Thursday, May 25, 2023

All-Seeing Blindness: THE BIRDS' Omniscient POV and the Oedipal "Gaze"

Today we're using a single shot in Hitchcock's 1963 classic THE BIRDS as a jumping off point for a fusion of Freud, Jung, Paglia, Wood, and Zizek that will catch HALLOWEEN, FORBIDDEN PLANET,  PSYCHO, even SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER in its devouring maternal phallus beak / knife / impossible tree sloth claw maw. Have you done your homework and seen all five? More than once? 

Good, then together we will FIGURE out the connection between the weird domestic drama and the bird attacks. Turns out, it's Lydia's fault! I take it you've met Lydia? 

I saw the BIRDS after a long walk in the trees, just cuz it was on Showtime when I got home. This bit of info is important. Like a 'random' spread of tarot cards, the unconscious sometimes finds a functional mythic common language in the images the conscious mind takes in, life finding figures and faces in clouds or rock formations. 

This symbiosis betwixt the personal subconscious (i.e. the viewer) and the collective consciousness (i.e. the film)  might otherwise be denied when the conscious mind 'picks' the film. I wouldn't have chosen THE BIRDS on after getting home, all exercised and starved for TV, it was just on. That's the collective unconscious at work, alive in the randomness of chance, the feeling god or something is always communicating with you through some medium or image, be it a random bird call, the passing cop car siren, the dog food commercial, your unconscious is always watching you somewhere in the field of your vision. Can you spot him/ her / it? That's (the) UNCANNY, bro!

Nowhere is this more vivid than THE BIRDS (1964); its icebergs go so deep their edges cut through the outer hulls of waking sanity. Like any enduring classic, it continues to make more and more sense the longer you watch it (i.e. for me, 40 years of seeing it regularly at least once every couple of years). As a kid I was just irritated waiting for birds to finally attack -then it rocked. Now as an adult whose read Paglia's indispensable BFI book on it, as well as the writing of Robin Wood, Zizek, etc. - it's Lydia's parts that rock me. The bird attacks can get indulgent, but Lydia is always watching.... us 

As the unrelated (or so I thought as a child) connection between the human drama and the bird attacks becomes clearer and clearer until a certain awareness of nature as a reflection of the human unconscious (or vice versa) takes shape. We don't see the link until the link sees us first. Watching Birds as a child with my own parents, we used to bemoan the boring subplots of Melanie and her facile would-be screwball flirtation. ("Get to the birds already!" my dad would shout). If there's a direct link between the domestic drama part- the strange love quadrangle going on between Mitch, Melanie, Annie, and Lydia of Bodega Bay--and the birds attacking, it eludes most casual monster-craving viewers, maybe for good reason. And for the first dozen viewings I didn't see it either; I still felt it was all more akin to the obligatory qua-romantic sidebars of things like It Came from Beneath the SeaBeast from 20,000 Fathoms, or Tarantula, rather than the deep dish Id dive of Forbidden Planet.  

That's the connection so key to this post: When you remember woman shares her elemental subconscious with nature itself, and that Lydia is a quintessential devouring mother archetype, suddenly the bird attacks make perfect connection with the drama.

If you know classic cinema of the late 50s-early 60s you have probably gleaned just how big a cocktail party talking point was our Dr. Freud. He was mainstream in a way that is impossible to understand in our streamlined 'talking down' artless popular cinema. Maybe it's because without censorship, sexual repression and open homophobia, there's less 'sub' to rise up like a monster in the popular consciousness. The last monster who took off with nearly everyone in this way was Hannibal Lecter. But now even Hannibal has been homogenized. Censorship no longer represses sex; instead it represses repression itself.   As we're clearly learning in our modern age, it's nowhere near as fun. Rather than gaining pressure like a clogged whiskey still and then exploding, modern repression kind of implodes on itself, finally realizing just how empty niceness can be. Also, we're more stupid. The idea of the middle class reading Freud on their own time, as entertainment, is totally absurd, Yet when I was in Buenos Aires a few years ago, Freud was everywhere. Everyone was talking about him. He was once on the bookshelf staple of every liberated couple, alongside the Kinsey Report, The Joy of Sex and Erma Bombeck's Life is a Bowl of Cherries so what am I doing in the Pits. Today even the academics have dismissed him. All his ideas are out, purely because they are sexist. Sensitivity and tolerance, rather than genius, is what we want in our cinema. People who don't know anything about his work proudly sneer at him as being outdated, parroting the en vogue academic posture. 

