Forum Eleven DJ Anderson to Katy Goodman

 

PostModern
Japan


Earl
Jackson, Jr.


talkingcure2000@aol.com

Yen
Economies


Variations
Without A Theme


Another
Scene

Forum
11. In Response to „To Defeat Them We Must Understand Them.“ D. J. Anderson
To Katy Goodman.


In
the table below the entire left-hand column is Katy’s original message
[Forum 9]. In the lefthand column,
D. J. Anderson’s responses are in sea-blue, interpollated into the interstices
of Katy Goodman’s text. Her text in this case is Red, unless it is quoting
herself quoting whom she suspects to be D. J. Anderson, which it is.


 

„To
Defeat Them, First We Must Understand Them“�

From: katygoodman@hotmail.com
(Maria, AKA Katy Goodman)
In the subject line of this
e-mail, you see a headline off the Sacramento Bee’s April seventh edition
of „Parade“.  The front page says in full: „A distinguished author
and Nobel Laureate looks deeply into the mind of the fanatic: To Defeat
Them, First We Must Understand Them–by Elie Wiesel“.  I spotted this
in the „Newspapers with problems“ box (I didn’t make that up) here where
I am typing, my place of employment, the reserves desk of the McHenry library. 
The cover (art? – I’m not sure what to call it) is a collage of supposed
newspaper clippings featuring the faces of middle eastern men, most of
them looking pretty damn hostile.  The choicest bits, in my opinion,
are:


 

1) That the only legible print
from the clippings is, „A Fanatic’s Quiet Path From Egypt to Terror: Alleged
Hijacker Was Diligent Student.“  This nicely conflates terrorism with
Islamic countries, while harkening to an earlier concern that immigrants
are stealing American jobs (We all know that quiet, diligent foreign student,
don’t we?  Well, he’s no longer satisfied with a job in silicon valley
which rightly belongs to you…now he’s got a box cutter, and he’s pissed.),
meanwhile suggesting that anyone truly invested in an education (rather
than viewing it as a stepping stone between living at home with mom and
dad and the good life of cubicles and taxes) must have some dastardly ulterior
motive. (Yes!  Yes!  I read a lot into anything, everything! 
I have to compensate for those who consider this news.)2) The automatic
weapon pointed directly at the reader;3) That the text is centered in what
seems to be a bullet hole, with flames and smoke clearly from photos of
September eleventh issuing forth;4) (You were thinking that this was completely
unrelated to our class and previous contributions to the forum, weren’t
you?  It’s tangential, yes; but….) UNDERSTANDING????? people in
order TO DEFEAT THEM?!?!?!?A while back, because I was running out of room
on (in? at?) my Hotmail account I deleted a number of e-mails from this
class; but compiled portions I wished to respond to, thinking I would do
so immediately.  Unfortunately, I have merely treaded water this week,
and the prospect of drowning this weekend looms.  So, the person who
wrote the following must remain officially uncredited
(although,
stylistically, I suspect DJ).
„I’m thinking
about [contextualizing these texts in Japanese culture] because I really
don’t want to practice any cultural imperialism by imposing ‚my worldview‘
(nebulous as it may be) on these texts, forcing „alien“ concepts to conform
to preconceived notions. Isn’t one of the challenges of the class to see
how we confront these issues?“
Indeed it
is.  However, I see a distinction between „understanding“ in the Paradian
sense and applying theory, for the sake of argument, Freud’s.  Here’s
what I think that distinction is: Freud’s texts are transdiscursive (this
term is from Foucault’s „What
Is an Author
?“. My definition of a transdiscursive test [Freudian
slip for „text„?
– Earl]
is that it is most valuable for introducing a form of discourse–a
vernacular
which can be extended to
address concepts beyond its intended scope
: i.e. which can be applied
to other fields of study because of the precision of the terms, e.g. Saussure’s
semiology
being applied to film
theory
in addition to linguistics… If you are absolutely shocked
and appalled by what I’ve done to poor
Foucault
, I apologize.  If that was completely incoherent, I apologize.

