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April 3, 2007

anything by Baudrillard

How to Deconstruct Almost Anything :: a few gems in this one, and quite funny in parts. (thanks kent)

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Comments (13)

I really could have used a bogometer when I was taking all those social theory courses. fictional words hypenated and otherwise strung together and ..it was like speaking German. all I really remember is one professor, exasperated, nodding when I said "so is postmodernism like Bjork?"

Posted by: wosepedals at April 3, 2007 3:49 PM

This is a substantive, thoughtful essay out of reach of the audience you have nurtured for so long. Please try again.

Posted by: Ronald T Lipshitz at April 3, 2007 5:39 PM


...and I accept the challenge of the Tour de Force.
Text - The Mississippi River. The majority of my artful verbiage will consist of citing the personal journal of my dear friend, Holling C. Holling http://shop.mnhs.org/web_assets/0395273994f.jpg
in French!

Posted by: minn at April 3, 2007 5:45 PM

Ze Frank n'est pas un homosexuel. Il aime juste des choses homosexuelles.

Posted by: Awed Job at April 3, 2007 6:43 PM

this is fabulous.

Posted by: Alice at April 3, 2007 7:47 PM


vous dites qu'il est grand, pourquoi est il grand ?


Posted by: creme demento at April 3, 2007 8:26 PM

As a head-spinning commentary on postmodernism, I prefer Scott McLemee's take on Ann Althouse on American Idol:

Besides, I have a hard time understanding where this guy is coming from: he doesn't like po-mo, and he calls Godel's incompleteness theorem a "cheap trick". Pick a side.

Posted by: lne_n8 at April 3, 2007 9:14 PM

Not really related to the post but I'm stuck on a month long work trip and the place they've put me up has really, really shitty broadband and it's making my obsession with video blogging very difficult to handle.

Posted by: Thomas at April 3, 2007 9:24 PM

CD: it was my master's degree, and the fact that in the course of cleaning the house I had just re-shelved all my source books from my thesis just before I read this post. you'da hadta be there...or here, rather, in my brain. burke and lyotard and baudrillard, oh my!

and yes, I got all pissed off at pomo and hermetically-sealed academia while I was slaving away at the degree, so I find this even funnier. at one point I wrote an essay about how we'd moved into po-pomo - forget what my argument was - probably just as well ;)

Posted by: Alice at April 4, 2007 1:15 PM

I hardly feel qualified to comment, as I always found the thicket too intimidating to dare bushwhack my way in, but the essay was delightfully well-written, and I admire the man's bravery in attacking that snarl.

Posted by: girlie_sportsracer at April 4, 2007 9:04 PM

"The basic enterprise of contemporary literary criticism is actually quite simple. It is based on the observation that with a sufficient amount of clever handwaving and artful verbiage, you can interpret any piece of writing as a statement about anything at all. "

That's just baloney. Really. This guy pretends to have really made an attempt to understand deconstruction, but my bad-faith-ometer went through the roof when I read the above sentence.

The idea that deconstruction allows one to interpret wildly, to say "anything" about a text is completely at odds with, for example, the entire work of Derrida.

Derrida's method was NOT to say anything, but to read with painstaking attentiveness (the running joke about Derrida was that if he spoke at your conference, he would spend the first hour of his talk analyzing the title of the conference).

Remember Ze's show about brand names? The problem with "deconstruction" is that it was a brand name that got out of control. Back in the day, grad students would try to sound cool by saying that something had been "deconstructed" when they actually simply meant it had been "criticized." Well-intentioned fans of Derrida touted "deconstruction" as a technique that could be applied here, there, and everywhere. Even Derrida from time to time confessed to being ill at ease with the brand name's popularity, and in his later years (starting in the 1990's) he repeatedly emphasized the *responsibility* in any analytical or "deconstructive") act.

Derrida tried to maintain control over his brand name, but the word "deconstruction" just sounded too cool to use in a careful and restricted way.

The funny thing is that deconstruction isn't very popular in humanities departments anymore. This article is from 1991. There's a general respect for deconstruction, but critics today (coming out of the new historicism) are more likely to use Foucault or Bourdieu than Derrida. Derrida has returned to being a fascinating post-Heideggerian philosopher, which he always was.

Sorry for the rant.

Posted by: ppp at April 6, 2007 6:42 PM

Another brilliant fable of the deconstruction...

Whimsically Sugar-Coated Comedy
or Amazing Parallel to the Bolshevik Revolution?"

The "Car Movers" is a classic interpretation of the struggle between the Proletariat worker and the Bourgeois ruling class. Like Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin, The Freshmaker has provided us with a depiction of the injustices suffered by the Working Class, and their subsequent confrontation with the Ruling Class.

Read the rest here: www.banterist.com/archivefiles/000325.html

Posted by: sara at April 9, 2007 9:43 PM

ppp, you are wasting your breath. There are no such thing as a literate engineer. If it doesn't come with a man page, it must clearly be bogus.

Posted by: nammyung at April 10, 2007 1:19 AM

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