"Empire"--The Left's "Next Big Idea"

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The coercive-Utopian dream never dies. It just morphs from Marxism/Leninism to this or that ism. Its constants seem to be elitism and hatred of that which is deemed to be bourgeois (most of us).

The latest "think" book to advance the cause is Empire. No doubt it will serve as an identifier for the annointed ones (most of whom will have not read its 500 pages of deconstructionist gibberish) and as a justification for tenured profs to launch new seminars whose real purpose is to attract graduate chicks.

Here is an unenthusiastic review. No doubt you can find enthusiastic reviews at the usual suspects.

-- (lars@indy.net), February 27, 2002


No, I have not read it either. I'll wait for the movie.

-- (lars@indy.net), February 27, 2002.

Uh, thanks for drawing my attention to a book you don't like, don't recommend, and haven't even read. Since I haven't read it either, should I add my opinion, too?

-- Little Nipper (canis@minor.net), February 27, 2002.

I've never read Ulysees. What a piece of crap!!!!!

-- (what@i.think), February 27, 2002.

I haven't read it either, but if it promotes deconstructionist solutions, I think it is great.

Two Thumbs Up! Great Book! New York Times Bestseller!

-- (Cisco and Fleebert @ .com), February 27, 2002.

I've never read Ulysees. What a piece of crap!!!!!

That could be. I have never read or heard of that book. I have read Ulysses and was impressed. I found Finnegan's Wake to be a real page turner.

Just depends, I guess. ;<)))

Best Wishes,,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), February 27, 2002.

There are many books that I have never actually read but have read various reviews so that I can feign familiarity. Am I the only one who will admit this?

This book sounds too dense for me, regardless of my predispositions.

-- (lars@indy.net), February 27, 2002.

"What deconstruction is not? Everything of course! What is deconstruction? Nothing of course!"

These are the words of Jaques Derrida, the leading figure in a current trend in philosophy and literary criticism known as 'deconstructionism.' Why deconstructionism matters is that it is at the headwaters of contemporary feminism and 'queer theory,' among other things.

deconstruct me baby

-- (Roland@hatemail.com), February 28, 2002.

Ellsworth Toohey, where are you?

-- David L (bumpkin@dnet.net), February 28, 2002.

"There are many books that I have never actually read but have read various reviews so that I can feign familiarity"

Ooh boy...

-- Dennis Molson (dennismolson@hotmail.com), February 28, 2002.

We are all brothers under the skin - and I, for one, would be willing to skin humanity to prove it.

-- (Ellsworth Toohey@The.Fountainhead), February 28, 2002.


What, you have never read reviews instead of the book? I would be impressed if I thought it was true. In this case, maybe you just need a more congenial review. Try T he Guardian's review of "Empire", July 15, 2001

I won't tell anyone.

-- (lars@indy.net), February 28, 2002.

The character Ellsworth Toohey came to mind because he believed that the key to controlling people was to undermine their confidence in their own judgment.

Deconstructionism sounds not so much like a school of thought as a school against thought, a kind of cult.

-- David L (bumpkin@dnet.net), March 02, 2002.

Book Signing Party

He shouldn't have worn wool,

for even in January one must still enter heated homes.

Leave sheep alone; let them shed in their own time.

Use them for mutton, or if a vegan

proclaim yourself a lamb.

Now the fur tickles his legs like a thousand feathers.

Sweat lubricates his discomfort.

Peripheral nerves gasp for oxygen in their lanolin shroud

and plead in raspy moans.

Woolen pants, his darling insisted.

He was too sheepish to refuse.

A coerced purchase. "You look good in them," she said.


He shouldn't have worn wool. Too late now.

Now all the literati are assembled wielding cocktail glasses.

The battle plan of one-upmanship etiquette unfolds

through the civilized savagery of words.

Polysyllabic vocabulary becomes bird of paradise plumage.

Erudite discourses become the bellowing of hippos in heat.

There is the newly published book, of course,

and witty babble about the new constructionist deconstructionist theory,

and those tomes blessed and anointed by high priest Harold Bloom.

Some have even read the author's new novel.

Some actually consider the author an author,

but all want the signature, just in case.


Finally while discussing the poetics of John Ashbery,

Mr. Sheepish rubs his crotch.

Indiscretely he massages the point

of interplay between penile perspiration and ewe hair.

The others pretend to be the stoic English upper class

and sip their wine and continue their banter.

But a trailer park contagion enters the air.

The published author suddenly picks his nose,

while supposedly perusing the Shakespeare library.

A lady professor picks shrimp shells from her teeth.

The disciple for Harold Bloom breaks wind.

A new literary movement sweeps through the bowels of the learned.

It moves up and down, or it rises in the wind when no one is looking,

or–what the hell–even if they are.

--Richard Fein

-- (Algernon C. Braithewaite III@Cambridge.MA), March 02, 2002.

Postmodernist Poetry

Can you dig it?

-- (Algernon C. Braithewait III@Cambridge.MA), March 02, 2002.

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