File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0106, message 46

Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 14:47:07 +0100
Subject: Re: Post-modern, Post-Marxist etc. comments on philosophy and culture


I may reply to this more completely but not yet, however the following
statement needs correcting...

"I have heard of children traumatized about attending school because their
clothing lacked the proper labels."

The above statement has always beeen true - the working class kid attending
a middle or upwards school would always be attacked because of the incorrect
clothing, labels, shoes or accent. In essence they had the wrong
imaginary... The requirement is always to belong to the majority the wrong
piece of clothing will mark you as the minority...



Mary Murphy&Salstrand wrote:

> I am not sure how to respond to all of this.  Here are just a few rough,
> random and passing comments.
> 1. It seems to me that an appreciation of someone like Dante will always
> be something of an elitist endeavor.  Great art may have universal
> pretensions, but it only speaks to a minority in practice. However, does
> this mean Dante should be elevated over rap music, comic books, Barbie
> dolls or mauve orchids? Or doesn't it?  Who determines what is
> important?  How is this judged?  By what criteria? These still seem like
> open issues, whether one is "Marxist" or not.
> 2. Is the movement in the role of teaching English as a "humanity" to
> one based more on social sciences somehow related to the changing role
> of the university in society and the shift from liberal arts education
> to one that is more vocational and career oriented.  The attempt to make
> English practical. It seems ironic that with the exception of economics,
> the social sciences themselves in a state of crisis even as they are
> embraced by other disciplines. How does an English department legitimize
> itself today?
> 3. I have been struck by the expanding role that criticism plays in
> everyday life.  I don't mean academic critics like Stanley Fish or
> Harold Bloom, but the more lumpen critics who expound on movies, music,
> restaurants, fashion and television to the point where academia appears
> to have been superceded by Entertainment Tonight.  It has gotten to the
> point where politics itself appears to be a subcategory of such
> criticism.
> What does it say about the growing complexification of our social
> stratification that we need such Baedeckers in order for people to
> locate their proper ecological niche?  I have heard of children
> traumatized about attending school because their clothing lacked the
> proper labels.


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