You can't put apple butter on trout...

All three of my classes are currently in the midst of dealing with sociological theory - which means a ton of heavy, dry, philosophical reading. I'm simultaneously trying to take in various theoretical views on natural and man-made disasters, critical race theory, modern feminist theory, queer theory, neo-marxism, post-modernism, and post-post-modernism. This has created some interesting new pathways in my head of late. Here is how it sounds in there right now...


There is a negative need for a lack of logic - not specifically illogic, but more dislogic. Unpacking words until you are looking at not just the letters but the strokes that make up the letters to see if they smack of Eurocentric paradigms is hardly enough. Examine the chemical components of the ink to see if it was made upon the backs of impoverished persons in the 3rd world - and if so, does making a photocopy alter their suffering, and shift the unconscious intent of the author to a different unconscious? Does it move to a space where carcinogenic toner fills the air and damages the lungs of those forced to labor in a different kind of sweat shop, where they huddle in cubicles instead of huts? Given that the pages were once trees, and the glue binding is probably hoof-based, it is covered in the filth of the lumpenproletariat and my own guilt and shame at being privileged. It's no wonder that I can ingest it but not digest it. I only hold it in my crop, then regurgitate it upon command, like the trained cormorants who used to dive for fish commercially, but now only spit up trout for white tourists.

Certainly, we must give due consideration to the sufferings of the 3rd world worker, and the cubicle farm inmate, and the trees, and the hoofless, and the rag and bone merchants, and the cormorant, and the trout, and the tourist - but when will we finally recognize the plight of the theorist herself? She is lost within her own navel, and no amount of ethnography can hoist her back to the surface. Even trying to do so releases the stench of determinism - and we all know how badly that smell mixes with the desperate funk of the grad student. It is a matter of where you're standing, of course, but we can't just give in to relativism. No, that wouldn't be properly academic. We must lift the hood on this whirring engine of inquiry, and pull the distributor cap. If it still runs, it must be, a priori, a sound theory...


This is what it's come to. My stream of consciousness is now polluted - my thought-fish are born with crooked spines. Soon I will be able to create my own grand unified theory of how society works. (I'll give you a hint - in my version, it's all about who has the most songs on their iPod...)

2 comments:

Teh Dr. said...

Perhaps you should worry more about the little kids in China who are fed one grain of rice a day to paint those little letters on the keyboard you're typing on. Or maybe not, maybe it's better the majority of those kids grow up malnourished and feeble. That way there is less chance they will make a human bridge to our country and take over all our iPods.

Coriander said...

I am not even sure what to say. I am not going to even pretend that I have a lot of knowledge when it comes to theory and all the other stuff that you are studying as of late. I guess all I can say is hang in there. :)

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