I do not plan on being a teacher. 
I mean to die a month before completing my education in a tragic freak
piano tuning accident.); so, using psychoanalytic theory on a non-Western
text would not necessarily be out of place since it is psychoanalysis which
optimally moulds itself to the new milieu and not vice versa.  On
the same grounds, it would be a mistake to apply unadulterated Freudian
theory to our own foggy little culture, as is glaringly obvious
if you happen to possess a vagina.



„It’d be easy, too easy, to just
read these texts as we would any  other (although I try to maintain
an alienated relationship to every text,  a critical distance so as
to not be… sutured into their ideologies) and  this course should
force us to examine our imagined unproblematic  relationship to any
text in general, though their refusal/inability to be  totally comprehendible/intelligible
(what text is, though? I should say as  comprehensible/intelligible
as ’normal‘ texts with which we have a ’shared‘  historical/cultural
background).“



Reading Teresa
De Lauretis last quarter
I initially felt, Fuck you!  I like the
narrative.  I love the narrative.  How dare you rob me
of my romance with fiction by identifying it with sadism?  It’s analogous
to some „feminists“ calling every instance of heterosexual intercourse
rape, taking Freud too much to heart with his whole Medusa theory. Then
I
had to admit to myself that I had been conditioned to read novels and watch
movies with predominantly male protagonists, and slip into that subjectivity–female
characters being relegated to the object position.

  The trick is that I was
being addressed, although fifteen-year-old girls from Richmond, CA.
presumably were not Henry James‘ target audience.  I can’t imagine
a reader (and here I admit that I am discussing a more readerly, less writerly,
interpretation, but I’ll get to that in a moment) disregarding the point
of view deliberately invoked by the text, instead identifying with the
non-agent because of a shared gender.  Ophelia is a washout. 
For the duration of the play, I am Hamlet.  And I don’t regret having
a readerly response, not at all.  I desire to be sutured, initially. 
I can always return to a text to determine its nodes and identify its deviations
from the normative Oedipal narrative.  I can always return to Ophelia
and use her, yet again (poor, battered little thing), to launch my feminist
crusade.  Most importantly, I can examine the present day cultural
machinations that sutured me more readily into the „male“ than the „female“
role in the story.

This has been my roundabout way
of saying that I don’t believe it necessary to have an alienated relationship
to the text in order to do a critical analysis.  I am not on the attack
when I say this, please believe that I can be a nasty bitch and that that
is not my intention here; but, to me, an alienated critical relationship
to fiction seems rather clinical.  To me, it’s almost verging on the
„To Defeat Them…“ mode of understanding; like dissecting a cat when it’s
desiccated and smells of formaldehyde–it’s not really a cat, it’s not
even a corpse, it’s an experiment.I have more to say; but I began writing
this on Friday evening (inspired by a troubled newspaper), was interrupted
by social obligations, a day long rehearsal, work, and studying for mid-terms
(in that order), and am now wrapping this up at five am on Monday morning. 
I shall now present you with a truly problematic interpretation: EARL
JACKSON JR
.  I want you all to write two to three pages on Murakami
without discussing Japan or what it means to be Japanese by Monday.

MY
SELECTIVE UNDERSTANDING OF THE ASSIGNMENT
Write two to three pages,
etc., etc. by some Monday in the near future.
Maria
(pronounced Kay-tee, it’s occurred to me that I could adopt a Japanese
solution to my name problem) Goodman


 

I don’t think this is reading
a lot, or too much into the actual content


of the text; this is, after
all, the intended effect of this particular


work of "art."
You’re actually tracking the semiotic chain of


interpretants, or "actively
reading" as opposed to the passive


reading that most non-semioticians
do. I don’t know if I’d attribute a


dastardly motive to everyone
who is learning for learning’s sake, but it


does seem like connections are
being implied between education and


fanaticism. Our current government’s
solution for this? Ban foreign


students from entering sensitive
areas of study such as


"science"
in American colleges. Also reminds me of the White


House’s list of professors that
were being "unpatriotic" that


came out a month or so after
9/11…

<blockquote type=cite class=cite
cite>2) The


automatic weapon pointed directly
at the reader; 3) That the text 


is

centered in what seems to be a
bullet hole, with flames and smoke clearly


from photos of September eleventh
issuing forth; 4)


