Baby’s first theory [Rerun Sunday]

You can find a brief explanation of “Rerun Sunday” here.

The post below originally appeared on 26 Apr 2007.


Ted Striphas is running a caption contest on his blog involving a photo of a baby holding a book by every toddler’s favorite French philosopher, Gilles Deleuze. I’m still working on my entry (how could I not? Ted’s offering such fabulous prizes!) but — in the meantime — I was reminded of a moment about 18 months ago when I found myself watching after an almost-a-toddler for a few hours while her parents were otherwise occupied. And watching Svetlana play with her fuzzy books while surrounded by Ron and Z’s mountains of critical theory tomes inspired me to do a few literary mash-ups of my own.

Baby’s First Spivak
see the happy people. we call them “altern”

see the sad people. we call them “subaltern”

see the altern speak. hear the altern speak.

see the subaltern … no. no, you don’t.

the end.

Baby’s First Gramsci
karl was right. but karl was wrong.
let me tell you how in song.
rich men rule. rich men bad.
rich men make the poor real sad.
karl thinks poor are fooled by rich
who turn poor’s minds off like a switch.
i think poor are pretty smart.
rich don’t rule their minds — they steal the heart.
poor can still defeat the rich
but it’s not easy — life’s a bitch.
poor folks minds are full of doubt
but strength of will should see them out!

Baby’s First Said
once upon a time, there was a happy land called “the west.” only the people from the west didn’t know they were part of “the west.” they thought they were the whole world.

then one day, some people from the west met some people from “the east.” and the people from the west realized that they weren’t the whole world anymore.

but the people from the west liked to think that they were the whole world. so they pretended that the people from the east were weak and lazy. and so they sent soldiers with guns to kill the people from the east and steal their gold. and they told lies about the east that made the people from the west believe that all this was fair and good and right.

eventually, the people from the west forgot that the stories they were telling about the east were lies. but they couldn’t stop telling those stories because those stories made it possible for them to still believe that the west was the whole world.

and they all lived unhappily ever after.

I never got around to Baby’s First Deleuze, but maybe now I need to do so . . .

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