I Dream of Hillary... I Dream of Barack
February 24, 2008 8:26 AM   Subscribe

I Dream of Hillary... I Dream of Barack. The world's first metaphysical poll on the Democratic contenders. Complied by Sheila Heti.
posted by Fuzzy Monster (33 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Here's a sample: "At the end of an otherwise non-Barack related dream, I had the astonishing image of Barack eating the votes that had been cast for Hillary like slices of smoked tofu. He didn't say anything, but seemed calm."
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:36 AM on February 24, 2008


Dutch daily de Volkskrant ran a story this week with a beautiful accompanying illustration of a stained-glass/icon Obama. I cut it out and pasted it on the wall of my friends' dorm's living room. Now I make a point of invoking the Obamicon whenever someone demonstrates a lack of faith: "What d'you mean we won't be on time to catch that train? Don't make me tap the Obama!".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:44 AM on February 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Since we're on the topic of dream logic, I have taken to saying "obama obama obama" kind of like those people say "no whammy no whammy no whammy" on that stupid game show. This makes no sense.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 8:46 AM on February 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ah, here's a cropped version, and it was actually yesterday's paper.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:48 AM on February 24, 2008


I'm Canadian, so I dream of The Queen. I've discovered she is very down-to-earth and has a cheeky sense of humour.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:52 AM on February 24, 2008


gnfti: Eponysterical.
posted by Ryvar at 8:58 AM on February 24, 2008


I dream the dreams of Ricardo Flores Magón.
posted by Abiezer at 8:59 AM on February 24, 2008


I'm more of a Ricardo Mantalban girl, myself.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:14 AM on February 24, 2008


This is disappointing. I expected a metaphysical poll on the candidates to be something like...

"1. Hillary Clinton unfairly attacked premise 3b of Barack Obama's argument against eliminative materialism. T/F?"
2. Which candidate's position on temporal parts do you agree with more?
3. Is America ready to provide an answer to the Problem of the Many?"
posted by nasreddin at 9:37 AM on February 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


Ah, here's a cropped version, and it was actually yesterday's paper.

I found a larger version (though I'm having issues clipping it) and it's simultaneously awesome, weird, true, sarcastic and well-meaning. I love the "yes, he can" next to the picture. And the picture itself is well done in its thoroughness - cracks in the glass, a democratic donkey, multiracial hands, the white house, flag - I'm about to print it out too and similarly make fun of my own admiration of the man.

No worries, I'll credit you after I get the yuks.
posted by cashman at 9:39 AM on February 24, 2008


[James] Carville started hitting on me in the darkened living room (darkened because the fireplace had been the only light source). When I told him I was married he said that everything was negotiable and we should discuss it over dinner at his place. Then I said, But you're married too! Then he said, That's just branding, sugar, now follow me.

HOTT.
posted by chrominance at 9:43 AM on February 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


ditto nasreddin. My first thought after clicking was, are dreams really 'metaphysical' ?
posted by farishta at 9:48 AM on February 24, 2008


I think it's weird that she lists someone as "A player of Final Fantasy", even though his or her dream had nothing to do with the game...
posted by delmoi at 10:10 AM on February 24, 2008


Got a link for that image, cashman?

And no need to credit - this is not about me. This is about you.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:25 AM on February 24, 2008


are dreams really 'metaphysical' ?

From the about page:

"Yes, yes, we know what they mean -- but what do they mean? What role do Barack and Hillary play in the collective unconscious? What could that tell us about where they might lead us -- and which one does more coke when we sleep?"

From the wikipedia definition of Metaphysics:

"Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that investigates principles of reality transcending those of any particular science, traditionally, cosmology and ontology. It is also concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of being and the world."

I think it's weird that she lists someone as "A player of Final Fantasy", even though his or her dream had nothing to do with the game...

Also from the about page:

"Want to contribute? Send in any dreams you've had about Hillary or Barack (not the waking kind, only the kind you have when you’re asleep – and no making it up!).

Attach any relevant demographic-type details: where you live, how old you are, relationship status, what sort of work you do, which candidate you support on a conscious level, or anything else that comes to mind. And don't worry: we'll respect your privacy and won't print your name with your dream."

Write to:

idreamofbarack@gmail.com or
idreamofhillary@gmail.com
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 10:31 AM on February 24, 2008


Why are you quoting wikipedia at us? Metaphysics ain't about dreams, pyramids, and crystals, aight?
posted by nasreddin at 11:08 AM on February 24, 2008


Metaphysics ain't about dreams, pyramids, and crystals, aight?

