I guess I actually quite like it that Aaron Bady reps for Corey Robin when (a) Bady’s much better at the things Robin is supposed to be good at than Robin is, and
(b) Bady’s much MUCH better
at the things Robin is rubbish
at. Maybe he doesn’t know
(I know Robin doesn’t know).
Is there not a point — of acclaim, respect, mainstream success, [stupid word alert] “influence” and simply being paid lots to do what you enjoy doing — where self-awareness should kick in, as you find yourself unleashing this take-down term at others? Own your power: you are not the embattled nobody you imagine.
(Am looking at self somewhat here, not that I use this specific word very often.)
(But not just at self…)
Which is likely to depress me more: a Guardian debate between a scientist and a philosopher, or a Crooked Timber thread on Westerns and John Hughes?
(Truly you can hunt for them yourselves and please keep the answers from me…)
When the first film came out and I spotted you could collect little Lord of the Rings figurines at Burger King, I grinned: I imagined Tolkien’s vast rage at same, and the complex irony of his world-spanning success, in relation to his actual beliefs.
Then I started imagining the factories and warehouses full of these pale green and poorly fashioned figurines, and started feeling a bit ill myself: it’s not such a bad habit, when something mass cultural entertains you momentarily, to imagine how it would strike you en masse.
In my day-job I have to read — and deal with — the terms “appropriation” and “subversion”, maybe not exactly en masse, but far too bloody often. The people using these words (not just these words) mostly imagine they are observing stuff from a higher intellectual plane: on the whole they’re really really not.