April 16, 2004

A “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Marketing Special:

A “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Marketing Special: The Academic Superstars Calendar

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” know what you are thinking, dear reader: All your petulant “weblog” does is demean, contemn, and spite. Why, you are just a bunch of vituperative stuffed shirts with access to a thesaurus. Can’t you stop maligning things for a minute, and try to look on the bright side? You are coming across as a group of angry weasels.

To which we, the crack staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Whoa, take it down a notch, fellow. And you say that we are hate-filled? This site isn’t called “The Lovemonger’s Quarterly.” Why, well-nigh three-quarters of the Internet is devoted to such titillations. So we’re told.

But we know where you are coming from. After all, our “weblog” hasn’t exactly accentuated the positive—let alone eliminated the negative—thus far. And we haven’t even mentioned the proverbial in-between.

As such, today’s addition to “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” shall not contain a delicious excoriation of an easy target. Instead, we are going to let you in on an idea that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been pondering for some time. If we ever collect the funds to bankroll this product, we’re sure we’ll be billionaires. But, as we can’t even afford the prandial delicacy known as "ramen noodles," we are content to share our idea with some swashbuckling entrepreneur. Nota bene, ye of much money!

But first, some background. Almost everyone in these here United States owns a calendar. Most of these horrid things present their purchasers with saccharine pictures of flowers, cats, or babies—the kind of stuff that Florence, the lady sitting in the next cubicle, likes to look at as she listens to “soft-rock” and pretends to be working. The more adventuresome of you own calendars with a purpose: To learn a word-of-the-month, for example. It doesn’t seem to dawn on anyone that being able to recognize the term “tantivy” isn’t exactly the world’s most useful skill. Unless you’re Roger Scruton, of course.

So, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” say that you should ditch your tepid calendars in favor of a far more daring choice. We call it:

The Academic Superstars Calendar!

Dear reader, are you tired of calendars that present a meta-narrative? Do you, unlike the great unwashed, realize that time is merely a linguistic construct? If so, The Academic Superstars Calendar is the product for you!

Unlike the hegemonic calendars to which you are accustomed, The Academic Superstars Calendar is an al-woman-ac that declines to bow down to the tyranny of the Enlightenment project. Why, it’s the first calendar that refuses to place the months in a linear discourse: Who’s to say that July shouldn’t be the first month? And it’s the first calendar that is utterly contemptuous of the transcendental signifier. In fact, the calendar even doubts that such a thing could exist.

What, you ask, could be better than that? Well, The Academic Superstars Calendar offers a fetching portrait of a bona fide academic superstar along with each month! You can savor Stanley Fish’s nihilistic November. Or watch Derrida deconstruct December. Fredric Jameson ushers in the October revolution. Cornel West tells us that “March Matters.” And all can delight in amnesiac April, when postmodernists attempt to forget what Paul de Man was up to in 1942!

Just think: Everyone else’s calendar displays kitschy landscapes by Thomas Kincaid. How pseudo-bourgeois! But you can sport one that resists the incessant demonization of “The Other” and is hip to “the phallicism that follows the mirror phase,” as E. Ann Kaplan delightfully reminds us.

But wait, as they say on the television, there’s more. Instead of those noxious Western holidays featured in other calendars, The Academic Superstars Calendar highlights holidays that allow the subaltern to speak. Finally!

Yes, The Academic Superstars Calendar is the only exercise in (anti)chronology that marks Althusser Week, which culminates, of course, in a festival at which fellow bacchants can break out of their structural limitations, and exercise their agency by choking their wives. And it also heralds the celebration of Judith Butler’s Feast of Opacity Day. Instead of that infernal “Columbus Day,” The Academic Superstars Calendar proudly touts Kill Whitey, a day of fasting and reflection in honor of Frantz Fanon. And who could forget Salman Rushdie Day, which, for security reasons, occurs at a date not previously announced?

Why, we, the crack staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” think that this calendar presents a heterogeneous, multivalent challenge to the dominant culture. But you don’t have to take our word for it, dear reader. Here’s what academic superstar Gayatri Spivak has to say about our product:

“This utopia-from-realization of capitalism is not morphologically (‘theoretically’) dissimilar from the euphoria-in-derealization (which of course is the paradoxical realization of the spirit of ‘multinational capital’) that we are offered later in the essay as the whole new untheorized thing about postmodernism (see note 33).”

We guess that’s good.

Posted at April 16, 2004 12:00 AM | TrackBack