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Sunday, November 30, 2003
Hugh Kenner, RIP

Rather belatedly, I thought I should mention that literary critic Hugh Kenner has just passed away. You can read sterling obituaries of him by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt of the New York Times, Benjamin Ivry, also of the NYT, and in the Daily Telegraph. By all accounts, he was a man of remarkable and diverse talents; he wrote on Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Chuck Jones (the creator of Looney Tunes), and Buckminster Fuller. I myself would like to thank him for his small book, Ulysses, which has illuminated my reading of Joyce's novel throughout this term.

Chomsky and America

In a New York Times interview earlier this month [you need to pay to read it - don't], Noam Chomsky surprised quite a lot of people by saying that America was "the greatest country in the world." Now, nearly a month later, he claims in an interview with the Guardian that "That interview never took place...It was a senseless contraction of an hour-and-a-half telephone conversation in which I explained question by question why I am not going to answer this question or that question, because it is not a sensible question." Pressed further by his interviewer to give a straight answer, he proceeds to say:

My feeling is, to answer your question, that evaluating countries is senseless and I would never put things in those terms, but that some of America's advances, particularly in the area of free speech, that have been achieved by centuries of popular struggle, are to be admired.

No one, of course, could ever accuse Chomsky of evaluating America.

Thursday, November 27, 2003
Poet turns down OBE; attacks Blair/Queen/Empire

Quite why Benjamin Zephaniah was even awarded an OBE in the first place is beyond me. For writing good poetry? I don't think so:

Smart big awards and prize money
Is killing off black poetry
It's not censors or dictators that are cutting up our art.
The lure of meeting royalty
And touching high society
Is damping creativity and eating at our heart.

The ancestors would turn in graves
Those poor black folk that once were slaves would wonder
How our souls were sold
And check our strategies,
The empire strikes back and waves
Tamed warriors bow on parades
When they have done what they've been told
They get their OBEs.

Don't take my word, go check the verse
Cause every laureate gets worse
A family that you cannot fault as muse will mess your mind,
And yeah, you may fatten your purse
And surely they will check you first when subjects need to be amused
With paid for prose and rhymes.

Take your prize, now write more,
Fuck the truth
Now you're an actor do not fault your benefactor
Write, publish and review,
You look like a dreadlocks Rasta,
You look like a ghetto blaster,
But you can't diss your paymaster
And bite the hand that feeds you.

What happened to the verse of fire
Cursing cool the empire
What happened to the soul rebel that Marley had in mind,
This bloodstained, stolen empire rewards you and you conspire,
(Yes Marley said that time will tell)
Now look they've gone and joined.

We keep getting this beating
It's bad history repeating
It reminds me of those capitalists that say
'Look you have a choice,'
It's sick and self-defeating if our dispossessed keep weeping
And we give these awards meaning
But we end up with no voice.

Update: As James Panero '98 notes on Armavirumque, quite why Mr. Zephaniah should be so angry at an institution (the British empire) that opposed slavery is baffling. History, it seems, is optional for some people.

Sunday, November 23, 2003
Missing from Buzzflood's coverage

After finishing my beer and watching the Chiefs defeat the Oakland Raiders at the last minute in Kansas City, I couldn't help but be drawn into watching Sixty Minutes' lead story on pornography in the USA. I couldn't really tell if there was a angle to the story (legality, morality, etc), given that tv magazine's target audience, but what did surprise me was that one of the adult industry's leaders, Vivid Entertainment, has a Dartmouth alumnus at the helm. Bill Asher '84 is the president of Vivid, a studio that earned $150 million in revenue fiscal year 2003. Asher provided some business-side commentary for the PBS's Steve Kroft, who mentioned in a voice over that Asher graduated from Dartmouth and has an MBA. (I suppose they were trying to surprise us that successful businesses--even "distasteful"? ones like pornography--have their respectable, intelligent, ivy-league executives).

