The analysis of "The Captain"

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
Tchocolatl
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Postby Tchocolatl » Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:06 am

:twisted:
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
Tchocolatl
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Postby Tchocolatl » Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:08 am

:roll:
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
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Rob
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The captain, the soldier and Freud on desolation row

Postby Rob » Tue Mar 02, 2004 5:10 pm

(With apologies to Bob Dylan)

"It's all right ma, I'm only bleeding" the captain he cried
there was a terrible sound as he went down with a terrible wound in his side
"I hope that Sigmund Freud comes by befre I finally die
I think he could explain to me the very reasons why
the soldier deserted me, he said he had to go
to make it with his mother tonight on desolaation row

In the background the rose said to the swan "your kneck is my joy, my pride,
you see, a thing is a phalic symbol if it's longer than it's wide"
the captain picked the rose and put her in his lapel
right next to the silver bars and an Iron cross as well
he could not hold onto the swan, he had to let him go
to float on the Englis river tonight on desolation row

The soldier returned with Sigmund Freud who said "tell me of your dreams
and I will shovel a glipse into the ditch of what each one means"
"I dreamt" said the captain "that I had a burning axe of gold
and a holy dove that moved, then she was bought and then was sold
"You have been repressing your impulses" said the doctor
"You've got to let them go
or you will be neurotic tonight on desolation row

A Buddhist monk came along with a jews harp in his mitt
he put on his dark glasses and beside the captain he did sit
"I'm looking for a decent place to stand" he said "do you know of anywhere?"
"try the Butcher" replied the captain "or the grocer of despair
they are with a girl named Nancy, it seems so long ago
they drank their super-egos to death on desolation row.

O.K. it was just a joke.
dementia praecox
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to Young dr.Freud

Postby dementia praecox » Tue Mar 02, 2004 7:20 pm

As for your work here, one can say that it has been a goldmine of shallowness, Young dr.Fraud, (I’m sorry, I meant to say Freud, but it must have been a Freudian slip)
dementia praecox
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to jurica

Postby dementia praecox » Tue Mar 02, 2004 7:33 pm

I do not take pleasure in engaging into petty quarrels, but since your post is full of incorrectness, I’ll make an exception.

When faced with something they don’t understand or cannot comprehend people tend to react in two distinctive ways; either they try to learn more about it and try harder or they are filled with frustration. Your post has obviously been the work of later. The size of your frustration is only matched by the size of your misunderstandings concerning the matters of psychology.

Let’s see, you state:

“Freud is a figure of the past. like Shakespeare, we only quote his work because it's common knowledge.”

That’s strange, because while wanting to see has anybody tried to do an analysis of some kind on this forum before, I bumped into your analysis of Suzanne. In it your use the work of Freud to interpret certain part of the song. That is clear use of his work as a scientific one, by a person who believes in it. You wrote:

“Sigmund Freud found symbols in dreams that all people share... etc.”

There is no point in using this sentence as a part of interpretation unless you truly believe in it. So I don’t see how you could go stating later that you “...think this whole culture of shrinks and psychoanalysts is a load of rubbish”. As much as I disagree with Young dr.Freud, I don’t think he is a part of a culture of rubbish. Even in the very same sentence in which you state that culture of psychoanalysts is a load of rubbish, you say that you “...only use Freud for reference...”. So you use for reference the very thing you don’t believe in. That is not logical. Also, by the post you made regarding this theme it is clear that you do believe in a thing you say you don’t believe. It seems to me that you do not see your opinions as something that needs to be defended or improved, but rather as something that is changed every time it suits your purpose.

You are making implications about the nickname I took, but it is you who wrote: “...WE only quote his work...” Now, either you took for granted to speak in everybody’s name, or you are a split personality, or maybe you are so gracious of yourself that you talk in plural. Which one is it?

You wrote:

“...it's not like 'collective consciousness' holds any scientific value.”

This is certainly not a place to discuss such a matter. There are books and books written for it and against it, but I think we should reserve this place for work of Leonard Cohen, not Freud or Jung. I also think that you do not comprehend the notion of collective consciousness, and are thus unable to discuss whether it holds scientific value or not.

You wrote:

“You claim 'two is actually a symbol of conflict, a fight between two parts of yourself'... so, if i wrote in my novel for example: 'give me two beers, for me and my pal', says Jack - you'd interpret that as: Jack has some inner conflict, why else would he use a word 'two'?”

Croatia is full of bad writers. By the assumptions you are making, and the misunderstanding of symbolism in general, you may as well be one of them. If you are not, I implore you either to grow up or not to become one of them.

You wrote:

“you are only interested in his work, and not his biography. well, then good luck in interpreting Chelsia Hotel, Suzanne, etc. LC writes a lot from his personal expirience. perhaps you could benefit from reading his short biography or interview...”

It is obvious you do not read carefully or do not understand English very well. I did not say that I’m only interested in his work and not his biography; I said that I’m more interested in his work than in his personal life. Although it is obvious one cannot go without another. But there is a difference between “more” and “only”; if you don’t know it look it up in dictionary. I think I do not need to say that you did the very opposite thing; your analysis of Suzanne seems to be done by someone who hasn’t done much background work.

You wrote:

“a father fixation is something we all share. you don't have to call it fixation, but terminology makes little difference.”

