Achilles Anophtheis (Achilles revisited)
The director walked onto the stage, gingerly adjusting his radiation
mask in order to fit the microphone beneath it. His nervous cough
boomed through the hall. After shuffling the papers on the podium
before him, he began.
“Welcome ladies and gentlemen of the Pre-Apocalypse Archaeological
Society. We have called this session to impart to you a matter of the
utmost importance, a discovery of the highest order. As you are
aware, our teams have only recently been able to sift through the
debris of the razed cities of our belligerent predecessors, thanks to
the efforts of our colleagues at the Physical Research Society who,
with the aid of Allah, have made our task infinitely easier with the
invention of a radiation suit which allows our field workers to work
even in areas of the highest radiation concentration: the cities of
what was formerly the United States of America. The discoveries are
literally pouring in, and we have our hands full simply cataloguing the
numerous finds. Our first find was a small rectangular object,
... may predispose medical practitioners and patients to unhealthy radiation exposure. Radiological procedures such as mammography, dental ... Edward). Precautions Required to Protect Against Ionising Radiation Medical professionals have an ethical and professional obligation ... are safer alternatives. Finally, ionising radiations increases the risk of radiation-induced gene mutations. Germline mutations have ...
containing a spool of thin ribbon, which one of our historians
identified as what was known as a cassette. Simply put, it was a
device on which sounds could be recorded. From its small size, our
historian conjectured that it was of a type designed for recording the
human voice rather than music. Armed with this belief, we managed
to convince the Censor Society to allow us to reconstruct the
primitive machine to play back the message we hoped it would
contain. They agreed; on the condition that we did not do so until
they had a chance to screen it for the negative influences that
caused the downfall of the last corrupt civilization. They duly
approved it and we are now ready for its first public presentation.
“Before we begin, I would like to explain some of the terms used in
the recording, for those of you who lack the benefit of an historical
training. The tape is evidently the recording of a psychologist. You
are all aware that the sacrilege which led to the destruction of the
Nuclear Age was primarily caused by the decline in religious belief and
values. A psychologist was the person who supplanted the role of the
confessor in this blasphemous time. He labored under the delusion
that the immortal soul was accessible on a scientific, human level;
and, like most of the scientists of the day, impiously discounted Allah
as an unnecessary complication. We found an infamous saying which
pervaded much of the Pre-Apocalypse literature: ‘Religion is the
opiate of the people’. Well, psychology became the new ‘opiate of
The patient with whom the doctor is dealing with in the recording,
... symptoms. With alcohol, Cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine's, and barbiturates middle age men try to escape reality of their pain (Samuels). All this ... little evidence that crises happen more during middle age (Kalter). When men are middle aged they tend to be at their happiest. ... the number of hopes (Adler). Thinking back on the younger days when you could do anything, know you realize that there ...
has been identified as a prominent businessman of the day. He is
what was called an arbitrageur. A man who specialized in dealings on
their stock market, a term I am sure all of you are familiar with. In
any case, an arbitrageur bought and sold companies for a profit. In
the few pieces of literature we have been able to recover, it seems
that such men were regarded as the heroes of their age. I refer of
course to the numerous copies we have of the autobiographies of
Donald Trump, Robert Campeau and the like. Evidently the culture
considered these books to be of great importance, for we found huge
amounts of them in large buildings. This was apparently for
safekeeping since the storage facilities were located well away from
the centres of attack in the event of a nuclear war. The periodicals
of the day also reflect the reverence in which these men were held,
as they are frequently mentioned. It is another mark of the
degradation of the society that the primary estimate of a man’s
worth became the amount of money he earned. It is difficult in this
holy age to conceive of such blasphemy, but it is necessary that we
do so in order to avoid the same traps into which they fell. We have
managed to reconstruct the scenario as far as was possible, but we
endeavored to retain all of the original conversation in addition to our
own narration. I don’t think that there is anything further that you
need to know about the recording, except perhaps that it appears to
be incomplete. I would ask that you remain as silent as possible,
because the tape is of very low quality and the accent is very
difficult to understand. If you are having trouble, I suggest that you
... work of Heidegger and Blanchot. Derridas work offers a welcome stylistic clarity in a field beleaguered ... return to metaphysics. After all, making these sorts of distinctions in order to resolve apparent contradictions ... critique of Heidegger in "The Ends of Man," namely that we can never fully escape ... original have different meaning. Derrida states that man is subjected to a law of translation that ...
follow along in the transcripts with which we have provided you.” The
Director signaled for the tape to begin, and left the stage.
