Saturday, October 4, 2008

Loss of Bodily Integrity, Maintenance of Sanity

Adults have complex fears involving things like “dividends” and “solvency,” but kids tend to be frightened of the simple things — the classics — like this recent incident in which a little girl’s hand was (temporarily!) torn off when her jump rope got wrapped around a car axle. Loss of bodily integrity freaks out kids, they say, since it’s one of the few concepts they’ve instinctively mastered at their young age. They may not want to read tomorrow’s blog entry, then, since this is going to be a sort of Weekend of Lost Body Parts within my larger Month of Horror.

(I wonder if politicians feel similarly amputated when their administrations are cut short by term limits? We can discuss that at the debate I’m hosting Tuesday night.)

I hardly ever have real nightmares as an adult, only increasingly bureaucratic anxiety dreams — lots of attempts to get non-existent subway lines mapped out or train schedules to jibe, or sometimes misaligned floors of buildings to somehow reveal a means of getting from Point A to Point B. It’s all filing and systematizing in the less pleasant of my dreams these days.

Of course, this morning was an exception — though still vaguely associated with resistance to bureaucracy. Scully from X-Files was overseeing a surgery performed on a female friend of hers by one of Scully’s medical subordinates (also female), and things went badly, as I could foresee with the sort of glum resignation one feels when a project is clearly doomed by red tape.

Smoke began pouring from a hole in the bedsheet over the patient, and as the subordinate tried to explain it all away with dry, clinical jargon, it became clear the patient had been burned down to mere Halloween-skeletal remains without the doctors noticing. Scully looked grimly furious as the subordinate, increasingly desperate, suggested Al Qaeda might be to blame.

This dream may have resulted from cold medication, ongoing concern about our messy political problems, or slightly-delayed anxiety over my friends Laura Braunstein and Andy Ager having a second child about twenty-four hours ago — but newborn Naomi is fine…

…and is not to be confused with Naomi Camilleri’s newborn blog, which leads off with her rejection of the past few decades’ purportedly free-market policies. Like Laura and I, Naomi went to Brown, and she came out leftist the way Brown students are supposed to — some friends and I were anomalies (but we’ll revisit that horrifying tale in two weeks, in my Book Selection of the Month entry).

I posted a brief response to Naomi’s anti-deregulation entry — but what really strikes me is that a guy plugging the new Ron Paul organization did as well. The Paul people’s eyes are everywhere, even now.

No comments: