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Manual for postmodern childrearing
September 24, 2008 4:43 PM   Subscribe

Do not pretend the child exists as a subject with any greater relevance than all the other surrounding objects with pretensions to subjectivity – be they present or absent.
Questioning the copy.
posted by signal (31 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
That should have just been left in Swedish.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:03 PM on September 24, 2008


Blech.
posted by jbickers at 5:06 PM on September 24, 2008


And normally, I'm a total "would rather light a candle than curse the darkness" type of guy, but fuck this.
posted by jbickers at 5:07 PM on September 24, 2008


I understand this is satire and all, but it's an inept channeling of Donald Barthelme and Myles na gCopaleen through a frostbite filter and I simply won't stand for it.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:09 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Awesome.

And normally, I'm a total "would rather light a candle than curse the darkness" type of guy, but fuck this.


Are you an idiot? This is satire! You know, making fun of postmodernism.
posted by nasreddin at 5:10 PM on September 24, 2008


Poking fun at postmodernism* is about as challenging as, let's see, shooting fish in a barrel? And they didn't even do it that well.

That was really stupid.

*Does anyone even use that term anymore?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:10 PM on September 24, 2008


Sokal should have put the end to this sort of nonsense.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:15 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does anyone even use that term anymore?

FUCKING HIPSTERS, MAN
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:15 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Triangle liverwort goulash.
posted by Artw at 5:15 PM on September 24, 2008


But are the fish really in the barrel? Or is it you in the barrel?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:16 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Or...are you the barrel?
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:17 PM on September 24, 2008


Well, that made as much sense as anything John McCain did today, so, yay?
posted by Biblio at 5:19 PM on September 24, 2008


Or is it you in the barrel?

Shoot me.

See? Beatles lyrics are always appropriate in a MetaFilter thread.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:21 PM on September 24, 2008


Admittedly, this comes about twenty years too late. And the references to the dialectic are a bit off the mark. But there are lots of clever bits:

Rub your child on some carbon paper. Then cut up the paper and stick the pieces to the child's body. Question the child as an original. Question the child as a copy. Question the carbon paper as a construction.

If your child accuses you of incomprehensibility, then accuse it of logical positivism.

Ensure that the child's linguistic development is arrested at the negation stage, since lack is where desire begins, and that is what one must dwell on. Ensure the child does not learn any negations, since stemming the tide of desire facilitates the construction of pyramidal power.


It's worth noting that unlike many of the postmodernism arguments I've seen go on here, these authors show signs of actually knowing what they're talking about.
posted by nasreddin at 5:21 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am in the barrel. :(

Could someone please let me out?
posted by aubilenon at 5:24 PM on September 24, 2008


I dispute the individual existense of barrel. Or, more appropriately,1 b(arre)l.
posted by Nelson at 5:24 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


i am the bullet in a muzzlecentric universe, all objects, target, barrel, fish revolve, deform, contort around me, the payload is you and the time is now.
posted by doobiedoo at 5:44 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


unlike many of the postmodernism arguments I've seen go on here, these authors show signs of actually knowing what they're talking about

My ignorance is just a copy, too.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:46 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, I followed all of these suggestions while raising my kid, and he still won't deconstruct Calvin and Hobbes. He just sits there and reads it, and then laughs! I am a failure as a parent.
posted by not_on_display at 5:50 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


This went on for way too long. If they had kept to their three best bits, it would have way more fish.
posted by oddman at 5:50 PM on September 24, 2008


This message will deconstruct in 5 seconds.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:54 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


You know, making fun of postmodernism.

It's not nice to make fun of the handicapped.
posted by jonmc at 6:11 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: [S]uspicious of all forms of progress ... [while questioning] oppressive underlying ideology. Operate[s] on the basis of necessity rather than meaningfulness, and encourage[s renouncing] all outward distinctions such as cakes or scholarships. [Allows] sweets from strangers.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 6:36 PM on September 24, 2008


In other words, the anti-Helen Lovejoy "Won't someone PLEASE not think of the children!?"
posted by Davenhill at 7:51 PM on September 24, 2008


I understand this is satire and all, but it's an inept channeling of Donald Barthelme and Myles na gCopaleen through a frostbite filter and I simply won't stand for it.

See, I favorited this because I thought you were being sarcastic, but then I remembered this comment and now I'm not so sure.
posted by joedan at 8:07 PM on September 24, 2008


Barthelme ≠ Baudrillard

The difference being, Barthelme was just a fun, clever guy who liked his lulz, whereas Baudrillard was...well, he was a tosser, basically.
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:22 PM on September 24, 2008


No, not Barthelme: Read Ben Marcus: notably, Notable American Women.
posted by kozad at 8:31 PM on September 24, 2008


I question myself as a copy.
posted by daniel_charms at 9:42 PM on September 24, 2008


Misplaced satire, in this case, since I don't think any real postmodernist would suggest applying the lessons of postmodernism until after one is already fully involved in the symbolic order. There's no reason to "Emphasise the child's potential mobility in the structure of desire by constantly spinning, shaking and upending the container in which it is kept," since the child doesn't as yet share our sense of theoretical entrapment or immobility.

What was good about the article, though, was the way it highlighted just how absurd the language of that tradition has gotten. I'm looking forward to seeing theory return to a more standard argumentative form that doesn't constantly and consistently rely upon vague images/sensory analogies.

Also, Sokal didn't put the end to this because (1) he submitted his satirical article to an (at the time) non-peer reviewed journal, and (2) there is an important shard of truth in some of these texts we love to hate. I don't know how they'll be perceived in a century's time, but they won't be forgotten.
posted by voltairemodern at 11:34 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm not terribly familiar with Postmodernism, but from this satirical peice, the impression I'm getting is that "postmodernist" means "crazy asshole"?
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:21 AM on September 25, 2008


A parody isn't all that difficult really, nor necessarily that accurate. I mean, what fool would view the mad scientist from some flick as characterization of scientists. Yet, I suppose the mad scientist was original a bad parody of scientists. So we label the parody amusing but not valid.

Sokal has raised the bar for parodies of postmodernism. You must now pass your parody off on the postmodernism community itself. If they can't tell that you're pulling their leg, then you get to embrace them.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:58 AM on September 25, 2008


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