The Thrill Of The Slip

Clinical psychologist Jay Watts observes:

[C]ommunications technology means that Freudian slips are increasingly unforgettable within our culture. If you Google ‘Freudian slip’, you’ll find multiple compilations of slips from politicians and celebrities. If we film celebrities for long enough, something other than the performance managed by media training, publicity agents and the celebrities’ own ideas of themselves emerges. We relish these eruptions, especially when they come from ‘the great and the good’. George H W Bush’s famous slip is a good example: ‘For seven and a half years, I’ve worked alongside President Reagan, and I’m proud to have been his partner. We’ve had triumphs. We’ve made some mistakes. We’ve had some sex — setbacks.’ Many sites include instructions to watch Bush’s chest during the replay as he ‘looks like he’s having a minor heart attack after the slip’ — an example of the glee we often find when discussing celebrity slips. Slips become great power equalisers. ‘You are not what you would have us believe you are,’ we say, laughing.