moment I think it is someone dressed up as an animal, but with horror realise that is a real bear. Like no bear I've ever seen before though, only half the height of the men, with a long, thin muzzle. 'Tam, it's a real bear!' I want us to stop and confront these men, but she pulls me away, unconcerned. As we walk on, I see these men are everywhere with these chained up animals.

Then my dream turns into slopes as it frequently does, and we slide, slide, downwards, uncontrollably. I wake up.

Bears. What do they mean?


  1. Did you want to release the bears? That might mean something to do with letting go of inhibitions. But don't bother too much with dreams, they are mostly mental defecation.

  2. Yes. RELEASE THE BEARS! I know, Gorilla Bananas, but I do wonder where these images come from.

  3. It's a subconscious mash-up of this and this (at 2:30). There is no hope.

  4. That's not a dream of Norwich. It's like that at weekends now.

  5. Tim, magnificent! They don't make 'em like that anymore - imagery courtesy of Freud, sets by Dalí (and a little bit of stealing from Buñuel.)

    Rog, noooo! Not civilized Norwich?

  6. Your friend is actually an idealised version of yourself, on some level you wish it was you living by the sea with a couple of kids and a husband. But in the dream she is represented as somebody who has not progressed in any meaningful way from student life because deep down this is how you still feel about yourself.

    The friend is a compound of the life you want and everything you hate about the life you have. She is carefree and unconcerned by the evil in the world, as you wish you could be.

    The derelict run-down town is clearly a metaphor for your current job.

    The men represent the capitalist patriarchy which is to blame for every injustice that holds you back from being able to have that life.

    The bears are your neshama, Annie, and they have enslaved it.

  7. PSYCH!

    *is awed*

    My neshama is a bear? Cool!

  8. I really don't want husband and kids though. (Especially if you knew her husband.)Not even unconsciously. (I've always been puzzled by this Freudian idea - how can you want something unconsciously?)

  9. Was Marigold involved?

  10. Marigold did not feature, though I did see him on the roundabout many a time as a student. Glad to hear he's alive and well.

  11. Unconscious desires are those which conflict with the beliefs and values held by your self/ego, and therefore have to be repressed and displaced.

    Think about repressed homosexuals. They desperately want some cock, but they simply cannot admit this to themselves because it conflicts with the values that a homophobic society has instilled in their ego. So it gets buried and hidden, and manifests itself through a 'reaction formation' - usually (but not exclusively) excessively homophobic behaviour coupled with persistent efforts to demonstrate heterosexual behaviour, such as frequent womanising.

    Annie, I put it to you that you are a closet nineteen-fifties housewife.

  12. This is the infuriating thing about Freud - it could be that people are unconsciously repressing their desires, or that, you know, they just don't want those things. The whole theory is a bit of a stitchup in terms of logic.

    It would make more sense if my unconscious repressed the desire not to have kids, since that's what our society tells women they should want.

    Anyway I don't want babies I don't want babies I don't want babies - WHY WON'T YOU BELIEVE ME?

  13. Freud is a stitch up full stop. The monomanaical, misogynist,sexually abusive prick.

  14. To be honest, once you start reading about genetics and modern behavioural science, most of his theories seem very half-baked. I just like the idea of you subconsciously yearning for for a life of domesticity and a man who'll put you over his knee when you get a bit uppity.

  15. LC - highly recommend a book called Why Freud Was Wrong. It's definitive, highly researched and gobsmackingly damning.

    I really really hate Freud.