The Shaman in the Disco and Other Dreams of Masculinity : Men, Isolation, and Intimacy
E X C E R P T S from The Shaman in the Disco: it often happens for men that sensual deprivation leads to sexual obsession. Not knowing how to be with his inner alienation, he brings it to his girlfriend and experiences it, inaccurately, as estrangement between them. This perilous move to seek one's psychological moorings in someone else is to a great extent the fulfillment of our cultural fantasy of "love." I see in the image of Dracula, bent over the entranced woman and sucking her blood, the inevitable outcome of a man's desire who has been socialized into a hostile relationship towards all things in himself we in our culture call "feminine." He [Darth Vader] has literally and figuratively opened up, become unmasked, and he and Luke share a moment of unguarded closeness. It will be their first and last, because, along the lines of many father-son scenes like this in American film and literature, the defenses and guardedness fall away only when the father or son is dying. As if in male culture one could only die for-not live with-this sort of closeness. Love requires of us the ability to surrender our ego needs to the greater ideal of union with another; this first necessitates that we can surrender our ego defenses to a greater awareness of and intimacy with ourselves.
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June 21, 2006
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