What Happened To You Psychology? You Used to Be Cool

Along with creating an easier way to communicate across vast boundaries and increased access to cats doing silly things, the internet has also created a huge forum to rant about whatever is bothering you. The Economy, the government, your lousy job, your relatives, the fact that Mage: the Ascension is clearly a superior setting then Mage: the Awakening, anything. As such, I would like to take the time to exercise my internet right to rant.

All in all, I have a mixed relationship with my school term this winter. For the most part I have good classes (Literature of the Romantic Period, Canterbury Tales, Creative Writing) and one real lemon of a course (Intro to Psychology). You’d think that just one bad course in a mix of good courses would be good, but for the most part I am really confused about what the hell I’m supposed to be doing. Part of me feels guilty for involving myself in the pointless pumping out of B.A.s for the job market, and as such I get a grim satisfaction that English Literature is one of the least “job ready” things I could be learning. The only joy that I am getting out of this is discussing deviant sexuality with my Romantic Literature professor and that my Canterbury Tales Professor happens to be one of the best professors in the whole damn campus and one of the big stand outs against the obsessive scientism of the rest of the Campus.

Speaking of obsessive scientism, I’d like to take this time to bring up how much I am detesting introduction to Psychology. At the very first class he said that psychology was a science and that anyone who said it wasn’t must have a confidence problem. This is the complete reverse of my own thought process; if you have to be considered a science then you must have a confidence problem. Since then I have been having to sit through some god boring lectures on child brain development, neurobiology and an impromptu test for my psychic powers which I had no time to prepare for. They are also not going to speak anything of Carl Jung, which is a personal peeve more than anything but shows my problems with the course. All I know about psychology I got to know I got from Jung, who is very much a “mystic.” He’s not even mentioned in my test book, and my professor had no idea what synchronicity was when it was brought up. Freud, who I appreciate more in the context of liteary criticism where he is given more time, is only going to be glanced over, probably because he wanted psychology to be a science. But the fact that we are looking at the human mind as something to be researched on the operating table and not in meditation and contemplation erks me. The fact that I can’t drink tea and have to sit in an auditorium with six hundred other people only makes this worse.

My point here is that psychology used to be cool back in the early 20th century. Freud had indirect influence over art movements such as surrealism, and surrealism is cool. Even without being all mystical like Jung, Freud came up with the unconcious mind, which was all big and mysterious and you can’t actually understand it but here’s a map that you can use. Jung had occult connections and an interest in the soul. The Psychology I’m learning in this course has nothing to do with that, and only gives passing mention to anything like that when we covered dreams and psychology. I doubt we’re going to cover anything else on that matter.

The larger frustrations I have with my psychology class are refelctive of my frustrations with the University of Waterloo in general. The University of Waterloo is, fundamentally, an engineering University. The big things here are science, and empiricism and such. You get a decent Arts program and there are some teachers who I like, but I am growing more and more feed up with the basis of science. This probably has something to do with Richard Dawkins and his ilk, as well as my abbility to roll things up over time. Right now I’m in a very extreme “Dawkins Loop,” where I focus on all things Richard Dawkins, which I find to be a negative force, until it spills out in socially unaccseptable ways. I may end up calling this mood a Dawkins Loop actually. The point is I need to defuse this Dawkins Loop so that science does not enrage me, at least not to the point were I totally freak out or become a Luddite or something. This is not to say that I want to agree with Dawkins, but I don’t want him always hanging over me like some kind of spooky self-inflicted thought-form.

Writing this down has caused me to calm down, and I hope that it is somehow constructive or entertaining to the reader.

Proust Questionnaire

I’m going to get this out of the air first and say I have never read anything by Proust except the first bit of “Swann’s Way.” That said, I thought it would be interesting to do the Proust questionnnare as a

  • Your most marked characteristic? Eccentricity
  • The quality you most like in a man? The same quality I most like in women
  • The quality you most like in a woman?   The same quality I most like in men.
  • What do you most value in your friends? The ability to rely on them in a time of crisis. What I look for in family essentially.
  • What is your principle defect?  My occasional boughts of intense anger and paranoia.
  • What is your favorite occupation? Reading
  • What is your dream of happiness? Ultimately, to transcend humanity.
  • What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes? The extinction of the human species.
  • What would you like to be? A Magician, in the sense that Alan Moore and Grant Morrison are magicians.
  • In what country would you like to live? A sane one that has a good arts funding and environmental program
  • What is your favorite color? None
  • What is your favorite flower? None
  • What is your favorite bird? I have a fondness for the turkey buzzard
  • Who are your favorite prose writers? Roberto Bolano, William S. Burroughs, Dostoyevsky
  • Who are your favorite poets? The Beat Poets, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Coleridge. Blake to some extent, but he is more of a historical inspiration.
  • Who is your favorite hero of fiction? I prefer the story as a whole, removing a character from a story seems counter-intuitive
  • Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?  See above.
  • Who are your favorite composers? Miles Davis
  • Who are your favorite painters? Austin Osman Spare, Mati Klarwein, Icons, Ernst Fuchs, Michelangelo, Leonora Carrington
  • Who are your heroes in real life? My father, I do consider Alejandro Jodorowsky to be something of a guru for me.
  • Who are your favorite heroines of history? Marjorie Cameron holds a certain fascination for me
  • What are your favorite names? Jacob, Cameron (in women), Israel
  • What is it you most dislike? Dogs, politicians, corporations, new atheists and religious fundamentalists 
  • What historical figures do you most despise? Emperor Constantine
  • What event in military history do you most admire? None.
  • What reform do you most admire? Freedom of Religion as it seperates God from the State.
  • What natural gift would you most like to possess? The ability to speak multiple languages.
  • How would you like to die? After having a fair body of work completed.
  • What is your present state of mind? Trying to figure this questionare out. I usually don’t think about this sort of thing. Should be known that I did not write this at the same time.
  • To what faults do you feel most indulgent? Procrastination
  • What is your motto?  I don’t see the point of having one.

How to Get Ahead in the Written World

For some reasons writers need blogs these days. I’m not sure why, but I think it has something with the marketing people being lazy asses who don’t see that the writer is supposed to write and not market themselves. I blame capitalism and modernity and all that, but that is just me being myself. As such, I have decied that I should start writing an official Dylan Tern blog.

I have blogged before. For most of my High School years I had a blog on Blogspot called “The Aspie Diaries,” and after I moved to WordPress I had a blog called “Solve et Coagula.” This blog, which has yet to be given a decent name, is mainly a way for me to reach out to people through weekly comments on my life as a slam poet and university student. It will feature the occasional poem, as well as my thoughts on a variety of different topics. This should give me a way to reach out to my fan base, which consists of I’d say ten people tops. Most likely less then that.

So here is my first blog post for the new blog. I’m going to need to come up with a new name, enough material to post on a weekly basis. So as to show you my status as a writer, I’m going to link you to some youtube videos that were taken of me in 2010. The quality of my performance is not the best and I cringe at them sometimes, but it will give you all something to look at.

Dual reading of “George is a Good Boy,” and “The Dark Night Shift of the Soul,” Septermber 2010

“The Last Words of Lady Macbeth,” April 2010