Aight!

nasreddin, you seem like an intelligent person. I bet if you had put some thought into my comment you could have figured it out. But because I am so kind and generous, I'll walk you through it.

Sheila Heti is using people's dreams about these two candidates to explore this question: "What role do Barack and Hillary play in the collective unconscious?"

Studying the collective unconscious is a form of investigating "principles of reality transcending those of any particular science." (quoted from the wiki)

Ms. Heti is studying this principle of reality-- Hillary and Barack's role in the collective unconscious-- to come to some understanding about Hillary and Barack's ultimate nature. Or, as I quoted from the wiki, "(Metaphysics )is also concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of being and the world."

Please note that no one but you said anything about pyramids and crystals.

Do you get where I'm coming from now? Ya feel me, dog?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:23 PM on February 24, 2008


This seems really interesting to me, probably because I've been following this race too closely and have had a number of Obama and Clinton related dreams. It's really interesting that the Obama dreams typically have him as a calm, austere presence, except for instances where he is initially perceived as a benign presence and then he turns and reveals some sort of disappointing character flaw (dirty mouth, drug use). The dreams with Hillary seem to be frantic, erratic, difficult to follow. Often they start with Hillary but then her entourage enters, including Bill, to sort of mess everything up. Oftentimes she is seen as being flawed and hyper-critical and therefore deserving of sympathy, or she does something that angers the person dreaming. This one is really interesting for some reason: I was sitting in a church, listening while the pastor rolled off a diatribe against Hillary running for president and how we Christians need to stand against her so that she cannot attain the office. Hillary was sitting in the congregation. Someone noticed and got up and went to her to apologize and explain that it isn’t usually like this in this church, which brought the whole service to a halt. The pastor was unrepentant, but was embarrassed only because his speech blew up in his face. Everyone else simply felt guilty because they agreed with what he said, but were faced with the very person against whom their feelings were directed.

To me, these seem like important markers that reinforce the majority perception of the candidates, fair or not. I would be interested to read what sort of dreams people are having about McCain, though he's not in the news nearly as much as Obama and Clinton so there are probably a lot fewer people dreaming of him (I would hope).
posted by billysumday at 12:31 PM on February 24, 2008


I've been following this race too closely and have had a number of Obama and Clinton related dreams.

Send 'em in!

I would be interested to read what sort of dreams people are having about McCain

Me, too. Scary and Apocalyptic? Grandfatherly? Other?

Anyone out there have a McCain dream they'd like to share?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:45 PM on February 24, 2008


I don't know why you're so defensive about this, Fuzzy Monster, but "metaphysics" is a term that has a pretty specific meaning in philosophy, and this meaning has to do neither with the collective unconscious nor with the role of Hillary and Barack therein (essentially, neither is "meta" enough; an example of a properly metaphysical question is "Do things exist separately from their constituent parts?"). The wikipedia definition is inadequate because it lends itself to overly-vague interpretations, such as this one--so repeatedly citing it is unlikely to impress anyone. It's like calling Van Gogh's "Starry Night" astrophysics, or Curious George biology.

That said, interesting and funny site, though many of the dreams are clearly fake.
posted by nasreddin at 1:07 PM on February 24, 2008


Fair enough, nasreddin.

I was quoting the about page for I Dream of Hillary... I Dream of Barack, which calls itself "The world's first metaphysical poll on the Democratic contenders."

I understand that Metaphysics has a specific meaning in philosophy. Can we agree that Metaphysics concerns itself with the fundamental nature of reality and being?

If I'm reading you right, you seem to think the collective unconscious has nothing to do with the fundamental nature of reality and being. I believe it does, and I also believe that here is where we disagree. Please correct me if I have read you wrong.

Thanks for the sample question above. This is one reason I keep coming back to this site: it stretches my brain.

As for my defensive posture... this is Metafilter! Law of the Jungle! Tooth and Nail! RAAWR!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 1:58 PM on February 24, 2008



If I'm reading you right, you seem to think the collective unconscious has nothing to do with the fundamental nature of reality and being. I believe it does, and I also believe that here is where we disagree. Please correct me if I have read you wrong.


