Going Darwinian

On the bus a cute red-headed Education student with a Southern drawl, named P.J., was reading a book about Intelligent Design. I asked him to discuss it with me. He said the book was very important to the Intelligent Design ‘movement.’ I nodded and asked, “So, it’s, like, their bible?” He answered, “No. I think The Bible is their bible.” It looked fascinating, nevertheless Darwin still appeals to me. I’ve been into typology lately.

I. Trying to describe a co-worker whose neck always twists 180 degrees when passing by my desk so she can see if I’m being productive, I asked my friends what is the reptile that does that. I couldn’t remember the name. Dat replied, “It’s called Secretairia disgruntraius americana …. though seemingly shy, they are quite vicious and don’t fall for that they may be more afraid of you then you are of them b.s. .”

II. I always sing the praises of Mao and Stalin because one of the things I write about academically is the concept of “ruthlessness.” But I’m not really seriously a fan. Jeezus! Recently a friend asked me to read his incredibly long essay arguing Marxistically and self-indulgently against notions of liberty and freedom. I was kind of mortified by it. Even though the writer is clearly intelligent, the politics of the essay were fucked up.*

I’d known for some time that he’s a member of a local Marxist Reading Group in the city of Chicago. They call themselves Platypus. I dub them Ornithorhynchus anatinus marixsta. The group believes a revolutionary vanguard can be created through reading the Frankfurt School of Marxist Theory (Adorno, etc. I doubt they count guys like Benjamin or Marcuse since they are social scientists and also since they are very humorless).

I knew one of the main members from a seminar years ago when he gave me a copy of his and his boyfriend’s art-sex video, demonstrating the progressive nature of their black-white interracial love. It was disorienting to sit there in a four-person seminar discussing WPA poetry with the image of his pasty, white, 16 mm penis burnt into my brain. A friend of mine recently found herself at a bar with him and his penis after a wedding, where he and another member of the group were discussing Platypus ‘neophytes,’ debating whether or not certain members had the potential to become “critical progressive intellectuals.” She said it was like they were discussing little children instead of fellow graduate students. At breakfast the next day, she asked me to infiltrate the group to do some counter-revolutionary work. I explained it wouldn’t work since some of them knew me and my ways all-too well. I’m probably on a list somewhere. I recently saw the guy on the bus, studying his Marx-Engels Reader, vainly trying ignore to the homeless, shell-shocked, war vet next to him who was ranting about the Khmer Rouge, the blacks and the Presidency of Warren G. Harding. Luckily for him, I and a law student sitting next to me carried the burden of the conversation.

I am in the mood to post a video in honor of the Platypi. I wish someone had made a video of the time Adorno’s feminist students raided one of his classes, flashed him, and accused him of sexism. I know someone who was present at the incident. When I asked how the Big A responded, she answered simply. “He regressed.”

In lieu of Adorno drooling and pooping his pants, I am posting some Maoist propaganda my friend Zed pointed me to. Chinese Communist propaganda tickles my brains. It was very innovative and confrontational. In the first, which Zed already posted, Mao cures deafness. The second is a more all-encompassing homage by some youtube psycho. Enjoy!

* though I apologize about my many totally bitchy comments in the margins.

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2 Responses to “Going Darwinian”

  1. Zed Says:

    Do you remember the story about the time I almost got beaten up on the red line for reading Louis Althusser? Not because he was a commie, but because he was white. People reading Louis Althusser ought to be beaten up, but not for either of those reasons….I’ve only read a little of this, but I suspect you ought to take a look at The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals. Text and illustrations at the link.

  2. darknessatnoon Says:

    Yes, I remember that. It was late on the red line. I also remember telling you that if someone had criticized Althusser to me, I’d have given them a very arch dressing down.

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