Though I guess we can't fault Buzzflood for not picking up on this right away and for avoiding this potential can of worms, I think the real question here is can we negotiate recruitment for interns and entry-level employment? (kidding,...or am I?) You can't argue with double-digit growth each of the past 5 years. Adult films and content are relatively cheap to produce, but because there is a social stigma still attached to pornography, the industry can charge a premium for their dvds, videos and internet content. A quick scan of porn empress Jenna Jameson's clubjenna online store lists the going rate for one of her newest dvd's at $29.95. According to Sixty Minutes, adult entertainment companys can produce such dvd's at a rate of 3 films a week. Compare that to the average cost/time of producing and distributing a film by mainstream Hollywood studios and porno's profit potential is obvious. Its contentious moral and social impact aside, adult entertainment is big business and increasingly mainstream. Perhaps we can celebrate Asher's business excellence, if not his business.

Saturday, November 22, 2003
Dartmouth Mocked On ESPN, Again...

Twice in one week! Hey, our teams may suck, but right now we're sucking really well. From Jaws' column on the BCS:

"It's official: Barring another bizarro New York Times computer poll of 1) Iowa State, 2) Dartmouth, 3) Oklahoma), you now can't spell BCS without SC."

Since he mocks the NYT as well, I suppose it evens-out.

Political Correctness and the European Union

As the Financial Times reports today, the EU's European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) "has shelved a report on anti-semitism because the study concluded Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups were behind many of the incidents it examined...When the researchers submitted their work in October last year, however, the centre's senior staff and management board objected to their definition of anti-semitism, which included some anti-Israel acts. The focus on Muslim and pro-Palestinian perpetrators, meanwhile, was judged inflammatory."

(Thanks to Oxblog.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Check out Dean Larimore's tiresome and banal piece in today's D. (Larry was on to it before me.) Best quote:

As a person committed to fairness, respect and openness, I object to actions that demean or threaten any person. We do not have a speech code at Dartmouth, nor do we want one. So we must affirm on a daily basis the need for people to be accountable for their speech and actions.

So Dartmouth doesn't have a speech code (a statement that is in itself inaccurate, as Emmett Hogan has pointed out), meaning we don't have to worry about what we can or cannot "say." But, but - we do have to affirm, on a daily basis no less (how about an hourly basis?), the need for people to be accountable for what they say and do. This is an instance of the College's Orwellian logic at its most pernicious.

Now check out the principles behind the "bias response system" (what?) Dartmouth has testing for this past year:

* Safety - maintaining safety for all.
* Prevention - early detection, reporting and implementation of follow-up protocols.
* Education - promoting respect and appreciation for diversity.
* Civic dialogue - encouraging dialogue and free speech to strengthen community.
* Communication - coordinating communication to ensure timely and accurate reporting.
* Collective responsibility - mobilizing all the good will and good intentions that exist here.
* Community caring - letting people affected know they are not alone.

No speech codes right? But "early detection" (followed, presumably, by pre-emptive action) and "follow-up protocols" (meaning?) are okay. Free speech? We want it, but we want it "strengthen community" (in other words, we don't really want you to speak freely).

Wrapping up his piece, Larimore says: "Acts of intolerance require a response that asks all members of our community to uphold our shared values and principles of community." So, since "acts of intolerance" (defined as?) require - that is to say, demand - a response, speech codes are then justified, censorship is okay, and the collective moral might of hypersensitive may be harnessed in the service of "shared values and principles of community."

I can't stand it when college administrators - or anyone else, for that matter - write this way. Buzzwords and catchphrases are employed without being accurately defined (bias incident, act of intolerance, shared culture, appreciation for diversity, etc.); logic is abused; good prose goes out of the window.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Turn on ESPN's Pardon The Interruption right now!

Sunday, November 16, 2003
And more

"Bill O'Reilly gets his own section of Intellectual Conservative" [Scroll down to nearly the bottom; it's on the left column.] Is this meant to be ironic?

You call this "intellectual conservatism"?!

The Left is nothing new, nothing "progressive," and nothing "liberal." Anyone who has correspondence with a Leftist quickly learns that. Leftists stand for nothing and against everything that stands in the way of their power. Their "love letters" show this perfectly, and each one I revise is like a version of the famous World War Two films "Why We Fight." We fight because the Left is manifestly indifferent to any notion of truth or compassion.

Read more (if you can stand it) here.

Saturday, November 15, 2003
Saddam and Al-Qaeda

Fox News links to a Weekly Standard piece that gives fresh evidence for the existence of a relationship between Saddam and Osama.

David Adesnik on Oxblog is skeptical, and perhaps rightly so.

Thursday, November 13, 2003
Attack of the Killer Tards, supplement

And Grace will share her email with you too. Go Observer.

