Saturday, March 12, 2016

"It Would Be So Nice to Live in the Twentieth Century with Its Crimes and Insanity"

"From This Dark Mind."
By Rog Phillips (Roger Phillip Graham, 1909-65).
First appearance: Fantastic, November-December 1953.
Reprinted in Fantastic (UK), February 1954 and Fantastic, July 1967.
Short story (16 pages).
Online at SFFAudio HERE (PDF).
"If the late Rog Phillips was right — in this thoroughly absorbing glimpse of psychiatry 21st-century style — then our great-grandchildren may well see a day when flu epidemics end with a wise word to the men behind 'Little Orphan Annie' and when M.D.'s are subordinated to psychodiagnosticians like Dr. Hugo Bard, who on one notable occasion — this one — not only forestalled a poten-tial murderess but also simultaneously exposed a perfect murder which no one committed!"
It's a world where seemingly innocent words can betray homicidal tendencies and being born again can save two lives.

Principal characters:
~ Dr. Hugo Bard: "Here, in a way, he was royalty. Every successful surgeon since the beginning of time knows the feeling, and lives for it. The surgeon is a king, his subjects the internes and nurses, his kingdom the incarnate manifestations of his specialty."
~ Mable: "Better have your head examined, doc."
~ Nancy: "Mr. David Green just canceled his appointment for today. He has the flu."
~ David Green: ". . . everything indicates he has murder on his mind."
~ Capt. Jim O'Conner: "When the city fathers hand down orders that you medics can forecast crime I'll help you. Until then I can't do a thing . . ."
~ Mrs. Gorham: "Eventually she might have shot her husband for dropping ashes on the rug or something just as monumental."
~ Dr. Allan: "Last time I'll play second fiddle to a psychodiagnostician."
~ George Davis: "Not too intelligent, but well adjusted to his body-type and station in life."
~ Mary Davis: ". . . a sixty-forty personality."
~ Dr. Arden: "Good lord, man, do you realize what an enormous task it would be to contact five thousand doctors in one afternoon?"
Comment: A society constantly being tweaked by even just a few Hugo Bards could be a great place to live or a nightmare, depending on which parts of your mind (and how much of those) you (as well as the people around you) are willing to have edited or excised.
- Wikipedia HERE - The SFE HERE - The ISFDb HERE - FictionMags HERE - A few works by Rog Phillips are at Project Gutenberg HERE - A list of 50 mind control movies at Listal HERE - Wikipedia ("Gestalt psychology") HERE and ("Word Association - Psychology") HERE.
- It wasn't too long ago that we dealt with futuristic psychiatry HERE.

The bottom line: "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
The Bible

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