(You were thinking that this was
completely unrelated to our class and


previous contributions to the forum,
weren’t you?&nbsp; It’s


tangential, yes; but….) UNDERSTANDING?????
people in order TO DEFEAT


THEM?!?!?!?A while back, because
I was


running out of room on (in? at?)
my Hotmail account I deleted a number of


e-mails from this class; but compiled
portions I


wished to respond to, thinking
I would do so immediately.&nbsp;


Unfortunately, I have merely treaded
water this week, and the


prospect of drowning this weekend
looms.&nbsp; So, the person who wrote


the following must remain officially
uncredited (although,


stylistically, I suspect DJ).

Yep, it’s me… now that I’ve
been mentioned I have to defend


myself.

&quot;I’m

thinking about [contextualizing
these texts in Japanese culture] because


I really don’t want to practice

any cultural imperialism by
imposing ‚my worldview‘ (nebulous as it may


be) on these texts, forcing
&quot;alien&quot; concepts to conform 


to

preconceived notions. Isn’t
one of the challenges of the class to see how


we confront these

issues?&quot;</blockquote>

Indeed it is.&nbsp; However,
I see a distinction between


&quot;understanding&quot;
in the Paradian sense and applying theory, for


the sake of argument, Freud’s.&nbsp;
Here’s what I think that distinction


is: Freud’s texts are transdiscursive
(this term is from Foucault’s


&quot;What Is an Author?&quot;.
My definition of a transdiscursive test


[Freudian slip for &quot;text&quot;?
– Earl]</blockquote>


S and X are next to each other
on the keyboard – simple slip of the left


ring finger, not necessarily
of the Freudian kind… 

<blockquote type=cite class=cite
cite>&nbsp;is that


it is most valuable for introducing
a form of discourse–a vernacular


which can be extended to address
concepts beyond its intended scope: i.e.


which can be applied to other
fields of study because of the precision of


the terms, e.g. Saussure’s semiology
being applied to film theory in


addition to linguistics… If
you are absolutely shocked and appalled by


what I’ve done to poor Foucault,
I apologize.&nbsp; If that was


completely incoherent, I apologize.
I do not plan on being a


teacher.&nbsp; I mean to
die a month before completing my education in a


tragic freak piano tuning accident.)</blockquote>

People have done much worse
to Foucault, no need to apologize. And there


is no better way to get out
of paying all those student loans than


death… 

<blockquote type=cite class=cite
cite>&nbsp;so,


using psychoanalytic theory
on a non-Western text would not necessarily


be out of place since it is
psychoanalysis which optimally


moulds itself to the new milieu
and not vice versa.&nbsp; On the same


grounds, it would be a mistake
to apply unadulterated Freudian


theory

to our own foggy little culture,
as is glaringly obvious if you happen to


possess a vagina. </blockquote>

This Paradian sense of &quot;understanding&quot;
is what I’m trying to


get away from (as far as I know
– I tried to look up the article online,


but Parade charges for access
to its archive if the articles are less


than a week old, and there is
no way I’m paying for any of the trash that


comes from that birdcage liner,
so I’m just going to go by what it sounds


like from the cover description…
surprising that Elie Wiesel would


write something like that, I
thought he was smarter). I don’t know how,


exactly, we are supposed to
go over and &quot;understand&quot; their


culture, but it would probably
entail something like sending a few Gallop


people over there and asking
&quot;why do you hate America?&quot; knowing


how our media is. What would
an &quot;understanding&quot; be, in the end?


A White House report on &quot;those
Islamic people,&quot; detailing the


reasons they would want to kill
us? And what are the politics behind this


need to &quot;understand&quot;
them (besides the obvious 9-11/&quot;kill


the terrorists&quot; frenzy)? 

