Friday, March 30, 2007

Things I hate

Tim and Eric on Adult Swim.
I hate "Tom Goes To The Mayor." It is a stupid, stupid show.
I hate "The Tim and Eric Super Amazing Show! Good Job!" or whatever it's called.

They try so very very hard. And it is the worst form of contrived "randomness." It's not Dadaist, it's not absurdist. It's the ramblings of two idiots who were once told they were funny by a bunch of stoned losers and have taken it way too seriously.

Here is what I miss:
Sealab 2021
Space Ghost Coast to Coast
Venture Brothers (the second season was nowhere near as good as the first - shoddy production values).

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lo, my defenses have failed!

I am so very very sick. And I think it's cosmic punishment for bravado. This weekend I was all like, "Haha, isn't it funny that my brother's been sick for a week and a half, my mother's been sick all week and Pete's coming down with something and yet I'm not sick? Haha! I have the worst immune system ever! How ironic!" Yeah, well, that was a poor strategy. Monday night I started to feel bad and Tuesday I was sick, but nothing compared to Tuesday night. This cold has had diferent symptom sets for each of us - Aren and Mom have had bronchitis; Mom and I have had chills; Mom, Aren and Pete have had runny noses. But Tuesday night I had body aches and chills like you wouldn't believe. Every single point on my body hurt. And it didn't mater that I knew it was just viral, that it wasn't "real" pain, like from a sprain or whatever. I have no idea how people with chronic pain deal on a daily basis. One night of body aches and I was ready to throw in the towel. Wednesday was sore throat day and today is sore throat/coughing/feeling faint day. (I think maybe I have low blood pressure today? Is that possible?)

What I have learned is this: I am a HUGE sickness wimp. Mom's been crazy sick, but she hasn't missed a day of work. Aren only missed a couple days of work, and he was sicker than all the rest of us combined. Pete and I have really gotten off easy compared to them. But let's compare Pete and me. What did I do yesterday? I woke up at 4:20, at 5 and at 6:40 when I got up because there was no point. I watched TV in Mom's room until 8 when I fell asleep again. I slept until 11:30. I ate lunch. I watched tv until six or so and then I made chicken soup. I ate dinner, watched tv, and went to bed. Now, let's compare what Pete did. He got up around 10, brought in the recycling bins from the curb, took stuff down to the main post office to mail it, made lunch, cleaned out the cat boxes, ran to the store to buy chicken soup-making ingredients that we had run out of, put left over soup away and did the dishes. In short, Pete is amazing. Also, I am a huge wimp.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happy Pi Day!

I just heard about this today. I think Pie Day would be better than Pi Day, but apparently (according to the American Pie Council, whatever that is) Pie Day is 1/23.

You know who is awesome?

Neil Patrick Harris, that's who. If you don't know who that is and you are American, you should look around your cave, gaze at your crude shelves full of anarchist tracts and survivalist literature, mentally catalog how long it took you to build that hydroponic "mini-collective-farm" out of old beehives, consider how long it's been since you had a hot shower or used soap, and ask yourself, "Has it been worth it?" Actually, I extend that command to anyone who doesn't recognize that name and is from an English-speaking country, because Doogie Howser, MD has had such a lasting influence on Western culture. Observe: Your doctor looks young? He gives you advice that seems specious? You want to be a jerk about it? There is only one thing to say! "Okay, Doogie, thanks. Now send in a real doctor and leave your plastic stethoscope at the door."

ANYWAY... my point is that Neil Patrick Harris is awsome. Proof? Pete will not only watch, but actually often enjoys watching a sitcom, "How I Met Your Mother." And I think he will confirm that the best parts are the Neil Patrick Harris parts. He just has perfect timing and makes even the most clich├ęd sitcom antics work (because he does so with a sense of irony). Also, the show seems to be written well, which helps. I had the hugest crush on him as Doogie Howser, MD, when I was but a girl, and that is one of only three school-girl-crushes-on-tv-or-movie-stars to which it is not embarrassing to admit.

And now you know who is awesome.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Post-Modernism: RIP

Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, for it tolls for post-modernism! And possibly critical theory. Let's take a look at our Important Post-Modernist Life & Death List, shall we? (*=Critical Theorist)

Ludwig Wittgenstein d. April 29, 1951
Theodor Adorno d. August 6, 1969
Martin Heidegger d. May 26, 1976
Roland Barthes d. March 28, 1980
Jacques-Marie-Emile Lacan d. September 9, 1981
Michel Foucault d. June 25, 1984
Louis Althusser* d. October 23, 1990
Jean-François Lyotard d. April 21, 1998
Pierre Bourdieu* d. January 23, 2002
Jacques Derrida d. October 8, 2004
Jean Baudrillard d. March 6, 2007

Jürgen Habermas*, beware! You're nearing your 88th birthday. And Noam Chomsky*... You just turned 88!

I was surprised that no one but the BBC covered the fact that Baudrillard died yesterday. Maybe they will today, but I doubt it. As important as he is to my field - or any qualitatively-oriented social science - I'd be surprised if enough people recognize his name to warrant any kind of televised obituary. I remember when Derrida died, endless seminars, tributes, discussion groups and other homages popped up all over campus. You would have though the French department had lost one of their own faculty! I can't imagine what they're doing for Baudrillard; maybe nothing, maybe they had a department-imposed day of mourning, I can't say.

If you don't know Baudrillard's work, you should totally check him out. His most famous work, Simulacra and Simulation (1981) is a little hard to read (and understand...) but I've heard his more recent stuff is much more accessible, if Crazy Liberal Propaganda (my favorite kind! ::squeal::). His book, America (1986), got pretty mediocre reviews - people thought he was stretching - but that would have been a hard time to be a post-modernist. His most recent stuff has been about how the Gulf War was really a simulacra - that the abstract reality of the war was entirely invented by public discourse and was not real (he does not dispute that it happened or anything like that). He has another book about how the same thing happened with 9/11. As you can imagine, he was not very popular in some quarters...

Anyway, I think it is strange to realize that Post-Modernism may have died yesterday along with M. Baudrillard. Sure, there are probably scholars who call themselves Post-Modernists out there. But who are they? What clout do they have? Do they represent an era of intellectual critique and epistemological change?

Also, if I left anyone off that list, let me know. Or don't, if this whole exercise has been too depressing. Just go read some Foucault and think happily about a time decontextualisation was a crazy new idea.