Product Placement

The reason I bought Harper’s magazine today was that its cover promised an article on the silencing of women.

The article, however, disappointed even more than I expected. After I tore my way through the thicket of endless passive voice phrases, I discovered the real culprit of the silencing of women: Freud.

I understand that print journalists are struggling but, somehow, I’m still bemused when I see such naked product placement. You have to agree, though, that it’s well-done. Women leave the article with the warm, comforting feeling that they have been delivered from sexist servitude by pharmaceutical companies and that pill-guzzling is their great feminist contribution.

15 thoughts on “Product Placement

  1. Well Freud did silence Dora in the most effective way possible, just as narcissists will tend to try to silence people. I guess the point is that this is not the whole story. It’s an easy enough rhetorical trick so say something like: “Look, Godzilla, who seems to claim to want to save you, actually wants your guts for garters, so pop this pill and you will be safe.”


    1. If a journalist can’t find any more effective or relevant silencers of women than Freud, I have to ask what the real goal of the article is. The saddest possibility is that nobody is even paying this fool. She might just be a sincere pill fan.


      1. Yes, Freud is a bit outdated to have any immediate social relevance for the masses. But, honestly, I haven’t read any deep or insightful articles for a long time. Maybe there is nothing anyone can teach me anymore, or maybe we are in an age of extreme superficiality.


        1. Oh no, he has an enormous social relevance. He is THE greatest argument in favor of constant pill-popping. Any suggestion that people might consider solving their psychological problems or improving their lives is rejected violently and aggressively because the accepted wisdom is that life can only be handled with pills. Nobody knows anything about Freud. His name simply turns on a pill-swallowing reflex, that’s all.


          1. I’ve just made a couple of videos about anxiety, because somebody requested I speak on this strange topic. I don’t know why people cannot just enjoy a certain level of anxiety and use it as a prompt to find out more about themselves and life.

            But as for the state of play in American culture, I really do not know what is going on, or what the different factions represent. Americans seem to find this disturbing when they categorise me in terms of one of their systems and then see me as being in another category. I believe they think I am playing tricks, but it is their own mind that tricks them.


    2. Magazines have been saying for 30 years that because Freud silenced Dora, no psychoanalysis is valid. That is very convenient for marketing of less subversive therapies, particularly behaviorism-based ones designed to fit people into docile roles.


      1. It is so sad that behaviorism still holds such sway. I haven’t managed to find anything in it but a system aimed at making people convenient and malleable. But the personal cost of that malleability is enormous!

        The very idea that one should always assume that the reason for one ‘s misery is necessarily inside oneself is simply offensive. Horrible things are done to a person, and then that person has to accept that it’s her own fault because she hasn’t mastered a correct system of responses to abusive situations?!? How can that possibly be healing?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s very unfortunate that I came to the conclusions about psychoanalysis that I did, but that is because I was also silenced, like Dora, by someone whom I respected and had anticipated getting some guidance or sagacious advice from. Instead, he treated me like Freud did Dora, and I had to take extreme shamanic measures after that to stop myself going into a tail spin and to regain control over my mind. I treat Freudians with great suspicion now, because I understand the harm that can be done by being excessively trite about gender issues.


  2. Yes, but you don’t have to be Freudian / be trite about gender issues to do psychoanalysis (or other kinds of depth psychology) as opposed to what is offered more commonly nowadays.


  3. You have some very odd adverts in the United States …

    Why must I consider the uses of catheters whilst watching CNN?

    Why are there adverts for drugs that improve an avoidable condition with side effects that include, just for the odd lark, somewhat random chances for death?

    “Please consult your doctor to see if Possibly Certain Death is right for you …”

    I’m not sure which is worse, the likes of Jeremy Paxman wanting to push any OAPs within his reach off the nearest high cliff or this strange medicalised way of living …

    My holiday has become considerably stranger after having arrived in the United States.

    OH, right, now I get it … those pharm commercials are more evil than I gathered, delivering saints in their injuries into the comforting arms of pill pushers, whilst devils being offended make their cases with the odd sojourn into the Wonderful World of Freud.

    And we think the NHS is broken …

    At least we do until we pay for travel health insurance that covers the US … [loud guffaw]


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