70 minutes' worth of very good reasons to not only love Laurie Anderson but, in fact, want to be her when One Grows Up. (So screw you, everyone callin70 minutes' worth of very good reasons to not only love Laurie Anderson but, in fact, want to be her when One Grows Up. (So screw you, everyone calling her 'Lou Reed's widow' in the papers as though that's all she is or has ever been.)
For instance, the story that opens:
The summer of 1974 was brutally hot in New York, and I kept thinking about how nice and icy it must be at the North Pole. And then I thought: 'Wait a second; why not go?' You know, like in cartoons - where they hang 'Going to the North Pole' on their door knobs, and they just take off.
So I spent a couple of weeks preparing for the trip - getting a hatchet; a huge backpack; maps; knives; sleeping bags; lures; and a three month supply of Banic [sp?] - a versatile high-protein paste that can be made into flatbread, biscuits or cereal.
Now, I had decided to hitchhike; and one day I just walked out onto Houston Street, weighed down with seventy pounds of gear, and stuck out my thumb.
'Going North?' I asked the driver as I struggled into his station wagon.
Having grown up on a steady diet of Magical Native Americans and twee New Age cultural appropriation, and coming fresh from Ishi In Two Worlds' litanyHaving grown up on a steady diet of Magical Native Americans and twee New Age cultural appropriation, and coming fresh from Ishi In Two Worlds' litany of atrocities against native Americans by white landowners, this was...a bit of a nasty surprise.
I guess there never really are any Good Guys™....more
Early in her therapy, Our Heroine, Bernice - assigned a therapist following an overdose she can't remember taking and a 911 call she can't remember maEarly in her therapy, Our Heroine, Bernice - assigned a therapist following an overdose she can't remember taking and a 911 call she can't remember making - and Our Hero, Dr. Young, have the following exchange:
'I read about hypnosis and it said that suggestions can be made that a hypnotised person takes to be reality. How am I to know whether you are making such suggestions?'
'I am careful not to make suggestions.'
The text indicates so consistently otherwise that it's almost funny:
'I'll tell you about a dream I had. A child is hiding behind a big rock. I recognise the rock. Bernas and I used to play around it. I thought I should tell you the dream.'
'I think your mind gives you dreams like this to tell us to pay attention to someone who needs help [Suggestion #1]. One patient I helped dreamed there were children of hers who were at the bottom of a swimming pool, and she was bringing them to me and I was resuscitating them. I was able to contact them and bring them back to life [Suggestion #2]. We will see what we can do for this one [Suggestion #3].
'Let your mind shift to where you are hiding behind a big rock. Somewhere you are hiding behind a big rock. Why are you hiding there?'
'I'm hiding from Papa.'
'Why are you hiding from him?'
'He wants me to get in the car and go away. I won't go, and I ran here to hide from him.'
'He is gone now. You stopped knowing what was happening outside [Suggestion #4]. You stopped feeling your body and you stopped seeing with your eyes [Suggestion #5]. Much time has passed since then [Suggestion #6]. I am Dr. Young, and you are in my office. You are safe here. I want you to open your eyes and look around. Open your eyes now.'
She opened her eyes and looked around in surprise.
'I am Dr. Young, and you are in my office. You have been asleep a long time [Suggestion #7]. Many years have passed while you were sleeping [Suggestion #8]. Your body has kept growing while you were sleeping [Suggestion #9], and it has grown up now. You can see you're not behind the rock now.'
'I want to go home.'
'The home you were in was a long time ago and is far away and you need a new home now [Suggestion #10].'
'I could walk.'
'It is much too far to walk. But you have a new home that is near here and you can go to it [Suggestion #11]. Your grown-up self will take you there [Suggestion #12]. Your grown-up self will take care of you [Suggestion #13]. You are safe to go back to sleep now. Go back to sleep.'
'Bernice, wake up now as I count to three. One, two, three. Stretch now.'
'I've been talking to a child who has been hiding behind a big rock. And she wants to go back to her old home [Suggestion #14]. I told her you will take her back to the new home [Suggestion #15]. If she wakes up [Suggestion #16], tell her she is with you now, and that you will take care of her.'
'Is this one of your suggestions?'
'No, she is very real [Suggestion #17]. Call me if there are problems with her [Suggestion #18]. I will see you next week. Goodbye.'
Bernice called me three days later.
'I keep hearing this child's voice saying "I want to go home". This is driving me up a wall. Do something.'
That's eighteen possibly-personality-generating suggestions in one session. And it's only the second session.
A sort of general overview, in article-sized samples, of UFO mythology from the 19th Century to the present day (the airship craze; the Flatwoods MonsA sort of general overview, in article-sized samples, of UFO mythology from the 19th Century to the present day (the airship craze; the Flatwoods Monster; the Chiles-Whitted and Socorro sightings; George Adamski's terribly convincing photographs; Roswell Through The Ages; the abductees, etc.).
There's nothing terribly exciting here if you're already reasonably well-read on the subject, which it increasingly looks - to my only very mild shame - like I am. I suspect all the questionable and lolarious accounts were left on the cutting-room floor....more
Dissociation of a Personality's precocious baby sister: interesting, charming, and - comprising just two not-very-lengthy articles from 'The Journal oDissociation of a Personality's precocious baby sister: interesting, charming, and - comprising just two not-very-lengthy articles from 'The Journal of Abnormal Psychology' - terribly, terribly short.
