Freud Versus Jung: The Battle Royale!

 

Greetings, and welcome to another installment of Asking The Wrong Guy!

My question is: Since you keep mentioning Jungian ethics so often, who would win in a battle of wits, Jung or Freud? Which phallic weapons would they use?

--Somini

Sigmund Freud, the creator of modern psychoanalytic theory, and his contemporary, Carl Jung, a great psychoanalyst in his own right and the formulator of now seminal psychological concepts such as the archetype and the collective unconscious, are now known primarily for their contributions to the field of economics: specifically, for the creation and development of talk therapy, an incredible money-making scheme in which patients pay some guy posing as someone who knows more about their lives than they do to blather on to them about their childhood for hours upon hours upon days upon years until the patient is broke and presumed cured. This breakthrough in the concept of money and how to alleviate its burden on the gullible sparked great economic growth and proved to be a boon to busybody know-it-all types with no real practical skills or inclinations except a desire to bilk the depressed.

What is less well known about Freud and Jung is their penchant for witty verbal interplay. Both gentlemen possessed keen senses of humor, with Freud actually switching from the practice of medicine to psychology in order to make better use of his verbal gift, as the medical field at the turn of the twentieth century still consisted primarily of the sawing off of things and a lot of screaming, which made it difficult to engage in much in the way of MASH-style lighthearted banter.

So well-regarded was the pair’s skills at witticism that they even held spots for a time at the Algonquin Round Table and could be counted on to provide spot-on barbs whenever the topics of individuation, synchronicity, or, strangely, horse racing came up. Their time at the table ended abruptly, however, when, in response to a jibe from Dorothy Parker regarding psychosexual development, Freud  jabbed at Parker with his cigar and replied with the wildly anachronistic, “Suck on this.” As he and an apologetic Jung were  forcibly removed from the premises by George S. Kaufman and Robert Benchley, Freud could be heard to exclaim, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!”

Freud and Jung’s brief career in vaudeville was similarly short lived.. Performing under the name of Siggy and Carl, the pair regaled audiences with their version of “Who’s On First”, a precursor to the classic routine made famous by Abbott and Costello. Although the pair’s timing was impeccable, their version of the routine contained far too many references to killing one’s father and having sex with one’s mother for the taste of their midwestern working-class audiences who were in more of a mind to see plate spinners and trained monkey acts. A brief excerpt from the routine below illustrates the problem:

Carl: It seems to me, Siggy, that they give these ball players nowadays very peculiar names. Who’s on first. What is on second. I Don’t Know is on third.

Siggy: I am going to have sex with my mother.

Carl: I say Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third.

Siggy: I mean to have sex with my mother, but, first, I am going to kill my father.

Carl: Um…

Siggy and Carl’s act received its final curtain call after extended protests by a group representing the narrow special interests of mothers, fathers, and people with mothers and fathers.

In regards to your question as to who would win a battle of wits between Freud and Jung, we first need to determine which Freud we are talking about. Much like Elvis Presley’s life may be divided into Skinny Elvis and Fat Elvis, Freud, who died of mouth cancer, may have his life divided into Having a Jaw Freud and Not Having a Jaw Freud.

In the case of Having a Jaw Freud, Freud, whose sense of humor was based on the premise that everything is about getting laid, would have undoubtedly triumphed over Jung, whose sense of humor was much less direct and based on the premise that everything is about religion, which, in turn, serves as a nice topic of discussion for getting laid.

In the case of Not Having a Jaw Freud, Jung probably would have won as he would have had the distinct advantage of still having the power of speech. Jung would not have been a lock, though, as Freud’s phallic symbol of choice, the cigar, was much better suited to comedy than Jung’s, which was the mandala, ill-advised pokes at Dorothy Parker aside.

In the end, however, perhaps it is best not to dwell on who would win a battle of japes between these two great economists and comedians. Perhaps, instead, we should merely appreciate their contributions to the world. I wrap up the answer to this question with a final piece from Siggy and Carl, an excerpt of their memorable rendition of “Thanks For The Memory”:

Carl: Thanks for the memory, of rainy afternoons, swingy Harlem tunes, motor trips and burning lips, and burning toast and prunes.

Siggy: Seriously, I mean to have sex with my mother.

So, I'm a 33-year-old single man, living in the basement of one of my friends. I have two cats, and only one of them loves me enough to NOT try and bury me in the litter box nightly. I've been unemployed for four months, and my family barely speaks to me any more because of my debilitating fear of small children.

So I ask you, is it wrong that I'm happier than I've ever been?

--Jason

In short, yes. Happiness is always a sign that a person is misunderstanding the situation.

Keep those questions coming in, folks! I can’t provide advice if you don’t display the lack of good judgment to come to me for help!

Also, if you have nothing better to do, be sure to check out basicinstructions, the funniest comic strip in any of the known universes!

Until next time, may the Great Cosmic Shoe crush us all.

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