Thursday, July 07, 2011

Funny Dream: Monsieur Le President et Moi

It is now 4:43 am. I just woke up from the following humorous dream.

Senator Joe Lieberman and I are working at a homeless shelter. We have the following conversation while both of us are sautéing onions. It is election day.

SENATOR LIEBERMAN: You heard I'm retiring?

FREEDMAN: Yes, I heard. I don't think it's a good idea. You still have a lot to contribute in the Senate. I hope you're not just retiring so you can get a job at a big law firm and make a lot of money.

SENATOR LIEBERMAN: Just retiring so I can make a lot of money? No. I'm not retiring just to make a lot of money. I'm retiring so I can make a lot of money and marry a shiksa. (pause.) I'm not going to ask who you voted for.

FREEDMAN: I voted for Eleanor Holmes Norton. (At this moment, I have the urge to say, "Because I'm a good Democrat." I decide not to say this out of fear my comments will get back to Bob Strauss, and Bob Strauss will think I said that only to impress him.)

I think the dream may have been inspired by a news item I read a few days ago about an anti-Semitic comment regarding Jean Sarkozy, son of the French President, Nicholas Sarkozy.

Jean Sarkozy, a French publication wrote without a shred of evidence, was planning to convert to Judaism before marrying Jessica Sebaoun-Darty, the Jewish heiress of a huge electronics chain. "He'll go a long way in life, this lad!" the story commented.  The story could be interpreted as making a link between conversion to Judaism and social success and of promoting the old stereotype associating Jews and money.  Sarkozy's forbears are Jewish.

Both Jean Sarkozy and I were victims of defamation.

The issue of France lingers in my mind because of my continuing preoccupation with an unidentified party with a Paris IP address who keeps logging onto my blog.  (Do I have an unconscious fantasy that President Sarkozy reads my blog?)  The unidentified reader of this blog has been logging on repeatedly to view a post that I published a few weeks ago, on June 21, 2011, titled Sheppard Pratt Employee Assistance Program--Employee Statement of Understanding.  The post contains the following comment: "I specifically recall that at my 2nd consult with Kathleen Kelly at Sheppard Pratt in September 1989 I gave her a xerox copy of page 476 of Fritz Stern's book, Gold and Iron: Bismarck, Bleichroeder, and the Building of the German Empire (New York: Knopf, 1977). That page was missing from my Sheppard Pratt case file.  Prof. Stern teaches history at Columbia University in New York. I formed the paranoid belief that Akin Gump spoke to Prof. Stern about me."  Oddly enough, the cited page of Fritz Stern's book (page 476) refers to a German anti-Semitic stereotype current in the 19th century that all Jews smell of garlic (which is related to the onion).

I gave my friend Craig Dye a copy of Professor Stern's book as a gift at lunch on May 13, 1988 (the anniversary of Sigmund Freud's circumcision, incidentally).  The opening line of Professor Stern's book reads (and I write this from memory): "Opposites attract--sometimes by complementing each other."  (Daniel Cutler, a mutual friend of Craig and me, on one occasion said that Craig and I had nothing in common).  Professor Stern's book also contains a quote of the famous line by Heinrich Heine, "Jews are like the people among whom they live, only more so."

Like Jean Sarkozy, Craig Dye, who is not Jewish, married a Jewish heiress.  She wrote a book about the Holocaust.

I have described Craig on this blog as "handsome, intelligent, manipulative and a womanizer."  Compare Jean Sarkozy.  I appear to view Craig (as many Frenchmen view Jean Sarkozy) as an arriviste.  Professor Stern's book depicts 19th-century German Jews as "arrivistes who never arrive."   (They can't "reach the other shore?"  They can't come?--Ejaculatory delay?)

Craig and I had lunch in November 1989 just before Craig took a trip to Paris to visit his future wife who was studying at the Sorbonne.

His wife's grandfather was Abraham Zapruder, who captured the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas on film, the so-called Zapruder film.

Senator Lieberman's wife, who is Jewish, is the daughter of Holocaust survivors.

I continue to be amused by a YouTube of NBC-TV reporter David Gregory's appearance on the Jay Leno Show.  Gregory talks about his irritating President Bush by posing a question in French to former French President Jacques Chirac at a news conference.

I posted the following on a Facebook friend's page last October (and still remember it!).  The Facebook friend is a Jewish author of cookbooks who has lived in France and speaks fluent French.

Jews like fried onions? What other kind of onion is there? Internationally renowned food expert Arthur Schwartz talks about his Jewish background, becoming a "food maven," and the joys of Jewish cooking found in his new book, Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited. A Shalom TV original interview. Shalom TV is an America...


Gary Freedman said...

The day before I dreamed "The Dream of Milton's Successor" I saw former U.S.A.G. Dick Thornburgh in an office building in downtown Washington and wondered whether he recognized me and would report to Bob Strauss that he saw me.

Both A.G. Thornburgh and Ambassador Bob Strauss worked in the Bush Administration.

Several years ago I had an email exchange with Gov. Thornburgh about the legal issue of defamation. Both Jean Sarkozy and I were victims of defamation.

Gary Freedman said...

"Jews eat the food of whatever culture they are a part of." See YouTube link in post featuring an interview with Jewish cook, Arthur Schwartz.

Heinrich Heine (who coined the term Lisztomania, by the way) said, "Jews are like everyone else, only more so."

Gary Freedman said...

ELAINE: You know, George, admitting another man is good-looking doesn't mean you're gay.

GEORGE: Well, it doesn't help!

Gary Freedman said...

