Trouble In Paradise?


UPDATE II: We should seriously consider going into “objectology gossip blog” business full time (see image). Also, I would like to add that, if it’s not clear to some readers, we are solely and firmly on Paul’s side of this battle, regardless of the real reasons for Harman-Ennis break up.

UPDATE: I hear some awesome rumors but I’d rather keep this as a guessing game, it’s so much more fun this way. Please, place your guesses in the comments and we’ll announce the winner later. I’m pretty sure it’s actually something banal like Harman didn’t like something about Ennis’ attitude or something, but let your imagination run wild.

A cryptic note from Paul Ennis: no more object-oriented-ness! What? Does anyone have juicy details? Someone’s been not object-oriented enough? I like Paul’s blog, by the way, (not that it matters when it comes to being trollish, I don’t discriminate) but it seems that he has crossed someone’s way – I wonder whose? Figure it out for yourself, kids:

Speculations: Board of Reviewers (then):

Speculations: Board of Reviewers (now):

It’s sad to see that awesomely designed logo by Asher Kay is gone together with the subtitle: The Journal of Object-Oriented Ontology. For a bunch of non-anthropocentric (“object-oriented”) dudes, they are surely a bit too sensitive, don’t you think?

50 thoughts on “Trouble In Paradise?

  1. Wow! Really? Notice that Harman’s blog is also gone from Ennis’ blogroll. Seriously though, how gossipy is this blog? it’s like you are a bunch of trolls sitting around and telling mean stories about… Wait a minute!

  2. I would like to offer a guess: Harman gave Ennis his new innovative and artsy book to read and Ennis didn’t think it was funny enough, Harman snapped at him (“How dare you say I’m not funny, you little weasel, I am the funniest man alive, I reread my book just yesterday and I was rolling on the floor laughing! You are fired from object-oriented cult! Collect your objects!”) and it’s all history now.

  3. My awesome logo will never die. I made some fixes, and hopefully it will be back up in no time.

    Whatever happened, I’m sure Paul will be fine. He’s an original and spirited thinker.

  4. WTF? Is there a copyright on OOO that is being exercised? Something is really strange here. I can’t wait for the story to leak out.

  5. I hear it’s a classic bait-and-switch. An ambitious grad student creates a journal, gives it a sexy title, and through his considerable charm lures some “names” to the editorial board in order to enhance the journal’s visibility. Then, as the first issue is about to hit the newsstands, the young academic aspirant reveals that the journal isn’t going to address the original topic at all, that in fact it’s going to be all about himself and his own interests. The biggest editorial”name,” being a man of principle, takes a stand (for he could do no other), resigning from the board. Though outrageous slings and arrows are hurled his way, The Name maintains his silence. And whom, do you suppose, will fill the opening on the editorial board?

  6. So was the first issue not “object-oriented” enough and Harman exercised his veto or something? Does he really have a copyright problem with the designation “object-oriented”? Did he overplay his hand with all that “big name” business? Ian Bogost is still on and he’s much “bigger name” if you ask me (having had the Colbert Bump and all).

    I wonder if it’s the same story with The Speculative Turn collection that’s taking forever since Harman’s basically rewriting every contribution to adhere to some “object-oriented” orthodoxy. I mean every movement needs their charismatic Lenin and their bureaucratic control-freak Stalin, I suppose.

    Is Paul now the enemy of the people, I mean, the objects?

    • Hey Mikhail, I know you didn’t mean anything toward me by this comment, but in case anyone is curious the editing for The Speculative Turn has had to compete with all of our busy schedules right now. I just started my PhD program and have had to give up blogging for the moment as a result. Similarly, Levi and Graham have both been immensely busy too. But(!) we have just recently finished copy-editing all the pieces, and expect the book to be out in June.

      • Nick, I’m sure you don’t take all this banter seriously. I do have some experience editing volumes and such, I get it. I was just joking that maybe Harman’s double-checking that no one has anything heretical to say about “object-oriented philosophy” and all. You have to admit that this Ennis thing without any real explanation (only rumors) makes him look bad and controlling (or maybe it’s all just a prank to get us, trolls, going mad with guessing?)

