Saturday, November 03, 2007

Salute to Eggheads: Intoduction

It's probably hard to tell because I spend so much time writing about shallow subjects such as my objections to science fiction and rogue sex toys at the Safeway, but I nearly became an academic. Well, I nearly considered thinking about becoming an academic. These are technical issues--what I'm trying to say is that I did experience an egg-headed period incited by an undergrad feminist theory class that blew my barn doors right off. It was incredibly exciting and heady, not unlike how it felt watching Prince in Purple Rain, now that I think of it.

Unfortunately I barely remember the crazy eggheaded words tossed around such as cathexis, heuristic, epistemology, and subaltern let alone remember what they mean. Even now as I read these definitions, thinking it will all come back to me, I'm all ... what in the fuck is this person trying to say? But that's completely irrelevant! What really stuck with me was not what a post-post coloniamodernastructuralist DerridaFouCixous said, it was quite simply to think and how to do it.

For example right now I'm fretting that I overcite Wikipedia. I'm worried that by constantly citing Wiki, our collective knowledge becomes homogenized. We all know the same things about the same things--even if they're wrong. Isn't the globalization of knowledge not just another form of Wal-Mart? Knowledge in processed, easy to digest McNuggets? The knowledge Lunchable?

So then I made a conscious effort to use academic sources instead of Wiki. But no sooner had I done that when I started to worry that I was valuing information from the elite, white male academy as "the truth" over information from Wiki--skinless, boneless and pre-chunked, but egalitarian--created for the people, by the people. (Already the quotes are starting--a sure sign you've ventured into eggheaded territory). But then again you could argue that posters to Wiki have both computers and access to knowledge so really can you consider this group "the people?" (Quotes again). Who do we mean by "the people," anyway?

I don't need to go on, do I? You can see why I really am not cut out to be an academic. I would quite simply drive myself crazy, become paralyzed and need to self-soothe with large quantities of chocolate. But! I want to salute the eggheads that have shaped me. My mother will confirm that I always had a questioning force inside me* but these folks really brought it out. For that we must all give thinks for this has made me an even bigger pain in the ass than I was already turning out to be, a much more interesting person to talk to at dinner parties, utterly tiresome, me. Stay tuned!




*Not her exact words. She may have said something more along the lines of 'difficult, stubborn, impossible, defiant, argumentative, critical.'

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

something's very, very wrong with you! (lol) ;)

themama said...

I always thought heuristic had something to do with feeling happy (french: heureuse). That's apparently wrong.

batwinger said...

Me, me, me! Salute me!

Actually it depresses me that the smartest people I know aren't academics.

Also, heuristic is to LOL as epistemology is to WTF.

Professor Winger.

Professional Critic said...

Okay, I know I'm not alone in really wanting to understand what that means: heuristic is to LOL as epistemology is to WTF. Please explain to us, Professor Winger, using words no bigger than one would find in a Perez Hilton "news" item.