But nowadays the media barrage of all titillation all the time leaves very little that goes without saying, and more’s the pity, I think, since so much of this sort of thing could go without saying and we’d all be the better for it. For a long time in this country you didn’t have to convince people of the virtues of reticence, that private lives are best left private, but the past is another country, as they say—they do things differently there. As with so many other things I loathe, I blame the 1960’s and Sigmund Freud for all of this. Somehow or other Freud got into his head that spilling your psychological guts all over the floor without a mop nearby was somehow or other conducive to promoting good mental health. This, of course, is poppycock raised to the nth degree, but Freud didn’t want to hear that his pet ideas were twaddle. He went on and on and on, yammering day in and day out about gated Oedipus apartment complexes with Electrafied fences in the suburbs and egos and ids ad infinitum and ad nauseam to the brew and it gets truly disgusting, and saying all these ridiculous things in a thick Viennese accent. There are all too many Americans, I fear, who are more than willing to give oddball foreigners and their equally oddball ideas a pass if those ideas come packaged in a foreigner’s somewhat mangled English—how else do you explain the strange fascination with French philosophy and literary theory in American academia since the end of World War II?
The rest of it is just as good - go there.