The Sorrows of Young Werewolf (eyeteeth) wrote,
The Sorrows of Young Werewolf

The business end of the ice pick

That first comic is based on a conversation I had with my pal Ignatz a while ago (he also suggested French sauces as an alternate obsession) but you'll be pleased to know that I just won yet another lobotomy book on eBay. (I have an alert set up so eBay lets me know whenever anyone is selling anything with the word psychosurgery in the listing.) This is a book I've read about and am eager to get in my own two mitts, a book called Psychosurgery and the Self, coauthored by Walter, that contains, if I recall correctly, concrete examples of the ways people change after being lobotomized. ResearchGate describes it like this in the abstract: "The hypothesis is presented that psychosurgery changes the structure of the self through reducing the capacity for the feeling of self-continuity." In other words, being lobotomized cuts you off from your story, from your sense of being the result of a lifetime of experiences, and don't pretend you've never wished for that. Or maybe that's not fair of me to say; maybe there are people who have never said to themselves, "Why am I permanently burdened by stuff that happened to me ten years ago, twenty, thirty, that happened to people I never met before I was born? How long will my sense of self anchor itself on damage I am powerless to change? Even the gods cannot change history, and I am no god, some days it feels like a victory when I get my shoes on" -- but if there are such people I am not one of them, and I don't know that I've ever met one. And that's what lobotomy did, sometimes: it cut you out of your narrative and set you against a flat white background, not because you forgot, but because whatever you couldn't deal with before, the debris following you like the tail of a comet, just didn't matter anymore. And maybe you've never lain in bed fully clothed with the blankets up over your head, wishing the thing making you do that were not making you do that, wishing it didn't matter the way it really, really does, but I have, and I think Walter himself did too, at least once -- he had a "nervous breakdown" as a young man. I wish I knew more about this episode, because "nervous breakdown" sounds as if it could mean just about anything, but I don't think Walter ever discussed it much. See, those of us who have not been lobotomized need to divorce ourselves from the past by other means.
Tags: dysthymia, obsessivo, stix, walter freeman
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