The Ed Wood of Comics
Roof Sex

Friday Ephemera

The King Novelty Company. Lodestones, roots, strange herbs, magnetic sand. (H/T, Metrolander) // “VD is for Everybody.” (1969) // “The Trouble with Women.” New bearings inspector threatens status quo. Will Dolly be as bad as Myrtle? (1959) // How to build your own autonomous, self-assembling robots. Some assembly required. (H/T, Metrolander) // Via Ace, the robot spider. Cost $15,000. Cheaper than Sam Raimi’s film, and more entertaining. // Japanese robot eats snow, shits ice. Cute. // The Tornados’ Robot (1963) Like Telstar, but with robots. // White middle-class academic asks: “Does the world really need more middle-class white babies?” (H/T, Bloody Scott) // Journalists say Islam lacks tolerance; jail sentence ensues. More here. // Hitchens on stoicism, religion and miracles with alcohol. // Theodore Dalrymple on Marx, Qutb and their mutual delusions. Self-knowledge and humility not defining features of either. // Richard Dawkins holds forth, rocks boat. “Teach your children evolution and they’ll soon move on to drugs…” // Do Penguins Fly? // 25 great Calvin & Hobbes strips. Transmogrifier, snowmen, squeezing, tragedy. // Henry Jenkins thumbs Mexico’s less reputable comics. Busty ladies, monsters, copyright be damned. (H/T, Journalista!) // Robert Hodgin’s Magnetosphere. More here. // Fractal fabrics, fractal flames. // A map of online communities. The Blogipelago, the Sea of Memes and the Bay of Angst. // Alarm clock with wheels. Rings loudly then hides out of reach, still ringing loudly. Imagine the fun. // Ron Goodwin gets fab and groovy with Miss Marple.

Comments

clazy

David, have you been following the Duke Lacrosse case at all? Maybe it hasn't registered on the other side of the pond, but it's a superb demonstration of post-modern nonsense gone wild, with real-world consequences. A significant proportion of the Duke arts and sciences faculty disgraced themselves in their rush to jump onto a local politically correct cause celebre, no matter that it meant condemning their own students with no evidence in hand. Now, although this travesty of a case has been thrown out and the DA is likely to lose his license to practice law and suffer worse, some of these faculty continue to make fools of themselves. You've really got to check out this one professor, Grant Farred, as presented by KC Johnson, a prof at Brooklyn College who has done a phenomenal job of keeping the case in the sunshine. http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2007/05/friday-with-farred.html

I'm embarrassed to have a Duke degree, but at least it was in the sciences, and 20 yrs ago....

I could laugh at Guertin, but academics like Farrad are sinister. The oddest thing is that anyone listens to them. I suppose their not really listening to anyone but themselves, and that's what people like Farrad rely on. Every now and then, Farrad will drop the appropriate PC conclusion and the listener can consider his beliefs affirmed. the rest of the time, he can simply project his ideas, or even only the impression of an argument, onto the meaningless stream of words flowing from Farrad's mouth.

David

Clazy,

Yes, I have registered the Duke case, though to my knowledge it’s not been reported over here in the MSM. In fact, that was in the back of my mind while I was writing some of the recent posts on PC prejudice, PoMo ‘morality’ and their various trickledown effects. I had hoped to suggest that this isn’t merely an absurdity. When these ideas, or derivatives of them, inform ‘race theory’ classes, identity politics and legal theory courses it’s actually rather serious, and quite corrosive.

I suspect many of the academics concerned, and quite a few students, were far too busy expressing the views they felt they ought to have – or ought to be seen as having – to reflect on their own assertions, or the consequences thereof. Narcissism, dishonesty and role-play are, I think, central to a great deal of what might loosely be called postmodern politics.

clazy

Would it be overreaching to look for the analogs of narcissism, dishonesty and role-play in a comparison of this sort of PC hysteria with more violent and doctrinaire political environments such as the Cultural Revolution, or during the years of Stalin, etc? I'm interested in the difference between the two, the fear of death, torture, imprisonment.

David

Heh. Maybe a little. But I’m pretty sure Stalin was a fantasist, like so many of his peers and supporters. And I’m deeply suspicious of anyone who gets ideologically aroused by the Undifferentiated Ego Mass.

clazy

After Undifferentiated Ego Mass aroused my curiosity, I found via google an interesting blog post commenting on the notion wearing the ubiquitous Che shirt is without consequence. I think the Che shirt's an exercise in role-playing that encourages dishonesty; and it spreads the role-playing and dishonesty like a virus expressed by each individual's narcissism....

http://conservajew.blogspot.com/2006/02/capitalist-commodification-of.html

clazy

...the notion THAT wearing...

David

It’s not a fashion choice I’d encourage. It seems to appeal to the perverse, the preening and the vacant. Or any combination thereof. I mentioned Che chic briefly over here:

http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2007/02/pomo_terry_eagl_1.html

clazy

btw, more great ephemera. the vd psa makes me especially nostalgic.

David

Clazy,

The Duke link is fascinating, by the way. Thanks for that. I’m trying to imagine how the audience reacted when Professor Farred started rambling on about the “secret racism” of those who disagreed with him. (A “secret racism” which, presumably, only he was sufficiently trained to detect; like ectoplasm or something. Ah, that’s it. He’s a witch-finder for the modern age.)

And when he starts blathering cryptically about “the other who is sometimes as myself, as other,” it really is time for a gentle pelting with soft fruit. I’m amazed he wasn’t laughed off the stage by the students. This attempt to browbeat the audience with obfuscation is cowardly and quite despicable. It reduces the discussion, such as it is, to groupthink and compliance: “Ooh, he’s saying things we don’t understand. He must be clever. He must be right. Let’s agree with him. Let’s do as he says...”

It seems to me that Farred’s appeal to genealogical guilt and self-loathing has much in common with the item linked in the Ephemera above. Sarah Churchwell, a white middle-class academic, asks: “Does the world really need more middle-class white babies?” It’s hard to imagine a statement of that kind being made about any other socio-ethnic group by one of its members. As a statement to advance Churchwell’s argument, it serves no obvious purpose. But as an expression of psychological malfunction and a broader cultural malaise, its significance becomes much clearer.

AntiCitizenOne

I think that the #1 defining trait of the modern left is projection.

Those things that are buried in their sub-concious, they attribute to non-lefties.

clazy

Ha! exactly right

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