Dr. Zeis loaded the cassette into the machine and tested it. It
wouldn’t do to have it chew up the tape again, especially not for so
important a patient: the sort of patient who could make his career . .
. or break it. He knew he couldn’t afford to squander his good
fortune. As his mind wandered over the seemingly endless
ramifications of success, the static crackle of the intercom
interrupted his reveries. It was his secretary warning him that Mr.
Reussi was on his way in. The doctor rewound the tape and offered
up a quick prayer that it would work. The door swung open and one
of the world’s richest, most powerful men strode in.
Mr. Oswald Achilles Reussi had made his fortune by taking over
companies and turning them around. He was able to start at such a
high level because of the substantial inheritance he had received
from his father. He was rich enough to ensure that he received only
the best sort of publicity, and that was why he had been so irate
when the media learned that he was in therapy and had printed the
story with a glee that only those who made their living from sordid
details were capable of acquiring. Dr. Zeis had regretted his
indiscretion, but that sort of publicity was simply too tempting to
resist. He had only been able to calm the fuming man by convincing
him that it was essential that he not be afraid of the stigma of
therapy in order for it to work for him. An old dodge, but it had
performed its function and placated the incensed patient.
Oswald crossed the room with a gruff greeting (Dr. Zeis had learned
... fashion designer, PeterMorrissey, with Balarinji Design Studio (the company behind Qantas' distinctive Aboriginal painted aircraft)contributing a ... supplying meals to the Qantas Group airlines and 30external companies, including railway operators, health care providers, retailers ... internationalaviation. In 1928 it operated the first flying doctor service for the Reverend John Flynn's Australian ...
early that this was not a man to waste time).
He took his customary
position, sprawled on the couch. Dr. Zeis did not place any value in
Freud’s theories regarding the merits of the couch, but he didn’t have
the heart, or the nerve, to object.
“Well Mr. Reussi,” he began, glancing down at the few notes he had
been able to salvage from the previous session’s mangled tape, “last
week, we established with a fair degree of certainty, that you are
suffering from an unresolved Oedipus complex. This, in turn, has
contributed to your success, by engendering in you a sense of
competition with your father. The matter was not helped by the fact
that you frequently suffered comparison with him in your youth.
“This week I hope to confirm the conclusions we drew through a brief
examination of your present life. This examination will, hopefully, yield
manifestations of this dysfunction, and then we may direct our
efforts to its resolution. So, perhaps you could tell me about what is
troubling you most at present.” Oswald shifted uncomfortably and
seemed to be searching for a topic. He eventually settled, and
“You’ve probably heard about my attempted takeover of Trojan Inc.,
the rubber company. I was not in it for the money, I suppose that all
I really wanted was to complete a deal of historic proportions. At any
rate, I had submitted a bid, and, because of the amount of money
involved, didn’t expect to encounter any serious competition. The
board of directors was not very happy with the offer, but I knew the
shareholders would not allow such an opportunity to pass them by.
... search for acquisition opportunities in an attempt “to consolidate independent component manufacturers into one company”. (Raytheon Company, fundinginguniverse.com) They acquired Belmont Electronics ... his “irrepressible impulses to acquire more companies”. (Textron Inc., fundinguniverse.com) In 1956, in an attempt to balance his own business style ...
Just when I was hammering out the final details and preparing to
submit the offer to the Securities Commission for final approval, a
former friend of mine, Alexander Atreides, came in and pulled a white
knight, right under my nose.”