But in the 50s, Freud was even handed to us children on a PSYCH 101 platter, via Psycho and Forbidden Planet

The latter offers the explanation of the monster from the id in a way that makes sense no matter what your age. Kids are amateurs at repression, their hormonal desires seeping through the fabric of society and into the natural world. We can imagine our own monster tearing up our grade school, mean teachers, bullies, and even some girl for no reason we yet understand, while we sleep, sort of glad we never have to take responsibility for our desires coming true the way Morbius does. But if we woke up to find everyone all ripped limb-from-limb, we might get a guilty feeling without knowing quite why we should. We didn't have anything to do with it, and that's true in a way. Should Jekyll be punished for Hyde's crimes? When we realizae that the crux of the ego and its centered 'consciousness' is just the loudest voice in the room, and when it finally quiets, strange beings living downstairs in our brain basement creep up the stairs, all drenched in the vile shit you've been dumping down the laundry chute, the bathroom pipes, and under the floor. 

And there's someone else down in there too, even below the basement selves, boy, and they resent being locked down in the fruit cellar. 

Do you think they're fruity, boy?  


No matter how many times we get that oft-belittled Freudian epilogue lecture in PSYCHO, for example, the implications of Norman and his mother complex stay mysterious. The elemental subconscious doesn't suddenly become 'solved' just because we're given a first-rate cinematic example, explained patiently by a learned psychiatrist.  The idea of "mother" transcends our own psyche, envelops and devours us, and if we don't hack our way out of the apron string morass, we drown. Mother fills in for us. 

The psychiatrist shows us the ladder down into the hole but only guides us far down as the censor will allow. There's still an endless abyss waiting below even the fruit cellar. And even there, mother is. And she's clawing her way... up through your own morass of macho boys' club sexual boasting and posturing, refusing to stay down, yelling its your bed time in your ear of ears, right as you're on--as we say in hooking up terms--the ten yard line. 

If she can reach...up... and hijack our unconscious id monster, maybe she can hijack the natural world's as well... The birds can become her own id monster/ She's connected to the turnings of nature the way  men can never be, consciously.

As with Morbius' Id monster, Lydia can't be blamed for the bird attacks. It wouldn't / couldn't be a conscious connection. She wouldn't even be aware she's causing it. There's no one to tell her either. No PSYCHO psychiatrist inhabits Bodega Bay to explain the link. There's  no Krell brain boost equivalent that would allow Mitch to guess the origin of the bird attacks (i.e. paraphrasing Forbidden Planet: "Mitch, the birds are your mother's fear! Tell her you don't love this girl! Tell her you'll never leave home!").  No one in Bodega Bay understands poltergeist activity, nor do they know of animal familiars, elemental manifestations of unconscious drives, or the dangers when the wise old woman's natural magic is misappropriated by the her jealous savage devouring mother unconscious (inside every Athena is a Medusa trying to get out). Lydia can't quite control her powers--or even be fully aware of them--any more than could Morbius, or Norman. Each kills--or tries to kill--all younger rivals, be they Leslie Nielsen or Melanie or Marion. to keep their child at home, to foil attempts to empty their recessive egomaniac remote planet / small town kingdom. Empty nest syndrome has its roots in some vile pre-Promethean mire of incest and human sacrifice, Cronus eating his own young, and all that shit. 

