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Thread: Pretentious Crap

  1. #31
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    "but i draw the line at like Stelarc - or middle aged men who photograph themselves nude while translating avant-garde sound poetry into interpretive dance and shit like that."

    What are you talking about? Sterlarc is great. And the middle aged men thing sounds pretty good too!

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by josef k. View Post
    "Believe it or not, it is possible to understand these writers and their work while in fact adding to the discourse surrouding them"

    Oh, I believe this. But often its just pretentious crap.
    Often? How often? Who gets to decide? You do? I'm guessing this means that anything you read and don't understand is pretentious?

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    Surely something we can all agree on.
    I'd also rather shove bamboo shoots under my fingernails than watch soccer.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Nucleus View Post
    http://www.amazon.com/Just-Being-Dif.../dp/0804747105

    this may also be of interest: http://www.math.yorku.ca/SCS/Gallery/badwriting.html

    i'm staying out of this one. apparently pretentious is a dirty word around here. i don't get it. being pretentious is one of the few things that really gives me joy in this world. but i draw the line at like Stelarc - or middle aged men who photograph themselves nude while translating avant-garde sound poetry into interpretive dance and shit like that.
    Yeah, I know what you mean. Everyone has to draw a line somewhere. It's obviously a subjective distinction.

    Like for me Sundance and a lot of independent film festival shit has always seemed really pretentious in that distinctively American way that's very not typically European and literary but it's still fucking pretentious as hell.

  4. #34
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    Stelarc's ace, though. I've met him. Very unpretentious guy.

  5. #35
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    I don't know why I'd never heard of Stelarc until now.

    But people outside the U.S. might not realize how much bad performance art there is in the U.S.

    For every one Stelarc you've seen a hundred really bad copies. REally really really bad ones.

  6. #36
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    "Often? How often? Who gets to decide? You do? I'm guessing this means that anything you read and don't understand is pretentious?"

    Not necessarily. For instance, I sometimes come across things that I don't quite understand and which seem to me needlessly confrontational. But I don't necessarily assume they're pretentious. They could simply be a sign that their author isn't especially interested in conversing with people in a pleasant and mutually respectful manner.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by josef k. View Post
    "Often? How often? Who gets to decide? You do? I'm guessing this means that anything you read and don't understand is pretentious?"

    Not necessarily. For instance, I sometimes come across things that I don't quite understand and which seem to me needlessly confrontational. But I don't necessarily assume they're pretentious. They could simply be a sign that their author isn't especially interested in conversing with people in a pleasant and mutually respectful manner.
    Ok, Josef. We all understand that your feelings are hurt because certain people don't agree with you about Zizek's alleged fascist status.

    But do we really need to start thread after thread where we passive-aggressively refuse to address this issue (or those who disagreed with you on this issue) directly, and instead try to insinuate that everyone but you has some sort of massive character flaws that you yourself do not have, simply because they disagree with you on this one issue?

    It strikes me as particularly immature.

    You are not some sort of pariah because I've strongly disagreed with you. Take a look around. I strongly disagree with a lot of people. That's my personality. I'm the first person to admit that I'm outspoken and opinionated. I've done it plenty of times. I enjoy coming here to read diverse perspectives and weigh in, not to agree with everyone. Don't take anything I've said too personally, because it wasn't meant personally. I don't know you.

    I'm also from New York, so there are cultural factors at work here. Based on New York standards, the way I express myself here is extremely polite. It always makes me chuckle when I express things here exactly the way I would speak them (which would be taken as entirely normal and not rude at all in person where I live) at home and people completely FLIP because they think I'm being intentionally rude.

    I may be direct, blunt, and opinionated, but at least I'm not passive-aggressive. And I'm ok with that.
    Last edited by nomadthethird; 21-01-2009 at 10:43 PM.

  8. #38
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    I have completely flipped, its true.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by josef k. View Post
    I have completely flipped, its true.
    I never said you were the one who flipped. Some people don't seem to realize that there are regional and cultural differences in the way people express things, but especially in idioms that are just common and not considered rude or mean.