“I’m sorry,” the doctor interrupted, “but I’m afraid you’ll have to
explain technical terms to me; I’m not well versed in the language of
business. I don’t understand what you mean by a ‘white knight’.”
” Oh, that’s fairly straightforward. A white knight refers to a strategy
that companies use to prevent being taken over by a hostile party.
They find someone who they would like to take over the company,
and then they convince him to undertake the attempt by promising
him the endorsement of the board of directors. Although in this case,
Alexander offered his services to the directors, convincing them with
guarantees of job security. So the board naturally jumped at the
chance, and he stole the company from right under me.”
“How do you feel about his actions?”
“I was angry at first, but now he’s in serious financial trouble because
his attempt to pull off ‘the greatest takeover in history’ is being
stalled by the company’s Chief Executive Officer.” “I read something
about it in the paper. He’s attempting to take over Trojan, but the
head of the company, Hector Prince, won’t let him.”
“That’s right.” replied Oswald. “Trojan is the world’s largest
manufacturer of condoms, and with the present scare over social
diseases, it’s business is booming. They also own several tire
... . He wanted to teach them to be better doctors. This doesn’t affect my views or ... not show any ill bedside manner like the other doctors. After his surgery which was successful, Jack ... him, and convinced him to be a better doctor by showing care to his patients and a better ... inundation of paperwork, the facing of cold and impersonal doctors, and the encounter with another cancer patient June Ellis ...
companies; basically, they own anything that involves the use of
“Can you help Mr. Atreides?” asked the psychologist.
“Yes, but I’m not going to. I believe that this is some sort of divine
retribution. Fate is paying him back for cheating me out of my
company.” said Oswald complacently.
“Did he do something illegal?”
“You mean in stealing Trojan from me?” The doctor nodded.
“Not really, but it’s not the sort of thing one does to one’s friends. I
mean he knew that I wanted the takeover, and that this company
was the target I had chosen over five years ago. I had just been
biding my time until an opportunity presented itself; and when it did,
he was right there to take advantage of things I had told him as a
friend . . . confidential things.” “Mr. Reussi, I have heard nearly
enough,” the doctor said, putting down his notebook, “but there is
one more thing that I need to know. If Mr. Atreides had not done
what he did in the Trojan takeover, would you help him to defeat
Hector?” “I would jump at the chance of making that dog Hector
squirm. He’s one of the most despicable men I know. He never fails to
point out that my father married into money, while his family is one of
those that trace their ancestry to the Mayflower.”
“Then, if I may, I suggest that you go to Mr. Atreides’ aid.” the
doctor knew that this would not be received warmly and was
prepared to defend it. “Why should I help Alexander? He’s as much of
a bastard as Hector!” The doctor cleared his throat.
“Firstly, it would be to both of your advantages to see Mr. Prince out.
You’ve already stated that you would like to see him squirm, well
here’s your chance. And to top it all, you would have a chance to be
part of the largest takeover in history. You stated yourself that this
was your main motive in the matter.” “It’s true that I would like to
see Hector squirm, but I hate to have to save Alexander in the
process.” said Oswald doubtfully.
“Secondly, we have already established that you have an unresolved
Oedipus complex and-” “I’m not absolutely certain that I understand
what it is to have an ‘unresolved Oedipus complex’,” Oswald
“I apologize for not clarifying my psychological terms for you. An
Oedipus complex, as you are probably aware, is a normal childhood
phenomena. Because of the child’s natural love for his mother, he
views his father as being in competition with him for that love, and,
as a result, develops a hatred of him. The complex is usually resolved
by the child’s development of a ‘castration complex.’ Two primary
reasons contribute to this: first the child is frequently scolded for
touching his genital area, and, secondly he may see a naked girl and
believe that she has been punished for the same crime, by having the
offending organ amputated. In his irrational fear of castration, the
boy tries to compensate by ridding himself of all thoughts of hatred
by repression, and attempts to love his father. Naturally, this is a
drastically simplified explanation of a complicated process. Do you
understand now?” asked Dr. Zeis. “Yes. You believe that I did not
suffer from this . . . uhh . . . ”
“Castration complex?” offered the doctor. “That’s it,” said Oswald,
“and therefore I never overcame the sense of competition with my
“Yes,” confirmed the psychologist, “that’s it in a nutshell. You see,
you were never really around your parents when you were a child,
and because they spent so little time with you, they were loathe to
scold you. Also you said yourself that you frequently suffered
comparison with your father when you were a child, and this served
to enhance the sense of competition. So now I am attempting to
suggest a therapy that will aid you in overcoming your dysfunction.”
