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November 5, 2003

The Hermeneutic Nigerian
Posted by Teresa at 01:22 AM *

I’ve been wandering in and out of fever dreams, and woke recently to find Patrick making helpless choking sounds as he read something on his screen. This turned out to be The Confidence Man: His Masquerade from John & Belle Have a Blog:

On sober, morning-after reflection, there is a link between last night’s two posts. Their mutual subterranean rhizomaticity is as follows. Zizek’s critical writings are the academic equivalent of Nigerian scam spam. (Think about it: the urgency; the dangled carrot of impossible utopian returns; the diddling stick of bold, risky, radical ALL CAPS action to be taken NOW; the exceeding verbal awkwardness due to greedily flailing, failing grasp of English; notable vagueness concerning just those salient points one would think most in need of clear explanation and exposition.) Imagine a world in which you didn’t have to subscribe to certain top literary studies journals. What if their contents just showed up in your in-box every day? (Spam-guards would give you warnings like: ‘this mail looks like it would be publishable in Critical Inquiry. Delete now?)


I am erratically to be pleasuring you from behind this urgent proposal, affective immediately, irrespective of that I make entirely no argument in person or out, nor determining validity of hereafter to follow hermeneutical proposal.

Self-control and domination converge in the distinction between THREE elements: the author of the spam, the recipient who (has to) obey the spam, AND the spam’s EXECUTION/EXECUTOR - the one who mass-mails the spam and in whom Lacan discerns the contours of the Sadean executioner/torturer. The problem is not the identity of the spam’s author and recipient: they effectively ARE the same, the emailed subject effectively IS autonomous in the sense of obeying his/her OWN spam. …
Generic post-mod gibberish wouldn’t be nearly so funny. This is the real thing.

And so back to bed…

Comments on The Hermeneutic Nigerian:
#1 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2003, 03:02 AM:

Definitely a candidate for some destructionist criticism.

Or the Hall of Fame.

Sadly, I am not sure which is more appropriate.

#2 ::: Cassandra ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2003, 01:01 PM:

This is great. Possibly even better than it would be normally, because I'm writing my thesis and it's so true.

#3 ::: catie murphy ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2003, 05:43 PM:

This has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but I just got hit with another comment-spammer, and I know a lot of people go through Making Light to get information about this, so:, IP adress

I really need to add the mt-blacklist to my blog. Grrgh. Hope this is useful to some folks, at least.

#4 ::: denise ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2003, 06:34 PM:

i just put an advertising policy up on my site and sent an invoice for $1500 for his advertising on my site. his name is charles, he lives in california and uses an isp in florida that i have reported his abuse to. i also have access to an attorney who will help me sue him if he doesn't pay his invoice.

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