    Based on what I've seen here of sensitivity to wording and swearing, if some of the people here went to Brooklyn and carried on a normal conversation they'd probably like cry themselves to sleep afterward.

  10. #40
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    That is one interpretation, certainly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sick Boy View Post
    I even worked at an American Apparel, so the proximity is there.
    I even shop at American Apparel, because the clothes fit me well and they're comfortable, and as an added bonus they're not sweatshopped (even if Dov Charney has a trillion sexual harrassment suits out against him).

    I have a few of those skirts, that high waisted one. The spandex leggings, the long tank tops, the track shorts, a couple of hoodies. I even owned a bunch of those italian chains (the figaro chain for one) before they were in the AA store. And guess what? I don't care if that makes me a "hipster", I wear what I feel good in.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by josef k. View Post
    That is one interpretation, certainly.
    Sorry, not sure what you mean.

  13. #43
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    I think it's worth pointing out that pretentiousness exists outside the spheres of academia, literature and the arts. My brother works in IT at a fairly senior techincal level and has to attend these meetings with people from marketing; they drag on for hours and afterwards he says to his colleagues (the people he actually works with on a day-to-day basis, I mean) "So what was all that about then?", and just gets shrugs and blank looks in return. Or, after some marketing consultant wizkid has just delivered a huge spiel about synergizing this and leveraging that, he'll say "So you mean if we lower our prices more people might buy our product?" (or something equally simple) and they just go "Yes, exactly!". Except they've taken ages to say it and peppered it with obscure, voguish marketing buzzwords.

    Point being, you don't need interpretive dance or references to Gilles Deleuze to be pretentious. There's a whole world of commercial pretentiousness out there.
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  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomadthesecond View Post
    I can understand where you're coming from on this, but it's a convention in philosophy and theory to use "think" this way when you're talking about not just describing something in basic terms but very precisely thinking through a problem and formulating a solution (usually complete with jargon and new terminology to match).

    Of course this probably still sounds pretentious but it comes in handy in a philosophy class.
    Ooops, didn't reply to this, how rude. Yep I'm aware of its status as a philosophical convention, so not meaning to diss you or anyone else who may have used it as part of class requirements. Am I right to think this is especially a thing in philosophy done in the tradition of Hegel and German idealism?
    I guess my main thing with it is that I always feel that 'think' ought to be qualified in some way - thinking about, thinking through, thinking carefully etc - in order to make more precise what sort of thought, what kind of mental activity we are dealing with. Using 'think' on it's own seems to give an impression of pure, abstract gnostic/Platonic insight on the part of the author (that Rodin statue often springs to mind for me! ), which can come off as a bit self-aggrandising. But like I say, not a huge deal.

    My own classic pretentious-person moment: taking out Derrida's On Grammatology from the uni library, reading about a quarter of it, then giving up and putting it back. /

  15. #45
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    ha! according to no less (pretentious? ) an authority than ian penman (my wife was doing some research and asked him for advice re. where to start with derrida) yr much better off reading bluffer's guides to derrida than the man himself (and that itself is prob a v derrida-ish thing in itself but heigh ho)!

    "pretentious" always gets used as a pejorative but to me it's the highest of compliments. what's art about if not to mimic god, exceed the artist? as i understand it "pretentious" in the negative corresponds with e.g. invoking derrida with no real grasp of what he was about and with no real correspondence to the prob. v. humdrum thing yr trying to put across (as i've just done) or pub rock wanting to be wagner (unless you play the rick wakeman 20 yrs after the event "hey i wz only joking" get out of jail free card) but generally it tends to get used as a sort of anti-societal fatwa i.e. EVERYONE ELSE is into A, why do you have to be DIFFERENT and be into B which is SO DIFFICULT for the rest of us to get into thus clearly you must be EVIL (or as one idiot broadsheet scribbler once proposed, equating Metal Machine Music/Kid A fans with pederasts/more generally equating Stockhausen Boulez et al with Soviet Stalin et al) and UNMUTUAL and fundamentally RIGHT WING and must be ERADICATED (apologies for all the Sun front page capitals here).

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