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Another Thing Wrong With Society Today

    If there's one thing I can't stand, it's people who do stupid or rude things in my dreams and later, when I'm awake, refuse to take responsibility for their actions. They're always like: "It's not my fault! It was YOUR dream!" Completely missing the key fact that I wouldn't have dreamed such a thing if they weren't fully capable of the bad behavior in real life.

    Like let's say I'm having a dream in which I am running an orphanage and my friend "D---", who is in charge of buying the hay, calls me on a telephone that's sticking out of my forehead. To answer the phone I have to remove part of my brain. Then "D---" says, "Oh, sorry, I misdialed. I was trying to call "S----". And then he hangs up, and I realize, in the dream, that I pulled my brains out for nothing.

   Obviously "D---" owes me an apology in real life. You don't have to be Dr. Freud to see that this is a dream about me losing my mind and that "D---" is probably one of the causative forces, causation-wise.

    But am I going to get an apology? No, because people are so selfish they refuse to take responsibility for their actions. It's the Me Generation thing. I'm fed up with it. It makes me not want to go to sleep anymore. Dreams in general have just become such a free-for-all. That's the story of our culture: All rights, no responsibilities.

    [Coming later: Something about the Modesty Revolution. Also, a look at the year ahead on the blog, though it will probably be shut down by the grown-ups any minute.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 17, 2006; 7:58 AM ET
 
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Comments

Holding others accountable for their actions in my dreams may be problematic. I would then have to hold myself to the same standard. That may just take all of the fun out of rem-land.

Posted by: Alpha | January 17, 2006 8:44 AM | Report abuse

*crossing "Ambien" off the list of possible JA birthday gifts*

And after reading the Washingtonian piece, I really think the blog's header should include "edited by thousands of marginally qualified people."

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 17, 2006 9:04 AM | Report abuse

"A software filter blocks profanity."

That sounds like a dare.

Posted by: jw | January 17, 2006 9:05 AM | Report abuse

And on dreams--anyone with a woman in their life has been in this situation--she wakes up in a terrible mood, and when you ask why, she says, "Well, last night in my dream you and the Burger King were trying to put me in the garbage disposal." Sheesh!

Posted by: jw | January 17, 2006 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, you may be right, but the grammar and spelling of thousands of marginally qualified people are better than average...

As for accountability in dreams, in mine I'm usually the one at fault. I put the camera away yesterday afternoon, and this morning I dreamed that my husband and I were in an airport in London, and he was highly annoyed at me because I didn't remember to bring the camera...oh well.

Posted by: slyness | January 17, 2006 9:08 AM | Report abuse

The worst was the day my wife woke up annoyed with me because in *her* dream I was flirting with another woman. We laughed. Later.

Posted by: Kevin in AK | January 17, 2006 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Joel, this problem has already been addressed most eloquently by Mr. B. Dylan, who despite being one weird ugly dude has written many a fine song.

TALKIN' WORLD WAR III BLUES
Some time ago a crazy dream came to me,
I dreamt I was walkin' into World War Three,
I went to the doctor the very next day
To see what kinda words he could say.
He said it was a bad dream.
I wouldn't worry 'bout it none, though,
They were my own dreams and they're only in my head.
I said, "Hold it, Doc, a World War passed through my brain."
He said, "Nurse, get your pad, this boy's insane,"
He grabbed my arm, I said "Ouch!"
As I landed on the psychiatric couch,
He said, "Tell me about it."
Well, the whole thing started at 3 o'clock fast,
It was all over by quarter past.
I was down in the sewer with some little lover
When I peeked out from a manhole cover
Wondering who turned the lights on.
Well, I got up and walked around
I stood a-wondering which way to go,
I lit a cigarette on a parking meter
It was a normal day.
Well, I rung the fallout shelter bell
And I leaned my head and I gave a yell,
"Give me a string bean, I'm a hungry man."
A shotgun fired and away I ran.
I don't blame them too much though,
I know I look funny.
I seen a man, I said, "Howdy friend,
I guess there's just us two."
He screamed a bit and away he flew.
Thought I was a Communist.
Well, I spied a girl and before she could leave,
I took her by the hand and my heart it was thumpin'
When she said, "Hey man, you crazy or sumpin',
You see what happened last time they started."
Well, I seen a Cadillac window uptown
I got into the driver's seat
And I drove 42nd Street
In my Cadillac.
Good car to drive after a war.
Well, I remember seein' some ad,
So I turned on my Conelrad.
But I didn't pay my Con Ed bill,
So the radio didn't work so well.
Turned on my player-
It was Rock-A-Day, Johnny singin',
"Tell Your Ma, Tell Your Pa,
I was feelin' kinda lonesome and blue,
I needed somebody to talk to.
So I called up the operator of time
Just to hear a voice of some kind.
"When you hear the beep
It will be three o'clock,"
She said that for over an hour
And I hung it up.
Well, the doctor interrupted me just about then,
Sayin, "Hey I've been havin' the same old dreams,
But mine was a little different you see.
I dreamt that the only person left after the war was me.
I didn't see you around."
Well, now time passed and now it seems
Everybody's having them dreams.
Everybody sees themselves walkin' around with no one else.
Half of the people can be part right all of the time,
Some of the people can be all right part of the time.
I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
"I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours,"
I said that.

