October 07, 2006
WEEKEND SPECIAL: A DOG EXPLAINS FOUCAULT
Goat Rope is pleased once again to feature the erudite comments of Dr. Molly Ringworm, a Weimerauner dog and Visting Professor of Literary Theory at the Goat Rope Farm School of Cultural Studies.
Be sure to check out Dr. Ringworm's previous commentaries of the past four weekends in the Goat Rope archive. Topics have included post-modernism, deconstructionism, semiotics, and structuralism/post-structuralism.
This series has been part of Goat Rope's ongoing efforts to raise the level of popular discourse and highlight the cultural and intellecual trends of our times. Dr. Ringworm's current topic is a summary of the work of the late French philosopher Michel Foucault.
A DOG EXPLAINS FOUCAULT
OK, well I think this may be my last comment for a while cause I have to go home soon. I'm going to kind of miss this since I don't get to talk about this stuff much at home. I live with a Labrador, see?
I mean like they're cute and all and don't get cold and love to swim and all that but boy they are dumb as a sledtrack. Have you ever tried to talk about weird dead French guys with a Lab? It doesn't work.
Speaking of dead weird French guys, OK there was this guy Foucault. He wrote a lot of weird stuff about knowledge, power, madness and discipline. I mean he was really into discipline. I mean...well, nevermind.
So like he wrote some stuff about knowlege, words, and things and it was like people sometimes think one way and organize everything that way and then it all just changes for no special reason.
He was also into the whole power/knowlegde thing, which means that somebody has to have power to be able to label other people and call it knowledge. Like if someone says "Good dog" or "Bad dog" they usually can yell at you or take away your squeaky toys or make you go in your crate.
I don't like my crate much. One time I even peed in it, which is bad for a dog.
Then like he wrote this whole book about madness and who got to decide who was crazy. I kind of think all you guys are pretty crazy.
In his crazy book, he said like in the Middle Ages people were all freaked out about leprosy then they just got over that and started worrying about who was crazy. At first crazy people were OK cause maybe they were like touched by God or something (did you ever think that God is dog spelled backward?) but after a while they got nasty with crazy people and put them in bad places away from everybody else and were mean to them. Then after that, they stopped being real mean to them but tried to make them act normal.
Foucault didn't like that either. Like you just can't be nice to some people.
Then he did this whole book about punishment where like in the old days your kings used to just cut people to pieces and tear out their livers and stuff like that. Then in the modern time that didn't happen so much but instead everybody got spied on all the time by everybody else.
He said it was like a panopticon, which is like a thingie where they can watch you all the time but you can't watch them. And he thought the whole modern world was kind of like a big prison. It's like everybody has to be on a leash or in their crate all the time.
I don't like having to go in my crate.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED
by El Cabrero