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Cheap Thrill
October 25, 2007 - 5:51pm



It's always a cheap thrill when psychiatrists - especially academic psychiatrists - turn out to be infantile, ridiculous people.

An even more thrilling cheap thrill is when they turn out to be insane homicidal monsters (Hannibal Lecter; that guy in the film Dressed to Kill). But in real life we must make do with the infantile and ridiculous.

It's a cheap thrill because it's the bluntest of ironies when these priests of secular American culture, these fonts of mature life-wisdom, turn out to be preening prancing fools who screw up their lives and embarrass their institutions and hurl lawsuits at one another to the point where the New York Times takes note.

Two eminent academic psychiatrists, colleagues at Columbia University, so ludicrously took against one another that there's a high-profile lawsuit raging, with flamboyant charges and counter-charges thrown. Theirs wasn't primarily an intellectual dispute, which might have lent the proceedings some dignity. The boys just couldn't get along.

The guy who got fired - the guy who's suing Columbia University for fifteen million dollars - complains that the other guy called him "the Brad Pitt of psychiatry."

The guy who still has his job at Columbia is "restrained and scholarly in nature." The guy suing is "outspoken, a media favorite."

Their photos do tell a story. Here's the guy who still has his job. Grim.

Here's Brad Pitt. Whee!

UD has no special training, but she speculates that Brad got all the girls, while non-Brad, though smarter, deeper, and more serious, was left holding the Rorschach blotter.


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