"[I]f I had to live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week…The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature." --Charles Darwin

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I really should be teaching college...

The Department of Critical Theory and Social Justice of Occidental College is offering a course in Stupidity this year. Finally, a college course I'm qualified to teach. The course description reads as follows:
Stupidity is neither ignorance nor organicity, but rather, a corollary of knowing and an element of normalcy, the double of intelligence rather than its opposite. It is an artifact of our nature as finite beings and one of the most powerful determinants of human destiny. Stupidity is always the name of the Other, and it is the sign of the feminine. This course in Critical Psychology follows the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, Gilles Deleuze, and most recently, Avital Ronell, in a philosophical examination of those operations and technologies that we conduct in order to render ourselves uncomprehending. Stupidity, which has been evicted from the philosophical premises and dumbed down by psychometric psychology, has returned in the postmodern discourse against Nation, Self, and Truth and makes itself felt in political life ranging from the presidency to Beavis and Butthead. This course examines stupidity.

Actually, I'm not really qualified to run a course like this. It takes a very special level of stupidity to use a word like "organicity" or describe stupidity as a corollary of knowing; stupidity coupled with a profound desire to use language not to communicate but disguise one's own fat-headedness.

I like the part about examining stupidity in Presidents. Can we start with conducting ill-defined wars against ill-defined wars in Asian jungles and Middle Eastern deserts, please?

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