Sunday, April 06, 2008


If you would like to see a hackish charlatan intellectually drowning in front of a crowd of the digital age's equivalent of divinity students, I bid you here. It's NYU professor, Derrida hanger-on, feminist, philosopher and (of course) performance artist Avital Ronell talking about...something. Something...that...isn't...quite...there. Something...profound? Perhaps....maybe...something...aeiawejksdjionaoaiooakersjs.
So much of theory is an endless preparation for a conversation that will never take place. It attempts to set barriers and parameters to an imaginary future discussion, it lays out the jargon that to be utilized, it creates the authority figures to be interrogated as oracles. In the end it only confirms Zeno's denial of motion. Nothing happens. Only wanking.
Really, for a group of people that wish (often admirably) to demolish tradition and reject authority, the authority of the "author," the law, the late-capitalist hierarchy, these people use their precursors, their Foucaults, Batailles, Nietzsches, Lacans, like Aquinas or Rashi used Aristotle or the Talmudic sages. It's pure ipse dixit. Hence, 'divinity students'.
I understand that bashing "post-modernism" or continental philosophy in the academy is an old trick, and something I've done a lot before, but really folks! This shit is BONKERS! Watch her randomly go from one foggy generality to another. It's almost touching, the way she unsuccessfully searches for an interesting thing to say, constantly to come up empty-handed. In the third part (yes, I watched all three. I am sick) she has to ask Judith Butler for a life-preserver, perhaps the most desperate situation of all for a thinking human being.

All said I'm sure she's a nice gal. Or not. Feel free to post your favorite quotes!
My favorite (this should be added the next edition of Bartlett's):

"For example, what's happening today isn't necessarily happening today [sic]. But is something that never stopped, um,retching, or, or, or, agitating, or, or, having a phantasmatic site (sight?) [sic] in something that, um, was calling from another time, or something. I could give you a really foolish example [thanks]: have you seen the 'Star Wars'...not 'Star Wars', 'Star Trek' which takes place in San Francisco with the...[nerd in audience, probably fat: With the whales?]...okay...the punchline...They [the crew of the Millennium Falcon or whatever the fuck] thought it was, that, the, uh, uh, signaling was coming from a human, or a human figuration [?], but it was more like something from, and from the past [sic], but it was really from the future, and from a different, uh, let's say a different manifestation of dasein [let's not and say we did], from the whales....[looks at Butler in desperation]...okay how does this help?"

It doesn't. It absolutely does not help.


Blogger Corey said...

This person is a professor at NYU? Wow.

There's hope for me yet!

2:59 PM  
Blogger M. Keiser said...

Im gonna have to agree with you here. She went through all this lingo that could be used to say something, and didnt say much of anything at all (anything at all?) Eitherway, a confusing, embarrassing clip.

They should bring back Rhetoric studies. then we might all some day rise to lofty positions in university system. lol.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Troy said...

Man, Patrick, give the lady a break. She's obviously still hung over after a night of drinking games with Zizek. I can only imagine giving a lecture after taking a shot of tequila every time dis-articulations of philosophically predicted aftermaths of excessive fundamentalist religious convulsions respond to the death of God by way of farting.

Sorry, Zizek should be left out of this. Dear lord she needs to bag some groceries for a while.

8:47 PM  
Blogger David said...

Ow, my brain/ears.

5:58 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home