usage type which is best example of itself
Daniel A. Foss (U17043@UICVM.BITNET)
Sun, 25 Sep 1994 19:01:37 CDT
to read, posted on this list, several occurrences of the phrase, "cutting
through/cut through the [dirty word]. Of all the dirty words in English....
Perhaps we should explain at this point that post-Political-Correctness
is neither Politically Correct nor Not Politically Correct. It is post-Politi-
cally Correct; the objective is to abolish all the encrustations of stilted,
boring, convoluted circumlocutions that strangled expression of anything, or
would have had there been anything to express, in the late and thankfully gone
forever Left. Banish the Left! Long Live the Opposition! The Opposition
embraces straightforwardly confused, discontinuous, and frankly nonsensical
prose where the burden of proof is upon the wouldbe sensemakers that any sense
has yet been made nor is likely to be made reasonably soon; and, should sense
be somehow made, it would, overwhelmingly likely, be spurious and in other ways
deleterious to the Opposition.
For the reasons stated, and numerous others, all euphemisms for dirty words,
such as, "obscene," "offensive," "scatological," "unprintable," "foul," and
"indecent," inter alia, are declared abolished, since they all mean, "dirty,"
and this should be acknowledged, with whatever squeamishness this might at
first entail. The Language Cleansing Committee has, after great agony of
indecision, reluctantly spared "smut," as this is a direct four-letter synonym
for "dirt." The dirty words themselves, worst of all the eight-letter specimen
euphemised, prior to the new Guidelines, as [barnyard epithet], are of course
expunged from written English by reason of overuse, polysemic confusion, and
the logical conclusion of these, complete and abject hyposemia, or utter
absence of meaning: empty sounds, that is to say, emitted when stubbing a toe
or getting an error message from some computer CMND. The horrible example we
have rounded on, in particular, has "meant," sort of, anything from "false
consciousness," *sensu marxisto*, through the entire spectrum of both visible
and invisible nontruth, to the bare[bodypart] lie pure and simple. Above, or
perhaps, far below all, dirty words should never be used by organisms of the
Opposition to convey the questionable image that they, regardless of gender,
all four counting hardware and software, are more grittily 'real' than nonusers
of said usages. The rationale here is, it remains to be proven whether, and if
so in what sense, and given that, is it all that important, whether any of us
exists, whether defined as a dichotomous or a continuous variable. Consider,
for just one instant, the multiple layers of images, the public, the self-, and
for the Better Sort among you, the Professional, which are far more salient
than Life, best left undefined, itself, hence for each of us, more real than
us as we know us.
We do, however, relent to the extent that the usage, "indecent," is
permitted to cover such rare and bizarre practices as those of miscreants who
refrain from slipping plastic underwear over their 3.5" floppy disks, which
is indeed disgusting.
One of you, names are not important, on e-mail you all look alike, from the
header down, actually used the henceforth-prohibited word, "sexuality." This
is excusable at best only insofar as the Guidelines had theretofore not yet
been promulgated. The Guidelines clearly specify that all elitist modifications
to the word "sex," including "sexual," "sexuality," and of course that monstro-
sity, "psychosexual," as well as euphemisms, dysphemisms, "saucy-innuendoistic"
verbiage, and the ever-highflown-synonymous "eros," "erotic," and kindred, are
impermissible, taboo: "Sex," in its threeletter nakedness, will shortly become
divested of its mock-intellectual pseudosignificance, and become recognized as
the tedious quotidian triviality it is, as reported by sociological surveys
finding it ranked thirteenth in importance in Life, whatever that might be,
well behind television, ranking seventh. Eo ipso, it must be boring. And it
must take on whatever importance it appears to possess from its sole and
exclusive purpose. As social scientists, in uniform or unfrocked, we all know
what that purpose is.
Let us say that an ET has been sent from the Moth, uh, Parental Ship in a
UFO to ascertain what sex is for. The ET will send a Report, in the appropriate
blue plastic covers, Upstairs to the Commanding Officerbeing, whose conclusion
is predictable: Sex is for ascertaining publicly, within the constraints of
*assortative mating*, *the hypergamy-hypogamy rule*, and *invidiously ranked
phenotypic and socioeconomic characteristic profiles* standardized and
conventionalized by the market mechanism much like the Blue Book for Previously
Owned motor vehicles, *who is good enough to appear in public with whom*.
Whence the usage, "go out with," elsewise senseless.
This extracts the principal component, the Thingie which predicts behaviour.
There is a thick underbrush, to be sure, of subjective-affective variability,
not greatly important to our R-square, and whether we give our factor analysis
Varimax or Oblique rotation, or put any kind of Spin on it that we might wish,
it comes out pretty much the same, with the usual kinds of people appearing in
public with much the same kinds of people, as ultimately macrostructually
determined as to who finds whom "attractive" or vice versa; these nuisance
variables turn out nonorthogonally related, to the point of multicollinearity,
with assortative mating, hypergamy-hypogamy, and invidious ranking of pseudo-
idiosyncratic - "personal" - characteristics (which render the True Love ethos
or ideological muck possible and subjectively plausible along with the elements
of fleawill and moral choice).
This, says the Opposition, is capitalism; it's so big, you can't get out of
it; it's so stuck to you, you can't get away from it; and all those who've
Found or are Seeking *meaning in Life* (whatever the latter may be) are working
for Them. We, of the Opposition, are On Strike, like baseball. With no Self,
no Self-image; nothing, you see, to look in the Mirror, which is in La Can.
