The Psychic Bartender

Kirby Farrell | June 17, 2011

"k1f" Kirby Farrell

Problem # 31 — sexual intoxication

A Congressman comes into the bar, drops his pants, and shows everybody:

1. a cellphone photograph of his majority whip, or

2.  a screaming headline about his magic wand, with photo, or

3. the real thing.

From our perspective as psychic bartenders, this behavior is no surprise.  As the global popularity of online porn demonstrates, the bipeds are generally interested in looking at — and showing off — their bodies.  Consider the mania for tattoos and chunks of metal stuck into flesh like thumbtacks on a bulletin board.  Just in case anyone has doubts, a tasteful tattoo of an aardvark or a miniature silver doorknob affixed to your nose says, “Look at me.  I’m me.  I matter.”

But a Congressman?  The guy has fought like a tiger to get to the seat of power.  He’s now connected to the ruling class of this democracy.  And here he is flashing his pecker, his majority whip, in the bar or in tweets to young women he may never get to know in the biblical sense.

The US media greet this news with howls of derision and scorn and a pinch of envy.  The guy puts a brave face on it  — yes, he’s just one of many politicians caught (ahem) with his pants down — but it’s likely to be a political death sentence all the same.

What gives?

Okay, we don’t know what hang-ups the man may have at home.  It could be simply that clothing fibers irritate his sensitive skin.

Nah.

More likely he’s acting out motives you and I would find familiar if it weren’t for (ugh) denial.  Here we are in a nasty economic slump, with no major new relief in sight and politics is conflicted, tainted, and impotent.  That sound you hear at the bar is teeth chattering not ice in the glasses.  Drink up.  What do we want?  More life.  More potency.  More fertility.  More future.  More self-esteem.

Exhibitionism advertises potency.  The congressman isn’t going to spawn promiscuous millions of descendents like Genghis Khan. He’s in a heroic role.  He’s campaigned on a promise to rescue us from misery.  He wants comely lasses to desire him, praise him, prove his worth.  Why?

For one thing, because politicians despised as well as loved and envied.  The job advertises power and costs a fortune, but its deadlocked, abuzz with crazy, selfish, juvenile squabbles.  If you’re not happily lobotomized, the pressure to prove yourself must be excruciating.  You want to save the world, and you know you’re impotent.  So you show the world your magic wand, your skin-toned charisma.  And you want to believe you’re a bigshot and therefore entitled to special fertility.  In a way stripping is just campaigning by other means.

If you have electronic carrier pigeons (tweet tweet tweet) taking your picture into the beyond, you’re multiplying yourself.  Literally, there’s more of you, and everywhere, like the gods and heroes of legend.

Yes yes, it’s risky.  Like the teenager in Oregon whose nude come-on to a prospective boyfriend went viral on the internet, self-expansion can arouse savage policing.  For a congressman it’s so risky it’s tacitly a death wish, which doesn’t surprise us here at the bar because self-destruction gives more total relief from stress than tequila or thousand dollar an hour romps with Tawnia at the cathouse.  If you’re secretly afraid that your heroism is inadequate, even a shame, it’s an escape.

The appetite for more life is everywhere.  It soothes the fear of death and futility that hurts your feelings in those unguarded moments.  The problem is, the fear of death lasts longer than the Eveready bunny or the potent congressional hard-on.  So the appetite for more life is always potentially intoxicating.  Nobody ever gets enough.  The more you have, the greater your fear of losing it.  The higher up you go, the farther you can fall.

Worse, the behavior gets slammed as sex, but it’s actually not very sexual at all.  Performing for the camera, it’s like Jared Loughner, the Tucson assassin, shooting pics of himself in the nude just before his rampage.  If you’re broadcasting via tweets, flirting at such a distance, you’re actually pursuing sex with yourself.  There’s nobody there.  That sort of aloneness of course is another kind of stress that  invites even more exhibitionism.

If you’re in politics, you see (ahem) intimately how out of control things are, and how limited our understanding.  Think of economic mayhem, rogue banks, corporate military bingeing, imperial overreach, Enron criminality, peak oil and resource wars, the new Chinese aircraft carrier, the Tyrannosaurus jaws of unemployment.  No wonder you’re both scared to death and gleeful as you drop your drawers here in the saloon and say to the psychic bartender:

“Psst, hey buddy.  Look at me.  I’m heroic.  I’m me.  I’m immortal.”

You and I of course see knobby knees and a touch of flab as well as the usual ambitious, silly-looking hominid hard-on.  But we’re psychic bartenders.  We’re looking for ways to sober up the bigshot, prevent fistfights, and turn that greed for life into an appetite for problem-solving.

The suggestion box is on the wall.  Please write legibly.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for your insight. Just found this blog. Have been reading Becker’s works for the past 30 years, still find new things every time I sit down with one of his books. Also a student of Joseph Campbell works, in saying that I feel that Becker took the next logical step towards cosmic mythology.

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