Monday, August 24, 2009

Stupidity, Explained

Occidental College is a nice little place, nestled in a beautiful little valley in Eagle Rock, California (next to Pasadena). They are now offering a course in Stupidity. Here’s the catalog entry:

180. STUPIDITY. Stupidity is neither ignorance nor organicity, but rather, a corollary of knowing and an element of normalcy, the double of intelligence rather than its opposite. It is an artifact of our nature as finite beings and one of the most powerful determinants of human destiny. Stupidity is always the name of the Other, and it is the sign of the feminine. This course in Critical Psychology follows the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, Gilles Deleuze, and most recently, Avital Ronell, in a philosophical examination of those operations and technologies that we conduct in order to render ourselves uncomprehending. Stupidity, which has been evicted from the philosophical premises and dumbed down by psychometric psychology, has returned in the postmodern discourse against Nation, Self, and Truth and makes itself felt in political life ranging from the presidency to Beevis and Butthead. This course examines stupidity.

This might all be a joke, but I don’t think so.


nanute said...

I'm speechless. And yet I think I must say something. But what? Who's teaching this course? Sarah, Rush, Glenn, Newt, Kristol....?

fred c said...

Those academics sure enjoy their confusing jargon, don't they? Maybe it's an attempt to convince us that they're smarter than us.

nanute said...

Yes, you are so right! One of my favorite sayings of all time: I used to be indecisive; now I'm not so sure. (I don't know who gets credit.)