To tie this back into the class
I’ll bring in  Karatani Kojin and his


ideas about the West-Other relation.
In his interview with Sabu Kohso, he


is asked about the function
of importation in the process of cultural


formation, and answers by examining
that relation:

&quot;In fact, something
different from oneself


is not really threatening because
there are ways to deal with it: either


foreclose it as strange, or
do the reverse – worship and enshrine it on


aesthetic terms. Rather, the
real threat comes from something similar to


oneself, that is, the other
as opposed to stranger. To the stranger, who


is different from us, we can
either foreclose or worship – the


contradictory attitudes are
often contained in one and the same


relationality. The other is
similar to ourselves, yet is an impenetrable


existence. What Edward Said
called ‚Orientalism‘ is a stance by which to


see the other as stranger.&quot; 

&quot;… Most of the books
about Japan are written to fulfill the


requirements of a representation
which is formed around either aesthetic


or religious realms, or economical
and technological interests… Omitted


are the intellectual and ethical
domains. That is to say that ordinary


Japanese, who think and live
their daily lives in the modern landscape


just like people in the west,
are not included in the


representation.&quot; 

Also interesting are his ideas
about language in the formation


of nationalism: 

&quot;The primary detonator
of regional


conflicts in the world is language
rather than religion, because language


is an economic power… When
one dialect, as opposed to other dialects,


is assigned to be an official
national language, the whole internal power


structure changes. This first
provokes a change of the economic power


structure, and immediately thereafter
come religious conflicts; finally,


race-consciousness takes over.
As a result, only the interiorized


elements – religion and race
– remain in the memory, and the real agents


that have caused the conflict
– economy and language – are forgotten…


The problem of racial identity
is always fabricated according to the


power relations formed by economic
factors.&quot;

Any &quot;understanding&quot;
of (who or what, exactly, are we


trying to understand anyway?
was this ever mentioned? are we trying to


understand Egypt, Afghanistan,
&quot;The Terrorists,&quot; Islam, the


Middle East, the &quot;common
people&quot; that &quot;hate America,&quot;


&quot;their&quot; governments,
&quot;their&quot; histories?) would of


course be a fiction, an imagined
fantasy, though this fictional narrative


of &quot;understanding&quot;
would still be sold to us as Understanding.


But the reason I posted those
statements above was to place the idea of


&quot;understanding&quot;&nbsp;
in a critical context, to challenge the


common-sense idea that an &quot;understanding&quot;
is possible, or at


least unproblematic, that an
&quot;understanding&quot; is what we need in


order to defeat them (and yes,
the idea of coming to an understanding


with someone in order to subdue/subject
them is pretty strange, and


demonstrates a particularly
American/Western idea of


&quot;understanding,&quot;
a hegemonic imperialistic idea, a way to


reduce the power of the Other
[who has little power in the political


discourse of Western politics
{the U.N., the Western ideas of Democrazy


((a Freudian typing slip that
I decided not to correct)) and Capitalist


Globalization and the colonization
of the rest of the world through the


enforced spreading of the influence
of Western traditions of


economic/political thought,
the movement towards a global village of


sameness, an elimination of
difference through the imposition of English,


etc} and expresses discontent
through violence because that is the only


way to gain entry into the discourse
of everyday introverted Western


life, aside from selling barrels
of oil] while simultaneously increasing


their distance as Other and
subjecting them to American forms of thought.


Phew.)

This &quot;understanding&quot;
of the Middle East that (it seems to me)


is being called for is indeed
the foreclosure of the &quot;strange.&quot;


If the only way we can &quot;understand&quot;
the Middle East is through


violence (the press clippings,
burning buildings, bullet holes, and POV


angles of staring into the barrel
of a gun) and the only reason to


&quot;understand&quot;
them is to protect our privileged place in the


worldwide geopolitical discourse
(the WTC standing for our Economic


Power, a post-modern economic
power that reflects the New Economy of


imaginary wealth through ownership
of shares and the power of the


computer, the power of intellectual
property, of corporate politics, of


corporate colonization, as opposed
to the old economy Oil Barrel/Illegal


Drugs/Military-Industrial complexes
of the Middle East), then the goal is


to mark them as a Barbarian
Other (violent, poor, heretical,


uncivilized), reject their commonality
with the American Ego, and


repress/foreclose their attributes
so as to not recognize ourselves in


them (the fact that during the
bombing of Afghanistan &quot;we&quot; may


have killed more civilians than
were killed in the WTC attack itself yet


our media refuses to acknowledge
this, the White House refuses to comment


on civilian death totals except
to murmur something about


&quot;collateral damage&quot;
seems to indicate something like this). As


Karatani says in his essay about
Foucault,


&quot;using the other as
a mirror to initiate


self-identity is not as far
as it seems from using the other as a mirror


to deny one’s self-identity.
They are both a way not to face the other:


the other who is the opposite
of the self or external to the limit of


one’s thought is not the ‚other,‘
but the ’stranger.’&quot;&nbsp;