Autonomous Oedipal Expressions - Bob (Twin Peaks) Morbius' Id (Forbidden Planet) ,

After a few dozen viewings of each of the three films, after age and insight and the human mind's need to find meaning even in random coincidence, it all makes sense as if some GRE series of associative thinking questions:

Norman <--> Mother  --> Knife--> Janet Leigh

Alta < --> Morbius--> Monster --> Leslie Nielsen

Mitch <---> Lydia --> Birds-->-Tippi Hedren

For Psycho, the mother in Norman's mind is a horribly blurred version of the superego's harnessing the Id to manifest the phallus of the mother (the knife) before the phallus of the Norman gets to experience enough pleasure/power to escape the poisonous incestuous bond. Norman killed the mother and her lover the way Lydia tries to stuff Mitch, like some ornithological specimen, in her living room and keep any interested females in Bodega Bay blinded by her flying monkey gulls and kept where she can keep an 'eye' on them. When Melanie devolves into a child after her bird attack, her voice gets a note of hysteria, all high and whispery in a kind of super demented child kind of way, indicating she's regressed and is no longer a threat; Lydia instantly relaxes her grip (note that the birds don't attack after that). 

The borderline between Norman and his mother and the (phallic) knife; Mitch and Lydia and her birds, (or the opposite version, Morbius, Alta and the Id) all become startlingly clear once they're all compared and filtered through your Penguin Freud. How could we have ever missed them? 

It's no idle accident the kids are watching Forbidden Planet on TV in Halloween. The equation is one slightly altered since there's no strong parental figure therefore, aside from Dr. Loomis and the sheriff. Here the instigator is biology and the forceful peer pressure of Jame Lee's friends.   

Jamie lee Curtis <----> virginity // Michael -->sex

FORBIDDEN PLANET on TV (left) in HALLOWEEN at left: The approaching (invisible) id monster's footprints onscreen go unnoticed by Nancy Loomis and her babysitting charge; heightening subliminal associative chills. 

Let's take a deep look at one very telling shot that makes the Halloween parallel clear:

Part II:


 "an anthill at the foot of a bridge" 

It's an extraordinarily eerie moment, giddy and exciting: we go from the noise of the cafe--the doubting ornithologist with her dry, chirpy lecturing; the hysterical mother frightening her own children (a clear case of maternal projection in microcosm to lend a shadow to the larger one outside); the old drunk repeating "it's the end of the world!" - it all instantly stops with the cry of "LOOK!" and a rush to the window. 

Outside, the gas station attendant is hit by a gull and falls over, dropping the gas nozzle; the gas leaks in a fast downhill pool towards the feet of the traveler trying to understand the panicked noise from inside the cafe. He drops his cigar match... BOOM

Halloween (1978) Killer POV
It's like the explosion knocks our POV into the sky. After all the noise and action below, up here in the sky it's quiet and peaceful. We feel strangely safe for a moment. It's as if we just joined the winning side so all our worries are over

But something is off. The camera isn't floating or swaying in the air currents. The POV camera is just standing still up there. It's not a bird's eye view. Birds don't usually stand stock still, neither do helicopters, usually. And weirder still, we hear a muffled but heavy breathing, as if through a thick heavy mask, or from inside a snorkel.

 Seeing it this time, after the walk, by chance, I was reminded of Halloween's opening tracking shot with POV clown mask as young Michael mounts the stairs. Here it's the same sense that we're wearing the mask. This arial god's eye / bird's eye view comes with breathing that sounds like we're a kid in a snorkel looking down hundreds of feet through clear turquoise water/sky to the ocean floor/fire, people scrambling like tiny crabs in the sand below. 

Even then we wouldn't be able to hang suspended in place, not this Steadicam smooth. 

This shot in The Birds though, this high up, the person whose eyes we're looking through seems to have his feet firmly planted on some invisible ground. Can it be Lydia, up there, like Marcello Mastroanni in the beginning dream of 8 1/2? while asleep back at home, shuddering from the sight of her eyeless neighbor Fred, her elemental unconscious soaring skywards above the damage her id is causing, but connected to her death driving instinct while asleep, forced to look down through her rending harpy bird of prey eyes at the carnage below, like Faye Dunaway forced to see the killer's POV in Eyes of Laura Mars? But she's not bobbing in the wind as she's also grounded in her bed? 