        Do you have a final list of contributors yet? I know there were some changes. You can email it to me if it’s a big secret.

      • Haha, thanks Mikhail. I’m trying to grow my philosopher’s beard out, but it’s rather pitiful at the moment.

        The collection will indeed be open-access, which was the main reason we decided to go with Re.press (that and their fast turn-around times). Though the paperback should be fairly cheap as well, and will make a lovely gift for parents and kids.

      • Hey, didn’t N. Pepperell used to be in on this? Am I thinking of something else, or is there another scandal to speculate about here? And, where all the women at?

      • Open-access is nice!

        I hear that Brassier is giving Harman a beating in his essay in that collection – is that so? Are we witnessing some awful break-up of the band scenario with nastiness and lawsuits flying every other way or am I just listening to my fellow grad students a little too much?

      • I hear that Brassier is giving Harman a beating in his essay

        If that were true, wouldn’t there be a rebuttal piece by Harman right afterward? I don’t see that in the TOC…

      • Carl,

        Yes, completely agreed that the lack of women (with the exception of Stengers) is unfortunate, though we did ask a number of really excellent choices to submit a piece. Unfortunately, for various reasons, things didn’t work out and a number of our invited authors (both male and female) weren’t able to contribute. In an ideal world we’d have got everyone we wanted included, but that just wasn’t possible this time.

  7. I’m pretty sure it’s Harman’s old Heideggerian habits kicking in – we all know how controlling those circles are – he’s just yearning for good old days when he was edgy and cool and challenging the Heideggerian orthodoxy.

    As for my theory, here it is: it’s likely that Paul, being a nice guy and all, exchanged emails with Harman now and then. In those emails he made an inappropriate comment (philosophically inappropriate, of course) – maybe he called Harman a “closer correlationist” or implied that “object-oriented philosophy” is not as cool as everyone thinks it is – Harman went ape-shit on his ass, demanded he close down the journal etc etc (see episode of Harman’s crazy erasure of his first blog), Paul stood his ground and told him to go fuck himself, Harman produced fake papers confirming that he is in fact the father of Paul’s baby, Paul challenged him to a duel, Harman agreed but then just stole the journal sign and ran back to Cairo. Paul is now hunting his cowardly ass down among the pyramids. How about this scenario?

  8. Firstly, I’m still confused why Harman himself does not post a nice explanation that would exonerate him – this is a serious lapse in his otherwise smooth manner of self-promotion.

    Secondly, I think Ennis probably forgot to preface his criticism of some Harman position with a casual “Not that I don’t think you are the best philosopher of modernity, but…” The man is too sensitive, we all know that.

    Thirdly, if I were to submit a scenario, I would say that Harman was planning on coming to visit Ennis and asked to crash on his couch in case they go out and get smashed and he cannot make it back to his hotel – one of those gentlemanly exchanges we all had in the past: “So, dude, is that cool if I crash on your couch in case things get rough and out-of-control, you know?” Ennis, however, did not respond with an appropriate “For sure, ma-man, woooorddd” but exhibited hesitation that cost him the journal.

  9. Justin, the answer is clear: I’ve heard from several reliable sources that the details of this most mysterious of breakups will soon be revealed in Chapter 4 of the upcoming work, *Circus Philosophicus*. Of course, the story will be retold from the perspective of Ulysses S. Grant as he struggles against the renegade Confederate Army during a fictional battle at the Coney Island-theme park in Mannassas, VA. But if you read between the lines—wink wink—you’ll be able to figure it out, as well as discern obscure references to Harman’s musical tastes during the writing of the book, and the secret to unlocking THE FOURFOLD.

  10. AC, it’s clearly a Harman freak-out, it has Harman’s fingerprints all over it, we only care about the details at this point. I suspect when you spend as much time in your own company as Harman does (and is proud of it, of course), you tend the lose your bearings and think that your reaction to some minor issue is proportionate and justified while everyone else just shrugs and leaves you alone in your madness. I’m sure he will come up with a good story in a couple of days and we’ll all know what really happen by reading between the lines.

