The Humanities Dept. is really just one big nudist colony; small mercy being that they’re a sedentary breed, generally found/not found tucked away in a corner behind a big pile of books and a bigger pair of glasses. I usually wear clothes, but the other day, for the purpose of survival (and participation points), I went completely starkers.
We were given a picture of beachgoers from different eras; one from the fifties, and the other from the eighties and told to do a comparative reading of the two. I couldn’t come up with anything that wasn’t really stretching it, so I just sat there wondering whether the homing pigeons that took photos of Germany in WW2 had been awarded purple hearts.
It went it’s-your-turn silent just before I figured it out, and since there was still nothing mildly feasible to add, I said that the photo (which cut off one of the women at the head) was a kind of mental castration; a tacit reinforcement of the patriarchal objectification of women and the privileging of the female body over the female mind. I felt like a tool because the photo had clearly just been cropped but I had no alternatives since the only contribution I’d had at this point was doodling flowers round the edge of my page, and fighting back the urge to draw a moustache on one of the women.
It was scary how bad my piffle was; scarier still that it elicited several low rumblings of assent. This is the way things roll in the Humanities, and although some of the stuff is credible, a lot of it is rubbish. I think the reason I don’t actually out the emperor is that it might expose my own nuddiness, which, I can tell you now, would clear out that classroom quicker than the notion of objective truth.
Check out this piece. It’s a little long but it’s a great use of five minutes: the philosopher.txt I’m considering walking round uni with a big copy of it pinned to my front and back. At the very least it’ll provide some warmth in the colder months.