Sunday, October 24, 2004

Lisa Lionhearts

And I, looking again, observed a banner
Which, as it circled, raced on with such speed
It did not seem ever to want to stop.
Inferno iii
A man dies, who possibly was capable of thought, of antagonizing something new in the text of western philosophy, along the way tricking one into rethinking, among other things, thinking, language, voice, texts, power, friendship, money, politics.

Lo: The New York Times comes not to praise, but to bury him.

Behold: Admirers, colleagues of the man, Jacques Derrida, write strongly worded letters to the Editor of the Times, in protest.

Wherein academia reveals a certain aspect of its Lisa Simpsonhood.

The Times' calcul, went something like this, I'll wager:
We're just a bunch of pissed off schlubbs, bottles in our desks. But, we need to brand the occasion. For the brand, whose odeur must be all over everything, is our banner. Jake whatitsname isn't big enough to worry one way or the other. We smeared de Man, his friend, with inflated innuendo. We'll sink the frog fop with 'tude.
My question: Is this a call to reason with the Times, taking it to task? Would it not be more in line with Derrida to ask some perhaps searching questions about what resistances in this mighty news organ might come alive when confronted with the task of measuring the life and work of guys like this, whose gist vis a vis the transparency of representation renders pungently improbable the Times' authority on any given subject whatsoever?

Like, the impatience with complexity shown by institutions is how different from the impatience demonstrated by Bush with those who fail to see freedom on the march?
And there, behind it, marched so long a file
Of people, I would never have believed
That death could have undone so many souls.


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