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Friday, April 11, 2008

In Treatment: 3rd in a Series


Guess what follows?  Another wild bug-eyed report on the buggy prof's roaming visit through the weirdo badlands of American mass culture, at any rate as reflected in 90% of the daily posts found in HBO's mass-public forums devoted to In Treatment.  If you'd read the first two reports, all the better.  If not . . . well it's not necessary, but would help, if you take a few minutes and at least glance at the kick-off article for this buggy series that's found at the top of the home-page.  

Who what follows? 

Well, this: two bugged-out posts left recent in those forums unfold their wondrous, laughing-out-loud dismay and disbelief that have been churning away with hilarious intensity in prof bug's mind ever since he registered, logged-in, and thought that soon, in an instant or two, there would be threads galore filled with terse flowing prose and luminous insight into In Treatment's artistic triumphs . . . all that stimulating insight, hopefully a mental prod to prof bug's emotionally charged ruminations about the dramatic series creative breakthroughs, reflecting surely --- surely! surely! --- the thoughtful views of adult men and women who have been immersed in the theater, the arts, film-history, and literature. 

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!  And for several reasons, such . . . . Well, come to think of it, the two posts speak for themselves; no need to elaborate . . .  the-Wonderland trek of a rabid bugged-out sort hard to believe unless you've done what Alice first did and now, to his still disbelieving mind, prof bug --- tumble down a dark tunnel, a rabbit-hole of spiraling madness, and find himself wandering in dizzying world of topsy-turvy irrationality and rollicking logic-gone-fruitcake



Despite the comically manic minds-on-the-fret worries being exhibited here, you have nothing to worry about.  No, not a thing.

Because . . . well because, fellow worry-warts, you post first of all with pseudonyms on this site.  Yes? No? Maybe?  And so even if I were to quote you fully, literally, there'd be no liable involved . . . and quite simply, if I may be simple and to the point, no one could possibly identify you in real life.

And secondly --- assuming you could stop your [i]The-Sky-Falling-In Chicken-Little histrionics[/i] a moment and actually you your noodle --- I have not identified anyone by pseudonym on the web site except 4Bee . . . a name, let us face it, only Wasps, Hornets, and Honey-bees could ever identify as a real hymenopterous insect of the superfamily Apoidea and hence make him buzz-buzz in alarm like --- well, like little Chicken-Littles caught up in a self-made frenzy of alarm.

And thirdly, amid your sudden flare-ups of panic and confusion, why should you be more worried about being cited --- if I did cite you directly --- on the buggy web site than the HBO web site?  True, the buggy site --- which one time was getting 6000 hits a day (almost exclusively from academics, grad students --- will likely display your frenzied mini-bopper carnal-fantasies to more eyes than HBO's forums are getting; but then no one need worry that he or she or she/he or he/see or she/she or --- like me --- the dumbo Neanderthal hetero/hetero here (all three of us!) is being quoted at all, only paraphrased . . . and at that briefly/.


Got it girls?  Guy/girls?  Girl/guys?   Guy/Guys --- oops, leaves only two others besides me in these forums.  And, lest I have neglected the bi-sexuals  . . . Girl-guys/Guy-girls?

Your rushes of emotionally delirious agitation are . . . well, let's just say overwrought and over-done, and be done with it.

Still, your jolting fired-up worries actually reveals unconsciously a flicker or two of reason for optimism --- I mean, anyway, among the few adults in these forums who aren't just in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and (God help us) maybe 70s and 80s, chronically speaking, but are more or less matched by mental development and emotional maturity.

The transformation of these forums --- whatever the intent of HBO and its management here --- into shameless, backfence blather is what struck me, dumbfounded, full of disbelief, within the first hour or two of my stumbling by accident onto this site back in late February. Yesterday, as I took time off from superficial stuff like (in my consulting mood) what can be done to deal with sectarian militias struggling violently for control somewhere we're involved in, I found Hot4-Gordo posting about a dozen times at the top of each thread. So frustrated was she not to find her gossipy chatterbox chums on line, she-he? asked out loud: Jeez, where is anyone?

 How many of us? Hard to say.


Because 90-95% of the fatuous posts in these forums are left by about two dozen of you --- daily, hourly, maybe even every minute or so. Communicating such razzle-dazzle info about your cats, your dogs --- often how the cats and dogs are behaving with diary-like obsessions in your posts --- your cooking, your fantasies to see GB's fab-ass in person, the latest rumored sighting of his fab-ass and (from the front) BIG ASSETs, and whether any of the other girls-night-on-the-town yak-yak whether anyone has seen the cute little photo of GB when he had just wet his diapers as a little infant.
An exaggeration?

