Friday, June 13, 2008

And We're Back... !

Note: This re-inaugural post was written by a guest blogger, Mr. James Joyce, in an act of Extreme Prophecy, circa 1928-9:

After much ado over here at Something, we're back with a Mobile Army of: Increased Insouciance! Newly Upholstered Urgency! Meditative Mockery both Timely and Un! Steadfast Resistance and Stain Resistant Steadfasity! Sacrosanct Sarcasm that Seeps from above and Sinks from Below! Fonts! Deep Sympathy! And an Entirely Novel Securities Market, for our Readers on the Rise!

Rise!, or rather Consider our Topics which will not be unlimited to: the Rotundity and Flatulence of Character, Being an Enquiry into Whether Characters Are People or Dumb; the Continually Falling Stock of Donald W. DeLillo, whose Falling Man Flutters like an Empty and Falling Shirt--What a Plunk! What a Fluttering Plunge to be Half Dead in an Age You Despise, Mr. D.! You can Cringe a Bit Further and So Do So!; and you, Mr. S.L.M.N. Rushdie, we shall examine You and your Eco-Echoing Prose (prose), So Lemony Many Nights (One Thousand and Few!), Suns Rising and Passing and Plunging toward Periods, Sentence hounding Sentence, a Daze of Sentences and Monthlong Paragraphs Passing and Lunging across the Sky called That Book You Have Made--but Why! Why the Hounding and Plunging and Passing and Words? Why!; and Mr. Meandering Bolaño, Mr. Artless Arturo and Mr. Useless Lima, we love you but be forewarned: We Will be All Over Your Shuffle Board Court!; and furthermore Things! We shall Discuss and Propose and Ponder Things that Exist and Things that Don't, such as a Global Muppet Revolution--It and We are a Call to Arms and Tails and Snouts, a Frenzy of Fur and Fuzz and Funky Funky Junk because we Categorically WILL Freak the Funk and Talk the Most Junk. A Plutocracy of Plurabilities that we will Ponder and Propose and Plunge into Icy Water!

Gasp!, or rather Ponder Our Present Topic before it too Plunges towards Punctuation: Flatness and Rotundity, that Smattering of Profundity: When Exactly do Characters Gasp and Awake and Rise from the Page? When do the Neckbolts Spark and Turn Print into Personhood? When do the Eyeshutters Rise and allow in Light; and What Light; and Who Allows It? And What, for example, of Us? Then Even More! Next Time! Right! Here! Hurray!

Riverrun past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to that Horrible Cretinous Enraging Neighbor who lives above me, dear Readers. I have writ of him before, writ and rewrit, but get this: New Loud Shoes! With Nickel Plated Heels! The Click and the Clack and that Tap Tap Tap Dancing of Daily Doings. I feel it is driving the Plot of My New Novel into Catastrophe...

And Scene. (And thank you, Mr. Joyce. We hope your neighbor quiets down).

Basically, we're back, and we're sort of excited about it.

-Tamilda the Genius 10yr. Old

PS. I conned my parents into getting me five new dogs, because it is Summer.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

MLAde 2007, Stanley Fish, and an Oblique Connection to that Crazy Tom Cruise Video

So a few of us somehow ended up at the Modern Language Association Convention in Chicago, where we donned disguises and distributed gurrilla-style (OK, gorilla-style: they were gorilla costumes) 1,500 copies of a parody of the Convention Guide. It's called the MLAde, and you can read it online here.

Shockingly, the only real backlash seems to have been the Horrible Food Poisoning each of us got on the second to last day. At one point we did see Stanley Fish (pictured at right) sneaking around the kitchen of the Corner Bakery, but we all just assumed that that was something doddering literary critics were allowed to do.

Stanley Fish, by the way, has recently lost his mind, as is proven by his recent NY Times columns on the Uses and Abuses of the Humanities. It seems to us that there are any number of ways (hundreds) to critique the way the humanities work, or the way literature or philosophy or history is taught, but Fish's arguments are unworthy of both his previous intellectual standards and of the reading public. Like the passage from the George Herbert poem he "analyzes" in the opening of his essay, his arguments undermine themselves on their own, so we won't waste our time doing so.

But here's a theory: the reason Dr. Fish gets to stand on the Enormous NY Times Soap Box, when there are literally dozens of more vibrant and interesting literary theorists out there, is that he confirms anti-intellectuals' (known in academia as "haters," and in Scientology as "SP's" or "Suppressive Persons") poorly formulated suspicions about the usefulness of thinking. Oh Stanley.

In the words of Tom Cruise, "I have canceled him from my area."

Friday, January 4, 2008

"The Trash Heap Has Spoken": Alan Greenspan and Prophetic Garbage

Our good friend Minh, over at his incomparable Bottom Shelf Books, pointed out something else interesting concerning the Fundamental Asymmetries of Fragglenomics: that it works by the manner in which the Fraggles continuously mooch off of and munch on the congealed labor and radish-y infrastructure constructed by the Doozers. This reading adds on yet another layer of allegory to the already seven-layer-dip-ish story of Fraggle and Doozer relations.

The allegory is this: the Doozers are the Clintonian democrats who mined the radishes and built a Radish-y Surplus, and the Fraggles are the frenzied neo-conservatives who gobbled up this infrastructure and surplus, invaded a foreign land (Iraq = Doc's workshop), and handed us and our grandchildren the LARGEST DEBT IN WORLD HISTORY.

The only problem with this scenario is that Fraggle Rock aired from 1983 to 1987, and could not possibly have predicted the ascension of the Clintons, much less 9/11 and the Bush Administration. I mean seriously, who could have predicted that crazy s@$%? Anyways, we believe that we've found a solution, and that it involves former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and the Fraggle's trusty prophet, the "all seeing, all knowing Trash Heap." Just look at the resemblance:


Each is utterly hermetic and speaks only in riddles. Compare, for example, the Trash Heap's inscrutable advice on the collapse of the Trash Heap's way of life:
Weirdo Helper#1: "It's the end!"
Trash Heap: "Nonsense, Gunge, it's hard to kill a Trash Heap... It could change a person, it could change me for ever."
Weirdo Helper#2: "But what can we do!?"
Trash Heap: "Bring me some Fraggles. Let them be the heroes... Why not? Take the right Fraggle, put him in the right place--he might rise to greatness.
to the chronically cryptic former Fed Chairman Greenspan's advice on the collapsing American economy:

Weirdo Helper#3: "How do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values, which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions as they have in Japan over the past decade?
Weirdo Helper#2: "It's the end!"
Greenspan: "Indeed, the sharp stock market break of 1987 had few negative consequences for the economy. But we should not underestimate or become complacent about the complexity of the interactions of asset markets and the economy. Thus, evaluating shifts in balance sheets generally, and in asset prices particularly, must be an integral part of the development of monetary policy. Bring me some Fraggles."

Plus, just look at the huge glasses!

It makes you, or at least us, wonder...