Now this is already what America
has been doing all along, in


its refusal to attempt an &quot;understanding;&quot;
9/11 was the return


of the repressed (I think I
read that in some Zizek essay but I can’t


find the original) – the Middle
East signifying discontent through our


everyday lives (the banality
of air travel). Rather than try and come to


terms with what we cannot accept,
however, the U.S. goes over and


&quot;bombs those Afghans
back into the Stone Age,&quot; and limits any


&quot;understanding&quot;
we could create to one designed to restore


things to their former order,
to re-repress the Other, to reinscribe


American discursive power, to
come to a misunderstanding that covers up


the ideological gaps, a willful
ignorance of the problems it creates in


order to maintain the coherence
of the (dominant) narrative – an


&quot;understanding&quot;
that works like suture, to maintain a system of


relations/ideology rather than
questioning it, a roundabout solution to a


problem that isn’t really a
solution at all, just sweeping all your toys


under the bed when you’re supposed
to be cleaning your room and hoping


Mom doesn’t look under there
so you can go out and play. 

Unless the article is not at
all about this, and takes a somewhat more


enlightened approach to it (although
I doubt it – Parade magazine isn’t


exactly a paragon of critical
theory, and in fact it is an insult to


birds everywhere to line their
cage with it, as Parade isn’t even fit for


that. Its like Dateline NBC,
the Enquirer, and the Family Circus comic


strip rolled in one – a disgusting
ball of &quot;family values,&quot;


near-tabloid gossip, and sensationalist
journalism, printed and inserted


into the Sunday edition of newspapers
everywhere, somewhere amidst the


comic strips [not to insult
comics, but to give you an idea of where


Parade is placed and how seriously
you should take it], 4-color glossy


Macy’s advertisements, and sleazy
used car dealership catalogs) – after


all, this whole analysis is
based on the description of a cover. 

Anyway, this active critical
refusal of &quot;suture,&quot; towards an


awareness of the ideologies
behind a text, is what I’m trying to get at,


as I said in the fuchsia-colored
text below. And I did apply


psychoanalytic theory to my
discussion, although whether it is


unadulterated enough or not
I’ll leave to the reader.

<blockquote type=cite class=cite
cite><blockquote type=cite class=cite cite>&quot;It’d


be easy, too easy, to just read
these texts as we would any&nbsp; other


(although I try to maintain an
alienated relationship to every


text,&nbsp; a critical distance
so as to not be… sutured into their


ideologies) and&nbsp; this
course should force us to examine our imagined


unproblematic&nbsp; relationship
to any text in general, though their


refusal/inability to be&nbsp;
totally comprehendible/intelligible (what


text is, though? I should say as&nbsp;
comprehensible/intelligible as


’normal‘ texts with which we have
a ’shared’&nbsp; historical/cultural


background).&quot;</blockquote>

Reading Teresa De Lauretis last
quarter I initially felt, Fuck you!&nbsp;


I like the narrative.&nbsp;
I love the narrative.&nbsp; How dare you rob


me of my

romance with fiction by identifying
it with sadism?&nbsp; It’s analogous


to some &quot;feminists&quot;
calling every instance of heterosexual


intercourse

rape, taking Freud too much
to heart with his whole Medusa theory. Then I


had to admit to myself that
I had been conditioned to read


novels and watch movies with
predominantly male protagonists, and slip


into that subjectivity–female
characters being relegated to the


object position. 

</blockquote>

Narrative may be sadistic, but
that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it, only


that you may wish to examine
your place in relation with it, as you


already admitted you did. Which
kind of makes my previous sentence


redundant.

