Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Quite Striking

I was handed a book last night, and challenged to find a single paragraph that made explainable sense.

I tried, and I failed. But I did find this gem of a sentence, which I read out loud several times because it was so tongue-warmingly nonsensical:

"Liberal cultural studies' enthusiastic misrecognition of the media-marketing apparatus as the supplier of malleable symbolic material to an autonomous, creative plurality external to itself - a theoretical development that occurred at the same time as the countercultural icon of the 'cool individualist' was replacing the responsible collectivist - is quite striking."

It's the pay-off that I love the most. "- is quite striking!" We were all in agreement that something was most definitely striking, we just weren't sure what. Granted we were a little drunk on tequila, pomegranates, port and stilton. I expect we could have made some meagre sense out of it if we'd tried hard enough. But that would have spoilt the fun.

5 comments:

Megan said...

I'm adopting that as the guiding sentence for my Masters thesis. In the best academic tradition I'll just replace a few key words and claim it for my own (enthusiastic=illconsidered; malleable symbolic material=socio-cultural post-modern mysogyny; autonomous, creative plurality=auto-repressive collection of Jungian hyper-masculine archetypes etc). Of course it has nothing to do with my actual subject, but that's hardly the point.

Karen said...

Wha...? I might try reading it backwards to see if it makes more sense that way.

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

Megan: "Liberal cultural studies' illconsidered misrecognition of the media-marketing apparatus as the supplier of socio-cultural post-modern mysogyny to an auto-repressive collection of Jungian hyper-masculine archetypes external to itself - a theoretical development that occurred at the same time as the countercultural icon of the 'cool individualist' was replacing the responsible collectivist - is quite striking."

Wow, you are clearly a very clever lady and I bow my head to you in awe, as well as in thanks that I will never be asked to read your thesis. ;o)

Karen: "Quite striking is the responsible collectivist, was replacing the 'cool individualist', the countercultural icon at the same time as a theoretical development that occurred to itself, external creative plurality to an autonomous malleable symbolic material as the media-marketing apparatus supplier of misrecognition of enthusiastic Liberal cultural studies."

Makes much more sense!

Debs said...

Well I didn't understand a word of that and I'm impressed with anyone who did.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

looby said...

I wonder if we could translate it like this? "The sort of 'cultural studies' usually taught in universities assumes 1) that the media gives out messages which people use in lots of different ways, and 2) and that there are other actors, fans, instiutions and so on which have an independent existence beyond the media and advertising bodies. This trend happened at the same time as the lone individualist replaced the responsible collectivist [what?] in the popular imagination."

It's so utterly vague, general, polemical, yet devoid of facts and quite sneeringly superior in a way that is rife in Media and Cultural Studies.