While I'm almost positive 'B.C.A' represents an iatrogenic case of multiplicity - Our Heroine experiences none of the typical amnestic blanks you'd expect as she alternates between her two 'selves' until Dr. Prince starts using hypnosis to treat her, and she uses a great deal of Prince's own psychiatric jargon to describe her condition later - she does seem to be fairly far along on her own before her therapy, and her summation of the experience raises all sorts of possibilities as to how dual personality might form and progress, as it were, In The Wild.
I wonder if there were other, later, articles on the 'B.C.A' case?...more
**spoiler alert** There aren't too many full-length accounts of dual/multiple personality between the 'golden age of the subconscious' and the grim po**spoiler alert** There aren't too many full-length accounts of dual/multiple personality between the 'golden age of the subconscious' and the grim post-Sybil set; so it's really a shame that this one is so brief and unsatisfying.
Franz, a California doctor, treats a 40something man (C.J. Poulting, the title's 'Person 3') who was apparently rendered amnestic by a head injury some time during the First World War. After intense and repeated questioning on his past by Franz - no hypnosis, thankfully, so we can judge the case more or less on its own merits - Poulting suddenly begins to alternate between this state and that of his 27-year-old self (John Charles 'Jack' Poultney, the title's 'Person 1'). At different points in the narrative, both of them seem to recover the blanks in their respective memories, but they continue to alternate thereafter, with no memory of their brief reintegrations (if 'reintegrations' is the right word) even as the story ends, with Poultney returning home to his wife and sons in Ireland after fifteen years MIA. Franz seems to consider him cured.
Some of Poulting/Poultney's wartime memories are delightfully unlikely:
He told of a number of disconnected incidents which he referred to the journey between Mombasa and Nairobi. For example, he seemed to recall having been captured by the German troops. He also recollected that he, with a second British soldier who was also captured, was given over to some negro troops of the German forces. He told the story of how he and his companion killed the two negro soldiers who guarded them, took their guns and ammunition, and made their escape. How long and how far they travelled together he was uncertain. He thought they were travelling in the direction of the British troops. They saw many wild animals, and Poulting reported that both lions and leopards were especially bold, and would attack men.
One night, shortly after their escape from the Germans, Poulting, who was not too confused to recognise the danger of sleeping on the open ground, climbed a tree, into which he tied himself, while his companion, who was tired and who refused to do this, slept on the ground near the tree. During the night, Poulting awoke and found that his companion had been attacked by leopards, which had overcome him. They killed and then they ate him.
This particular incident, however, is almost certainly linked to the 'eureka!' memory of a pet monkey at Voi that represented 'Person 1's' first flashback to his 'Person 3' identity*:
This animal was apparently his closest, and perhaps his dearest, companion. He kept him on a leash. One night, when in his tent (?) at Voi, Jack was disturbed by the chattering of his monkey. He arose and picketed the animal to a tree or a bush ten or twenty yards away. Later, the same night, he was again awakened by the cries of the animal, and then in the clear moonlight he saw a leopard approach, pounce upon the monkey, tear it away from its picket and carry it away.
I think - though Franz doesn't - that they're likely both versions of the same event: one beefed-up into a men's magazine adventure, and one left as-is. But who knows?
The case has enough in common with both early accounts of 'dual personality' (Thomas Hanna and Mary Reynolds both had initially amnestic other selves with whom they would alternate) and with accounts of dissociative fugue (see: Ansel Bourne; Boris Sidis' 'Air. S') that I think they must represent different forms of the same basic syndrome. As 'Person 3', Poultney feels a constant 'wild desire to travel', under the vague impression that he might 'find [him]self' somewhere else in the world; in his brief 'confused' states - which may represent aborted attempts at further fugues - he also travels some distances, a defining fugue trait. (Perhaps dual personalities represent temporary fugue identities that somehow - perhaps empowered by all the attention they recieve? - manage to briefly persist even when the original self 'wakes up'.)
The most disorienting dislocation in space and time is probably Poultney's 1926 trip - as 'Person 1' - from Los Angeles to Panama:
When [Person 3] took his 'unconscious' trip [...] he travelled by the boat on which he had already taken three trips, and he knew the boat quite well. He "woke up" when travellers were disembarking at the Panama Canal. According to an account which he overheard at the time he came to himself, it seems that he boarded the boat without a ticket, and that a man passenger was ill and did not go to his meals, so that Poulting was able to substitute for him in the dining saloon. He was also told that he had been "the life of the party" on board the boat, that he organised games and took part in them; he kept groups of passengers amused and was not suspected of being a stowaway until he could exhibit no ticket when the other passengers were landing and sightseeing in the Canal Zone.
What ultimately becomes of Poultney - or, for that matter, the rather sad family that took him in on the mistaken but determined belief that he was their missing son - is, due to the swift publication of the book after the events of the case, not related. I'd love to know.
* There may or may not have been a 'Person 2' in the seven months left blank between these states; he makes no appearances here, unless Poulting and Poultney's 'confused spells' represent - like Félida X's incoherent state - his manifestations. The title is based on Franz' conjecture....more