<blockquote type=cite class=cite
cite>&nbsp; The


trick is that I was being addressed,
although fifteen-year-old girls from


Richmond, CA. presumably were
not Henry James‘ target


audience.&nbsp; I can’t
imagine a reader (and here I admit that I am


discussing a more readerly,
less writerly, interpretation, but I’ll get


to that

in a moment) disregarding the
point of view deliberately invoked by the


text, instead identifying with
the non-agent because of a shared


gender.&nbsp; Ophelia is
a washout.&nbsp; For the duration of the play, I


am Hamlet.&nbsp; And I don’t
regret having a readerly response, not at


all.&nbsp; I

desire to be sutured, initially.&nbsp;
I can always return to a text to


determine its nodes and identify
its deviations from the normative


Oedipal

narrative.&nbsp; I can always
return to Ophelia and use her, yet again


(poor, battered little thing),
to launch my feminist crusade.&nbsp;


Most

importantly, I can examine the
present day cultural machinations that


sutured me more readily into
the &quot;male&quot; than the


&quot;female&quot; role
in


the story. </blockquote>

I think readers can identify
with the so-called &quot;non-agent&quot;


because of shared characteristics;
I don’t think that the point of view


deliberately invoked by the
text is always necessarily located with the


primary character(s), or even
the narrator(s), if by point of view you


mean the ideology behind/informing
the &quot;author&quot;/text that


generates the narrative. While
there is a strong urging to identify with


a character because that character
is the primary focus of the text, that


doesn’t prevent identifications
with secondary characters, or a refusal


to identify with the primary
character in place of a secondary character.


Getting away from &quot;identification,&quot;
however, I’d like to bring


in Roland Barthes circa 1957,
the Barthes of Mythologies, and his concept


of Myth, and Louis Althusser’s
Ideological State Apparatuses. When it


comes to ideology in texts,
identifying with a character is one way of


being interpellated by ideology,
but the other is Myth, the second-order


of meaning, the connotational
rather than denotational meaning. If Hamlet


is a discursive system constructed
by a particular ideology (comprised of


all the other ideologies that
inform this &quot;unified&quot; ideology,


if you’ll allow me to posit
that a unified, coherent ideology exists),


then the text will make calls
that refer back to this ideology, the


ideology will be inscribed into
the narrative, and a subject reading this


narrative will recognize these
calls, and thereby recognize the ideology.


If the subject reading does
not challenge the discrepancies between the


ideology the subject lives/believes
in and the ideology espoused by the


books (if the subject does not
perceive the ideological contradictions in


the relation of the text’s ideology
to the subject’s ideology, or the


contradictions inherent within
the book), and believes them to have any


&quot;truth&quot; value,
recognizes the ideology as valid, then the book


has done its job as a readerly
text and has imposed a particular


world-view (ideology) onto the
reader – which is pretty much what


&quot;suture&quot; is.
Now that doesn’t mean the reader changes their


ideological view to the text’s,
of course, but semiotically recognizing


something as &quot;true&quot;
surely contributes to the semiotic chain


infinitely regressing in the
subject’s consciousness, affecting some


small change in the process
of logical interpretant producing. 

In &quot;real life,&quot;
things aren’t nearly that simple of course, but


I believe all of that to be
the consequence of having a readerly, sutured


response to a text. Arguing
over whether or not to have this response


(the politics of narrative pleasure)
is a tough argument. 

<blockquote type=cite class=cite
cite>This has been


my roundabout way of saying
that I don’t believe it necessary to have an


alienated relationship to the
text in order to do a


critical analysis.&nbsp;
</blockquote>


A critical analysis could be,
depending on definitions, an alienated


relationship to the text. At
any rate, having a critical distance can


make an analysis of something
much easier; observing from the outside,


instead of being located within
the sphere of ideology and narrative


enrapture (whether such a distance
is always possible is another question


altogether). Insisting on having
a critical relationship from the


beginning, on refusing narrative
suture from the start of a reading is


more of a personal idiosyncrasy
of mine though. Some friends have


criticized me for refusing (bordering
on being unable) to &quot;stop


using your head when watching
all movies/reading your books/living your


life.&quot; One in particular
chastises me not liking to watch most


mainstream Hollywood movies
because I get too &quot;theoretical&quot;


about them, because I always
have to be &quot;thinking&quot; while being


&quot;entertained.&quot;
He advises me to &quot;just sit back and let


yourself be entertained,&quot;
which I don’t do (both because lots of


Hollywood movies are so incredibly
awful, and because I can’t help


applying theory to everything).
To a certain extent, my friend is right;


