Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dream Tangerine

There is nothing more boring for me than someone saying, "I had the most bizarre dream... what happened was (insert three minutes of nonsensical rubbish I'm not interested in)."

Some people are obsessed with their own dreams and the more vivid the better. "I came across a city filled with ice-cream castles. I was in a rowboat with my old maths teacher except it wasn't my maths teacher, it was my mother..." and so on and so on.

I'm no psychologist or any other ologist that knows anything about the brain, or the sub-conscious, but I have come to the conclusion that dreams are nothing more than the mind going on an abstract wander, free from the necessary rules and restrictions that it faces in the awake hours. As such, they are meaningless, and, I hasten to add, of interest only to yourself and nobody else.

Jung can suck my dick.

I have therefore written page 1 of my 'Dream Interpretations by Perseus Q' book which I'm psitive will become a best-seller.

DREAM INTERPRETATIONS

Dream: You are attacked by spiders.
Interpretation: You don't want to be attacked by spiders.

Dream: You are drowning.
Interpretation: You don't want to drown.

Dream: Your husband dies and you are very sad.
Interpretation: You don't want your husband to die.

Dream: You had sex with Natalie Portman.
Interpretation: You want to have sex with Natalie Portman.

Dream: You score a century in the Boxing Day Test.
Interpretation: You would like to score a century in the Boxing Day Test.

Dream: A wild bull chases you across a paddock.
Interpretation: You would not like to be chased across a paddock by a wild bull.

Dream: You roll down a hill and land in a fairy land where you learn to cast spells that heal the sick, and you have a pet fox that can communicate telepathically with you and you and your fox called Ingwahla live in a house atop a magic tree that almost touches the sky, and everyone in fairy land love each other and when the snowflakes touch the ground in fairyland, they turn into emerald gems.
Interpretation: You are a boring hippy.

Dream: You send off all these stupid SMSs to former and potential lovers that are offensive and/or stupid, then end up falling into a bush and waking up an hour later with a splitting headache and you have lost your wallet.
Interpretation: It wasn't a dream, you were drunk last night. Call your bank.

Dream: You are sitting around at home reading Dostoyevsky and smoking cigarettes, and a naked Natalie Portman comes in and says, "Hey, I love Dostoyevsky. Can I have a ciggy?"
Interpretation: You are me.

Dream: You are sitting around reading 1875's 'Critique Of The Gotha program' when a naked Julia Gillard comes in and says, "Rudd's gone and I'm taking over, and I want you to be my deputy, but first of all, congratulations on scoring that ton in the Boxing Day test. Can I have a beer?"
Interpretation: You are Ramon Insertnamehere.

42 comments:

Lewd Bob said...

No one wants to hear
What you dreamt about
Unless you dreamt about them
Don't let that stop you
Tell them anyway
And you can make it up as you go


- Doug Martsch (Built to Spill)

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

That's uncanny, Pers!

obtuse-a said...

I disagree.

I love the romance, high-colour and abstracted narratives of bizarre dreams, thoughts unblemished by the banality of everyday life.

It's like watching a really great film, lying down.

Melba said...

I'm sure Jung would be very interested to interpret what you wanting him to suck your dick might mean. Do you dream of him doing that?

(That bit was a joke, Bob. What follows is serious.)

I'm surprised that a person of your intellect, reading, life experience, sensitivities and sensibilities would have such a narrow take on dreams.

I agree that the first step of trying to work out what a dream might mean is a literal interpretation, (you dream about your teeth falling out, do you need to see the dentist?) but I think there can be deeper meanings.

Fuck, we have no God, let me have my dreams. At least they are mine, and come from my own subconscious.

If it's just the mind exercising or whatever in a meaningless, random way, then how do you explain repeated themes of dreams? Why are some incredibly vivid and others unimportant?

Have you even read any Jung?

What are your dreams about, Perseus?

Do they make you scared?

Melba said...

Snap, obtuse-a.

obtuse-a said...

it's all about timing, Melba x

Perseus said...

I'm not saying that one's own dreams are uninteresting to oneself. However, other people's rambling dreams are of no interest to me. It's their trip.

Also, I don't think there is anywhere as much meaning to dreams as is often stated. I believe they are mostly meaningless.

Case in point: Just after writing that post I asked a work colleague what she dreamed of last night and she said, "that they fixed that door..." (pointing to a door that is crooked on its hinges).

It does not mean she has issues with her mother. It means she wants the door fixed.

TubularBells said...

Hmm, I often dream about my teeth falling out. Apparently it is very common and has something to do with fear of change and powerlessness. Personally, I think it is because Mum knocked some of her teeth out as a teenager and the ensuring lifetime of dental treatment has been painful and expensive and resulted in my being raised on dire tales of what happens if you lose your teeth.

Lewd Bob said...

I don't want to hear about anybody's dreams. Especially when they get to the point where they realise it's fucking boring and they add shit that didn't happen.

Nevertheless, I often dream, during times of stress, that I'm in a plane crash.

Perseus said...