We'd rather just flush it, and goodbye to one nuisance, at least. Why we must
cut ourselves while shaving. Capitalism, it'll all go together when we go; and
there will be two kinds of people, those who are Unemployable, and those who
Call In Sick, so long as the phones are working.
When Them declared a Crisis of Meaning, the Opposition, still not detached
from the former Left, which only breathed its last over Haiti last week, in
that remarkable display of confusion and ignorance which gave "fragmentation"
a bad name, we said, "Crisis of Meaning? Yeah, yeah, go with it." The former
Left, we said, "comprised so many brilliant minds, yet in the aggregate gave
rise to utter stupidity." Scholars of the future will have time and leisure
to ascertain the social sources of that stupidity; we believe it was determined
- no fleawill necessary or possible - by the stupidity of the whole wherein it
Got Through The Day. The Opposition, however, being Not Paid To Think, refuses.
To each and every rule in our Guidelines documents, which are of course in
fantastic, incredible disorder, at present, there are, there must be,
exceptions. The character of the Opposition is, must be, that each and every
organism in the opposition has a moral obligation to Differ from each and every
Other member of the Opposition. In time, due course, and as it occurs to us,
all this will be explained, not necessarily all of it to anyone. Consider how
the post-Political-Correctness project emerged:
On the cover of the Oct 94 issue of Playboy there appears the promise of a
spread called "The Girls Of The Securities And Exchange Commission." Curiosity
on our part was minimal. After all, what would Playboy do but exploit some
hapless Temps who needed the money. Only if Playboy ritually defiled senior
managers, legal experts, and economists with PhDs would we be the least bit
The question arose, though, "What could they do to top this?" The answer
we came up with was, "The Girls of Women's Studies." Who would we expect to
find posing naked in such a spread? We considered the published writings as
well as photos of the authors. (1) Kate Roiphe, The Morning After: Sex, Rape,
and Feminism On Campus, 1993. The backcover picture shows a lovely face framed
with a magnificent cascade of Jewish-natural frizzy hair hanging well below the
shoulders; she's breathtaking. In the book, she commits the hitherto unspeak-
able heresy of stating, unqualified and unclad, that if beautiful feminists are
going to do wardrobe-selection and image-managemet to maximize *desired* sex
attention from men they desire, they are going to, logically, incur even more
*undesired* sex attention from men they do not want any attention from. Which
concedes implicitly that any given woman qua female organism is not going to
draw admiring glances for her unique personhood, but for her invidiously-ranked
conventionalized, standardized, with socioeconomic correlates, phenotypic
profile. And this, of course, from men, analogously profiled, the more Inferior
of whom will perforce merely windowshop; and only the minority of would-be
market-equivalents actually being so bold as to Come On.
(2) Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Trap, 1992. It stands to reason, should be as
selfevident as you can get, that no ugly hag would dare to write a book with
that title and corresponding contents, to the effect that mass-marketed
invidiously ranked somatic norm images and phenotypical profiles do disservices
to the true elect of beautiful women. They should rather, in the Revolution
>From Within genre, Empower themselves to take full advantage of their transcen-
dent loveliness by creating new styles of female glamour suitable to themselves
alone. The back cover photo of the paperback edition was adorned with an image
of such wondrous seductiveness that, forthwith, I bought a copy of Wolf's newly
paperbacked, more recent, Fire With Fire; and you may be certain that age has
only deepened the glamour of that visage, not to mention the celebration of
sex and money and status in the text.
(3) Andrea Dworkin. It is one of the better-kept secrets of Women's Studies
that Andrea Dworkin is a lousy writer. The secret has been kept thus far only,
it seems to us, because her good friend and longtime collaborator, Catharine A.
MacKinnon, is a genius, profoundly steeped in social theory, legal theory,
philosophy, dialectical materialism, sociological studies of the victimization
of women - she always has the numbers - and what might be called politically
focussed ethnographic research using styles and methods of her own devising.
MacKinnon's most celebrated utterance is, to this date, "Pornography is a
set of hermeneutical equivalences which operate at the epistemological level."
(Feminism Unmodified, p. 190) We'll go along with that.
Andrea Dworkin, however, writes dirty books, of prurient interest, which
replicate with, uh, *loving* precision the details of the dirtiest of the dirty
pictures whereof she objects, not missing any detail the naive or superficial
dirty-book consumer might overlook elsewise than subliminally. Why bother, we
ask. If we wanted to look at dirty pictures, we'd buy them off the rack; one
thousand words minimum describing each dirty picture is mere reproduction of
the nominal target, slightly reframed.
There's no author's picture on any of Dworkin's books we've thus far seen;
we think she's got something to hide. Which is, we are convinced, she's the
best-looking woman in Woman's Studies, Playboy's Playmate of the Year. This
is capitalism; and somebody must be It. For [mirror mirror on the wall who's
the most beautiful of all] we make an exception.
Q. Whaddaya think I wanna fuck Andrea Dworkin for?
A. [I dunno, why ya wanna fuck Andrea Dworkin for?]
Q. Foist, she gonna Talk Dirty, so *I don't hafta*!
A. [An' second?]
Q. She gonna make videotapes of *everything* onna *printed page*!
A. [An' thoid?]
Q. Whennit comes out, I c'n joikoff to it. Whatmored'ya think I want?
A. A cut of the royalties?
It's been fun, well, no, in this crowd, everything makes me sick. What you
got, you deserve; I read *all of it* all summer long; and it was a long hot
summer, here in Chicago.
Daniel A. Foss