Monday, December 22, 2008

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me...

I was reading a little about Sigmund Freud, mostly on the first chunk of his career, which can be summed up by the following: "COCAINE SURE IS GREAT, HUH GUYS?! MAN I SURE DO LOVE THIS COCAINE! I'LL BET IT'LL MAKE OTHER PEOPLE FEEL GREAT, TOO! EVERYBODY DO SOME BLOW!" Anyway, this lead to a generally poke around the psychology and psychiatry articles in Wikipedia. This, in turn, caused me to be reminded of something that had, until now, been confined to that shadowy area of my brain marked "Things That Give Me the Jibblies; A-L:" Lobotomy (Frontal). The premise behind the lobotomy is essentially this:

Dr. Prickface: Hmm....these mental patients of mine sure have been acting up a lot lately. That one over there can't stop screaming something about voices, and that one behind him has been stabbing that other one repeatedly in the neck with a fork. Wow, dude. Those are some messed up cats. I wonder if I could cut up their brains and take out the bad parts, leaving only the good parts behind. Hmmm...

Assistant: But Doctor, don't we have access to only the most rudimentary implements for cranial surgery? And only a very basic knowledge of what parts of the brain control which functions? And thus, don't we risk removing large portions of healthy, functioning brain tissue, leaving the patient not much better off than, say, an eternally tormented houseplant, locked forever in the shell of drooling sadness that was once at least a passable human being?

Dr Prickface: Only one way to make an omelette, Jimmy. Now, hand me that hacksaw. Better get some duct tape, too. And some paper towels. Science!

So the lobotomy became a common, if controversial treatment for such extreme mential disorders as schizophrenia, extreme epileptic seizures, violent, psychopathic behavior, and teenage rebellion. No, seriously. If your kid was a pain in the ass in the 30's, 40's or 50's, fuck all the "involved parenting" and "kids will be kids" bullshit. Strap that fucker down, Jackson! He won't ever get straight A's again, but at least he's stopped mouthing off. know...speaking in general. And not shitting his pants. But hey, a well behaved teenager, you must be great parents, right?

But for all the negativity, at least the lobotomy was a somewhat legit surgical procedure. It still required use of anasthesia, proper surgical tools and an operating room. Until 1946, that is. That's when Dr. Walter Frankenstein...I mean, Freeman, invented the "transorbital lobotomy," which involved...ready for it?....: SHOVING A FUCKING ICE PICK FROM HIS KITCHEN THROUGH SOMEONE'S EYE SOCKET AND SCRAMBLING HIS FRONTAL CORTEX. No, seriously, this motherfucker used an ice pick to perform brain surgery. But at least now it could be done in state mental facilities without access to an operating room or surgial tools. Or, you know, even real medical doctors. Fuck it, get the janitor, he looks like a strong dude. And they didn't even need to anaesthetize the poor fuck; Freeman suggested just electrocuting them until they passed out. Seriously.

Freeman himself even performed his transorbital lobotomy on JFK's sister after their father complained of her being too moody. It cured her bitchiness right up, of course; with the unfortunate side effect of reducing her to a childlike imbecile, incapable of speech beyond an incomprehensible babble and unable to control her own bodily functions. No worries, though. They just locked her up for a while and claimed she'd actually been born retarded.

One good thing that came of it: in 1968, her sister Eunice founded the Special Olympics, thereby ensuring that handicapped people everywhere would get to show off their skill and athletic prowess and experience the thrill of being the best. She also secured the rest of us a special place in the deepest levels of Hell because, goddamn that shit is funny.

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