“But how will helping Alexander accomplish anything?” asked Oswald
“The only way to triumph over the problem is to consciously avoid
behaviour that it causes. And the scenario you have just presented
to me involving your friend, Mr. Atreides, is just such behaviour.”
explained the doctor. “You mean to say that I am merely acting under
a compulsion when I refuse to aid Alexander?” asked Oswald
dubiously. The doctor nodded. “But wouldn’t you do the same thing if
a friend of yours stabbed you in the back like he has done to me? and
stolen my dream?” asked Oswald.
“I anticipated this objection.” said the doctor complacently. “That is
why I have a third reason. Ask yourself, if you were in his position
would you have acted similarly?”
“Well . . . ” hesitated Oswald.
“You see that such behaviour is common in the business world, and
you would probably have done the same had the roles been
reversed.” said the doctor triumphantly. “What you must realize is
that all these years of competition have made you unable to accept
defeat. The only way you can accept losing to Mr. Atreides without
causing yourself considerable mental anguish, is by being a factor in
his destruction, taking your revenge.”
“I still don’t know,” said Oswald doubtfully, “I can’t-” The sound of a
telephone ringing broke into the conversation. A look of anger passed
across the doctor’s face as he stood up to answer it.
“I apologize Mr. Reussi,” he said. “I thought I told my receptionist to
hold all my calls.” “No need to apologize,” said Oswald, pulling a
handsized, rectangular object from his pocket. “I believe it’s my
phone.” He unfolded the phone and extended a concealed antenna.
“Yes?” he said tersely, and listened for a few seconds, his face
growing taut. “Are you sure?” he asked. After listening for a few more
seconds, he folded the phone back up and folded the antenna.
“That was a friend of mine,” he explained, “Robert Patrolo, telling me
that his company was just taken over by Trojan. Hector’s first move
upon gaining control was to have him removed from the chairmanship.
Hector knew that would get me.” He remained seated for a few
seconds and then stood up, pulling on his jacket.
“I believe you are right doctor.” he said. “I am going to help Mr.
Atreides; and when we succeed I’m going to throw Hector out like a
dog.” and so saying, he left the room. The doctor sat down again. He
wondered over the man’s motives, and came to the conclusion that
he had not accomplished very much. All Reussi was doing was
transferring his wrath from Mr. Atreides to Hector.
“Ah well,” he thought, “I shall have to try a different approach next
week.” He pressed the stop button on his tape recorder.
The Director returned to the stage and signaled for the tape to be
stopped. “I believe, gentlemen, that you are all aware of the profane
theories of Sigmund Freud?” he glance around the auditorium
observing their nods.
“Well, for the first time, we are able to see those fanciful theories in
actual application, rather than in text. The members of the Censor
Society have graciously permitted us to listen to this recording in
order to allow us to see the depths to which rationality can plunge.
We must remember, as we attempt to rebuild our society, that the
only way is God’s way, as specifically set out in our sacred Books. I
hope that you have gleaned the dire lesson that this recording has to
offer. We must, at all costs, avoid the unplumbable depths of
depravity to which the Nuclear Age descended, and construct our
Society in accordance with the decrees of God. Praise God!”
The audience rose and emphatically returned his farewell, well aware
that they were being closely observed, and that any failure could
result in the severest consequences.