No, far from it.  A good 90-95% of the posts in these threads amount to a kind of loose, freewheeling, harum-scarum gossip about yourselves, your dumb-bell spouses --- "God, I'd do things for BG that I'd never do for Jack, John, Jill, or Jerry" . . . a form of lecherous eagerness that the horny, in-heat teen-age daughters of a good friend exhibit when they mom and dad aren't around (a mistake, incidentally, on the teeny-boppers' side).



Enter the reception that awaited me, in all naiveté as I wandered onto these forums --- delighted as I registered to find fellow-admirers of IT and hopeful for some enlightening exchanges --- and posted innocently about some of the problems in male-female relations these days, not just sexual (mind you), cited a specific case of a good friend (anonymously of course), and thought that since this is a high-octane leitmotif in IT's script, there might be some searching, luminous insights in reply back to me.

Come on --- you know: food for thought; something to ponder on my side; maybe even prods to change my mind about something I had concocted on my own about the series. And exchanges with men and women who knew something about the theater, film history, film criticism, psychotherapy, the demanding skills of acting, and maybe even script-writing.  (No, not packaged together in a coherently organized unit or two of your mind.  Nobody's mind --- well, with a handful of exceptions maybe --- is that capacious, intellectually speaking, let alone that rigorously put together.

Only . . . a minute or two later, as I waited for some stimulating thoughts to flash back in my direction, I found myself hilariously attacked by Armsley as a man fearful of being castrated by women (presumably by a hot little razzle-dazzle number like him/her), a flashing brainstorm seconded, moments later, by Orwellian-1984 . . . along with some witty thing about Woody Allen and me --- which witticism he is obviously proud of, now repeating it for the 13th time or so in these forums --- and with an even more glittering brainstorm, a caution really not to push their minds to far with my posts, to the effect that both of them, no bull! "had the attention-span of a gnat"

What, a gnat? (Could be worse, I guess: maybe the attention span of an amoeba)

I chuckled, momentarily amused..  Surely, surely, I thought, these are clumsy satirists out for fun, and chortled a second or two further. Only . . . as the infantile-prattle came rolling in for the next few minutes --- to realize that these guys, or guy/girls (whatever) were deadpan serious! 

And guess what again?

Instantly, not losing a beat, I doubled-up in rapid rushes of guffaws, then -- as I glanced at the hoked-up fatuities and heavy-handed taunts again --- I let out a surge of raucous laughter, churning with disbelief and wonder . . . exactly (as I explained a few days ago) in a mood that must have accompanied the first anthropologists who penetrated into inner Borneo only a century ago to find, totally unexpectedly, that primal hunter-gatherers untouched by any advanced civilization --- still stuck in the late Pleistocene period of human evolution.

What? Was it possible that I had stumbled into a hidden corner of American life, where pubescent-retarded adolescents dressed in adult-drag and yet had the mentalities and emotional development of mini-bopping bubblegum chewers?


Apparently so. No two ways around it. Wow! Could it be better? More uproarious?

A minute or two of reflection followed --- you know, the sort of thing you were supposed to learn to do in school. (God help our country, though, if some of you have higher education under the belt. If you do, we're doomed!)

And boom! just like that, I had flashes of inventive creativity.

With luminous half-intuitive awareness, I saw that I could come back now and then and tap this Pleistocene-surrogate stuff on display here for at least one book (the factual, comic kind now being looked at in outline) and a more serious set of studies of, well, a pioneer scholarly sort.

Not to mention loads and loads of material that the visitors to the buggy web site never new existed in real life, any more than I had before my accidental appearance here.

Where was I?

Oh, I remember: a flicker or two of hope in this latest, hilarious, self-induced alarm that you and a few other obsessive tittle-tattle gossipers engage in here, without respite, in these forums . . . a monopolistic salad-bowl of scuttlebutt, childish chitchat, and infantile babble, from which an adult can learn a lot about this arrested, Pleistocene-stuck mentality. (Think Im exaggerating? Why not try to contact the HBO forum manager and see what he or she thinks about your backfence-gossipy blather.

That flicker?

If you can gain control of your self-exposing fatuities a moment, you might see that these latest outbursts reveal --- well, let us say, reveal a grain of shame or embarrassment about your posted adolescent grab-bag of gibber and tattle. Otherwise, why worry even if you weren't using a pseudonym to have others in the American (and oh! oh! world-at-large) public look at your posts?

