Secret Sun B-Side: Deconstruction



The Deconstructionists- people like Foucault and Derrida- gained notoriety in the late 80's and early 90's with the rise of post-structuralism in literary theory. This was seized upon by proponents of multiculturalism as a weapon to unseat the dreaded "Dead White Male" from his place in the ivory tower. I think that Derrida in particular was being misused, but I also think the primary motivation behind all of the controversies was to realign the university system in ways more to the liking of some of the larger foundations.

The reality of it is that many of these radical trends on college campuses actually harmed multiculturalism (surprise, surprise) with the ensuing backlash (the anti-affirmative action legislation can be tied to these controversies) and diminished the prestige and power of the liberal arts programs. The most extreme example of this is Antioch College, where every radical trend dreamed up by foundation warlocks ran amok. If you haven't heard, this once esteemed college, boasting alumni like Steven Jay Gould and Corretta Scott King, closed its doors last month.

But the more I think about what the Deconstructionists said, the more I reluctantly agree with them. Many, many people are no longer interested in facts, unless they bolster their predjudices. Science has become so arcane it's impossible for most of us to understand. The internet now allows people to atomize, and gives people the ability to say whatever they please anonymously. I'm an old fashioned idealist, raised on the afterglow of the New Deal, and it's hard for me to accept these trends.

But I think what open-minded people are doing and what they need to continue doing is what might seem counterintuitive -- organize, socialize, and publicize. We are getting lost in a data fog, and the promise of the Internet is being squandered. Anyone can call themselves anything and say anything and a real exchange of ideas is getting lost. Established fact can be tossed aside at will. You see the debates on political talk shows- no one talks to each other, none of these people are interested in learning or changing their minds. Everything today is politicized and this process is viral, seeping down into day to day conversation.

I've always believed there are other options than the dichotomies that the government, the media, and the religious and academic institutions are constantly forcing down our throats. Underneath it all, that is ultimately what I am trying to explore here. We can understand ourselves by looking at these stories we tell each other and we don't have to look at them the way we are told to by the establishment media or by Academia.

8 comments:

  1. http://www.amazon.com/Introducing-Foucault-2nd-Chris-Horrocks/dp/1840460865

    I've had that book for some time and never read it. So it goes right! I am not browsing it. One of the things that jumps out at me on this man is when he took over College De France and became,"History of systems of thought," and his first lecture there was termed,"The discourse on language." the quote that jumps out at is this,"In every society, the production of discourse is at once controlled, selected, organized and redistributed according to a certain number of procedures whose role is to avert its powers and its dangers."

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  2. The controlling of fact is really what college is. They replicate people who filter. They self empower the echo chamber. Over time ego and the need for a place in the social hierarchy create a need to reinforce the norm. Even if that means the destruction of truth. There are times where we see people who are rule mongers. And when you brain scan them, it is as if their ability for creative thinking has all but been lost in the programming. Parts of their brain have been literally shut down until further notice. This is where the dreamer has encountered problems for centuries. Everything in an instant is a devolving and evolving movement in some or many directions. Over time the ego creates a need to see itself as a constant, or fixed evolving entity and society reinforces it through jobs and various other things. The top, the boss, the man knows from his lofty perch that it is all chaos in some regards below. When I encounter a fundamentalist of any kind, I die a little inside. For instance there is no political left or right, it is not a straight line. It is a circle and the extreme left is linked to the extreme right, except they are just 180 deg. out of phase.

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  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulacra_and_Simulation

    This seems to capture what I see happening.

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  4. Funny to think about the whole post-structralist/sexual politics/p.c. hoo-hah that dominated college life in the 90s.

    It's like we were all looking elsehwere while various right-wing psychos got their mitts on the real issues. While 'activists' were debating how to greet girls in bars, a gang of crazies were creating a police state and preparing World War 3!

    Talk about 'reality check'...

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  5. My friend, Rosalee, rants about the intellectual trend where everyone is taught, "Nothing is true it's all how you look at it."

    I linked to this entry from mine at
    http://tinyurl.com/5j9saf

    Since the subject here came up in reflecting upon the Chinese Olympic "Fakery" and all the news on that subject.

    Also, I am sorry to hear about your pain situation, Chris.

    Nothing I go through can compare to that, but I know how irritable I get with minor distractions: fly infestations, cats walking over the keyboards, noises.

    So I *admire what you do under stress. Thank you for your work.

    I can see how "all-that" would make you less likely to "suffer fools" and to be impatient with bullshit, nonsense and unfocused thinking.

    However, you seem to exhibit a very relaxed on-line persona, under the circumstances.

    Bravo to you.

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  6. ... especially with the level of focus you bring to the subjects discussed. Have you been doing 'synchromystic' research since childhood?

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  7. gawd, don't start me on the 'nothing is true it's how you look at it' brigade; they've just misinterpreted what the quantum physics people had found out: namely that the observer effects the outcome of the experiment, and depending on what you measure it with (and some other details) a photon can be a wave or it can be a particle, and seems to be both at once (which isn't contradictory anyway!).

    In about 3rd year English the class I was in covered Animal Farm, and I wrote exactly that in my essay on it - that extreme right and extreme left are the same, and compared the 'political spectrum' to a circle also! My teacher wasn't having it and didn't get what I meant. Going back to comments here (on another article) about the Sun and absolute zero - I also apply that circular analogy now to 'the coldest anything can be' = devoid of all vibration and temperature, and 'the hottest anything can be' = moving so fast that it is everywhere at once, therefore still - the same as no movement at all.

    Astrologically this is *meant* to be the Aquarian Age (although the Sun doesn't seem to rise at Spring Equinox against Aquarius until around 2323 - some number!) and the rubbish version of that is meant to be what this is: shallow, randomly violent, erratic. A sort of surface-only no-substance type of world.
    The problem with the internet is that there wasn't a sound basis offline (in terms of popular culture and education and so on) for it to be able to migrate online; so like with every other technology, it starts out promising - then the same soul-less vacuums find out they can use it for adverts and to spread their lameo non-culture, and here it is. It's a mirror of the mess that human society is in offline, because the proportion of 'don't cares' and 'downright evils' is the same as it is offline to the number of thoughtful intelligent good folks.

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