“Idleness is the parent of all psychology.”
Nietzsche said it, I believe it, and that settles it!
The gasbag Nietzsche, as you know, was a horse lover. Like many horse lovers, he went nuts trying to save a cart horse from being beaten in the streets of Turin and died, a madman of the first water, 11 years later.
O how I tire of the gasbag Nietzsche and the tragic donkey he rode in on.
I cannot say whether the gasbag Nietzsche, when aphorizing about idleness and the ancestry of psychology, was alluding to brainiacal afflictions of lazy people, or to Psychology itself, that pseudo-discipline purporting to liberate from the tyranny of perpetual mystery the darkest, clammiest secrets of human behavior, but his remark rings kind of semi-true in either case.
To wit: are you a delusional visionary with a drug problem and too much time on your hands? Invent psychoanalysis! Conversely, are you a disaffected 21st century neurotic with an hour to kill and $150 in your pocket? Seal your fate with some psychotherapy! It’s all your mother’s fault!
Psychology, it may be argued, is an affliction of the patriarchally-invested leisure class. How many hunter-gatherers, their waking hours immersed, not in the contemplation of their “issues,” but in the exigency of rudimentary survival, do you suppose suffered from anal retentiveness, penis envy, or “unconscious conflict” arising from kind of potty training mishap?
Psychology is on our last nerve here at Spinster HQ. The mythology! The misogyny! The introspection! The jargon! And omigod, the specialized branches! Omigod, evolutionary psychology! Also known as Dudely Wish-Fulfillment psychology, where No. 3 Scientists claim not merely to know the psychology of cavemen — deduced, apparently, from studying modern chimpanzees because obviously we’re identical in every way — but also to “know” that this imaginary caveman behavior is inexorably “hardwired” in modern humans, causing war, football, femininity, pornography, and dudes like email@example.com [220.127.116.11] to write on my blog, “You live in Texas eh? I’m going to find you and rape you.”
Given that the whole enterprise threatens the structural integrity of my lobe, I was surprised to catch myself nodding at an article in Psychology Today, which is a humor magazine, concerning the role of readily available internet porn in “rewiring” the dudely brain to manifest a sexual response to “hairless genitals” and concomitantly, prepubescent girls.
The thesis — get ready for the shock of a lifetime — is that “intense stimulation can alter sexual tastes in some brains.” Dudes look at porn, look at porn, look at porn, all the live long day, it’s normal and healthy to jack off on computers, it isn’t hurting anyone, right, but ruh-roh, suddenly they discover that they’re looking at eight-year-old girls and seeing sexholes.
You see, there are these chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters, and –
All right, I admit it. It is not altogether sciencesque to identify a phenomenon based solely on a single observer’s sense of her own common sense, but, fuck, it’s just common sense. Of course prolonged exposure to a buttload of pornulated imagery, when persistently rewarded by orgasm, will result in acclimation to the “aesthetic.” Of course jagoffs who jagoff at images of depilated, labiaplastied women are gonna start giving little kids the eye. Phenotypically, there is little to distinguish the genitalia of pornulated women from that of actual children. Little kids = orgasm, dudes! Operant conditioning!
Slap me with a Skinner Box if you must, but dang it, operant conditioning works. At least it’s the basis of all animal training here at Spinster HQ. You reward the desired behavior, the behavior becomes associated with the reward, you add the command, and presto, the command produces the behavior. I have used operant conditioning to train my horse Pearl to play catch, to teach my horse Stanley to distinguish between a blue and a yellow traffic cone, and to make my dog Bert pick up a Frisbee and put it in a laundry basket. Why I don’t train them to do anything worthwhile, like clean out the refrigerator, remains one of the last great cosmic enigmas.
You can operantly condition a simple behavior in any reasonably sentient being in about 15 minutes, but it takes a little finesse. Timing is critical, lest you accidentally select for an undesirable behavior. It was through sloppy timing that I inadvertently taught my horse Stella to bite the crap out of my arm in an effort to make me produce a carrot. Obviously, unfavorable outcomes are possible if you’re not paying attention. So, as stupid as psychology generally sort of is, I gotta say I’m on board with this notion that dudes are using porn, whether inadvertently or not, to self-condition into oblivion any last, lonely vestiges of their aversion to sexing up little girls. Because let’s face it, who is paying less attention to the adverse effects of pornography than dudes who use pornography? Fucking knobs.
“Can a donkey be tragic? – To perish beneath a load that one can neither bear nor throw off? This is the case of the [gasbag] philosopher” [and of the feminist]. Fred Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, “Maxim #11.” 1889.
Also, one of you blamers originally hipped me to this Psychology Today article, but my sieve-brain has apparently leaked the fluid containing your identity. Thanks, though, you know who you are!