Have a penchant for psychoanalysis? Find it difficult, if not impossible, to pull yourself away from C-Span during the election cycle? Get both of your bookish hankerings satisfied in one dizzying night. See what happens when you mix applied psychological therapy to contemporary political theory. Explore the political field in terms of the psychological needs and desires of the politician and the citizen.
On Friday, January 16, the Center for Jungian Studies of South Florida hosts Andrew Samuels. Samuels is a Jungian analyst and professor from the University of Essex, England. His lecture, "Does the West Need Therapy: Putting Our Politics on the Couch," attempts to cast the political relationships that members of society instinctively fall into as essentially versions of siblings squabbling for their own interests.
Although Samuels is not a doctor, he has a storied past -- activist in South Africa with the African National Congress, Royal Shakespeare Company producer, former head of a radical theater commune -- that adds texture to his position. He suggests that good governance should embrace the differences among members of society rather than attempting to homogenize them, offering a sort of ultra-individualist outlook that encourages divergent outlooks among races, religions, and genders. It's an issue seeing debate and application on several fronts -- the French government outlawing conspicuous displays of religious symbols, for example.
You can anticipate penetrating views drawn from the teachings of one of the luminaries of modern psychoanalysis, Carl Jung. Jung fathered the argument that love will inevitably trump the individual's desire for power or that power will trample love underfoot (you can't have it both ways, stupid), among other quotable favorites. He spent a great deal of his career exploring the central role of belief and mythology in the psyche of the individual.
In an age when Judge Sandra Day O'Connor has been strangely transformed from the Reaganite Jezebel into the last line of defense for liberal issues, Samuels' analysis of a political system wandering away from the center should be interesting.
The lecture takes place at the Sunshine Cathedral (1480 SW Ninth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. Call 954-525-4682. -- Michael Keller
Open for Business
Another season of racing at Gulfstream Park (901 S. Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach) means another lecture season presented by Gulfstream Park's Women's Club. The club picks speakers whom it views as either personalities of interest to women or experts on subjects of interest to women. This year's lecture series kicks off with one of the former, Mia Farrow, speaking at 11:30 a.m. in the park's Turf Club.
Farrow seemed destined to occupy tabloid headlines beginning with her marriage to Frank Sinatra -- her elder by more than 30 years -- in 1965, following her first step into the limelight in the TV show Peyton Place. That marriage, of course, didn't last long. She gained fame again as the mother of Satan's love child in Rosemary's Baby. Following that, she took up with Woody Allen and starred in half a dozen of his movies. And then the tabloids returned. Allen took up with Farrow's adopted daughter. Why Farrow couldn't see this coming through Allen's ridiculous casting of beautiful women half his age to play his love interest in nearly all of his films is beyond us. Maybe she'll discuss it at her speech, but we sincerely doubt it. Tickets cost $45. Call 954-457-6210. -- Dan Sweeney
Drink o' the Month
In this month's DotM, we head South of the Border
We find it hard to believe that, with several months' worth of DotMs behind us, we have yet to mention the prickly pear margarita at Canyon (1818 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Certainly the best margarita in town -- it's been named so in our Best Of issue several times. And quite possibly the best damn cocktail, period. Definitely in the top five.
See, there are two schools of thought when it comes to judging a good margarita -- quality or quantity. The Quantity School demands a 300-ounce margarita glass filled with frozen margarita that has been made by blending ice, margarita mix, and some disgusting quasi-tequila like Jose Cuervo. The Quality School goes to Canyon. The drink's recipe is something of a closely guarded secret. Our spies inform us it is made with the best, 100 percent blue agave tequila, Triple Sec, and the requisite cacti, but they steadfastly refuse to say proportions. At $8 a glass, worth every red cent. Call 954-765-1950. -- Dan Sweeney
As former secretary of state, Madeleine Albright faced what every political figure faces: criticism. America loves to criticize, and Albright was no doubt a subject of the public's penchant to pick nits. But Albright also has a fondness for sassing back to her naysayers. Her recent biography, Madam Secretary, chronicles her life story, from her childhood in Nazi-run Czechoslovakia to her political career during the Clinton administration. Albright gets to the point; before a Fox News program last month, she asked Fox News analyst Mort Kondracke, "Do you suppose that the Bush administration has Osama bin Laden hidden away somewhere and will bring him out before the election?" She was not laughing, though she later said that it was a tongue-in-cheek comment. Whether she meant it or not, she does not hide her distaste for the Bush administration, God bless her. She signs her book at Borders Books and Music (9887 Glades Rd., Boca Raton) at 7 p.m. Call 561-883-5854. -- Audra Schroeder