"Date: 13 Nov 2003 13:35:13 EST
From: Ahmad M. Abdur-Rahim
Reply-To: hollaatme
Subject: sorry for the cluttering

i know all this may seem sort of confusing, but i didnt have the time to carefully plan my actions since the incident happened last night and i thought that it warranted immediate action. forgive me for my negligence.

this is an explanation i got from one of the Aires...

--- Forwarded message from Ivan J. Grant ---

>Date: 13 Nov 2003 03:10:40 EST
>From: Ivan J. Grant
>Reply-To: froaire
>To: Senam Y. Kumahia

--- You wrote:
you're an Aire, right? what's this all about?
--- end of quote ---

The freshmen are required to write a skit for their first greek show. ALL FOUR of them wrote it together. That's 2 white guys and 2 black guys. They're ALL GOOD FRIENDS. Actually, the one black guy, I KNOW, wrote some of the more offensive stuff. The idea was that they would make fun of the stupid stereotypes laid out in culture about black and white. It was supposed to be light-hearted and a statement to the fact that the AIRES OBVIOUSLY AREN'T THAT WAY. The skit didn't quite go the way the blitz explained, but I'd rather explain in person than on blitz.

Believe me, the aires are not racist. . .

It's an awful awful thing when things are read out of context. In my opinion, the skit went too far, and it's all about knowing the people who wrote it and what they meant, and unfortunately, that's not always clear.

Straight from the horse's mouth, just what we thought.

Attack of the Killer Tards, part II

So I receive the following blitz this morning. (Twice...)

"--- Forwarded message from Kwabena A. Safo-Agyekum ---

>Date: 13 Nov 2003 01:17:40 EST
>From: Kwabena A. Safo-Agyekum
>To: (Recipient list suppressed)

Hey everyone,

So, after going to Ramuntos for some free pizza, Una and I decided to go check out the Aires show at Alpha Xi and to our surprise we heard more than just singing. After the group had perfromed several songs, they took some time to introduce their newest members - two of whom were white and two of whom were black. The two new white members were introduced by their names while standing before the crowd, and the the two new black members were back stage as their names were just quickly rambled off.

Then, the two black members came on to the stage and one of them performed and attempted to teach two white members (I don't know if these two white members were the two newest members who had just been introduced or the two who had done the introductions) how to step. The two white members who were being taught to step, feigned the movements and made mockery of them. This seemed to be funny and was well received by the crowd.

And now here is the part of the show where Una and I were completely offended. So, after trying to perform the step, the two white members proceded to teach the two black members something, too. They said something along the lines of, "Now we are going to teach you something that our people have had for a long time, and that is words." (This is not an exact quote but it is very close to what was said).

The two white members then pulled out a sheet of white paper with the word "CAT" written on it in capital letters. Then they said to the two black members that "CAT" is made up of letters that make sounds, which are read to make words. At this point, Una and I could not stand to hear anymore and by the silence that was very present in the room, others had been shocked by what they were seeing as well.

Una and I don't know what the intentions were behind this skit but we felt you all should know what happened and felt obliged to share this with you. I apologize in advance if you get this more than once and please forward this to other people.

I just deleted and shook head until this baby came across the channel:

"--- Forwarded message from Ahmad M. Abdur-Rahim ---

>Date: 13 Nov 2003 12:42:45 EST
>From: Ahmad M. Abdur-Rahim
>Reply-To: hollaatme
>To: James E. Wright
>Bcc: John A. Stevenson

Dear President Wright,

I don't know if you have been informed of this event yet, but it is very disturbing to me not just as a member of the black community but as a member of the Dartmouth community at large. I think this event is an extreme form of racial bigotry and quite frankly it is embarrassing that this level of ignorance exists here at Dartmouth, one of the most prestigious institutions in the country. We at Dartmouth pride ourselves on intellectualism, acceptance and at the very least open-mindedness, but if we truly possesed these qualities, these manifestations of racial prejudice and bigotry would not manifest themselves so blatantly at least at our institution. And even subtle manifestations of racism are to be condemned, but the first step is to address the obvious ones first.

