September 30, 2006

WEEKEND SPECIAL: A DOG EXPLAINS STRUCTURALISM AND POST STRUCTURALISM


Goat Rope is pleased to continue its weekend series of stimulating articles by Weimerauner dog and noted scholar Molly Ringworm. Dr. Ringworm is Visiting Professor of Literary Theory at the Goat Rope Farm School of Cultural Studies.

Be sure to check out Dr. Ringworm's previous contributions from the last three weekends (on post-modernism, deconstructionism, and semiotics respectively) in the Goat Rope Archives.

This is part of our continuing efforts to elevate the level of popular discourse and stimulate animal-led discussions of literary and intellectual trends.

A DOG EXPLAINS STRUCTURALISM AND POST STRUCTURALISM

OK, like structuralism is another weird French thing. I think it came from these two dead French guys. One, Saussure, was into languages and the other Levi-Strauss, was a strange anthropologist guy.

But you know, if it wasn't for weird dead French guys, literary theorists like me wouldn't have anything to write about. Even if they didn't write about anything important, like squeaky toys or things you can eat, chase, or pee on.

Whatever.

So structuralism is kind of like semiotics where nothing means anything by itself but only in connection to everything in a system, like letters in the alphabet.

And like they think people are hardwired to make up these systems to fit everything in to. And the systems people make up because they're hardwired to only make sense from the inside, not the outside. But everybody does and can't help it.

And like one thing people do a lot if is come up with these binary system thingies that they try to make everything or everyone fit in. Like good/bad, raw/cooked, and so on.

Have you ever noticed that there are two kinds of people--the ones who use binary classification systems and those who don't?

All of which kind of shows that dogs are much more complicated than people. We use way more than two categories we divide things into. I think it's like five or six. Like there are things you can eat, chase, smell, pee on, play with, and roll around in. I was spayed when I was little but I think there may be one more category too.

So like that's structuralism.

And the main difference between structuralism and post structuralism is that in structuralism you guys do all this because you're wired to and in post structuralism you just do it for no special reason.


GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED

3 comments:

mwildfire said...

I am shocked that Molly would use a quotation without attribution. I believe it was Mark Twain who said
"There are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide people into two groups and those that don't."

Bonney said...

Also, from the computer geeks:

There are 10 types of people in the world; those who know binary and those who don't.

Anonymous said...

There are actually THREE kinds of people in the world: those who can count and those who can't.

Bill the Mathematician.