Friday, 01 April 2005

The Elvis of Cultural Theory Has Left the Building... ...with bride in tow, no less. A couple of questions for his new bride: Do you really like him, or do you also believe "marriage appears as an act which belongs to the domain of universal symbolic determinations and should as such be independent of personal idiosyncrasies--as if the very notion of marriage does not involve precisely the 'pathological' fact of liking a particular person for no particular rational reason." Do you know that his "ideal couple" consists of Kant and Sade? Do you know who wears the pants in that household? Or are Kant and Sade just another "everyday aseptic/impotent modern couple" incapable of transposing the vertical into the horizontal? How is Zizek at transposing the vertical into the horizontal? Does he "stage these fantasies openly, without the secondary perlaboration which usually masks inconsistensies" or are his secondary perlaborations vital to his operationalizations? How long can he operationalize before pure egotistic fear gets the best of him? How do you feel about "deadlocks"? You like 'em too? Thought so. I'd love to hear your stance on, say, "the deadlock of desire," "the deadlock of the transcendental imagination," "the deadlock of today's Left," "the deadlock of the superego," "the deadlock of the dialogue between the Western New Left and the Eastern European dissisdents," "the deadlock of masculine subjectivity," "the deadlock of symbolization onto the biological opposition of male and female," "the deadlock of the pseudo-revolutionary critics of religion," "the deadlocks of sexual relationship," "the deadlock of the Tarkovskian hero," "the deadlock of post-politics," "the deadloack of repressive desublimation," "the deadlock of sexuality or art today," "the deadlock of multicultural intolerance," "the deadlock of impossibility,""the deadlock of global capitalism," "the deadlock of cultural resistence to capitalism," "the deadlock of formalization in le symbolique," "the deadlock of the contemporary world," "the deadlock of the 90's," "the deadlock of upper-class myths of power lost," "the deadlock of positing," "the deadlock of the dialectic," "the deadlock of the subject's radical uncertainty as to its status (what I am qua object for the Other," "the deadlock of human thought," "the deadlock of an essentialist subjectivity," "the deadlock of circularity," "the deadlock of 1914," "the deadlock of depoliticisation," "the deadlock of sexuation," "the deadlock of language," and most importantly, "the deadlock of his [i.e. your new beau's] previous positions." Do you realize that's how he looks all gussied up?
Amazon's Statistically Improbable Phrases Amazon's new feature: Statistically Improbable Phrases:’s Statistically Improbable Phrases, or “SIPs”, show you the interesting, distinctive, or unlikely phrases that occur in the text of books in Search Inside the Book. Our computers scan the text of all books in the Search Inside program. If they find a phrase that occurs a large number of times in a particular book relative to how many times it occurs across all Search Inside books, that phrase is a SIP in that book. SIPs might be the new Cliff Notes. You can learn everything that makes a particular work unique by them. For instance, the SIPs in Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!--monkey nigger, wild negroes, wild niggers-- say all anybody needs to know about this classic work of American literature. What could you possibly need to know about Abraham Lincoln that you couldn't glean from his SIPs: not exist within their limits, cotten goods, policy that agitation, cannot exclude slavery, abolition platform, cranberry laws, annual joyous return, prohibited therein, requisite population, provision for submitting, unconstitutionally commenced, slavery therein, territorial existence, acquiring additional territory, nationalize slavery, unconditional repeal, ask your attention, slave constitution, unfriendly legislation, alike lawful, abolition counties, own way subject, long continued applause, useless labour, carry slavery. American History 101! Who needs college? Not you! Cornered by an annoying Holy Roller? Don't want to admit you haven't had time to read The Mark: The Beast Rules the World (Left Behind No. 8)? No problem! The SIPs know all: enforcement facilitators, old safe house, loyalty mark. Smile, smack 'em on the back and tell 'em "Better slap on those loyalty marks before the enforcement facilitators break down the doors of the old safe house!" You and he or she will be brothers or sisters or siblings in Christ before you know it. David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest is as intellectually weighty as it is, well, weighty. Always wanted to be a member of the intellectual elite? Never had the time to read a 1300 page novel with 300 pages of footnotes? No problem! Just tell 'em you loved it, what with all the entertainment cartridges, annular fusion, dawn drills, professional conversationalist, feral hamsters. They'll be so impressed! This time you'll make them say her momma! And finally, a missive from the future: "Damn, A. Cephalous, I'd love to read Ulysses but I can't find the time," says Some Gay Guy. You're in luck. It just so happens that I've its SIPs right here on my desktop: tooraloom tooraloom tooraloom, quaker librarian, absentminded beggar, matrimonial gift, base barreltone. "What about A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man?" What about it? "What's the deal with it?" I see, I see. It's a relatively simple book about epiphany technique, fallen seraphim, ardent ways, windless hour, esthetic image. P.S. Some Gay Guy: Next time you find yourself at a trendy West Hollywood party surrounded by queer theorists, I've found a hoard of conversation starters for you: washroom sex, ridiculous theater, queer structure, gay punk, lesbian...

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