Britain’s Intellectuals: 10 Dimwits Offer Up Banalities in the Observer

Here, take a quick look over this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2011/may/08/public-intellectuals-britain

But, before you do, I have to warn you: a quick look only! For it takes years of practice to be able to cope with reading such banalities without your mind deteriorating half-way through into a vegetable mush.*

Anyway, having scanned it carelessly, you’ll already have noted the trends of conservatism and nationalism, but it will be the thoroughly bourgeois way of conceiving “intellectuals” that you’ll be gagging on, no doubt.

I’m not suggesting we need all read Gramsci before talking about intellectuals, but you would have thought that, e.g. Alain de Bottom could make the small leap from his statement that: “most of the really influential public intellectuals are now employed by the state” to a position where the intimate connection between prominent/influential intellectuals and the dominant social strata becomes apparent – as well as the latent political crisis (e.g. the connected crises of the working-class movement and of the incorporation of certain (but by no means all) “intellectuals” into the “establishment”).** This might qualify de Bottom’s analysis in just the right way so that it doesn’t sound like he’s merely praising Michael Gove and using Mervyn King to bash the French.

—————————————————-

*Those determined to master this skill should begin by reading Restoration comedies, before working their way gradually up to Saturday night television. From there, step it up to daytime TV, beginning with short bursts. Then you’re ready for the harder stuff. After you’re able to manage 5+ hour stints of Jeremy Kyle you’re probably about ready to begin the next step: start a PhD. From here on, you’re getting deep into the real shit, so be careful not to burn yourself out. E.g. Perhaps avoid research training/methods sessions to begin with. The final exam involves reading your way through Local Council minutes/ records of university meetings. If you manage to sift out all the carefully coded and deeply embedded controversies (e.g. wage reductions and redundancies whilst VC’ gettng 10%+ raises; library staff being laid off in favour of crap machines and underpaid postgrads, etc) you pass; if you commit suicide half way through you fail. Alternatively you can take the “course work” option, and spend 15 years working in a low-paid office job. Be warned, however, that if you are made redundant before the 15 years are up, you will have to start again from scratch. One way or another, if you’re able to pass all this, you may*** be able to read this article, but I would still recommend wearing eye-protection.
** I’d expand on this, but I think I over did it, reading that article: my brain feels like an overboiled vegetable; even the most hardened-bloggers struggle with such a highly concentrated dose of tedium.
*** This blog accepts no liabilty for boredom related injuries, inclusive of all aches and pains, eye-strain, alcoholism , existential nausea, homicidal or patricidal tendencies (etc) and injuries related to excessive masturbation.

Advertisements

~ by Wit on May 8, 2011.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: