Monday, August 15, 2005

big fun
Why theory-heads are worse than neo-liberals.
I’m not going to spend much time reading posts by J. Holbo, even the short ones (or the ones I agree with) so I’ll make this short and sweet, and directed not at him but Jodi Dean.
It’s not theory itself that’s the problem, kiddo, any more than revolution: it’s the noble cause of permanence: as in permanent revolution. This has its origin in the jealousy of those in the humanities who see themselves as competing with the sciences. Theoretical man is no more or less banal a concept than economic man; except that theory-heads have the habit of pretending by way of their advanced logic that they are not bourgeois.
But theory itself IS THE THEORY OF THE ABSOLUTE BOURGEOIS: so contradictory in it’s essence that it’s best and truest practitioners are nothing more or less than poets of paradox. And I love them for that, honestly.

On the other hand, American academics, so desperate to be useful and practical as is the vulgar American can-do way of life, make asses of themselves and end up celebrating an art-as-life theology that leads them to celebrate the demi-fascisms of late romantics like Benjamin. Bore me to hell. And condescend to the middle and the working classes as well, without getting the fucking joke: Anti-humanism begins in Monarchism not democracy.
Literature like law and politics is a craft, not a science. Theory-heads and Timber-ites, both miss the point.
But now technocrats defend literature as an enjoyable hobby.

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