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TIME and psychoanalytic nonsense

TangentsMarch66Cover600Psychoanalytic Nonsense


March 1966

Vol. 1 No. 6

Editorial by Don Slater

Originally published in the March 1966 issue of Tangents

[Homosexuals are] a mixture of superciliousness, fake aggression and whimpering. Like all psychic masochists, they are subservient when confronted by a stronger person, merciless when in power, unscrupulous about trampling on a weaker person.

Thus Time (January 21) quotes the late Edmund Bergler.

Of Bergler, Dr. Hendrik M. Ruitenbeek has written, “His observations on homosexuality are close to psychoanalytic nonsense.” Ruitenbeek is no apologist for homosexuality, but he believes statements must be supported by scientific substance.

Not so Time.

[The homosexual,] however subtly he sees life, cannot see it whole [and lacks] the deep seriousness over certain things that normal men take seriously… He has small power of invention, but a wonderful gift for delightful embroidery. He has vitality, brilliance, but seldom strength.

Time here quotes “no less an authority than Somerset Maugham.” His statement may be an accurate appraisal of his own character and talent. But by Kinsey’s conservative figure there are 7,200,000 exclusive homosexual males in the U.S. alone. Maugham’s generalization has to be dismissed as thoughtless, if not malicious.

But Time’s own statements are even less defensible:

Psychoanalysts are busy treating wives who have suddenly discovered a husband’s homosexuality.

What psychoanalysts? How many? How many wives? Where? Why?

Homosexual ethics and esthetics are staging a vengeful, derisive counterattack on what deviates call the “straight” world. This is evident in “pop,” which insists on reducing art to the trivial, and in the “camp” movement, which pretends the ugly and banal are fun.

We seem to remember that Hitler blamed the decadence of art on the Jews, and condemned jazz as degenerate because of its Negro origin.

Time sneers:

Homosexuality is a pathetic little second-rate substitute for reality, a pitiable flight from life.

For the homosexual, homosexuality is no second-rate substitute for reality. It is a coping with reality, and against considerable odds—for ours is an anti-sexual society, and its laws are grim. Divorce statistics indicate that even heterosexuals have their troubles coping.

Time concludes:

Homosexuality deserves no…pretense that it is anything but a pernicious sickness.

With a research staff of 82 persons, Time is in a position to know that there is no scientific basis for such a charge. The shrill tone in which it is delivered—and this must be said of the entire article—emphasizes its lack of content and conviction.

Its appeal to ignorance and emotionalism is worse than irresponsible.

It is cheap and mischievous.

Don Slater

©1966, 2016 by The Tangent Group. All rights reserved.

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