Why Fan Theories are a Waste of Time

There's possibly only 1 person under the age of 47 who's actually going to read this and not be familiar with the theory of "the death of the author" , but I'm going to go ahead and explain it anyway. It was the subject of a 1967 essay by Roland Barthes (pronounced with the "es" silent,…

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The City in European Modernist Art and Culture

Forescript: I gave this as a paper at geography conference in Seoul last year. You won't have been there. For editing reasons, I've taken out all the footnotes. If you read all of it, and you like it, or if you don't, you can offer some tips on how to write a better conclusion, or…

The Etiquette of Sushi: Part I

(Headnote: I'm reposting this, which I posted a long time ago, because I think it's funny, and because I was supposed to continue it, but never did. However, the whole "Sailing to Byantium" thing is turning into a thesis-length jobbie because a couple of people read and liked it, so if enough people --2-- like…

How Trump Could Win the Next Election

In "The Dialectic of Enlightenment", Adorno and Horkheimer explain how the fascist dictator's appeal is essentially narcissistic--people can live through the dictator who says the things that they want to say but are afraid to. Hiter and Mussolini are their exemplars of this. Often, in the most ironic fashion, Trump is compared with Hitler. The correct (as in, most ironic) response…

How to Be a Pretentious Nitwit

This is not a hatchet job. But... There's a man who writes a lot about how to be a blogger, and I shouldn't really be writing something that appears to be critical of him, since he and his alternative personalities probably constitute everybody who has, or will ever, read this blog in particular. But... What he's doing, and…