An English In Kentucky


















Saturday June 22nd 2019Tim Candler9


    What does Irony mean. The word is used enough, and in my view it's a word that's up there around Plutarch, it has a sort of location within a group think where in some ways you don't actually have to know what the word means in order for your thought processes to be guided by it. In my case, my thought processes become negative toward the user of the word irony, and absolutely it's a burden I carry, a neurosis if you prefer. But I mention the word irony for two, hopefully much better reasons. The first is in the origin of the word Irony and the second is the word "ironic" as it appears in this sentence: "This essay is an effort to build an ironic political myth faithful to feminism, socialism, and materialism." An ironic moment in Greek Tragedy was when the audience knew exactly what was going on but from his or her words and actions no one could be certain whether a particular character fully understood what was going on. This understanding of irony suggests the essay is being used as a literary technique. The subject of the essay is an attempt to build a political myth that cleaves to current ideas circulating around feminism, socialism and materialism, and the irony part is, what's really happening is an attempt to better understand the current state of and apparent impasse in feminism, socialism and materialism. The essay ends: "Though both are bound in the spiral dance, I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess." And it's true that Donna Haraway's, Cyborg Manifesto, set off a whole new set of arguments including whether or not a "sonographic fetus" was feasible without the cyborg divorcing itself from the "order of nature." And here the answer isn't "big whoop," it's more like "How interesting."



   "This is a dream not of a common language, but of a powerful infidel heteroglossia. It is an imagination of a feminist speaking in tongues to strike fear into the circuits of the super savers of the new right."  In 1985, when Cyborg Manifesto was written, the "new right" became the current version of the USA Republican party, as well as whatever's happening in Europe and I think Donna Haraway would agree with me. "Super savers," would be rampant commercialization of all that is. "Circuits" is a reference to an increasing interdependence between electronics and life forms. The speaking in tongues part belongs to a thesis that there is no one theory of everything, a cyborg is part living thing, part machine and there is no determining an end point or a solution to the relationship of living and machine within a cyborg, it is what it is, single possibilities, single identities don't exist, frontiers have the potential to be boundless. The thing is to let that happen, embrace it by allowing it to be undefined by any one particular cathedral of understanding, all of which are basically human and subject to the limitations of self interest, ambition, making enough money, getting married, raising children, health insurance and it's endless. "Infidels" are non believers in a body of understandings. "Heteroglossia" is different ways of talking about something, you got the logic of language that pertain to specialized areas and this logic can lead to something like my reaction to the use of "Plutarch" and "Irony" and for that matter "pertain," in a sentence. It pretty much puts the user into category that then defines just about every other utterance he or she makes. As an example, "if you call me a Libtard, I'll know you're a borderline Moron." A myth is a myth of course, and whether you like it or not we people all live in one. Yes indeed, who wouldn't rather be a Cyborg.



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