  11. I hear that a) there’s a “gag order” of sorts, so no one will say anything until the issue is resolved and the blame is adequately distributed and b) Harman is trying to persuade Bryant, Bogost and others to drop the journal as well so that it loses all credibility.

    Needless to say, I’m not revealing my identity or my sources and I hope the administrators of this blog have a sense of decency to keep my information private.

  12. Oh Lord, that You would burst from the blogosphere and come down!
    How the dialogue boxes would quake in Your presence!
    As fire causes cotton to burn
    without ever exhausting its pristine essence
    Your coming would make the entire internet tremble!
    Then Your enemies would learn the reason for Your fame!
    When You came down last year,
    You did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations.
    And oh, how the webservers quaked!
    For since blogging began,
    no ear has heard
    and no eye has seen a Philosopher like You,
    Who links to those who worship Him.
    You welcome those who gladly do good,
    who follow Object-Oriented ways.
    But You have been very angry with us,
    for we are not Object-Oriented enough.
    We are constant sinners;
    how can people like us be saved?
    We are all infected and impure with kantianism.
    When we display our righteous deeds,
    they are nothing but filthy rags.
    Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,
    and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
    Yet no one calls on Your name
    or pleads with You for mercy.
    Therefore, you have turned away from us
    and turned us over to our sins.
    And yet, O LORD, You are our Father.
    We are the clay, and You are the potter.
    We all are formed by Your hand.
    Don’t be so angry with us, LORD.
    Please don’t remember our sins forever.
    Look at us, we pray,
    and see that we are all Your people.
    Your holy weblogs are destroyed.
    Speculative Heresy is a wilderness;
    Yes, even Object-Oriented-Blogging is a desolate ruin.
    The holy and beautiful Temple
    where we used to praise you
    has been burned down,
    and all the Objects of beauty are destroyed.
    After all this, LORD, must you still refuse to help us?
    Will you continue to be silent and punish us?

    • Dude, I cried a little (well, okay, fine, a lot) – I feel so lonely and abandoned now. I must go find someone who is wrong on the internet and unleash my trollish essence on their asses. This is my only salvation. It’s either that or the darkness of Harman-less blogosphere. We’ll have to turn on each other then (although I’ve been collecting dirt on all of you, just in case)…

    • Great interview, if we didn’t know already that “troll” means “anyone who dares to point out I’m full of shit” (more and more of us every day, it seems), it would read really well. I mean he presents himself very well, that’s his genius = self-promotion. Hopefully as more and more people are declared to be apostates (hold on there, Nick and Levi), it’d be easier to cut through all of his bullshit and see the real man.

      P.S. Everyone google “Toxic People” and read about it (Zizek mentions it in his last book) – this is where likes of Fisher and Harman get their idiotic justification for labels like “Troll” and “Grey Vampire” – it’s nothing short of creating a cushy little world of a philosophical circle jerk with everyone else being a troll. This way if you make something up and give no argument, you are a creative spirit and anyone who dares to argue otherwise is a troll. Awesomeness!

  13. I would like to note that the previous Paul is not me – I am not sure if there is some other Paul here but seems like confusion could easily arise if this singular Paul posts anything else.

  14. Alright, I’m officially declaring this thread dead – that also means I no longer care for the details of this event, we all know what happened – the Father freaked out and is probably proud of himself and sees nothing wrong etc etc.. Let’s move on and patiently await his next freak-out.

  15. There’s a little quartet of blogs – this one, Bryant’s, Harmon’s and An und für sich that put me in mind of all those cat fight anecdotes from the French academy of the 60s. Badiou calling Deleuze a fascist, Deleuze calling Badiou a Bolshevik, Deleuze writing nasty letters about Lacan, Lacan saying nasty things about Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe.

    Those guys could be a real pack of bitches, couldn’t they.

    • Was that objetology related? Those posts tend to get traffic, but it’s from the same people checking and double-checking and triple-checking what others were saying about them. Sitemeter/Wordpress stats are stupid that way, I think. Otherwise we have way more readers than I thought. Which is bad, of course.

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