Yes, Tubular. Dreaming of your teeth falling out means you don't want your teeth to fall out. "Fear of change." Bah.

Perseus said...

And Melba... no God, no. But dreams are not a God replacement. Nothing is a God replacement. Life is wondrous enough. We don't need God, or a replacement.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

When it's very hot, I often dream in living in Russia.

From this I conclude that I want to live somewhere cold when it's very hot.

Puss In Boots said...

I often have bizarre dreams. But I keep them to myself. I never remember enough of the details to relay them anyway.

Melba said...

Oh did I say dreams area God replacement? That's not what I meant.

I agree with you fully. No God. No God replacement. God no.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

People who keep "Dream Diaries" should be beaten with sticks.

gingatao said...

"There is nothing more boring than other people's dreams." William S. Burroughs.

eat my shorts said...

Case in point: Just after writing that post I asked a work colleague what she dreamed of last night and she said, "that they fixed that door..." (pointing to a door that is crooked on its hinges).

It does not mean she has issues with her mother. It means she wants the door fixed.


I think some dreams are meaningless and others are full of meaning.

If I dream about someone & I see them the next day I'll tell them. I dreamt of a colleague once, who I had a crush on. He was somersaulting around the basketball court. I told him about it the next day at work. What I didn't tell him was that in my dream he was somersaulting naked around the basketball court.

That one has no meaning other than I wanted to see him naked & my fabulous subconscious obliged.

Alex said...

I don't mind hearing about other people's dreams if something funny or interesting happened in them. My dreams however are boring and tedious even for me. It's virtually always the same thing: Pitch black with voices that aren't clear enough to make out properly - like a radio in the next room or something. Then I wake up with some sort of violent body spasm. Care to take a crack at that one Perseus?

I also sometimes have a dream where something's sitting on my face. But it always turns out to be my arm, gone dead from lack of circulation.

Perseus said...

Dream: "Pitch black with voices that aren't clear enough to make out properly - like a radio in the next room or something. Then I wake up with some sort of violent body spasm."

Interpretation: You feel uncomfortable with hearing voices in the room if and when you are in pitch black. The fear/tension/discomfort causes your body to spasm.

Maybe it's a scene from a film you saw when you were a kid or something. Or it happened when you were a kid and the sub-conscious dwells on it.

Point is, if you take it to some Jungian counsellor they'll say it's because you want to have sex with your grandmother.

Puss In Boots said...

I also sometimes have a dream where something's sitting on my face. But it always turns out to be my arm, gone dead from lack of circulation.

That's probably just your brain sending a message to wake up, because your arm is dead and you need to move it. If you constrict the blood flow to a limb for too long, it dies and has to be amputated.

Mad Cat Lady said...

Dream: "Pitch black with voices that aren't clear enough to make out properly - like a radio in the next room or something. Then I wake up with some sort of violent body spasm."

Dead people are trying to talk to you

*makes spooky oooOOOOOooooooooo noise*

CD looks excellent Mr Bob - will listening tonight :)

Alex said...

Point is, if you take it to some Jungian counsellor they'll say it's because you want to have sex with your grandmother.

And people pay for this kind of diagnosis? The world is indeed full of strange things. I think I prefer the dead people explanation.

If you constrict the blood flow to a limb for too long, it dies and has to be amputated.

Great, now I'm going to feel like I'm playing Russian roulette every time I go to sleep.

squib said...

I wish I had that dream with the pet fox and the emerald snow

Melba said...

I think you're mixing Jung with Freud, dear Perseus. Freud was the one who thought everything meant you wanted to have sex with a family relative. Jung was more into archetypes... Jung was a very interesting man in a way that Freud wasn't.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Jung, Freud, whatever.

Sometimes a big, fat cigar is just a big, fat cigar.

Melba said...

Not in this case, Ramon.

So you boys just don't believe in psychology?

There's a lot of poo-pooing without offering anything else

Mr E Discharge said...

Freud waws by far the better Bass Player. And that kids talent show of Jungs really sucked.

RandomGit said...

Dream: "Pitch black with voices that aren't clear enough to make out properly - like a radio in the next room or something. Then I wake up with some sort of violent body spasm."


Someone walking past your house, or some such thing, was talking very loudly.

Dreams have an actual meaning, when something actual is happening. Like cutting the circulation off in your arm.

If you can be assed, Bill Oodie hosted a one off TV show about dreams. Bill Oodie is rad.

RandomGit said...

..... Bill Oddie even.

Mr E Discharge said...

Bill Oddie also appeared in a show about giant Puusy Cats attacking London.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Kitten Kong.

Perseus said...

I'm not anti-psychology Melba. I'm just anti-dream interpretations. Psychologists do well to examine what people think and what people do and what people remember, and what they hope for, and how they react, and how they interact. But what they dream of at night? Meh.

My ex, who spent a lot of time with psychologists, had nightmares just about every night. A lot of the psychologists dwelt on the dreams... made her write them down and discuss. It didn't help. Finally, one psychologist said, "Of course you're having nightmares... whatever. Now, let's see if we can help you cut down on drinking, hold down a job and quell your anger." I wanted to kiss her.

