Wednesday, February 08, 2012

"Our genres of confidence in the world are shattering!"

Turn on to Radio 4 at a random moment during the day, and chances are that you'll alight upon one of three things: (i) a dreary, unimaginative analysis of political or economic news; (ii) a deeply earnest play; or (iii) a pompous discussion by self-important non-entities of pseudo-philosophical issues.

The last category, however, often unwittingly falls into the 'most original comedy' category, and a shining exemplar such can be found in the February 8th edition of 'Thinking Allowed' (geddit?). Here, 'cultural theorist' Lauren Berlant discharges the following array of dazzling intellectual gems:

"I think it's important not to think of the working class as having no fantasies."

"I don't think you'd want to normalise precarity so much."

"The historical present makes itself available to you when there's a crisis in the reproduction of life."

"Everyone invests in objects that organise the relation of fantasy to how they live...the working class's are in the present, the middle class's are in the future."

"In a crisis time, many people's sense of the precariousness of the present becomes present to them."

"Our genres of confidence in the world are shattering."

To criticise such meaningless, generalised drivel, to point out the lack of well-defined terms, the lack of logical reasoning, and the lack of verifiable statements based upon hard evidence, would be to potentially crush this delicate form of performance art in its nascent stage. Even in a time of such 'precarity', we must find more money to fund the lifestyle of these modern sages, and reward them with ever greater slices of publicly-funded airtime.

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