I mean, why worry if you've been at this for two or three months now unless, at some level, a little nagging doubt or two gnaws away in your underground mind that you have been behaving like silly retarded in-heat teen-agers of the girlish persuasion.

-- Girls! Girls! Hot-line just in: GB threw a candy-wraper away in a trash-can in Solo, and God! After I retrieved it, caressed it, kissed it, sniffed it --- or, if only it had a photo of his private parts! --- I ran to the closest framing shop and have spent $1600 to have it glassed, enclosed, framed, and insured with Lloyd's of London.

-- Oh my Gawd! Can you describe its size? Was it a Hershey-Bar wrapper or a Baby Ruth? Gawd, how I love Baby-Ruths; reminds me of the time my cat thought it was a tiger, attacked the neighbor's pit-bull, and got eaten up as though it were a meowing candy-bar wrapper itself. And are there any handprints left on it by our bedazzling, walking-wonder from Eire --- a real hawt fooking lay, if you ask me? Fab-ass to the max, and big-package bazooka in front (we think! we hope!)

-- Gawd, can't wait to glimpse him up close. Reminds me of the time I, a Catholic, had an audience with the Pope, only I didn't wet my panties then; this time I fear I will. Reminds you, no doubt, of the time you met Sister Theresa, talked in person to her, learned what service to the wretched of the earth amounts to. That's my calling now! To banish mental anguish about life by cell-phoning to 31,073 online chums where GB is supposed to buy his next batch of jock-straps.

Oh my! And that's what your drivel-like monopoly of these forum-threads amounts to. Maybe 5 or 10% of the other posters actually have developed emotionally and intellectually and have something substantive to say. For other adults, among which ranks prof bug is happily assimilated to, humor and all.
Back to the flicker of hope --- a twinge of embarrassment and shame at your trivial girlish in-heat gushes and chatterbox trivialities.

Is this a start of growing up a week or two in maturity --- still light-years away from what used to pass for adulthood in America and elsewhere, but at least maybe an end to fantasy-driven regression to childish emotional development?

Or am I being over-optimistic?


I could, of course, try to code all your balmy puerile backfence chatter --- a tool called content-analysis; use a rank-data form of ordering the weird witless sap; formulate a logistic regression equation; and use some of my grants for some statistical data-chewing --- but to what purpose?

Besides being akin to 4th dimension pedantry, nobody would believe the results. Would see it as concocted, outer-space science-fiction of a clumsy sort. I'd probably have my double Harvard Ph.D. --- economics and political science --- cancelled retroactively, a mistake that this august institution had never duplicated in 350 years of existence. Or, if not Harvard, the Rhodes Scholarship committee doing it lickety-split; not to forget two Oxford colleges. Or if not them, Stanford --- where, to their regret, I graduated at the top of my class in the 1960s. Or maybe, bless them, mom and dad wherever they are now disowning their daft off-spring.

Anyway, the girlish non-quantitative juvenilia is much better suited for some humor; nothing else. And just think! And with no exposure of your identities or any directly quoted material to boot and hoked-up to the rafters with fatuous juvenilia.


Meanwhile, girl/girls, girl/guys, guy/guys (a lonely crowd here), if I may be so bold as to suggest something: take a chill-pill or two or drink some wine . . . anyway, stop inducing self-generated alarm.

Remaining your obedient servant and chronicler until the hilarity ceases,
Michael Gordon: Aka, the buggy professor

PS Should HBO --- which runs this online site --- ever actually want me to desist from posting, I will instantly accede. It is their site and they set the rules, just as I do at my site --- even though, alas, despite the FBI urges to keep open the comments section, I had to close it down.




Girls! Girl/Guys! Guy/Girls, and --- out of courtesy for my fellow Hetero/Hetero meathead companions in these august forums (all two of them, besides your humble servant, prof bug)  --- Daft, Dumbo Muff-Divers,  I very much appreciate your reception.

As I just noted in a post left in a thread about the finale of In Treatment, I expressed my appreciation of an exchange that BeBeeBlues and I have been having, at which point I praised her intelligence and self-awareness . . . adding, please note carefully, that similar mental traits seem to apply to maybe, generously speaking, 10% of the posters in these HBO forums.

The rest?

