The Ten Commandments


Dr Zeus Paedipus, eminent psychoanalyst

Good Gomorrah! I’m still on a Cecil B. DeMille tip. Here’s an extract from a psychoanalytical reading of ‘The Ten Commandments’ by Dr Zeus Paedipus, an influential Freudian critic from the 1960s.

DeMille’s preoccupation with the Old Testament reflects the essentially left-testicular bias of his mind. His psycho-sexual development, centred around the twin traumas of (a) being an only child and (b) harbouring, simultaneously, (i) an intense sexual desire for and (ii) a violent resentment towards his brother, gave rise to an imbalance in his testicular thinking. Left-testicular thinkers lean towards harsh moral dichotomies, long beards and violent apocalyptic fantasies. Right-testicular thinkers, on the other hand, have a propensity for forgiveness, slightly shorter beards, and engaging in sustained interpersonal communication on top of elevated topographical spaces.

The film, ‘The Ten Commandments’, is the most detailed picture we have of the scrotal neuroses of the adult DeMille. In his representation of the parting of the Red Sea, for instance, the improbable cleaving of a briny liquid mass into two, round, wrinkled spheres of salt water, is a dark evocation of DeMille’s impossible longing to separate his left testicle from his right testicle. Moses’ rod, poking up punily between the parted sea-stuffs, shows us just how much DeMille’s penis was dwarved by the overwhelming presences of his rival gonads. In the conflict between the two entrenched extremities of DeMille’s testicular personality, his penis was a negligible consideration.

In DeMille’s sexual life this gonadatrophic dissonance manifested itself in a puzzled aversion to penetrative intercourse, and a deep erotic engagement with round fruits. Numerous actresses, including Katherine Hepburn, report being asked to dangle two grapefruits in a hempen carrier bag just out of DeMille’s reach. Upon being presented with this spectacle, DeMille would gasp and yell “Gee Whizz! Two roundies in a flap-bag, look at ’em go boys, look at ’em go” before growing melancholy and irritable.

Elsewhere in ‘The Ten Commandments’, we see such obvious and facile images of the left testicle as the burning bush, the smashing of the stone commandments, God’s nose, Pharoah’s bumbag, Aaron’s delicate lute and innumerable golden calves sporting unwieldy udders. Indeed, the title of the book on which this film is based, ‘The Old Testament’, is Hebrew for ‘The Left Testicle’. What more evidence do you need?


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2 Responses to “The Ten Commandments”

  1. dangerous meredith Says:


  2. johnlebaptiste Says:

    You’re right DM, the writings of Dr Zeus Paedipus are underrated.

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