I don't see this incident as any different from the incident that occured at the University of Auburn a couple of years ago where some young men at a Fraternity party dressed up in black face mimicking the days of black faced minstrelsy and pretended to be lynched by a group of clans members who were also their fraternity brothers. I think as a member of this community that it would behoove us to take this incident into consideration and seriously consider how to prevent similar situations from occuring in the future. This incident can be taken as a step back from the diversity we seek to promote here at Dartmouth or a step forward in combating this issue. If we step and deal with the matter the way we should, addressing racial prejudice and bigotry in an open forum and condemning it in this recent manifestation and all other forms of it we will be moving in the right direction from this incident. In this way, we will benefit from this incident as it may serve as a means of promoting diversity and acceptance. However, if we merely allow it to pass us by unaddressed, we will only be facilitators of the gross reality of social predujice and racial bigotry that still exists in our society despite our many efforts to dispel them. I am sure Dartmouth College would not like to be seen in this light. It is not a true reflection of what we stand for as a college, nor should it be misconstrued as the type of people we have here.

I usually just shake my head at the things that some people concern themselves with, but today I decided to intervene from my detached and dispassionate position. I had this to say:

"--- Forwarded message from John A. Stevenson ---

>Date: 13 Nov 2003 15:04:11 EST
>From: John A. Stevenson
>Reply-To: Truth and Order
>To: James E. Wright

Dear President Wright,

First I would like to apologize for sending you one more blitz on what has probably been, given your job, a busy day as usual. That being said I would like to point out some mitigating factors that I, also African-American, observed in the reporting of the incident and in the culture of the college at large that should have caused Mr. Abur-Rahim to soften his claim if not forgone writing them at all.

1. The cast of the skit was multi-racial.

Given the relatively small size of an organization like the Aires and the strength of the bonds that form among members of talent-based groups, everyone in the group had not only agreed to particpate in said event but most likely were involved in the shaping of the event itself. When I read the blitz that reported these incidents, my first reaction was not one of horror, it was rather to wonder why, given the gravity and awkwardness of the discourse surrounding race relations on campus, a shock humour approach was taken. What were these individuals attempting to communicate/ offer commentary on concerning the nature of campus life?

2. Aires skits are usually a form of social commentary in which a lot of time and thought have been put.

This skit was something that both the black and white students in the group wanted to do. When it was being thought of and written, members of the group probably engaged in editing it and were most likely aware of the ramifications of this skit. Thus it seems to me that calling this skit "racist", which would imply lack of knowledge and/or sensitivity, does not do justice to amount of thought that went into said skit.

3. (most importantly) Dartmouth College, as an institution, can never be accused of ignoring the presence and persistence of in egalitarian social structures.

This college, in my short stay here, has followed the multicultural wisdom as much as any institution could have. Students from less privileged walks of life can enjoy the bounty that is Dartmouth due to a generous financial aid program. Efforts are continually being made to solicit more alumni donations to increase the endowment toward that end. Dartmouth has supported, both socially and financially, student groups that spread the message of diversity. There is no end to the diversity programming and discussion. Dartmouth has created the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity to serve as a watchdog organization and a source of vision. The Office of Pluralism and Leadership now coordinates the deans who address many issue areas that some individuals on campus find central to their conception of personal identity- whether that be race, ethnic origin or sexuality.

You yourself have, in numerous public occasions, expounded a historical and intellectual philosophy of multiculturalism. You even went so far as offer an opinion on the two Michigan cases, which at that time were still up in the air, and filed a 'friend of the court' brief to outline the values that Dartmouth, as an institution of higher learning, held regarding this issue.

I think that given these three salient realities, Mr. Abur-Rahim's letter was stirring rhetoric, had this actually been an issue.

Again, the apologies regarding your time,

John A. Stevenson '05

Read the Observer: because John will share his mail with you...

Saturday, November 08, 2003
Random post on non-American politics

Hi again. I haven't been here in a while. I should be writing a Donne paper for my English freshman seminar (it may be Donne but I still have to Do it) but I'm pointedly distracting myself.

Excerpt from transcript of BBC HARDtalk interview with PM Goh Chok Tong, aired September 23, 2003

(BBC's Tim Sebastian): "(Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson)
says one of the great ironies is how Singapore's Internal Security
Directorate concentrates on prosecuting liberals instead of worrying
about the people who are running unlawful arms and explosive
shipments which would cost hundreds of lives in the region."

