"Fashionable Nonsense"

Ingrid Multhopp zippycat at erols.com
Tue Dec 1 09:52:40 PST 1998

> ------------------------------
> Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 09:40:50 -0500
> From: Doug Henwood <dhenwood at panix.com>
> Subject: Re: Richard Dawkins: Favorite Book (fwd)
> Frances Bolton (PHI) wrote:
> >Asshole Norm Levitt sent this to a list I'm on. I particularly like the
> >way Dawkins shows his complete ignorance of Lacan by talking about "erect
> >penises" instead of "the phallus."
> Hey, but who needs to know anything about Lacan when Sokal has proven -
> beyond the shadow of a doubt! - that he couldn't tell an imaginary number
> from his maternal imago?!?! And why worry about something as intangible and
> elusive as The Phallus when you can fumble around and find your heroically
> or potentially erect penis any time of the day or night (oh yeah, unless
> you're one of the tragically unpenised)?!?!
> Doug

Oh, c'mon Doug! Look, I'm sure that Lacan, Derrida, Butler and scores of other pomo critics have had many valid points to make, but I still don't see why you have to get your knickers in such a twist over Bricmont's and Sokol's book, which as far as I can see simply seeks to chastise the excesses of a field that regularly couches its supposedly explosive social critiques in bad scientific metaphors and obscurantist jargon. Personally, I'm grateful to Frances for forwarding Dawkins' review, because I've been a big fan a Dawkins, and I may now feel compelled to read B&S's book. In fact, if Frances, Snit, Eric and others really want to do some sort of book club chat group around a book, I think "Fashionable Nonsense" might launch some interesting discussions. I, for one, would love to hear from those more familiar with the authors who apparently were unfairly maligned therein. Maybe I could then see my way through B&S's superficial analysis and develop a deeper appreciation for these authors and their works. Anyone game??



P.S. Thanks, Max, for the lovely J. Cash couplet. Of course, the country music industry has pretty much banished old J.C., which just goes to show that the civility police are not much tolerant of poor white rage either. My own favorite couplet of J.C.'s along the same lines:

Delia, aw Delia, Delia all my life

If I hadna shot poor Delia, I'd a had her for my wife.

Delia's Gone/"American Recordings"

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list