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Sunday Soul – A Harmless Malfunction of the Super-Ego
Year 11 – Playlist 28/52 – For the week of October 26th 2014
My ex boyfriend Sigmund Freud undertook the heroic task of differentiating between the basic components of the human persona. He spent decades analyzing people and considering the results of what he found and finally presented a psychoanalytic concept which has become the foundation of how modern humans identify the various components of the human psyche.
1. The ID
This is the part of self which is present from birth, the want and need part of the human being. We identify this with the neanderthal experience of bashing and grabbing, humping and interrupting and then suddenly barking at cars. Unsophisticated, embarrassing, unpleasant, but utterly essential to the survival of the species. Imagine hunter gatherers waiting for the other hunter gatherer to go first, politeness reigning supreme and by the time someone finally went through the delicate arch of vines into the field the bison were gone… we’d have been sunk before we set sail.
2. The Ego
The ego gets a bad rap for the most part, and it’s probably well deserved when you consider “ego” as a self-centered experience. When we live the way most of us are headed today – considering ourselves only, lost in the distraction of our telephones, preoccupied with the false television experience of the internet and social media, and wanting to meet our needs without concern for others (get a job ya bum!) or reflecting on our own behavior before issuing condemnation (you need to change in order for me to be happy!) – it’s easy to see that we are indeed an egocentric culture, and when you dangle distraction and baubles in front of babies they will follow… However, the ego in psychological terms has the dubious task of parsing the difference between our lower instincts and urges and our higher self. This is a fundamental aspect of what it is to be a human being and where we look to solve our problems, and how we gauge sanity, and capacity, and gain a sense of ourselves in the world. Naturally a lot can go wrong here, and so between the other meaning of the word and the psychological function of the component itself we are already convoluted. Regardless, we are defined as people by our ego’s ability to parse our lower and higher self into an adjusted individual in and of the world we live in.
3. The Super-Ego
Our higher self holds our understanding of right and wrong. This is a learned aspect of human psychology. If we grow up in a wild culture then the laws of nature and tribe become our higher truths. If we grow up in a deeply moral and punishing culture then the ramifications of this dogma becomes our higher truth. Because we don’t live in colonies of hedonists, or calvinists where each of us strives to perfect our highest self and abandon ego and id based impulse and intellectualizations – although there are such
groups and sometimes they aren’t always horrible cults – modern humans have to bury their super-egos into another part of our consciousness and access it when we get to wear the hall monitor badge, or only on sundays, or when we are in private, or alone in our cars in traffic or at yoga class. This is where we feel we know right from wrong, and it’s how we store this information in our minds, and where we access it from. It’s why when someone is hysterically screaming at you about something you’re doing (let’s say dancing) and they seem totally crazy for yelling at you and threatening that “god” is going to punish you for dancing… yep, there are actually people who truly believe this… for you, this is absurd. There is no such aspect of your super-ego which could possibly imagine that dance was wrong, or anything but wonderful and freeing or arguably an actual expression of one’s devotion or desire for “god.” And yet because this protesting person was formed in an environment where it was an absolute fact that dance is dirty and shameful and wrong, then it is equally as true for them that you are hurting kittens feelings and making “god” cry with your filthy and suggestive movements as it is idiotic for you. The super-ego is intractable, and indefensible. There is no argument. What’s right is right. What’s wrong is wrong. It’s why talking with angry republicans is useless.
The real fun begins when the parsing mechanisms start working, and the ego-mind must find a way for a Nigerian to function and thrive in Brooklyn, or a family of Suburban Americans to make their way through Cairo. From a cultural perspective we can have wonderful, absurd, and amazing adventures provided we develop sophisticated skills like empathy, compassion, generosity, honesty, street smarts, and love. These are not functions of any one part of our “self.” Rather, our ability to thrive in this world puts to the test our true humanity: Our ability to love.
Many of you may be asking at this point, “But Sunshine, if this is true, then why do we live in such a shitty, selfish, and increasingly fucked up greedy world?” and you wouldn’t be wrong for asking. I’d ask my ex boyfriend for his input, but he died way back in 1939 so I can’t ask him. But I can say that while you were “working on yourself” and otherwise distracted with television and Facebook the world has changed. We have, through a harmless malfunction of the super-ego, allowed our public airwaves, public utilities, public reserves of water, land, nature, and medicine to fall into the hands of the private sector (something the centrist and conservative minded feel is actually a good thing to have your clean water brought to you by Nestle, and your airwaves managed, curated and sold back to you at a premium by comcast, etc…) and thus we have lost them. Now if you want your constitutional right to water, land, airwaves, print, speech, thought and privacy you’re gonna have to be a millionaire to have any… and these days a million isn’t anywhere near enough. With such appetites, we must work, and we must make the big big bucks.
In order to do this we are going to need to develop a pretty awesome app. In order to do that well we’re either going to have to show a lot more than cleavage or we’re going to have to borrow the money from an investor. Then, with this money we’re going to have to make it look like we’re awesome. “God” knows it’s expensive to be awesome, so we’ll be spending the money (and how!) But then we’re going to have to make more (or borrow more) or do something. If we don’t, people will discover that we don’t actually have a business plan of any kind, and there’s no hope of our ever turning a profit at all. In fact, all we really have are “users” (if we’re lucky) and that’s all we have. People will see as plain as the nose on their faces that what we were actually hoping for was to have our business bought by a bigger business that’s doing the exact same thing we’re doing. In the process we are thrashing the environment around us, distracting everyone, and replacing television (I don’t care,) cinema (which is horrible,) record stores (which is criminal,) and local communities to the extent that people I actually know have given up on the “real world” and have had to accept that their “actual community” is virtual (which is fucking insane.)
How do you parse your innermost desires with your sense of morality? Do you live a life of aching subconscious fantasy and outward severity and fear? If you do, you are a pale and faded face in a sea of millions. Don’t feel bad, you’ve gotta “face reality” at some point and “grow up” right? Sure… I suppose if you want an unpayable mortgage, a new car that’s never yours, an iPhone 6 plus, and all the other crap designed to strip you of your dignity, naturalism, intelligence and beauty you do. And by that I mean of course you don’t. But I’m a dying fad. I believe in love and there’s just no money in that is there?
Thank you for listening. See you next week.
Here is the track listing for Sunday Soul: A Harmless Malfunction of the Super-Ego
1. Sigmund Freud’s Voice – BBC Broadcast Recording 1938
2. Horse – Quadron
3. The Way – Wolf + Lamb Remix – Space Coast & JP Soul feat. Audio Angel
4. Your Love Ain’t Fair – Simian Mobile Disco
5. Rune – Smay
6. Lenoix – Marcus Worgull & Peter Pardeike
7. Knuckle Skills – Hardfloor
8. The Way I Feel Inside – The Zombies
9. I Don’t Know – Ceo Basso
10. Sexual – Studio Deep & AQUO
11. Fly Deep – Lucas Perazzi
12. Darkest (Dim) – Tokimonsta
13. Such Great Heights – Iron And Wine
14. Sunday Soul – Program ID
15. Green Eyes – Erykah Badu
16. Sunday Soul – Program ID
Year 11 – Playlist 28|52
26 October 2014
Total Running Time: 01 Hour 19 Minutes
May the stars above you shimmer and shine, guiding your heart always, all of the time. May they guide you sweetly, all the way home. And may all your sundays have soul.