Saturday, 14 January 2006

Why Some Subaltern Should Not Speak Overheard in the hall outside my office today: Student #1: Then that asshole from my Asian American studies class said I didn't respect him 'cause he was Asian American. Student #2: But you're half-fucking-Vietnamese. Student #1: You think that'd matter? He'd start spouting shit about me being the child of like colonial imperialism American nationalism. Student #2: So what'd you tell him? Student #1: I didn't say nothing. I should've said 'Look you smug fuck, you think people don't respect you 'cause you're Asian American but no one likes you because you're an asshole. I'm not silencing your voice or oppressing you. I just want you to shut the fuck up about the politics of why no one listens to you when no one listens to you because you're such a fucking asshole.' Fuck! I can't be entirely certain, but I think this strange theoretical fluency may be peculiar to Irvine. To overhear theoretically sophisticated undergraduates complaining about the illegitimate theoretical assumptions of another undergraduate isn't something that happens on college campuses across the country. Or is it? Or is my calling these students "theoretically sophisticated" a bit of an exaggeration? It certainly is. But they're by no means necessarily less sophisticated than the ideologue whose behavior they so colorfully declaimed. I could spin my own yarn about the deeper significance of this conversation, but it would only recapitulate the Fifty-Seventh of Scott's Distributive Characterological Population Lemmata: Number of People You Know/2 = Number of Assholes You Know
Acephalous's Index Minimum number of dieties Scott Eric Kaufman cursed for failing to assist him in the completion of sentences today: 43 Number of sentences Kaufman completed: 8 Estimated number of calories burned in the Kaufman household dissertating: 1800 Percentage of which comes from cheese: 75 Number of days since May 2001 Kaufman has not worked on his dissertation: 16 Number of days he has not thought about it: 0 Chance that someone arrives at Acephalous via a Google search with the word "sex" in it: 1 in 2 Chance that someone arrives at Acephalous via a Google search for "Scott is the best person ever": 1 in 23,792 Estimated percentage of students Kaufman believes do all the reading: 80 Actual percentage of students who do all the reading: 3 Portion of this "Index" which is self indulgent and solipsistic: 3/4 Average number of CFPs Kaufman receives every week: 70 Percentage of CFPs Kaufman could respond to without everyone pointing at him and calling him a liar: 1 Chance that a former student thinks Kaufman is "rude and overly critical": 1 in 9 Percentage of students who do who refuse to edit their work ever: 100 Number of footnotes about Caesar's Column rewritten from scratch today: 7 Chance that it will be rewritten from scratch it again tomorrow: 1 in 3 Average amount of vodka in ounces required for Kaufman to forget about his chapter and enjoy a television show: 17 Percent change in evenings under the influence since 2000: +98 Number of times the author of the last article Kaufman read trumpeted the importance of his own work: 13 Number of sighs Kaufman exhaled while reading it: 189 Percentage of female occupants of Kaufman household who are evil: 50 Chance said evil female occupant weighs 20 lbs. and is covered in cat fur: 1 in 1 Estimated number of words Kaufman has deleted from his current chapter: 9,478,901,092,618 Projected number deleted by the time he files: ∞

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