in the Wall
Are we living in neurotic times? According to Freud,
all positive creative activities are sublimations and
derive predominantly from the sex drive. But in almost
the same breath the venerable Austrian wrote that our
secret sexual desires lay at the bottom of hysterical
In post 9/11 United States, neurosis and suspicion not
only govern all centers of cosmopolitan activity, they
are rife in every venue of the culture. The Internet is
a virtual bullhorn that broadcasts Uncle Sam’s feverish
preoccupation with everything un-American. If the plethora
of rhetoric generated by governments, blogs and the press
can be interpreted as examples of Freudian sublimations,
then the source might possibly be inferred from the subject
line of countless emails that flood into the average internet
user’s inbox at a steady, tidal rate. These missives
almost unanimously refer to a subject that has been a
cultural focus throughout the world for millennium –the
Phallus worship is an integral part of any patriarchal
society. Such cultures tacitly or openly revere the principles
of machismo and the hormonal helmsmanship of testosterone.
Hegemony, imperialism, tyranny, hostile take-overs and
monopoly are its signposts. It’s an Old Testament
persuasion that funnels all intents and actions into a
pipette that drips out the ultimate goal: Nietzsche’s
Evidence of phallus worship can be found in many countries,
both ancient and modern. It was conspicuous in ancient
Egypt, India, Syria, Babylon, Assyria, Persia, Greece,
Italy, Spain, Germany, Scandinavia, and among the Gauls.
In Egypt the phallus is frequently represented as the
symbol of generation. According to Ptolemy, the phallus
was the object of religious worship among the Assyrians
and Persians. In Syria, according to St. Jerome, Baal-Peor
was represented with a phallus in his mouth. The Jews
also partook in pallus worship. According to Ezekiel xvi.
17. women manufactured phalli of gold and silver. Among
the Hindoos a religious reverence was paid to the Lingam
and Yoni, and the Greeks and Romans similarly addressed
the Phallus and Cteis. The Teuton and Scandinavian god
Fricco corresponded to the Priapus of the Romans and was
adored under the form of a phallus. Hortanes, a similar
god, was equally important to Spain.
Phallus worship has been discovered in the New World
too, in America, Mexico, and Peru. According to John Lloyd
Stephens, the upright pillar in front of the temples of
Yucatan is a phallus. An ancient document written by a
companion of Hernando Cortez reads: "In certain countries,
and particularly at Panuco, they adore the phallus (il
membro che portano gli nomini fra le gambe), and it is
preserved in the temples."
In ancient times all natural events were consecrated
to some divinity, from whom they were supposed to emanate.
Egyptians assigned the act of generation to Khem; the
Assyrians attributed it to Vul. In India, Siva was the
honored god while in the primitive pastoral age of Greece,
it was Pan and then later, Priapus. Ancient Italians directed
their veneration to Mutinus. Among the Mexicans, the god
of generation was named Triazoltenti. All these dieties
represented the fructifying powers in man and nature.
The ancient religious fervor associated with the worship
of the phallus is far removed from our modern attitude.
Today the preeminent deity is Mammon, or to give it a
collegiate name, economics. Modern worship employs the
phallus as an arrow that points the quickest path to a
example, one of multiple and redundant emails I received
this morning was a promotion for a pill that, within 15
minutes of ingestion, would allow me to ‘hold a
brick on my dick’. I thought, Now there’s
a useful product. I can convert my genitalia into a one
brick hod. This definitely broadens my work horizons.
And adds new meaning to the job description of ‘laying
I clicked on the link, feeling like a cat about to be
The browser produced a frame around a heavily airbrushed
young woman in a nurse’s outfit. There was a green
cross on her career cap. Her mouth was provocatively agape,
right hand clutching a skirt pleat on a tilted hip. Balanced
on the open palm of her left hand, held toward the camera
like some kind of votive offering, was a small box of
Cialis, its green (cooincidence?) label Photoshopped into
The nurse looked like a pheromone in white cotton. Her
eyes, two smoking embers, were charged with the sexual
electrical potential that promised to unload a blue bolt
across the axioms of any man’s private fantasy.
