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Below are the 7 most recent journal entries recorded in Theory is Not All That's LiveJournal:

Thursday, March 29th, 2007
9:11 am
[mitejen]
Hi y'all! I found this community through academics_anon and was excited to check it out. The philosophy of the group, that nothing is taken too seriously but it's also not a community of flaming, intrigued me so here I am.

I'm not an academic in my daily life but I tend towards being an 'armchair academic.' I like to see what kinds of things people argue about and try to keep up with some theories out there, even if I don't subscribe to them.

Just wanted to introduce myself, and to say that due to an incredibly rude person in a Theories of Literature class, I both love and hate Occam's Razor. Not very controversial I know, but I have also always thought that exaggerated extrapolation was more fun that taking things at face value. I suppose that dismisses 2600 years or so of Western Philosophy, but I've just been dying to get that off my chest.
7:23 pm
[notmonster]
Polling the readership
Poll #956146 Sockpoll

I am a sock puppet belonging to theoryishotcrew

No of course not
7(100.0%)
Yah, but take pity, for I have no other life
0(0.0%)


Current Mood: amused
Saturday, March 24th, 2007
10:06 am
[voyager640]
those damn postmodernists are at it again
Oh, wait, I think pomo-logist means something different...

from today's news--

"So next time you eat a strawberry, bear in mind that here are subtle
differences in tastes in each variety, whether Camarosa, Diamante,
Ventana, Albion or Seascape.

"But many of them would not have been bred or cross bred had it not
been for the pomologists in the UC system, according to Pam Kan-Rice,
a spokeswoman for the UC system."
1:28 pm
[notmonster]
Hater hating is ignorant.

This is a response to a post in another community about theory hating, which I thought was worth reposting here. http://community.livejournal.com/academics_anon/1309530.html?view=23383642#t23383642
In it,fountaingirl begins with  "I never understand when people say they hate "theory." I generally hear this from my undergaduate students (I have taught theory, I regularly teach social psychology, and so on). When I hear that someone hates theory, I take this as resistance based on either fear or misunderstanding." 

She then goes on to draw a telling analogy: "For someone to write off "theory" out of a distaste for a given theorist or group of theorists is like someone saying they "hate food" because they cannot stand cruciferous vegetables. It reminds me of my son, and his distaste for all foods green. To me, it is no more reasoned an aversion." 

I think she is right that she doesn't understand what she hears! Her example of Food is a case in point. If an adult  told me that he or she hated "food," I would assume one of four things:

1. He or she has learned a different definition of the word "food" from somewhere and therefore the sentence is internally consistent with his or her dislikes.

2. He or she is using the term "food" to mean a specific type of food and has reason to believe you understand what is meant by it. This is rational and consistent.

3. He or she has a genuine and rational dislike of food, perhaps on principle. 

4. He or she has developed an irrational phobia of food for some reason.

Fountaingirl, on the other hand, assumes it has to be 4, an irrational aversion - and that any material cause of such an aversion must be dismissed out of hand.

By using the example of her son (a child), she also implies that resistance to theory is infantile.

Both these factors suggest that she speaks from a position of relative privilege and power. Her claim to Know Best replicates one of the very things many people dislike about grand Theory, as does the suggestion that anyone who doesn't agree with her is somehow "ignorant". 

My point is that people like fountaingirl can not imagine a world in which 3. [He or she has a genuine and rational dislike of food, perhaps on principle.] could occur. That there are groups of people who hate Theory for rational and educated reasons, is literally outside the realm of her imagination, despite the vocal existance of such groups in many disciplines.

Her assertion that "You do not hate a hammer because your neighbor used it to bash in your windshield. That is ignorant." also demonstrates this point. If your neighbour put time, effort and resources into the process of constructing a hammer with the intention of attacking you, then disliking the neighbour and wanting that hammer to be confiscated would be a perfectly normal response.

 

 



Current Mood: amused
12:31 pm
[notmonster]
A Few Things that worry me about indiscriminate use of Postmodernism, etc
1. The attention to "Theory" often seems to come at the expense of attention to the history of the actual theories and methodologies of your discipline. 

2. Being good at "Theory" is over-rewarded, so more people are likely to go the easy route and spend their time writing some thing about panopticons than doing practical research. This also impacts on funding regimes.

3. Freud. Need I say more. That man was disturbed. "ZOMG you want to have sex with your mother" puts a lot of people off the whole thing and is so unnecessary.

4. In some places the obsession with "Theory" means people are desperately trying to incorporate dead French guys into things where they just don't fit; the whole thing is irrelevant and the result is like a cargo cult. It is also like "cargo cult science" in that a lot of old ideas are the unstated assumptions behind any new ideas but no-one questions whether it is necessary to carry all that baggage.

5. In other places, being "fashionable" when it comes to Theory is the last refuge of uncool people. Those who do not know how to dress or socialise in the outside world  compensate for it with their 1337 knowledge of Alan Badiou. This leads to really, really shallow academic practices and students who do have a life don't realise what is going on, or that the real reason why our instructor hates "materialism" or "transcendentalism"  is for the same kind of reason that our kid brother won't admit to liking Nu Metal.

Current Mood: curious
Wednesday, March 21st, 2007
4:53 pm
[echointhewell]
I *really* hate Judith Butler.  I mean, I can't read one more thing about performative gender and regulative discourses.  Am I alone?
2:55 pm
[notmonster]
first post -

So I've started this community for those who want to hate on theory a bit. Or "theory", or Theory, or Grand Theory, or maybe you just hate a specific set of theoretical concepts.

Made to feel like a heretic for your views?
Want to share your angst at having to read what you think is a pile of crap? 
Want to complain about professors pushing their views on you? 
Want to complain about groupthink or stupid jargon? 
Want to look for other ways of doing academic work? 
Just want sympathy? 

I'm hoping this will be a place for all of those things. 
Maybe there is no demand for a place like this but we shall see.

In many academic communities, there's like, a zero tolerance policy for this kind of stuff - say you don't like something about your discipline's particular commitment to "theory" and it's like you've just stirred a hive of  WASPs.  Pun intended. I've seen it happen many times, and chances are if you're reading this, you have too.

The idea of this community is that the baseline is that it's okay to hate or distrust theory, whatever you might mean by that.

I'm adding a disclaimer here: I better come clean and say up front that I'm engaged in a type of theory, and in fact I'm damn good at what I do. However, this just adds to my belief that it's lame to shoot people down for hating theory. Theory for theory's sake is something worth questioning. 

Oh ya I hate Foucault, and I especially hate Foucault's army of zombie followers.




Current Mood: high
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