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not really about zizek at all, NYT winning college essay on Postmodernism

I forgot to post this a few weeks back, but the New York Times Magazine had an open call competition for college students to write about why college still matters...and the winning essay was written by some dude at Yale...who wrote all about postmodernism as his saving grace.

Zizek's a consumer, too.

Zizek seems to be arguing that were we, the everyman, to fully comprehend the 'reality' of the exchange farce, "the effective act of exchange would no longer be possible" (p 20). That we cannot grasp its scope and depth is essential to its veil, he claims -- certainly echoing the likes of Jameson and Baudrilliard on the tactics of postmodern forces in ensuring our complacency. I have a few issues to take up with the politics of this claim.

a third abstraction: non-liquid money in the Zizekian framework?

Given Zizek's discussion of Marx's unfinished treatment of "the material character of money," it is interesting to consider what separates us - in this 21st century multinational iteration of capitalism - from the very exchange value system of which Zizek speaks (p 18). Zizek is interested in the ways in which the value of money is abstracted from its actual material form. Yet we currently reside in a moment when tangible gold-standard transactions are expired.

implications of Foucault's sense of 'power' ?

I am very interested in the way that, aside from its relationship to sexuality, Foucault crafts his nuanced definition of power. At times, it seems he almost airs on the edge of depoliticizing the presence of power by making claims that about its omnipresence and everywhereness. However, what is most powerful about this conception, is that he artfully manages to posit this evasive power within a political framework of dominance and oppression. Foucault is most clear on the many faces of power in his section on 'Metho' (p.

Are Foucault & Lyotard postmodernist bedfellows?

I wonder where Foucault's general thesis of 'Part One: We "Other Victorians" ' places him in the spectrum of the rupture v. extension debate in postmodernism:

what if we're not 'really' afraid of nuclear war?

Beginning on p.39, Baud delves into his analysis of the psychology of nuclear might, arguing that acquiring the tangible means for nuclear warfare will never result in the 'real' deployment of these weapons. Acquiring nuclear weapons is to acquire the deterrent. Because they can, they will not. Hence, deterrence, in Baudrillard's account. Global acquisition (and consumption) of this deterrent is "an accelerated process of implosion."

Disneyland, Video Games and Reality TV: Opposition Blurred

Baudrillard's assessment of Disneyland (p. 12) as the explicit fantasy against which our simulated 'reality' is defined as 'real' resonates in vary tangible ways. I have been working to apply this 'real indicated by opposition' framework into other avenues of the spectacle society.

non-identity is crappy, many feminisms, and 'women of color' is a cyborg

This sort of a collective response to ideas brought up by Bumpkins, CA92075, morefuntocompute, and snaggle regarding identity of the female, appropriation of negation, and the role of the avant-garde therein.

'Affinity Groups' as a dialectical shift of simulacrum

I am very interested in Haraway's call for a reconstitution of the ways in which we organize ourselves as an act of political transgression - and moreover, recentering of the marginalized in postmodern space. Haraway encourages us to name the fictionalization of the 'identities' to which we currently cling as our social markers, then to move past these constructed delineations. In calling for an oppositional unity constituted by "affinity, not identity" (p. 154), she is asking us to reposition ourselves against history, to bring forward that which has been systemically neglected.

Eliot and the PLA crossing the Yangtze

I was a bit lost about the connections being made early in Anderson. He is paralleling development in modern poetry with narratives of political turmoil and movement. Is the connection that the physical activities of the Chinese revolution, for example, is enacting the concepts articulated in say Eliot's Anti-Wasteland? Is it that the development of literary themes somehow unknowingly simultaneous echoed the themes of revolution occurring between nations?

A little insight would be much appreciated, if anyone understands this better...

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