Mr Goh: "No, that's not so. The Internal Security Act has not been
used against the liberals. I mean, you have so many of them running
around in Singapore. They are free to air their views. They are not

Mr Sebastian: "They are not free to air every view that they want,
are they?"

Mr Goh: "No. They are (free)."

Mr Sebastian: "You need to get a police permit for more than five
people to assemble."

Mr Goh: "Within the law, within the law, yes, you have to do that."

Mr Sebastian: "And the permits are often turned down."

Mr Goh: "Yes."

Mr Sebastian: "Aren't they?"

Mr Goh: "Yes."

Mr Sebastian: "So that's not exactly freedom of expression, is it?"

Mr Goh: "No. That's freedom because it depends on your definition.
In our case, the laws have been there all the time and it is for the
parties concerned to change the laws if they win the elections. So
they've got to convince the people that we are wrong and they are

I spy with my little eye a tiny difficulty in that last sentence. It's a lot harder than PM Goh makes it sound, to 'convince the people that (the PAP is) wrong and (the opposition is) right'. Particularly if you as an opposition party are not allowed to assemble with more than five people in a public place. What other (cheap easy speedy) means do you have of convincing the populace at large?

Are conservatives winning the culture wars?

Yes, according to the City Journal's Brian Anderson in this piece, in which he argues that "[t]he Left's near monopoly over the institutions of opinion and information — which long allowed liberal opinion makers to sweep aside ideas and beliefs they disagreed with, as if they were beneath argument — is skidding to a startlingly swift halt." The factors he lists include Fox News, South Park, the Internet (Sullivan, Drudge, Erin O'Connor, Arts & Letters Daily, Frontpage Magazine, and NRO all get mentioned in the same breath), and conservative book publishers. As a result of these developments, young people no longer consider conservatives "uptight squares." South Park Republicans is what Andrew Sullivan calls them.

Anderson's argument is premised on the first eleven words of his piece, which I quoted above. Is he constructing a straw man here? Has there been, up until only recently, a "near monopoly" of opinion and information by the Left? Conservatives make this assumption all the time, but the Left would say just the opposite: they'd argue that Reagan, the end of the Cold War, and 9/11 have all contributed to a conservative recrudescence in American culture.


Tuesday, November 04, 2003
The Problem of Today’s Politics by Judiciary

In her November 3rd op-ed in the Daily Dartmouth, Amie Sugarman cited the intervention in a terminally-ill case by Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida state legislature as evidence of a “separation of powers” crisis because of its conflict with a decision of the United States Supreme Court. Bush and the legislature passed a law written to over-ride the actions of her husband and by extension a ruling of the Supreme Court. Miss Sugarman fears that this course of events could prove disastrous as state legislature or the Congress become drunk with power and assert their authority over the courts. What is disturbing to me is not only her fundamental misunderstanding of history and the interplay between American branches of government, but also how she is representative of an all-to-common aberration of our democracy.

First, Miss Sugarman makes several material errors in her understanding of the United States’ Constitution, to whom what powers are assigned by the authority of that Constitution, and how this dynamic has played out over history. The formal powers given to the judiciary are enumerated in Article III, Sections 1 and 2. In 1788, those powers included jurisdiction of all conflicts under the Constitution, cases involving the federal government, cases between states, foreign citizens and ambassadors. The power which concerns Miss Sugarman most, judicial review is notably absent. This is part of the problem with logic, rather than a cornerstone of our written constitution, judicial review is an inheritance of our common law system. Judicial review as it exists today began of course in 1803 with Marbury v. Madison where the Marshall court justified judicial review. In practice over the years, judicial review has generally been a “good thing.” Laws written by Congress or state legislatures found to be incompatible with our Constitution and the rights it grants us as citizens can be struck down. But note a famous caveat to judicial review, attributed to President Andrew Jackson in 1830 is “Marshall has his decision, now let him enforce it.” The point here is that courts can issue all the decisions they want, but they are enforced only by the good will of the Executive (and as I will argue later an abdication by Congress.)

