Freud Is Dead (Long Live Freud)

March 9, 2012
Posted by Jay Livingston

I had thought that Freud had pretty much disappeared into the fading intellectual mists of the twentieth century. 

But on “Live With Kelly”* this is “Spring Cleaning Week.”  Viewers send in their tips.  Some of these make for good on-air demonstrations – like using Tang to clean your toilet bowl or vodka in a spray bottle to wash windows. Others can only be read. This morning, guest host Martin Short read this one. 
Marry someone who’s very anal about housecleaning.
I remember a time when you would never hear the word anal on morning network TV.  I also remember a time when college students might have been taught the theoretical reason for linking anality and neatness.  They would have known about the anal stage in childhood psycho-sexual development à la Freud, with its attendant concerns of order and neatness. It’s spring break, so I can’t ask my students,** but if I could, I doubt that even the psych majors would know.

* Did you really think I watched only “Downton Abbey”?

** I probably wouldn’t ask anyway, for fear of getting the obvious response, “Because housecleaning is for assholes.”

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