At the time, the first viewings, we may not even notice how odd that is, that weird breathing and sense of motionlessness, such odd choices go unnoticed in the chaos of the scene. We're too busy enjoying what we assume is the 'bird's eye view.' The change in shot helps us even out our sympathies. Rather than the sense of eerie dislocation and unwilling complicity we get from a killer POV in a good slasher film, we're allowed a kind of lordly relaxation. Now we're running with the flock, so we can size up our own target for the dive bombing. The killer POV implicates us and scares us with its 'too close for comfort' mortality. The bird / Lydia POV is so abstract it frees us from responsibility.

Dozens of viewings over the years later, and the odd details start to accrue in our minds but this motionless, heavy breathing arial shot refuses familiarization. The sound of muffled breathing is eerie. This is certainly not meant to be a bird's eye view in the traditional sense, Hitchcock would not miss even one key detail of this sort by accident. He brings us somewhere way outside normal space, some giant deer-stand or motionless Ferris wheel from which to peer down on all those scurrying, burning ants.

 How did Hitch get such a still shot? It's not a photo, (maybe a process shot) as we can see the flames burning below; even as the birds gradually circle down around and into the frame in front of it, there is no movement from the camera. The birds come in on all sides of the camera but the camera doesn't even flinch, as if it is representing some out of body experiencer, ordering her minions down into the scene like the wicked witch directing her monkeys from a bomb sight in the belly of a frozen in time B-17 while lying in bed at the same time.... Lydia... is that you?.


In grand Oedipal style, wherever Lydia's goes with her animus bird force, she leaves only blinded reflections, henpecked children, and symbolically neutered adults in her wake--the anti-sighted. The male gaze, the female gaze, all gazes are snuffed out, the bird claws and beaks act as the censoring scissors; Medusa, turning men from gazers into inanimate portraits or pajama wearing eyeless corpses. Amok maternal instinct creates a legion of blind, hobbled, castrated men, ala the men who crash the matriarchal corn king crowning in The Dark Secret of Harvest Home, or the remake of The Wicker Man. 

But as the snapping biting birds rage out of control, children too are symbolically violated, like an out of control once-benign victorious army "looting and pillaging" a defenseless civilian population, one that poses no threat at all to Lydia's maternal empire; and finally spilling over and threatening even Lydia herself (just as Morbius is threatened by his own id).

Even Melanie is guilty of this, noting proudly of her nonprofit: "We're sending a little Korean Boy Through School." sounds almost like their keel-hauling him through the sky somehow, or floating through the belly of a whale: "After that we're sending a German girl through a jet engine."

Even the daughter, Cathy is guilty of this: she has the two imprisoned love birds, as trapped in their cage as Lydia wants to make Mitch and Cathy in Bodega Bay. The two imprisoned birdies, forced to shelter in one spot while all around the fellow creatures are flying loose and free, attacking their former oppressors and jailers (one can see them flying up to SF to blind the pet shop owner from the first scene  on her way home from work). 

By the presence of the blinded father (above) in the upper left portrait (the darkened eyes is no coincidence), we realize the return of the blinding agent (the maternal phallus - beaks, knife, etc) is inherent in this dynasty. Note the arrangement of the scene: Lydia, sitting, cuddled with Cathy, denotes her new place as another child of the Lydia, or at any rate, subservient. Mitch seated below the portrait, uncomfortable on a bench, as if waiting in line for an Oedipal "haircut" (his eyes darkened beneath his heavy brow) and Lydia, centered, organizing the table as if arranging a tea party for her stuffed animals. The father's expression in the painting is one of bland eyeless contentment - death has allowed him to escape the predicament the others are in; being dead and blind means he's paid for his escape already --he's out of Lydia's reach. This is the aspiration of Mitch - an escape from Lydia's clutches, from the rending scissor talons of the enucleating barber.