Well, the thing is, the question "Are things made up of atoms or some other kind of corpuscule?" has everything to do with the fundamental nature of reality and being, but it's a physical, not a metaphysical, question. The collective unconscious (which is highly speculative and probably false) is a question of psychology. It is theoretically possible that it can be framed in such a way that it would be metaphysical; e.g., "Can the collective unconscious address objections to Berkeleyan idealism?" But the existence and characteristics of the collective unconscious are not problems that metaphysics is equipped to address, since they're not answerable just by thinking about them long and hard--you need observation and evidence. In the same way, reading people's dreams about Hillary doesn't give us the kind of information metaphysics could make use of.
posted by nasreddin at 2:18 PM on February 24, 2008


There's a long, irritating tradition of using "metaphysics" colloquially to mean something like "hippie-ass bullshit."

The "metaphysics" section in a bookstore, for instance, is full of crap about channeling aliens and bigfoot and curing cancer with herbal meditative vegan foot massage. Some of the stuff in there might address the fundamental nature of reality and being ("We're all just twelve-dimensional vibrations in the ethereal plane of love, man....") and some of it might not. What it has in common is that it's all a load of ridiculous pseudo-religious bull.

Philosophers who do metaphysics are, understandably, a little cranky about having the word misappropriated like that.

Stuff about "the collective unconscious" and "the realm of dreams" and whatnot... well, I guess it might fall under a technical definition of metaphysics. But it's also pseudo-religious bullshit, of the sort that the alien-channellers and the bigfoot-sighters and the crystal-healing-kundalini-wranglers love. And the upshot is that calling it metaphysics is still gonna make the philosophers mad.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:39 PM on February 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I recall (several years ago) a book of people's dreams about politicians.

I myself dreamed the other night that McCain was coming to dinner. He was not welcome. This was probably a bleed-over of anxiety over a dinner party my family was hosting later that week; we are all Democrats.

I don't have much faith in "metaphysics" of this kind, so I'm wondering if dreams about Presidents and major politicians replace dreams about teachers and principals once you are an adult.
posted by bad grammar at 4:03 PM on February 24, 2008


bad grammar, you may be thinking of Dreams of Bill.
posted by maryh at 4:16 PM on February 24, 2008


Yes, but what do people dream about Sheila Heti?
posted by bicyclefish at 4:23 PM on February 24, 2008


I had a dream once where Osama Bin Laden was a clean-shaven white guy in a suit, and was meeting with my dad, who was the president of the United States, at our dinner table. <>
posted by luftmensch at 4:58 PM on February 24, 2008


Geez. All I ever dream about is running around my old high school frantically searching for the location of my final exam.
posted by spoobnooble at 5:14 PM on February 24, 2008


In '92 (after I saw him speak at UT), I dreamt that Bill Clinton came over to my house and had some beers with my roommates and I. It was totally weird. He was so cool and suave.

I've also cast my share of write-in votes for Salma Hayek
posted by popechunk at 5:47 PM on February 24, 2008


I am growing the mustache of Flores Magón, thus the only presidents in my dreams are dead presidents.
posted by Dr. Curare at 4:39 AM on February 25, 2008


I had a dream with both of them in. She was dressed as Duchess, he as a Bishop. She said "Goddammit, take your hand off my knee"

Then it got all naked and uncomfortable.
posted by Sparx at 5:12 AM on February 25, 2008


"You know what Dee, I don't want to hear about your dream, okay? I hate listening to people's dreams. It is like flipping through a stack of photographs. If I'm not in any of them and nobody is having sex, I just don't care."
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:21 AM on February 25, 2008


Okay. I am joinging this thread *way* late, but can I just say:

Yes. Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy.

"Metaphysical" has a couple of meanings. One meaning is "having to do with metaphysics". But it has other meanings. From M-W.com:

meta·phys·i·cal Listen to the pronunciation of metaphysical
Function:
adjective
Date:
15th century
1: of or relating to metaphysics
2 a: of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses b: supernatural
3: highly abstract or abstruse; also : theoretical
4often capitalized : of or relating to poetry especially of the early 17th century that is highly intellectual and philosophical and marked by unconventional imagery


So it's true: pyramids, crystals, and the collective unconscious may not have much to do w. metaphysics. But it seems fair to describe them (by def 2a and 2b) as metaphysical, no? (I'm w. those who think all that supernatural crap is crap. But that's no reason to deny an adjective its meaning...)
posted by ManInSuit at 7:15 PM on March 4, 2008


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