The defamatory statement about Jean Sarkozy was:

"The young man, Siné wrote without a shred of evidence, was planning to convert to Judaism before marrying Jessica Sebaoun-Darty, the Jewish heiress of a huge electronics chain. 'He'll go a long way in life, this lad!' Siné commented. The piece was published without controversy - until several days later, when a radio presenter referred to it as anti-Semitic. The families of those concerned were said to be 'sickened'. Val, who took the controversial decision to re-publish a Danish newspaper's cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed two years ago in the name of freedom of the press, agreed that the piece was offensive and told its author to apologise.

Siné refused, saying he would rather 'cut his own nuts off' and was, more or less, fired. Cue outrage, argument, counter argument, argument. Was the original statement anti-Semitic? For Val, there was no doubt. Siné's statements, he said last week, 'could be interpreted as making a link between conversion to Judaism and social success' and that they spread the old stereotype associating Jews and money."

Note the following passage, specifically the phrase: "Siné's statements, he said last week, 'could be interpreted as making a link between conversion to Judaism and social success'"

The D.C. Corporation Counsel in its Reply Brief in Freedman v. D.C. Dept. Human Rights made much ado about my repeated use of the phrase "could be interpreted as" -- as in (paraphrasing) "Freedman believes her statement 'could be interpreted as' evidence of anti-Semitism." Apparently a sign of mental illness?

Gary Freedman said...

GW's test report (May 1994, Yu Ling Han) states:

"A more exploratory and interpersonal approach to therapy must be handled cautiously, as it may awaken feelings of false hopes disappointments, and self-deprecation that are too painful for Mr. Freedman to tolerate at this time."

She seems to say that I can't handle depth insights. I would dispute that. On an intellectual level I understand a lot about myself. That intellectual understanding, however, is split off from any awareness of associated emotions. In other words, I show massive splitting and isolative defenses.

Gary Freedman said...

The playwright Clifford Odets used to refer to his penis as "The President."

Apparently the blog post title has phallic associations.

Gary Freedman said...

The blog post "Did Akin Gump Operate Like a Cult?" contains the following quote:

"(Incidentally, Professor Stern's book, a study of anti-Semitism in late 19th-century Germany, recounts the relationship between Gerson Bleichr”der, a wealthy German-Jewish banker and power broker and a confidant of German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. In crucial ways the BleichrØder-Bismarck relationship parallels the relationship between Akin Gump partner and senior manager Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. and President Clinton. Stern is a professor of history at Columbia University.)"

Gary Freedman said...

Gustav Mahler was a victim of anti-Semitism in Vienna; in fact, he lost his conducting post there because of anti-Semitism.

On July 5, 2010--one year ago--I wrote a blog post about Mahler titled: "Taking on the World: A Sister Sings Mahler." The post links up the themes of racism against blacks in the U.S., Mahler, and anti-Semitism and features the black soprano, the late Shirley Verret, singing one of Mahler's songs.

Perhaps these associations relate to the manifest dream thoughts about "homeless shelter" and Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Mahler said famously: I am thrice homeless, as a native of Bohemia in Austria, as an Austrian among Germans, and as a Jew throughout the world. Everywhere an intruder, never welcomed.”

Gary Freedman said...

A year ago (around July 2010) I watched the following YouTube video several times; it contains English subtitles for Mahler's song "Little Rhein Legend." So I am aware of the subject of the song (see link in above comment).

Oddly enough, the innocent song about a gold ring has political references: references to a king (head of state).
Prof. Stern's book ("Gold and Iron") concerns the relationship of a Jewish banker and German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck.

Gary Freedman said...

The night before I had the dream, on the evening of July 6, 2011, I was ruminating about my fantasy of making a lot of money from my book Significant Moments, then using that money to buy a condo in Miami Beach.

My thoughts turned to an anecdote I had read about the composer Richard Strauss. When the German Kaiser complained about the unseemly subject matter of his opera Salome, Strauss said to a third party that the money he made from that opera had allowed him to buy property for his villa at Garmisch. (A somewhat wiseacre way of responding to the statement of a head of state -- compare David Gregory's wiseacre behavior with President Bush).

"The triumph [of Salome] was so complete that Strauss could afford to laugh off criticism from Kaiser Wilhelm II. "I am sorry that Strauss composed this Salome," the Kaiser reportedly said. "Normally I'm very keen on him, but this is going to do him a lot of damage." Strauss would relate this story and add with a flourish: "Thanks to that damage I was able to build my villa in Garmisch!"

Gary Freedman said...

"I formed the paranoid belief that Akin Gump spoke to Prof. Stern about me."

Page 476 of my copy of Prof. Stern's book contains a handwritten notation that I wrote years before I worked at AGSHF. (I had purchased the book in about 1977). The notation is a quote from the Final Scene of Goethe's Faust. (Gustav Mahler set that scene to music in his 8th symphony. July 7 was Mahler's birthday). "Uns bleibt ein Erdenrest, zu tragen peinlich. Und waer Er von Asbest, Er ist nicht reinlich." "We still bear traces of the Earth, which is not seemly. And even if it were of Asbestos, it is not pure."

Perhaps AGSHF was faxed a copy of p. 476 by Sheppard Pratt and was curious about the quote ("What is Freedman referring to?"). Perhaps the firm contacted Prof. Stern to find out what that quote was from?

Gary Freedman said...

A discussion of the phallic narcissistic character:

Gary Freedman said...

The term assassination can denote a type of homicide.

The term assassination can also denote defamation as in "character assassination."

Gary Freedman said...

assassination of "the president" = loss of an erection?

The penis figuratively bleeds to "death."

Gary Freedman said...

All of my dream interpretations can be accessed at the following site: