Thank you for your charitable donation during this festive season!

This month began with a series of long and slightly irritating posts in which generous and charitable readers of others like Levi Bryant were forever whining about how they are mistreated by others. This month is ending with a beautiful display of what was really at stake: “be generous to me, love and appreciate me, because if you do not, I will spend my every waking hour attacking you and everything you stand for!”

Too many exhibits to link to, but just look at this one. I am sure that if anyone pointed out how stupid and unfair that representation of the opponent’s argument is, Bryant would have his response ready: But he started it!

Merry Christmas everyone!

“I honestly just don’t understand the nature of the question that’s being asked.”

I know you kids out there like to read all these gossipy posts about OOO, but I have a serious lesson for you today – for all of its obvious (and hilarious) faults, there one very good technique that you all need to learn and practice: playing dumb when confronted with questions. Rather than explain to you how this work, let me give you some examples from our favorite objectologist:

Exhibit A: “Similarly, no one would dream of suggesting that because the doctor wants to know what causes the bird flu, the doctor is somehow justifying the bird flu or claiming that it is a good thing.  No, the doctor wants to understand the bird flu precisely so he can prevent it.  I’ve thus been shocked to hear some say that if you claim that nuclear bombs are, you’re somehow claiming that nuclear bombs should be.”

Shocked, I tell ya, shocked! It’s important to feign genuine feelings when playing dumb.

Exhibit B: What I find perplexing about this is that all of you asking these questions seem to think that my claim that ontology and politics are distinct means I reject politics and ethics.

I am perplexed, I tell ya, baffled, befuddled, bewildered, puzzled, dumbfounded and confounded as to why “you lot” are just not able to get it. Blame the readers for your inability to understand a simple question. It’s their fault that they are not proficient enough to get it. By being perplexed, you are basically making a philosophical equivalent of this jab: “I find it perplexing that you are still wetting your bed.”

At the end, go for the kill:

Sure, I care about ontology for political reasons because I believe this world sucks and is profoundly unjust.  But rather than waving my hands and cursing because of how unjust and horrible it is so as to feel superior to all those about me who don’t agree, rather than playing the part of the beautiful soul who refuses to get his hands dirty, I think we need good maps so we can blow up the right bridges, power lines, and communications networks, and so we can engage in effective terraformation.

Opening with “Sure” is awesome (consider “Look” or “You see” as well). Then follows an amazingly brazen plagiarism from Kim Stanley Robinson who invents the term “terraforming” in his Mars Trilogy – slightly change it to “terraformation” and you’re golden! And, of course, the “kill” – my opponents are idiots who ask silly incomprehensible questions while standing around with their clean hands and retarded minds hoping for a better tomorrow to come on its own. Speechless!

What then follows is an exchange of comments (both on the blog and FB) from which I only select a few juicy ones to illustrate my point:  Continue reading

Aurora Shooting

Just learned about it. I live in Denver. Odd to see it on the national and international news. Details are slowly emerging. This is so bizarre, but I am sure there are smart insightful academics out there who are typing up their critiques of gun culture, comic books, film industry and popcorn distribution as we speak. Look out for a penetrating Zizekean analysis of the reasons for the shooting and so on. Life imitating movies or something to that effect.

The one shortcoming that is obvious already, the media still has not give this shooting a name. So behind times. Still, what is to come is fairly predictable – long exposés about guns, culture of violence, lone wolves; no discussions of underlying cultural and political issues. Conservatives will yell about “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” – liberals will yell about stricter gun control and so on. Sad.

The Radical Retroactivity of the Dialectical Process

Romney gets grief for his “retroactive retirement” comment (well, not his, but his adviser’s) but that only shows that the masses are not dialectically inclined. His campaign is just trying to follow most recent musings by Žižek – behold: 

Is not the dialectical process the temporal deployment of an eternal set of potentialities, which is why the Hegelian System is a self-enclosed set of necessary passages? This mirage of overwhelming evidence dissipates, however, the moment we fully take into account the radical retroactivity of the dialectical process: the process of becoming is not in itself necessary, but is the becoming (the gradual contingent emergence) of necessity itself. This is also (among other things) what “to conceive substance as subject” means: the subject as the Void, the Nothingness of self-relating negativity, is the very nihil out of which every new figure emerges; in other words, every dialectical passage or reversal is a passage in which the new figure emerges ex nihilo and retroactively posits or creates its necessity. [Less Than Nothing, 231]

Romney’s constant double mind about issues (“flip-flopping”) is clearly a sign of his dialectical sensibilities. And now with retroactivity entering the discussion, it is clear that his is in fact the best dialectician of our time!

Those Were The Days…

Blast from the past. Those were good times, I think. People were less uptight about making fun of that which was and remains rather laughable. A friend recently reminded me that it is important to ridicule that which is ridiculous lest people get used to it and treat it as legitimate philosophy. Let’s face it, unless graduate students are told something isn’t really as cool as they think it is, they will never learn: “Critical Thinking Generation”!

How To Fake Your Way Through Hegel

Look, it’s the Hegel age – you know it and I know it. It’s been the Hegel age for the past 200 hundred years, but only recently have we come to realize that in all the recent attempts to “overcome Kant” there is no overcoming Kant like the Hegelian overcoming of Kant. Thus Hegel is back (because he never left).

Now, the problem with Hegel is that, well, he is too Hegelian – too difficult to understand, too German and inaccessible, too time-consuming. Fear not, dear future Hegelians! Here are a few useful tips on faking your way through Hegel – if you follow these, you will surely come across as the most intelligent and thought-provoking expert on all things Hegelian.  Continue reading