Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Howard says

Hyphenation is the trend nowadays if you want to get ahead in academia. This realization led me to undertake an intense personal voyage of discovery to uncover the roots my conformist parents had suppressed. Yes, I'm proud to stand up and call myself a Manx-American. My self-hating parents didn't even know where the Isle of Manx was. Undeterred, I consulted a map and after much searching (those coffee stains confused me) I finally found the land of my forebears. Such a tiny place, even smaller than Rhode Island, but a proud and mighty people lived there probably. Theirs was undoubtedly a history of tragic oppression ( I hoped). With thoughts of becoming the Manx Alex Haley, I immediately began looking to see which imperialist oppressors had raped my homeland. Aha, the usual suspects! English scum and those Scots bastards. "Braveheart" was a lie. I vow never to eat shortbread again. But then tragedy struck. I could see from the map that the Isle of Man lay to the west of England and Scotland, but I know from my studies that colonialist oppression always travels eastwards. Oh, Edward Said, if only you had gone round the compass and written "Occidentalism", "Australianism" and "Septentrionalism" too! Then your anti-imperialist writings would have formed a magnificent tetralogy (a bit like "Star Wars" if George Lucas had stopped after "The Phantom Menace"). But no, it was not to be. I was stumped. Then long buried memories of school geography lessons welled up from the depths of my psyche proustianally. Was not the earth round? Indeed, it was. Though I generally regard logic as a mere instrument of bourgeois hegemony, I made a rare exception and applied it to my reasoning. The earth is round, therefore the Isle of Man must be to the east as well as the west of Great Britain. It just takes longer that way. It must mean we all oppress ourselves too. We're all self-subjugating orientalists at heart. Deep. Overjoyed, I eagerly sought out my favourite citations from Said and began the thesis that would make me famous…

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