What on Earth Does this Mean?

Addition to “The Dream of the Intruding Doctor”

I think about a biographical incident from Sunday May 18, 1969. I was 15 years old.   My sister and brother-in-law got married the previous Sunday, on May 11.  On the night of their wedding, they flew to Miami Beach, Florida for their honeymoon. A week later, on the 18th, when they returned, my parents and I picked them up at the airport. They returned to my parents’ house. My uncle Louie and his wife Reggie were there. My mother happened to have a bottle of champagne. We drank a glass of champagne.  My sister and brother-in-law had purchased a gift for me, a men’s jewelry box.  In retrospect, the jewelry box reminds me of the theme of the three caskets from Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice.  In that play the fair and wise Portia is bound at her father’s bidding to take as her husband only that one of her suitors who chooses the right casket from among the three before him.  The three caskets are of gold, silver and lead: the right casket is the one that contains her portrait.  Two suitors have already departed unsuccessful: they have chosen gold and silver.  Bassanio, the third decides in favor of lead; thereby he wins the bride, whose affection was already his before the trial of fortune.  The suitor’s choice in The Merchant of Venice parallels my dream in that my parents appear to have chosen Dr. P— over me.  It’s as if my parents were thinking, “Now that we have Dr. P—, we don’t need Gary anymore.”  In some sense I was the loser in a competition, which suggests an Oedipal theme.  (Incidentally, note the curious parallel to my earlier anecdote: “My mother used to tell a story about my first day of kindergarten. She walked me to school, and when we arrived at the threshold of the schoolyard, I turned to her and said (at age 4½): ‘Go home, mommy, I don’t need you anymore!”  Attainment of the idealized object, whether Dr. P— in the dream or school in childhood, obviated the need for the devalued object, namely, me in the dream or my mother in childhood.)

Eat your heart out, Dr. Freud!

WED_178-193__The_Dream_of_the_Intruding_Doctor-1-1-1

(I am obsessed with intellectual stuff and I am obsessed with Dr. P–.  I had a lot of problems in school (and with Dr. P–), suggesting to me powerful conflicts in these areas.

In the school year 1968-1969 (10th grade, when my sister got married) I flunked geometry.  In summer school I got top grades and the teacher said to me, “I have no idea how you could have flunked this subject.”)

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Did Dr. Palombo Think I was Prince Hal?

Throughout the entire oeuvre of Shakespeare, Falstaff remains one of the most memorable characters. In Henry IV, Falstaff is an important figure and companion to Prince Hal and serves to influence the prince in many ways. While the relationship between Hal and Falstaff at times seems simplistically fatherly, the reality of their relationship is complex.

Prince Hal frustrates his father, King Henry, by wasting his time in pubs and taverns with hooligans and other questionable companions. The most charismatic, bumbling, and lively of the bunch is Sir John Falstaff. Throughout the beginning of the play, Hal and Falstaff drink and burn away the time by jesting and thieving; all the while Prince Hal admires Falstaff as a friend, but vows not to become too similar to him.

In one line, Prince Hal jests at Falstaff’s infamous heavy-nature, “How now, my sweet creature of bombast! How long is’t ago, Jack, since thou saw’st thine own knee?” The two men jest with one another and tease one another. In another passage of the play, Hal, knowing Falstaff’s tendency to exaggerate stories, robs and harasses Falstaff and several other friends; later, Hal jokes about Falstaff’s false re-telling of the robbery. While Falstaff serves as an outlet for Hal to have fun and be carefree, Hal is obliged to abandon the low-class Falstaff in favor of his own princely duties.

Prince Hal eventually buckled down and became a great king of England.

At my first session with Dr. Palombo, he asked me: “Can you buckle down? Are you capable of buckling down?”

Who did he think I was — Prince Hal?

A Striking Symmetry

ANECDOTE 1:

A recurring pattern in my adult interpersonal relations is my need for an idealized male – or other object – as a defense against fears of maternal engulfment. The Greensboro dream might relate back to my childhood sense that elementary school attendance represented freedom from my mother. My mother used to tell a story about my first day of kindergarten. She walked me to school, and when we arrived at the threshold of the schoolyard, I turned to her and said (at age 4 1/2): “Go home, mommy, I don’t need you anymore!”

