Wednesday, October 24, 2007

the semiotics of love-slaves

My NYC travelling companion, a friend who's in grad school, asked me to read I was Michel Foucault's love slave out loud for our entertainment a few evenings ago, as we were winding down from a fun day in The City. One line in particular made me laugh so hard that I choked, wheezed and fat tears rolled down my cheeks.

The wheezing was because this article reminded me vividly of hanging out years ago in the basement of a shared student house* on West 11th in Vancouver with my theory-slurping roommates (handsome, lovable Chris; aloof, charismatic Martin) -- both lightning-witted and hysterically funny, if a little self-serious about their studies.

Who were they always battling about? I recall lengthy debates involving Wittgenstein (mostly Martin) and Derrida (mostly Chris). Folks like Butler, and even the notoriously impenetrable Bhabha were sprinkled in for good measure. But that's not all. We might as well have put out an extra place setting at every dinner for Foucault, (the way many Jews do for Elijah at Passover), so often was Michel's name mentioned (reverentially, authoritatively) over cheap meals of vegetarian chili and vats of South American wine, (the latter of which we often consumed until nothing we said made any sense -- if, indeed, it ever did -- and it was time for an inebriated mock-battle conducted from table tops and standing on the backs of the tatty living room furniture, or a dance-off performed in the dark and mirror-like reflection of our uncurtained, massive picture window). Oh, Michel, how could we not be in love? Look at the man:

(My aforementioned friend in grad school sent me the above pic with the comment "this photograph commands a reevaluation of my so-called orientation".)

*Painted robin's egg blue, and in many places un-insulated, as we discovered one night when we drunkenly and collectively kicked a hole in the wall, before tumbling in a mass of arms and legs to the bottom of the stairs, like the little assholes we were.


At October 25, 2007 9:44 a.m., Blogger The Dude said...

What a great read! Going back to your discussion of "pants" vs. "face", here's something for you:


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