But the father's blindness is more than just a symbolic castration in the Lacanian sense. In joining the social order, submitting to symbolic castration, one gains a third eye vision not limited to any one POV. In a way it's like the privileged position of the viewer. We have no visible representation in the film, so can move our sympathies everywhere and nowhere. Most of the time our action is squarely centered on Melanie, but then Lydia goes by herself to Dan's farm; we even get the omnipotent POV the master of the birds. We're free.

And we still have our eyes.

(above: X, Halloween, The Birds (dad's painting), Jaws, Psycho)

It's not just that Michael never speaks in Halloween that makes him scary, it's that you can't see his eyes. The black socket effect we get from Mrs. Bates or Dan with his broken tea cups, may be 'actual' rather than merely hidden, but the omnipresent aura is the same. Note that Michael's eyes are not hidden by, say, sunglasses or even a more recognizable mask, something that would bring a distinct symbolic identity - i.e. sunglasses, an Italian giallo killer ski mask, a rapist-style nylon over head, a motorcycle helmet, a clown mask etc.) The features or identifiable marks of the mask of Myers are stripped away, even the skin pigment of the original (William Shatner) mask is removed. The lack of identification of those images by which we detect a soul's presence, is what creates the uncanny chill - the blinded person is made tragic yet free- the movie can't 'get' them now. They see no evil. Forever.

Of all the imitators that came after Halloween, only Jason --the first Jason, with the sack cloth mask-- in Part 2, understands the importance of the banal / nondescript in a facial covering, something to drain every last possible attachable symbolic reference from our pareidolia lexicon. Our egoic consciousness is revealed as a desperation--to the point of panic-- to label and therefore dismiss the as yet unidentified possible threat. Any attempt at humanization therefore comes via the 'window to the soul.' Michael is rendered at least 50% less terrifying in the original Halloween once his mask is torn off and we briefly see a vaguely mongoloid young man with glazed-eyes and a slack-jaw. Jane Addams is terrified by a savage cry in the jungle night is terrifying until smarmy David points out it's a "guarana monkey" (in Creature from the Black Lagoon). A photo of a strange beast in the water is freaky and exciting--is it the Loch Ness monster!!?!!-- until someone points out it's an 'Irrawaddy dolphin.' Hey, stop ruining this for us, science!

The dolphin, is still the same uncanny monster but now it's suddenly 'friendly.' as someone calls it a dolphin. The cry is still the same bit rendered banal by knowing it's a monkey. The mask of Michael cannot be quantified or safely ensconced in the symbolic rolodex however. We can know it's a Capt. Kirk mask, but it's at best an uncanny variation. The lack of features helps it resist personification.

Acid trippers know this too well. Staring into the bathroom mirror to check your pupil dilation (proof your dose has 'kicked in') is a time-honored tripping tradition. You lean in to check your pupils for the tell-tale in-out dilation, but then you're pulled through into the inky void inside your own pupils. You too, in your deepest core - the black hole in your being-- are a shark, or a killer, or a doll--emptiness finally recognizing its total lack of distinguishing features. At your core you are the black pool deep inside the electric well from which all perception flows. To have perfect vision would be for the whole eye - and beyond-- to encompass the black of the pupil... an eternal stare in the mirror void. All is else is transitory, shadows and light. The blackness of the pupil, beholding its own darkness, the void staring into the void, this is our eternal truth --it cannot be qualified or labelled. The self and the emptiness of space are one; suddenly you are like a cloud finally realizing you were only ever water and air; you've never been permanent - just a sudden locus of perception through which the I AM tries to understand its own black vastness. The dark of the dark is technically blindness - but it is all-seeing. You are seeing through its porthole right now.

