Re: hey stephanie c'mere, explain somethin', ie if I meant it

Robert Johnson (johnsorl@COLORADO.EDU)
Thu, 7 Sep 1995 03:31:37 -0600

On Wed, 6 Sep 1995, Daniel A. Foss wrote:

> Ah, dear old Stephanie J. Nelson, remember when we were kids together,
> that was a long time ago, when they had a Thingie, called it "cyberspace."
> Who now recalls "cyber"-anything, shows your age. Why, way back then, even
> when I was quite certain that I meant no such thing as you inferred I did,
> and how we reveled on the DERRIDA list on decentered meaning! Remember those
> starry-eyed times when the two of us were part of a multitude growing mitotic-
> ally, then oncogenetically, then metastasized onc, etc, to all of whom Meaning
> itself would not last out the century? (Now look out there, a pretty pass
> indeed, univocality is back, with jackboots on.)
> Here's the problem, Steph, also your last chance to voluntarily collaborate
> in resolving it. Else, I resort to King Saul's methodology in summoning up the
> spirit of Samuel, an irascible insomniac even when alive. Enough tangential-
> izing. There's a post I sent in last week wherein I proferred an explanation
> of the "social sources" of a certain organism, whose name I sha'nt supply, not
> entirely out of trepidation at the prospect of your engaging in "defensive
> networking" (we never *conspire*, which is politically incorrect usage) with
> this self-styled entity to my detriment, as you did with the fascist with the
> Multicultural name, remember? The one who periodically fulminated against my
> posts in support of your position *within seconds*, maintaining he was so
> morally disgusted he deleted that one, whichever it was, as he had all my
> other posts, as always, unread. (Both of you relying, correctly, on the nearly
> certain prospect that only an obsessive-compulsive, and self-interested one,
> at that, would notice the contradiction.)
> The reason I mention this, old-timer, is that we certainly did engage in
> personalities in the Old Days, didn't we. Yet nothing, in our e-Experience,
> which was better than nothing, the only reason to indulge in suchlike poor
> substitutes for whateveritis is lacking, prepared me for the extent of
> psychologizing which is going on here around the [questionably existent]
> personality of the nameless selfstyled entity adduced above. Now comes *your*
> job, which is to tell me whether the paragraph-ish length passage I wrote
> anent the "social sources" of this [impropriety deleted] was *meant seriously*
> or was *just kidding*. Because, think about it. We are all social scientists
> here. We do not bother with personal, psychological, psychopathological-etiolo-
> gical, and other mock-explanatory devices of that ilk when we can resort to the
> social level of analysis. Consider that it takes at least seven hundred
> passively complicit social scientists to pay attention, express outrage, demand
> the removal of this...*this*, or shall I say, Two Initials.
> At my best/worst, I *never* got that sort of attention, putting full time
> backbreaking effort into it. There's a higher-level-of-analysis explanation
> for me, for you, for everyone who is or was here, and mind you, *anyone who
> was here will always be the same*, if that brings back pseudomemories from
> your fringes-of-the-Movement phase, if you had one; also, *nobody who was
> not here will never be the same*.
> We're agreed, then, that there is an explanation on the social, or socio-
> cultural, level of analysis for anyone and everyone here with the possible
> exception of Diane Bennett, which is itself a possible infringement of her
> privacy. Why, then, not go ahead and do it. Explain Two Initials with such
> brilliance it can't follow the explanation of itself. The reversal of
> direction, the broken-field running, from explosion to implosion, will
> confuse everyone, most of all us.
> Congruent this surely is with the task of the day, which is to seek out
> and destroy spurious sense wherever found. Meaning, I should think, has the
> quality of what falls off the trees, requiring vast human effort toward its
> disposal, this time of year.
> Daniel A. Foss

When I was on the Derrida list, they didn't field the ball very well
on Heidegger the Nazi.