The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

One Of The Best Pages On The Net

Posted on | January 19, 2012 | 9 Comments

by Smitty

The topic of deconstruction came up last night. Deconstruction is to art what Postmodernism is to Philosophy, and Progressivism is to our politics: a nihilistic effort to destroy reason, the Enlightenment, and our Constitution. Hence the record here on the blog that I regularly pump as many metaphorical shotgun shells into the whole zombie effort against Western civilization as I possibly can.

Around 20 years ago and $10 trillion dollars ago, when the threat was less apparent, Chip Morningstar served up a humdinger of an essay:

Randy and I were scheduled to speak on the second day of the conference. This was fortunate because it gave us the opportunity to recalibrate our presentation based on the first day’s proceedings, during which we discovered that we had grossly mischaracterized the audience by assuming that it would be like the crowd from the first conference. I spent most of that first day furiously scribbling notes. People kept saying the most remarkable things using the most remarkable language, which I found I needed to put down in writing because the words would disappear from my brain within seconds if I didn’t. Are you familiar with the experience of having memories of your dreams fade within a few minutes of waking? It was like that, and I think for much the same reason. Dreams have a logic and structure all their own, falling apart into unmemorable pieces that make no sense when subjected to the scrutiny of the conscious mind. So it was with many of the academics who got up to speak. The things they said were largely incomprehensible. There was much talk about deconstruction and signifiers and arguments about whether cyberspace was or was not “narrative”. There was much quotation from Baudrillard, Derrida, Lacan, Lyotard, Saussure, and the like, every single word of which was impenetrable. I’d never before had the experience of being quite this baffled by things other people were saying. I’ve attended lectures on quantum physics, group theory, cardiology, and contract law, all fields about which I know nothing and all of which have their own specialized jargon and notational conventions. None of those lectures were as opaque as anything these academics said. But I captured on my notepad an astonishing collection of phrases and a sense of the overall tone of the event.

We retreated back to Palo Alto that evening for a quick rewrite. The first order of business was to excise various little bits of phraseology that we now realized were likely to be perceived as Politically Incorrect. Mind you, the fundamental thesis of our presentation was Politically Incorrect, but we wanted people to get upset about the actual content rather than the form in which it was presented. Then we set about attempting to add something that would be an adequate response to the postmodern lit crit-speak we had been inundated with that day. Since we had no idea what any of it meant (or even if it actually meant anything at all), I simply cut-and-pasted from my notes. The next day I stood up in front of the room and opened our presentation with the following:

The essential paradigm of cyberspace is creating partially situated identities out of actual or potential social reality in terms of canonical forms of human contact, thus renormalizing the phenomenology of narrative space and requiring the naturalization of the intersubjective cognitive strategy, and thereby resolving the dialectics of metaphorical thoughts, each problematic to the other, collectively redefining and reifying the paradigm of the parable of the model of the metaphor.

After this encounter, Morningstar goes back and tries to puzzle out what, if anything, Deconstruction means. He offers, as an example of the form, “John F. Kennedy was not a homosexual.”

It’s a bit lengthy, but humorous and well worth your time. Read it, and join the fight against these nihilistic zombies.


9 Responses to “One Of The Best Pages On The Net”

  1. Pathfinder's wife
    January 19th, 2012 @ 11:25 am

    Nietzche was the real anti-christ?

  2. Ed Haas
    January 19th, 2012 @ 11:55 am

    Years ago (‘eighties, I think) Frederick Crews predicted that the ultimate goal of deconstruction was the obliteration of the mind of the creator (of artistic works), and that there would be no “constraint” in the project of the deconstructionists/postmodernists.  I think this blog shows that the deconstructionist project has moved on very successfully from the cultural to the political realm.

  3. rubykatherine
    January 19th, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    Sign on restroom wall.
     “God is dead”   Nietzche.
    Underneath someone wrote
     “Nietzche is dead.”   God

  4. Pathfinder's wife
    January 19th, 2012 @ 1:29 pm


  5. Edward
    January 19th, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

    “John F. Kennedy was not a homosexual.”

    But he was a donut.

  6. Edward
    January 19th, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

    “Tokyo is dead” – Godzilla

  7. Anonymous
    January 19th, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

    As someone commented on my page earlier today, “We don’t need elections. We need hangings.”

  8. Andrew_M_Garland
    January 20th, 2012 @ 1:43 am

    Don’t spend time diving into the following quote, just get a feel for it.
    === ===
    The Rubicon of Reality: Precultural Socialism, Socialism and Neomaterial Capitalist Theory

    In the works of Gibson, a predominant concept is the concept of textual art. It could be said that Baudrillard promotes the use of neostructuralist constructive theory to deconstruct capitalism. The subject is contextualised into a predialectic paradigm of expression that includes narrativity as a reality.
    === ===

    The above is significant because it was constructed by the computer program Postmodernism Generator. It produces senseless texts which which mimic postmodern, deconstructive “thought”.

    Even better, Professor of Physics Alan Sokal submitted an article of nonsense to the respected journal Social Text in 1996, as a hoax. They published the paper without consulting any physicists to check if the concepts were true, then they refused to publish the story behind the hoax. Postmodern social theorists don’t show much humility, humor, or competence.

    An Intellectual Program

  9. Anonymous
    January 20th, 2012 @ 6:57 am

    Of course, Jeff Goldstein’s been putting the harpoon to Lefty language abuse for 10 years now.