The concept of 'all-seeing blindness' can expand to the merely limited rather than blind outright: a killer in a full head latex mask has their vision and hearing substantially curtailed, making them easy to evade in real life; but in the case of Michael Myers, he crosses past human associations and into the god/dead zone (the lofty arial perch we 'see' from above Bodega Bay). Even with obscured eyes, this chthonic devouring god 'sees' the total picture, i.e. Oedipus' full realization of who killed his father and just who Jocasta really is (or Sebastian in Suddenly Last Summer, seeing "the fact of God" by watching the sky fill with hungry black birds swarming down on baby sea turtles).

Even Dan, the neighbor friend of Lydia's, who is the first killed by the birds is granted a kind of lewd all-seeing power in the jagged jump cut close-ups as Lydia sees him (top), as if he's sitting up in bed to receive an early morning lap dance.

Or as Ray Milland originally said in X-the Man with X-ray Eyes after he had blinded himself, "I can still see!" - a line considered too horrible for mid-60s audiences to contemplate so was edited out of the final cut.

Our unconscious selves--the monsters from the id included--after all, see without benefit of our open eyes (i.e. we're usually asleep when they come) and they see and know way more than us. And its their job to process things we've seen that are so shocking our conscious selves can't even admit they happened. We black it out. But something in us still has to have seen it, the thing that has no eyes of its own, only the plates, the films, it reviews and stores after our eyes finally go dark.

Violet Venable (Devouring Mom #3)

IV: "With all due respect to Oedipus"

All of the Birds' id-generated carnage is Mitch Brenner's fault. 

If he was stronger--less a mama's boy--he would have shacked up with Annie Hayworth regardless of his mother's machinations, and they would have escaped Bodega Bay, Lydia's fledgeling bird volleys crashing harmlessy against their windshield. 

Now it's too late: the combination of Lydia's grief over her husband, plus the supportive presence of Annie Hayworth ensures a kind of continued arrested development for Mitch (does he sneak over to Annie's house for booty call quickies after Lydia and the censors go to bed? If so, does Lydia sense it, and is that part of why the birds eventually kill her?)

Coded Sex references abound in The Birds. They "strike, disappear, then start massing again" not unlike an erection during an extended sexual bout, 

Lydia does some massing herself, gradually working herself into panicked frenzy worrying about what will happen if the birds--her own monsters from the id--get into her house--or consciousness--penetrating her Krell steel shutters, so to speak, "like tissue paper."

"And now this, too? Harm my own daughter??" - Morbius and Lydia realize their amok unconscious drives are breaking into the real world, threatening their own children (ala Bob in Twin Peaks). Gulp! It's the end of the world!

Now that we're so deeply engaged in the Freudian reading of the film, I think the ending, having a radio announcement that the birds have risen up all across the west coast, maybe even the world, is unneeded and undoes the psychiatric relevance by 'making a federal case out of it' so to speak. The radio announcer says "the reason for this does not seem clear as yet" - but if Hitch is going to go there, the psychiatrist treating Lydia should phone in and explain the reason originated with a domineering mother on Bodega Bay. The shrink Psycho explains how Norman became his own mother, for The Birds it would be the reverse. In The Birds the mother becomes her dead husband in a weird attempt to become the non du père and thus keep Mitch from achieving maturity. She wants to become a good 'pack leader' (to use the Dog Whisperer vernacular), but she is too scared and full of self-doubt, so a demonic air elemental (ala Ariel in The Tempest) from her repressed chthonic unconscious (repressed even by her own animus, locked into the form of her dead husband) takes over the job. And, like Morbius's monster from the id, makes Lydia's most perverse unconscious desires, her repressed-libidinal paternal phallus burlesque-- come true, like some base incestuous desire, long buried under the floorboards of consciousness, spilling out into the real in a furious harpy whirlwind of claws, beaks, blood, and fire, trying to blind everyone around at the time (or lobotomize them ala Suddenly Last Summer), lest they bear it witness.

