Monday, April 17, 2006

Mea Culpa

Being cool at age 16 is cool. Being cool at 20 is a free ticket to the local prison. And yet many of our public intellectuals find that being cool is their ticket to tenure, tenor, fame, and fortune. That is so uncool.

Today the Cool One might succeed in pressing charges of raping the lock. Sexual harassment. Or one might be ruined by accusations of right wing religious bigotry for mentioning Pope. Such may be the follies of our time. An enthusiasm for outrageous offense. With suede elbow patches firmly press'd on desk, bearded chin resting on plump heeled hand, wry look on furrowed brow, "Ah Ha!" The maggoty digits swarm across the pads, opus, o pus, Oh pus, Dei. Another masterpolice of the p.c. cool guys. Man, u.... Manu. Manu factor. Mani factory. Dare he? Derry. Derida-da-da-da. Post doc. ergo propter hoc. It is so genius to be cool.

Man, that is so uncool.

I hate cool guys. Give me any day the sun arises the cool reason of Rationality and those to Hume may concern. Give me enthusiasm. I love enthusiasm. I love the excitement of goofy liking. That is SO COOL! I like that Bacon died in the frost. I like Frost's apples. Give me apples daily. I'm a pig for 'em.

Our cool guys are such duds. They rely on an exaggerated state of pseudo-ironic fervor or reliance on pomo inspiration. I decry their manifestations of enthusiasm as incompatible with the proper employment of rational faculties. They're a load of posing phonies. I wanna choke 'em. I'm so much as enthused about the prospects.

An exaggerated state of religious fervor or reliance on divine inspiration. Enlightenment philosophers such as Locke and Leibniz decried manifestations of enthusiasm as incompatible with the proper employment of rational faculties.

I have an enthusiasm for Classicism. I like it very much. I'm so, like, I'm so five minutes ago. Shame on me, but my idea of a social model is a girl who speaks to me. I'm really uncool. I read books by dead White men. I'm really stupid. But I'm enthused about it. [Memo: Dag, bang thy head.]

"The essays collected in this volume explore the important, often surprising role that the now innocuous term 'enthusiasm' played in a number of fields, including theology, philosophy, social theory, physiology, and aesthetics, considered in three distinct regions of early modern Europe. The volume's underlying thesis is that enthusiasm had a Janus-like quality, evoking both positive ideas of religious or artistic inspiration and darker associations with disorder, delusion, and excess. The latter pejorative meanings had originated in the theological controversies of the Protestant Reformation but persisted, in more secular forms, into the Romantic era. At the heart of all the essays is the complicated interrelation of enthusiasm and Enlightenment: that is, the way that enthusiasm served both as a foil to eighteenth-century notions of enlightened rationality, sociability, and modernity and as a means of preserving values that those notions sometimes threatened, like the mysteries of creativity and spiritual illumination, the privacy of consciousness, and the desire to transcend the limits of the self. . . . The book is an impressive collection that greatly illuminates its central historical subject while also challenging the methodological assumptions commonly brought to Enlightenment studies."--American Historical Review.

I have this enthusiasm for David Hume. That's probably because "I am very stupid. I do not know anything, my friend. I am very ignorant. I am like bin Laden." If only I could be a Mensa cheerleader, a Romantic, like the fanatic madman [who] delivers himself over, blindly, and without reserve, to the supposed illapses of the spirit, and to inspiration from above. Hope, pride, presumption, a warm imagination, together with ignorance, oh to love the oppressed peoples of the world. Then I'd be a pomo cool guy. I like Hume. He doesn't like enthusiasm.

But the mind of man is also subject to an unaccountable elevation and presumption, arising from prosperous success, from luxuriant health, from strong spirits, or from a bold and confident disposition. In such a state of mind, the imagination swells with great but confused conceptions, to which no sublunary beauties or enjoyments can correspond. Every thing mortal and perishable vanishes as unworthy of attention. And a full range is given to the fancy in the invisible regions or world of spirits, where the soul is at liberty to indulge itself in every imagination, which may best suit its present taste and disposition. Hence arise raptures, transports, and surprising flights of fancy; and confidence and presumption still increasing, these raptures, being altogether unaccountable, and seeming quite beyond the reach of our ordinary faculties, are attributed to the immediate inspiration of that Divine Being, who is the object of devotion. In a little time, the inspired person comes to regard himself as a distinguished favourite of the Divinity; and when this frenzy once takes place, which is the summit of enthusiasm, every whimsy is consecrated: Human reason, and even morality are rejected as fallacious guides: And the fanatic madman delivers himself over, blindly, and without reserve, to the supposed illapses of the spirit, and to inspiration from above. Hope, pride, presumption, a warm imagination, together with ignorance, are, therefore, the true sources of ENTHUSIASM.

I have little enthusiasm for the pot-bellied hipsters of post-modern cool. I'd like to dissect them. Being the goofy kind of guy I am I'd start with the grey pony-tails. Yup, I'd rape their locks. Oh, I'm going to sue myself. I am, like, so uncool!

And enthused about it.


truepeers said...

Starting with the grey pony tails, eh? LOl

I take it your sly reference to Opus Dei shows you are hip to their latest Mohammed in Dante's hell cartoon? Then again, maybe not, you never know with you uncool guys.

You might want to post it. Find it here; details here

Did you read about this sexual harrassment charge against a university librarian (unanimously supported by faculty) for recommending a book that is not, well, gay friendly.

Who can take these academo twits seriously anymore? Surely it's becoming a little more chilly in our neck of the woods.

dag said...

I'm such a Dan Brown type I couldn't resist the reference to Opus Dei, along with the current fiasco over the Church backtracking on the mural with Mo.

And the uni. fiasco? Yes, there's more nonsense running through the pipelines of reason than any scatological reference I will refrain from making.

If people weren't being murdered and maimed this would be a joke. Today, for example, our dhimmi cheerleaders are responsible in their own small ways for another murder spree in Tel Aviv at the market I used to haunt on Shabbat. They hiss and sue over a librarian recommending books they don't like, and they cheer over my friends and assocites being ripped and burned and murdered.

No, I lose any pretense of coolness when I see what goes on in our world in large part thanks to our own.

Well, there go the cocktail party invites again.

Chyren said...

Hey Dag, I couldn't find your email anywhere.

I'm a Montrealer who started a bluescarf chapter a month ago. Drop me a line at I'll be touring Europe this summer to network with other pro-west people, and I'll probably be touring canada and the US in the fall or winter. When I get back from Europe, I plan on starting a pro-west political party too. Will anything come of it? Who knows. It's important to try.

Good luck with your work on the westcoast!