Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Blogs as Deconstructionist Monsters

deconstructing futuristic monsters with Jaques Derrida Posted by Hello

Jacques Derrida, the founder of the deconstructionist school of philosophical inquiry, speaks of "monstrosity" as that which is new and unexpectedly imposes itself on the sluggishishness of that which is conventional, familiar, old.


"...the future is necessarily monstrous: the figure of the future, that is, that which can only be surprising, that for which we are not prepared, you see, is heralded by species of monsters.

A future that would not be monstrous would not be a future; it would already be a predictable, calculable, and programmable tomorrow.

All experience open to the future is prepared or prepares itself to welcome the monstrous arrivant, to welcome it, that is, to accord hospitality to that which is absolutely foreign or strange, but also, one must add, to try to domesticate it, that is, to make it part of the household and have it assume the habits, to make us assume new habits.

This is the movement of culture.

Texts and discourses that provoke at the outset reactions of rejection, that are denounced precisely as anomalies or monstrosities are often texts that, before being in turn appropriated, assimilated, acculturated, transform the nature of the field of reception, transform the nature of social and cultural experience, historical experience.

All of history has shown that each time an event has been produced, for example in philosophy or in poetry, it took the form of the unacceptable, or even of the intolerable, of the incomprehensible, that is, of a certain monstrosity."

(Passages - from Traumatism to Promise, in E. Weber, ed.: POINTS-INTERVIEWS 1974-1994, Stanford University Press 1995, p. 385-387)


Even the names of monsters are horrible:

* Godzilla

* Sasquatch/Yeti

* Golem

* Frankenstein

* er...Blogs...!!!

Yes. "Blogs." Most normal people say that word
with undisguised distaste and irritation.

Mainstream media types look down from their insular ivory
towers and spit on mere common bloggers.

Imagine: an unkempt, unshaven, unsavory fellow
sitting at a computer, pounding deliriously on
the keyboard, staring maniacally into the screen...

with a half-drunk cup of cold coffee (latte?),
and the chewed crusts of cold pizza on a plate...

a fellow in scraggly pajamas...

a journalist-blogger!

Horrifying indeed. Especially to mainstream
news media figures
who engage in biased,
sloppy journalism, then try to cover-up.

Blogmonsters have stalked:

Trent Lott's praise of racism

North Korea's nuclear explosions

John Kerry's Vietnam war record

Dan Rather's sloppy journalism.

Jonathan Klein called bloggers
guys sitting around in their pajamas,
implying they are not elite journalists
tied to monolithic media conglomerates.

The Status Quo, the Powers That Be
are scared of little laptop bloggers!

I'll say it again:

Blogs are the Next Big Thing
after conventional web sites.

I hear the New Next Big Thing
after blogs is the wiki.

But let's stick with blogs
for a while, and really get
to understand them, and why
Everyone Must Blog Now.

Blogs are the new media watchdogs.

Blogs are the new teen diaries.

Blogs are the new "up-close-and-personal"
corporate public relations channel.

Blogging is a new way businesses can operate.

A blog can be the digital all-in-one
business card, resume, portfolio,
product spec sheet, brochure...

and a blog can be more intimate,
more interactive, more immediate
than conventional web sites,
which are, unnecessarily and wrongfully,
rather static, passive, and cold.

Get With It. Get Monsterish. Get a Blog.

(More on Rathergate & deconstruction at Streight Site blog)

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