Two hundred years later judicial review is a growing and monstrous cancer on our democracy, misunderstood by many in what I can only describe as some sort of cultural assumption. Decisions handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States become law if enforced by the President of the United States or set as precedent and authority over lower courts. Yet on many occasions, Congress has in fact written laws specifically to over-ride decisions by the Supreme Court. Congress does have this authority and has used it before, and as we will see later rightly so. It is in fact the President and the Supreme Court that have become too powerful. The action by Governor Bush and the Florida legislature are historically common, passing laws is precisely the method by which the Executive and Legislature check the power of the Judiciary. If pressed, even Constitutional Amendments have been passed. Supreme Court decisions are not immutable either by reversing themselves or by act of a legislature.

But here is the most important point I have to make. Increasingly, over the past half-century or so, interest groups have strategically pushed their agendas through the court system, rather than pursuing the more costly route of beseeching Congress to pass a law. Not only is it financially cheaper to sue than to lobby, but interest groups have a chance of succeeding with logic when they might fail at popularity. Popularity? Yes. Popularity. By its very definition, for a law to pass in Congress it must have the support of the majority of its members in both the House and Senate. Afterwards it must be signed by the President. The House, Senate and President all serve slightly different constituencies and by design capture the will or our representative democracy. This is the very embodiment of our Republic. However, law by judicial decree do not go through this process and do not have the legitimacy that it provides. Agree or disagree with the recent law banning partial-birth abortion, it has the constitutionally defined support of The People--the essence of democracy. Roe v. Wade, whether you are a supporter of it or not, does not have this legitimacy. (I choose Roe v. Wade because it serves as the best and most recognisable example) Roe currently exists as law only because of judicial review. Could abortion supporters have congress pass a law making abortion legal? I don’t know. But this is the insidiousness of judicial review, it provides the means for the circumvention of the democratic process. Now, Amie Sugarland puts more stock in 9 non-elected judges than any combination of elected branches of government. Shouldn’t we, as a nation, be shocked at this development?

Of course, the Supreme Court alone is not to blame. They are only doing their job as best they can. There is another devil at work here. What must also be understood is the shift in institutional responsibility that occurred over the past 80 years. The 20th century saw two successive waves of increasing Presidential authority and responsibility at the expense of Congress. First, FDR’s first administration made the presidency the dominant actor in policy concerning labor and the economy. Second, World War II and its immediate aftermath in the nuclear age, saw the presidency become the dominant actor in policy concerning defense. The demands of these two successive crises and the inability of Congress do answer their rapid and critically important or strategic demands created the presidency we recognize today. Now, the President is the expected source of policy initiatives in all manner of arenas. Congress has conceded most of its role in the formulation of policy and law. Without Congress to initiate writing laws and with the President formulating his own agenda, interest groups naturally see litigation and the Supreme Court as the avenue that strategically gives them the best chance of making the changes they desire.

Combined, these two dynamics of judicial review and institutional responsibility have coalesced over the past century into the true dilemma facing our democracy today. Citizens are disenfranchised by a process and system that enables non-elected judges to make law. I personally find this the most trouble issue of our day because it seems nobody is talking about it and yet it most clearly threatens us all. Interest groups and individual citizens now fear the very organ of government that is constitutionally endorsed source of law. The solution I foresee is a difficult one. Congress must re-assert its institutional position to formulate policy and create law. Congress, that most unwieldy and despised organ of government, is our best hope.

Monday, November 03, 2003
This is funny

From Andrew Sullivan's email folder:

A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest chemical element yet known to science. The new element has been tentatively named "Governmentium". Governmentium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 11 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would normally take less than a second. Governmentium has a normal half-life of three years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to speculate that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass". You will know it when you see it.

Saturday, November 01, 2003
Would the author care to clarify?

Sarah Morton on Lady-Likely: "It reminds me of endless debates in literature and theory over *why* a woman or other member of a marginalized group wrote or expressed what s/he did. Of course, everything in a culture affects all the people in it, even if just by limiting or increasing each person's exposure to different ideas and tropes, and you can find that in the product of anyone's expression. But it's interesting that so often that is the principal mode of exploration/axplanation (I am guilty of this) - I don't think it's bad, I think it's indicative... marginalized identities affect not only what we write/create, but every iteration of its interpretation. That's why all the products of the culture wars in universities are "interdisciplinary" departments. feminism, etc. are modes of interpretation - but the texts they interpret are not designed solely as feminist - they are pieces of writing, art, science... sometimes not feminist at all... the interpretations recreate them and interpellate them in the mode of the interpretation."