Saturday, 22 April 2006

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On The Origin of Academic Jargon, Part II Of academics I obtained twenty-six kinds who speak of "deterritorialization" without fear of fructuous or vegetal reprisal. Seeing this gradation of thought in one large but intimately related group of scholars, one might really fancy that from an original paucity of thought in an isolated department, one species had been taken and modified for different ends. Mr. Gould observed that subsequent to one scholar uttering the phrase "phallogocentritheatricality," his compatriots brooded for days over the Butlerian intervention into the Cixousian supplement of the Derridean "text." Although they were supremely frustrated by their inability to crack this nut, their consternation afforded Mr. Gould and I an opportunity to note the disharmony among the various scholarly species. The most curious fact is the perfect differentiation in the mind of each critic. Of sub-group Astructatornis, lately brought from French confines, the eight species can often be seen entering the thorniest of vines and removing from them nuts of the aforementioned sort. Astructatornis then examine the nut and determine it both the cause of their hunger and of their satisfaction. If their earnest and searching cogitation fails, the nut will be turned over to their sexually dimorphic, booby-infatuated associates. The vampiric Zizicornis feed off the blood of boobies. They will stare at the nut for some time before determining it neither booby nor sublimated surrogate and therefore unimportant. Unwilling to be induced to undertake the office of Butlerian nut-cracker, Zizicornis defer to the bald-headed tyrant-catcher Mr. Waterhouse christened Powapowacornis (after its unique but ultimately repetitive song). They sing their signature hymnal then depart in anger at the nut's inability to understand that its very nuttiness is constituted by its presence on the beach, amidst these illustrious examples of adaptive radiation. Excluded from Powapowacornis' august company are the desanguiated boobies asleep on the beach. The sleeping boobies dream. They dream of an island on which none but boobies alight and of another on which the scholars fail to crack nuts in the company of other scholars. For generations each exists in utter isolation. When by force of accident the scholars venture into unfamiliar environs the indigenous response is of unequivocal hostility. [X-posted.]
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Communal Hatred, The FAQ Official Stamp O' Approval [.mp3] Like it or not, we have become a community. We may not like each other very much, but truth be told, we allocate time better spent sleeping to undermining the very foundation of each other's respective worldviews. Thing is, we do so in a way that may perplex outsiders. So I suggest we create an FAQ which new readers can consult when, for example, one of us indicts the other for "having a plane to catch" or "making some pasta." Starter entries include: Aeroplanes, the Boarding of v. An insidious tactic designed to allow the boardee more time to respond cleverly to entries posted in distant time zones. Holbo, John n. An analytic blowhard who puffs fish and butchers anyone who complains. Kaufman, Scott the Eric of n. Confused, narcissistic graduate student who sympathizes with all folks regardless of scholarly orientation, discovers strangers in his office, thinks too much about things evolutionary and feels really, really old. Kotsko, Adam n. Outrageously funny seminarian who loves Christ (conflictedly), refuses to smack, and defends Slovenian Lacanians from analytic blowhards. Pasta, the Boiling of v. A rhetorical strategy designed to fool one's opponent into believing that common human courtesy overrides online commitments to continued debate. Spivak v. The practice of failing to contribute to an event because of personal or professional obligations. For example, "Kaufman, Scott the Eric of totally spivaked the Spivak event!" Žižek, Slavoj n. Slovenian Lacanian whose hilarious and eminently engaging works are nonetheless savaged by those who hate to love the unpretentious sense of humor they share with him. (See Holbo, John) Methinks this the beginning of a collaborative FAQ. Consider this a draft of a document whose potential to be gratifyingly self-deprecatory is infinite. John and I encourage everyone to write their own entry, suggest changes to those sketched above, and offer other categories which belong on it. [X-posted]

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