Thursday, 23 February 2006

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Productivity, The Lack Thereof, & Stuff At Which To Point With Mirth I've acquired a reputation for merciless self-deprecation. As tempting as a meta-merciless account of earlier merciless self-deprecations sounds . . . I do this to feel like I learn good. That I progress. That I'm smarter today than yesterday and that I'll be even smarter tomorrow. To experience daily what in the Kaufman House Patois we christen a "productive" day. As Michael Szalay argues in that nifty little book of his : when poor people become intellectuals they fret endlessly over the immaterial nature of their production. Just as Jack London quelled his conscience with vigorous assertions of the workiness of his labors, the Kaufman household obsessively catalogues its "work performed." So when an entire day passes in which I haven't marked a lick or thought about my dissertation . . . you can only imagine. I feel less than useless. My father drove an ambulance. Saved people's lives. I read books. The guilt threatens sanity and suggests a fulfilling career in alcoholism. The sole bulwark? The notion that I'm more smart today than yesterday. So I mock my former self. He thought he was so smart. I'll show him! (Sometimes I do too. Only I come to my senses quickly now.) Tonight I slam him to the mat again so that I might pick myself back up. What follows are excerpts from an essay I wrote my senior year entitled "Poe and Lacan Unpurloined, Revisited, and Revised." Even the title—despite its prescient nod to the Matrix sequels—blows hurricane-strength gusts of utter suck. But the title is just the beginning. (As titles are wont to be.) It's all downhill from there: The forces acting upon the narrator in "Usher" are not unlike those Poe's Style imposes on the reader. Those dastardly forces! Who are they to act upon the narrator? Why did I capitalize style? What do I think I am, German? Just as the reader is overwhelmed by the Stylistic effect which connects the narrator’s observations, the narrator is overwhelmed by the concerted effort the world of Roderick Usher makes to assault his Emersonian self-reliance. In other words, just as Poe’s Style makes the unintelligible intelligible by creating an illusory uniformity on otherwise unrelated statements, the world of Roderick Usher makes the unintelligible intelligible by creating an illusory uniformity on an normally disjunctive world. Nothing is more awesome than saying the same twice. Seriously. Nothing is more awesome than saying the same thing twice. To this point this essay seriously lacked penis-talk. Not anymore! In a post-Freudian/Lacanian world, this recognition is healthy precisely because it undermines the illusory nature of the Ego. Unfortunately for the narrator, the Emersonian concept of self-reliance to which he adheres is completely incompatible with this realization, in that one cannot "carry himself in the presence of all opposition as it every thing were titular and ephemeral but he" when he knows that the "he" to which Emerson refers is the illusion which Lacan refers to as the function of the phallus (1624). That Jesus...
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Welcome to Our Jew Information Page; or, Hate Speech Theater I After careful consideration I've decided I shouldn't have posted that in the first place. I knew there was a reason I never posted it those many moons ago. So I've banished it below the fold. Too many layers of irony confuse the casual reader. Plus I've gotten some hits I'm not altogether comfortable with from some sites whose readers lack critical acumen. Or basic reading skills. So begone! However, this raises an interesting issue, one which I'll tackle tonight if I have energy enough after yet another marathon grading session. With this many essays, the pile never seems to shrink . . . UPDATE: As I wrote Rebecca, the more interesting issue [alluded to above] is how to turn racism against racists without seeming like you're making fun of the racist's target. I can't bend it back without seeming, to the casual reader, racist myself. How are we supposed to mock absurd views? I kind of think we can't. I'd say that's the last time I'm going to openly mock neo-Nazis, but I doubt it will be. What I need to figure out is how to do so properly. Here you find many truth Jews kill to hide. Page work like I ask you Jew question and you don't know so I give Jew answer. You will like so much as Jew hates. First question is "Why do Jew pick nose?" Concede! First answer is "Cheaper than tissue." Second question is "Why Jew nose so big?" Stop! Second answer is "Because air free." Third question is "What do Jew do when Jew friend leaves?" Shut it! Answer is "Check couch." Fourth question is "What most disgusting about Jew clothes?" This my boot! Answer is "Jew occupant." Final question is "Why no Jew eat pork?" I will shoot! Answer is "Torah prohibits cannibalism." Now you know Jew truth. Please no share with Jew friends. Please not have Jew friends first. You kick them hard they cry Jew tears. They not mind they sell for maximum profit to Jews who not can cry! [Addendum #1: Hate Speech Theater will focus exclusively on anti-semitic "humor." I'm reproducing (with minor and I hope amusing variations) the stupidities I stumble across when I channel Deborah E. Lipstadt . I would link to the pages I mock . . . but I don't feel like contributing to their hit count.] [Addendum #2: Since I fear that sarcasm and tone and intent are often lost on the Internets, let me add that the joke here is that I've transmogrified the speech of Neo-Nazis into what I've heard from the mouths of elderly Yinglish-speakers. 'Cause what would infuriate a Neo-Nazi more than being jewified by a secular Jew? Damn it. The possibility of misunderstanding has completely ruined the joke. I suppose anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-racism can't be subtle.]

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