Absolutely Fun and True Facts, Chapter One: I Am Defamed

Dear readers,

I’m working my way through a draft of my dissertation prospectus, with a little help from Soren Kierkegaard’s Stages on Life’s Way. I’m also really enjoying teaching Persuasion and The Bluest Eye. However, I couldn’t help but notice that me, my blog, and the Valve, where of course I cross-post most of what I write, were all nominated for various piercingly satiric blog Oscars at a blog called Parody Center. Scott Kaufman has the story over at Acephalous, and I recommend that you go there rather than clicking over to the howling, schizophrenic void of the Center itself. But maybe you don’t care that the Center is not safe for work, or maybe you work somewhere where jpegs of self-violating golden statues are the norm, in which case I grudgingly provide you the following link to the thing-in-itself.

Here is an important quotation from this post, in which I am nominated for Aristocratic Parody:

Dr. Josephina Kugelmass’ Romantic Tantrum ( http://kugelmass.wordpress.com/)

for cooking her own elitist Ratatouille; for being timid and restrained in her criticism of dr. Slovenly Zizek;

In this quote, there are several inaccuracies. To begin with, my first name is Joseph. It is not so much that I am offended by the thought of being called “Josephina,” as it is that Josephina Kugelmass is a travel agent who lives in Wichita, and I don’t want to see her or her family adversely affected by my blog. Also, this text (at Parody Center) genders me as a woman. While my gender categories are in no way “fixed” or stable in their significations, I have seen almost every episode of The Sopranos, and have enjoyed them. I also recently listened to practically all of AC/DC’s album Back in Black, last Thursday I think.

My blog is unabashedly romantic. Reading my blog is like drinking a rosewater piña colada on the island of Capri. In general, though, these authors use the word “romantic” so often that it really starts to lose all meaning, like when you buy too many Godiva chocolates and they end up tasting odd, as though somebody had melted saran wrap into them. They call the Valve neo-Romantic, and so forth. I picture them pretending to like conceptual art on a daily basis.

With respect to the charge of elitism, I would like to dispel any rumors once and for all by announcing that I am always looking for ways of achieving lower culture. If there is anyone who can suggest a complete anti-elitist program, I promise to put on hold what I am currently doing with my free time, which is watching Entourage, playing Texas Hold ‘Em poker, planning a belated birthday trip to Las Vegas for New Year’s, and listening to Young Jeezy and Celine Dion. As anyone who knows me can tell you, that is not even a little bit a joke.

I was timid and restrained in my criticisms of Zizek, so let me remedy the situation. One time Zizek came to Irvine to speak, and he told an extended story about the function of obscene and offensive jokes as a bonding ritual in the Yugoslav Army. Allow me to say, ruthlessly if you please, that these jokes, all of which he repeated for our benefit, were kind of boring. Dr. Zizek, hear me roar: YOU HAD TO BE THERE.

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