I have always loved the line about the Cadillac being a good car to drive after a war.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 17, 2006 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Whom are u calling marginally qualified? Take a look in the mirror.

You never seem to like anything that you didn't like.

And your as snide as they come.

Regardless of what you say, many of us think you are part of the nuclear bomb making enterprise--just rarin to use em on the wretched of the earth, in the name of your god, George W. Bush.

Posted by: message to SNuke | January 17, 2006 9:42 AM | Report abuse

The conscious mind allows itself to be trained like a parrot, but the unconscious does not--which is why St. Augustine thanked God for not making him responsible for his dreams.
--C.G. Jung

Posted by: Loomis | January 17, 2006 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Who's to blame when the dream includes being chased by a giant spoon? Or worse, when you wake in a bad mood because of a dream, but can't remember the details?

Posted by: LostInThought | January 17, 2006 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Ah. My marriage in a nutshell.

My wife has the dreams, I pay for them.
Fortunately, I cannot remember my dreams, so she dreams for both of us.

Come to think of it, that's not so fortunate for me. In her dreams, I'm my usual funloving self but with all the safeties off: in other words, A Very Bad Boy.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 17, 2006 10:00 AM | Report abuse

C'mon now. Who took my clothes?

Posted by: Bayou Self | January 17, 2006 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I had a weird dream that Joel was surrounded by balloons.....

Posted by: TBG | January 17, 2006 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I was hoping for a cake.
But that was very thoughtful of Hal to put up the balloons. Been a year, here, and Hal still hasn't managed to steal the blog from me.

Posted by: Achenbach | January 17, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I think he's just waiting for it to become valuable, Joel. When the Lamasil ads start paying off, expect Hal to steal your cookies and start collecting your checks.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 17, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Funny you should blog about dreams Joel. Yesterday I had a dream that I got a really expensive speeding or parking (can't remember what exactly) ticket from a police officer for a stupid reason. I was recounting the dream to my husband and he said "stop getting so heated, you do realize it was just a dream!" I had to laugh cos I realized my pitch was getting rather high as I remembered how annoyed I was in the dream.

Posted by: omo D | January 17, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

TBG, good catch! I wondered what the balloons were for - I didn't think they had always been there (I'm not very observant).

Happy Achenbirthday!

Posted by: mostlylurking | January 17, 2006 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I dreamed once that I punched someone's lights out. This someone was giving me a particularly hard time at work.

I loved that dream. All the release and joy of doing the real thing without the consequences?

I still smile when I think of it and I don't consider myself a particularly violent person.

Nirvana!

Let 'em eat cake and dream a little dream (for) me...

Posted by: amo | January 18, 2006 1:09 PM | Report abuse

one of the reasons of this comment is the # of comments made,a number that is less than 50. OtherwiZe,if after 50,it won't work anyhow. It means my comment and the W.P. policies of/on comments have some expectations:mine,for example include a hidden dream,a dream that,by the way,is not associated with sleeping,nor with women,nor with a huge fortune-with a modest,though,yes,if to say the truth. And also the one which would be associated with the W.P. . I dream my comments to get appreciated by the W.P. so that them to lead it all to a contract...of making this kind(!)of comments. I'll try to comment on,let say, MID RF(Russia)'s action of humanity to let Milosovich to go to Moscow for a reason/purposes of treatment...; or the US journalist,a woman,threaten(e)d by Iraq extremists to be killed if their demand is not met; or the UN's some employees removed from jobs while the investigation on fraud and their involvement goes on, and so on and on and on... .I'LL try to stay out of commenting on Gerald fORD,THE xPr.of the US,hospitalization reserving a chance for commenting on his lucky release.HE 92 and also proves that under "all other circumstances are equal" the USA president is able to live a long life... . Now,I throw away my cig. and go to bed,'cause its late. I'm cool on news that today one more woman is elected to run the government...and I got no comment... .tRULY yours,m.yu.& bus.

Posted by: M.Yu.&business | January 18, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse

one of the reasons of this comment is the # of comments made,a number that is less than 50. OtherwiZe,if after 50,it won't work anyhow. It means my comment and the W.P. policies of/on comments have some expectations:mine,for example include a hidden dream,a dream that,by the way,is not associated with sleeping,nor with women,nor with a huge fortune-with a modest,though,yes,if to say the truth. And also the one which would be associated with the W.P. . I dream my comments to get appreciated by the W.P. so that them to lead it all to a contract...of making this kind(!)of comments. I'll try to comment on,let say, MID RF(Russia)'s action of humanity to let Milosovich to go to Moscow for a reason/purposes of treatment...; or the US journalist,a woman,threaten(e)d by Iraq extremists to be killed if their demand is not met; or the UN's some employees removed from jobs while the investigation on fraud and their involvement goes on, and so on and on and on... .I'LL try to stay out of commenting on Gerald fORD,THE xPr.of the US,hospitalization reserving a chance for commenting on his lucky release.HE 92 and also proves that under "all other circumstances are equal" the USA president is able to live a long life... . Now,I throw away my cig. and go to bed,'cause its late. I'm cool on news that today one more woman is elected to run the government...and I got no comment... .tRULY yours,m.yu.& bus.

Posted by: M.Yu.&business | January 18, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

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