July 28, 2008

Typhoon day / Not a lucid one

A typhoon came along to save me from Monday. As the news that it would hit filtered out the supermarkets were packed. People were buying carbohydrates - noodles, crackers, cookies, candy, chips. The place near me is a small, low class supermarket, the kind that sells no fresh produce, and if you can find more than two attractive, healthy looking people there then it's a special day. I know, because it's a game I always play there.

To think that with a better diet and some exercise, some curiosity, many of the patrons could be cultivating the ubermensch within instead of paying to do themselves harm. Of course, I lined up and bought instant noodles, crackers, milk with the rest of them, doing my part to keep the day unspectacular.

I slept late and worked on a stack of proofreading, trying to break the back of it so the rest of the week is just classes, fueled by coffee, water, tequila and spicy dried squid. The tequila is good stuff that Yuki picked up at the airport, the kind you sip at room temperature and enjoy.

Part two. I studied film & literature at university, hence my borderline unemployability. It was in the early 90s, so hours spent dealing with modern French philosophers who put me to sleep but also suggested there was another game I could play, putting fine words together in ways that gave the illusion of meaning. But I never became a real academic, just a freelance bottom-feeder in Taiwan, and I never have any regrets about that because of the awful things I'd be stuck teaching. It was great to come across this 1998 book review by Richard Dawkins, Postmodernism disrobed, that ripped the shit out the whole game. It begins:
Suppose you are an intellectual impostor with nothing to say, but with strong ambitions to succeed in academic life, collect a coterie of reverent disciples and have students around the world anoint your pages with respectful yellow highlighter. What kind of literary style would you cultivate? Not a lucid one, surely, for clarity would expose your lack of content.
And continues with much wonderful stuff.

No comments: