My marxist feminist analysis brings all the boys to the yard…

Reporting LIVE from writing a paper about the Marxist themes present in The Principia Discordia!

Your vocabulary word of the night is KYNICAL. Screw those cynical hipsters, I am all kinds of kynical, baby. (I’m too sexy for my paradigm. Too sexy for my paradigm. And I do my little turn on the discourse.)

Here’s a lovely little excerpt for you from Slavoj Zizek’s “The Sublime Object of Ideology”:

But all this is already well known: it is the classic concept of ideology as “false consciousness,” misrecognition of the social reality which is part of this reality itself. Our question is: does this concept of ideology as a naive consciousness still apply to today’s world? Is it still operating today? In the Critique of Cynical Reason (1983), a great bestseller in Germany, Peter Sloterdijk puts forward the thesis that ideology’s dominant mode of functioning is cynical, which renders impossible–or, more precisely, vain–the classic critical-ideological procedure. The cynical subject is quite aware of the distance between the ideological mask and the social reality, but he nonetheless still insists upon the mask. The formula, as proposed by Sloterdijk, would then be: “they know very well what they are doing, but still, they are doing it.” Cynical reason is no longer naive, but is a paradox of an enlightened false consciousness: one knows the falsehood very well, one is well aware of a particularly interest hidden behind an ideological universality, but still one does not renounce it.

We must distinguish this cynical position strictly from what Sloterdijk calls kynicism. Kynicism represents the popular, plebeian rejection of the official culture by means of irony and sarcasm: the classical kynical procedure is to confront the pathetic phrases of the ruling official ideology–its solemn, grave tonality–with everyday banality and to hold them up to ridicule, thus exposing behind the sublime noblesse of the ideological phrases the egotistical interests, the violence, the brutal claims to power. This procedure, then, is more pragmatic than argumentative: it subverts the official proposition by confronting it with the situation of its enunciation; it proceeds ad hominem (for example when a politician preaches the duty of patriotic sacrifice, kynicism exposes the personal gain he is making from the sacrifice of others).

Cynicism is the answer of the ruling culture to this kynical subversion: it recognizes, it takes into account, the particular interest behind the ideological universality, the distance between the ideological mask and the reality, but it still finds reason to retain the mask.

So. I hope you wanna go read some Zizek now. Dude is pretty awesome, and the essay is short. It’s dense, but short, and well worth reading.

Just… process that last paragraph in that quote for a little bit. Cynicism–and, dare I say, a huge amount of our “self-aware” and “ironic” popular culture–is just a big ol’ discrediting of valid complaints and criticisms. Every time someone says that it’s okay to make inappropriate jokes/comments because we live in a post-racial/post-feminist/post-whatever society, that’s what’s going on.

So do everyone a favor and go out and punch an asshole. Then explain we live in a post-violence society, so it’s just FUNNY. A-yep.

P.S. This post has totally inspired me to add a new tag. “Under the influence of academia.” For posting while snorting grad school.

P.P.S. This paper makes me want to stick a hook up through my nose and yank my brains out and then pop out my eyeballs with a grapefruit spoon. I fucking love grad school and I don’t ever want to leave. I am serious. This is what I love.

11/04/2010. Tags: . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Remember to vote…

…but not just for political office.

The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), is the largest and oldest rape crisis center in Massachusetts. They serve the metro-Boston area and they do absolutely amazing work. They provide a 24-hour hot line for callers in crisis to reach a trained, caring human being; they also provide advocates to go with survivors to the hospital, to court, talk to police, and so on. They provide outreach into the community, going to schools, events, speaking with law enforcement, etc, helping to educate about the reality of rape and sexual violence. RCCs make such a huge difference in both helping survivors and providing valuable education, and BARCC is exemplary.

The work that BARCC does in our community is very important and very real. They have only a minuscule paid stuff, with a large part of the work (including the hot line, advocates, and community outreach) being done by incredibly dedicated, hard-working volunteers. All of the volunteers go through a 40-hour training program, and they continue to be involved in further training and supervision throughout their time with the center. Running the center is not an inexpensive proposition, and how much they are able to do is directly impacted by how much money they have. The Classy Awards represent an opportunity for BARCC to win some more funding to help them further their mission.

Please go to the Classy Awards and vote for BARCC. They are up for the vote in several categories, so please make sure you check out the whole page and support them wherever they’re up (also support some of the other great Boston non-profits, of course!).

The voting is open through November 5th, so please share this with anyone you may know who would be willing to vote. This is such an important opportunity for BARCC and it will only take a few seconds to cast your vote. Thank you!

11/02/2010. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

(echo, echo, echo…)

Hello, internets. It’s been a while.

I’m up to my eyeballs in a masters degree, and applying to PhD programs. I just got laid off from my part time job and am now “up shit creek” as they say in the parlance of the times. I’m also dealing with a pretty serious bout of depression, so maintaining basic human functioning has somewhat overridden my desire to keep this updated.

I’m going to try to write here more often, though, as I would like to keep this going. To that end, I’m going to expand my horizons a little. I’ll be writing beyond strictly current events feminism stuff and instead touching in on things I’m covering in class, general reflections and bookishness, and also roping in cooking, writing, and assorted hobbies I engage in, in order to at least keep some content flowing. It’ll be neat stuff, hopefully (sewing, working with power tools, fun stuff!).

Anyways, this month is both National Novel Writing Month AND the Vegan Month of Food (VeganMOFO!). I will be participating in NaNoWriMo same as every year, and my novel this year has a feminist theme (including vigilante justice!), so I might post about that occasionally. I am not participating in VeganMoFo because I don’t have the money to make post-worthy stuff every day. Nor the time, nor the energy. However, I will be regularly posting about the amazingly delicious things that I make for MoFo and tagging them accordingly. I’m calling this MINI-MOFO. In the future, full-on MoFo action will happen, but for now, I’m just a MoFo aspirer. So, if you really hate vegan food, that’s probably good for you. On the other hand, if you really hate vegan food, what’s wrong with you?

So, there’s that. Stay tuned to see if I survive the PhD application process, write a damn novel, cook some vegan food, get a decent GPA this semester, and not have a nervous breakdown.

*whistle* And we’re off!

11/02/2010. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.