Thoughts on academe

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Tue Jun 19 18:45:16 MDT 2001

I have so much  bloody work to do that I cannot stop myself from engaging
in activity which is designed to postpone and thus make the problem
worse.  But I have been thinking about academia lately and especially the
truth that there does not seem to be any limits to the new ways in which
academics will discover to commit the "trahaison des clercs".

Thus there appears to be a new variation on the theme in circulation at
present.  I call it the 'aesthetic turn' and it manifests itself in a
deliberately non-serious style of writing which is designed to break taboos
at any price.  Of course the favorite taboos are left wing ones - what a

It is as if academics had decided to do imitations of the scripts from
South Park. Thus the following exchange took place on the Film Philosophy
list in response to a post by an Alexander Bard on Zizek's Lenin conference.

At 11:00  17/06/01 +0200, you wrote:

Someone called *assp wrote in response to Bard's post entitled "Zizek's
Bizarre Conference in Essen, Germany"

>This was great. Thanks.

I then wrote:

Let me quote from the "great" post:

The Bard said:

"The kind of guy who goes to Pyongyang to satisfy his sadist (or masochist)
taste for oriental pussy and has few if any friends anywhere else. "


"Best thing with the conference? Except a couple of Essen porn salons we
enjoyed at night, the exchange of cards and email addresses between
disappointed participants
during the coffee breaks. "

The rest of the post was simply warmed up left overs from the Cold War. Get
a life.

Gary MacLennan

There was no reply of course.  But what it did all set me thinking that
what Bard was doing was attempting a trendy response to Zizek and to do
this he tried to shock us by referring to "pussy" and "porn".

This is the kind of academia that celebrates Big Brother and Survivor and
pours scorn on anyone who criticises such programs.  It is the equivalent
in academia of the avant-gardist Jeff Koons' displaying a video of himself
fucking the Italian porn star.

It is nothing so much as a testimony to how degenerate our civilisation and
academy have become.



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