This is simply not true. We do not all share a father fixation. You obviously don’t know what a fixation is. Experiences we have as we grow up all contribute to our personality. Freud thought that traumatic experiences have an especially strong effect. Persons who had difficulties with tasks associated with stage development will tend to retain certain infantile or childish habits. This is called a fixation. Therefore it is more a specific case than a rule. You obviously don’t know this or anything else associated, so it does not surprise me that terminology makes little difference to you.

And now, finally, about neurosis. To establish a case of neurosis you must first consider that a person is not a neurotic, and then try to prove that he is. Thus the burden of proof does not lie on me, but on you. I do not have to be Cohen’s private psychologist to say that he does not have a neurosis. Anyone can say he is not a neurotic and he will not need to prove it. But if you say that he is a neurotic (as one can conclude from your previous posts) than you better prove it, or stop writing nonsense.

You wrote:
“...one of (if not THE) most famous contemporary psychologists is a Freudian: Jacques Lacan, right or wrong?”

Jacques Lacan could be called a Freudian. He could also be called a dead person, since he has been dead for more than 20 years now. That is how much contemporary he really is. So the answer to your question would be: Wrong.

As I already said, I don’t like indulging myself in these kinds of petty quarrels. Therefore I’ll make this kind of post this time only. I am not asking anyone to agree with my view things, but I do ask from people not to make such unconstructive remarks. In future I intend to ignore them. I think this forum should stay in the relative boundaries of Cohen’s opus. And, of course, our ways of interpreting it.
dementia praecox
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To Tchocolatl and George.Wright

Postby dementia praecox » Tue Mar 02, 2004 7:37 pm

I am most glad I’ve got the attention of such a healthy spirits. You two strike me as persons who have made a long way. It is needless to say that our view of things coincides. It is evident from every line you write. What always surprises me, every time I come across it, is that certain people from all over the world, regardless of their culture or religion, always come to same conclusions. The basic truths remain the same. Don’t worry, you’ll hear my views concerning The Butcher and The Stranger Song, and their relationships towards The Captain, soon enough. But I think I’ll post them to you by private messages, not to make anymore fuss.
George.Wright
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Postby George.Wright » Tue Mar 02, 2004 7:58 pm

Thank you for your kind words, Dementia. I am glad that i am not against you. Your command of english is excellent and your analysis is sharp and crisp. I look forward to your private message, but do not be put off by the critics, post your work for all to read with pride. We are all MEANT to have an intrest in Leonard on this site. Post and be brave like Joan of Arc.
Georges
I am a right bad ass, dankish prince and I love my Violet to bits.
Tony
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Postby Tony » Tue Mar 02, 2004 9:11 pm

Numbers 14:4
Last edited by Tony on Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:01 pm

Exactly, Georges [and DP] ~

Why deprive the rest of us of your perspective and interpretation ~ simply because of others' disagreements and how they express it. Everything in life is about interpretation, and there's so much that can be learned by reading/hearing those of others. I sincerely hope to see them posted right where they belong. In this section; only, perhaps, on a new thread [each] of their own.

~ Elizabeth
Tchocolatl
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Postby Tchocolatl » Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:23 am

DP, do wathever you want, I'll be happy to read your opinion here or in a private message anytime. :)
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
jurica
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Location: Croatia

Postby jurica » Wed Mar 03, 2004 1:54 pm

what i don't understand here is why 'dementia' thinks either dr. Freud or i have something against his analyses?

i found it interesting, and i'd like to read whatever he writes on other songs/poems... if you go back, you'll se i made no remark whatsoever on your post, i just tried to give my oppinion on the poem. so, why would it make any fuss if you simply post it all here or any other thread?

i'll try and put an end to all of this:

i'm neither a writer (so i can't be one of the bad ones) nor a psychologist (obvious). i've read some Freud and some Jung (and some Fromm and Lacan - you'll notice, of course, that my choice were easy to read authors, since i was only moderately interested in the subject) as if i was reading an interesting novel. i was reading some Freud while listening to Suzanne and found it interesting to do that analyses (i've regreted writing it more then several times now). i'm not prefessionaly interested in their work. as you know, in Croatia, hardly anybody goes to see the psychologists, and i don't find us sicker than Americans (who do that wery often, judging from Woody Allen movies :-)) for that. so, i don't think shrinks do much more good than having a good conversation in a bar.

hope that helps to explain my previous posts and this unneeded quarel which will never happen again (promise), and shouldn't stop you from posting here.
Young dr. Freud
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Postby Young dr. Freud » Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:56 pm

Dp,


I have an opening on Fridays at two o'clock...right after my group therapy session. Which makes it very convenient for you...if you get my drift.



Young dr. Freud
Young dr. Freud
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Postby Young dr. Freud » Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:01 pm

Tchoc,



You get my drift, don't you?



Young dr. Freud
Tchocolatl
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Postby Tchocolatl » Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:05 pm

Please do not regret your personal freudian analysis of Suzanne, if you say this because after having posted, you have learn more about this great song and its beautiful story. First, your personal point of view was truly interesting, second, it generated a lot of comments that I had great pleasure to read.

Jurica, I will certainly be happy too, to read what you may have to say regarding The Butcher and The Captain in the light of father and son relationship, if you still have something to say.

I was just annoyed because the thread was going to be lost into something else that was not the point here. :D
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
George.Wright
Posts: 1874
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2002 3:37 pm
Location: Bangor, N.Ireland

Postby George.Wright » Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:35 pm

We should all stop the petty squabbling and bitching and get back to the discussions at hand.
Georges
I am a right bad ass, dankish prince and I love my Violet to bits.

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