28 August 2005

The Shape of Things To Come

      As most of you know, this blog has up and it for the better part of two-and-a-half years, the result of polite nudging from two main people to get the Not-So-Good Doc into the 21st century.   (You can blame them for the detritus you find here: I surely would have remained too blasé to have started this thing uncajoled.)   Now, though, it seems everyone and his barber's daughter's Gothic gal-pal has a blog, to the point that the punditocracy finds it necessary to construct elaborate cultural theories about this so-called medium.   I can see it now: graduate seminars encouraging Foucauldian readings of Paul Wells; dissertative tomes on the effects of comment boxes on online discourse; definitive studies comparing dailykos with Samuel Pepys; and on and on and on, with buzzwords like "hybridity" and "dialectical" thrust cavalierly and haughtily about like the ends of epées.   Sooner or later, there will even be smallish cults perversely claiming that Warren Kinsella is, in fact, Francis Bacon.   (Oxfordian cults, naturally, will sanctimoniously follow.)

      Think I'm kidding?   Well, okay, maybe a bit.

      But imagine, if you will, the most ridiculous possibilities in this regard, and brace yourself for their inevitable ensconcement into the annals of Serious Study.   South East Asian Paraplegic Nazi Lesbian Bloggers?   Don't rule it out.   Psst, Khmer A Minute: Mein Kampf, Stumped and Lying Lao Online might find its way onto course curricula before you know it, sandwiched between The Semiology of Templates and Going Postal: How LiveJournal Saved Civilization (Current Mood: Elated).   Is There a Hypertext In This Class? will make the retired Stanley Fish millions as Harold Bloom retreats like a defeated Ben Kenobi into the desert wild, hoping his younger self isn't eventually played in some flash-fest by a Milton-spouting Ewan McGregor.   Homi Bhabha is probably sharpening phrases like "liminal negotiation" in breathless anticipation.   Stephen Greenblatt's acolytes are surely salivating in the distance, praying their papers get accepted for yet another pernicious MLA panel. (They will, and their authors will be orgasmic at the fact.)   Helen Vendler will weep accordingly.

      Or maybe not, even if the difference between what one predicts and what comes true is often only a difference in degree and not in kind.   Sometimes satire is just prophecy seen with the other eye covered, and what I mock thus is now as inevitable as a Bushian misstatement.   In this day and age, everything has to be theorized, extrapolated, inappropriately enervated or disproportionately disected, trivialized and fetishized. This blog's facetiousness aside, prepare yourselves: a new age of nonsense is ready to begin. As Mr. Cohen might say, I have seen the future, brother--- it is blather.

      Don't say I didn't warn you.

      (And this blog in particular?   It's junk, but it's still holding up its little, wild bouquet....)

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