February 03, 2008
Nobel prize-winning surgery
No, this is not another rant about mandatory spay and neuter laws.
I'm talking lobotomy! It was once very much in vogue, not for wayward dogs, but wayward people. And the guy who invented it did in fact win the Nobel Prize for it.
For years it was the rage in the United States. (I'm sure people who opposed it were called "backward." Could any procedure performed on 40,000 to 50,000 Americans be wrong?)
Here's a video.
With that in mind, now it's time to dance!
I sometimes wish I could have a political lobotomy.
(Might make things go away.)
MORE: Considering the rigid code of sexual morality that arose in the 1930s (something fueled, I believe, by a backlash against the sexually loose 1920s), and considering the totalitarian trends during that unfortunate period, it is not surprising that lobotomy would be (and was) seen as a cure for sexual deviancy.
According to the National Review, even the respected Joe Kennedy, Sr. seems to have subjected his daughter to the procedure out of fear of sexual promiscuity:
Rosemary Kennedy, sister of the late president, was born in 1918, apparently mildly retarded. Kennedy-family pathographers have suggested that her father feared disgraceful consequences from her sex life. In 1941 she was lobotomized, which reduced her to an infant-like state. How sad that such brutal measures were touted as therapeutic; how sad that those who wished to protect her (and the family) reached for that measure.Would it be disrespectful to call that an "honor lobotomy"?
I honestly don't know. (I try so hard to be polite that I get undone by the ironies that lurk everywhere.)
UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link, and welcome all!
Comments welcome. Especially if there's anyone out there who has had a lobotomy, I'd love to hear about it.
Columnist Bill Kristol once advised John Kerry to get one, but there's no official word on whether Kerry followed through. (There's more than one way to sear memories.)
posted by Eric on 02.03.08 at 12:46 PM
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