ANECDOTE 2:

In retrospect, the jewelry box reminds me of the theme of the three caskets from Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice. In that play the fair and wise Portia is bound at her father’s bidding to take as her husband only that one of her suitors who chooses the right casket from among the three before him. The three caskets are of gold, silver and lead: the right casket is the one that contains her portrait. Two suitors have already departed unsuccessful: they have chosen gold and silver. Bassanio, the third decides in favor of lead; thereby he wins the bride, whose affection was already his before the trial of fortune. The suitor’s choice in The Merchant of Venice parallels my dream in that my parents appear to have chosen Dr. P— over me. It’s as if my parents were thinking, “Now that we have Dr. P—, we don’t need Gary anymore.” In some sense I was the loser in a competition, which suggests an Oedipal theme.

I should have added the following citation to my affidavit to the FBI: They Threatened Me!! I am Afraid of Those People!! Oh, The Horror!!

may 3

4.  On May 3, 1989, at an Akin Gump social event (“The All-Attorney’s Dinner) held at the Westin Hotel in downtown Washington, DC, a fellow paralegal, Jesse Raben, reported to me that coworkers had spread a (false) rumor that I was homosexual.  Brief of Appellee District of Columbia at 8, Freedman v. D.C. Dept. Human Rights, D.C.C.A. no. 96-CV-961, citing agency record at 341 (“According to Freedman, at a firm dinner in May 1989, another legal assistant [Raben] acknowledged hearing a rumor that Freedman was gay.”  Cf. Page v. Freedman, 2016 CPO 2862, D.C. Superior Court.  In the District of Columbia a Petitioner’s bare unsupported allegation that Respondent published statements about Petitioner’s sexuality (without reference to Petitioner’s sexual orientation) is probative of threat and will support, as part of a mix of factors, the Court’s imposition of a Temporary Protection Order (Petitioner had made the unsupported allegation “[Respondent] also made references to my sexuality.”)  Any reasonable employee might conclude that he was a target of invidious (and threatening) sexual rumor and innuendo by coworkers, a recognized feature of a hostile or sexually-charged work environment.

https://dailstrug.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/fbi-affidavit-re-hypersensitivity.pdf

 

 

Malcolm Lassman and The Mueller Report

conscious

Senator Angus King was interviewed this morning on CNN about the Mueller Report. Sen. King was asked about collusion. He said that simply because the Trump campaign was not found to have colluded with the Russians didn’t mean they were not working together in a sense.  He said: “I remember learning a term in law school called conscious parallelism,” which he went on to describe and apply to the Trump campaign. Conscious parallelism is a term used in competition law to describe pricing strategies among competitors in an oligopoly that occurs without an actual agreement between the players. Instead, one competitor will take the lead in raising or lowering prices. The others will then follow suit, raising or lowering their prices by the same amount, with the understanding that greater profits result.

My thoughts went back to October 24, 1991. My meeting with Dennis Race and Malcolm Lassman at which I described the job harassment I was experiencing at Akin Gump. At one point Malcolm Lassman asked me: “Is so-and-so part of the ‘conspiracy’?” I never said anything about a conspiracy. I simply described what I saw. You don’t see a conspiracy. Perhaps “conscious parallelism” describes the “collusion” at Akin Gump.

And these were lawyers I was dealing with? No wonder I had problems at that firm. I didn’t think like them.  Dennis Race, the hiring partner, didn’t know what I was talking about.  He thought I was crazy.

The Dinner Party — Copyright Page

The purpose and character of the use of quotations of copyrighted material in The Dinner Party is  transformative, see Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569 (1994) and its progeny,  and/or de minimis and is therefore noninfringing. 17 U.S. Code § 107(1).  No copyright infringement is intended.

Copyright © 2014 Gary Freedman. All rights reserved.
Published by Gary Freedman / Lulu
ISBN 978-1-312-56108-3