Once Melanie is 'broken' like a wild mustang by Lydia's rending avian animus, she too is no longer a threat, and the mother assumes matriarchal dominance. Mark her relieved smile as she cradles Melanie's head once Lydia is reduced to a state traumatized childlike dependence. The birds are calm. Lydia has what she wants. She's gained a child rather than lost one. We can only assume now that Melanie will need to stay monosyllabic traumatized PTSD sufferer, dependent on Lydia's care, if the birds shall disperse, the maternal panic that overwhelmed their avian drives now dissipating, their baseline orientation restored, they can go back to peaceful living there in the Bay. 

Similarly, if the captain had decided to stay on the Forbidden Planet to marry Alta and start a family, giving Morbius some grandchildren, it's likely that monster from the id would gradually dissolve in force, going down to maybe some poltergeist dish rattling when Morbius felt too ignored or unappreciated. The couple will know by the broken coffee cups they need to spend more time with him. The planet, no longer forbidden, shall become only Altair-IV. Until he dies - then... hmmm will the Krell boost ensure his total consciousness lives on with all electric power at his command?

No one Can Argue with a Dead Father.

 Probably always a bit controlling to begin with, the death of Lydia's husband triggers the demonic bird version of the Krell brain boost from Forbidden Planet. Lydia lies there for "a night and a day" (grieving her husband) and then emerges from her cocoon with a psychic power too harpy/chthonic for her consciousness to handle, but not her repressed shadow, which sends massive wild signals into the ether, tuned to the same frequency the birds use to relay migration and approaching hurricane or earthquake but the psionic equivalent. In order to clear the airwaves and stop the buzzing in their brains they need to attack the source of Lydia's anxiety. Granted almost unlimited signal strength by her unconscious psychic energy, the range of her unconscious fear and rage signal spreads farther and farther out from the Bodega Bay center. And it won't stop until Lydia and Annie both are safely blinded, bled, and still.

Consciously neither Morbius nor Lydia can't recognize this force as their other self, the sustainability of their overdeveloped egos hinge on not being able to recognize their complicity in anything evil. In fact, like Oedipus, their dominating egotism us what causes the 'hysterical symptom' in the first place- a build up of repressed psychic energy that the Id sees you're not using, so it steals it all before you even know it's there, so you can go back to your little ego fiefdom, (3). If either Lydia or Morbius--king and queen of their respective islands, so to speak--were able to recognize their complicity--the murders wouldn't happen in the first place! This is one of the reasons therapy is so effective. The therapist is able to hold a mirror up to the ego and show it all the things it cannot or will not see about itself (i.e. the ugly back of its own beautiful head). The ego may lash out, announce they're blind and that's it, no matter how hard the therapist pries their clamped-shut eyelids, BUT if the patient is worn down enough to interrogate that knee-jerk response within themselves, they finally realize that, as I once said to my own therapist, "I know you're right because what you just said makes me want to yell at you and run out of the room and never come back."  With confession, and self-acceptance, the ability to recognize and resist one's own egoic panic, the bottle repressive energies that have been fueling the outbreaks of beaks or claws and (hysteric or not) blindness dissipates like opening a well-shook soda bottle only tiny tiny bit, so the air can gradually leak harmlessly out rather than explode all over your lap and the cinema floor. 

In short, if Lydia had a therapist, there wouldn't be a bird problem in Bodega Bay. This is the miracle of our modern age, and a perfect place to stop. Until next week then, and here's your bill. Just a dab. And if the rage returns, remember to just crack the bottle top a teensy bit.... 



1) If you read certain passages of the Old Testament, you know which god I mean. It's the god that puts the Jews through hell with painful prolonged rituals, and animals with endless sacrifice (each new member must bring 20 doves and a sheep, letting their blood washes over the altar before they're nailed to the church door, etc. It's the god of the Aztecs and Mayans and maybe the Picts and Romans, a god recognizably bloodthirsty, who spares you his wrath when you throw him someone or something else's soul torment, their life energy. 
3. i.e. like Poltergeists!!


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