by Luke Otley
I am currently reading A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud. I’m not particularly sure why, but I believe it has something to do with my recent attempts to grapple, with a deeper level of understanding, vast gaps in my already limited vocabulary. Not unlike an amateur fisherman wresting with a slippery bass that, although he somehow managed to get the beast aboard his vessel, has absolutely no idea how to finish the job.
When you’re in your early twenties and have attended higher education in some form, you get thrown into a slimy barrel with all the other higher education attendees in their early twenties and are duly presented with a gentleman’s agreement. That is the agreement that any individual is presumed to be proficient in the verse of pop-culture; art, philosophy, gynecology, current affairs, contemporary history etc. at any given time. However, although we all sign off on this agreement, very few people actually are. The general consensus seems to be just wing it until you have a chance to duck out of conversation, hop onto your iphone and google whatever it is that before 3 seconds ago you were entirely ignorant to.
“A freudian slip? Ahh yes haha of course of course….excuse me I must grab myself a drink…”
30 seconds later, returning to conversation
“Yes Mark, my bloody super-ego just won’t stay in check today, I best repress it, that would sort it out!”
Everyone’s a winner. The trouble lies in the fact that in this great technological boom information has become the cheapest currency. A mere generation ago you would have had to hit the books with all the tenacity of Sugar Ray Robinson if you didn’t know the use for a certain fishing hook, for example. Or better still, inquire in places where one may possibly find someone that withheld that precious knowledge. Who knows, maybe you will encounter your future wife/husband/best friend in seeking the most minute morsel of information. Even as I compose these hypothetical situations however, I’m struck by how foreign and incongruous they are. This saddens me. I am also saddened my own intelligence that is, like most people brought into this culture, bumper sticker thick. But at least I’m trying to forge a practical solution. In allusion to Socrates, at least I am aware of my own impenetrable ignorance.