- watch out wherever you run into this term "Discourse", because that's
" Another thing. This idea of "I'm offended".
Well I've got news for you. I'm offended by a lot of things too. Where do I send my list?
Life is offensive. You know what I mean?
Just get in touch with your outer adult.
And grow up. And move on.
Reasonable people don't write letters because...
A: They have lives and
B, they understand it's just TV.
C: If they see something they don't like, something they do like might be on later.
I've seen many comics I've hated.
I've seen many shows that have offended me.
I've never written a letter.
I just go about my life. "
- The Dark Poet
-+- Postmodernism -+-
Many people who observe the lunatic pageant of the modern campus may conclude that the professors and administrators are all crazy. So they are. But there is a definite method in the madness, a philosophical system or doctrine which dictates the specific policy demands of political correctness.
One generic name for this is postmodernism, which claims that the raving irrationalists Voltaire, Rousseau, and the rest of the enlightenment were the Age of Reason, but that now the Age of Unreason is upon us.
[Deconstructionism] began its triumphal march through American universities in 1966, when Derrida appeared at Johns Hopkins University to tell American academics that the structuralism of Levi-Strauss was dead and that the future belonged to deconstruction. Derrida is now stronger in the U.S.A. and the Anglo-American sphere than in France, and dominant in much of Ibero-America, Francophone Africa and the Middle East, and eastern Europe. If you want tenure, an endowed chair, a foundation grant, government financing, you have to learn to talk the pedantic deconstructionist gibberish.
Deconstructionists are like the cynics and skeptics of the ancient world in that they, like Diogenes and Pyrrho, refuse to profess or affirm a doctrine of their own, but only negate the ideas of others.
Deconstruction is very eclectic. Derrida's world of ideas can be compared to a great sewer into which empty the various gutters and waste waters of the past two or three centuries. Each of these channels contributes to the great Cloaca Maxima of deconstruction. Note that we are here reviewing the disastrous state of human knowledge as we go towards the year 2000.
-+- Hatred of Reason -+-
Deconstructionism is an attack on Judaeo-Christian western European civilization powered above all by rage. Derrida hates and resents reason and creativity, which he identifies with the "epoch of Christian creationism and infinitism when these appropriate the resources of Greek conceptuality." (*Of Grammatology*, p. 13).
Western European culture is guilty of logocentrism, says Derrida. The western cultural paradigm always aspired to be based on reason.
This must be rejected.
The western cultural paradigm also gives priority to speech, to the spoken word, with most literature made to be read aloud or even sung, from Plato's dialogues to Dante and Chaucer to Shakespeare and Schiller. This is the hated "phonocentrism" which Derrida also wants to get rid of. Derrida delves into Plato in an attempt to show that the overtones of the Logos are exclusively paternal and male dominated, giving rise to the further charge of phallologocentrism, which soon enough gives rise to the notion of "phallocentrism" assailed by the maenads of feminist literary theory.
[Derrida concludes that] the real problem with the West is that our culture is entirely permeated by what he calls "metaphysics. "... For Derrida, metaphysics evidently means anything that cannot be boiled down to sense certainty. Derrida sees "metaphysics" as the principal enemy to be destroyed. Under the heading of metaphysics he lumps God, the self or soul or individual, causality, substance, essence, action, and most other concepts of any importance. They must go, for reasons that are never remotely explained.
For Derrida, the author is dead, by definition. He never existed. The human self and ego have collapsed into an X marking the spot where they once were...
All that Derrida will talk about is a text, a written text of black on white, with punctuation, type faces, paragraphs, margins, colphons, logos, copyrights and so forth...
Everything is a written text in the sense that every thought, utterance or "discourse" is a story that we tell each other about something which exists in the most detached way in a written form. Therefore, says Derrida, there is nothing outside of the text.
Everything is a text.
There are no more works of art.
All black writing on white paper is a text -- Shakespeare, the telephone book, Mickey Mouse, the racing form... all are texts, each one equivalent to the other.
-+- Deconstructionism's Targets -+-
Deconstructionists can target any of the written documents which are constituve of civilization itself. Take theology... Deconstructionist theology is quite a feat, since the ban on metaphysics means that this will be a theology without God.
[Deconstructionist theologian Mark C. Taylor overcomes this difficulty as follows:]
"One of the distinctive features of deconstruction is its willingness to confront the death of God squarely if not always directly...it would not be too much to suggest that deconstruction is the 'hermeneutic' of the death of God." Taylor calls for "the death of God, erasure of the self, and [an] end to history."
Since deconstruction sees all writing as the same, it can also be unleashed in the field of law, with devastating effect. Listen to Clare Dalton of the Critical Legal Studies group at Harvard Law School: "Law," she writes, "like every other cultural institution, is a place where we tell one another stories about our relationships with ourselves, one another, and authority."...
Sanford Levinson, professor of constitutional law at the University of Texas at Austin, chimes in: "The death of 'constitutionalism' may be the central event of our time, just as the death of God was that of the past century..."
The Clinton White House is redolent of deconstructionism and political correctness. The Clinton Cabinet is dysfunctional, but it certainly respects the distributive requirements of race/sex/class/sexual [orientation]... Donna Shalala of HHS helped to promulgate a code on offensive speech at the University of Wisconsin...
Vice President Gore's favorite book is reportedly Thomas Kuhn's *Structure of Scientific Revolutions*, which has become a manual for New Age paradigm shifters. We appeal to all of those who share our regard for the potential of the human mind to join us in exposing and defeating the deconstructionists.