“My Operating System – I” / Memorable Fancies #1713

[“The fact that people are taking drugs in order to improve their ... mental functions sounds eerily close to the concept of upgrading a computer.” – Eliezer Sternberg] I took my Windows-10 pill today. But 10 needed more free memory than I had. So I dumped some old mems – mostly my childhood, that disappointing time. Not enough. And then college, remembering only the part where I got my M.S. in computational psychiatry. Not enough. And then, ... And finally, annoyed, I removed the memory of … [Read more...]

“The Puppet” / Memorable Fancies #1561

[“Should this individual say “I am nothing but a human puppet,” he would forthwith be marched to the nearest psychiatric hospital.” – Thomas Ligotti] – where he would be treated like – a puppet! [Book ad: The year’s hottest new TV series is a reenactment of a famous murder trial ... but was there more involved than murder? A plot to take over the U.S. government? Read Try Try Again.] … [Read more...]

“Full Disclosure” / Memorable Fancies #770

[“...allowing therapists to insert thoughts and memories into the mind of the patient.” – Marina Warner]      “Now Mr. Thompson, we’re going to insert some thoughts into your mind: memories, preferences, attitudes. When you awake, you’ll think they’re your own thoughts that you’ve had for years. We’ve tried other procedures, but in your case they’ve failed.      “You’ll be sedated, but only briefly, and after two or three hours you’ll be ready to go home. If you do not consent to this … [Read more...]

“Asylum – XXII: Dinner at Bad Shepherd” / Memorable Fancies #467

[Continuing the journal of Diane McMurphy, a patient in Bad Shepherd mental hospital, “The Asylum”]      The pleasant little bell rings over the PA system and we all salivate. Those of us trusted to move our own legs trudge to the dining hall, which adjoins the day room and provides dining so elegant that those here who’ve been in the Army weep with reminiscence and tell the others long stories about liver-day, SOS, and Tuesday’s coffee (that’s the day cook tops up the grounds).      We … [Read more...]

“Asylum – XX: Pieces” / A Memorable Fancy #400

[Continuing the journal of Diane McMurphy, a patient in Bad Shepherd mental hospital, “The Asylum”]      Doctor takes our minds apart piece by piece, disassembles them, lays them out like mice ripped apart by a cat. Sometimes we talk about it, a kind of conversational terrorism. Here’s a piece of me:      “Do you know why you’re here?” he asks.      “I’m crazy.”      “Well, saying that is just avoidance, you know, Diane. ‘Crazy’ is just a word. It’s not acknowledging what you … [Read more...]

“Asylum – XIX: “’Who’s Real?’” / A Memorable Fancy #396

[Continuing the journal of Diane McMurphy, a patient in Bad Shepherd mental hospital, “The Asylum”]      I pride myself on being Doctor’s special project. “A tough case,” I once overheard him saying. On Mondays I have him for individual counseling. Today is Monday.      “How is Sugar Odette these days?” he asks.      “Fine, Doctor. She can’t wait to hear what I’ll have to say about today’s session.”      “And what will you tell her?”      “I don’t know, Doctor; we haven’t had the … [Read more...]

“Asylum – XVII: Bedtime at the Asylum” / A Memorable Fancy #389

  [Continuing the journal of Diane McMurphy, a patient in Bad Shepherd mental hospital, “The Asylum”]   “What are your dreams, Diane?” Sugar Odette asks me. “On most nights, I dream that monsters are chasing me.” “No, I mean your hopes for the future. When they let you out of here.” “I hope they don’t catch me.” “Who?” “The monsters.” # Sugar gives me a hug and a kiss because she’s annoyed that I’m not taking her question seriously. Then she turns over and … [Read more...]