Tuesday, 23 October 2007

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The Future of Advertising I have seen it. It is not pretty. (See for yourself.) I was pointed to the article by John McNally, the editor of a collection of essays entitled When I Was a Loser. One of those essays—Will Clarke's "How to Kill a Boy Nobody Likes"—contains naughty words (from the mouths of teenagers!) and sexual thoughts (in the minds teenagers!), which led some Rhode Island parents (of teenagers!) to complain that it was inappropriate (for teenagers!). Do you know what else is inappropriate (for teenagers!)? The careers advertised in the Most Intrusive Banner Ever (from left to right): High-Class Prostitute Closeted Republican Phone-Sex Worker Surprised Chef African-American High-Class African-American Prostitute Wok Technician Future Tentacle-Porn Aficionado Karate Hero High-Class Madame Unemployed African-American "Looking for Jobs" to Please Unemployment Officer Drunk Nurse's Assistant's Assistant Or do you mean to tell me the good readers of the Woonsocket Call want their children to "date" prostitutes and eat "food" prepared by chefs? Wait—! I didn't mean to write that. I don't even know where that came from. (An educated guess: my [failed] attempt to peer into the closed minds of the Woonsocket Call's readers.) I meant to write: Unemployed Aspiring Female Model Closeted Republican Unemployed Aspiring Female Model Unemployed Aspiring Female Model Unemployed Aspiring Male Model Unemployed Aspiring Male Model Unemployed Aspiring Male Model Unemployed Aspiring Male Model Unemployed Aspiring Female Model Unemployed Aspiring Female Model Unemployed Aspiring Female Model Unemployed Aspiring Male Model Unemployed Aspiring Female Model Unemployed Aspiring Female Model If the Most Intrusive Banner Ever is any indication, positions will soon open up in the fields it implicitly advertises (stock photograph, graphic design, and web design), as the people currently occupying them are clearly incompetent. (I'd intended this post to be more high-minded in its mockery, but the phrase "Future Tentacle-Porn Aficionado" torpedoed those plans.)
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I Have Been Assigned (As Have Some of You) (Note: This post isn't intended to needle Adam.) Have academic blogs influenced literary theory? Of course they have. They're assigned in literary theory classes. What do the students think of our work? One student tackles my friend's exercise in erasure and says something smarter about it than he said in it. (By which I mean: the student seems to've read and understood the Foucault, whereas my friend—who I most certainly am needling—only read it.) Another notes that I've only appeared once (where? was I comped? what was the honorarium?), links to my advice for bloggers, and concludes (correctly) that that post slays itself, myself and all of y'all. One student insists N. Pepperell's fictional, and I'm inclined to agree. No actual person could write that much that quickly and remain sane. Dr. B.'s talk at the MLA is a popular subject (as well it should be), as is Jodi Dean's post about the creation of readers. Then there are the gracious souls who not only like the likes of us, but appreciate Ray Davis. Why would she do that? Look at the bit she quotes: Analytic philosophers often sound like a blind man describing an elephant by holding the wrong end of a stick several blocks away from the zoo ... What's not to like about Ray? (The fact that his RSS feed seems to have stopped working? Perhaps.) These students of literary theory have stumbled into the academic blogosphere and found: a graduate student in English an Australian graduate student in ... sundry fields a former professor a political scientist a Ray Davis I should say something profound about assignments like this legitimizing something or other ... but I can't muster profundity tonight. (Or any night really.) All I can say is that I'm proud that these students didn't stoop to consider the author-functionality implicit in writing one act plays ...

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