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10 October 2004 @ 10:34 pm
Excerpted as a Thought of the Day  
". . . via deconstruction, i can break the hold of any text on me; I can subvert any demands it makes on me. Since 'text,' in American deconstruction, actually means anything that exists, then by deconstructing texts I can completely deny any and all demands on my ego. Because, deeply and above all else, Nobody tells me what to do!"

" . . . Deconstruction soon became indistinguishable from extremist deconstruction - even Foucault called Derrida a 'terrorist,' and for Foucault to call somebody a terrorist, you can only imagine how bad the situation had become. For boomeritis, deconstruction became the primary terrorist attack for destroying any restriction that did not suit your impulses. It put nothing in the place of the structures it destroyed, it simply destroyed, thus unleashing nihilism and narcissism as a postmodern tag team from hell, leaving the ego alone to run among the smoking ruins."

". . . Deconstruction never really took hold anywhere but here in America. It never caught on in Britain, certainly not in Germany, Japan or Nigeria. No, it took off in the one country where an epidemic of boomeritis had already prepared the ground. As no less than Jacques Derrida himself exclaimed - and, my friends, I suggest you think about this carefully - 'America is deconstruction!' "

- Ken Wilber, Boomeritis
 
 
 
push loud penspush_loud_pens on October 11th, 2004 09:48 am (UTC)
one of the initial things that drew me to ken wilber's thought was his way of leaving the ontological strikes of postmodernism somewhat intact while finding a way out of extreme pluralism

and i know that he is most critical of postmodernism because it is currently the ascendent culture among the intelligentsia of the western world

and i know he is particularly scathing in his comments only because in his view the "green meme" is the one poised for making the jump across the chasm into second tier and moving-towards-integral thinking and thus extremely green people like me, who react with almost intrinsic anger when value judgements and hierarchies fall into the picture but somehow feel like that's a deadend and is lacking as well, stand the most to benefit from someone hammering away relentlessly at our belief system

but sometimes when i read him i still want to slap him up upside the head and say shut up, you ignorant git. Derrida did more for philosophy than you could ever hope to. And you thought I hated to make evaluations. Evaluate this you arrogant bastard.

;)
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 11th, 2004 09:55 am (UTC)
I hear some of that
Boomeritis is really weird - it's a novel, for crying out loud. It reads like a pretentious metanarrative - which seems to be his point.

I left out the parts in-between where he is explaining how postmodernism is a good thing except in its most pathological form (which is nihilism). There is another passage explaining how Foucault turned his back on extremist deconstruction, and couldn't get Derrida to likewise turn away.

This book is severely fucked up.
push loud penspush_loud_pens on October 11th, 2004 12:41 pm (UTC)
Re: I hear some of that
it /is/ a fucked up pretentious book. i understand what he was trying to do, but i'm not much for completely didactic novels with no plot and no characterization. at least other "philosophy novels" like sophie's choice managed to be mildly entertaining while presenting ideas. besides, who writes a novel and names the main character after themself? the sex scenes aren't so grand either. but I do appreciate the attempt at some self-deprecation.....

although in other parts of wilber's books (at least the ones i have made it through) he spares no love for foucault either. but it seems oftentimes like he is working from a position where he is saying "of course i appreciate postmodernism, if you don't understand how it informs my work then you neither understand postmodernism, nor my work BUT here is what's WRONG with it" but he still sometimes (a lot of times) comes off like a self-righteous prick let into a room full of late 20th century philosophy with a flamethrower
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 11th, 2004 09:06 pm (UTC)
Re: I hear some of that
I think it was Sophie's World, but the point stands ;-) (I love a good Jungian slip as much as the next guy)

I was a CS/Math guy before I started reading about postmodernism - that might have a lot to do with how I don't mind Wilber playing fast and loose with the idea of postmodernism in general, or Foucault in particular - I don't have a large emotional investment in the author's work. (If he starts fucking with Godel's Incompleteness Theorem, I'm whipping out the hate stick) Really, I spent 4.5 years at Mac, and I have only myself to blame :-(

I'm trying to switch off between Wilber and a historical postmodern author (right now it's Baudrillard) whenever I get the chance, so as not to become one-sided in this whole debacle.
Oυτιςerragal on October 11th, 2004 03:25 pm (UTC)
The Buddha did him one better... he broke the hold text had on him and got rid of his ego.
Oυτιςerragal on October 11th, 2004 03:32 pm (UTC)
One more thing
Oh... if you see that motherfucker on the road, shoot him for me.