Melba said...

So your position is based on this one (emotional) situation for you? Then it makes sense then, but why bag dream interpretation for everybody? Just because she was fucked up and having nightmares (different, I suggest, to the types of dreams that can be "helpful" for people who choose not to ignore their dreams).

I know I can be pretty critical of a lot of things, but Perseus, how can you not accept that the brain is a mighty organ and that it might be arranging dreams, creating them, with some sort of pattern or intent?

And you still haven't answered my question. What of the teeth dreams that recur and recur, even after you've been to the dentist and all is fine or fixed? What of the slo-mo dreams, the falling dreams? The going to school in a singlet? So many people have these commonly-themed dreams.

What say you? Are they just dreck and nonsense? You don't believe that anxiety can translate into dreams in some way? Or any other emotions of concerns?

You said that you hated when other people tell you their dreams. Fair enough. Boring. But you are also bagging dream interpretation. Like many things, there are the charlatans, but that doesn't mean that dreams cannot or should not be interpreted. I think the best interpreter is the dreamer.

Perseus said...

It's not cos of my ex... I've had this attitude for years and years.

We dream of falling because we don't like falling!

We dream of teeth falling out because we don't want out teeth to fall out!

Where has dream interpretation ever, in the history of thought, ever ever got us? Nowhere, that's where.

And yet philosophy, and science, and art, and technology, and medicine, and yes, psychology and psychiatry all have developed and improved.

But dream interpretations have never changed, never got us anywhere, and have never made much sense anyway. Same goes with astrology. Knowing one is born a 'Leo' is a meaningless fact that serves no purpose to anything. I put dream interpretations in the same basket. Let the mind wander at night... enjoy the dream, sure, or be frightened by the dream, no doubt, but to alter one's 'awake' actions based on subliminal interpretations of a dream is as stupid as basing your actions on what date you happened to be born.

And Burroughs is right... other people's dreams are boring.

squib said...

Lewd Bob, thanks very much, got your music. Looks fab. I look forward to playing it

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I'm a big believer in better living through chemistry, myself.

Melba said...

Yes, you're right. I don't like going in slow motion - fucking annoying - and all those times I've gone to school in a singlet, quite embarrassing.

I don't accept your argument. There is more to it than you suggest. I agree that living your life, making changes, in accordance with dreams is ridiculous. That's not what I'm suggesting. I'm saying we can take meaning from dream interpretation, and it doesn't even have to be fully symbolic; literal interpretations can be useful, and we can gain insight into our selves. That's all. I believe dreams can be the subconscious knocking, that there can be meaning (not always) in dreams. Dreams can differ in vividity and content and can be meaningful, or not meaningful.

I don't dream in the same way I used to. The whole landscape has changed, but there are themes.

Astrology - no that's rubbish because it's outside of us. But our dreams come from our own brains. Different entirely.

Puss In Boots said...

I don't know, Melba. I tend to agree with Perseus. I don't think our dreams particularly mean anything. Yes, they might be a manifestation of some anxiety, but we're pretty much going to be anxious to some degree every day of our lives. Nothing we can really do about it. And since you're generally aware of what you're anxious about in the waking world, there's no real point to interpreting dreams. Before I went overseas, I had dreams that I wasn't going to make it to the airport on time. Guess what? I was stressed in real life that I wasn't going to make it to the airport in time!

Also, I do think interpreting dreams is often akin to interpreting art. One of my most hated subjects at uni was interpreting various paintings as if the artist meant them to "say something." How do we know they didn't just like the view and thought it was pretty? Or that they just liked the look of a splash of orange over dots of pink? I think interpreting art is bullshit. Much the same as interpreting literature. I bet most books were written because the author thought it was a great yarn.

obtuse-a said...

I'm really surprised at some of the comments here, given the depth of thought contributed to previous analyses of music, art, film and poetry.

Mundane and anxious subject matters aside, i've always considered dreams as extensions of the imagination. There are so many creative forms that have been inspired by dreams.

Methods of interpretation - whether correct or obsolete or ridiculous - are still useful in that they can inspire you to think about things beyond the obvious and superficial. Do you really want to accept things at face-value?

And the dream-sequences of films are always the best part.

Melba said...

Puss, I take your points about interpretations of art and literature. Meaning and interpretation in so many things are personal and vary with the individual. What I take from a book will probably be different from what you take from a book, and art or whatever. This is a good thing too.

So I agree with you there. Writers tell story and painters put paint on a canvas and sometimes it mightn't be anything other than pretty colours and nice stories. Only the creators themselves can tell us whether it is something deep and meaningful or not.

I wasn't suggesting that we try to combat anxiety or any other kind of emotion in our lives through the interpretation of dreams. All I was saying was I think some of them have meaning, they are not all meaningless and I think the subconscious is a powerful mechanism of the brain. And that there can be value in trying to understand certain dreams.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I had a dream the cricket was starting tomorrow.

Oh, wait...

Boogeyman said...

This post confirms a widely held theory in the scientific community - Perseus has the imagination of a stoat.