Donut Hole: Taking Shots

Dream suggests Obamacare as screwy fantasy
by Brian Wright

Obamacare_ShotsThese new Donut Hole columns I’m writing are intended to be lighter fare, humorous, at least nonpolitical.

Still it’s difficult to make commentary that doesn’t bear on politics in some way: my first two Donut Holes dealt with sexploitation advertising with a mind-control agenda and how the Wizard of Oz shows political power to be illusory, respectively. Both of which try to illuminate threats to freedom and how to best respond. But I’m going to try again today, to stay light and away from politics, taking my comments from a dream so vivid I immediately rose to write it down:

I’m in a doctor’s office and instead of being given a shot in my arm by the doctor, he hands me two syringes and tells me that getting a shot today is the same as my delivering these shots into someone else’s arms. I’m to treat the syringes carrying my medicine as spears and everyone in the waiting room as a subject for my medical pokefest.

The first one comes off my hand like a rocket but misses my target, this couple sitting roughly 15 feet from me. Instead it impales a waste basket violently up against the base of a water cooler. “Whoa,” I say to myself, “I’d better take it easy, don’t want to hurt anyone.” The second syringe isn’t as flightworthy. I toss it anyway, toward the woman of the couple. Her curiosity is aroused by the loud swoosh of the first one and she has turned her head to look at me.

I take something off this one. The needle on number two is bent. The projectile glances off the woman’s hand without causing any damage or penetration.

As I’m feeling glad I haven’t hurt anyone, but also sad that I haven’t been successful in delivering the medicine, two nurses in white uniforms run over to me. They’re aghast, “Don’t you realize that throwing syringes at people is a violation of their privacy and their rights?!”

I respond, “Yes, I did have a question. Maybe you can point me to the documentation of your policy.” Inside the dream I’m finding this statement to the nurses highly amusing.

That’s where I wake up.

So what’s the meaning?

The first thing that comes to mind is that famous psychological experiment where the subject is told by an authority figure (the experimenter) to deliver a shock to a third person (learner) when that person—who is concealed from view (and is actually not receiving an electric shock)—incorrectly answers a question. This is the controversial Milgram Experiment of 1963. A large number of subjects did in fact deliver what they thought were painful shocks, though most had questions about what they were being told to do and exhibited stress in continuing to administer the voltages.

In my dream, I have the feeling that by throwing the syringes at the other people, and if they should stick, I’m contributing to my own health, which is exactly what the doctor is telling me. I don’t think really about how it might feel for them if they get hit by a needle; subconsciously I expect they’ll enjoy the experience. It will be good for them, somehow. All this gibes with Milgram.

But why do I miss my targets?

Is it because I don’t really believe the doctor?

Mom told me that Freud always said that dreams are wish fulfillment. So I have to say, yes, I miss on purpose. It’s my way of not cooperating with the doctor, of defying the authority figure.

At the same time I’m susceptible to the orders.

In the light of day, my interpretation is that almost everyone can be susceptible to suggestion if what is suggested is made out to be funny or lighthearted or good for others. Scary thought. On the other hand, many of us will refuse to fully cooperate if what we’re asked to do is ludicrous, clearly harmful… or some kind of Cider House Rule. So that’s a gratifying thought. Maybe the dream simply exposes the Alice in Wonderland nature of Obamacare.

Obamacare seems to be coming down the pike.

SunFLOWerSome of its absurdities rival the bizarre behavior of my dream.

I hope my dream foretells people not cooperating and Obamacare being stuffed down DC’s throat.

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