Pointing Out The Obvious Hurts Feelings, Causes Distress

Can’t ignore this awesome exchange in the comments.

Obviously OOO is build around a certain rhetoric of oppression and marginality – “We must fight the powers that be!” – “No one’s here to fight, man” – “What are you talking about? The enemies are everywhere – look! look! over there!” – “Sorry, mate, don’t see any. I am going to go have a beer and relax.” – “Traitor! Everyone is a traitor!”

I think it must have started here (judging by the angry and whiny fits in the consequent comments).

The victimhood and the complex of persecution is vital to objectology – good job on understanding this point and pursing it.

“We are under siege!”

[UPDATE] The original blogger responds with what is perhaps the most bizarre reinforcement of the above-mentioned persecution complex. How clever! I bet it’s just a really cool inside joke. No one can be that stupid and be so open about it…

15 thoughts on “Pointing Out The Obvious Hurts Feelings, Causes Distress

  1. Does that come from having an idiosyncratic notion of an object which not many people share, thereby in advance setting up a marginalized position in order to be oppressed?

    • It comes from the need to fight the imaginary enemies everywhere, because these enemies are suppressing the truth and are rejecting the objectologists who are thus forced to the margins of foreign universities and community colleges… Or something like that.

  2. that guy is unbearable for 2 reasons: 1) you can’t tell him something he doesn’t already know; 2) he’ll bully you and call you names when he feels threatened (see that comment thread). yuck.

  3. Pingback: LEVI BRYANT’S DIAGRAM OF TEXTUATION: A Case of Frequentation Bias | AGENT SWARM

  4. I’ve got a slightly different take on this particular performance.

    A little over a month ago Bryant had a post, Rhetoric, Ideology, and the Ecology of Ideas: Hasana Sharp’s Spinoza, in which he proclaims that ideas have material existence and, consequently, “when we approach texts as material entities that circulate throughout the world we proceed more as ecologists or epidemiologists than as interpreters.” And he goes on writing as though the epidemiological approach to ideas were brand spanking new and hot off the presses.

    But, of course it’s not, and Bryant certainly knows that. Richard Dawkins & his memes is perhaps the most obvious reference point, and one commenter brought him up. I’m sure Bryant knows of Dawkins because we got into a spat about memes in the Fall of last year.

    But it’s worse than that. Some researchers were explicitly thinking about ideas in epidemiological terms well before Dawkins. There’s a well-developed literature on the diffusion of ideas and innovation that goes back to the second quarter of the 20th century, if not before.

    As far as I can tell, Bryant hasn’t got a thing to add to this work except his own terminology. He has no new concepts. But maybe he’s trying hard to convince himself that it’s all so new and forgetting about existing work is part of the self-deception. Perhaps in some sense it really IS new to Bryant, but he doesn’t reallize that new-to-me is not the same as new-to-the-world.

    After all, it’s easy to read other work and merely register the ideas without really getting inside them and using them.Then, when you begin thinking things through there may come a time when WHAM! all of a sudden things click and you’re thinking thoughts you never thought before. In that state you may not remember that you’d read those ideas before. As far as you’re concerned the ideas are new and they are yours as well.

    So maybe that’s where Bryant is. And maybe he’s just plain lost. Who knows. But it’s getting tiresome.

    • I think it certainly is the case of “new-to-me” becoming “new-to-all” issue. That’s basically how OOO works and gets momentum among the folks who imagine this is all new (but are honestly either dumb graduate students or misguided academic mediocrities in search for the “next big thing” to revive their stale careers or professional parasites on the ideas of others) – as soon as someone more or less informed comes around and starts asking questions, they get the same treatment which is “no, you are wrong, this is new stuff, fuck off” (and this is what has been happening for at least 4-5 years).

      I think in Bryant’s case it is just a case of professional frustration – he started a whole philosophical movement (read his Wikipedia page) and yet no one would give him a decent job (there was a time when he openly begged for a job on his blog) other than an instructor position in a community college. Clearly he wants to be accepted by the evil “mainstream” philosophy and says so in such obvious ways it’s odd that he does not see it himself. The “new-to-me” is “new-to-all” tendency is more obvious with Harman, I think. As soon as he discovers anything he announces that it is the next big thing. He’s been saying for years now that we don’t need more Hegel, we need more Aristotle. And as more and more books about Hegel come out (including the more recent Zizek volume) the more and more he sings his mantra about Aristotle that no one really gives a shit about. He even tried to read Hegel’s Logic of Science but as it became fairly obvious fairly soon, he’s got not patience (or brain) for such an undertaking so he quickly abandoned it and went back to his Aristotle mantra…

      • The most interesting thing about that Wikipedia entry is the statement that Bryant’s blog has received over 25 million hits. If you look at the blog counter, however, it says 2.5 million hits. With friends whose math is so sloppy Bryant doesn’t need enemies.

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