The front of her frock was cleverly designed to showcase
her breasts, which were preternaturally round and jammed
together like the Symplegades, the mythical ‘Clashing
Rocks’ between which Jason and his Argonauts had
to navigate to reach the Hellespont.
The ad made several bold promises for its product, the
Cialis Soft Tab (to my mind, an ill-chosen name) which
was ‘formulated to be soft and dissolvable under
the tongue. The pill is absorbed at the mouth and enters
the bloodstream directly instead of going through the
stomach. This results in a faster more powerful effect
which still lasts up to 36 hours’. The term for
these kinds of pills is sublingual, a word I am sure the
author of the ad would have gotten a lot of mileage out
of if he or she had been aware of it.
One of the claims was that the effects of the drug lasted
up to 36 hours. So someone could conceivably put in two
days of bricklaying before needing a recharge. Almost
in the same breath it added that the new dissolvable tab
had less side effects than its pill-form siblings. ‘…you
can drive or mix alcohol drinks’. It’s not
clear whether these are things you are permitted to do
because of the mild systemic effects of the tab or because
of added abilities bestowed by the tab’s influence
on the targeted area. If it is a case of the latter, then
I strongly suggest you take your martinis á la
Bond --shaken not stirred.
The ad makes a point of comparing its product’s
effect against Pfizer Viagra. It does this graphically,
using a bar chart. The vertical axis is marked off in
percentage points while the horizontal axis indicates
time from zero to seventy five minutes. The Viagra line
is green while the Cialis Soft Tab line is yellow. For
the first eighty percent of efficacy, the green line (Viagra)
makes seven course changes over a roughly 45 degree ascent.
But the yellow line, the Cialis Soft Tab, surges upward
with rampant vigor at about a 70 degree angle, stopping
in record time near the 100 percentile mark which, to
my mind, could have been better represented by a belly
button. The Soft Tab achieved in 15 minutes what Pfizer
Viagra required 75 minutes to muster, according to the
chart. Coincidentally, the pre-Viagra/Cialis generations
could probably draw a one-to-one correlation between a
man’s age and the response under each pill’s
performance on the chart. Fifteen for the fifteen year
old and seventy-five for the seventy-five.
Not since Samuel Colt made all men equal in 1835 has
a product shown such similar applications. Colt worked
on a device that minimized the amount of time for reloading.
It seems Cialis is trying to follow suit.
What kind of people wave the icons of their credit cards
at the faux nurse with the green cross on her hat? Are
they in any way linked to the ancient cults of phallus
worshippers? The website contained a link to a page of
testimonials, the majority thanking the company for preempting
any possibility of anxiety or embarrassment over inert
or malfunctioning equipment. The ancients experienced
similar anxieties when seasonal rains were sparse or didn’t
arrive at all. Crops became limp and shriveled. Priests
and citizens felt the pangs of inadequacy, the guilt of
not having performed to the satisfaction of a higher power.
Often a human life was offered to redress the imagined
offense and bring about the sacred showers, the holy semen
that cyclically generated the gifts of the earth. It was
a rudimentary act of commerce, a primal economic artifice
that ensured the basic needs of a society.
Today there is no longer any threat of guilt or need
for contrition. Soft Tabs secures your confidence and
guarantees the sacred rains will come whenever they are
called upon. The nurse in the green cross hat pledges
that your crop will be firm and hearty. All it takes is
a few keystrokes to enter your credit card number and
you’ve stepped out of a river of superstition and
reverence that stretches back to Neolithic times.
Intimacy used to be a function of communication. The
Logos was relied upon to administer the proper mood, weave
a climate of intimacy with whispers and purring feints.
Now, in this age of declining literacy and fractured education,
the answer to sexual response lies under the tongue. And
thus pharmacology has made mute the enchantment of sex.
Maybe that’s why the nurse in the green cross hat
has her mouth agape.