Spoiler Alert: “Monsters from the id” is a key phrase in the sci-fy classic Forbidden Planet. The story takes place in the 22nd century. It involves a rescue effort of a previous ship and colony. The would-be rescuers learn that the people from the first ship had died a hideous death. They were ripped apart by some apparently monstrous and invisible force. Only one couple survived.
The planet had been inhabited by the now vanished Krell people. It turns out that these superior beings had transformed themselves from physical beings into ones tapped into the energy of the planet. One unexpected problem occurred. The transformation brought their ids with them. Given the virtually unlimited energy now at the disposal of the Krell, it was only a matter of a very brief time before the monsters from the id led to destruction of all of them until none were left. When one of the humans gained access to the surviving Krell technology, it was the monster from his id that destroyed the other members of his crew and started to destroy the crew of the rescue ship.
We do not have a device that can transform physical beings into energy but we do have the technology to unleash the monsters from the id on the world. The technology that enables the destructive power of the id to wreak havoc is Twitter. Through it the impulsive thoughts of a person may become a veritable smoke monster from Lost as its viciousness is released into the national discourse.
This ability to instantaneously transform thought into verbal energy via Twitter is easily abused. It is a technology that should only be used by adults and which can be quite dangerous in the hands of an immature child. Back on August 2018, I explored the intertwining of Twitter and adolescence (Omarosa and the President: A Case of Arrested Development – Suppose Life Is Not a Journey?) I quoted Jennifer Senior’s op ed on the topic (“The High School We Can’t Log Off From” NYT, 8/5/18 print). She wrote:
Twitter is a dark reservoir of hatred, home to the diseased national id. It turns us into our worst selves — dehumanizing us, deranging us, keying us up, beating us down, turning us into shrieking outrage monkeys hellbent on the innocents of Oz. It uncomplicates complicated discussion; stealth-curates our news; hijacks our dopamine systems, carrying us off on a devil’s quest for ever more dime bags of retweets and likes.
Most Twitter users know that the medium has an unfortunate tendency to transform adults into anxious adolescents. But perhaps it’s time to start thinking about this problem clinically. The fact is, Twitter is changing us — regressing us — in ways developmental psychologists would find weirdly recognizable.
Should we be surprised that a man who’s so frequently compared to a needy adolescent has chosen Twitter as his favorite medium?
For the 7th-grade smart-aleck dumb-aleck, Twitter is the perfect invention.
To substantiate her perceptions Senior draws on an internet expert.
Clay Shirky, one of the shrewdest internet theorists around, has noted that the faster the medium is, the more emotional it gets. Twitter, as we know, is pretty fast, and therefore runs pretty hot. (Emotional tweets, research has shown, travel more swiftly than anodyne ones.) We often become creatures of our limbic systems when we tweet. Our self-regulation deserts us (been there); our prefrontal cortex, responsible for executive function and impulse control, goes offline; we become reward-seeking Scud missiles, addicts in search of a fix.
She still is focusing on the mature adult. Her analysis is based on adult having a developed prefrontal cortex going offline. She has overlooked the situation of an immature child in an adult body who does not have a developed prefrontal cortex such as our Little Donnee Waney.
MONSTERS FROM HIS ID
Regrettably we just experienced an instance of Twitter at its worst. Lately our immature child president with no self-control or superego has been giving full vent to the monsters from his id. First there were his series of tweets accusing Joe Scarborough of murder. Now he is piling it on a critically hurt 75-year old who had the misfortune to be knocked to the ground while peacefully protesting. By the time Little Donnee Waney and his Fox (and OANN) Flying Monkeys are done, this person will have become the second Seth Rich, a key operative in a terrorist conspiracy to take down the duly elected President of the United States who is America’s greatest President and who has done more for black people than any president save maybe Lincoln.
In my previous blog [Mitch McConnell: Howard Baker (Time to Go) vs Stay the Course (Go Down with the Ship)], I posited that Mitch McConnell was going to have a decision to make about the 2020 elections. At some point he was going to have to decide what his assessment was of the prospects of Trumpicans maintaining their Senate majority and what could be done if those prospects were negative. I suggested the situation was not immediately urgent, it was fluid, and you never know what might happen next.
Little did I know how right I was. A day later, the embattled simple-minded President succumbed as he always does to the monsters from his id. Like the little child scared of every noise or bump in the night, Little Donnee Waney saw an evil terrorist conspiracy where none existed (just as he had done with supposed fraud in voting by mail). He immediately unleashed the monsters from his id on the world.
“Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?”
Now all Trumpican candidates and Mitch McConnell have a totally unexpected decision to make.
IF THEY RUN, THEY CAN’T HIDE
Things were bad enough already for Trumpicans seeking to maintain their majority in the Senate. Even prior to June 8, Trumpicans knew that the majority was at stake. As if the real issues ⸺ coronavirus, recession and unemployment, China ⸺ partially due to the President’s ineptitude and mismanagement weren’t enough, he has gone out of his way to complicate the election for them. First, there was his domination of Lafayette Square in the greatest military victory by and American President ever (The Battle of Lafayette Square: The Greatest Victory in American History). Second, there was his monsters-of-the-id tweet about someone even older than him being a key operative of a terrorist conspiracy. Third both he and the Trumpicans are learning that it’s not Law and Order as usual. It seems as if every Trumpican senate candidate should have a giant bottle of hydroxychloroquine, disinfectant, and antacid on their night stands.
If McConnell didn’t have a headache before, he should have one now. In the previous blog, I discussed Ron Johnson and how the Wisconsin Senator might want to reassess his Trumpican loyalty come January, 2021 when his re-election campaign starts. Consider how this loyalist tied himself up in a knot in response to this latest expression of the monsters of Little Donnee Waney’s id: he hadn’t seen the tweet, but he also didn’t want it read to him. “I would rather not hear it,” he said as he ducked into an elevator.
Some Senators don’t have the option of ducking the issue for long. For loyalist Steve Daines of Montana, his re-election campaign just became more difficult. “The violence we are seeing across the nation is heartbreaking. We all need to pull together — both for civility and peaceful dialogue.” What are he and the other Trumpican candidates going to say when asked during the campaign:
When the President said the number of coronavirus cases would drop from 15 to zero, did you believe him?
When the President recommended trying disinfectant as a cure, did you agree with him?
When the President suggested Scarborough was guilty of murder, did you agree with him?
When the President said he went down to the bunker to inspect it and not for safety as Bill Barr said, which one do you believe?
When the President said Gugino was a terrorist agent, did you believe him?
So why don’t Trumpicans tell the truth? Do they still live in fear of the monsters from his id and the base that he can release? What is he going to do? Tell people not to vote for the disloyal incumbents and candidates? They should stay home instead? They should just vote for the President and leave the remaining ballot lines blank? They should let the Democratic candidates win?
As I said, Mitch McConnell has a decision to make. He does not have the luxury of coping by being in denial in response to polls that the presidential campaign does. At any moment another monster from his id may be released on the world to make matters even worse. And by the time McConnell decides he needs to do something about it, it will be too late. In the movie Forbidden Planet, the heroic captain acted in time, got the girl, and they rode off into galactic space together. Unfortunately for McConnell, this is the real world. The immature child president playing imaginary games can unleash the monsters from his id at any moment. He will continue to do so until the Red Wave does to the Senate in 2020 what it did to the House in 2018.