Well, they seem to be overwhelmingly horny, in-heat women and gay-guys . . . so swept off their feet, one and all, by their own charged, sex-pounding fantasies about Gabriel Byrne that they remind me of hair-tearing teeny-bopper adolescents at a rock concert . . . screaming half-hysterically, their mini-skirted bottoms squirming with burning need against the seats of their chairs as they shriek hormone-activated, pot-driven ardor for whatever pubescent-retarded rock-star of the moment is on stage: himself half-drugged out, jerking and throwing his tight-pants pelvis in their direction with exaggerated lewd thrusts. I tell you, no exaggeration, their invariably hilarious posts in the mushrooming GB threads --- which, stripped to the barebones, amount to manic, naked rushes of feverishly harum-scarum fantasies of the lick-suck-and-fuck sort, fully afire with girlish carnal fever --- have been another source of non-stop amusement for me in these HBO forums.

Yep, I confess, at times to the point of laughing out loud and often in explosive bursts of disbelieving wonder about their likely relations with their dead-as-a-door-nail hubbies or the latest clueless lout-of-a-boy-friend bedmates.

What next?

A thread 5000 posts long devoted to lurid reports of their wild masturbatory frolics the night before as their fired-up minds and underbellies churned away with volcanic swellings of heat? All this wild-eyed ecstasy driven, we will likely be informed, by salvos of fever-pounding, freaked-out imagery of Gabriel's engorged ding-dong and their own sex organs throbbing and pulsing together all night long. "Oh! Oh! GB . . . a little more of that; yes like that --- please, please! Oh! Oh! I'm coming, I'm coming for the 14th time since our bliss started, Gabriel --- you angel, you darling little leprechaun of a boy ! "

And girls, get this. Here's how I got Gabe to shoot off his nuts a least six or seven times!.


First, you need to carefully trim your fingers. And then . . . No, no: I back up. First off, carefully tell your dumbo-at-sea hubby or love-bird boyo that you'll be working late and that they can go out bowling or to some bar where they can suck beer until they're in near-coma and watch the Raiders kick ass in Chicago. Then, back home to yourself, no clueless clout to worry about, get some good saliva worked up in your throat; then, no less carefully, get out your well-hidden dildos, add some lubricant (not too much, girls! Don't wanta grease away all the frictions!), and then --- after you've bathed, perfumed, and slipped into your newly purchased Victoria-Secrets lingerie, all frilly stuff and kinky straps --- you turn on some music, sip a bottle or two of Cabernet (or, if like me, you're a beer guzzlers, a six-pack or two of delicious Budweiser), and then slide into bed, followed by . . . .  


Enter the reception that awaited me, in all naiveté as I wandered onto these forums --- delighted as I registered to find fellow-admirers of IT and hopeful for some enlightening exchanges --- and posted innocently about some of the problems in male-female relations these days, not just sexual (mind you), cited a specific case of a good friend (anonymously of course), and thought that since this is a high-octane leitmotif in IT's script, there might be some searching, luminous insights in reply back to me.

Come on --- you know: food for thought; something to ponder on my side; maybe even prods to change my mind about something I had concocted on my own about the series. And exchanges with men and women who knew something about the theater, film history, film criticism, psychotherapy, the demanding skills of acting, and maybe even script-writing.


The reality? 


Far from finding what I had expected in my callow naivete, I had stumbled, entirely unprepared mentally, into a hidden corner of American life, where pubescent-retarded adolescents actually dressed in adult-drag and yet, in a kind of evolutionary regression, had the mentalities and emotional development of mini-bopping bubblegum chewers?

These forums, to go on  --- which, I imagine, are mainly manned by higher-than-average Americans in IQ --- are the first mass-public ones I've ever been in. And believe me, been a rollicking set of revelations about John Q public . . . a reminder of what the single genius in all of Anglo-American journalism's long history, H.L. Mencken, once said in the 1920s: nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

(Mencken, as you all likely know, but not 90% of the posters here, was also the first editor of a three-volume dictionary of the American language . . . works he produced almost a century ago, and still in print. Also the editor of the most influential literary magazine of the interwar period; and the author of the single most amusing 3-volume long autobiography in the English language since Chaucer. His writing style was so rollickingly fired-up with racy peerless language that if you look up in an unabridged dictionary, you'll find it referred to as Menckenese. )

And my giddy-good time in these forums has been sent measurelessly skyhooting as I would read the eruptively testy and hard-pounding outcries from outraged members who --- confronted with something that I and other fellow scholars would regard as fairly brief, banged-out fun-stuff --- seem to be gripped by reawakened adolescent memories of being rapped on the knuckles by hard-boiled teachers for not having read two-page stories in their Jack-and-Jill-Uphill Primers and send hilarious foaming-at-the-mouth replies that are intended, I gather, to hurt my feelings and send me reeling off-line back to chalkboard pedantry.


Yours truly --- or as our British friends put it, Remaining Your Obedient Servant (Ha!)


Michael Gordon AKA, the buggy professor