Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Psychoanalysis & "Man in the Mirror"
To add on to Thomas's post, I'd like to expand the passage he quotes from Hall that the mirror stage is "when the child becomes aware of itself as a distinct being; indeed, for a while this mirrored being and the world that surrounds it seem completely under the child's control (as the image in a mirror is under control)" (107). What's interesting in this song is that the singer feels just that emotion, that he the world is completely under his control, that he can create a significant change to end poverty. If we take it as Lacan suggests, however, this will be followed by stage in which "control is discovered to be illusory, especially as the child encounters language and social signification, which Lacan calls the 'symbolic order'" (107). So taking a Lacan-heavy approach to psychoanalysis, we can conclude that, though the ambition of the singer is noble, it's liable to ultimately fail. As we all know Michael Jackson has made changes in himself himself, albeit mostly in physical aspects than in behaviors (and negative ones at that), but children are still starving in the world. Perhaps it's too early to declare the singer's mission a failure, but it certainly isn't successful. Has he already encountered the 'symbolic order' Lacan speaks of or will he in the future? We may have to wait awhile to decide for sure on that one.