I am losing out on &quot;entertainment&quot;
(though the politics of


being entertained by the movies
he’s talking about are ones I am not sad


to exempt myself from) by refusing
a non-critical suture, but that


doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy texts.
I still like a well-written text as


much as anyone else, I still
admire writers for their creativity, I still


laugh at some jokes, I still
am sort of moved by particularly well-done


texts (like the Kurosawa Kiyoshi
films we watched, which are some of the


most amazing movies I’ve seen
in my life, particularly Kairo and License


to Live). I don’t see a critical
relationship as clinical and all that it


signifies; I enjoy texts more,
now that I have something to say about


them, now that I have different
ways of understanding them. 

<blockquote type=cite class=cite
cite>I am not on


the attack when I say this,
please believe that I can be a nasty bitch


and that that is not my intention
here;


but, to me, an alienated critical
relationship to fiction seems rather


clinical.&nbsp; </blockquote>

Don’t worry, I’m not taking
it personal and you’re not being a


&quot;nasty bitch&quot;
(not that I would call someone that even if they


deserved it); after a few encounters
with Prof. Jackson’s criticism of my


papers, I got used to critical
&quot;attacks&quot; on my work, and am now


impervious to taking comments
personally. I hope that I didn’t offend you


over the course of my response
to your response, as that is certainly not


what I’m trying to do, of course. 

<blockquote type=cite class=cite
cite>To me, it’s


almost verging on the &quot;To
Defeat Them…&quot; mode


of understanding; like dissecting
a cat when it’s desiccated and smells


of formaldehyde–it’s not really
a cat, it’s not even a corpse, it’s


an

experiment.</blockquote>

Knowing Earl’s response to any
violence towards animals in any text,


fictional or real (as a cat
person myself, I can sympathize) it is


perhaps best to avoid metaphors
that contain depictions of dead animals


(so I’ll try and refrain from
mentioning horses anymore). In the future,


may I suggest that you use in
any &quot;metaphors of death&quot; subjects


that are more deserving and
agreeable with the Professor, such as a


certain&nbsp; chancellor
we all know and love or any administrator that


would put a bell around the
neck of a cat…

<blockquote type=cite class=cite
cite>I have more


to say; but I began writing
this on Friday evening (inspired by a


troubled newspaper), was interrupted
by social


obligations, a day long rehearsal,
work, and studying for mid-terms (in


that order), and am now wrapping
this up at five am on Monday


morning.&nbsp; I shall now
present you with a truly problematic


interpretation: EARL JACKSON
JR.&nbsp; I want you all to write two to


three pages

on Murakami without discussing
Japan or what it means to be Japanese by


Monday. MY SELECTIVE UNDERSTANDING
OF THE


ASSIGNMENT Write two to three
pages, etc., etc. by some Monday in the


near future. Maria (pronounced
Kay-tee, it’s occurred to me


that I could adopt a Japanese
solution to my name problem) Goodman


</blockquote>

In order to maintain a semblance
of coherence, I wrote this all in one


sitting, &quot;taking a
break&quot; from working on my midterm.


Thankfully it is 5 pm when I’m
finishing this up, otherwise your 5 am


curse could be channeled through
to me and my head would explode or


something. If anyone has to
apologize for incoherence, its me; I tried


solving that by using different
colors and such, but I still ended up


writing a paragraph that had
5 different levels of text. And again, sorry


for my response being three
weeks late, but as your &quot;distress


signal&quot; pointed out
it wasn’t successfully mailed to everyone on the


list. 

Going back to work on my midterm
(I’m so much of a nerd that my idea of


procrastination is writing an
email like this),

D.J. Anderson

 

Subj:  Re: „To Defeat Them, First We Must Understand
Them“


Date:  Sunday, May 12, 2002 6:01:28 PM

From:  d_andrsn@cats.ucsc.edu


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